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.