Highlights Reel


Completed my docent training at Smith’s Castle and spent their Heritage Days weekend event talking to visitors about the kitchen and hearth. Led a small group of pirate reenactors through the entire house – a perfect introductory audience for my first whole-house tour. Working in the gardens Wednesday afternoons.


The website for Plimoth Plantation states that it takes “the average visitor” two and a half hours to see everything. Who are these people? We spent six hours, felt like two, and could’ve easily spent another four. Was extremely impressed with the first-person docents we met – and speaking in OP English, too! Enjoyed poking around the backs of the houses and peeking in at their gardens. Most of them were dressed with branches to protect the seedlings. I purchased a small pipkin and some seed packets (summer savory and cornsalad) from the gift shop. I deserve a medal for self restraint.


Visited the Hempsted Houses in New London, CT. The stone house dates to the mid 1700s; the larger Elizabethan frame house dates a hundred years earlier, and is the oldest house in New London. This photo of the earlier house’s hearth is far better than the ones I took that day.


This is the main hearth in the 18th-century stone house. It is now believed the house was built by French Acadians driven out of Canada by the English.


Reading a fantastic book titled Cooking with Fire – my brain is ablaze (ahem) with ideas for our fire pit.

Feel free to stop by my flickr photostream to see other photos of my adventures.


Snowed in with more on the way…


Well! The new Facebook group Colonial American Foodways now has over 150 members, several of whom are historical interpreters, some of them professional. We’ve had some lovely discussions and shared a lot of information. Seems like this was a niche just waiting to be filled.

I’ve also confirmed that I will be giving a talk on edible garden weeds at my local library branch next month. Several of the plants I’ll be featuring were known – and in some cases intentionally introduced – by colonists as food and medicine.

Last weekend I attended another hearth cooking class at Historic Deerfield, this one featuring recipes by Hannah Glasse. On the day’s menu: Pounded Cheese, Brown Chicken Fricassee, Red Cabbage in the Dutch Style, Norfolk Dumplings, and Indian Pudding.

Lastly, had my birthday dinner with my beloved husband at Newport’s White Horse Tavern, the oldest continually operated tavern in the United States (since 1673). The chef is a friend; we are still talking about the Brussels sprouts. No kidding.

Lastly, this morning I’m experimenting with our woodstove. I’ve never really tried to use it for cooking. Going to see if I can get the stove hot enough to cook a pot of beans all day without making the house unbearably warm. We shall see….