Meet the Author
This cookbook was compiled by the Managers’ Auxiliary of St. John’s Presbyterian Church – specifically, the Cook Book Committee, which is noted in handwriting on the cover page. As such, there is no sole author; however, many recipes include the contributor’s name or initials underneath. The contributors were women primarily from Nova Scotia, although there are some who lived in other areas of Canada and the United States.
Of the women who left their full names and place of residence with their recipes, a few can be identified in the 1911 federal census of Canada. For example, sharing her Soft Pound Cake recipe was Miss Myra Manning, a 32-year-old schoolteacher who made $350 a month. She lived with her father Jonathan, a customs officer, her mother Lois, a homemaker, her 20-year-old brother Harold, and two lodgers. The family was of English descent, Baptist, and lived on Cape Breton Island.
Another contributor was May Tobin, a 23-year-old stay-at-home mom with a 2-year-old daughter, Bertha. She was married to Arthur, a carpenter, who made $550 a month. This English and Anglican family lived in Halifax. Also from Halifax was Bessie Tupper, a 42-year-old Scottish and Presbyterian housewife who resided with her breadwinning husband, son, and two teenage nieces. They contributed recipes for Cabbage Salad and Date Bars, respectively. While these women may vary in terms of age, marital status, religion, and cooking style, they are united by their European origin and participation in a charitable cause that supported St. John’s Church.