Spring harvest festival Elizabeth Farm

Pickling workshop with Cornersmith at Elizabeth Farm Spring Harvest Festival Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

We’re gearing up for a fresh and tasty Spring Harvest Festival day at Elizabeth Farm this Sunday, September 25.  From the basics of bread making and butter churning to planting, pickling and preserving garden produce, we draw on traditional artisan practices that filled pantries in the colony in the early 1800s. Continue reading

Bread and dripping, an ‘institution’

Kim Connor's homemeade bread and dripping made using 19th-century methods. Photo © Kim Connor

Kim Connor is currently undertaking an internship at Hyde Park barracks as part of her research project ‘Feeding the confined’ for her honours studies in archaeology at Sydney University.  Kim’s particular interest is the diet of the women at Hyde Park barracks when it was the Immigration Depot and the Destitute Asylum between 1848 and 1886. Kim is our guest author this week, as with true gastronomic gusto, she not only reads about the types of food that the women ate, and how it was prepared, she attempts to recreate some of the food to support her thesis. What was the food like? Was it enough? And for today’s story – just how bad does bread and dripping taste? Continue reading

Sago plum pudding

Sago Plum Pudding. Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

With the winter solstice almost upon us my thoughts shift to foods that warm and nourish the soul. The Christmas style plum pudding was always intended as mid-winter fare and this variation on the plum pudding theme is simple to make, rich tasting and truly comforting to eat. Continue reading

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

To collar an eel

Eel dish belonging to the Rouse family. Rouse Hill House and Farm collection. Photo © Sydney Living Museums

Included in the line-up of ceremonies at Sydney Living Museums Eel festival this week included yours truly preparing a popular 19th-century delicacy, ‘collared eel’ following a recipe from 1816. Continue reading

Milling about

No.2 of panorama on two sheets, 1811 (detail). Hand-coloured engraving by John Heaviside Clark after John Eyre. Museum of Sydney Collection, © Sydney Living Museums

No city is without its skyscrapers, and Sydney is no exception. All eyes seem to be on the current developments at Barangaroo on the western foreshores below Millers Point, which itself was named after the sailed flour mill run by John Leighton – known as ‘Jack the Miller’.  Continue reading

A meat souffle

Meat souffle, made from a manuscript recipe in the Rouse Hill House and Farm collection. Photo Jacqui Newling © Sydney Living Museums

Adapting recipes for modern tastes is a challenge: we have expectations of what a dish should taste like, what it goes with, how and even when it should be eaten, which are generally culturally learned. There are recipes that are achievable but may not be deemed acceptable on all tables these days – jelly is a good example. It was once revered on the finest society tables but you’d rarely find jelly served anywhere but at children’s party or possibly at yum cha. Continue reading

Thatched house pie

Thatched Wheelright's Cottage, Easton, UK © Colin Smith and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Calling all cooks! I’ve had mixed success replicating old recipes, some working out better than others. Of late, a Thatched House Pie has proved to be something of a challenge for me, and is my current culinary conundrum. Continue reading