HISTORIC KITCHENS IN CANADIAN MUSEUMS
Upper Canada Village represents many aspects of life and work of a
typical 1860s riverside community. It offers an active historical cooking
program during its main season, from mid-May to mid-October (please
check the Village website for exact dates). Here are the three areas
where cooking is demonstrated on a regular basis:
At Loucks Farm, a typical progressive farm of the 1860s, a sense of
economic well-being pervades the interior of the impressive stone house.
The square piano in the parlour, the substantial dining room furniture,
and the luxurious fabrics and wall-papers show an affluent pre-Confederation
family. This affluence also finds expression in the food preparation
and choice of menus. The cookstove in the summer kitchen is used every
day either for baking, roasting, stewing or preserving.
The Tenant Farm is a smaller and more rudimentary operation than Loucks Farm. The family rents the farm, and spends only what is absolutely necessary on equipment and maintenance. Since the tenant farmer is saving to buy his own farm, he and his family have to be very frugal in their spending. This is also reflected in the work of the farm wife who still struggles to cook over an open hearth and has no fancy sitting room in which to spend her few leisure moments. The meals served there are simpler and use less store-bought ingredients than at Loucks Farm.
Meal days are on Thursdays and Sundays, and afternoon tea is served on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The bake kettle is used regularly for baking pies and cakes at the Tenant Farm.
Cook's Tavern is a focal point for local community activity, and also serves a number of travellers. On Fridays during the main museum season, a simple noon day meal is prepared over the open hearth of the tavern kitchen and served to Village mill workers and tradesmen. Meals are cooked on the open hearth because it's better suited to preparing large portions of food.