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Haddam Historical Society: Heart of the Home Kitchen Tour

Submitted by Elizabeth Malloy, Executive Director, HHS.

Heart of the Home of Kitchen Tour

Kitchens have evolved tremendously since Thankful Arnold lived in Haddam 200 years ago. In 1817 water was brought in from well in pails, baking was done in the beehive oven and cooking was done on the fireplace hearth. There was no refrigeration and meats were dried and salted, vegetables kept in the root cellar or pickled and cheese stored in the pantry.

A typical early New England breakfast consisted of hard cider, ham and eggs, or maybe salted fish with cream and bean porridge. The big meal of the day known as dinner was served midday around 1:00 p.m. and included a roast, vegetables, breads and puddings. Supper was served around 5 or 6 o’clock and consisted of bread and milk, toast and cheese or a pudding.

Thankful’s kitchen displays a number of early 19th century tools which she used in food preparation including an apple peeler, reflector oven and milk pans. She used frying pans called “spiders” and a Dutch oven over hot coals for daily cooking and baking. It is very different from the kitchens we use today which feature remote crockpots, digital measuring cups and wifi enabled tea kettles.

On Saturday, September 23, 2017 the Haddam Historical Society will host a tour of seven local kitchens from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The tour will feature some of Haddam’s and Higganum’s most stunning kitchens dating from the 1700s to today. Many of the featured kitchens have been innovatively and professionally renovated and demonstrate how a new kitchen can work in an old house. Visitors will also view historic 18th century kitchens where cooking was done on the hearth. Each stop on the tour will feature a special demonstration, display or tasting including making apple butter and harvesting herbs. Tickets are $25 per person in advance and $30 day of the tour.  Please visit for additional information. The tour will start at the Thankful Arnold House Museum, 14 Hayden Hill Road, Haddam, CT 06438.

The Haddam Historical Society is looking for A FEW MORE volunteers for Kitchen Tour on the afternoon (1:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.) shifts. Only five volunteer spots remaining for kitchen tour docents on September 23. Please contact Amy Roper at [email protected] to volunteer.  Volunteer perks include going on the tour for free and a swanky “staff” button and our undying gratitude!!!
[Edited 9/15/17 to add need for volunteers.]