Blazing saddles!

A Victorian style luncheon featuring a saddle of lamb (right). Photo © Jacqui Newling for Sydney Living Museums

Now rarely seen in its traditional form, a saddle of lamb or mutton was a prestigious cut of meat that was highly fashionable on colonial tables in the late 1800s. Continue reading

A picnic at Lucknow

Old fashioned sticky buns at the Wentworth picnic at Lucknow, NSW. Photo © Jacqui Newling, Sydney Living Museums

On the Queen’s birthday holiday on Tuesday May 24, 1887, the miners at the Wentworth goldfields experienced a ‘unique and enjoyable event’ – a picnic with their families, hosted by the mine manager, Henry Newman and his wife.  Continue reading

A gourmet in the gold mines

Butcher's shamble, nr. Adelaide Gully, Forrest Creek. S.T.Gill.National Library Australia. Rex Nan Kivell Collection ; NK586/15

If I was going to do a ‘Julie and Julia’, the book I’d want to work through is Modern cookery for private families, first published 1845 by Eliza Acton’s (1799-1859). It is written with eloquence and grace, and with practical descriptions of mid-1800s English cookery.
It was sold in bookshops in the colony, and was the ‘go to’ cook book for prospector William Howitt, in the Ballarat goldfields in 1853.  Continue reading

Reconstructing dinner in the Hyde Park Barracks destitute asylum

Dinner bowl (reconstructed) used in the Hyde Park Asylum for aged and destitute women, 1862-1886, excavated from beneath the floorboards at Hyde Park Barracks. UF9831c. Photo © Jamie North

Archaeology Honours reasearcher  Kim Connor joins us again with her recreation of a typical dinner served to women living in Hyde Park barracks in the Destitute Asylum and Immigration Depot in the 1880s.  Continue reading

‘Gather in to grace our feast’

Burning of the Garden Palace, Sydney, September 22, 1882, as seen from Macquarie Street. Gibbs, Shallard & Co., 1882. Supplement to the Illustrated News, October 25, 1882. Image courtesy National Library Australia. PIC Drawer 2505 #S3158

In September 1879 Sydney presented itself on the world stage by hosting an ambitious International Exhibition, which ran until April 1880. The exhibition was held  with typical Victorian pomp,  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