Food stories in Toronto

Place Settings: Diasporic Food Identities (for any new readers: the exhibit I co-curated for my Masters) recently closed, and in case you missed it, the interactive wall had a-maz-ing food stories! Visitors contributed recipes, family memories, immigration stories, favourite flavours, and each in their own beautiful way demonstrated how food is so intrinsically tied to our identities […]

Historic Food at Gallery Openings!

Recently I attended the opening of “All in a Day’s Work: Industry and Growth in Old Town” at the Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, fantastically curated by three friends from my MMSt program at University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information: Dylan Dammermann, Jennifer Ford, and Alyssa Lake, in collaboration with the Ontario Heritage Trust.

“Working life wasn’t easy in Old Town Toronto. Hours were long, pay was low and workplaces could be dangerous. Between 1870 and 1910, the neighbourhood boomed with factories and workshops, where men, women and children worked. Through family stories, photographs and artifacts, “All in a Day’s Work: Industry and Growth in Old Town”  sheds light on life inside Old Town Toronto’s stores, factories and homes during this time – exploring the industrial transformation of Toronto’s oldest neighbourhood.”Read More »

When Your Biscuits Are Like Rocks: Including Imperfection in Historical Interpretation

Canada Part 2: 19th c. Ontario Cooking featuring Immigrants from the Isles

Selected Recipes
New Cock-a-Leekie Soup
“Excellent Hot Tea Cakes”
“Cranberry Pie”

If you’ve ever watched “Chopped: Canada”, you can sympathize with me when I say that I would be first on the chopping block. Do I cook with enthusiasm? Heck yes! Bravery? You betcha! Skill? Eh….in time, I tell myself, in time.Many times over this Historic Kitchen project I have looked askance at my final product….doubting that I have made it correctly. I would bet good money that my attempt at Patina of Pears would make even the dour Cato the Elder roll over laughing. The difficulty with creating recipes of unfamiliar dishes is that you have no ideaif you are wrong, or how you are wrong. Just that unpleasant niggling sensation that something must be different….since “there is no way this thing should be so jiggly/…neon…/crunchy/[insert questionable adjective here]!”Read More »

Taste, The Final Frontier: Can Museums Recreate the Flavours of History?

Selected Classical Recipes
Athenian Cabbage – The Classical Cookbook
Parthian Chicken – The Classical Cookbook
Lentils with Chestnuts – A Taste of History

GrecoRoman Pt 5.

Museums today are exploring different methods of display that incorporate senses other than sight and allow visitors to experience knowledge in new ways. It is not uncommon to see exhibits featuring soundscapes and opportunities for touch. Though growing as an interpretive tool, smell is still fairly rare.

But what about taste?Read More »

Roman Cuisine: Feasting in Museums

Selected Classical Recipes
Garum – Roman Cookery
Eggs Poached in Wine – Roman Cookery
Pastry Balls – Roman Cookery
Toronean Steak – The Classical Cookbook

GrecoRoman Pt 2.

Food programs in Museums? But Health and Safety Regulations! But constricting catering contracts! It is certainly uncommon to feature food in museum programming, but here are two fun examples that just-so-happen to fit my Classical theme:Read More »