Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens by Marie Nightingale

Marie Nightingale
Cookbook of Nova Scotia History
The old recipe book almost went into the box to go to the community book sale, but from the moment I opened the cover I couldn’t put down this fascinating book. Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens is both a recipe book and a history book describing how food traditions in Nova Scotia have evolved since the Europeans stepped onto the shores.
Imagine my surprise when talking to my cottage neighbour one day in Nova Scotia about my dream to meet “this Marie Nightingale,” when Joan told me that she was a close friend.
“Let’s do lunch,” I said, “I have to meet her.”
By the time lunch was arranged I had read the book cover to cover and had tried some recipes. Also every Nova Scotian seemed to have a copy of this book. My copy was old and stained with cake batter and coffee marks and obviously well loved by both my Grandmother and mother.
I was in the presence of a food history rock star. Marie told me about how her book was written and first published in the 1970’s as a fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis. She researched the book for four years by reading everything from old scrapbooks to searching in archives for recipes, as well as talking to older women who remembered the food traditions. Marie did her job well. The book is written with tales that accompany the recipes –stirring a story into the food. My favorite recipe is a cornmeal bread named Anadama Bread. The story makes me smile while I bake it. See the recipe section of the blog for this story and recipe.
Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens continues to be published by Nimbus Publishing (www.nimbus.ca )
and continues to sell well.
Marie suggested we meet for lunch at Oliver’s Restaurant in Halifax. (www.oliverscasualdining.com)
She loves the food at this spot and feels that the cook deserves a following. And she was right. The Seafood Chowder was out of this world – a celebration of an old Nova Scotia favorite.
When I cook from Out of Old Nova Scotia Kitchens, I learn not only about the tastes of the past, but also that our cooking apples have not fallen far from the old apple tree.


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