Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863) was born in London, England and lived in Morristown for over fifty years. She had a positive influence on generations through her dedication to her family, including her children and ten grandchildren, and to several charities in 19th-century Morristown. At MHHM we are fortunate to have several things that once belonged to Louisa Macculloch, including a hand-written cookbook.
Food and family go together no matter the time period in history. Today we can learn about the Macculloch family from the recipes they left behind. From recipes, or receipts as they were sometimes called, we learn what ingredients were available, what technology existed, and what flavors were popular. Mrs. Macculloch’s cookbook contains recipes for breads, preserves, and desserts.
Every Monday this month look for a new dessert recipe, sometimes an adaptation, from Mrs. Macculloch’s cookbook. We are selecting from her jumbles, wigs, charlottes, and puddings—yes, these were the desserts of the 19th-century!
A charlotte was served either hot or cold. In the past, cooks would use soaked stale bread as a dessert crust but today, lady fingers or biscuits are used. The filling would be a stewed fruit or cream which was poured into the mold. Try this no-bake Chocolate Charlotte recipe which we’ve used in MHHM’s education programs.
- Discovering the history behind the foods we eat is a fun way to find out about the past. Chef Walter Staib, from City Tavern in Philadelphia, has spent years exploring recipes from the past. Chef Staib published A Sweet Taste of History: More Than 100 Elegant Dessert Recipes From America’s Earliest Days in 2013.
- Learn how Downton Abbey benefited from the expertise of food stylist Lisa Heathcote.
Topic: Munchie Monday
Age / Level: High School, Life Long Learner