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

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

Sharing the joy – with pudding.

Mrs. Macpherson's cookery class: the Christmas pudding [detail]. Alfred May and Alfred Martin Ebsworth. Australasian Sketcher, December 20, 1879. State Library of Victoria. A/S20/12/79/145

Judging by the fashionable dress of the women in Mrs Macpherson’s plum pudding class shown above, the traditional plum pudding was a standard requirement, if not the centrepiece, on all the best tables. But in the true spirit of Christmas, our archives tell us that the less fortunate were also tucking in to the classic plum pud!

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All a-buzz with honey from the kitchen garden

Bee skep (detail) in Jeremy L Cross, ‘The true Masonic chart’ AS Barnes and Co, New York, 1855. Courtesy State Library of New South Wales call number T0402300

A hive of industry, and busy as a bee – the work of the humble ‘bumble’ and ‘honey’ bee is extraordinary – their efforts providing honey for sweet treats, such as the honey toffee (recipe below) and bees wax, highly coveted for candles in our colonial past. But more importantly, bees are integral to agriculture, and our own survival, globally.

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