A search for Mrs Gaffney, c 1890s, Tamworth.

Mrs Gaffney's date and nut cake from Eat your history, stories and recipes from Australian kitchens. (SLM and NewSouth Publishing, 2015). Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Regular readers may remember we’ve been on a quest to identify some of the contributors the Meroogal manuscript recipe collection. The recipes appear to date from the 1890s. We do feel we might be on the right track Continue reading

A slip of the tongue

Supper table from Mrs Beeton's Book of household management, 1895. Caroline Simpson Library and Research collection © Sydney Living Museums

Unappetising as it might seem today, tongue was regarded a delicacy in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Tongue was on the menu at formal dinners, sociable breakfasts and wedding banquets, and at the gala ball held at Government House for the Prince of Wales,  Continue reading

A picnic at Lucknow

Old fashioned sticky buns at the Wentworth picnic at Lucknow, NSW. Photo © Jacqui Newling, Sydney Living Museums

On the Queen’s birthday holiday on Tuesday May 24, 1887, the miners at the Wentworth goldfields experienced a ‘unique and enjoyable event’ – a picnic with their families, hosted by the mine manager, Henry Newman and his wife.  Continue reading

A gourmet in the gold mines

Butcher's shamble, nr. Adelaide Gully, Forrest Creek. S.T.Gill.National Library Australia. Rex Nan Kivell Collection ; NK586/15

If I was going to do a ‘Julie and Julia’, the book I’d want to work through is Modern cookery for private families, first published 1845 by Eliza Acton’s (1799-1859). It is written with eloquence and grace, and with practical descriptions of mid-1800s English cookery.
It was sold in bookshops in the colony, and was the ‘go to’ cook book for prospector William Howitt, in the Ballarat goldfields in 1853.  Continue reading