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Elora author telling East Coast history through stories about food

Jan Feduck had her first book published which she described as a mix of a travel guide and history book with some recipes included
For her book, Jan Feduck visited historic sites and would take a cooking class or wear period appropriate clothing.

ELORA – It was year’s in the making but an Elora author has had her first book published which is a love letter to the East Coast’s history through food. 

Jan Feduck, an Elora resident with family roots to eastern Canada dating back to the 17th century, has released Dining Out With History after working on it for years. 

In a phone interview, Feduck explained the book is 20 chapters about historic living history sites in Newfoundland, Labrador, Nova Scotia, PEI and New Brunswick. She’d often take a cooking class or dress in period-appropriate clothing.

“My purpose was to learn all about the cooking of the period that the historic site is portraying,” Feduck said. 

Each chapter features a history of the site she visited, a short culinary short fiction story to describe the cooking customs and food at the time and a recipe or two from each site. 

“People love experiencing food when they come to these sites, there’s always something going on there cooking over open fires or something,” Feduck said. “I think everybody can relate to that, right? Everybody has to eat, so everybody is interested in how they cooked the food at that time.”

Feduck spent her summers on the east coast and during that time visited the sites and collected the information for the book over the years. She was going to self-publish before Fitzhenry and Whiteside picked it up. 

She considers the book more of a travel guide and history book rather than a cookbook but finds the genre mash-up makes it more interesting for a wider variety of people. 

“I think it’s more interesting for people to learn about history through stories than it is through facts,” Feduck said. “I mostly just tried to bring history to life through food and food tradition.”

After years of work, Feduck is happy to get the book published. 

“I see it as a little gift to the east coast to help promote tourism to these historic sites because I think that they’re really important for our children and youth to know about them and some of them are off the beaten track,” Feduck said. 

Feduck is beginning to do some speaking engagements locally to generate further interest in the east coast history and the history of food and plans to do one at Elora’s Magic Pebble book store in the near future. 

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Keegan Kozolanka

About the Author: Keegan Kozolanka

Keegan Kozolanka is a general assignment reporter for EloraFergusToday, covering Wellington County. Keegan has been working with Village Media for more than two years and helped launch EloraFergusToday in 2021.
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