Canadian Living's Country Cooking


192 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 0-394-22215-6
DDC 641.5




Reviewed by Janet Arnett

Janet Arnett is the former campus manager of adult education at Ontario’s Georgian College. She is the author of Antiques and Collectibles: Starting Small, The Grange at Knock, and 673 Ways to Save Money.



Any cookbook from Canadian Living can be approached with confidence: the
magazine has a reputation for publishing only quality, workable, tested
recipes. This confidence, plus beautiful design and photography, makes
exploring this collection of more than two hundred recipes a visual and
culinary joy.

Baird defines “country cooking” as “honest, good food made from
scratch so we know what’s in it . . . comforting, comfortable food.”
Her recipe selection emphasizes simplicity of preparation and fresh,
natural ingredients. But don’t confuse “country” with basic rural
cooking: although the collection includes stews, apple pie, scalloped
potatoes, pot roasts, and similar down-home favorites, it also includes
shrimp and peach soups, patés, a fondue, croustades, trifle, mousse,
and other “fancy fare.” As the author states, “country food is
about hospitality and homeyness.” That, of course, means special
feasts for special occasions, as well as lots of basic everyday fare,
homemade bread, just-baked cookies, and cool lemonade.

The selection includes a number of regional Canadian dishes—perogies
from the West, and cod cakes from the East, for example—and a
sprinkling of dishes that reflect Canada’s multicultural society. Most
of the recipes are grouped by meal type, and even the category names add
to the country atmosphere captured so well by the book: Family Suppers,
Sunday Dinners, On the Veranda, Country Mornings, Preserving Summer,

Metric and imperial measures are given throughout. The method or
directions for each recipe is complete and easy to follow for anyone
with basic cooking experience. Nearly one hundred bright, colorful
photos add to the attractiveness of the book and to the lure of the
recipes, while also conveying numerous serving suggestions and ideas for


Baird, Elizabeth., “Canadian Living's Country Cooking,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 16, 2024,