A frozen dinner, 1875 style

Charlotte Russe prepared by Charmaine O'Brien. Photo © Jacqui Newling for Sydney Living Museums

Frozen food is not something we might normally associate with picnics, but in 1875 entrepreneur businessman Thomas Sutcliffe Mort invited three hundred dignitaries to a picnic in Bowenfels, New South Wales, in the Lithgow Valley to demonstrate the colony’s latest technology.
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Easy as pie

A classic butter-pastry Broomfields pie. Photo courtesy Broomfields Pies © Richard Mortimer Photography

Arguably one of our national treasures, the humble pie has been enthusiastically devoured in Australia since 1788. Long before Harry’s Café de Wheels (which started in the 1930s) our colonial forebears bought pies from street vendors, the most famous being the ‘Flying Pieman’,

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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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When did the chicken cross the divide?

Farm manager Lawrence with his chicken entourage at Rouse Hill House and Farm. (c) Scott Hill, Sydney Living Museums

Farm manager Lawrence with his chicken entourage at Rouse Hill House and Farm. Photo Scott Hill © Sydney Living Museums

Chicken consumption has increased exponentially in Australia since the 1950s, when it was still a select, and for many families, special occasion or luxury food. Thanks to modern production techniques, chicken is now one of our cheapest meats [1].  Not only have chickens reduced in price, the ones we generally buy today have changed in size, form and flavour when compared with the chickens our grandparents were eating. Continue reading

The icing on the cake

Tot's wedding cake ready to serve at Meroogal. Photo © Scott Hill for Sydney Living Museums

With love in the air for Valentine’s Day and the flurry of ‘yes’ responses to marriage throughout the community, Sydney Living Museums’ Unlocked magazine (circulated to SLM Members) has a strong focus on romantic unions. Unsurprisingly, our interest in weddings turns to celebratory breakfasts and cake. Continue reading

Let’s talk turkey – brush style

Australian Brush-turkey (Alectra lathami) Photo Graham Winterhood 2017 via wiki commons.

While the now ubiquitous native ibis – affectionately (??) known as ‘the bin chicken’ – has made its mark as a Sydney icon in the delightful Alphabetical Sydney Creative Lab at the Museum of Sydney, the ‘brush’ turkey is enjoying its own share of media coverage, as it encroaches upon inner Sydney’s suburbs… Continue reading