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

Insider stories

Cookbooks research

Jacqui Newling researching in the Caroline Simpson Library and Research Collection. Photo Scott Hill © Sydney Living Museums

My current research project (the outcomes of which will be revealed in the coming months – watch this space) has seen me revisit some wonderful personal accounts from Australians who lived ‘ordinary’, but to us, extraordinary, lives.  Continue reading

Farewell Dr Rowland, a rural village tribute

Action stations Behind the scenes at Farewell Dr Rowland colonial dinner Carcoar

Action stations! Behind the scenes at Farewell Dr Rowland colonial dinner, Carcoar. Photo Jacqui Newling © Sydney Living Musems

Much fun and fascination was had in the historic hamlet of Carcoar, New South Wales on the weekend, when local volunteers from the Carcoar Hospital Museum captured a moment in time in the town’s history, presenting an evening of entertainment based on an actual event held in the town’s Victoria hotel in 1867.  Continue reading

Colonial traipsings

Walnuts, two still inside their green husk.

Freshly gathered walnuts. Photo Jacqui Newling © Sydney Living Museums

I had the decidedly good fortune to be in Tasmania last week, taking in some of the convict and heritage areas around Hobart. With so many Georgian buildings, Hobart itself offers a glimpse of what the Sydney Cove settlement would have looked and felt like in its very early days. Continue reading

Look out below!!!

Two Corellas feasting on bunya cones at Elizabeth Farm. Photo Scott Hill © Sydney Living Museums

As this year’s Bunya season draws to a close it’s time to look at this extraordinary bush food, and its role both in Indigenous societies and in 19th century landscapes – just be careful not to stand too close! Continue reading

A sobering thought

Glasses and decanter

Glasses and decanter. Photo Scott Hill © Sydney Living Museums

‘The inhabitants of a beer-drinking or spirit drinking country will never possess the vivacity of those who live in a wine producing land’ Phillip Muskett, 1893

Visiting Orange during Wine Week encouraged me to reflect further on colonial wine culture. The Australian wine industry started with the first fleet, which arrived with grape vine cuttings in 1788.

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Ladies who lunched

The Womanhood Suffrage League of NSW

The Womanhood Suffrage League of NSW by Freeman Bros Studio, 1892. State Library of NSW ON 219/96

Nicola Teffer, curator of the Celestial City exhibition, is our guest blogger this week, giving us an insight into the ‘ladies who lunched’ in the late nineteenth century…
Sydney in the 1870s was no place for a lady. Not only were there no public toilets for women, the city offered few places where they could eat and drink.  Pubs were off-limits, and cafes, oyster saloons and cigar divans were a bit too racy for girls keen to protect their good reputations.

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