Nathalie Cooke

NATHALIE-square crop

Nathalie Cooke, founding editor of Cuizine: The Journal of Canadian Food Cultures / Revue des cultures culinaires au Canada (2008-), read by over 12,000 viewers in 112 countries annually, is Professor of English at McGill University and Associate Dean (Rare and Special Collections) of the McGill Library. Her publications focus on the shaping of taste through Canadian literature, culture, and foodways. For example, her articles on Canadian foodways have looked at the story of margarine in Canada and the food spokespersonalities of mid-twentieth century. She is editor of What’s to Eat? EntrĂ©es into Canadian Food History (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2009), and more recently, co-editor of The Johnson Family Treasury, A Collection of Recipes and Remedies, 1741-1848 (2015). She welcomes the opportunity to engage in discussion about Catharine Parr Traill and her neighbours in what is now Lakefield and its surrounds.


What did you eat for dinner today? Did you make your own cheese? Butcher your own pig? Collect your own eggs? Drink your own home-brewed beer? Shanty bread leavened with hops-yeast, venison and wild rice stew, gingerbread cake with maple sauce, and dandelion coffee – this was an ordinary backwoods meal in Victorian-era Canada. Originally published in 1855, Catharine Parr Traill’s classic The Female Emigrant’s Guide, with its admirable recipes, candid advice, and astute observations about local food sourcing, offers an intimate glimpse into the daily domestic and seasonal routines of settler life. This toolkit for historical cookery, redesigned and annotated in an edition for use in contemporary kitchens, provides readers with the resources to actively use and experiment with recipes from the original Guide. Containing modernized recipes, a measurement conversion chart, and an extensive glossary, this volume also includes discussions of cooking conventions, terms, techniques, and ingredients that contextualize the social attitudes, expectations, and challenges of Traill’s world and the emigrant experience. In a distinctive and witty voice expressing her can-do attitude, Catharine Parr Traill’s The Female Emigrant’s Guide unlocks a wealth of information on historical foodways and culinary exploration.

Years Participated: 2017

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