What’s Cooking in the Kitchen? Part 4


This beautiful deep amber Pear Marmalade was made by Journeyman Kimberly Costa. It is part of a desert course presented at the Wythe kitchen.  Marmalades were not just for oranges.  The word is used to describe thickly cooked fruits, that would commonly be called preserves today.  There were also jams and conserves, but jellies were not clear fruit cooked in sugar, but gelatins.  Common marmalades included the traditional orange, quince, pear, apple, apricot, raspberry, strawberry and peach.




























With the arrival of Autumn comes root vegetables and a staff favorite: Roots a la Crème. This lovely dish was made by Apprentice Tyler Wilson.  Any root vegetable will do, though the recipe goes best with turnips, parsnips or carrots. Try your …

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Posted: November 4th, 2018 in Research and Foodways News, What's Cooking in the Kitchen? | 1 comment

What’s Cooking in the Kitchen? Part 3

This week Journeyman Barbara Sherer celebrated Fall with a beauty of a salad.  Modern folks often take salad for granted, forgetting that leafy lettuces are only available in the spring and fall months.  No cucumbers and tomatoes in this salad either. The vegetables do not grow during the same season. Though there are a few raw recipes, vegetables tend to be cooked, including lettuce. This typical recipe for a salad comes from Adam’s luxury, and Eve’s cookery; or, the kitchen-garden display’d. In two parts. I… 1744, page 201.











Our second dish, A Pottage of Cheese, was made by Apprentice Tiffany Fisk. The recipe comes from The complete practical cook: or, a new system of the whole art and mystery of cookery… by Charles Carter, 1730, page 33.  This recipe …

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Posted: October 29th, 2018 in Research and Foodways News, What's Cooking in the Kitchen?

What’s Cooking in the Kitchen? Part 2

This week Journeyman Kimberly Costa gave a nod to our Scottish Governor, Lord Dunmore, by trying her hand at a traditional Black Bun, or Scottish Bun, as they are called today.  The original recipe, To Make a Rich Bun, come from, by Susanna MacIver, 1789, pages 183-185.  Kim chose to do mini versions instead of one big bun.



Also baking this week was Apprentice Tyler Wilson.  His recipe is a traditional Mince Meat Pie, which he has to make several times as part of his apprenticeship program.  By the mid 18th century actual meat, usually beef, was actually an optional ingredient, with the apples, currants, raisins, sugar, spice, fat and brandy still included.  Tyler chose to go the more traditional route and use thin slice of beef tongue in the pie.  This recipe comes from The …

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Posted: October 24th, 2018 in Research and Foodways News, What's Cooking in the Kitchen? | 1 comment

What’s Cooking in the Kitchen? Part 1

This is the first posting in a new blog series called “What’s Cooking in the Kitchen?” which will highlight dishes and happenings for those of you wishing to have more Historic Foodways in your daily life.  We hope to post recipes, fun findings, new research and special programs that we think you many enjoy.  For our first posting you’ll be happy to know fall has officially arrived here at Colonial Williamsburg. So, what better way to celebrate the cooler weather than a classic pea soup?  This creamy version is thickened simply by running the peas through a hair sieve after cooking.


Some of our favorite recipes highlight the international influences to our Gentry tables.  This recipe for Mutton the Turkish Way,  also called A Turkish Dish, can also be made with thin strips of beef.  The ingredients are a …

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Posted: October 15th, 2018 in Research and Foodways News, What's Cooking in the Kitchen?

Eggs in Paper Cases

There are several recipes that Historic Foodways staff members create which prompt frequent requests for cooking instructions.  Eggs in Paper Cases is one of them.  This delightfully simple recipe is not only tasty, but fun and easy to do.  The one mystery?  The book neglects to tell one how to make, buy or even what the paper cases look like.  We guess that’s a mystery left to the mists of time.  If you wish to have a little more fun, we suggest you create your own origami boxes for the recipe.




Oeufs en Caises. Eggs in Paper-Cases.

From The Practice of Modern Cookery, by George Dalrymple, 1781.

Mix some chopt sweet-herbs with a piece of butter, pepper, and salt; put a little of this in the bottom of each case; break an egg into each case, …

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Posted: September 30th, 2018 in Side dish | 2 comments

Pub Crawl for our Newest Beer- Friday, August 3, 2018


Please join Master of Historic Foodways on Friday, August 3, 2018 as we celebrate the arrival to our beer family- the Duke of Dilemma.  Joining Frank will be Geoff Logan from Alewerks, the producers of our Historic Beers.

The pub crawl begins at Shields Tavern at 7:00 p.m. and will conclude at Chowing’s Garden at 7:45 p.m.  Along the way you will get to learn about the new seasonal line of beers, as well as tasting the final product.

The beer, apply named  Duke of Dilemma, is a pale ale based on a recipe in from the Theory and Practice of Brewing, by Michael Combrune , published in 1762. It is a light refreshing traditional British style pale ale made with traditional malt and hops and a classic  West country ale yeast.

Tickets are available for sale on the …

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Posted: July 24th, 2018 in Research and Foodways News

Join us for Ales Through The Ages, October 19-21, 2018


Join us for an exciting weekend of beer and history! Beer is the oldest recorded recipe in the world. The ancient Egyptians first documented the brewing process on papyrus scrolls around 5,000 B.C. Then, beer eventually made its way from the Middle East across the Mediterranean to Europe, where it became an integral part of life and was valued both for its nutritional value and as a safe alternative to contaminated drinking water. Beer arrived in the New World with the first European colonists and Americans have been brewing ever since.

Ales through the Ages offers a journey through the history of beer with some of the world’s top beer scholars. We will explore ancient ales and indigenous beers of the past, examine the origins of brewing and discover the ingredients brewers have used through time. Don’t miss your …

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Posted: May 21st, 2018 in Research and Foodways News

Yams and Sweet Potatoes are the Same Thing, Right?


The simple answer would be no.

Today in the United States the USDA requires the name yam to be joined with the word sweet potato. But, true yams are a form of an edible tuber and a monocot (having one embryonic seed leaf) from the Dioscoreaceae family. Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, are a dicot (having two embryonic seed leaves) and are from the Convolvulacea family, or morning glory family. So then, where did the origins of the name yam come from? By the 1580’s the word igname, from the Portuguese word inhame, or Spanish igname, originated from a West African language. It was a mispronunciation of the term “to eat” and is probably the source of the American word “yam”.

There are hundreds of varieties of yams, with most of them grown in Africa, …

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Posted: May 15th, 2018 in Research and Foodways News, Vegetables

What’s Going On?

From time to time we’d like to let you know what’s going on with Historic Foodways. March has been quite a busy month for us.



On Tuesday, March 13, 2018 we had a group of six graduate students from Washington College join us for a week of hands-on learning. The students were a part of a partnered program between Colonial Williamsburg and Washington College. During their visit, the students participated in a variety of hands-on learning experiences that centered on the life of a Revolutionary war soldier: from the foundry, coopers, and artificers to the shoemakers, blacksmiths and the Palace kitchen. During their two hours with Journeyman Kimberly Costa the students learned the importance of chocolate as, not only a breakfast drink, but for medicinal uses and military rations. The students went through all stages of making chocolate, …

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Posted: March 29th, 2018 in Research and Foodways News

A Curious Way to Make an Omelet

Kimberly Costa, Journeyman, Historic Foodways

Sweetbreads en Gordineere

From The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, Hannah Glasse, 1788 edition

Take three sweetbreads and parboil them, take a stew-pan and lay layers of bacon or ham and veal, over that lay the sweetbreads on with the upper side downwards, put a layer of veal and bacon over them, a pint of veal broth, three or four blades of mace, stew them gently three quarters of an hour; take the sweetbreads out, strain off the gravy through a sieve, and skim off the fat; make an aumlet of yolks of eggs in the following manner: beat up four yolks of eggs, put two in a plate, and put them over a stew pan of water boiling over the fire, put another plate over it, and it will soon be …

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Posted: February 28th, 2018 in Research and Foodways News