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Baird, Elizabeth.

Toronto, James Lorimer, cl984. 152pp, paper, spiral bound, $12.95, ISBN 0-88862-758-0. CIP

Grades 10 and up
Reviewed by Joyce Brown

Volume 13 Number 2
1985 March

Elizabeth Baird writes a weekly column, "Canadian Cookbook," for the Toronto Star and also appears in Canadian Living. This book is part of the Great Canadian Cookbook series, which also includes Summer Berries (Lorimer, 1980), Apples, Peadies and Pears (Lorimer, 1977), and Classic Canadian Cooking (Lorimer, 1974).

The author has endeavoured to "reveal something about the people who make it (the food), to reflect the produce available in the country and the cooking traditions that have flourished" in Canada.

In this book, she has expanded beyond traditional recipes to explore new ways of preparing typical Canadian food. Some interesting recipes include Mussel Salad Appetizer, Smoked Whitefish Pate", Green Corn Pudding, Pumpkin Cream Roll, and Sour Cream Bean Salad.

Each recipe is introduced with a brief anecdote about the person who introduced the author to it, or an interesting description of the product and its unique, unusual, or unfamiliar ingredients, or how to serve or store the dish.

The personalized recipes, e.g., Cynthia Coop's Bean and Barley Soup with Wild Mushrooms, Savella Stechishin's Chicken Breasts Kiev Style, or Ann McColl Lindsay's Emotive Ratatouille, make readers feel as if they were flipping through an old family recipe book, with tried-and-true results, rather than considering preparing a dish developed, perhaps, in a testing kitchen.

The book is organized in the general order of a menu: appetizers first, then soups, main course dishes, vegetables, salads, desserts, breads, beverages, and a section on preserves. There is also an index to facilitate use of the material.

The book is easily read, with large, clear print. Coil binding permits the book to lie flat. There are no illustrations. There is a variety of recipes: some quick and easy, others requiring extensive preparation. They use fresh, natural ingredients. Most would be appropriate for family meals, as well as for entertainment.

Joyce Brown, Dunsmuir S.S . Victoria, B.C.
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