Colonial Cookery and Customs for Kids at the Wilton Historical Society

Sources differ as to the introduction of Macaroni and Cheese to the United States. Some credit colonial settlers who may have brought over the dish from England, while others ascribe the introduction to Thomas Jefferson, who had sampled the dish in Europe and so enjoyed it that he attempted to design a macaroni-making machine. This didn’t go to plan, and he settled for importing the Parmesan cheese and macaroni noodles and then serving the dish at a state dinner” says Leah Bhabha at Food52. Museum Educator Lola Chen will be showing the children how to make Dressed Macaroni and Cheese, 19th-century style at this month’s Colonial Cookery and Customs for Kids workshop. They will use an adaptation of a recipe from The Housekeeper’s Book, published in 1838, which features onion, clove, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, cream, butter, pepper, and salt.

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, pepper pot soup and scalloped tomatoes.

Suggested for ages 6 – 12.
Members: $10; Non-members $15. Space is limited — please register by contacting or call 203-762-7257.

Did You Know?
President Thomas Jefferson’s Macaroni Recipe from the Monticello website:
“Jefferson was most likely not the first to introduce macaroni (with or without cheese) to America, nor did he invent the recipe. The most that can be said is that he probably helped to popularize it by serving it to dinner guests during his presidency. There survives, however, a recipe for macaroni in Jefferson’s own hand:
6 eggs. yolks & whites.
2 wine glasses of milk
2 lb of flour
a little salt
work them together without water, and very well.
roll it then with a roller to a paper thickness
cut it into small peices which roll again with the hand into long slips, & then cut them to a proper length.
put them into warm water a quarter of an hour.
drain them.
dress them as maccaroni.
but if they are intended for soups they are to be put in the soup & not into warm water”

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