Historical reenactors assemble outside Hyde Park Barracks. Photo © Fiona Morris for Sydney Living Museums
According to Francois-Maurice Lepailleur, a convict living at the Hyde Park barracks in 1840, “You don’t starve but you’re always hungry.” So what did convicts eat at Hyde Park barracks in the when it was home to over 600 male convict workers at any one time?
A Victorian family dinner. Image source: Free Vintage Digi (digital) stamps. freevintagedigistamps.com
I was recently invited to give a talk for the New South Wales Dickens Society. I had no hesitation accepting, not as an aficionado of Dickens literary works, but because Charles Dickens’s wife Catherine (nee Hogarth), published a book of menus in the 1850s. Continue reading
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
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
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
Mushroom ketchup and ingredients. Photo © Jacqui Newling for Sydney Living Museums
There are few households in Australia that would not have a bottle of tomato sauce in the pantry cupboard, or, in those that do not, some kind of savoury sauce such as Worcestershire or HP. More recently, Continue reading
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
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.
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