This year at our annual Twelfth-Night celebrations, visitors could enter the kitchen for a short lecture and demonstration. The archaeology and curatorial teams gave the talks to explain two important food items that play a part in Kenmore's history and the holiday, gingerbread and flip. Our first demonstration was done by Emma Schlauder, Research Archaeologist … Continue reading Cooking up holiday treats: Gingerbread and Flip
A Short and Sweet History of the Gingerbread House
If you visit George Washington's Ferry Farm this December, you'll be greeted by the sweet smell of spiced gingerbread as soon as you walk through the door! During our annual Gingerbread House Contest and Exhibit, our gallery space is transformed into a showroom with entries reflecting this year's theme: "architectural wonders of the world." Unlike … Continue reading A Short and Sweet History of the Gingerbread House
Oyster Ice Cream: The Enigma
This past week the curatorial and archeology departments came together to fulfill a long-held dream to make oyster ice cream. Many people asked "why?" others said "gross," and many just shook their heads at our endeavor. But we are not easily put off by odd things in history. In fact, many of us seek them … Continue reading Oyster Ice Cream: The Enigma
Camp George v. George: A Summer Camp to Travel Back to Colonial Virginia
School is out for summer…almost! Students are counting down the days until they are free from homework, but the learning does not have to stop!. The George Washington Foundation has been busy preparing fun-filled summer camps to encourage critical thinking through exploring the past. In our Camp George v. George, students will be asked, “Would … Continue reading Camp George v. George: A Summer Camp to Travel Back to Colonial Virginia
Put A Lid On it: Mason Jars and Home Canning in America
As a Historic Preservation major at the University of Mary Washington, I spend a lot of time studying objects from the past. Through my courses, I have learned that common, everyday objects are often able to reflect the values of the people that created and used them. I kept this in mind during my internship … Continue reading Put A Lid On it: Mason Jars and Home Canning in America
A Gift Across the Seas: Betty Washington’s Silver Tea Set from Her Uncle Joseph Ball
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
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”
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
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!