The Colonial Kitchen

Saturday night in a diggers hut (detail) 1865. Nicholas Chevalier in The Australian news for home readers. State Library of Victoria

While we’ve been dishing up small tasty morsels about food in colonial Australia, local Sydney author Charmaine O’Brien has created a banquet of tastes, both culinary and social, in her latest book, The Colonial Kitchen: Australia 1788- 1901. (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). Taking us from hearth-side cookery in bushman’s huts to the most elegant dining rooms in the land, this book introduces us to homely housewives, servants struggling trying to meet the culinary needs of the squattocracy, influential cookery writers and entrepreneurial restaurateurs. Continue reading

Australian tastes

'Pavlova' (detail) 1930s style. The new Goulburn cookery book, Edwards, Dunlop & coy, Sydney, 1937. © Sydney Living Museums.

Yes folks, it’s a pavlova – or at least we are told it is, in 1930s cook book such as The new Goulburn cookery book and The Presbyterian cookery book of good and tried recipes.
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Common sense cookery

Fort Street Public School - [cookery class], 1 Jan 1910, State Archives NSW, Digital ID: 15051_a047_005338

Thanks to the generosity of family descendants of Jenny ‘Dolly’ Youngein, who lived at Susannah Place in the early 1900s, we’ve been able to take a closer look into Dolly’s school cookery homework book, from 1912. We had previously only had a tantalising glimpse…

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Apple chutney (uncooked)

Golden Wattle cookery book apple chutney ingredients Photo © Jacqui Newling for Sydney Living Museums

I was drawn to this following recipe in Girlie Andersen’s copy of the Golden Wattle cookery book, circa 1948, as it requires no cooking. Instead, it uses the natural processes of alchemy and time Continue reading

Cheese darling?

'Cheese darlings' from Mrs Maclurcan's Cookery Book, 1905. Photo © Jacqui Newling

How many of us grew up with ‘Cheds’ or Savoury Shapes (the original ones, not the later barbeque or pizza versions)? While cheese with biscuits or crackers has been around for centuries, whoever got the bright idea of putting the cheese in the biscuit was really onto something.  Continue reading

Eat your history – the book!

Jacqui Newling, author of Eat your history: stories and recipes from Australian kitchens Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Handwritten recipes passed through the generations, tales of goats running wild in colonial gardens and early settlers’ experimentation with native foods…
Eat your history dishes up stories and recipes for Australian kitchens and dining tables from 1788 to the 1950s.

Jacqui Newling, resident gastronomer at Sydney Living Museums, invites you to share forgotten tastes and lost techniques, and to rediscover some delicious culinary treasures. Continue reading

Salad days

All the makings of an heirloom salad in the kitchen garden at Vaucluse House

All the makings of an heirloom salad in the kitchen garden at Vaucluse House. Photo © Stuart Miller for Sydney Living Museums

As the new year kicks in and the temperature rises, January is salad time for most Australians, as a meal in itself or along side anything that can be barbequed!  Continue reading

Just kidding

Children in front of whitewashed house with bark roof Hill End, American & Australasian Photographic Company, 1870-1875

Children in front of whitewashed house with bark roof, Hill End by the American & Australasian Photographic Company, 1870-1875. State Library of NSW ON 4 Box 10 No 70167

This month we’re celebrating the versatile goat with a special Colonial Gastronomy program at Vaucluse House, complete with butchering and cheesemaking workshops with guest presenters Grant Hilliard from Feather and Bone and artisan goats-cheese maker Karen Borg from Willowbrae chevre cheese.   Continue reading