Food in colonial times was much different compared to what we eat today. Religious beliefs, traditions, geography, growing season, harvest, and cooking methods all played a role in what was available and how much was eaten with each region developing their unique dietary habits. Dennis Picard will share anecdotes about New England colonial life while demonstrating how to start a fire and cooking either in the hearth or on an open campfire. A) Maple Day! Maple Sugaring - Sunday, February 28, 2021, at 12:00 PM The process of turning maple sap into maple syrup is a cherished tradition in Connecticut. At Stanley-Whitman House, historic interpreter Dennis Picard will demonstrate how to tap a maple tree for its sap and then evaporate the sap over an open fire as part of the sugaring process. Dennis will share anecdotes of this time-honored tradition by indigenous peoples of the Eastern Algonquin Peoples of the lower Connecticut River Valley and then later by English colonists in New England. Picard's demonstration is family-friendly. B) Hearth Cooking: Irish Colonial Cooking - Sunday, March 14, 2021, at 12:00 PM Focus on the foods and challenges of the Scotch-Irish that were part of the last major wave of British immigrants to the colonies in 1720–1775 seeking economic betterment and escaping severe economic hardships. Poor and accustomed to hard times they settled in the "backcountry", on the frontier, and in the highlands. Picard will prepare a typical breakfast of toasted bread, cheese, “leftover” meat, or vegetables. Learn about a standard breakfast dish made of soured milk or boiled grains made, modified, and eaten by backcountry settlers of all ages. C) Hearth Cooking: Tavern Fare - Sunday, April 25, 2021, at 12:00 PM Taverns in the colonial period in Connecticut were not like restaurants today. Guests were infrequent and stagecoach lines irregular in their runs. Learn about some of the foods that tavern keepers provided their guests like cracknels (crackers), hasty pudding, and cheeses. Dennis Picard, a “living history” expert and museum professional, will lead the demonstration and share anecdotes about New England colonial life. At the end of the session sample the results! Remember to bring an apron and your appetite! D) Out of the Cellar into Spring - Sunday, May 23, 2021, at 12:00 PM Springtime brought a longing for the first fresh gifts of the garden while still utilizing what was left in the cellar before it spoiled. Spinach and spring greens in a hot dressing will be featured along with potato soup and stewed root vegetables. Dennis Picard, a “living history” expert and museum professional, will lead the demonstration and share anecdotes about New England colonial life. At the end of the session sample the results! Remember to bring an apron and your appetite!