I love reading recipes. What are the ingredients, what are the steps involved in the preparation? Is there a story behind it? What about the culture? There are many facets to recipes, above and beyond the final taste.
One of the first cookbooks that I remember having was written by a friend of the family, Mrs. Ford, and it was a collection of her family’s favorite recipes – wholesome recipes that used common ingredients and were easy to make. Then I received “The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook“, published in 1980. I still have it, and use it as a reference, although it doesn’t have current ingredients, such as bok choy. Now I also have electronic recipes from Pinterest, and various apps.
With this love of recipes and all things food, I was thrilled to be able to attend Taste Canada: the Food Writing Awards at the Arcadian Court on November 4th with a small group of women from Women in Food Industry Management (WFIM).
The culinary authors inspired us to embrace the differences of the Canadian culture of food; to reflect on our nation’s history; tell stories of families, environments, tastes and traditions; to celebrate innovation in today’s kitchens; and to honour all of the people who grow and make our food.
Elizabeth Baird, a speaker at previous WFIM event, was honoured by her induction into the Taste Canada Hall of Fame. She states that food is the one thing you can do thousands of times and still get a jolt of pleasure from. She also told the audience that her recipe for pork chops with apples & cinnamon from Helen Gougeon’s (a posthumous hall of fame inductee) “Good Food” cookbook, was what nabbed her husband!
The winner’s of Taste Canada’s Cook the Books contest were also announced. These student chefs were assigned one of the cookbooks short listed for an award, and were mentored by the authors to cook and present a recipe from the book. The first place winners, cooking a recipe from Rose Murray & Elizabeth Baird’s gold medal winning cookbook “Canada’s Favourite Recipes”, was a team from Liaison College’s Oakville campus! Susanne Milker, founder of Liaison College, and a former WFIM Chair, was thrilled by the win.
Not that the award ceremony wasn’t enough, but the evening carried on with a gala reception featuring gourmet, chef-prepared food, sponsored by the likes of Oliver & Bonacini, Ted Reader‘s World Famous BBQ, The International Centre, Wanda’s Pie in the Sky, and Dufflet Pastries. The event also featured wines from Niagara College Teaching Winery, and Alexander Keith’s beer from Labatt Canada.
During the presentation, Elizabeth Baird challenged everyone to write their own family or community cookbook, and Michael Bonacini asked “what story does your cookbook tell?” I am inspired to follow this advice, and Mrs. Ford’s lead, to put together my own collection of recipes, and tell my own culinary story.
Here’s to more tasty writing!