beverages, books, medieval cookery, winter

Winter is coming

But really, it's here.Last weekend Josh and I hosted two separate gatherings of friends to play the Game of Thrones board game. This is a complicated, multiplayer game where folks play as the houses (House Stark, for example) from the books by George R.R. Martin. Each house aims to capture seven castles, all while dealing… Continue reading Winter is coming

18th century, activities, childhood, crafts, holidays, vacation, winter

Colonial Craft: Pomanders

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and that you're settling into 2014. I spent Christmas with my family in Ohio, listening to my dad's beloved Ray Conniff Singers and cooking up a storm. We spent many an evening by the fire and even processed maple syrup in one long day… Continue reading Colonial Craft: Pomanders

activities, canning, family, history lesson, homesteading, maple syrup, ohio, spring, winter

Maple sugaring (II)

Last week I wrote about my family's maple sugaring tradition. Today I'll add an amendment: while we love most of the maple sugaring process (tapping trees, collecting sap, boiling it down in the evaporator), we have a hard time with one part: finishing the syrup.This is the part where the syrup has been boiled to… Continue reading Maple sugaring (II)

books, childhood, history lesson, little house on the prairie, winter

Scarlet fever and other Little House stories

We're battening down the hatches here in Rhode Island: there's a blizzard on the way! Josh and I both have a snow day (it never gets old), and we're planning on waiting out the storm with movies, books, and cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven.Winter storms always make me think of Laura Ingalls Wilder's The Long… Continue reading Scarlet fever and other Little House stories

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