Wednesday, December 24, 2008

About bread...

Bread is about as universal in time and geography as it gets. Flat breads go back thousands of years, and lighter yeast breads were often served on our 19th century ancestors' tables.

Just in time for the holiday season, here's an 1849 excerpt about bread from Victoria Rumble's OUTSTANDING compilation of historic foodways: Victoria's Home Companion (pp. 63-64)

"Bread made of wheat flour, when taken out of the oven, is unprepared for the stomach. It should go through a change or ripen before it is eaten. Young persons, or persons in the enjoyment of vigorous health may eat bread immediately after being baked, without any sensible injury from it; but weakly and aged persons cannot, and none can eat such without doing harm to the digestive organs. Bread, after being baked, goes through a change similar to the change in newly-brewed beer, or newly-churned buttermilk. During the change in bread it sends off a large portion of carbon, or unhealthy gas, and imbibes a large portion of oxygen, or healthy gas. Bread has, according to the computation of physicians, one fifth more nutrient in it when ripe, than it has when just out of the oven. It not only has more nutriment but imparts a much greater degree of cheerfulness. He that eats old ripe bread will have a much greater flow of animal spirits than he would were he to eat unripe bread. Bread, as before observed, discharges carbon, and imbibes oxygen. One thing in connection with this thought, should be particularly noticed by all housewives. It is to let the bread ripen where it can inhale the oxygen in a pure state. Bread will always taste of the air that surrounds it while ripening--hence it should ripen where the air is pure. It should never ripen in a cellar, nor in a close cupboard, nor in a bedroom. The noxious vapors of the cellar or a cupboard never should enter into and form a part of the bread we eat. Bread should be light, well baked, and properly ripened, before it should be eaten.

Bread that is several days old may be renewed so as to have all the freshness and lightness of new bread, by simply putting it into a common steamer over a fire, and steaming it half or three quarters of an hour. The vessel under the steamer, containing the water, should not be more than half full; otherwise the water may boil up in the steamer, and wet the bread. After the bread is thus steamed, it should be taken out of the steamer, and wrapped loosely in a cloth, to dry and cool, and remain so a short time, when it will be ready to be cut and used. It will then be like cold, new bread."

Friday, December 19, 2008

Closure reminders...

Holiday greetings, Log Cabin Villagers!

Just a reminder, we have a couple of closures coming up.
  • We will be closed December 25th through January 1st. We will reopen at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, January 2nd.
  • We will be closed January 26th through February 9th for maintenance. We will reopen at 9:00 a.m. on February 10th.

Hope this holiday season finds you merry and bright! Best wishes and safe travels...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

...but at our event this past Saturday, it was SO DELIGHTFUL!

We had a great time stringing popcorn, playing dreidel, finishing our winter count, making pomander balls, and embossing cards. Here are a few pictures of all the fun...just in case you missed it (click on slideshow for larger images and to control the speed):

Here's also a couple of shots of the Mill's water wheel today...when the weather was not quite so delightful...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Village through YOUR eyes...

Although we are in the business of "the past," we definitely love utilizing the tools of the present (as evidenced by our use of blogs, web sites, Shelfari, Facebook--have you become our fan yet?, etc.)

One thing we particularly enjoy is "Googling" the term "Log Cabin Village" to see what comes up! Blog postings, calendar mentions, user reviews...we love seeing them all! If they're good, we are excited. If they mention weaknesses...well...we take that into consideration and make improvements.

Most of all we love seeing photographs that people have taken here and then published on the web. It's fun seeing the Village through other people's eyes! They notice details we may have missed and focus on things we may not realize are important.

We want to see the Village through YOUR eyes. Please send me your photos...and I will consolidate them into an online album which I will post here! Photos can be of anything it your family, one of our cabins, or something else that was just inspired by your visit. Please include your first name, your city, and the photo's caption.

The deadline is January 15, get those photos in!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Corn husk dolls...revisited... last month I issued a request--send me photos of your corn husk dolls after you made them.

My email inbox is sad.

So I'm sending a reminder... Send me a photo of you and your finished corn husk doll (plus your first name and the city where you live)...and we'll publish it here on our blog!

Hoping to hear my inbox "ding" soon... :) :)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

About a Village...

Have any of you ever noticed how much pressure blog writing places on a person/institution?

As the primary author of Log Cabin Village's blog...I strive to provide interesting and relevant content on a somewhat frequent basis. Yet sometimes, although our time period AND museum are fascinating, I draw a blank. What is it that our readers want to read about?

I could tell you about our day-to-day happenings--how the chill in the air has brought in scores of visitors seeking respite from the mania of the holiday season. I could tell you how we're anxiously preparing for the holidays ourselves, hanging garlands and popcorn and wreaths. I could even tell you about how I'm researching tamale-making, so that we can approximate an authentic experience for our holiday event on December 13th (by the way...if anyone out there is an expert've got my number--give me a call).

I could tell you how the Village cats are ticked off because they don't like the cold. Or how the curator and I have been feverishly huddled around computers trying to secure photos to go on the new web site (which will launch soon, by the way). Or even how the crackling of the potbelly stove in the one-room school makes me yearn to grab a cup of hot cocoa, move my desk outside, and finish this post fireside (which would make it awkward for the school group currently holding "Pioneer School" in there...but that's beside the point).

I could even tell you that I currently hear the anachronistic hum of a cordless drill as a City of Fort Worth employee fixes that nagging porch board that's been catching the back door lately.

All of these activities, sounds, thoughts, and feelings make up the daily rhythm of Log Cabin Village.

"Blog worthy?" Who knows.

All I know is that it's another beautiful day at the Village...and we look forward to seeing our staff and visitors--our family.

Happy holidays...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Holidays at the Hearth...

Our fun December family event is coming up...and we're expecting a crowd! Won't you join us?

Saturday, December 13, 2008: Holidays at the Hearth (1:00—4:00 p.m.)

Celebrate the holidays Village style! See how cabins would have been decorated, string some popcorn, help make pomander balls and tamales, spin the dreidel, and reflect on storied traditions as you pause from the holiday hustle and bustle. Make your own embossed greeting card to take home! No reservations required. Cost is regular Village admission plus a $2 craft fee to make a card.