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
During the holidays, it’s the curatorial team’s job to festoon Historic Kenmore in period-appropriate holiday swag to celebrate the Christmas season. Greenery is brought in to cheer up the rooms and a table of special desserts is laid out as if ready for Christmas guests. These sweet treats are a pretty traditional fare but one … Continue reading Yes, Virginia, there is a Christmas Hedgehog!
Typically, when modern Americans think of summer barbecue food, they think of meat grilled over an open flame. While that would certainly appeal to an eighteenth century audience, it is not necessarily what they considered ‘typical’ summer fare. Large livestock like pigs and cattle were usually slaughtered and butchered in the late fall/early winter when … Continue reading Summer Greens from the Colonial Garden
“I went in to the Bed as they call’d it when to my Surprize I found it to be nothing but a Little Straw—Matted together without Sheets or any thing else but only one Thread Bear blanket with double its Weight of Vermin such as Lice Fleas &c,” wrote 15-year-old George Washington in his Journal … Continue reading “With Double Its Weight of Vermin”: Bugs in George’s Bed
As thanksgiving approaches we turn our thoughts to tradition, family, and feast. Thanksgiving traditions call to mind family around a table full of food, a roast turkey with cranberry sauce, or maybe even a romanticized recreation of New England meal from the 17th century. But what is the history behind that tradition? What would people … Continue reading Thanksgiving in George Washington’s Virginia?