Sir John A. Macdonald — Canada’s first prime minister and Father of Confederation — a politician and a lawyer; a husband, father, and son; a rascal, prankster, and notorious tippler. There have been many books about Sir John but none like this.
From humble family dinners to elaborate political galas, from tragic losses to dizzying triumphs, Lindy Mechefske leads us through Macdonald’s life and the culinary history of a nation. Marvel — or shudder — at the food available to hopeful immigrants on the high seas as the Macdonald family leaves Scotland for a fresh start in the New World. Celebrate the young John A.’s marriage while learning about popular wedding foods of the era. Learn how a roast duck dinner saved the dominion and take a seat at the Charlottetown Conference and indulge in fried oysters. Along the way, try your hand at authentic recipes sourced from cookbooks of the day.
Sir John’s Table is a unique look at the life of Sir John A. Macdonald through the lens of Canada’s culinary past.
“A lively yet accurate picture of what people ate from the 1830s to the 1890s.”– The Guardian
“Mechefske’s book is an often tongue-in-cheek romp through the life of Sir John A., and the food he consumed, from his voyage, at age five, on an immigrant ship to Canada (mouldy bread and watery horsemeat stew) to fancy state dinners during his long political career (champagne and oysters were essential).”– National Review
“This book is eminently readable — would that all history were written like this! — and interesting, offering both the clearest example of 19th-century Canadian politics and very human insights into a very human architect of our country … Mechefske deftly weaves in Macdonald’s culinary history, from the simplest of Scottish fare early in Macdonald’s life to more exotic and glamorous meals later on.”– Waterloo Record
“A fresh, fun, and novel approach. Mechefske charts Macdonald’s diet from his birth to his death, including typical Scottish gruel, meager rations on his ocean crossing, French Canadian cuisine, alcoholic beverages of all sorts, and diplomatic dinner parties. It’s like a roadmap marked with various gastronomic stops.”– Publishers Weekly
“Readers will be nourished with much first-rate fare.”– Canada’s History