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Cooking with Kate Aitken

With more time at home, many of us are doing quite a bit of cooking, trying new recipes with ingredients that can be found in the cupboards.  Some of us are turning to the internet to find menu ideas, substitutions, and even where to locate ingredients.   

75 years ago, long before the world wide web, Canadians tuned into CBC daily to listen to one of Canada’s culinary experts, Kate Aitken, for their cooking advice.  More affectionately known as Mrs. A, Kate Aitken was born in Beeton, Ontario, in 1891.  In the 1940s and 50s, she was a household name in Canada.   

Museum on the Boyne in Alliston has created a great virtual exhibit about Kate Aitken​.  

To hear some of Kate Aitken’s surviving radio segments, check out the CBC Archives​

Cooking With Kate museum from home

Cooking with Kate

As a tribute to S​imcoe County’s Kate Aitken and her down-home, no nonsense advice and sensible recipes, we are dedicating this page to Cooking with Kate.  We have flipped through the pages of several tried and true cookbooks to provide you recipes for a few new (old) dishes to test out, using ingredients that hopefully are already at hand.  If you do try them, let us know how they turn out. 

We have created a combined shopping list​​ for all of the recipes.

Wacky Cake

This recipe is also known as Crazy Cake or Depression cake. It was thought to be popular during war years due to rationing of butter, eggs, and milk. All reports from bakers indicate that this cake is delicious!

​Wacky Cake Recipe

Baked Egg in Potato

It’s always the perfect day for comfort food! While a bit unusual for most of us today, this dish seems like the ultimate in comfort food – from the 1940s! Made with simple ingredients, baked egg in potato is surprisingly filling.​

Baked Egg in Potato Recipe

Canadian Baked Chicken

Kate Aitken describes how to make this chicken dish. For a full description of this recipe, and an interesting insight into Modern Cooking, circa 1948, stay tuned for the entire broadcast​.​

Canadian Baked Chicken Recipe

Fairy Gingerbread

Kate Aitken’s integrated commercials on her CBC radio program​ often mentioned the Ogilvie Gingerbread Mix, an inexpensive kit that was so easy to make, “even a man could do it!”.

While Ogilvie kits are no longer available for sale, the Ogilvie Book for a Cook, published in 1931, shared an interesting fairy gingerbread recipe that may be just as good! 

Fairy Gingerbread Recipe