History's Just Desserts

Exploring American History through Desserts and Their Makers

Historic Cooking and Baking Series at DC’s Hill Center


I am pleased to announce I will be teaching a series of historic cooking and baking classes at DC’s Hill Center in the Annie Etheridge Hooks Demonstration Kitchen over the coming year.  In these fun hands-on classes, we’ll make historic recipes adapted for modern kitchens while we explore notable people and events from the colonial period to the late 1800s.

The series kicks off in February with Food and Freedom, a class exploring African American cookbook authors, Malinda Russell and Abby Fisher, and their struggles for independence and equality before, during, and after the Civil War.

April features Presidential Parties.  We’ll make some of the sweets that Dolley Madison served at her famous White House shindigs — and discover how she used parties to political ends.

In June, Civil War Sanitary Fair Cookbooks marks the 150th anniversary of the first American charity cookbook, published to raise funds to aid Union troops during the Civil War.  There is no better place to make recipes from the 1864 Poetical Cook-book than the Hill Center’s Civil War-era building, the Old Naval Hospital.

July brings Patriotic Cakes.  In celebration of American Independence, we’ll bake cakes named for the men who won the American Revolutionary War – and probe why Americans in the 1800s were honoring their heroes by naming desserts for them.

September highlights Mediterranean Cooking in Early America.  The first American Jews had roots in Spain and Portugal, and they brought Mediterranean foods to the future United States.  We’ll make some of their classic dishes while we talk about the first Jewish life in early America.

The series ends in November with a look at Abraham Lincoln’s experiences living at a Capitol Hill boardinghouse during his term in Congress.  Meals at Congressional “Messes” explores the day-to-day life and the political importance of Lincoln’s home away from home as we make hearty boardinghouse fare.

For more information and to register, please click here.

I hope to see you in a class!





5 thoughts on “Historic Cooking and Baking Series at DC’s Hill Center

  1. Sounds like fun. Wish I lived in the D.C. area!

  2. Hi Amanda, Wished we lived closer..sounds like great fun. Lots of good luck as your plate gets filled with more and more goodies. Sherry

  3. Pingback: A Piece for Black History Month in NPR’s Kitchen Window | History's Just Desserts

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