This book is a unique look at Newfoundland history and culture through our food and the rituals surrounding its growing, gathering and preparation. Along with the recipes, this book is filled with great stories of folklore, history of settlement, rhymes, gardening, dining etiquette and folk medicine all written in an entertaining and informative manner.
For Maids who Brew & Bake by Sheilah Roberts is a gem. The book is chock full of useful information, anecdotes on different areas of our fine province, old-time recipes and archeological photos. Several people on my gift list will receive this book next Christmas.
Talk about a book with a unique flavour, Sheilah Roberts', "For Maids Who Brew & Bake", is disparate from any other collection of recipes around. It's almost unjust to call it a cook book - it is so much more. What is unique and gives this collection its strongest character is not the recipes and stories, but Roberts's use of 17th century writing style making this book delightfully interesting. The book is fun... one of a kind for sure. - The Aurora - January 19, 2004
The real charm of this book lies in the historical background and explanations entwined throughout the chapters, and in recognizing thinks we've all grown up with here in Newfoundland. It gives you the feeling that if a total stranger to this place picked up the book and read it cover to cover, it would give a rudimentary understanding of our European roots. The recipes are, for the most part, fairly simple to follow and just different enough from the modern-day versions to make them worth trying. - D.V. Glass, The Newfoundland Quarterly - January 2004
A must-have book for cooks with a historical interest in Canadian food. Period letters, journal entries and antique manuscripts form a delightful glimpse into the region's past - all faithfully qoted and wonderfully annotated by the author. This is an impressive work drawn from the annals of history. - Chef Michael Smith in Atlantic Books Today - Spring 2004
Interviews with the author and further descriptions of the book can be found in:
The Author has also appeared on the CBC production of Foodways with Karl Wells and Jonathan Crow, and also on the "Weather" with Karl Wells on Canada Now.
In the freezing cold of February 2006, Sheilah and the book travelled back down to the 17th century kitchen at Ferryland to stoke up the fire and do an interview with the BBC. "For Maids who Brew and Bake" will be featured in an upcoming history of the Empire with the well known British comedien Victoria Wood.