An Afternoon Tea with the Historical Cooking Group

Yesterday, the Historical Cooking Project catered the McGill University History Department's welcome-back afternoon tea. We had so much fun revisiting the cookbooks we've tested throughout the year and were happy to share some of our favourite historical snacks with our colleagues. Here are a few photos of our dishes and the event:

At first, many were shy to fill their plates ... 
and didn't know which goodies to pick.

In the back, we have Auguste Escoffier's roast beef and mustard sandwiches; La Nouvelle Mariée's chicken salad sandwiches (with blue cheese stuffed olives, yum!) and cucumber sandwiches. In the front, we have Betty Crocker's Devilled eggs ... they went like hotcakes!

Here we have Catherine Parr Traill's Common Bush Tea-Cakes (very similar to maple flavoured scones!) In the back, we have a tomato soup cake from La Nouvelle Mariée surrounded by Auguste Escoffier's pralined almonds. Many people said this cake reminded them of their grandmother's baking. That's not surprising. We loved this recipe because it was handwritten into the book by our colleague Stephanie's own grandmother:

Amelia Simmons's Molasses Gingerbread:

This platter was a cookie triple threat: Gervasse Markham's Jumbal (see Emili's recipe here! (in French)), Pellegrino Artusi's Chocolate-dipped Cat Tongues, and Betty Crocker's "His Mother's Cookies" (you can find these oatmeal cookies in the book's index under "How to keep your man" pastries)

Pellegrino Artusi didn't want to take credit for his cook's recipe, so he called this fruit cake "Marietta's Panettone." In the top corner, see Catherine Parr Traill's apple jelly (if you're heading out on an apple-picking excursion and looking for a way to preserve the mountain of fruit you bring back home, try Kathleen's version of the jelly.)

More apples! Here are Betty Crocker's mini apple muffins with crunchy walnut coating.

Plenty of smiles!

Not bad, folks! 
Now we're ready to face another academic year in beautiful Montreal!

We would like to thank Professor Elizabeth Elbourne and Alex McAuley for organizing the tea, Amanda and Jenn for helping with the food preparation, and the Colins for helping us carry all of our trays to and from Thomson House. Most of all, we want to thank everyone for coming out and spending the afternoon with us. We had a wonderful time!


  1. If you need a subject to eagerly eat the food and be photographed doing so, I'm for hire (free labour). Everything was delicious!


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