Between my full time job and the demands of family life, most of the year, I don’t find a lot of time for socializing other than going for a brisk walk with my neighbours Anne and Chris a couple of evenings a week. Chalk it up to a holiday habit that became hard to break, but last week was a wonderful exception. On Monday we celebrated my husband Martin’s birthday; on Tuesday I met a friend and her mom for dinner before we went to see the Sound of Music on stage and then Wednesday, I hung out with my Toronto-based IACP friends at Campbell House Museum.
If you don’t know about Campbell House please do read on: this historic home offers a glimpse into how Canadians of a certain class used to live, cook and eat in pre-Victorian Toronto. Curator Liz Driver was our host extraordinaire. She divided us into groups and we made a full menu including custard in the wood fired oven, baked apple pie in a bake kettle, and cheddar rarebit and fire roasted sirloin steak in the hearth.
The meal was sensational but the company was even better. Although we were assigned recipes in pairs, everyone was sharing stories and techniques. See that pie above? Those are Norene Gilletz’s hands; she’s showing us how she crimps pastry. If you look closely you’ll see that the pie has several different crimp patterns. That’s because Bonnie Stern and I both demonstrated our techniques, too.
How much of your love of cooking has to do with gadgets and appliances? Is a wood fire, a pot and wooden spoon all you need to enjoy whipping up a meal or is a kitchen equipped with a dishwasher, a convection oven and other modern appliances necessary for you to enjoy cooking?