About a month ago, I hopped on a train and headed South
to Williamsburg, Virginia, in order to attend the 2015 Annual
ALHFAM* Conference. Held on the campus of William & Mary
College, it was hosted by its neighbor, Colonial Williamsburg
(CW). The five-day affair featured assorted pre-conference
field trips and workshops, a day to experience all that CW
has to offer, another for traipsing ’round the four separate
sites that comprise Jamestown and Yorktown, and last, but
not least, two full days of informative sessions that covered
every topic imaginable, from the role of modern technology
in museum settings to the tools required to better engage
audiences of all ages to the care ‘n feeding of re-enactors
at historic sites. Yours truly led a session, as well, entitled
“Fake Fanny Receipts and Other Travesties…,” wherein
I delved into the folly of using any of the ever-increasing
number of so-called “historic” recipe compilations, instead
of the truly authentic, original historic cookbooks (more
on that later).
Naturally, I took photos during the Conference. However,
just days before I left, my trusty camera went all wonky.
It still captured fantastic photos, but at a price. You see,
when I’d frame a shot, I’d do so blind. There’d be nothing
on the view screen, as it was completely blank! So, I had
to eyeball it, click the button, then check the resulting
photo (which it still showed, thankfully) to see if I got
what I wanted. If yes, I could go on to the next, but if
NOT, then I had to adjust, ever-so-slightly, how it was
aimed and try again. Repeatedly! Getting exactly what
I desired was rather hit ‘n miss (mostly, miss! although,
it did get easier as time went on). Of course, then I had
to sort through ’em all and delete the pesky “not-quites.”
dagnabit If I’d had enough time, I would’ve purchased
a new camera before I left, but alas…. So, I made do.
Besides, it was certainly better than nothing!
In any event, I’ll start sharing a few photos. And I’ll
begin with those that deal with my favorite subject,
historic cooking. Others, of the more general sort,
will follow. Enjoy!
I’d have to say that, for me, the biggest and most
fan-ta-bu-lous thrill of this entire trip, was…well,
other than the fact that I got to wear THIS at all
times, all day, every day, everywhere I went…
Woo-Hoo and HUZZAH! What fun!
Oh, sorry. Let’s see, where was I? Ahh, yes…the greatest
thrill was…walking into the recreated Rev War military
encampment at Yorktown and seeing this…
…a fully-operational (albeit a partial) camp kitchen. HUZZAH!
Now, I’ve read much** about the building and use of these
set-ups, have seen numerous period depictions of them, as
well as photos ‘n videos of modern-day attempts to re-create
them, and I always discuss the details of their use whenever
I present my “Cook Like a Soldier” program, but this, THIS,
was the first time I’d ever seen one! AND seen it being used!
Wow! It was absolutely marvelous. I only wish I could’ve not
only stayed longer in order to explore it further, but also been
able to cook on it. How cool would that be?!
There were also a couple of gridirons made outta barrel hoops…
and the obliging barrels, filled with soldiers’ rations…
It seemed that our time at this site was extremely limited, so
I know I missed alot. Maybe, some day, I’ll be able to return?
Up next are various views of the communal clome bake oven
at the re-creation of the Jamestown Settlement (which, BTW,
is separate from the site of its actual location). Unfortunately,
no baking was being done at the time.
In the section of the Jamestown Settlement site known as
the Powhatan Indian Village, a young fellow was cooking
squirrel and pigeons over an open fire…
He was munching on previously-cooked fish and other stuff, as well…
NEXT: Photos taken during my pre-conference field trip
*ALHFAM = Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums
**For more information, read John U. Rees’ highly-informative articles.