Food History Through Blog Posts
I am writing a collection of food history blog posts to prepare for a possible book about this topic. Actually, I find the history of food fascinating. In particular, the history of food has far reaching consequences in Colonial America.

Indians assist Pilgrims in first Thanksgiving
The First Thanksgiving, painting by Jean Louis Gerome Ferris, Photography Wikimedia Commons
The Consequences
Actually the consequences reach as far back as the American Revolutionary War fueling and supporting the establishment of a new nation, the United States of America.
In other words, this collection of food history blog posts illustrates the correlation between the establishment of American Colonial food stability and the birth of a new nation. In fact this period covers about 150 years.
Food Abundance Flourishes in the Colonies
The Mt. Vernon kitchen garden, allowing Martha Washington to keep fruits and vegetables on the table year round. From

There are three steps to establishing food stability. This post, summarizes all three. They are listed below.

Illustrated above shows definitively how conducive the colonies were to cultivating produce and food stability. In the early days of emigration to the colonies, the Indians even showed them how to survive their first Thanksgiving. After that, preparation took hold.

Traditional Food Preparation & Preservation: Introduction

Open Hearth Cooking
“Open hearth cooking is the oldest form of indoor cooking. Before cook stoves came into existence, fireplaces were commonly used. A cook knew how to prepare the fire for a day of planned cooking. The cook would rise early in order to start the fire for the entire day’s cooking.”
Open Hearth Cooking-Blennerhassett Kitchen-Fireplace and Utensils from

Original Glass Jar Canning

The glass canning jar method of preservation was invented in 1810, before the Mason glass threading technique invented in 1850. Therefore the original method is considered traditional and pre-industrial. In fact, it was not until 1850 that the canning method we know and use today was invented by William Mason.
What you need to can your berry favorite fruit jelly or jam. Don’t forget the berries. Supplies from internet sites.

Traditional Food Preservation: Churning Cream into Butter

This is a dairy product that was both prepared from cream and preserved preserved from going bad. Using a churn, the lifespan of cream was extended by turning it into butter. That way cream had a much longer shelf like.
The amount of butter one needed would determine the size of the churn. Apparently this churn provided a large amount of butter for its owner.
Antique butter churn with hand
Although preserved foods like jam/jelly and butter may not have been staples for the survival of early colonials, they do display the fascinating direction of food preservation in Colonial America and beyond.


Four Gardens at Mt. Vernon

The Pilgrims Had No Idea How to Farm Here. Luckily, They Had the Native Americans

Traditional Food Preservation: Glass Jar Canning

Traditional Food Preservation: Churning Cream into Butter

Churning (Butter)

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Traditional Food Preservation: Churning Cream into Butter

traditional food preservation

Traditional Food Preservation
One ways to preserve food is to churn cream to make butter. Historically, cream was the perishable food. Churning cream turned it into butter. But time and technology have provided a major change.

Instead of using a machine to churn, the cream was churned by hand. No need to go to the gym when one worked the arms with this traditional task.
Antique butter churn with hand crank-ebay
Traveling Back in Time

Actually, many other traditional food preservation systems existed then as well.
They are options even today although they may not be the most efficient ones.
But for anyone interested in a taste of the past, these options can be like a trip back in time.

Two descriptions follow this. In fact, they include videos for making butter the traditional way.



Making butter from (perishable) milk/cream-Video One

Making Butter from (milk/cream) Here is another video about making butter the old fashioned way. Making Butter served two traditional purposes. The first is preserving a perishable liquid, cream into a solid, butter. Another is creating a delicious fat that can be flavor other foods. In fact, adding herbs provided extra special flavor.
Traditional Food Preservation
Butter mold making equipment is available at
Butter Decoration
Homemade butter could have two purposes. They were for domestic use while the other was for commercial sale. Although a special design or pattern made it more appealing, branding was the the primary purpose to identity a butter-makers at a local, community market. Think of it as a branding pattern like labels are today(1).

Making butter from (perishable) milk/cream-Video Two

Butter Branding
Modern butter is branded by its packaging. On the other hand tradition butter branding was a pattern applied directly to the block of butter itself. A wooden carved mold was used to create the impression.
Butter branding-individual butter pattern and modern butter label
These topics are part of my Traditional Food Preservation Blog Post Series. Their discussion takes place in past and future preservation posts.
burying in ground
burying in fat in a barrel
root cellar storage
jar canning

(1)Alice Ross Hearth Studios, Workshop at Rock Hall Museum, Long Island NY, Butter decoration/branding explanation

How to Make Butter the Old Fashioned Way

traditional food preservation

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