Annapolis Colonial Cooking Lecture

I was lucky enough to be asked by a friend to give a lecture on Colonial Food in Maryland with her at the Annapolis Library Monday night. My good friend Katy gave the lecture portion and I did the demonstrating. I must let you know that I have some of the smartest friends in the world, well, at least I think so and Katy is definitely one of them! She was able to put together a fantastic visual power point show using a great amount of pictures that she herself took, intermingled with pictures of period paintings and drawings. I know how daunting it is to try and put everything into a 20 minute lecture when you could easily spend 20 minutes on each portion of historic cookery, but she did it.

Katy and I thought over what we could “cook” with no fire. We went through many things but settled on Butter and Mustard. Many of you who have made butter are thinking “How did you accomplish all that goes into butter making in 20 minutes and still have time to make mustard?”. Well, it is simple really, I made the butter prior to the lecture and had a child help me salt and pat the butter for the demonstration. Even doing that ahead of time, we still did not complete the butter process but we did have fun. The young man who was my helper in this got splashed with butter milk but was so good about it. We even put the butter in my new mold and although the butter was still wet it did hold the form pretty well.

My helpers were a troop of Cub Scouts. They were so well behaved and seemed to have a lot of fun. They all got to take turns making the mustard. They seemed to relish in using the mortar and pestle. I told them this is a good way to build muscles. I told their parents to get one for it will tire them out, smiles abound among the parents. The mustard was made by just taking mustard seeds and soaking them in wine over night till they swelled and were able to be squashed between my fingers. Then one just puts the seeds into the mortar and mash it. It takes patience if you want a smooth mustard but if you like a seedy mustard you can stop at any time. To hurry up the process I pulled my own son up from the audience to really work the mustard. Poor guy, he is such a trooper and helps me out…never a scout but alway what a scout strives to be!

We were allowed to have a tasting. Katy made colonial Lemonade and from the scouts reactions they thought it was the best. She also made a seed cake. I have to confess I bought bread from a bakery for the butter and mustard tasting. The butter was a huge hit. Many had forgotten how good fresh butter tastes. The mustard was a surprise to them. Many were expecting that “mustard” taste but making mustard from seeds is very tangy and not like French’s at all. We all enjoyed ourselves and hope that we will be asked back again.

Published in: on May 15, 2008 at 3:20 pm  Comments (2)