Historic Foodways Symposium: Saturday, March 31, 2012

My friends. Drop everything you’re doing and join me tomorrow at the Historic Foodways Symposium co-presented by Deborah Peterson and the Genesee Country Village and Museum.

If you have never been to the Genesee Country Village and Museum, you’re in for a treat. Re-enactors breathe life into history in one of the largest living history museums in the entire country. They have many historic buildings (many of which have been dismantled and re-constructed piece-by-piece on site), costumed interpreters, a nature center and the L. Wehle Art Gallery. On an every day occasion, the GCV is awesome. But tomorrow?

Tomorrow, Deborah Peterson of Deborah’s Pantry is co-hosting the most incredible opportunity for food and history geeks. There will be a full day of historic foodways demonstrations and discussions. There will be artisans and sutlers peddling their wares. Part of the symposium is dedicated to discussing Amelia Simmons: the first published American cookbook author.

Speaking of Amelia Simmons, her book was titled: American Cookery, or the art of dressing viands, fish, poultry, and vegetables, and the best modes of making pastes, puffs, pies, tarts, puddings, custards, and preserves, and all kinds of cakes, from the imperial plum to plain cake: Adapted to this country, and all grades of life. Until that time, cookbooks used by Americans were all British. The importance of Amelia Simmons is obvious. Here’s the kicker, though; Amelia Simmons is a virtual mystery. Aside from knowing she existed, not much else is known about her. Her byline on the book was “by Amelia Simmons: An American Orphan”. Woah. Anyone else super interested?

Yours truly will be there with bells on, ready to partake in the period receipts (AH. I can’t handle the historic lexicon. It’s too much excitement for my pea-sized brain! Can’t! Wait!) and drink in the knowledge. There will be cheesemaking, beer brewing and bread baking from the beer-brewing-castoffs. Oh gosh. Do join us. You’ll be so happy. And I’ll be so happy to see you there! Until tomorrow, friends!

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