Food Week: 1850s Texas Fall Feast

Shelling peas for a meal at Barrington Living History Farm at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park and Historic Site.

Shelling peas for a meal at Barrington Living History Farm at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park and Historic Site.

This is Passport to Texas Food Week

In 1850s Texas, when Anson Jones – the last President of the Republic – retired to his plantation in Barrington [at Washington-on-the-Brazos], Thanksgiving was not the nationally recognized holiday it is today.

But people certainly still had feast days, and they certainly celebrated fall.

Barb King, lead domestic interpreter at Barrington Living History Farm, says they celebrate fall on the farm with a feast, too. Everything’s cooked on a hearth, including dark meat heritage turkeys raised and butchered on site and fresh produce from their garden.

Right now we’re getting a lot of sweet potatoes in. We have some cucuzza gourds, which are an 1850s Italian delicacy that we’re growing in the garden for the first time this year. We have pumpkins, so we’ll probably do pumpkin pie. People in 1850 liked that as well. People ate much less sugar than we do today because you’d have to hunt a bee tree or go buy expensive sugar. So, we might do a spice cake or gingerbread is very popular, as is cider. Here, we might make pear cider. And, anytime Anson goes up north, he writes about bringing back barrels of apples.

The third Saturday of each month… Washington-on-the-Brazos presents Living History Saturday…which often includes a cooking demo.

Find more information in the calendar section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife website.

That’s our show for today… Funding provided in part by Ram Trucks. Guts. Glory. Ram

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Leave a Reply