Out of Old Ontario Kitchens

ISBN: 978-1-77276-112-2
Lindy Mechefske

Award winning Out of Old Ontario Kitchens is a window into the past, exploring the stories of the First Peoples and settlers. It pays homage to all those who trapped and fished and hunted; to those who cleared the land and planted crops; and most importantly to all those women — our mothers and aunts, our grandmothers and great-grandmothers and great-great-grandmothers — who got up and lit the fire; who toiled and stirred and cooked and baked and who kept families alive through long hard winters, through plagues and depressions, famines and wars. Work every bit as important as agriculture, commerce, mining, politics, and the development of infrastructure.

With over a hundred historically sourced recipes as well as scores of old photographs, early artworks, botanical prints, and illustrations, Out of Old Ontario Kitchens is both a visual and virtual feast. If you want to know what life was really like in early Ontario, come to the table with us. Food stories are, after all, the real stories of our lives.


Nostalgia is an ingredient best tempered as a seasoning, rather than a meal onto itself. With Out Of Old Ontario Kitchens, Lindy Mechefske brings equal portions of beauty, history, bitter strife, and an enviable repository of culinary stories to the table for all.

— Simon Thibault is the award-winning author of Pantry and Palate: Remembering and Rediscovering Acadian Food


Lindy Mechefske's Out of Old Ontario Kitchens is sure to become a classic – for historians as well as for students of food history and women's history, along with cooks, and those who like to eat. Much more than a cookbook, this interesting volume provides a social history of Ontario including a record of what Ontarians ate. The recipes, however, allow us to take a bite of the past.

— Beverly Soloway, Department of History, Lakehead University, Ontario


Lindy Mechefske has written an important book, one that is both practical in its usefulness and essential in its telling of our history, from the perspective (and sometimes in the handwriting) of the women at home in kitchens across Ontario. Out of Old Ontario Kitchens is a refreshing take on the history of our food and culture, giving credit to the many communities that shaped Canadian cuisine. Mechefske's masterful weaving of history, story and recipes will ensure family heirloom status for this incredible archive of people and food.

— Emily Wight is the award-winning author of Dutch Feast