The apple’s place in Wilton history
We may say “as American as apple pie,” but with the exception of the wild sour crab apple, apples are not indigenous to North America. Seeds were brought to the colonies by the Puritans in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
It did not take long for apples to quickly grow in popularity with orchards planted from apple seeds and hundreds of varieties of apples were developed. Eventually, the fruit gave rise to one of this country’s favorite comfort foods — apple pie.
Apples will be the topic of a Colonial Cookery and Customs for Kids program on Saturday, Dec. 28, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., at the Wilton Historical Society, 224 Danbury Road.
Museum Educator Katherine Karlik will talk about apples, applesauce, cider, and other interesting details about the importance of the common apple, Malus domestica, which is a member of the rose family. Applesauce cake is the recipe of the day. The fad for this moist cake began during rationing in World War I and its popularity peaked in World War II.
The Colonial Cookery workshops teach children a “receipt” (recipe) used in the Connecticut region. While the food is prepared, they hear about Colonial manners, morals and way of life. The monthly workshops feature relatively simple dishes made with local, seasonal ingredients, adapted for modern kitchens. All participants will sample their own cooking and take home recipe cards as well as any leftovers.
The children will learn how a Colonial kitchen would have operated, in order to appreciate the modern conveniences taken for granted. Previous sessions have made bannock cakes, pease porridge, pickles, an amulet of green peas, apple tansey, fairy butter, pumpkin bread, cranberry shortbread, New Year’s “cakes,” New England chowder, hand pies, cheese and ramp soufflé, pea and watercress Rappahannock, blackberry maslin, thirded bread, pound cake with “oranges” juice, maple cup custard, pepper pot soup, scalloped tomatoes, dressed macaroni and cheese, gingerbread cakes, maple syrup tart, quick pickling and Johnny cakes.
The program is suggested for ages 6 -12. The cost for members is $10, $15 for non-members. Registration is required: firstname.lastname@example.org or 203-762-7257.