adventure, books, england, travel, vacation

Personal reading history

Happy Valentine's Day! I've been hunkered down at home with a nasty virus, and the wintry mix outside isn't doing much to make things feel more festive. So instead, I've been daydreaming about our summer honeymoon in England. Josh and I have been studying guidebooks galore, making lists of places to see and trading visions… Continue reading Personal reading history

19th century, 20th century, adventure, afternoon adventure, family, ohio

Afternoon Adventure: The Tavern Club

Happy December! I've just returned from a whirlwind trip home to Cleveland for Thanksgiving, and it was wonderful to see family and take long walks and eat lots of delicious (modern) food. Around the holidays we often reflect on the past--not only our recent past and childhoods, but the "family past," stories about my grandfather's… Continue reading Afternoon Adventure: The Tavern Club

activities, adventure, afternoon adventure, honesty, newport, rhode island, spring, victorians

Afternoon Adventure: Servant Life Tour at The Elms

I want to say something meaningful about all this horrifying news coming out of Boston, but I can't find the words. There's only so much sadness I can take in at a time, especially when it's on such a vast scale as the Marathon and a citywide manhunt. At some point I just need to… Continue reading Afternoon Adventure: Servant Life Tour at The Elms

adventure, around the roman table, books, childhood, farmers market, meat, school, teaching

The Ancient Table: Roast boar

Obelix with dinnerI have this habit of getting totally immersed in whatever topic I'm teaching in history. The Declaration of Independence? Let's watch 1776! Ancient Greece? Let's check out The Odyssey from the library! The Gupta empire? Let's eat Indian food for a week!For the past couple of weeks, the cogs of my "immersion" brain have been… Continue reading The Ancient Table: Roast boar

activities, adventure, family, honesty, rhode island, travel

Afternoon adventure: Blithewold Mansion & Gardens

One of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon (especially in the gloomy winter months) is visiting house museums. Typically these are grand old mansions that have been converted into museums for the public, like the mansions in Newport. Lissa and I grew up visiting 19th-century mansions, and we loved wandering the halls, admiring the… Continue reading Afternoon adventure: Blithewold Mansion & Gardens

adventure, baking, britain, dessert, dining at downton, disaster, edwardians, escoffier, family, fruit, holidays, victorians, winter

Dining at Downton: How to serve plum pudding

We had a relatively quiet Christmas here in Ohio, seeing family and telling funny stories and going for long, snowy walks and eating good food. As per tradition, we served plum pudding for dessert on Christmas night, along with a lot of other treats (frosted cookies, red velvet cake, petit fours...). We don't mess around… Continue reading Dining at Downton: How to serve plum pudding

adventure, baking, britain, dessert, dining at downton, edwardians, escoffier, family, fruit, holidays, victorians, winter

Dining at Downton: How to steam plum pudding

On Saturday we talked about how to make your own plum pudding, the most classic of British holiday desserts. (Yes, I am still wondering where the plums are in the recipe.) Today we'll discuss the cooking process, which is a rather elaborate steaming method. It requires parchment paper, cooking twine, a water bath, and lots… Continue reading Dining at Downton: How to steam plum pudding

adventure, baking, britain, dessert, dining at downton, edwardians, escoffier, family, fruit, holidays, victorians, winter

Dining at Downton: How to make plum pudding

This time of year, my family is all about tradition. Previously I wrote about the Brunswick stew we've kept from my mom's side of the family, though I tested out a Williamsburg variation of the recipe. That's still on the menu this year. My sister and I maintain important traditions like decorating the tree while… Continue reading Dining at Downton: How to make plum pudding