Dolly’s cookbook

Portrait of Hugo Youngein with his children, Herbert on the left and Jenny on the right.

Herbert, Hugo & Jenny Ljunggren (Youngein), c1910. Susannah Place Museum Collection © Sydney Living Museums

Dolly’s ‘Cooking homework book’ is 101 years old. Jenny (known as Dolly) Youngein (pictured, right) lived in Susannah Place at 64 Gloucester Street, where her parents ran the corner shop from 1904. Dolly was 12 years old when she created the book. It is still in her family’s possession and is a treasured memento of her childhood. Continue reading

‘An Gorta Mor’ the great hunger

An empty plate and spoon, part of the Irish Famine Memorial.

Australian Monument to the Great Irish Famine at Hyde Park Barracks. Photo Alysha Buss © HHT

Food is never more important as when there isn’t any. The earliest years of settlement in Sydney were dogged by the very real fear of running out of food supplies for the colony, but the most significant effect of famine on colonial Australia was as a result of the chronic ‘potato famine’ in Ireland, which occurred in the late 1840s. St Patrick’s Day seemed to be a good day to pay tribute to the many ‘Irish Marys’ who made their way though Hyde Park Barracks, where they maintain a strong presence in the museum’s stories. Continue reading

Upstairs, downstairs: 130 years in the basement

The houses in Susannah Place were designed with basement kitchens, with access to the rest of the house via a frighteningly steep and narrow external staircase. Each kitchen had an open fireplace which before long was fitted with a fuel cooking stove that would warm the living spaces above in winter, but add to the heat and discomfort in summer. Unsurprisingly, as technology allowed, the basement kitchens were abandoned in favour of internal kitchens on the same level as living areas. No. 58 was the exception, and its basement kitchen was in use from 1844 to 1974. Continue reading

Susannah Place: a cooking chronology

Susannah Place shop window, showing old fashioned goods for sale, re-created to c1915.

A peek into the corner shop at Susannah Place. Photo © Christopher Shain

Susannah Place conjures the essence of autumn, with its paint peeling, its colours fading, but leaving us with a glimmer of when the houses were busy with the daily lives of its tenants.  This diminutive row of four inner-city terrace houses in Sydney’s Rocks has seen generations of change, not least revealed in its kitchens and dining spaces.

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The Governor’s table

A view of old Government House in 1845, with two cames shown in front.

[Philip Gidley and Anna Josepha King, and their children Elizabeth, Anna Maria and Phillip Parker], Robert Dighton, 1799. Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW: ML 1244

Today’s post is brought to you by our guest blogger, HHT Historian, Jane Kelso whose exhaustive research on first Government House includes a fascination with the various Governors’ dining practices – and their guests! Continue reading

Jane Kelso

Photograph of HHT Historian Jane Kelso.

Historian Jane Kelso at Vaucluse House. Photo © James Horan

Jane developed a love of old buildings and the past growing up in a landscape of old country homesteads and Horbury Hunt woolsheds and churches near a country town whose glory days were ‘history’. Continue reading