A hive of industry, and busy as a bee – the work of the humble ‘bumble’ and ‘honey’ bee is extraordinary – their efforts providing honey for sweet treats, such as the honey toffee (recipe below) and bees wax, highly coveted for candles in our colonial past. But more importantly, bees are integral to agriculture, and our own survival, globally.
In many of our recreated 19th century table settings you’ll see my favourite napkin-fold, the lotus. It may look fiendish, but its actually very straightforward. Why not give it a go? Continue reading
Returning to our colonial spice-box this week, we’re indulging in nutmeg and its lesser known botanical companion, mace. Mace was equally, if not more prevalent in the 18th and 19th century recipes.
‘Let them see how like England we can be’
Following on from last week’s post about The Australian International Exhibition 1879-1880, the event was highly lacking in local flavour (a condition that many would argue is still the case today)… Continue reading
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
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
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
Kim Connor is an Honours student in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Sydney. Her thesis, ‘Feeding the confined’ is an analysis of the animal bone from Hyde Park barracks in order to investigate the diet of the women of the Immigration Depot and the Destitute Asylum (1848-1886).
By studying the bones, I’m discovering other unofficial ways that the women supplemented and varied their diets. One of the big surprises has been how much evidence there is for meat that wasn’t on the official ration: rabbit, chicken and other fowl, oysters and even crab! Explaining why there is a difference between the archaeological record and the historical sources is key to understanding how these institutions worked, and the experience of the women who lived there.
At Elizabeth Farm we’re gearing up for the Spring Harvest festival on the 25th of September, and the chard is putting on a fine show! Continue reading
If pepper is the king of spices and cardamom the queen, cinnamon in my mind, must be the princess – delicate, sweet and fair. And if this were a fairy tale, cassia would be her ‘illegitimate’ step sister … bold and brash, without cinnamon’s grace and refinement. Continue reading