Bread to strengthen mans heart

"Bread to strengthen mans heart", frontispiece in Eliza Acton, The English bread-book for domestic use, Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans & Roberts, London, 1857. Google Books

In these days of supermarkets, bakeries and bread makers we can easily forget how the simple act of baking bread has been a feature of life for thousands of years. 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

Anzacs in civvies

Anzac biscuits

Anzac biscuits. Photo © Jacqui Newling

It’s Anzac week and as Sydney and surrounds grapple with a third day of wild rain storms, we can barely complain when we think of what conditions front-line soldiers endure for weeks, sometimes months, on end. Many of us take added comfort on Anzac Day, from baking Anzac biscuits, which fills the kitchen with inviting aromas. Continue reading

All a flutter

Detail of the pigeon cote at Belgenny

Detail of the pigeon cote at Belgenny. Photo © Scott Hill

One of the dishes that features in the 1859 Macleay menu created quite a discussion this week – pate de pigeon. Its a prime example of how language changes, and how you can’t always take what’s written at face value. Continue reading

Suet-able for the modern table?

Baked apple dumplings

Baked apple dumplings. Photo Jacqui Newling © Sydney Living Museums

With the weather cooling and rain keeping our family (happily!) indoors for much of the Easter break, I seized the opportunity to revisit some old fashioned comfort foods. The nip in the April air inspired me to make some traditional suet ‘crust’ recipes.  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

Previously on the menu