Sharing the joy – with pudding.

Mrs. Macpherson's cookery class: the Christmas pudding [detail]. Alfred May and Alfred Martin Ebsworth. Australasian Sketcher, December 20, 1879. State Library of Victoria. A/S20/12/79/145

Mrs. Macpherson's cookery class: the Christmas pudding [detail]. Alfred May and Alfred Martin Ebsworth. Australasian Sketcher, December 20, 1879. State Library of Victoria. A/S20/12/79/145

Judging by the fashionable dress of the women in Mrs Macpherson’s plum pudding class shown above, the traditional plum pudding was a standard requirement, if not the centrepiece, on all the best tables. But in the true spirit of Christmas, our archives tell us that the less fortunate were also tucking in to the classic plum pud!

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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

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

A devilish dish for Halloween

Devilled bones made from an 1850s recipe in the Rouse Hill House and Farm collection. Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Devilled bones made from an 1850s recipe in the Rouse Hill House and Farm collection. Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

If you’re celebrating Halloween this weekend, add some devilishly simple ‘devilled bones’ to the menu (recipe below). They make a nice change from the now ubiquitous honey-soy chicken legs and winglets, and are great for kids and adults alike.

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All a-buzz with honey from the kitchen garden

Bee skep (detail) in Jeremy L Cross, ‘The true Masonic chart’ AS Barnes and Co, New York, 1855. Courtesy State Library of New South Wales call number T0402300

Bee skep (detail) in Jeremy L Cross, ‘The true Masonic chart’ AS Barnes and Co, New York, 1855. Courtesy State Library of New South Wales call number T0402300

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.

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