Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I spent a happy hour in 1923 today. I was leafing through an old IODE cookbook, that my mom got at an auction. Thats Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire for all you born after 1903. What it lacked in covers and endpapers it made up for in charm and interest. Apart from the printed recipes, it had a patchwork of articles snipped from the newspaper with all sorts of helpful hints for curing sties and cracked fingers, for making paint stick to glass, and other useful nostrums. There were advertisements for long defunct bakeries and candy stores, as well as a full page ad for the Paragon Dishwasher, which operated on the "Shower Bath Principle", with which, I'm sure, you are all familiar. If you'd like to know more, simply visit Paragon Products Limited, 475 Spadina Crescent, Toronto, or telephone Trinity 7038 M.

Several recipes were entered on blank pages, or on foolscap glued in. Mayonnaise Dressing, Chili Sauce, Mince Meat, Mellissa Barr's Lemon Pudding. And while we are dropping names, imagine my surprise as I was leafing through multiple Date Bread recipes (these girls may have been the staunch backbone of the Empire, but they seemed to have a limited repetoire of dishes) I came upon the following entry.

New Moon Pudding--submitted by L.M. Montgomery Macdonald. Holy.....Cow!

This wasn't a celebrity cookbook or anything. But there she was, the writer of my best beloved childhood books, and here I was, observing her in her real everyday clothes, contributing her recipe along with all the other women. The Mrs. William This and Mrs. G. H. That. Of course, something called New Moon Pudding is bound to have some magic in it. I can't wait to make it for Vicky, who loves L.M. even more than I do.

What a treat.

A fox spent TWO happy hours in our backyard today, sunning himself on a patch of open ground. We watched him at intervals, and he saw us, and the dog, but didn't bestir himself at all. In fact, a lot of the time he had his back turned to us, watching the lake and waiting for spring.

Inside, spring is on its way in the form of a blue hyacinth putting out tentative blossoms. The colours are incredible, blue, purple and green, in the most gorgeous and subtle hues.

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