Tunes and Wooden Spoons: Love Without Measure

Mary Janet MacDonald and Margie MacDonald

Mary Janet is back, but this time she takes you inside other grandmothers’ kitchens. These are grandmothers who are not only the backbone of their families but often of their communities, contributing in untold and unsung ways. 

Come meet a Dutch immigrant grandmother who landed in Cape Breton with her family after the war to start a new life, or a Mi’kmaq grandmother who faced down discrimination and knew the way to change hearts was through education and determination, or an Acadian grandmother who saw her father go to work at the gypsum plant while her mother tended to the farm. 

Tunes and Wooden Spoons: Love Without Measure is a tribute to these strong Cape Breton women. More than that, it is a tribute to strong women everywhere. And you know if Mary Janet is in the kitchen, there will always be music and laughter. 


When I got married in 2002 to Donnell Leahy, my aunt Mary Janet put together a cookbook for me filled with her favourite recipes and those of my family and extended family. I have used that cookbook almost every day since. It surely is a great example of love without measure!

  • Natalie MacMaster, Juno Award-winning Cape Breton-born fiddler


I used to believe the most important thing in life was to be loved. Now I understand the real secret is to be LOVE! Mary Janet MacDonald and the fabulous women in this book have that figured out…and they can cook! What looks like a cookbook, is actually a treasure trove that holds the ingredients to a rich and happy life.

  • Nancy Regan, TV personality and author



Wonderful food, beautifully written stories and stunning photography make this a must for all lovers of Cape Breton culture. “Love without Measure” is not only a motto, but also underlines just how much food has united families through the years.

  • Coinneach MacLeod better known as The Hebridean Baker

In 2020, Mary Janet MacDonald took the Internet by storm with her Facebook group, Tunes and Wooden Spoons. In 2021, her first book Tunes and Wooden Spoons: Recipes from a Cape Breton Kitchen, became a national bestseller. Margie MacDonald is a photographer, math teacher, and an adventure seeker. Her photography captures the essence of places, the spirit of people, and, in this book, the beauty found in her Mom’s kitchen and beyond.