Couz. Betty Stratford by London 2nd [Nov] 1749 I have sent you by your brother Major Washington a Tea Chest; and in it Six Silver Spoons, and Strainer, and Tongs, of the Same. And in one Canister 1/2 L. [pound] of Green Tea, in The other a Pinch Bohee: and the Sugar box is full … Continue reading A Gift Across the Seas: Betty Washington’s Silver Tea Set from Her Uncle Joseph Ball
18th century foodways
Mary’s Dishes [Video]
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.
“Dined at the City Tavern”
Christmas in the 18th century was celebrated quite differently than it is today. Unlike today, one of the most important (and wildest) celebrations of the season took place on January 6th, or Epiphany. Also known as Twelfth Night, this holiday is more comparable to our present-day New Year’s celebrations in style and entertainment. Our stereotypical … Continue reading “Dined at the City Tavern”
Appearance is Everything: Mary Washington and Her Specialized Ceramics of Gentility – Some Seriously Fancy Dishes!
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!
Eggsperimental Archaeology: Preserving Eggs before the Age of Refrigeration – Part 2 [Video]
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
The Seasonality of Egg Laying [Video]
In this video, we meet Mara's chickens and learn how chickens naturally lay eggs seasonally.
Betty Washington’s Cookbooks
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
Making Ribband Jelly & Blancmange
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 Wild Game on the Washingtons’ Table
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
In Utensils Revealed: The Washingtons’ Forks, Spoons, and Knives [Video]
In this video, curator Meghan Budinger and archaeologist Laura Galke discuss how small things like eating utensils recovered archaeologically reveal big things about the Washington family.