When western Canada was being settled young brides and single women were coming from England, cities in the East and Ontario to marry and/or join a husband on his homestead. But they often found themselves at a loss with regard to the cooking skills this new life involved.
Wood stoves–and firewood itself–could be quite unpredictable and hard to regulate on baking day and many a pudding was scorched, cakes flopped, pies were runny, etc. One more experienced farm wife heard many tales of woe from these newcomers and had the same advice for them all. I’ve put it into poem form. What would modern health guides say about this?
“What shall I do? I cannot cook!”
The woeful bride laments.
“My cakes all flop, my sauces lump,
My pie crust’s like cement!”
“I’ve tried a hundred recipes–
All guaranteed success;
But my dear husband hates my food!
I’ll never learn, I guess.”
A wise wife calmly answers her,
“My dear, I’ll tell you how
To please your good man without fail.
Just get yourself a cow.
“You make your cakes and pies and fruit
Whatever you may dream.
Then as you dish each serving up
Just drown it in whipped cream.
“My mother taught me years ago–
This recipe won’t miss.
Your man will eat up all you cook–
And give you a sweet kiss!”
One prairie farmer made the comment to his children that he could eat anything–even shingles–if they were slathered with whipped cream. It seems they worked hard enough to burn off all those calories.