Grandma's Kitchen: Comfort Cooking from Canadian Grandmas


208 pages
Contains Index
ISBN 1-894022-86-6
DDC 641.5971





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.



The interesting characteristic of this collection is that it’s
deliberately not interesting, at least in the sense of including new or
imaginative recipes. Cozy is a better description. Or safe. Remember
daffodil cake and potato fudge? Banana bread? Devilled eggs? You’ll
find all these traditional, non-glamorous treats in this collection of
favourite recipes from a few generations back.

Grandma, of course, could have come from any country, so there’s a
lot of ethnic diversity in the recipes, mirroring the multiculturalism
of Canadian society. The work delivers comfort food and a touch of
nostalgia for people with roots in the culinary traditions of Norway,
Britain, the Ukraine, Poland, or the Mediterranean countries.

The book gives both imperial and metric measurements, with some
puzzling aberrations. For example, most recipes call for sugar by the
cup or millilitre. It’s disconcerting to come across a recipe in which
those familiar measures are switched to pounds and kilograms. Who
measures sugar by the pound?

The introduction confesses that the recipes have not been tested using
metric measurements. Not a selling point in Canada. A significant
weakness of the book is the absence of a nutritional analysis for the
recipes. Perhaps Grandma didn’t care about fat, calories, and
carbohydrates, but today’s cooks definitely do.

A look at the index would lead one to speculate that Grandma must have
overindulged in Tipsy Cake; but no, the problem turns out to be that the
index covers a series of three “Grandma” books. Disgusting!


Hrechuk, Irene, and Verna Zasada., “Grandma's Kitchen: Comfort Cooking from Canadian Grandmas,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 21, 2024,