Eating modern

The kitchen and servery at Rose Seidler House Photo © Nicholas Watt for Sydney Living Museums (detail)

We’re ‘thoroughly modern’ here at SLM, with The Morderns: European designers in Sydney and Marion Hall Best: interiors exhibitions in full swing at Museum of Sydney. Modernism came into its own on our shores with European émigré architects, interior designers and furniture makers working in the 1930s to 1960s. Not only did modernism change the way we live, it changed the way we cook and eat.  Continue reading

Country hospitality

The way eggs should be - 'Hillingdon eggs' boxed by hand in recycled cartons, collected by Izzy and Lil. Donated by Michelle Pearce for an eat your history workshop, Orange, NSW. Photo © Jacqui Newling for Sydney Living Museums

Yours truly, ‘the Cook’ has been eating up the country miles with a visit to Forbes and Orange in New South Wales Central West. Continue reading

The Colonial Kitchen

Saturday night in a diggers hut (detail) 1865. Nicholas Chevalier in The Australian news for home readers. State Library of Victoria

While we’ve been dishing up small tasty morsels about food in colonial Australia, local Sydney author Charmaine O’Brien has created a banquet of tastes, both culinary and social, in her latest book, The Colonial Kitchen: Australia 1788- 1901. (Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). Taking us from hearth-side cookery in bushman’s huts to the most elegant dining rooms in the land, this book introduces us to homely housewives, servants struggling trying to meet the culinary needs of the squattocracy, influential cookery writers and entrepreneurial restaurateurs. Continue reading

A search for Mrs Gaffney, c 1890s, Tamworth.

Mrs Gaffney's date and nut cake from Eat your history, stories and recipes from Australian kitchens. (SLM and NewSouth Publishing, 2015). Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Regular readers may remember we’ve been on a quest to identify some of the contributors the Meroogal manuscript recipe collection. The recipes appear to date from the 1890s. We do feel we might be on the right track Continue reading

The convict diet

Historical reenactors assemble outside Hyde Park Barracks. Photo © Fiona Morris for Sydney Living Museums

According to Francois-Maurice Lepailleur, a convict living at the Hyde Park barracks in 1840, “You don’t starve but you’re always hungry.” So what did convicts eat at Hyde Park barracks in the when it was home to over 600 male convict workers at any one time?
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