August 18, 2014

Middletown Peach Festival 2014

I just got back from the 21st Middletown Olde-Tyme Peach Festival, hosted by the Middletown Historical society in Delaware. The festival includes a parade, car show, live music, pie baking contest and more.

The living history part is hosted by the Victorians of Virtue and Valor and is set up in front of the Historical Society. With the Victorians of Virtue and Valor, visitors played with Civil War period games, learned about soldier life and how those at home supported the war effort. Visitors also wrote letters to modern wounded soldiers.

It was a fun day, we had great weather and very interested visitors.

August 13, 2014

Timeline Event 2014 at the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation

Last weekend I went to my first timeline event which was held at the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation. Timeline events were never attractive to me because it seemed like more of a joke, like it was the answer to sarcastic reenactor comments about how all of the reenactors from different time periods should fight each other.

I was pleasantly surprised that this type of event doesn't trivialize the time periods but instead offers spectators a little something of everything. It's interesting to see groups from each time period and make comparisons between them. This type of event also really lent itself to specialty impressions that are normally out of place at time-and-place-specific event, opening up educational value to people who normally see and hear about the same thing at each event. I also liked that unlike at a time specific event where half of the people present are reenactors and half are spectators with a clear divide, at a timeline event the modern spectators almost seem like the final addition to the display, bringing the past into the present.  

The weather was fantastic, it was spring weather with a cool breeze. It was the perfect day to be outside. For those of you who have never been to the Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation, it is truly a place stopped in time.  

Demonstrating the sharpness of their swords.

I didn't get to move around and take photos of everything because I was helping cook a meal in the farmhouse kitchen as well as learning to milk a cow. Surprisingly this was my first time.

The corn at the farm has gotten so big! If you know Jeff, you know he's about 6' 4". You can read his description of the event here.

It was great getting to see a lot of people I haven't seen in a while as well as see some new faces at the farm.

Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Party: Post # 26

This is my favorite time of year but it is going by so fast. I always like how after the main rush at the beginning of fall there was a lull. I feel like I am missing the lull as I am swooped up in all these new transitions. I am hoping to get these posts back on track soon. 



Milk accident in the spring house.


Pumpkin, banana, cranberry cornbread. Surprisingly delicious.


It's finally berry picking season!


Saw a fishing spider at work. I've seen one of these once before and no one believed me about how big it was. I'm afraid of spiders but just had to catch a photo of this one. They eat small bugs and fish.



Stormy night. 


Learning to dye cloth using madder root. It looked red in the pot but dyed the fabric a nice pink.


 Part of the Native American feast cooked for summer camp.


Andy made dinner. Pesto and angel hair pasta.

August 4, 2014

Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Party: Post 25

Yet again another very late post. However, I have great news. I got a new job! The transition has been keeping me very busy but I am very glad for the change.This post is missing some images. If I find the time, I may go back and track them down. I've been so busy with the new job transition.


I'm taking the deep clean very seriously.


When you find 9 month old cannoli in the freezer.


What's a Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Post without a few tree photos?


My friend decided to try making some stinging nettle dye. She needed more nettle than she put in so it stayed rather pale.


The dog likes to make his own beds out of pillows when no one is home, much to my dismay.


Tons of dishes to be done.


Made a pudding finally. I've been meaning to try it but always thought I'd mess it up.

July 22, 2014

Why is it Called an Egg Roll if There is No Egg in it? Chinese Egg Roll 1917: Historical Food Fortnightly, Challenge 4

If you are like me, you might have sat in your favorite Chinese restaurant and ate an egg roll only to ponder why it has such an unusual name. After all, there is no egg in it. I had always assumed they used egg to make the dough and that's why it was called an egg roll. It turns out some recipes use eggs for the wrapper but plenty don't. For those of you new to egg rolls, egg rolls are cabbage and meat filled pockets wrapped in dough and fried. 

Egg Rolls are a strictly Chinese- American meal and no one knows who invented them but two Chinese- Americans have taken credit for popularizing them. There isn't an equivalent dish back in china but modern egg rolls are very much like spring rolls which are meat and vegetables wrapped in a thin rice paper wrapper.

Another possible origin for the misnomer could be a dish called "Dan Gun" or Egg Roll. In 1917, a Chinese American Cookbook was published with a dish that was vegetables and meat literally wrapped up in an egg and sliced. This type of an egg roll was also mentioned in a 1921 issue of Good Health. In 1943 in a pamphlet entitled Two Bells, the 1917 recipe was reprinted as an example of a dish that could be made from produce from a victory garden. Was it possible that the name stuck even though the wrapper didn't? We will probably never know. What we do know is that the dough wrapped version popped up sometime in the 1930s.

So for this Historical Food Fortnightly Challenge, I've made the traditional Dan Gun.

The Challenge: Foreign Foods

The Recipe: 

The Date/Year and Region:
1917, New York

How Did You Make It:


- 3 Eggs
-  Dried reconstituted Mushrooms
- Bean Sprouts
- Thick Slice of Ham
- Piece of Chicken
-Sesame Oil


Slice mushrooms, ham and chicken in long slices. Add sesame seed oil to skillet on medium heat. Fry the bean sprouts, ham, chicken and mushrooms for around 5 minutes. Add enough water to cover the food and cook until the water is gone, make sure to stir once the water is low to prevent burning. Once cooked, set aside to let cool.  Scramble the eggs. Grease a small skillet with the sesame oil and place on low heat. Add a few tablespoons of egg and tilt the pan around until you have a thin layer of egg. Cook until done, remove and let cool. Once cool put a thin layer of bean sprouts and meat on the entire egg and roll up. Cut into slices and add sauce. I used the sauce as a glue for the roll instead of raw egg.  

Time to Complete:
30 Minutes

Total Cost:

How Successful Was It?:
It tasted good but I didn't have any knives sharp enough to cut the rolls perfectly straight. I would eat something similar to this again. I would probably add nappa cabbage and bamboo shoots.

How Accurate Is It?: I don't eat meat, I used a meat substitute. I also used a store bought sauce as I had it on hand. There is a sauce recipe in another part the book.

July 18, 2014

Secret Life of Bloggers Blog Party: Post 24

 “Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” ― Henry James

June and July are always tough months to post in because everyone is busy. With my computer acting up and numerous storms and power outages, this post is extremely late. Although this post is very late, I'll be breaking it up so there aren't 30 photos in one post. I've been keeping busy.  



Going through an intense cleaning and purging month.


Learning basket weaving. It's a lot of fun.


In the market for some huge light bulbs.


Went for a walk and saw this snake on the road. Maybe an Eastern  Milksnake?


Finally saw the new calf.




Cream from the cow at the farm, being graciously held by Caldecott Honor winning author, Anne Isaacs who flew from California to do research for a new book. She took on the full Colonial experience, wearing the clothing, doing the chores and sleeping in an outbuilding.   


Tiny feast for the work campers.


Went to the Rockwood Ice Cream Festival with Barrel of Makers. 



Geese have good PR. In real life, they are scary, scary birds.


Made this cute little change purse out of Forbes magazine pages.


Crazy, windy storm.


Storm and power outage all night. Sat outside in the rain under the tent in the back yard with my dad and sister. We listened to the Cold Mountain soundtrack and watched the lightning bugs in the rain. It was the best night I've had in a long time.


Took some photos for my sister to showcase the new cosplay costume she is making.

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