THIS MONTH (December 2019)
- Wednesday, December 4: Lost Feast: Culinary Extinction and the Future of Food. The Toronto Book Launch!, 6 to 8 p.m. CHC and Culinaria Research Centre at U of T Scarborough present the Toronto launch for food scholar Lenore Newman’s latest book, which deals with the history of foods that humans have literally loved to death and what that means for our culinary future. Admission: Free. Pre-registration is required. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.
- Thursday, December 5: Home School Holiday Baking & Christmas Tour, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Black Creek Pioneer Village invites visitors to prepare for the holiday season by baking Christmas treats using a wood-burning stove in the historic Samuel Stong House, with a tour of the village during which they will learn about Christmas traditions of the past. For ages 8 and up; children must be accompanied by an adult. Admission: $19 (one student plus one adult).
- Thursday, December 5: Hogmanay and Hygge, 5:30 p.m. Gibson House demonstrates Scottish Hogmanay traditions, Danish Hygge cosiness and global holiday connections. Visitors will explore the candlelit Victorian home, discover the history behind many winter holidays, make a julehjerter (a traditional Danish Christmas decoration) and sample mulled Ontario apple cider, shortbread, gingerbread and candied orange peel. Admission: $20. Pre-registration is required.
- Saturday, December 7: Christmas Baking Workshop, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Mackenzie House offers a tour and a chance to learn about the tastes and culinary technologies of the Victorian period and to qtry baking traditional Christmas sweets in the historic wood-fire oven. Admission: $35 + HST. Pre-registration is required.
- Saturday, December 7: Christmas by Lamplight, 6 to 9:30 p.m. Black Creek Pioneer Village is transformed by the glow of lamps and lanterns, flickering candles and cozy fireplaces with pioneer carollers and samples of festive foods like mulled cider, gingerbread cookies and chestnuts roasted on an open fire. Full traditional Christmas dinners are also available. Admission: $26.95 to $36.95 (program only); $61.90 to $101.95 (program + dinner). Pre-registration is required.
- Saturday, December 7: The Cook’s Apprentice: A Baking Workshop for Children. Noon to 2:30 p.m. Fort York National Historic Site invites children (8 to 12) to learn how to bake traditional recipes in a historic kitchen setting. Cakes, biscuits and confections are on the menu, using recipes for iced queen cakes, gingerbread, peppermint drops and a delicious breakfast griddle cake. Kids can decorate a baker’s box and bring samples of their baking home to their family. Admission: $30 + HST. Pre-registration is required.
- Sunday, December 8: Gingerbread Sweets and Treats Workshop, 9:30 a.m. to noon. Gibson House gets into the holiday spirit by decorating gingerbread cookies and baking traditional recipes in the historic kitchen. Guests may gather in the parlour with a shortbread cookie and warm apple cider for a reading of the classic tale “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” They can also try out toys that Victorian children would have received on Christmas morning and explore the historic house, which will be bedecked in greenery and cheerful ribbons. Admission: $30 + HST (one adult plus one child), $15 + HST (each additional child or adult).
- Thursday, December 12: Hogmanay and Hygge, 5:30 p.m. Gibson House demonstrates Scottish Hogmanay traditions, Danish Hygge cosiness and global holiday connections. Visitors will explore the candlelit Victorian home, discover the history behind many winter holidays, make a julehjerter (a traditional Danish Christmas decoration) and sample mulled Ontario apple cider, shortbread, gingerbread and candied orange peel. Admission: $20. Pre-registration is required.
- Saturday, December 14: Christmas by Lamplight, 6 to 9:30 p.m. Black Creek Pioneer Village. See Saturday, December 7.
- Saturday, December 14: Gingerbread Afternoon Tea, two seatings: 11 a.m. & 1:30 p.m. Gibson House offers a festive afternoon tea served by costumed interpreters in the historic surroundings of the Gibson family’s Victorian farmhouse, with flavours inspired by the holiday season. Visitors will enjoy tea, scones, a variety of finger sandwiches and treats inspired by winter spice, and will then tour the decorated home. This Georgian farmhouse, surrounded by an apple orchard and heritage gardens, offers visitors a glimpse of 19th-century rural life in North York. Admission: $30. Pre-registration is required.
- Saturday, December 14: The Cook’s Apprentice: A Savoury Cooking Workshop for Children, noon to 2:30 p.m. Fort York National Historic Site offers a hands-on workshop during which children ages 8 to 12 learn to make and taste traditional recipes, including macaroni and cheese, chicken curry and a seasonal soup as part of their meal—all in the Officers’ Mess historic kitchen. During the workshop, children will learn both historic and modern cooking techniques and enjoy their finished product. Admission $30 + HST. Pre-registration is required.
- Sunday, December 15: Gingerbread Sweets and Treats Workshop, 9:30 a.m. to noon. Gibson House gets into the holiday spirit by decorating gingerbread cookies and baking traditional recipes in the historic kitchen. Guests may gather in the parlour with a shortbread cookie and warm apple cider for a reading of the classic tale “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” They can also try out toys that Victorian children would have received on Christmas morning and explore the historic house, which will be bedecked in greenery and cheerful ribbons. Admission: $30 + HST (one adult plus one child), $15 + HST (each additional child or adult).
- Saturday, December 21: Christmas by Lamplight, 6 to 9:30 p.m. Black Creek Pioneer Village. See Saturday, December 7.
- Saturday & Sunday, December 21 & 22: Victorian Christmas Talk & Tea, 2 to 3:30 p.m. A 20-minute illustrated presentation on Victorian Christmas traditions in the Market Gallery, followed by tea and Christmas-themed treats in the Market Kitchen. Admission: $25 + HST, including admission to the current exhibit, “Toronto Brews.” Pre-registration is required.
- Friday to Tuesday, December 27 to 31: Gingerbread Make and Bake, two sessions: 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. In this 45-minute hands-on workshop, kids ages 4+ will use period cooking utensils and tools to sift flour, crush cinnamon, cloves or allspice, pound sugar and grate nutmeg and ginger as they prepare an 1800s gingerbread recipe in Fort York’s historic kitchen. Visitors can sign up for a morning or an afternoon workshop in the Museum Store when they arrive. Admission: $5.30 to $12.40 + HST, including take-home samples.
- Saturday & Sunday, December 28 & 29: Hogmanay, 6 to 8 p.m. Mackenzie House invites visitors to enjoy an evening of Scottish music and foods, including haggis, tatties and neeps at this traditional celebration of the new year. The decorated house will be illuminated by gas and candlelight, and the Gin Lane Trio will perform traditional music of the season. Admission: $35 + HST. Pre-registration is required.
- Friday, December 6: Historic Cooking Workshop: Delicious Desserts, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. (Hamilton, Ontario). Dundurn National Historic Site offers an opportunity to learn how to make Christmas pudding and traditional Scottish Christmas baked goods (for ages 14+). Admission: $50, including a take-home recipe book. Pre-registration is required.
- Saturday, December 7: Dickens Christmas Feast, 5 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Montgomery’s Inn presents a candlelit four-course Christmas feast served before the roaring fire. Recreated from sumptuous historic recipes of the Victorian era, the menu includes pre-dinner drinks and a demonstration of Dickens’ own recipe for Flaming Rum Punch in the historic bar room. The evening will also include dramatic readings from A Christmas Carol and a brief dance lesson in the ballroom to live musical accompaniment. Admission: $100 + HST (includes one glass of wine and rum punch). Cash bar. Pre-registration is required.
- Wednesday, December 4: Heritage Luncheon, two seatings: noon & 1:30 p.m. (Peterborough, Ontario). Hutchison House Museum presents a homemade meal served by costumed interpreters in the historic Keeping Room by the fire. Admission: $15. Pre-registration is required at 705-743-9710.
- Thursday, December 5: The Art of Gingerbread, 7 to 8:30 p.m. (Ottawa). The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum welcomes gingerbread mastermind Catherine Beddall, author of The Magic of Gingerbread, to the demo kitchen, where she will show how to create a one-of-a-kind, designer gingerbread creation. (In English, followed by a bilingual question period.) Admission: $10 + HST (general). $7 + HST (members). For ages 12+; pre-registration is required.
- Saturdays, December 14 & 21: Communal Bake Days, 2 p.m. (Kitchener, Ontario). Community bake ovens were the information hubs of the past. Visitors to Schneider Haus National Historic Site can prepare their bread at home and bring it to bake in a wood-fired bake oven. While the bread is baking, they can meet up with other bakers, share stories and recipes, or visit the museum. Admission: Free with regular admission: $4 to $6 (individual), $15 (family). Pre-registration is required.
LOOKING AHEAD (January 2020)
- Friday to Sunday, January 17 to 19: Frost Fair. Fort York National Historic Site has moved its annual recreation of a midwinter traditional fair from December to January.
- Saturday, January 4: Twelfth Night Party, 1 to 9 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Montgomery’s Inn hosts a day devoted to a lively exploration of an old Christmas tradition, dating back to Scrooge’s time and even further: wassail. Led by dance teacher and historian Karen Millyard, this Twelfth Cake celebration features roasted chestnuts, carolling, seasonal games, fiddle music and dancing. Guests will enjoy a festive meal and a lamplit tour of the inn, learn dances and play games of Dickens’ time! Admission: $50 to $70 + HST. Pre-registration is required at email@example.com or 416-578-1031.
- Saturday, January 18: Queen Charlotte’s Birthday Ball, 5:30 to 11:30 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Montgomery’s Inn hosts this annual recreation of a ball that was organized by the officers of the Garrison at York (Fort York) in January 1817, including a Georgian dinner served by liveried servants. Admission: $85. 519-939-8116.
- Thursday, January 30: Thirsty Thursday, 7 to 10 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Montgomery’s Inn presents Thirsty Thursday tavern night with beer, wine or a Thomas Montgomery specialty in the restored 1847 barroom, along with Irish stew, fresh-baked bread and live traditional music. Admission: Free. Cash bar; $5 for a bowl of stew while supplies last. 416-394-8113.
- Wednesday, January 1: Hogmanay, 1 to 3:30 p.m. (Peterborough, Ontario). On New Year’s Day, Hutchison House will celebrate Scottish traditions with a first-footer to be “piped in” at 1 p.m., followed by “Burns’ Address to a Haggis.” Visitors will be treated to the music of fiddle, bagpipe and drum, Highland dancing and food tastings of Scotch black bun, clooty dumpling, Scotch eggs, potted salmon, cheeses, oatcakes, shortbread and haggis. Admission: $10 (adults), $5 (children), $20 (2 adults with 2+ children). 705-743-9710.
- Saturdays & Sundays to December 23: Family Christmas Weekends, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Toronto). Black Creek Pioneer Village offers activities geared towards families, including 1860s cooking demonstrations. Admission: Free to $15 (individual).
- To December 28: Toronto Brews (Toronto). The Market Gallery invites visitors to explore Toronto’s rich beer legacy through artifacts, artworks, archival images and videos at the exhibition “Toronto Brews!” The exhibit tells of the tiny breweries established in the early 1800s, the scaling-up of the industry in Victorian times, the impact of Prohibition and more! Pre-registration is required.
- To January 5, 2020: Auld Lang Syne: 19th-Century New Year’s Celebration, (Toronto). Mackenzie House presents an exploration of the Hogmanay rituals of 19th-century Scottish Canadians and how they parallel New Year’s celebrations in other countries and cultures. Visitors can tour the restored house, learn about the Mackenzie family and New Year’s traditions, and taste cider and cookies, among other activities. Admission: $5 to $8.
- To January 19, 2020: Savour: Food Culture in the Age of Enlightenment (Toronto). The Gardiner Museum presents a multifaceted exhibit that explores the ways that food and dining were transformed in Europe during the Age of Enlightenment, and how these profound changes still resonate today.
- Daily: Historic Afternoon Tea & Tour at Fort Langley National Historic Site, tea 1 to 2:45 p.m.; tour 3 to 4:30 p.m. (Fort Langley, British Columbia). An elegant afternoon tea at the Little White House Salon Café in the coach house of the historic Marr House. Fort Langley, a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post, was first established in 1827. On the tour, visitors will hear about local historical characters and explore the homes and workshops of the people of the trade. Admission: $15.68 per person (plus admission fee for groups of 15–30), including tea and tour. 604-513-4799 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Daily: Fishing the West Coast and the Canning Line, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Steveston, British Columbia). The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site offers exhibits on the development of fishing on Canada’s West Coast and modern fishing practices, too. Admission: Free.
- Sundays, Tea and Tour of Roedde House, 1 to 3:15 p.m. (Vancouver). A tea tasting of Roedde House blend by Metropolitan Tea Co., along with a tour of the museum. Admission: $8. No reservations required.
- Saturdays & Sundays: Tour & Taste Weekends, 1 to 4:30 p.m. (Toronto). Gibson House offers tea, cookies and a seat at the harvest table in the 1850s historic kitchen. Admission: Free with regular admission.
- Indefinite run: Ongoing demos and exhibits at Canada Agriculture & Food Museum (Ottawa). Admission: Free with regular admission. 613-991-3044 or 1-866-442-4416.
- Indefinite run: Beggar’s Banquet (Louisbourg, Nova Scotia). Participants enjoy an 18th-century maritime meal while dressed in period clothing.
- Sundays, Tea Time at the Inn, 1 to 4 p.m. (Etobicoke, Ontario). Montgomery’s Inn offers a spot of tea and a taste of history in the Tea Room, including in-house baking and unlimited tea service. Tea served and goods baked by the dedicated Montgomery’s Inn volunteers. Admission: $8.
Compiled by Julia M. Armstrong
Throughout Academic Year 2019-2020 (Virtual)
FOOD HISTORY SEMINAR
Based in London, U.K., the Institute of Historical Research launched the Food History Seminar in 2017 to provide an inclusive setting in which food historians, academics and other experts could come together to discuss research.
More info: See the call for papers to present during the academic year 2019-2020.
Of note: Listen to podcasts of past seminars.
May 26 to 27 (Dublin, Ireland)
DUBLIN GASTRONOMY SYMPOSIUM
Theme: Food and Disruption: What Shall We Eat Tomorrow?
Of note: Disruptors in food history can include people, movements, technological advancements and disasters.
May 27 to 30 (Athens, Georgia)
JOINT ANNUAL MEETING OF THE AGRICULTURE, FOOD, AND HUMAN VALUES SOCIETY (AFHVS) AND THE ASSOCIATION FOR THE STUDY OF FOOD AND SOCIETY (ASFS)
Host: The University of Georgia’s Sustainable Food Systems Initiative.
Theme: Cultivating Connections: Exploring Entry Points Into Sustainable Food Systems.
Call for proposals (deadline 31 January): An invitation to envision a more sustainable and equitable future by critically engaging with the histories and legacies that have framed agricultural food landscapes over time.
June 21 to 25 (Sturbridge, Massachusetts)
ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR LIVING HISTORY, FARM AND AGRICULTURAL MUSEUMS
Venue: Old Sturbridge Village, New England’s largest outdoor living history museum.
May 13 to 15 (Guelph, Ontario)
14TH TRIENNIAL CONFERENCE OF THE RURAL WOMEN’S STUDIES ASSOCIATION
Theme: Kitchen Table Talk to Global Forum.
Of note: RWSA is an international association to promote and advance farm and rural women’s/gender studies in a historical perspective.
Call for proposals (deadline May 31, 2020): see the conference website.
Venue: University of Guelph.