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While on vacation in Williamsburg, I paid close attention to things the homemaker had to deal with or experience rather on a regular basis. I took these pictures of the days-gone-by-homekeeping.
One of the cooks showed us how she made a popular dish. She took a crusty roll and sliced off the top. She then cracked open an egg into the center of the roll. The then took the “salamander” pictured above” straight from the coals and held it above the roll to cook the egg into the roll. She said you can then top with some sprinkles of juice from an orange and serve with orange slices.
To make it in a modern day kitchen you can simply put the roll with one raw egg in the center and pop it in a toaster oven until the egg is cooked and the roll is toasted.
We plan to try this as it looks delicious and I love anything with fruit too!
When it came to grocery shopping, the women went to the outdoor market twice a week. The vendors/farmers came in to sell their goods in the town square during this time. The grocer was smart and learned how to store goods in his cellar for long periods of time and he could sell groceries to those who needed them in between market days.
Clothing the Family
If you did not sew, many women had a slave as a seamstress to sew the clothes for her and her family. They used the fabrics that came in from the ship. When you hear that a ship is coming in, you sent your husband right away to get what he can before its all gone.
The average person had about three different clothes.
One of my favorite shops to tour was the Millinery shop. Here are some pictures. I learned a few tips from these women. They would sew four or so horizontal pleats on a child’s dress. The pleats would be let out as the child grew. The dresses were beautiful in just a simple with a berry blue sash.
There were no distinctions of color or patterns on the fabrics for men, women or boys and girls. I found it amusing to see that they even had leopard spotted fabric back then! I guess my tastes are centuries old! LOL
Beautiful boxes keep things clean from the damage that sun and dusk cause. Even today we use these in our homes to store items and also decorate the home. Here is an example of some boxes that I store my scrapbooking supplies in.
Boxes used in my house and a birdcage
Curtains were just a beautiful as they are today. It is amazing how curtains can dress a room. These wine colored curtains were in the Palace.
Being the romantic that I am, I spotted this on a mantel and couldn’t resist taking a picture. My husband wrote me a letter every single day while in Basic Training for the Army. I wish I could say that I was as faithful a letter writer. I did manage a letter every other day. Currently, I have these letters in a shoe box, but I like the idea of tying them in a pretty pink ribbon before putting them in a pretty box. These letters also remind me of my favorite painting which now hangs on our wall in the livingroom. Here is a small version (not my picture- mine has a medium blue matting and cherry wood frame) of the painting in my living room entitled Journey’s End by Samson Pollen: