Punch drunk on guava jelly

Photograph of cherry guavas and flowers

Cherry guavas and flowers from the kitchen garden at Vaucluse House, September 2015. Photo Helen Curran © Sydney Living Museums

There’s a special pleasure in tasting a fruit straight from the tree. Just a few months ago, the cherry guavas in the kitchen garden at Vaucluse House were tiny, unpromising-looking green orbs. This week, the first of them ripened: little rose-coloured marbles of sweet-tart deliciousness, each a perfect mouthful – and the perfect ingredient for a clear fruit jelly.

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Ladies who lunched

The Womanhood Suffrage League of NSW

The Womanhood Suffrage League of NSW by Freeman Bros Studio, 1892. State Library of NSW ON 219/96

Nicola Teffer, curator of the Celestial City exhibition, is our guest blogger this week, giving us an insight into the ‘ladies who lunched’ in the late nineteenth century…
Sydney in the 1870s was no place for a lady. Not only were there no public toilets for women, the city offered few places where they could eat and drink.  Pubs were off-limits, and cafes, oyster saloons and cigar divans were a bit too racy for girls keen to protect their good reputations.

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Nicola Teffer

Curator Nicola Teffer with Sydney Living Museums chairman Michael Rose, the Hon Helen Sham-Ho OAM and Sydney Living Museums director Mark Goggin in the Celestial City: Sydney's Chinese Story exhibition.

Curator Nicola Teffer with Sydney Living Museums chairman Michael Rose, the Hon Helen Sham-Ho OAM and Sydney Living Museums director Mark Goggin (left to right) in the Celestial City: Sydney's Chinese Story exhibition. Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Nicola Teffer is curator of Celestial City: Sydney’s Chinese story, showing at the Museum of Sydney until 12 October 2014. Sydney’s Chinese story is intrinsically linked with food. The Chinese community has supplied, served and inspired hungry Sydney-siders from market gardens, merchants’ shops, street hawking businesses and Quong Tart’s tea rooms, synonymous with Sydney in the late nineteenth century. Nicola joins The Cook and the Curator as guest blogger, relating food stories prompted by the Celestial City exhibition.

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#Muscake museums cake day

Handmade Meroogal sponge cake

Handmade Meroogal sponge cake. Photo © Sydney Living Museums

Today is #MusCake museums’ cake day! And there is plenty of cake to go around at Sydney Living Museums! The number of cakes consumed on our properties – historically and today – is countless!  And there are dozens of cake recipes in our house museums and Caroline Simpson Research library collections – so the cry today is ‘let us eat cake!’  Continue reading

Meet the Eat your history recipe testing volunteers

Eat your history recipe testing volunteers with Meroogal sponge cakes. Photo © Sydney Living Museums

Eat your history recipe testing volunteers with Meroogal sponge cakes. Photo © Sydney Living Museums

We’re very excited to introduce our fabulous recipe testing volunteers – Charmaine, Margot and Paula, as part of our Eat your history heirloom recipe project. The team has been working their way through manuscript recipes from family collections at Meroogal and Rouse Hill House and Farm. Continue reading

Fiona Starr

Fiona Starr, with visitors enjoying the displays at the Mint on Australia Day.

Fiona Starr, with visitors enjoying the displays at the Mint on Australia Day. Photo © Narelle Spangher / Monde Photo, for Sydney Living Museums

Fiona’s love of history is hereditary – passed on by her mother and grandmother, each interested in colonial Australian history, genealogy, and world history, with a passion for visiting and learning about heritage sites around the world. Continue reading