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

First catch your eel…

Lindsay Adam from Fred's Bush Tucker showing visitors how eel is prepared for cooking at Elizabeth Farm. Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

It’s Eel Festival time! Come along to Elizabeth Farm in Parramatta this Sunday to celebrate the districts close ties with eels – including an opportunity to sample some freshly roasted eel, hot off the coals in the traditional manner. Continue reading

Signature dishes

No. 10 Bistro's take on Mrs Nisbett's ginger cake. Photo © Jacqui Newling for Sydney Living Museums

The recipes in our archives and collections remind us just how much personality and good will is shared in culinary exchanges, and the importance of memory in recipes that have been passed on by friends and neighbours, and down through generations.

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Curry stuff

Edward Abbott's curry powder. Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums.

Although being immensely popular, Australia’s first published cookbook, Edward Abbott’s The English and Australian cookery book for the many and the upper ten thousand (1864), featured only one recipe for a ‘curry’. Continue reading

Mock the turtle

The Gryphon and the Mock Turtle illustration (detail) by John Tenniel in Lewis Carroll, Alice's adventures in Wonderland, Macmillan, London, 1872. State Library of NSW DM/827.8/D645.1/4A1

When the Prince of Wales visited Sydney in 1920 (not Charles, but Queen Elizabeth’s uncle, who would later abdicate for Wallis Simpson), a grand ball was held at Government House. Continue reading

Australian tastes

'Pavlova' (detail) 1930s style. The new Goulburn cookery book, Edwards, Dunlop & coy, Sydney, 1937. © Sydney Living Museums.

Yes folks, it’s a pavlova – or at least we are told it is, in 1930s cook book such as The new Goulburn cookery book and The Presbyterian cookery book of good and tried recipes.
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