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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Old things - new find

Edited - see below

Even tho I might give the impression of being someone with an aversion to cooking I do have a range of cookery books kept on a shelf in the laundry.

Kept there because there isn't any spare bench space in the kitchen and when there was they tended to get messy and splashed from other projects and also because I can see them when I'm loading/unloading and vaguely thinking about what to cook for dinner and so can pull one down to glace through.

One of the many lovely ones sitting there on the shelves is this one called Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens.

I think I mentioned at some time DH has family in Canada, he has an aunt there who arrived as a War Bride during the 1940's and has lived in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia the whole of the time since. Over the years we have had lots of visits there to see DH's aunt and his 7 cousins and they have been fabulous times that seem to get better and better.

This is a view of the Valley from a local tourist spot called the Lookoff- not the Lookout - not sure why its that name and not the other. I really should ask next time we are there.

The Annapolis Valley from the Lookoff courtesy of Wikipedia - mine never turn out that good:(

They all live fairly plain 'simple' lives, Halifax the provinces capital city is only an hour and a half down the road but they live surrounded by apple orchards in a rural heaven. They love to cook - their fish chowder and apple crumbles/crisps are to die for:))

Anyway this little cook book thats been in my house since 1988 (first time we visited) is really interesting in that as well as having loads of recipes its a history book as well.

So much info there - lots on the settlement of the land and bits about the different settlers - Native Indians (Micmacs), French, English, Germans, Irish, Scots, New Englanders and also Negroes, how they used the land and the effect they had on each other as well as so many different sorts of recipes.

I've come back to this sentence to say I don't know if its correct to use the word Negro or whether I should have said African American. Negro is the word used in the book so if I offend anyone I apologise

Want to know how to skin an Eel, learn about Portable/Pocket soup ( where the stock is boiled to a solid 'cake' and could be put in your pocket), how to boil a ham an old Acadian way (using herbs of 'personal likeness'), learn what Brewis and Frumety are and heres a lovley one -

'Skirl in the Pan'

- Melt suet in a hot pan, add chopped onions and brown well, add enough oatmeal to absorb the fat, stirring thoroughly for a few minutes to brown. Can be eaten with meat and potatoes for a satisfying evening meal :)

The reason I'd been thumbing through it is that at the moment NQR have bags of potatoes for $2 and after my success with the Pumpkin Soup I thought I'd have a go at Potato Soup. I found a recipe in there that was easy to cook and not too fussy and turned out a treat. I suppose the old ones sometimes are better than the newer updated versions.

It is said this particular recipe was served at Government House in Halifax at the turn of the century. I assume thats the 20th century - 1900. Is that old enough??


  1. Hi Cathy,
    My heart quickened when you said Nova Scotia... We live quite near the New Brunswick border and are about three to four hours from Nova Scotia. If you ever visit please be in touch!

    My kids grew up with clothes given from others sent in what was a green plastic trash bag. They talk fondly of the excitement of dumping a green bag and finding treasure! They never thought they were cheated but rather gifted with wonderful surprises!

  2. Hi Cathy,
    A great post!
    Hope you have a great wk.emd.

  3. I just love potato soup and old recipe books! have a wonderful weekend


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