CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Edited by Larissa Hooley and Josephine Robinson. Vancouver, Whitecap Books, c1986. 192pp, paper, spiral bound, $14.95, ISBN 0-920620-89-2. (A David Robinson Book).CIP

Grades 10 and up
Reviewed by Margaret Montgomery

Volume 15 Number 1
1987 January

These menus and recipes have been collected and tested over many years by the Gourmet Group, one of the interest groups of the Faculty Women's Club at the University of British Columbia. The women in this group are faculty or wives of faculty, and for over twenty years they have met to research, test, prepare, and serve the meals and dishes that are collected in this volume. There are twenty complete menus and 190 recipes from these dinner parties included here.

From among the dozens of ethnic groups represented in Vancouver, the authors have narrowed it down to sixteen, mainly European. However, they have also included East Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Pacific Islanders, There is a page of good introductory material on each ethnic group, giving a brief history of their immigration to British Columbia, census figures, and information on ethnic restaurants. In the "Notes on the Menu" section, also included with each menu, there is some help in obtaining the more unusual ingredients. One can make the assumption that all the ingredients included in the book would be available to people in Vancouver, if not in smaller communities.

There is an eight-page index, alphabetical of course. I located "Fu-Yung Chicken with Snow Peas" in four places (under "Vegetables," under "P" for peas and "P" for poultry, under "C" for chicken, but not under "F"). Good indexing is essential for cookbooks. Thank you to the publishers for this index.

This reviewer is an avid cook and collector of recipes, and many of the recipes to be found here remind me of the good food that can be produced using the Time-Life series of cookbooks called Foods of the World. However, this has the added advantages of complete menus and of the ethnic information.

The menus are for such events as "A Dickensian Christmas Dinner" for eight,a "Nordic Dinner" for six, "A Spring Dinner from Germany" for six, "An Eclectic French Dinner" for eight, "A Spanish/ Portuguese Paella Party" for twelve, "A Greek Easter Feast", "A Pacific Islands Feast" for twelve,and so forth.

One person would not be too likely to whip up one of these menus for a family; a couple of friends could have a lot of fun producing some of the feasts and party menus that are suggested. Of course, no one needs to tackle the whole menu. One dish from the list could be happily attempted. That is what I have done in trying out this cookbook. I had very satisfactory results from the few that I did try; my mouth is watering for some of the others. As the authors point out, there is also the possibility of cutting the recipes to suit a smaller family or of doubling them for a crowd. Recommended for those who want information on ethnic foods, and for those who like to cook for crowds. Here are the battle plans.

Margaret Montgomery, West Vernon E.S., Vernon, B.C.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works