From the 1930s to the 1950s, Kate Aitken was a role model for millions of Canadian women who listened to her national radio show, clipped her recipes from the Montreal Standard , where she was Women`s
From the 1930s to the 1950s, Kate Aitken was a role model for millions of Canadian women who listened to her national radio show, clipped her recipes from the Montreal Standard , where she was Women`s Editor, and purchased her books and pamphlets on everything from cooking and childcare to travel and etiquette.
Kate Aitken`s Canadian Cook Book was first published in 1945 and became an instant bestseller.
In Kate`s own words, the book is " a handy, inexpensive guide to healthful daily living. " Along with delicious recipes for appetizers, baked goods, canning, main dishes, salads, soups, and quick lunches and suppers, she provides a wealth of information on nutrition and helpful hints on cooking.
Considered the " Martha Stewart" of her day, Kate Aitken`s practical recipes endure to delight Canadian families today.
View Biographical note
Born in Beeton, Ontario in 1891, Kate Scott learned the arts of homemaking and business from her parents. A born speaker and educator, she began teaching at only 14 years old. Shortly after her marriage in 1914 to her childhood sweetheart, Henry M. Aitken, Kate began a business canning and preserving the crops from their farm. Soon, residents and restaurants alike were clamouring for her products. As her reputation grew, she was invited by both provincial and federal Departments of Agriculture to lecture across the country. She also became the Director of Women’s Activities for the Canadian National Exhibition, a position she held for 14 years.
Kate Aitken’s journalistic career was wide and varied. She was a beauty editor for a large Canadian weekly, was the women’s editor for the Montreal Standard, and wrote pamphlets for leading food companies. “Mrs. A” was on the radio three times a day, five days a week and audiences loved her no-nonsense recipes and down-to-earth advice.
After retiring from broadcasting in 1957, Aitken by no means slowed down. She devoted her time to working for the United Nations, UNICEF, and as a member of the Board of Directors for the CBC. Her tireless work and seemingly limitless talent has left a legacy for all Canadians.
Elizabeth Driver is an editor and writer who has spent over twenty years researching the culinary history of Canada and Britain. She is fascinated by the history of food and an avid collector of cookbooks and antique kitchenware. Elizabeth lives with her husband and two children in Toronto, where she is the Foodways Program Officer at Mongomery’s Inn museum. She demonstrates such historic techniques as cooking on an open hearth, returning home most days with the smell of wood smoke on her clothes.