Conservatives, including PM, share recipes for cookbook
The cover of I'd Rather Be Baking Cookies is shown in this undated image. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, September 11, 2010 2:38PM EDT
TORONTO - He may not have the recipe for a majority government yet, but Prime Minister Stephen Harper knows how to make a mean salsa.
His wife Laureen's tomato and jalapeno concoction is among the celebrity recipes contained in a new cookbook, and they aren't the only foodies coming out of the Conservative closet.
Several ministers turn the cabinet table into a culinary table with a variety of gastronomical delights, from Peter Van Loan's Estonian family favourite, vaarikareem, to chocolate chip cookies care of John Baird's Grandma Evalyn.
Jason Kenney, nicknamed "curry in a hurry" by his caucus pals for all the ethnic banquets he attends as immigration minister, bucks the obligatory plug for Alberta beef with chana masal, a chickpea curry that he swears -- "100 per cent bona fide" -- he actually cooked himself.
"It's healthy, and vegetarian, so probably a change of pace from all the recipes received from western Reform types like myself," the Calgarian jokes in the recipe notes.
Not Defence Minister Peter MacKay. It doesn't get much more Nova Scotia than a lobster bisque.
The cookbook released Sunday is the brainchild of Ontario Conservative Lisa MacLeod, whose recipe for revenge apparently includes a big dollop of humour.
Once lampooned by Liberal blogger Warren Kinsella in a photo that suggested she'd rather be home baking cookies than campaigning with her male counterparts, MacLeod said she couldn't resist making fun of what many considered a sexist jab.
(Kinsella later apologized for the joke, saying his wife didn't find it very funny either.)
Aptly titled "I'd Rather Be Home Baking Cookies," the book features a retro-look cover with MacLeod playing the Betty Crocker role to the hilt, donning a frilly apron to display a batch of fresh-baked cookies.
"The apron looks very similar to the skirt I was wearing in the doctored photo," said MacLeod, who represents the suburban riding of Nepean-Carleton.
"So that's what we thought of -- it would just be a perfect way to play with the entire absurdity of the situation because it became such a huge gender issue and I just thought, you know what? Let's have some fun with this."
Volunteers from her riding painstakingly collected the recipes for the 140-page tome, which includes Ontario Opposition Leader Tim Hudak's chili, Ottawa Mayor Larry O'Brien's blueberry French toast and a 60-year-old family cookie recipe from Senator Pamela Wallin.
MacLeod, who hails from Nova Scotia, shares her mother's tightly guarded recipe for seafood chowder, while her husband divulges his top-secret formula for "Moose Milk" -- a mainstay of many Maritime New Year's levees.
But the funniest contribution by far came from Senator Bob Runciman and his recipe for a toothache-inducing Jack Robinson cake, said MacLeod.
In his introduction to the recipe, the former Ontario Tory leader said "favourite" isn't a strong enough word for his love of this sugary delight.
"He goes on to say that he was once dizzy from sugar shock after eating half a cake in one sitting," she said.
The book, which costs $20, is available at various businesses in MacLeod's riding and her constituency office. All proceeds go towards her election expenses.