Effie MacLellan, Joan's mother and inspiration for Effie's Homemade, grew up on a small farm in a village called Margaree on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Effie's stories of this rural and rugged community evoke images of simple, honest times when farming was a way of life and Scotch Gaelic was spoken at home. It was here that Effie learned to bake oatcakes from her mother in a wood-fired, cast iron oven following a family tradition passed on from mothers to daughters for generations. Oatcakes were a staple in farmhouse pantries, always on hand should neighbor, friend or family drop by for a visit. After marrying and settling in Boston, Effie continued the tradition and made oatcakes for her growing family. Word spread quickly in the Dorchester neighborhood whenever "Mrs. MacIsaac" baked. The neighborhood kids knew well that her children would soon join them with stacks of delicious oatcakes carefully wrapped in napkins and ready to share. Today Effie enjoys oatcakes with a cup of tea in the afternoon or cheese, happy knowing that the tradition continues.
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