Thursday, September 24, 2015

Sir John’s Table: The Culinary Life and Times of Canada’s First Prime Minister by Lindy Mechefske

Commemorating the two-hundredth anniversary of Sir John A. Macdonald's birth, Sir John's Table is a refreshing look at Canada's first prime minister. Sir John's Table traverses the colourful life of Macdonald, from his passage as a young Scottish boy in the steerage compartment aboard the Earl of Buckinghamshire to his new home in Kingston, Upper Canada. It traces his boyhood years of stealing fish and scarfing down fairy cakes into his adult life as a lawyer, husband, father, and eventual leader of the newly founded dominion of Canada.

It was a journey that began with hardtack and suspicious-looking, watered-down stew amidst appallingly unsanitary conditions and culminated in grand dinners held in Macdonald's honour.

In a breezy and engaging style, author Lindy Mechefske traces Macdonald's life through some of the common foods of the day, from mutton, quince, and gooseberries to hare, cow heel, and ox cheek. Along the way, she reveals how to concoct the fried oysters served at the Charlottetown Conference and how a roast duck dinner saved the dominion.

Sir John’s Table is published by Goose Lane Editions. For information on submitting to Goose Lane, see here.

Lindy will be promoting Sir John’s Table extensively. Here's a list of her speaking engagements (and they’re also on her website here):


Saturday September 26, 2015, 1-3pm – Master writing class in Writing Creative Cuisine – learn about how the literary greats from Shakespeare to Steinbeck used food as a literary tool and so much more. Tickets at Kingston WritersFest

Sunday September 27, 2015 – 12:30 – Lunch at Sir John’s Public House (the actual site of Sir John A. Macdonald’s Kingston law office). We’ll be dining on favourites from Canada’s culinary history interspersed with readings from Sir John’s Table. Tickets at Kingston WritersFest.


October 15, 2015 – 11am · Macaulay Heritage Park – Picton, Ontario
Reading and discussion.


October 22, 2015 – 7pm – Millbrook and Cavan Historical Society in conjunction with the Cavan Monaghan Libraries - Reading and discussion in the Fireside Lounge of Centennial Place, 2 Centennial Lane, Millbrook, ON.


November 17, 2015 – Lennox and Addington County Museum & Archives
Reading and discussion at the Tuesday night at the Museum series.


January 9-10 – Hamilton, Ontario – John A. Macdonald Society
John A. Macdonald Society Annual Dinner and wreath-laying ceremony in Gore Park.


See Brian Henry's schedule here, including writing workshops and creative writing courses in Algonquin Park, Barrie, Bracebridge, Brampton, Burlington, Caledon, Collingwood, Georgetown, Guelph, Hamilton, Ingersoll, Kingston, Kitchener, London, Midland, Mississauga, Newmarket, Orillia, Oakville, Ottawa, Peterborough, St. Catharines, Saint John, NB, Sudbury, Thessalon, Toronto, Windsor, Halton, Ingersoll, Kitchener-Waterloo, Muskoka, Peel, Simcoe, York, the GTA, Ontario and beyond.

1 comment:

  1. Both the biography and the culinary history were very interesting, but the two topics didn't always match up in the most intuitive way. Nevertheless it's a fun, fairly easy read full of neat historical facts (and recipes)!

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