Author Lindy Mechefske offers an appetizing glimpse into the culinary life of Canada's first Prime Minister. The recipes contained therein not only highlight what people were eating, but give glimpses into how social and economic status impact a person’s larder.
A good biography allows the reader to enter the life of its subject. But rarely does it allow the reader to access the palate of its subject in such a detailed manner as in Sir John’s Table : The Culinary Life and Time of Canada’s First Prime Minister by Lindy Mechefske.
What at first glance could easily be a dry, academic tome detailing daily minutiae and musings, is in fact a sumptuous glimpse into the life of Sir John A. Macdonald. The recipes contained therein not only highlight what people were eating, but give glimpses into how social and economic status impact a person’s larder. But more importantly, they tempt the reader into making them, bringing the past into the present — instead of a Proustian madeleine, one may try the wedding cake, studded with currants.
Simon Thibault is a Halifax-based journalist and food writer. His work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, Vice, East Coast Living, Saltscapes, and is a regular contributor to CBC Radio in the Maritimes. Palate and Pantry is his first book.