A tasty trip gives glimpse of 19th-century kitchen


November 10, 1996|By Rosalie Falter | Rosalie Falter,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

LAST SUNDAY, I was fortunate to be one of a group of 10 people who stepped back to the 19th century for a cooking workshop on an open hearth in the kitchen of the 1840 House, a Baltimore City Life Museum.

Sue Latini, food historian and Ferndale resident, coached us as we learned the techniques to prepare a full-course meal. We fed the fire, peeled, cut and chopped ingredients and employed various cooking methods to turn out delicious dishes from the menu, "A Meal For A Fall Day."

We used a reflector oven to roast a pork loin, and a dutch oven to bake corn bread and a molasses custard pie for dessert. Fried apples and onions, kale and black-eyed peas cooked in heavy iron pots and on griddles suspended from a crane over the open fire.

Latini showed us how to position the pots and arrange hot coals to control the cooking heat. She also introduced us to a method we had never heard of called planked fish, in which a whole rockfish is tied to a board and baked standing up in the fireplace.

All the early-American recipes included generous amounts of fresh herbs and tasty seasonings.

After sitting down to enjoy the meal we cooked, we left our workshop with renewed admiration for the early settlers, and some amazement perhaps for the very delicious foods they were able to prepare on a hearth. We also left with the recipes to try at home in our modern kitchens.

I'd recommend this workshop for anyone who wants to learn something about history as well as have an enjoyable time. Latini said she decides her menu according to the seasons, so foods vary at different workshops.

Latini has been preparing meals at the 1840 House hearth for more than 11 years. Besides her workshops, she conducts lecture/demonstrations at the museum and has been invited to area clubs and schools to lecture.

She has studied hearth cooking at the Landis Valley Farm Museum in Lancaster, Pa., and the Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Latini has written a cookbook, "At the Hearth," now in its second printing. The book contains early-American recipes and includes both fireplace and modern methods.

Information on Latini's workshops: City Life Museums, (410) 396-3279.

Congressional talk

The Woman's Club of Linthicum Heights will have 3rd District Rep. Benjamin L. Cardin as the speaker at its meeting at 10: 30 a.m. Tuesday.

Cardin, a Democrat, will discuss the next session of Congress and answer questions.

The clubhouse is at 110 N. Hammonds Ferry Road. The public is invited.

Information: 859-8899.

Singing seniors

Vivian Zold, publicity chairwoman for the Notables, said the fall schedule for the entertainment group is in full swing.

On Friday, the group will take a bus to the Fairhaven Retirement Community to entertain the residents with their new fall and Christmas show. The performance is at 7: 15 p.m.

Other appearances this month will be: 10 a.m. Nov. 21, Charlestown Retirement Center; 9: 30 a.m. and 10: 30 a.m. Nov. 22, Grandparents Day at Jessup Elementary School; 7 p.m. Nov. 24, Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church on Johnnycake Road.

The group is a part of the local chapter of the American Association of Retired Persons. Information: Charles Haslup, 859-1850.

Methodist women

The next meeting of the United Methodist Women of Ferndale United Methodist Church will be at 7 p.m., Tuesday in the Ethel Schmidt Room at the church, 117 Ferndale Road.

Information: 761-2880.

Pub Date: 11/10/96

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