In this video, archaeologist Mara Kaktins shares bits of Mary Washington's dishes excavated at Ferry Farm and explains their significance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9KCtCe-d-MQ Read more about Mary's dishes in this blog post.
Eggnog is a staple drink during the holiday season. Historians debate the exact ancestry of eggnog but most agree that it originated from early medieval “posset”, a hot, milky, ale-like drink. Eventually, expensive and rare ingredients like eggs, sherry, brandy and Madeira were added and the drink became the trademark of the upper class. During … Continue reading Making Eggnog
The story of Mary Ball Washington is one of overcoming a lifetime of adversity. Often overshadowed by her larger than life son George, Mary’s place in history fluctuated from saint to shrew with many historians ignoring the obstacles she faced and overcame. The archaeological record sheds light on some of the strategies Mary used to … Continue reading Appearance is Everything: Mary Washington and Her Specialized Ceramics of Gentility – Some Seriously Fancy Dishes!
In this experimental archaeology video, we reveal how well four different 18th century techniques preserved fresh uncooked eggs before the advent of refrigeration. Watch the first part. https://youtu.be/936qa541VLw
In this video, we meet Mara's chickens and learn how chickens naturally lay eggs seasonally.
In the 18th century, more women began to publish cookbooks. Previously, writing or compiling such books was the domain professional cooks or chefs, who were men. Two of these women and their books, Hannah Glasse’s The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy and Eliza Smith’s The Compleat Housewife, or, Accomplished Gentlewoman’s Companion, ended up … Continue reading Betty Washington’s Cookbooks
As Christmastime approaches again, it’s time to focus attention on two more forgotten favorites from the 18th century dessert table: ribband jelly and blancmange. Ribband Jelly Our first dessert is a simple Ribband Jelly that descends from an ancient dessert called white leach. A white leach was a milk jelly flavored with rosewater and colored … Continue reading Making Ribband Jelly & Blancmange
The holiday season is beginning! No matter how you celebrate the next several weeks, you’re likely spending extra time thinking about food. We archaeologists are no different, only we also want to know what the Washingtons and their enslaved laborers ate, whether at the harvest, the holiday season, or simply a regular meal. Historians know … Continue reading The Wild Game on the Washingtons’ Table
On Tuesday, May 14, 2019, Park Ranger Deborah Lawton of George Washington Birthplace National Monument presented a lecture titled “Foodways in the 18th Century” that explored the new dishes and changing tastes of the time. Join us on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 for “The Social Role of Garbage in Colonial Virginia” with Dave Muraca, Director … Continue reading Lecture – Foodways in the 18th Century [Video]
On Tuesday, May 7, 2019, Archaeologist Mara Kaktins, Ceramics & Glass Specialist at The George Washington Foundation, presented a lecture titled “Drinking with the Washingtons: Archaeological Evidence of Colonial Imbibing at Ferry Farm.” Mara explored a wide variety of beverage-related artifacts from teawares to punch bowls and discussed how cups and glasses reflected efforts by … Continue reading Lecture – Drinking with the Washingtons: Archaeological Evidence of Colonial Imbibing at Ferry Farm [Video]