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Cooking History

Nothing More Comforting

Canada's Heritage Food

by (author) Dorothy Duncan

Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
May 2003
History, General, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    May 2003
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2012
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2012
    List Price

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Out of print

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Nothing More Comforting is a reflection of our society: an eclectic mix of many different cultures and traditions. Dorothy Duncan – with her extensive knowledge of heritage foods – has chosen her favourite "Country Fare" columns from the popular Century Home magazine for this wonderful book on Canada’s heritage cuisine. Each chapter focuses on one particular food or ingredient followed by historical facts and traditional recipes for you to try at home. Fast food restaurants and instant foods will never replace our seasonal and regional specialties: maple syrup, fiddleheads, rhubarb (pie plant to our ancestors), asparagus, corn on the cob, Saskatoon berries and McIntosh apples. The recipes in this book take advantage of Canada’s unique foods, creating a taste that is distinctly Canadian. Nothing More Comforting will provide the avid as well as the armchair cook with interesting food facts and new recipes to try.

About the author

Dorothy Duncan began her career as an elementary school teacher, and it was as a teacher-guide and curator at Black Creek Pioneer Village that her love of history and her passion for food led her into the world of culinary history. As a Museums Advisor for the Province of Ontario and Executive Director of the Ontario Historical Society, she worked with organizations across Canada and around the world to ensure that Canada's culinary history was recognized, researched, and recorded. Dorothy has lectured internationally on Canada's heritage foods and customs, including at the Culinary Institute of America and at the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery in England. She was the Toronto Women's Culinary Network's Woman of the Year, and in 2006 she was chosen by the Ontario Hostelry Institute to receive the Gold Award for Media and Publishing. Nothing More Comforting: Canada's Heritage Food, Dorothy's first book for Dundurn, was published in 2003 to wide acclaim.

Dorothy Duncan's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"This cookbook focuses on unique Canadian foods and traditional recipes, with chapters on Canadian favorites like maple syrup, Saskatoon berries and rhubarb. Author Dorothy Duncan adds food facts to give a historical context to the recipes."

'Top 5 Canadian Cookbooks' Canada Online

"[Nothing More Comforting] features charming, scholarly mini essays and historical recipes."

Toronto Star

"Mustard on your hotdog? Of course. But did you know that Pliny the Elder, the 1st century AD Roman writer, reported that mustard could be used to cure hysterical swooning females? This is just one of the intriguing facts presented by Dorothy Duncan in her examination of the history of the foods which appear regularly on our tables...

Several recipes are given in each chapter. Many are old time favourites: baked beans, butter tarts, and chile sauce; others are the less common sugar plums, cherry soup, and beet chutney. Regional recipes such as prairie saskatoon pie, and Newfoundland fish and brewis, as well as cabbage rolls, egg fu yong, and snitz pie, give a geographical and cultural breadth to the collection.

This is a fine book to dip into, or to read cover to cover at one sitting. A word of caution: if you are not in the habit of having a night-time snack, don't read those recipes in bed!

York Pioneer and Historical Society Update

"Nothing More Comforting, hot off the press from... culinary historian Dorothy Duncan, is a collection of her best Country Fare columns originally featured in Century Home magazine. Each chapter of this compact 5 x 7" book focuses on a particular food or ingredient and includes updated recipes for traditional favourites. From Preserve the Pie Plant (rhubarb) to Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater and Pear Essentials, chapters are laced with stories of our Canadian heritage and graced with the writer's humour."

Women's Culinary Network News

“The greatest value of the book is the basic recipes, which repeatedly make something of nothing. If groceries are low or the pocketbook light, you can turn to Duncan and the economy of the Confederation-era homestead for simple and delicious answers.”

St. John Telegraph-Journal

Other titles by Dorothy Duncan