Durand-Hedden offers taste of history

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — In an annual tradition spanning more than 35 years, visitors have gathered around Durand-Hedden’s 18th-century hearth and experienced how Maplewood residents of long ago cooked, ate and kept warm during the long winter months.

Sunday, Jan. 13, from 1 to 4 p.m., Durand-Hedden once again welcomes cook Margaret Quinn to its kitchen. Quinn is the spirited shearer who trimmed the wool from visiting sheep at Durand-Hedden’s “From Fleece to Cloth” event in April two years ago and will bring the same energy and skill to the fireplace. She has worked in the living history field for more than 20 years and has become proficient at wood stove and open hearth cooking. Margaret continually expands her culinary knowledge as a participant in the Association for Living History, Farm and Agricultural Museums and the Historic Foodways Society of the Delaware Valley.

On the menu this year will be roasted and larded venison, sour lentils, mashed turnips, Norfolk dumplings and barley cream for dessert, all prepared from historically accurate recipes. Watch how it’s done, breathe in the wonderful aromas in the historic house, and sample a few centuries-old treats. Children can try their hands at old-fashioned cooking chores like kneading dough and churning butter, and they can watch a spinster make yarn at her wheel.

Durand-Hedden House is located in Grasmere Park at 523 Ridgewood Road in Maplewood. For more information or to arrange group tours, call 973-763-7712 or visit durandhedden.org.