Contributor Rebecca Ruddle takes a walk down memory lane by cooking in Toronto with the Toronto Star Cookbook, and shares her experiences in this review.
I couldn’t tell you the last time I read a hard copy of the newspaper. I do still read them all of course, but online. We are quickly becoming a (news) paperless society, and the subscriptions department is feeling the pain. The Toronto Star Cookbook brought back all the memories of that huge weekend paper coming in from the front porch. I would sit down with the comics from the Star while the adults read the news and mom clipped out the recipes from the food section. These recipes clipped from the Toronto Star hold such nostalgia for people. The folders containing them have been passed from grandmother, to mother and now to children.
The Toronto Star Cookbook is, “More Than 150 Diverse and Delicious Recipes Celebrating Ontario”. Written by the Star’s Food Editor and “Saucy Lady” columnist, Jennifer Bain, the book is an homage to everything that is great about living and eating in Ontario. Not only do we have the most wonderful local food producers, but we also boast a population that comes from every corner of the world. We can eat our way around the globe without leaving home and Jennifer’s book reflects this.
Jennifer has assembled the best recipes that have appeared in the Toronto Star over the years including 25 chosen by readers as their family favourites. This is not to say any of the recipes in this book feel dated. Each recipe was re-tested by Jennifer in her hot-pink, Toronto Star test kitchen and updated where necessary. The result is a perfect storm of nostalgia, multiculturalism and foodie culture.
Cooking in Toronto with a Great Family Cookbook
I made the Ontario Sweet Potato Apple Muffins, which were lovely and moist, the Miso Soup with Enoki Mushrooms, Foodshare’s Vegan Caesar Salad and the Cachapas – Corn Pancakes with Cheese. Everything was delicious and easy to make. I even have my eyes on Mike Harris’s One-Bowl Chocolate Cake for our next family birthday despite the politics.
Each recipe is accompanied by a charming story of its origin. Many recipes are also accompanied by photographer Ryan Szulc’s delicious looking photos, but I wish there were more. Some of the photos are of ingredients, whereas I would always rather see an image of the final dish. That is really the only fault I can find. It’s a fun cookbook that would make a great addition to any family kitchen and would be a special gift for friends and family living away from home.
The world has changed. My recipe clippings are now sent straight from blogs and online papers directly to my email but the one constant is, I will never give up my cookbooks. Jennifer’s cookbook is going straight to my favourites pile on my kitchen bookshelf where it will be read and used often. If you’d like a copy of your own so that you can take a walk down memory lane by cooking in Toronto, you can find it online or at local bookstores.