Saturday, December 11, 2010
Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens by Marie Nightingale: Review
Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens by Marie Nightingale was first published in 1970 but the recipes are much, much older. It's more than a cookbook. It's a history book as well, full of the stories and folklore behind the recipes. It can be quite entertaining. I read bits to my husband, who also likes to cook, and we had a good laugh at some of the wisdom imparted in this book. For example, if you need to skin an eel, you can find instructions here! No thanks, I'll pass. If you happen to be a hunter, you'll find recipes for game as well. Oh and is there anything the Scots won't put oats in?!
But for the most part, Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens contains the recipes our grandmothers used to make, from the ubiquitous oatcake to Divinity fudge. This week I tried two recipes. First, Gingerbread. I love Gingerbread and this recipe is so simple. I took one look at the batter though and knew it was going to be longer than the 35 minutes quoted to bake. It actually took about an hour but the results were lovely: a nice moist cake (see above).
The next thing I wanted to make was Cape Breton Pork Pies. These do not contain pork, no one knows why they are called that though. They're made with dates and brown sugar. I hate dates, but my husband loves pork pies so I made them for him for Christmas. I bought frozen tart shells instead of making them from scratch. I guess they were acceptable, 'cause he ate a couple already.
Some of the recipes are a bit vague. For example, the pork pie recipe has lemon juice as an ingredient. Okay how much? Don't know. Sometimes you just have to use common sense.
If you're looking for fancy recipes with the latest fad in food, you won't find it here. If you want simple old fashioned cooking, then Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens is your cookbook. I'm definitely going to be using this often.