Interactive Home Activities

Fun Activities for Home

During this time of social distancing, MHHM has temporarily postponed its educational programs. But this doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with MHHM at home!

Just like the oak trees growing in the historic garden, Macculloch Hall is branching out in new directions to serve our visitors.

Check back frequently for more museum and garden activities. Take pictures of your work and tag MHHM on Facebook or Instagram at @maccullochhall.


Munchie Monday: The Night Before National Cupcake Day

Do you love cupcakes and any size will do—mini, classic, or giant? Are you ready for tomorrow, December 15th—National Cupcake Day? Well, here are a few cupcakes facts to munch on: one of the earliest published recipes for cupcakes date to Elisa Leslie’s 1828 cookbook, Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats. There might be an even earlier reference dating to the 1796 cookbook, American Cookery, by Amelia Simmons when she mentions “tiny cakes”.

Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863) has at least three cupcake recipes in her 19th-century cookbook. The recipe below made a great cupcake, light and fluffy, with very little change needed from the original recipe. So celebrate cupcake history tomorrow on National Cupcake Day with a freshly baked cupcake or two!

Good Birthday Cake for Children—Cup Cakes
1 cup of white sugar
½ cup of butter
½ cup of sweet milk
2 eggs
1 ½ cups of flour
1 teaspoonful of baking powder
½ teaspoonful vanilla

Cream butter & sugar. Add yolks of eggs well beaten, then milk and flour (baking powder sifted in flour) and lastly the beaten whites of the eggs. Bake in tin with a hole in the center for about 45 minutes.

Adapted Recipe: Birthday Cake for Children—Cup Cakes
1 cup of white sugar
1 stick of butter, softened
½ cup of milk
2 eggs
1 ½ cups of sifted flour
1 teaspoonful of baking powder
½ teaspoon of vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Add yolks of eggs, well beaten. Add milk alternately with flour and baking powder (sifted).  Add beaten egg whites. Grease cupcake pan or use paper cupcake liners and fill ¾ full. Bake 15-20 minutes. Let cool on baking rack. Makes one dozen cupcakes.

Resources: 

Discover more facts about cupcakes. 

Learn more about the 11 seasons (2009-2018) of Cupcake Wars on Food Network and try some of the winning recipes. 

Learn more about Elisa Leslie, author of Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes, and Sweetmeats.

On and Under the Tree: Christmas Trimmings and Toys

Christmas trees will soon all be decorated and toys and gifts are being picked out and are on lists for Santa around the world. But is the spirit of Christmas also under the tree and in our hearts? What is the “spirit of Christmas” or the “Christmas spirit”? According to James Cash Penney (1875-1971), “The Christmas spirit is a spirit of giving and forgiving.” Penney is remembered as the founder of a store chain now known as the J.C. Penney Company, but his first store was called the Golden Rule Store when it was founded in 1902. Kindness, generosity, and care for others are also part of the “spirit of Christmas”. At Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, we believe that the matriarch of the Macculloch-Miller family, Louisa Macculloch (1785-1863), had these qualities and lived them, helping those in need in 19th-century Morristown year-round as the Directress of the Female Charitable Society for over thirty years. This organization still exists and is now known as the Cornerstone Neighborhood House.

Join us on Facebook today at noon to hear Christmas stories that reflect the spirit of Christmas, read by the Head Librarian of the Morristown & Morris Township Library, Arlene Sprague.

Resources: 

Learn more about James Cash Penney

Before the internet, there was catalogue shopping. Find out more at publitas.com