Sir John's Table: The Culinary Life and Times of Canada's First Prime Minister

 
9780864928818: Sir John's Table: The Culinary Life and Times of Canada's First Prime Minister
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Winner, Taste Canada Gold Medal for Culinary Narrative

Commemorating the two-hundredth anniversary of Sir John A. Macdonald's birth, Sir John's Table is a refreshing look at Canada's first prime minister.

Sir John's Table traverses the colourful life of Macdonald, from his passage as a young Scottish boy in the steerage compartment aboard the Earl of Buckinghamshire to his new home in Kingston, Upper Canada. It traces his boyhood years of stealing fish and scarfing down fairy cakes into his adult life as a lawyer, husband, father, and eventual leader of the newly founded dominion of Canada. It was a journey that began with hardtack and suspicious-looking, watered-down stew amidst appallingly unsanitary conditions and culminated in grand dinners held in Macdonald's honour.

In a breezy and engaging style, author Lindy Mechefske traces Macdonald's life through some of the common foods of the day, from mutton, quince, and gooseberries to hare, cow heel, and ox cheek. Along the way, she reveals how to concoct the fried oysters served at the Charlottetown Conference and how a roast duck dinner saved the dominion.

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From the Inside Flap:

Sir John A. Macdonald — Canada's first prime minister and Father of Confederation — a politician and a lawyer; a husband, father, and son; a rascal, prankster, and notorious tippler. There have been many books about Sir John but none like this.

From humble family dinners to elaborate political galas, from tragic losses to dizzying triumphs, Lindy Mechefske leads us through Macdonald's life and the culinary history of a nation. Marvel — or shudder — at the food available to hopeful immigrants on the high seas as the Macdonald family leaves Scotland for a fresh start in the New World. Celebrate the young John A.'s marriage while learning about popular wedding foods of the era. Learn how a roast duck dinner saved the dominion and take a seat at the Charlottetown Conference and indulge in fried oysters. Along the way, try your hand at authentic recipes sourced from cookbooks of the day.

Sir John's Table is a unique look at the life of Sir John A. Macdonald through the lens of Canada's culinary past.

About the Author:

Lindy Mechefske is a freelance writer and food columnist. She is the author of the cookbook A Taste of Wintergreen and blogs about her adventures in the kitchen at lindymechefske.com. She spent her early years in England and has lived in the US and Australia but calls beautiful, historic Kingston, Ontario, her home. Lindy's love affairs with food and history began when she was three years old, rolling out the pastry for jam tarts in her grandfather's ancient Yorkshire kitchen.

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