Programs on hearth cooking and food preservation at Dover, Del.’s John Dickinson Plantation

Date Posted: Thursday, September 12th, 2013
Categories:  Historical and Cultural Affairs News

During the second half of September 2013, Dover, Del.’s John Dickinson Plantation will present special programs on hearth-cooking and food-preservation techniques as they were practiced in 18th-century Colonial America.

Martha Wagner, historic-site interpreter at the John Dickinson Plantation, conducting a hearth-cooking demonstration.On Saturday, Sept. 21, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the plantation’s log’d dwelling will serve as the rustic setting for “Hearth Cooking Basics,” a hands-on workshop exploring basic hearth-cooking techniques following authentic 18th-century recipes; while on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., the program “Smoked, Pickled and Salted for Survival” will explore how 18th-century Delawareans smoked, pickled and salted meats in order to stretch their food reserves during the winter. Activities will include pickling demonstrations and smoking meats in the plantation’s smokehouse.

Located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover, Del., the John Dickinson Plantation was the boyhood home and country estate of John Dickinson, one of the founding fathers of the United States, signer of the U.S. Constitution and “Penman of the Revolution.” The site features Dickinson’s original 1740 brick home, reconstructed farm buildings and a log’d dwelling, surrounded by rich agricultural lands stretching down to the banks of the St. Jones River. The plantation is open for public visitation and tours from Wednesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Admission is free. For additional information, call 302-739-3277.

Upcoming programming at the John Dickinson Plantation

 Following is a complete listing of John Dickinson Plantation programs though Dec. 31, 2013:

“Simple Machines.” Exhibit demonstrating the six “simple machines”—incline ramp, screw, wedge, pulley, lever and wheel —that constitute the elementary building blocks of which all complicated machines are composed. Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Saturdays, Sept. 14, Nov. 9 and Dec. 14, 2013
Demonstrations by the Thistledown Fiber Arts Guild. Program explores spinning, weaving, knitting and other fabric arts.1–3 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013
“Hearth Cooking Basics.” Hands-on workshop exploring basic hearth-cooking techniques. 11 a.m.–1 p.m.

Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013
“Smoked, Pickled and Salted for Survival.” From 11 a.m.–2:30, learn how smoked, pickled and salted meats helped stretch food reserves in the winter, and participate in pickling meats with brine and smoking meats in the plantation’s smokehouse. In addition, join the John Dickinson Plantation in celebration of the St. Jones Reserve’s “Arts in the Estuary” program from 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013
“A Day in the Life of the John Dickinson Plantation.” Visitors of all ages will enjoy a day of food, entertainment and hands-on activities from colonial trades to hearth cooking. 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Wednesdays, Nov. 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2013
John Dickinson’s Birthday Month. Visitors celebrate the birth of John Dickinson by helping to make a great cake and decorate it using royal icing and shaped marzipan.11 a.m.–2 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013
“Light Me Up!” Workshop on candle dipping and discussion of lighting devices of the 18th century. 1–3 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations for the workshop are required by calling 302-739-3277 no later than Nov. 15, 2013.

Saturday, Dec. 14, 2013
Handmade for the Holidays.Seasonal program in which visitors learn to decorate cards through the art of paper quilling and stenciling, write a personal note with a quill pen and create a sachet with herbs and spices. 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m.


Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone:  302-736-7413


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