Recipe collection offers insight into 18th century life in the Maritimes

You're not going to find the latest recipe for avocado toast, but a new collection of recipes is offering an insight into early colonial life in the Maritimes, including advice for making your own medicine, desserts, and even how to catch a rat.

Edith Snook, an English professor at the University of New Brunswick, says recipes helped the early settlers to figure out how to live.

Snook and Lyn Bennett, an associate professor of English at Dalhousie University, and a team of research assistants have spent the last three years digging through archives to find recipes written in the Maritimes before 1800.

The team found over 500 recipes in newspapers and hand-written documents.

Snook says they've compiled the information in a searchable database.

She says the recipes range from helpful remedies and baked goods to fertilizers, and what appears to be an early version of Jell-O rum shooters.