Hearth and Home

Women and the Art of Open Hearth Cooking

by Fiona Lucas

Hearth and Home is a social history that evokes the sights, smells, and tastes of historic kitchens and tells the story of the women who tended the fire to nourish their families or feed a hungry fortful.
Explore the rich history of women's work and the art of cooking over an open hearth in historic Canadian kitchens.
Today the fireplace with its crackling logs is a romantic icon representing the heart of the home, but not so long ago its role was much more than symbolic. A hearth or fireplace was an essential first fixture in Canadian homes and its warmth sustained the family in many ways.
Whether in a longhouse, a fishing shack, a log cabin, a manor home, or on a thriving farm, the kitchen was the main workplace of Canadian women within family centred households for generations. Its central feature is the focal point of Hearth and Home, a social history that evokes the sights, smells, and tastes of historic kitchens. This book tells the story of the women who worked back-breaking hours tending the fire and using its energy with skill and resourceful creativity to nourish their families or feed a hungry fort.
Fiona Lucas, culinary historian and practiced hearth cook, synthesizes the shared experience of the family cook across decades and cultures, along the way introducing readers to fascinating dishes such as the hedgehog pudding and tools such as the salamander and the spider. The text is illustrated with photographs from historic sites including Black Creek Pioneer Village, Louisbourg, Kings Landing, Upper Canada Village, and many others. This is a book that will appeal to readers of Canadian history, and to anyone who has puzzled over the now unusual kitchen tools once common in 19th-century homes.

About the Author

Fiona Lucas

Fiona Lucas
FIONA LUCAS is co-founder of the Culinary Historians of Ontario, and has a particular interest in the history of Canada's foods, servants, kitchens, and domestic material culture. She is Program Officer, Foodways, for Spadina Museum: Historic House and Gardens, one of the sites operated by Museum Services of the City of Toronto. Previously she worked as Senior Domestic Historical Interpreter at Historic Fort York in Toronto.


Canadian Culinary Book Awards

Subjects (BISAC)


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