New Year’s cake recipe is focus on Jan. 28

The Colonial Cookery and Customs for Kids series of programs continues on Saturday, Jan. 28, from 11 to 12:30 at the Wilton Historical Society, 24 Danbury Road. This time the focus is on New Year’s cake.

For members, the fee is $10; for non-members, $15. To register, email or call 203-762-7257.

In times past, it was customary to hold open houses on New Year’s Day, and offer guests a cup of punch and New Year’s cakes, often sweetened with honey. This month, the children will be making New Year’s cake. A recipe for New Year’s cake from The Practical Cook Book by Mrs. Bliss (published in Philadelphia, 1850), calls for honey and caraway seeds, and makes a stiff dough that is to be rolled out, cut and baked — this “cake” today would be called a cookie.

Every month, the Colonial Cookery and Customs for Kids workshop teaches kids in fourth through eighth grade a Colonial “reciept” (recipe) used in the Connecticut region. While the food is prepared, they hear about Colonial manners, morals and way of life. The workshops feature relatively simple dishes made with local, seasonal ingredients. The recipes used will be adapted for modern kitchens. This is done for safety reasons, and also so that the attendees can recreate their meals at home. All participants sample their own cooking and take home recipe cards — as well as any leftovers. The children learn how a Colonial kitchen would have operated. Previous sessions have made bannock cakes, pease porridge, pickles, an amulet of green peas, apple tansey, fairy butter, pumpkin bread, and cranberry shortbread.