History on the menu: colonial tastes in food and wine

History on the menu. Orange Wine Week 2014

History on the menu, Orange Wine Week, 2014. © Orange City Council

How can one refuse an invitation to a wine festival? Colonial gastronomy headed west to picturesque Orange, New South Wales, to support their Villages of the heart: telling rural stories project. Renowned as central New South Wales’ food bowl, the Orange district also boasts a vibrant ‘cold climate’ boutique wine industry.

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The ‘cocoanut’ ice challenge

Coconut ice

'Cocoanut' ice. Photo Jacqui Newling © Sydney Living Museums

“½ cup of milk, 2 cups of sugar, 25 grams copha, 3/4 cup of coconut. How hard can it be to make coconut ice?” For the past few months a dedicated team of passionate and curious volunteer cooks have been testing out manuscript recipes from our families’ collections. One of the team, Paula Southcombe, reflects on one of the more challenging recipes: Continue reading

Beating ’round the bush

'Rapid' rotary egg beater, c1950s.

'Rapid' rotary egg beater, c1950s. Photo © Sydney Living Museums

We’re all aware of food fads and trends, especially these days on our quest for anything new, different or with newly identified health attributes (hello kale!). But sometimes food trends are the result of changing technologies, enabling a particular dish or cooking technique to be widely accessed rather than be reserved for restaurants with commercial equipment, trained chefs or a fleet of kitchen hands (or servants as the case may have been in centuries past). Continue reading

The best laid plans…

Eggs from the chickens at Rouse Hill House and Farm

Eggs from the chickens at Rouse Hill House and Farm. Photo Scott Hill © Sydney Living Museums

“Nothing is worse than stale eggs” states Isabella Beeton,
“… stale, or even preserved eggs, are things to be run from, not after.”

I can imagine having to run after chickens but not eggs, but needless to say, fresh is always best. Continue reading