Eel festival at Elizabeth Farm

Wrapping an eel in Gymea leaf and paper bark, ready for the barbeque at the Eel Festival at Elizabeth Farm. Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Our free, family-friendly Eel Festival celebrates Parramatta’s namesake, the eel, and its significance to the local Darug people the Burramattagal, who for generations have gathered during eel season to feast, trade and share stories.
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Joanna Nicholas, curator

Joanna Nicholas, curator, Sydney Living Museums. Photo © Stuart Miller for Sydney Living Museums

Joanna Nicholas is Curator in the House Museums Portfolio, responsible for Vaucluse, Elizabeth Bay and Rose Seidler Houses. She is passionate about the immersive experiences house museums can provide for visitors – the power of their collections, gardens and grounds. Continue reading

Kim Connor, intern, Hyde Park barracks

Hyde Park barracks intern, Kim Connors examining bones from the barracks archaeology. Photo © Fiona Starr Sydney Living Museums

Kim Connor is an Honours student in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sydney. Her thesis, ‘Feeding the confined’ is an analysis of the animal bone from Hyde Park barracks in order to investigate the diet of the women of the Immigration Depot and the Destitute Asylum (1848-1886).

By studying the bones, I’m discovering other unofficial ways that the women supplemented and varied their diets. One of the big surprises has been how much evidence there is for meat that wasn’t on the official ration: rabbit, chicken and other fowl, oysters and even crab! Explaining why there is a difference between the archaeological record and the historical sources is key to understanding how these institutions worked, and the experience of the women who lived there.

Kim also writes about historical food for her blog Turnspit & Table with ‘an anti-miserablist approach to historical cooking’ and is a regular participant in the Historical Food Fortnightly.

Introducing Latoya Schadel

Latoya Schadel, Sydney Living Museums Visitor & Interpretation officer. Image courtesy Latoya Schadel

We have guest bloggers on The Cook & the Curator this week and next from the kitchens at Vaucluse House –

Latoya Schadel has been an enthusiastic lover of history since the tender age of seven when she visited Elizabeth Farm for the first time, dressed as a convict-lass. Since then she has (grown up and) completed a First Class Honours in History at the University of Sydney, specialising in the Australian ‘history wars’ and their impact on children’s literature. For the last two years she has been a proud member of the House Museums Portfolio at Sydney Living Museums as a Visitor Interpretation Officer, and hopes to instill her love of the past in a new generation of seven year olds – and beyond!

Introducing Leila Wallace

Leila Wallace, Sydney Living Museums’ Visitor and Interpretation officer, Photo © Sydney Living Museums

We have guest bloggers on The Cook & the Curator this week and next from the kitchens at Vaucluse House –

If you are looking for Leila, you will find her either in the staff kitchen creating authentic pickles and preserves for the Colonial Kitchen display at Vaucluse House; in the cellars hosting holiday ‘crafternoons’; writing stories for the newsletter and website; or Instagraming anything with a bit of old world charm. Originally from a science background with specialisations in environmental conservation and natural heritage, Leila has found her calling as a Visitor Interpretation Officer at Sydney Living Museums. With her love of farm yard animals, beautiful vistas and a passion for nature, there’s nowhere else she’d rather be.

Eat your history – the book!

Jacqui Newling, author of Eat your history: stories and recipes from Australian kitchens Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Handwritten recipes passed through the generations, tales of goats running wild in colonial gardens and early settlers’ experimentation with native foods…
Eat your history dishes up stories and recipes for Australian kitchens and dining tables from 1788 to the 1950s.

Jacqui Newling, resident gastronomer at Sydney Living Museums, invites you to share forgotten tastes and lost techniques, and to rediscover some delicious culinary treasures. Continue reading