Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Streaming from the hearth - virtual hearth cooking and baking in ovens

Some cooks and museums have done virtual demos of bake oven and cooking over the fire. But. There should be more! People are curious about the unusual activity, and it's a unique way to get donations. Links to hearth cooking and bake oven events are below, and two upcoming virtual demos.

So hearth cooks out there... grab your laptop or smart phone and share the fun you are having at the hearth.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Eating and sleeping in the Capitol at the start of the Civil War, April 1861

To honor our troops now sleeping on the floor of the US Capitol and visitor's center to protect it from another assault...
In April and May 1861, Mass and NY regiments were put in the new Senate and House chambers, and in the Rotunda under the unfinished dome.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Prohibition and Tea Talks

On January 17, 1920 the US "went dry" when the Eighteenth Amendment went into effect. The Twenty-first Amendment ended Prohibition in 1933. Talks on rumrunners, speakeasies, temperance movement and even cryptology. It is also National Hot Tea Month with 15 talks.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Twelfth Night cakes in shop windows

Elaborate window displays for Twelfth-day cakes in bakeries and confectioneries, like this 1836 image, showed off a huge cake "on large and massy salvers" with many other sizes at the window and on shelves, lit by "argand-lamps and manifold wax-lights."

Monday, December 28, 2020

Cookbooks and Manuscripts virtual talks tapes

There are several upcoming talks (and past taped ones) on cookbooks and manuscripts: politics & cookbooks, Betty Crocker and Julia Child. This summer's celebration of 100 years since women earned the right to vote, resulted in three talks which were taped on suffrage cookbooks. Manuscripts are a rich source of culinary and medicinal recipes, several which sound interesting, plus taped past talks.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Hard Sauce and taped Christmas talks

Brandy Sauce or Hard Sauce is a butter and sugar mixture flavored with Brandy, Rum, Sherry or wine and put on Plum Pudding or Mincemeat pies.
Also, some holiday talks - upcoming and taped.

Friday, December 11, 2020

15th cen. Boar's Head, Medieval manuscripts digitalized and Medieval foodways virtual talks

The Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL) digitalized all 160,000 pages from Medieval works held by member libraries. HERE
Below are a several Medieval and Renaissance virtual talks, many are taped.

But first, a fifteenth century Carol about the boar's head at a Christmas feast.

Monday, December 7, 2020

Turkeys to market

This year, when most of us will not be having a large turkey or many family members, I give this post to the turkey of Christmas past. And in the past I have written several times about turkeys. The most fascinating aspect, I think, is how all those turkeys got to market.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Salem's "Old Bakery" and bean pots

The Old Bakery of Salem, Mass. was originally built in 1683 as a home by Benjamin Hooper, a cordwainer, became a bakery from c1865 at 23 Washington Street and moved in 1911 to the House of Seven Gables complex.

Saturday, November 21, 2020

Holiday virtual talks

The upcoming holidays - Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and a special day - 'Stir-up Sunday' to make Plum Pudding for Christmas - are the subject of many virtual talks this year.

Uncle Sam is depicted cutting the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner with various naturalized citizens following the ratification of the 14th Amendment in 1868.

Monday, November 16, 2020

British foodways virtual talks

There are many upcoming talks on British foodways and tapes of talks: Queen Victoria, Stir-up Sunday Christmas Pudding (Nov 22), Colonial sugar trade, Scottish food and many more. Once I find the tapes of talks after they are given, this post (and other topic posts) will only keep the talks with tapes.

King George III toasting muffins, satire by James Gillray in 1791.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Civil War bake ovens in the US Capitol

First and foremost, thanks to all Veterans and those who are serving now.

Following the attack on Fort Sumter in April 1861, four thousand soldiers moved into the newly remodeled Capitol. Men from Mass. quickly built two ovens in the basement to make the bread portion of their rations. Other ovens were built, producing 65,000 loaves a day (24/7) for a year and a half.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Being Human: A Festival of the Humanities, UK - 11 food history talks

Food history events, listed below, and many more interesting talks (over 200) in this UK festival from Nov 12 to 22. HERE

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Adobe ovens photos; Bread, flour, oven talks


Location, location, location. The ovens were on the ground... or on a building... or in a building... or on wheels (apologies to Dr. Seuss). Next week will be a talk baking in an adobe horno! Two talks are by bakers who use clay ovens, one portable on wheels. Below the pictures are talks on breads, flour and a very good talk on the history of making salt in Scotland and England.

Sunday, October 25, 2020

Day of the Dead - Dia de Muertos

Sugar skulls were sold in market stalls (1908 image). Other items for the family alters include candles, Pan de Muerto (a sweet yeast bread), mole and other foods. Several upcoming virtual events are listed below. Some give history and make one of the items such as a sugar skull artist. Dia de Muertos is Nov 2 with activities beginning on Oct 31.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Indigenous foodways talks; Acorn Mush cooked in basket


Incredibly, the steam was from a rock heated in a fire, then stirred in the Wiiwish... IN a basket. The pounded acorns and water eventually thickened and the basket was not burned.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Notice to Milkman!

Quarantine sign tacked to the front door during the Typhoid Fever epidemic of 1911, ordered that the milk bottles were not to be exchanged or the milkman would be fined $5 to $100 (currently $75 to $1500). 

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Do you know the Muffin Man's... little bell? October 15 start of street selling, and free chocolate

The "tinkling" of the muffin sellers' small bells commenced on the fifteenth of October until Spring. Some associated the high tone to the colder weather; a writer in 1832 disliked the sound ever since childhood. Ofcourse there were other bells - church, postman, town crier, dustman - but Parliament tried, unsuccessfully, to ban the the muffin men's bells before 1851. and chocolate? ...more at the end.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Drink up! Talks: Taverns, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, Whiskey...

There is no denying it... there are more and more virtual talks about drinks as our Covid lockdown continues. Grog (yes, grog by a Naval museum), beer, whiskey/whisky, gin, cocktails, teas and chocolate. Many talks include recommended  samples - either mailed or picked up locally. And even beer games done museum style (Penn Museum of UPenn). Tapes, then the October talks.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Peach Chutnee, India and Mrs. B. C. Howard

Jane Grant Gilmor Howard (1801-1890) wrote the charity cookbook Fifty Years in a Maryland Kitchen in 1873. This "East India receipt" is spiced with finely chopped garlic, ginger, red chili peppers, mustard seed, salt, cider vinegar, sugar and raisins. She had several family connections to India.