Answer Sheet for Student Handout


1 a) Various personal answers.
b) One can memorize a recipe, learn by improvising, learn from a family member.
c) No; they knew the recipes by heart, may not have been able to read, did not have the money for cookbooks and may not have had access to specific ingredients, variety of dishes were very basic.

2 a) No, ingredients were not listed separately, instructions were vague, grammar was often poor.
b) Quantities were vague in comparison to exact metric or imperial measurements found in modern-day cookbooks. Some recipes didn’t incorporate measurements at all: cooks would use quantities to reflect number of servings required or availability of ingredients.
c) Rarely, as early cookstoves had no temperature controls.

3. Ingredients were basic and reflected local supplies; various forms of animal fat (eg: suet, chicken fat) were used instead of precious butter.

4. Since the frontier was often without or far from medical help, it was very important for settlers to know how to treat injuries and illnesses using traditional remedies and ingredients.


1. Preparing meals in pioneer kitchens was much more labour-intensive. There were no fridges, ovens, stovetops, microwaves or other timesaving appliances back then! Meals often took overnight or several days to prepare.

2 a) Wood.
b) When in use, a cookstove would heat the house, making it unbearable on hot days. A summer kitchen was often constructed so that cooking and meal serving could be done under a separate roof without adding heat to the main house.
c) Challenges: consistent temperature control; limited space.
Benefits: ready fuel supply; economical; slow cooking was very tasty; if stove was hot, cooking could be very fast.

3 a) Knives, forks, wooden and metal scoops and spoons, whetstone, corkscrew, whisk.
b) Various personal answers; more specialized utensils include egg slicer, garlic press, citrus zester, spatula and peeler.
c) Pioneer list is much shorter; greater variety of items, materials and styles available today.

4 a) Various personal answers.
b) The European pioneers brought their china with them from their homeland of England.
c) Pioneers would have carefully packed their china and glassware for the overseas journey via ship, then overland by horse and cart/sleigh to their new wilderness homes.

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

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