Garden Diary - December 2018

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A Dutch Christmas at Bouman Stickney Farmstead Museum

Sunday, 2 December 2018

The Bouman Stickney Farmstead Museum is on Dreahook Road in the Stanton section of Reddington Township, New Jersey. (But your GPS will want you to use Lebanon, New Jersey.) Multiple events are scheduled this afternoon from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., with a focus on the farmstead's Dutch heritage and the colonial era. Sure to entertain both young and old.

The Readington Museums are hosting Dutch Sint-Nicolaas Day.
Over the river and through the woods, to Bouman Stickney I go.

The door is open, welcoming visitors to the 1741 farmhouse.

Here is Anne Enslow, one of the colonial musicians,
ready with a smiling face to greet the visitors.

And who is this! Why, Sinterklaas is peering in the door.

Ridley Enslow, in knee breeches, tricorn hat atop his peruke,
readies his historic violin to perform historic holiday pieces.

Anne accompanies him on a hammered dulcimer. Music will be made.

There are refreshments too, cider and homemade Dutch cookies to enjoy.
While the event is free to all, any donations are very much appreciated.

There is a children's craft table in the bedroom, where they may make
a sinterklass ornament, or a pomander ornament, to take home.

Down the steep and winding stairs I go, carefully now!, to the kitchen.
Built of massive stones, the farmstead's original open hearth is back in use.

Historic cooks Bev Altrath and Arlene Soong are demonstrating
18th century Dutch cooking, making gingerbread and waffles.

Gingerbread cookies are baking in a tin reflector oven.

Stamped cookies are cooling on a blue willowware platter. There are
springerle molds, and butter molds which can double for cookies.

But now it's time to prepare waffles, a luxury dish for the holidays.

Separate three or four eggs. Depends on the size, I guess.

Whisk the yolks until beaten. Then add 1 cup of heavy cream.
Whisk again to combine well before adding to 1 cup of flour
to which 1/4 teaspoon of salt had been added. Next, you must

whisk egg yolks and cream into flour until smooth. The egg whites,
having been whipped until stiff, light and airy, are then folded into
the batter. The waffle iron having been heated over hot coals is
buttered, batter spooned in, and the first waffle is then baked.

Small wonder that waffles are a luxury dish for the holidays.

Luxury indeed, a bottle of raspberry shrub nestled between two glasses.
We shall drink to the holidays when the kitchen work and cleanup is done.

The deep windowsill is embellished with greenery and pine cones,
apples and walnuts and dried orange halves. A celebration indeed.

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