A Colonial Dinner

[slickr-flickr tag=”osv-dinner-2016″]

Saturday I took part in a Colonial Dinner at the Parsonage in Old Sturbridge Village. It was an amazing evening. Four interpreters and 14 of us prepared and ate a meal over the course of 4 hours.

Cooking was entirely at the hearth and using the brick oven. Everything was by candlelight using period utensils, cooking vessels, and recipes. No measuring cups or flashlights. The chicken was hand turned in a tin oven facing the fire, soup was cooked in a kettle over the fire. Other dishes were cooked in covered kettles on trivets over burning coals on the hearth. Everything was prepared with knives and wooden spoons made in the village. The tinware and redware were also made in the village. The pies and biscuits were baked in the oven heated by a wood fire that was then shoveled out with the coals added to the fireplace. We even washed and rinsed the cookware in tin basins. Everything was made from scratch..

The menu was:

potted cheese
mulled cider
squash soup with toasted bread garnish
parsnips in milk
roast chickens on a spit
stuffing with onion
carrots cooked under the chickens
beef collops with apple and onion
red cabbage with port
cranberry sauce
apple pie with cheddar cheese
floating island
hot chocolate

Mariner’s Museum – Norfolk, Virginia


This morning was market day. After a prolonged perusal of wares at Williamsburg, I took a trip to the Knitting Sisters and acquired a (ahem) modicum of fiber.

In the afternoon I drove to the Mariner’s Museum which houses the remains of the Civil War battleship USS Monitor. If your remember your Civil War history, this was the ironclad ship dubbed cheesebox on a raft.

Turret Replica
Replica of the Monitor’s gun turret. The original is on site in a massive desalinization tank.

Carved Figurehead
Carved Figurehead

Colonial Williamsburg

Today I spent the whole day at Williamsburg. Even though this is a second visit, I’m finding more and more to do here.

Today started with another long visit to the Palace kitchens.
Palace Kitchen

Then a Crystal Concert that included a glass harmonica, a glass bowed psaltery, a set of glass bells for ringing, and a glass violin.
Glass Harmonica
I then took a behind the scenes tour of the stables and carriage house.

After a dinner at the King’s Arms Tavern and a fine glass of ale, I attended A Grand Medley at the Kimble Theatre and laughed so hard that my ribs ache two hours later. Take one down on its luck 1790 theatre troupe, two German twins, three Cherokee Indians, a ferocious porcupine, puppets, a juggler, and mix well with other assorted mayhem. Irma Vep seems like Shakespeare’s King Lear by comparison.

Mount Vernon & Colonial Williamsburg


After 23 episodes of the KnitPicks podcasts on Friday night and Saturday morning, I reached Mount Vernon this morning. The weather is grayish and blustery, but the rain is holding off.

Mount Vernon Peace Dove Weathervane
Mount Vernon Peace Dove Weathervane

Martha Washington
Martha Washington

The sign of the day was spotted in the Mount Vernon Museum. Please don’t photograph George Washington’s teeth.

I also stopped at Arlington National Cemetery to pay my respects.
Grave Marker


Blue Canteen
Blue Canteen hanging in Revolutionary encampment

Notice Board
Williamsburg Notice Board

Tailor working in the window of his shop.
Pocket Detail 1 Pocket Detail 2
Man’s Weskit – Pocket Details

Court Room at the Capitol
Court Room at the Capitol