What's cooking in our archives! A taste of the past - McCord Museum
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Collections and Research

General Foods Corporation, extract from the booklet Joys of Jell-O, 1962. Gift of Elizabeth Kennell, Recipes and Food Collection C265, M2003.121.1 © McCord Museum

What’s cooking in our archives! A taste of the past

The Museum’s Archives collection includes nearly 1,000 cookbooks and recipe pamphlets produced between the mid-18th and early 21st centuries. Many were booklets published to promote a specific product or brand. Others are compilations of recipes carefully written out by hand or assembled in scrapbooks, chronicling timeless family traditions or, conversely, the latest trends of the day.

Appealing in more ways than one, the collection offers information about changing eating habits, social norms surrounding meals, the role of women in the family home, advertising, and the development of new culinary practices.

As part of International Archives Week, Museum employees had fun revisiting the recipes from this collection.

Sandra Ferreira, a member of the Museum Foundation’s board of directors, also joined the fun by preparing a salad from the Joys of Jell-O booklet published in 1962.

For those willing to try some of the recipes, it is also a wonderful opportunity to rediscover the tastes of yesteryear!

→ Visit the Recipes and Food Collection to discover more recipes
→ Share your creations on social media with #McCordMuseum and @museemccord

  • Jell-O Vegetable Salad, prepared by Sandra Ferreira, member of the Museum Foundation’s board of directors
  • Pumpkin pie, prepared by Anne-Frédérique, Coordinator, Digital Information Management
  • Pumpkin pie, prepared by Anne-Frédérique, Coordinator, Digital Information Management
  • Individual Orange Soufflés, prepared by Suzanne, President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Individual Orange Soufflés, prepared by Suzanne, President and Chief Executive Officer
  • Casserole aux œufs et au fromage, prepared by Mathieu, Curator, Archives
  • Casserole aux œufs et au fromage, prepared by Mathieu, Curator, Archives
  • Garniture pour sandwich olives-cornichons, prepared by Anne-Frédérique, Coordinator, Digital Information Management
  • Punch bonne chance, prepared by Patricia, Curatorial Assistant, Archives and Documentary Art
  • Jell-O Crown Jewel Dessert, prepared by Stéphanie, Digital Outreach, Collections
  • Jell-O Crown Jewel Dessert, prepared by Stéphanie, Digital Outreach, Collections
  • Carrés aux fraises et à l’ananas, enjoyed par Jules!
  • Carrés aux fraises et à l’ananas, enjoyed par Jules!
  • Eggs Benedict, prepared by Eugénie, former Archivist at the Museum
  • Eggs Benedict, prepared by Eugénie, former Archivist at the Museum
  • 7-Up Fluffy Baking Powder Biscuits, prepared by Stéphanie, Digital Outreach, Collections
  • Tarte à la pichoune, prepared by Stéphanie, Digital Outreach, Collections
  • Carrés aux fraises et à l’ananas, prepared by AliceCarrés aux fraises et à l’ananas, prepared by Alice
  • Carrés aux fraises et à l’ananas, prepared by Alice
  • Carrés aux fraises et à l’ananas, prepared by Alice
  • Chou-fleur entier en surprise, prepared by Stéphanie, Digital Outreach, Collections
  • Salade fusée, prepared by Caroline, Conservation Assistant
  • Casserole aux œufs et au fromage, prepared by Nathalie, Executive Director, McCord Museum Foundation
  • Salade fusée, prepared by Clara, Project Manager, Education, Community Engagement and Cultural Programs
  • Carrot Pie, prepared by Edith, translator
  • Carrot Pie, prepared by Edith, translator
  • Apple Pudding, prepared by Stéphanie, Digital Outreach, Collections

Recipes to put on the menu

For your Valentins's day brunch!

For your Holiday Menu!


  • Biscuits napolitains, prepared by Stéphanie, Digital Outreach, Collections
  • Tourtières miniatures,  prepared by Anne-Frédérique, Coordinator, Digital Information Management
  • Coronation Cocktail, prepared by Geneviève, Cataloguer
  • Bâtonnets à la mélasse, prepared by Stéphanie, Digital Outreach, Collections
  • Saucisses cocktail fumées « au Porter », prepared by Geneviève, Cataloguer
  • Cookies, prepared by Stéphanie, Digital Outreach, Collections
  • Heather Hopper, prepared by Geneviève, Cataloguer
  • Spirales dorées au fromage, prepared by Geneviève, Cataloguer

Meals hold pride of place in our childhood Christmas memories. I remember the smell of candles and the aroma of meat pies and pâtés baking in the oven. I also recall the sound of the baster my aunt used to keep the turkey nice and juicy, the texture of the stuffing, the creaminess of the mashed potatoes, and the hours my mother spent preparing and browning a mountain of meatballs for the stew.
Read the text by Alexis Curodeau-Codère, Factry intern

Decorations

Food: A reflection of changing social values

The debate sparked by last year’s publication of the new Canada’s Food Guide is a reminder of how diet can be a very sensitive topic. Some people perceived its redesign as an attack on the country’s heritage and food traditions. If the issue raises such strong feelings, it is because how and what we eat is indeed a matter of culture and values.

To learn more about changing eating habits, social norms surrounding meals, the role of women in the family home, advertising, and the development of new culinary practices.

Not to be missed!