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By July 14, 2020 Read More →

Long Summer Evenings

July 14, 1837

We have been enjoying these long summer evenings. What a pleasant change from those short, cold days of winter. Just a few months ago

Mill Game Board - Long Summer Evenings

Nancy’s mill game board using dried beans for playing pieces.

we’d be in bed before it was dark under the table. Just too cold to stay up any longer.

Tonight it was still light outside at half past eight. No need for a lantern when I made my last trip to the necessary tonight. I can hardly get the older children in at night. Lydia and James we’re outside playing Mills til right before bedtime. As I watched them draw the squares in the dirt for the Mills board I had an idea.

I had a good-sized fabric piece from my scrap basket and made them a Mills board. There was plenty of ink in the inkwell so I took a quill pen and just drew the lines on the cloth. Now the children can play their favorite game inside next winter. They usually use corn kernels and dried beans from the pantry when they play. They also almost always argue about whose turn it is for the corn. Corn pieces roll around a lot. Beans stay put.

Samuel mentioned again to me that it’s time to do something with the parsnips and salsify that wintered over in the garden. I actually think the parsnips are even sweeter at this time of year. I’ll make some parsnip pancakes tomorrow. The whole family like those.  I’ll probably just cut the salsify up and fry it up in butter with some carrots. A good hash.


Parsnip Pancakes 

1 cup peeled and grated parsnips 
2 eggs, lightly beaten 
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste 
Butter for frying 

1. Mix all ingredients except the butter. 
2. Melt butter in heavy fry pan. 
3. Spoon batter into melted butter and fry pancakes until both sides are brown and crispy. 


Learn more…

The Mills Game

Salsify- Long Summer Evenings

Salsify, called by some “oyster plant” for a fancied similar flavor to its edible root, was left to flower and seed this second season and now presents these surprise 3″ blossoms.

What is salsify and how do you cook it?


Read more…

Nancy Prescott’ s Diary

Samuel’s Garden Journal







Nancy Prescott’s Diary is a fictionalized account of life in the Phoenix Mill House in 1837 based on primary source research into the lives of Nancy and Samuel Prescott. The Prescott family lived in the mill house when Samuel was an overseer at the Phoenix Mill in the 1830s.


Published July 14, 2020.