Colonial Cookery and Customs for Kids at the Wilton Historical Society

One of the most valuable tools in the Mount Vernon kitchen was Mrs. Washington’s copy of The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy; Which far exceeds any Thing of the Kind yet published… By a Lady. Martha Washington’s original copy is part of the special collections at Mount Vernon, and includes the marvelous Peach Pir. Peach Pir is a dessert which takes advantage of summer’s bounty of ripe fruit. On Saturday, June 30 from 11:00 – 12:30 the Wilton Historical Society will be holding a Colonial Cookery and Customs Workshop for Kids, in which Museum Educator Lola Chen will be showing the children how to make a delicious modern spin on Peach Pir by preparing a crumb crust, custard and fresh diced peaches.  

The Colonial Cookery and Customs for Kids workshop at the Wilton Historical Society teaches kids a “reciept” (recipe) used in the Connecticut region. While the food is prepared, they hear about Colonial manners, morals and way of life. The monthly workshops feature relatively simple dishes made with local, seasonal ingredients, adapted for modern kitchens. All participants will sample their own cooking and take home recipe cards – as well as any leftovers! The children will learn how a Colonial kitchen would have operated, in order to appreciate the modern conveniences we take for granted. Previous sessions have made bannock cakes, pease porridge, pickles, an amulet of green peas, apple tansey, fairy butter, pumpkin bread, cranberry shortbread, New Year’s “cakes”, New England chowder, hand pies, cheese and ramp soufflé, pea and watercress Rappahannock, blackberry maslin, thirded bread, pound cake with “Oranges” juice, maple cup custard and pepper pot soup. Suggested for ages 6 – 12.

Members: $10; Non-members $15. Space is limited — please register by contacting or call 203-762-7257.

The Wilton Historical Society, 224 Danbury Road/Rt. 7, Wilton, CT 06897

Did You Know?

“Europeans first introduced peaches to America in the 17th century and the fruit quickly flourished in the Southern and Mid-Atlantic colonies. Although New England farmers sometimes planted peach trees in their orchards, the long harsh winters and the frequent frosts (extending well into the spring) limited the crop’s success farther north. Through innovation and perseverance, however, fruit grower John Howard Hale eventually developed a new type of peach capable of thriving in harsher climates. . . .In South Glastonbury, Hale discovered a few hardy trees on his grandfather’s farm and developed a new type of peach that more capably endured the harsh New England climate and produced large delicious fruit. When Hale first offered his peaches for sale in Hartford, the public hailed them as “a beautiful and rare sight in the state. . . . . The peach that Hale developed, known as the J. H. Hale Peach, continues to remain popular, admired for the same qualities that led to Hale’s commercial success at the turn of the 20th century. Today peaches are still grown commercially in orchards in Glastonbury and in other towns throughout Connecticut. ” – Nancy Finlay, excerpted from her article on Connecticut “John Howard Hale: Glastonbury’s Peach King”

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