With hindsight, the events of history often seem inevitable. America was destined for independence from Britain. All colonists were patriots who saw themselves as a nation and a people separate from the mother country. This was absolutely not the case. Colonists’ views on the appropriateness of independence evolved with events. Over time, British identity gave … Continue reading LiberTEA
The holiday season has arrived at Historic Kenmore, bringing with it our annual display in the house of colonial wintry traditions from greenery to lovely desserts. Two years ago, I explored the mysterious origin of Betty Lewis’s hedgehog cake and even made a pretty passable replica. This year, there is another dessert on our table … Continue reading Making Syllabub
In a post several months ago, we discussed a piece of furniture listed in Augustine Washington’s 1743 probate inventory that gave us some interesting insight into the daily life of the Washington family – the sugar box. Recently, our reproduction sugar box arrived and is now on display in the Parlor, just as the probate … Continue reading All About Sugar Cones
In this video, we do some experimental archaeology and try four different techniques used to preserve fresh uncooked eggs before the advent of refrigeration. You can also read about meat preservation techniques prior to the invention of refrigeration here.
It’s easy to take our refrigerators for granted. There they sit in our kitchens quietly keeping our food safe to eat and making our lives quite easy. It may be difficult to imagine but a large percentage of time on an 18th century homestead such as George Washington’s Ferry Farm was spent preserving food for … Continue reading No Refrigerator? No Problem!: Preserving and Storing Meat in the 1700s
“It is indeed bad to eat apples. It is better to make them all cider” -- Benjamin Franklin Name a beverage consumed by all age groups, men and women alike, the poor and the very rich, from sun up to sun down, that is touted as healthy and refreshing yet also contains alcohol. If you … Continue reading “It is Indeed Bad to Eat Apples. It is Better to Make Them All Cider”: When Cider Reigned Supreme in America
One of the first pieces of furniture that will arrive at the recreated Washington house at George Washington’s Ferry Farm will be the large, round dining table for the Hall. It’s being made at a shop in Pennsylvania and we hope to have it before the end of the year. With Thanksgiving just a week … Continue reading At the Kids’ Table …with George Washington?
In this video, we make switchel, a summertime beverage popular in the 1700s. Its ingredients contain a lot of potassium which replenishes the body's electrolytes. Learn more about switchel and other methods used to say cool in the 18th century on this blog post.
The history of coffee is long and complex and can never be fully explored in a single blog post, however, because of my admiration for the caffeinated beverage I wanted to learn how the colonist utilized coffee. Fortunately, in the collections at Kenmore, we not only have a selection of 18th century coffeepots and cups … Continue reading Coffee: A Revolutionary Drink
For the past year or so my focus here at George Washington’s Ferry Farm has been determining what types of ceramics were owned by the Washington family. Once we have this information we want to acquire accurate examples to place in the reconstructed house for all to see. From door hardware to teacups, most of … Continue reading Tales of a Patch Stand and a Porringer