Deborah Peterson’s Pantry

Once or twice a year I get an email from Deborarh Peterson’s Pantry about one of her big events, which always focus on old foodways. Thus the information below about her August 18th and 19th events in Ft. Lee NJ, and do be sure to register in advance.  While you’re on her website, be sure to check out her amazing store of products, so you can try your hand at some of these old dishes, mostly from American Colonial days, or just order sweetmeats!

I’ve been reading lots of old English novels lately (mining the classics on my Kindle), so I had recently bought myself a used copy of one book, “Eating With the Victorians,” to help me decipher some of the constant stream of dishes mentioned in some of these novels, which are mostly about that period.

Deborah has published a book for our own Colonial days, “Deborah Peterson’s Pantry Compendium,” This volume is filled with primary source information, over 30 period receipts (recipes), and many color photographs. This book supports many food-related imports into eighteenth-century Philadelphia.

Deborah Peterson’s Pantry Foodways Symposium

Sugar, Spice, Isinglass & Cakes; Great & Small

Saturday, August 18th, 2012, 9:00am- 4:00 pm at

Fort Lee Historic Park (Fort Lee, NJ)

Join us for a day of engaging speakers, first-hand views, and shared research about cooking and baking during the colonial period.

Topics for this event –

~Sugar: From Harvested Cane to the Table- Deborah Peterson of Deborah Peterson’s Pantry

Taking the sugar-making process beginning with the pressing of the cane with explanations and illustrations showing the many steps and equipment used to produce the various sugars. Covered will be the differences in sugars, packaging, exports, marketing and uses in the 18th century home.

~Blessed be he that Invented Pudding…- Clarissa F. Dillon, President- Past Masters in Early American Domestic Arts

Today, pudding can be purchased already prepared. For historic cooks, it’s not so simple – in fact, it can be downright intimidating. This talk will discuss the evolution of English puddings from harvest-time specialties through one-pot meals to those over-the-top presentations that appeared on tables of the ostentatious. Period receipts and helpful hints will be included.

~ A History of Spice: Its Cultivation, Combination, & Magic- Mercy Ingraham, The Open Hearth Cook

A review the story of spice down through the ages; understand why spices were so incredibly expensive in the 17th and 18th century. Hear about the many different ways in which spices were used, in addition to flavoring food. Distinguish your own personal cuisine and learn how to blend your own special spice mixture.

~ Cakes, Great and Small- Cate Crown, Itinerant Baker & Historian

Learn about cake baking in the 18th century from great cakes to biskits.

The $65 registration fee** includes a resource packet, lunch featuring items made on-site, and access to the quality research of well-known historians. We have also arranged for a select group of sutlers to sell their wares during the course of Saturday’s symposium (they will not be set up on Sunday during the workshop).

The presentations will take place in the air-conditioned auditorium located in the Visitor Center of Fort Lee Historic Park, so don’t let the August heat keep you from this amazing educational opportunity!

Sunday Workshop Opportunity– Participants will enjoy making cakes, working with spices, puddings and isinglass. There will be goodies to take home with you! Take advantage of the opportunity to use the reconstructed bake oven at Historic Fort Lee under the skilled guidance of all of the presenters on Sunday,

August 19th from 9:00am-3:30pm. Cost: $45/person…space is limited!

**The symposium and workshops will take place rain or shine, so please dress accordingly. Refunds, minus a $10 processing fee, will be made for cancellations confirmed no later than August 8th, or if the program or workshop are cancelled before their scheduled date. Registrations may be transferred, but please contact Deb immediately via e-mail or telephone.

Discounted lodgings are available at Best Western Fort Lee. Booking information will be provided upon symposium registration.

Contact and registration for this event

deborahspantry at


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