Etsy Kitchen Histories: The Bimuelo Pan

familyAt the Lower East Side Tenement Museum with a photo of the historic character I portray (far right). Photo by Will Heath.

Happy Passover, everyone!  Tonight, millions of Jews are sitting down to a sumptuous meal of religious significance–and then a week of yeast-free food.

Even if you’re not Jewish, you’ll enjoy my most recent Etsy article about Bimuelos, a Pesach-friendly dessert made by Sephardic Jews, who are descended from Jews of Spain.  You’ll also get a behind the scenes look at my life as an educator at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum playing a Sephardic Jewish character. Read all about it here.

And if you are Jewish, you’re probably going to be sick of matzo by Thursday or Friday.  So allow me to recommend Manishevitts’ 1944 cookbook,
Ba’ṭam’ṭe Yidishe maykholim (Tempting Kosher Dishes).  Don’t worry, it’s in Yiddish AND English.  Need to liven up your matzo meal regime this week?  Try Pumpkin PancakesMatzo Meal Polenta, or Boston Pie.

Events: A Revolutionary Thanksgiving at Old Stone House

I’ve often said that any object your heart desires can be found within the boundaries of New York City; however, that comes with a short list of items that are extraordinarily hard to track down in the city limits. At the top of that list is a working hearth. So you can imagine my amazement when, about a month ago, the executive director of Old Stone House in Park Slope dropped me an email to let me know that the museum owned an outdoor, working hearth.

Naturally, my first impulse was to cook an entire Thanksgiving dinner. Which is utter insanity, considering that my hearth cooking experience up until this point has been fairly limited. But I was excited by the challenge: our foremothers did it, therefore there’s no reason I should be incapable of doing it too.

This Sunday, November 22nd I am going to be cooking up a storm at the Old Stone House in Brooklyn. I’ve got a traditional, Revolutionary Menu in the works. There is a chance that everything will come out burnt on the outside, and raw in the middle. But either way, you’re invited to join me in my culinary adventure! The event is free and open to the public; I’ll be serving tasting portions of hot-off-the-hearth food from 12-3pm.

I want to mention that the fine folks at D’Artagnan are donating some of their exemplary meats for the occasion.

The official press release is below. I hope to see you there!


The Historic Gastronomist demonstrates:

An 18th Century Thanksgiving
Join Sarah Lohman at the Old Stone House Hearth
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Limited tastings will be available.

Preparations will include:

Turkey with Gravy

Stewed Squab
Venison Roast

Sourdough Bread

Squash Pudding
Onions in Cream

Seasonal Vegetable

Plum Pudding
Apple Tarts
Pumpkin Pie
336 Third Street, bet. 4th/5th Avenues
Brooklyn, NY 11215

The Gallery: Vintage Historic Williamsburg

Kitchen of Governor’s Palace, Williamsburg, Virginia from “15 Post Cards of Historic Williamsburg,” an undated souvenir set.

Interior of Chowning’s Tavern, Williamsburg, Virginia. “Chowning’s Tavern, reconstructed on its eighteenth-century foundations and furnished in early American antiques, dispense hospitality in the colonial manner, with authentically costumed servitors.”
Tap Room of the Raleigh Tavern

The Pint Sized Farm

The history museum that gave birth to my 19th century obsessions is now home to a garden sponsored by the Great Lakes Brewing Company. Great Lakes is growing herbs and vegetables in its Cleveland restaurant, and for brewing beer.

From GLB: “Surrounded by the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Hale Farm, which is operated by the Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS), functions as a 19th century agrarian and village community with strong educational emphasis on the history, culture and development of the Western Reserve. A fallow, historic orchard field, dubbed the “Pint Size Farm”, has been transformed by GLBC into an edible, culinary landscape using centuries-old gardening techniques and modern organic agriculture including the use of spent brewer’s grain and worm castings as organic compost and fertilizer…A large area of the new plot is dedicated to growing “beer herbs” featured in GLBC’s saison Grassroots Ale and other pub exclusive beers.”

Grassroots Ale is described as: “A fragrant saison blended with coriander, lemon balm, chamomile and lemon basil…”
Get a little taste of Hale Farm at the GLB company website.

Come See Me LIVE at the Merchant’s House Museum

Don’t know what to do before you get trashed on St. Patrick’s day? Head on down to the Merchant’s House Museum!!! From 6-8, they’re hosting a special St. Patrick’s day event, featuring *ME*, live and in person, and the opportunity to taste a variety of food from the 1850s. From the Official Press Release:


Bridget Murphy Opens her Kitchen to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

NEW YORK – Irish servant Bridget Murphy will open her kitchen on St Patrick’s Day for tastings of foods and drink from the 1850s — potatoes “on the bone,” and other traditional fare. You are invited to tour the servants’ quarters on the 4th floor, too, usually off limits to visitors. A bagpiper will play The Famine Song and other Celtic hits.

Food Historian and journalist Sarah Lohman of will curate the tasting. She’ll serve potatoes “on the bone,” “Bridget’s Bread Cake” (thought to be the first Irish-American recipe ever published), carrot soup, and cider cake. Featured drinks will be “Green” Tea Punch (hot rum and brandy with green tea and lemons) and Jersey Cocktails (cider – graciously provided by Original Sin Hard Cider – with bitters and lemon peel shaken over ice) from The Bon Vivant’s Companion, 1862. Other light refreshments will be served.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., $30, $15 Museum Members. Reservations Strongly Suggested; call 212-777-1089.


This is my first public gig as a historic gastronomist, so come out and show your support. And the Merchant’s House is around the corner from McSorley’s, the oldest bar in Manhattan. Abe Lincoln drank there! So finish up the night in the traditional fashion with a few pints.

The Merchant House Museum: Events

McSorely’s Old Ale House

Have You Ever Wanted to Learn Hearth Cooking?

Old Sturbridge Village, a living history museum set in the 1830’s, is offering a program called Dinner in a Country Village:
“Enjoy a unique opportunity to prepare and eat a meal the way early New Englanders did. The Parsonage is the setting for this cold-weather Saturday-night program, where costumed interpreters oversee the preparations, but the guests do the roasting, baking, and mulling. Participants roast meat using a tin reflector oven, fire a brick bake oven, and mull spiced cider over the hearth before sitting down to enjoy the results, all by candlelight.”
If you’d like to learn how to prepare Pounded Cheese and Scots Collops, sign up on the OSV website. The class, plus dinner, costs $85 per person.

If you’re in New York, Dr. Alice Ross, who holds her PHD in culinary history, offers classes at her Long Island Home. She explores the entire gamut of hearth cookery from Ancient Babylon, to Medieval Europe, to basic hearth techniques for American cookery. She’ll also teach you how to butcher, Check here for the full class schedule, which cost $400 for one session.