Monadnock Center BlogMonadnock Center ~ December 12, 2013
Reading to children has education benefits, of course—but so does sharing tales from the past.
(by Elaine Resse, from The Atlantic, Dec. 9)
“Dad, tell me a story from when you were little. Tell me the story about the time you met your best friend Chris at school.” Six-year-old Alex, who has just started school himself, snuggles into his pillow and catches his dad’s hand in the dark. They have finished the nightly reading of Tin Tin and now it’s time for “just one more story” before Alex goes to sleep.Most parents know about the benefits of reading stories from books with their young children. Parents are blasted with this message in pediatricians’ offices, at preschool, on TV, even with billboards on the city bus. Reading books with children on a daily basis read more→Michelle Stahl ~ December 2, 2013
Each time we offer a Hearth Cooking Saturday, we try out some new recipes and techniques. At our November session, we experimented with a standing crust pie. Pies go back to ancient times but those ancient pies were different than the flaky crust, melt in your mouth pies that we make today.
The pie crust was really a vessel for holding a savory or sweet filling and not meant to be eaten (at least not at first- more on that later). We read about a standing crust in one of our historic cookbooks but didn’t have the confidence to tackle one until we saw this video from the Jas. Townsend & Son Company http://youtube.com/watch?v=dfpMRQsqM34.
Unlike a modern crust which is done with chilled butter (or shortening), the standing crust is made with melted butter, flour and water. read more→Michelle Stahl ~ November 25, 2013
As you can see from the photo, we had a great day last Saturday cooking in the Phoenix Mill House. John Patterson (pictured in his 18th century duds) has become the caretaker of the mill house and graciously came in early that morning to get the fires going and to fire the bee hive oven. We have tried over the last few years to bake in the oven but have never been successful- until last Saturday!
Baking in a bee hive oven is art and science. The idea is relatively simple. Build a fire in the oven and let it burn down to coals. This heats the bricks. Put in your bread dough, pies, cakes, etc. Close the door and let them bake. The art is knowing when the bricks are hot enough and you can start your baking. And knowing how long to let them bake before opening the door. This time, we read more→Gordon Peery ~ November 18, 2013
Photo from the cover of the Nelson Music Collection
The Nelson Music Collection was first published in 1969, as a “Collection of Authentic Square Dance Melodies. Compiled by Newt Tolman, a flute player from Nelson, and his piano accompanist, Kay Gilbert from Peterborough, it contains 64 tunes that might be heard at one of the local square dances. It became an important resource over the next decade as the face of square dancing evolved (and became more commonly known as contra dancing), and as young musicians aspired to learn the tunes so that they could play for the dances. Eventually it took a back seat to newer collections which offered additional and newly popularized tunes, but serious scholars and musicians remained aware of its existence. Newt and Kay also issued an LP read more→Michelle Stahl ~ November 11, 2013
The nights are getting colder and thoughts are turning to winter. Back in the 1860’s Peterborough citizens didn’t have to worry about the price of oil. Keeping warm was a matter of having enough cordwood and a good stove. This soapstone stove is a salesman’s sample used to show a company’s products to dealers and storekeepers. The model measures only 12 inches high.
In the 1860’s Samuel Hudson Caldwell had a soapstone stove manufacturing plant on lower Main Street. His business card reads, “Soap stone stoves, also dealers in all kinds of cook and parlor stoves, tin, glass, Britannia, wood and hollow ware, pumps, lead pipes, sheet lead and zinc.”
The soapstone for this salesman’s sample may have been quarried in Francestown. Daniel Fuller discovered the read more→