Colonial Innkeeper's Pie
1 1/2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 cup water
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter
Melt chocolate in water. Add sugar and bring to a boil. Stir constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and set aside.
1 cup flour, sifted
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 unbaked 9-inch pie shell
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt. Add shortening, milk and vanilla extract. Beat 2 minutes. Add egg and beat. Pour batter into pie shell. Stir chocolate sauce and pour carefully over batter. Sprinkle with walnuts. Bake at 350 degrees F for 50-60 minutes.
Winter Tea Party winners: Angela's book,THE SCARLET COAT, will go to: Print copy- Andrea Stephens; e-book copy - Catherine Wight!
LUCY REYNOLDS has a table topper quilt on the way, and winners of the Valentine Ebook Collection are: Deanna Stevens, Caryl Kane, Anne Payne and Winnie Thomas. With thanks to all who joined in!
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
|Historical Society of Windham, ME|
c. 1833 school house
|Glastonbury, CT Historical Society Building|
Welles Shipman Ward House, c. 1755
Other information that I have accessed online, and have by visiting local historical societies during my research are their publications. You may have seen some of these books on town histories that have been published in recent years. Sometimes special books will be printed for centennial celebrations. My favorites are town history books that were written hundreds of years ago, available at Google Books or Internet Archive. I have found many items that have prompted scenes and even stories. Census and marriage records are also a great way to get authentic character names that were used in the locale. These, too, are kept and sometimes published online by historical societies.
Historical societies are categorized by town, county, region, and state. Most towns have a society, many have have buildings where information is archived, many have small museums, and often they a web presence. State government websites usually provide a list and town websites will often have a link.
A word of caution. Each society has their own guidelines for queries. Some are free, sometimes they charge. Societies are usually operated by volunteers, some with much knowlege and some are there just holding down the fort. So be as specific as possible and ask to speak with the historian who has research knowledge in that category.
Also, keep an eye on historical society events calendars. I've attending several events through the years that have been educational and given me much inspiration for writing.
Remember, the mission of historical societies is to preserve and record the past ~ an excellent resource to access when authenticating your novel.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
In the 17th century, laws were established to curb lewd behavior and licenses were required. Strict enforcement was in effect, but varied from town to town. Most of these tavern laws reflected those being passed simultaneously in England. Ordinances were passed to limit the amount of time local patrons could be in a tavern in an attempt to limit drinking.
For example, in New England, Massachussets, an ordinance passed prohibiting citizens from visiting a tavern longer than an hour, not past 9 pm or sunset, and they could not drink more than one-half pint at one sitting. The exception to these laws were travelers who were obviously exempt.
Written descriptions and various paintings leave us with a glimpse of how some of these first colonial taverns looked. Most were of large, but plain rooms lit by candle sticks and a wall sconce. Activity centered around one long wooden table, men sitting on wooden stools, and bread trenchers for plates.
An archaeological excavation of a Cape Cod tavern operating 1690-1740 revealed that the first floor of the building consisted of two public rooms on each side of the chimney. Other items escavated on the site, consisted of wine bottles and glasses, English coins, ceramics imported from England, salt-glazed stoneware, and locally made redware. Other site excavations have produced and an assortment of pottery shards, drinking equipment, kitchen and eating utensils.
George Plimn of Philadelphia owned a small tavern/inn. When he died in 1773, he left a small estate of 54 pounds. His public rooms consisted of a walnut desk and table with six chairs, a nest of drawers, fireplace equipment, a pair of fire buckets, four framed pictures, trade tools, pewter measures, four case bottles, a keg, and three glasses, a pair of scales and measures, a pistol, and a brass lock for the desk. The majority of his investments were in 60 gallons of rum stored in the cellar. His back rooms were simply furnished with a bed and table for guests.
As towns grew in population and taverns multiplied in number, these laws relaxed and so did the enforcement of them by the mid to late18th century. Urban taverns were often rental spaces with the tavern keeper living there and operating business, while rural taverns were most likely operated in the owner's home. Unlike rural places, tavern keeping provided an individual a middle occupation and a steadier income than agriculture and many other labors.
Tavern keepers varied in how well they did, and it depended upon one's business management skills and how he invested his funds, as well as the nature of his clientele. For instance, one tavern keeper in Philadelphia owned two horses and cows, 60 ounces of silver objects, a traveling chair and three slaves in 1791, while another tavern keeper in the same city had only one cow, and no silver or slaves.
Small taverns were called grog shops, slop shops, and tippling houses, and were clustered along the docks of colonial port cities. They catered to transient seamen, and day laborers, and served beverages under the counter to servants, apprentices, and were houses of ill-repute for prostitution. Unlike in earlier colonial days, these taverns frequently operated without a license and many of their keepers were former sailors. These taverns were also the place for drunken brawls and physical violence.
Taverns in the middle part of the cities and in better areas of town were centered around economic life, daily business transactions, mercantile exchange, used as the site of auctions for goods, property and slaves. In fact, until local government had their own headquarters, they often held business meetings in taverns.
In Charleston, one of the largest rooms in John Gordon's tavern was leased on a yearly basis by the South Carolina Colony Court. Gorden repaired and enlarged the chamber for their use and in 1752 appealed for higher rent.
The first image above is of a colonial tavern still standing in Charleston, SC. It's now called the Pink House and has been restored as an art gallery. Not only was it once known as a tavern, but many say that prostitution took place here as well. The second image is a close up to give you a better view.
"Early American Taverns: For the Entertainment of Friends and Strangers" by Kym S. Rice for Fraunces Tavern Museum.
Monday, July 25, 2011
Author and historian J. M. Hochstetler has penned the American Patriot Series which includes Daughter of Liberty, Native Son, and Wind of the Spirit. She is also the author of the award-winning Christmas story One Holy Night.
A beautiful rebel spy and a jaded British officer fight a war of wits and words destined to end in passionate surrender.
It is Eastertide, April 1775, and in the blockaded port of Boston the conflict between the British Regulars and the Sons of Liberty rapidly escalates toward a fateful confrontation. Caught in the deepening rift that divides Whig and Tory, Elizabeth Howard is torn between her love for her prominent parents, who have strong ties to the British establishment, and her secret adherence to the cause of liberty. By night she plays a dangerous game as the infamous courier Oriole, hunted by the British for smuggling intelligence and munitions to the patriot leaders. And by day she treads increasingly perilous ground as she flirts ever more boldly with British officers close to her parents to gain access to information the rebels so desperately need.
Elizabeth’s assignment is to pin down the exact time the Redcoats will march to capture the patriots’ hoarded munitions. But she hasn’t counted on the arrival of Jonathan Carleton, an officer in the Seventeenth Light Dragoons. To her dismay, the attraction between them is immediate, powerful—and fought on both sides in a war of wits and words. When Carleton wins the assignment to ferret out Oriole, Elizabeth can no longer deny that he is her most dangerous foe—and the possessor of her heart.
As the first blood is spilled at Lexington and Concord, Carleton fights his own private battle of faith. Meanwhile, the headstrong Elizabeth must learn to follow God’s leading as her dangerous role thrusts her ever closer to the carnage of Bunker Hill.
Historical Study Guide
Sunday, July 24, 2011
|Submitted by Laurie Alice Eakes|
To Make Confectionary Drops
Take double refined sugar, pound and sift it through a hair sieve, not too
fine; then sift it through a silk sieve to take out all the fine dust which
would destroy the beauty of the drop. Put the sugar into a clean pan, and
moisten it with any favourite aromatic...Colour it with a small quantity of
liquid carmine, or any other colour, ground fine. Take a small pan with a
lip, fill it three parts with paste, place it on a small stove, the half hole
being the size of the pan, and stir the sugar with a little ivory or bone
handle, until it becomes liquid. When it almost boils, take it from the fire
and continue to stir it: if it be too moist, take a little of the powdered
sugar, and add a spoonful to the paste, and stir it till it is of such a
consistence as to run without too much extension. Have a tin plate, very
clean and smooth; take the little pan in the left hand, and hold in the right
a bit of iron, copper, or silver wire, four inches long, to take off the drop
from the lip of the pan, and let it fall regularly on the tin plate; two
hours afterwards, take off the drops with the blade of a knife.
To Make Chocolate Drops
Scrape the chocolate to powder, and put an ounce to each pound of sugar;
moisten the paste with clear water, work it as above, only take care to use
all the paste prepared, as if it be put on the fire a second time, it
greases, and the drop is not of the proper thickness.
Note: A pound of sugar is about 2 cups by modern measurements. I have no idea how much an ounce of cocoa powder is, but this would be like Hersheys cocoa powder for baking.
Friday, July 22, 2011
|Sir John Johnson|
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Ever wonder how the laundry got done before the days of washers and dryers?
Not long ago I needed to write a scene in one of my novels, set on the New York frontier of 1784, that takes place during the washing of a tub full of laundry. While I've researched laundry practicalities in the 18th century before (a major character in an earlier novel is the laundress on a small plantation), I'd never written a scene where the stage business (what each character in the scene is doing) was heavily dependent upon the step-by-step process of getting the laundry done.
The Complexities of Wash Day in the 18th Century. It's a three page article that explained the process succinctly but in enough detail for me to build my scene around.
A typical 18th century laundry day routine:
~ Up before dawn to chop or gather firewood for the kettle in the yard
~ Haul water from the creek or the well. Lots of water.
~ Fill the kettle and light the fire
~ Sort the laundry
~ Boil the first load, agitating it with a stick
~ Transfer the load piece by piece to the wash tub
~ Scrub each piece of laundry
~ Try various harsh means, such as lemon juice, to get out stubborn stains
~ Transfer each piece of laundry to rinse tub
~ Rinse each garment
~ Wring each garment
~ Spread each garment to dry on the bushes or hang on a line
~ Gather or chop more wood
~ Haul more water
~ Begin the next load
Obviously some aspects of what are often called "simpler times" weren't at all simple, but full of tedious, back-breaking work. I hereby promise never to complain about having to do my laundry at the laundromat near my house, where all I have to do is load the washers, put in my coins, then sit back and read a good book until they're done. Then transfer them to the dryers and go back to my book until they're done. Then fold them and take them home. A week's worth of laundry done in 90 minutes, much of that spent with my nose in a book. Compared to what this task would have required in the 18th century, it's hardly worth calling a chore.
the wash house at Mount Vernon, George and Martha Washington's plantation home in Virginia. Included is a list of the laundry accoutrement inventoried upon the President's death in 1799, and its value. The Washingtons owned nine wash tubs at that time. Their appraised value? $4.50. I delight in stumbling across little details like this in my research, so I can occasionally name the price my characters would have paid for their purchases, whether at a trading post, town shoppe, or the village square on market day... when and if they were fortunate enough to have hard coin to spend. Much buying and selling in the late 18th century was still done through barter, at a time before our country began issuing its own coinage and nearly every sort of money under the sun was in circulation.
But that's another topic for another post!
Monday, July 18, 2011
The Colonel’s Lady
By Laura FrantzRevell (August, 2011)
Book Review by C. F. Pagels
Roxanna Rowan’s father was a scrivener for the colonel but she must take his place after he is killed. Laura does a nice job of incorporating Roxanna's work into the storyline and of explaining what is involved without fussing over it (no easy feat).
Giveaway: Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of The Colonel's Lady, either Kindle or paperback. TCL officially releases on August 1st.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
One large orange, of a deep colour, and smooth thin rind.
A quarter of a pound of powdered white sugar.
A quarter of a pound of fresh butter.
Half a glass of mixed wine and brandy.
A tea-spoonful of rose-water.
Grate the yellow rind of the orange and lime, and squeeze the juice into a saucer or soup-plate, taking out all the seeds.
Stir the butter and sugar to cream.
Beat the eggs as light as possible, and then stir them by degrees into the pan of butter and sugar. And, gradually, the liquor and rose-water, and then by degrees, the orange and the lime. Stir all well together.
Have ready a sheet of puff-paste made of five ounces of sifted flour, and a quarter of a pound of fresh butter. Lay the paste in a buttered soup-plate. Trim and notch the edges, and then put in the mixture. Bake it about half an hour, in a moderate oven. Grate loaf-sugar over it, before you send it to table.
Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats
by a Lady of Philadelphia
Third edition, Boston, 1830
Submitted by Gina Welborn
Friday, July 15, 2011
Often readers and friends ask what I've learned along the way. While every author's journey is unique, I can tell you what's been true in my own experience and what the Lord is teaching me. Since He's an infinitely personal God, my lessons are specific to me and my own writing journey. My struggles may not be your struggles, nor my joys your joys. But here are a few highlights...
*Critique partners are truly valuable. I didn't have a CP till my third published novel. Now I realize how much harder I had to work to get those first two manuscripts into publishable shape.
*Bestseller lists don't tell the whole story. Big box stores like Wal-Mart and Sam's Club, as well as other accounts, don't report to these lists. Bonnet books really do sell twice as many copies, be it Shaker, Quaker, Puritan or Amish, according to a Baker Publishing Group marketing executive. Stories set in the 19th-century American west and those about mail-order brides are also said to be top sellers. Oftentimes lists are made because of an aggressive marketing campaign. But a book can become a bestseller simply by word of mouth long after release day. More importantly, many overlooked books leave a lasting impression on readers' hearts. Only God knows the good your words do.
*Don't shipwreck your family or your faith for your writing dream. You may achieve short term success but long term misery. Heaven's version of success is very different than ours. Being taken captive by social media (Facebook, Blogger, Twitter, etc.) and being preoccupied with stats and lists can spell disaster to your loved ones and the Lord. Time is a gift we need to use wisely and something I'm still trying to manage well.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
In Colonial times, quilts were more utilitarian than decorative for the common family. The wealthy were able to obtain elaborate fabrics and the colonial lady could stitch beautiful bedcovers, whereas the lower classes made quilts from the scrap-bag.
The earliest Colonial quilts were made of Indian chintz and palampores. Colonial era chintz was an expensive fabric and threatened the mills of France and England as the upper classes were buying this gorgeous fabric over the plainer linens and cottons of Europe. Thus chintz was banned by Parliament in 1720. However the ban was lifted in 1759 once the mills had acquired the necessary skills to make chintz, ending much of the import from India.
One pattern still popular today is toil de jouy, which originated in France and was a popular design in Colonial America. Most likely you have seen it as wallpaper and fabric. A relative of mine once papered her bedroom in blue toil and it was beautiful. I find it 'a joy' that toil de jouy is still popular after more than 200 years.
Palampores were cotton or linen panels that were hand-painted or dyed. Only the wealthiest of Americans could afford this fabric and you would find it in plantation and estate houses throughout the Thirteen. The designs were colorful and elaborate, made up of ivy, flowers, horses and peacocks. Each design was one of a kind. One thing of interest is how the quilts were made at the end to slip between the bedposts.
Some Colonial quilts were made of whole cloth. Fine stitches were made in ivy and floral patterns.
In time, the Colonial housewife used quilts that were utilitarian, to keep her family warm and comforted. Slave women made quilts from scraps and you can find some in museums that tell a story of family and culture. Block designs have been handed down through the generations.
Here is a quilt I made in between writing historical novels. I've made several, but this is one of my favorites. I change the wall hangings in my foyer with the seasons. I have a leaf quilt for autumn, a snowman quilt for Christmas, and this floral basket quilt for spring and summer.
In closing, if you were living in Colonial times, what kind of quilt would you have made? Would it have been practical, or decorative?
Monday, July 11, 2011
by Darlene Franklin
(Heartsong Presents/Barbour, 2010)
Award-winning author and speaker Darlene Franklin is the author of seventeen contracted books and novellas, as well as several hundred short pieces. Two of her books have finaled in ACFW’s Book of the Year (now the Carol award) contest. Author of many historicals, her early American novels include Beacon of Love - set it 1815 Rhode Island (2009, Barbour), Bridge to Love - set in 1816 Vermont (2010, Barbour), and The Prodigal Patriot, 1777 Vermont (2010, Barbour).
"I don't usually read stories set during the Revolutionary War period, but Darlene Franklin's tale made me glad I did. Wonderful historical accuracy, courageous characters, and the drama of a town divided all came together to form a delightful read. I was particularly touched by the spiritual theme that demonstrated the commitment necessary to trust God in face of personal tragedy and strife. I would definitely recommend The Prodigal Patriot to readers who enjoy sweet historical romance." -- Karen Whitemyer
When Josiah Tuttle discovers their secret and offers to help, Sally doesn’t know if she can trust him. After all, Josiah’s father is one of the Tories who forced her family into hiding.
The Tuttles have already lost one son to the hated Patriot cause. How can Josiah both honor his grieving father and protect the woman he loves? When called upon to take a stand, which side will he choose?
THE PRODIGAL PATRIOT
Maple Notch, Vermont
Today was a glorious day to be outside, Sally Reid decided as she went about her morning chores. Cool air flowed down from the mountains, scented with pine, the evergreen trees that gave the “Verts Monts,” or the Green Mountains, their name. The sun overhead promised sunshine and warmth, and green shoots pushed up through the ground. She loved the rhythms of farm life, the cycles of sowing, growing, reaping, and resting. A song of praise burst from her lips.
“Good morning, Miss Reid! You sound cheerful this fine morning,” a deep voice called out.
Sally stopped in mid-verse. Her singing called for no audience beyond the chickens who clucked along with her. Pa teased that she had the voice of a crow. Of all people, who should catch her in her morning serenade but Josiah Tuttle.
“Morning to you, Mr. Tuttle.”
He smiled at her, the same grin that had infuriated her since childhood. It always put her in mind of the day he pulled the mobcap off her head after she’d had the measles. Clumps of her straight, oak-colored hair came off with the mobcap, and she had run home and refused to come out again. Remembering, she put a hand to the top of her head, making sure its covering was in place.
READ MORE HERE>>
Sunday, July 10, 2011
From Recipes from American Cookery by Amelia Simmons (1796)
For a modern recipe: Independence Cake
Submitted by Carla Olson Gade