Students investigate settlement food traditions, kitchen tools and cooking methods transferred from Europe to Canada. Then they prepare dishes using traditional recipes, tools and ingredients.

Class Discussion: Foods Then and Now
Ask students to brainstorm and list names of foods consumed on the Canadian frontier that are still consumed today (e.g. bread, biscuits, roast beef and pork, fresh berries, jams, preserves, sausages, smoked meats, stews, soups, maple syrup, pancakes, cheese, butter).
Students should then brainstorm traditional foods that are readily accessible in their region, and reflect on the following:
Do we have more or less variety in our diet than the pioneers? Why?
Compare family customs for roasting meat (cover on or off, seasonings), stuffing (ingredients, seasoning), making gravy.
Does anyone smoke meat at home? Make maple syrup, create jam, stuff sausages?
What recipes are traditional in your family? How far back do they go (years, decades, centuries)?

Activity: Preparing a Traditional Pioneer Meal
Part 1: Recipe Search and Planning
Students plan a traditional menu by researching pioneer and settlement recipes and cookbooks from the Internet, school or public library and within their family.
Part 2: Food Artifact Research
Students examine artifacts found along the Little Bonnechere River in eastern Ontario that relate to food preparation in early Canada.
Part 3: Meal Preparation and Serving
Students prepare, serve and eat their chosen dishes in a dishes in a traditional manner as possible.

Treena Hein, Rory MacKay, Betty Biesenthal
Martha Burchat
1800 - 1950
Ontario, CANADA
© 2007, Davenport Centre - Heritage Hall. All Rights Reserved.

Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans