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Cooking on the Illinois Frontier

The 1850s housewife had many of the same challenges modern homemakers have: what to feed the family that is healthy, affordable and available.  Unlike today, however, she also needed to contend with issues such as milk curdling before she got the butter made; making a tough old chicken tender enough to serve; and curing her family's illnesses with only medicines she made herself.

Ellie Carlson, an Illinois Humanities Council Road Scholar, has researched the cooking techniques, period appropriate ingredients, and recipes of the 1850s homemaker . 

The programme was presented in costume and in character, with tools, recipes and ingredients that could have been used in the Illinois in the late-1850s, right around the time Lincoln was debating Douglas.  Miss Ellie was ably assisted by several of the children in attendance which made for a very different, but charming presentation.


Recorded Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at Schuette-Biermann Farmhouse Museum.

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