Daniel Boone would have chuckled to see us frontier fans concoct a meal in the leanness of late winter that they only dreamed about. And at Fort Boonesborough, to boot. While I longed to eat with a pewter fork on a pewter plate, modern paper reigned. Water, so often spoiled back then, took the place of their usual small beer or ale. But the fare… Oh my!
Oxford Kates Sausages with a selection of mustards
Chicken Fricassee ~ Brown, in a Good Gravy
Another sort of little Cakes
Settlers ate seasonally. Whatever was growing depending on the time of year became the bulk of their diet. In spring, when nettles were new & tender, they ate these, etc.
Fort women often followed the cows into the woods to see what they ate and then they ate that, too.
Spoons came in a multitude of sizes. There was no such thing as a uniform spoon. Utensils of any kind were carried by the person who ate. Often several diners partook from a shared dish or trencher.
Corn crops took 2 years to take hold and land on the setter’s table.
Settlers ate green ham, a far cry from the country ham of today.
Spices were often kept in horns like powder horns.
Men hunted for furs, not only meat, so there was a lot of waste. Most settlers consumed meat with every meal. Almost immediately the game began to scatter and hunting became harder and harder.
A baby boom began in Kentucky after 1780 but not before due to women’s health being poor and the struggle to eat and simply survive. Once corn became commonplace, a midwife was escorted in by armed men to help deliver all the babies being born.
Men often carried nutmeg graters in their pockets, especially when frequenting taverns. A grating of nutmeg took a drink to the next level.
Tea leaves were often several years old in colonial America. STALE. The tea dumped overboard in Boston was mourned by no one.
Frontier cuisine is quite tasty. I had seconds on the peas. Bohea tea, a staple in my novels, is delicious especially when paired with a little Caribbean sugar and cream. Today we have very little grasp of how hard it was to simply serve up a meal back then. From the wood that had to be chopped first thing to kindle a fire, fresh water drawn to cook, animals to butcher, eggs to gather (only in season)…
Hats off to Michael Dragoo and Emily Burns! “Michael is a contributor to https://savoringthepast.net/ and the video series called 18th Century Cooking with Jas. Townsend & Son, These media have been started as a means to share authentic recipes, foodie history, and all of the details they found most interesting from their research and experimentation. We invite you to join us at the table as we savor the flavors and aromas of centuries past.”
Fort Boonesborough Living History