Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Remember When . . . The Party Was Colonial?

Next week I'll be having my first real-life (as opposed to online) book event for Annapolis, at my local library. It's advertised as a Colonial Christmas party, and I'm having fun putting together all the Colonial aspects. I'll be displaying my Great ANNAPOLIS Giveaway items, I think I'll be setting up the little plastic Patriot V. Tory soldiers I have in a mock battle, decorating with greenery . . . and of course, planning a colonial menu. =)

I thought today it would be fun to share with you online folks what my in-person folks will be treated to next week, and the fun recipes I've found for colonial dishes. =)

Before I dive into the goodies, though, don't forget to comment on the THREE interviews I have up right now for chances to win copies of Annapolis AND for entries into the Great ANNAPOLIS Giveaway! They are:

The Love Finds You Blog Party at Seasons of Humility:

Now for the goodies!

First, my menu will feature two savory items--ham, which was  a staple of life and parties back in the day, since it could be so easily preserved by smoking and salting. And also popcorn, which hadn't yet reached the widespread popularity of the 1800s, but was certainly around.

Now for the sweets!


  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup hot water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9 inch square pan.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg, and mix in the molasses.
  3. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Blend into the creamed mixture. Stir in the hot water. Pour into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan before serving. 

Pear Muffins

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup ripe pears, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
rind of 1 lemon

Preheat the oven to 375. Grease muffin tins. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk and vanilla, mixing just until blended. Do not overmix. In a bowl combine the pears with the walnuts, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon rind. Gently fold into the batter. Spoon into the muffin tins, filling each tin 3/4 full. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until nicely browned. Serve warm with apple butter. 

(Thanks to Susan Craft for sharing this one!)

And this one required a bit of introduction--I found repeated mention of "little sugar cakes" as a favorite party food, but had no clue what they were. Petit fours?? Maybe. But as I was searching yesterday, I found this recipe for "Sugar Jumbles / Little Sugar Cakes" which I knew right away were what I was looking for. I'd already discovered that "jumbles" were cookies, and it suddenly clicked about the sugar cakes being the same. So thank you to A Lovely Thought blog ( for this recipe I found!

Sugar Jumbles 
little sugar cakes of old-time goodness

Mix together……… 1/2 cup soft butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla
Sift together and stir in………. 1 1/8 cups flour, 1/4 teaspoon soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt.
Drop rounded teaspoonfuls about 2” apart on lightly greased baking sheet. Bake until delicately brown… cookies should still be soft.

 TIME: Bake 8 to 10 min.
AMOUNT: About 3 dozen 2” cookies

I like to sprinkle with a powder of sugar on top, and place some pinches of lemon balm from my garden on the serving plate.

Now for the beverages! I'll have coffee, and . . .


  • 1 gallon apple cider
  • 1 large can pineapple juice (unsweetened)
  • 3/4 cup tea
Place in a cheesecloth or mesh sack:
  • 1 Tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon whole allspice
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
Instructions: This is great cooked in a crock pot. Let it simmer very slowly for 4 to 6 hours. You can add water if it evaporates too much. Your home will smell wonderful, and this is a great way to set the tone for a holiday party!

And finally . . .

Martha Washington's Colonial Chocolate
George Washington’s Favorite Hot Chocolate.

4 Tablespoons Cocoa
Small amount Of Cold Water
2 Cups Water
1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 Cups Milk
2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
Small amount Of Cold Milk
1 Egg
1/2 Cup Hot Water
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Mix Cocoa And Cold Water To A Smooth Paste In A Saucepan. Stir In The 2 Cups Water, Sugar And Milk. Bring To A Boil And Blend In Cornstarch Which Has Been Dissolved In The Cold Milk. Boil 3 Minutes Longer.

Remove From Heat And Set In A Warm Place. Beat Egg And Hot Water Until Light And Foamy. Pour Half Of Egg Mixture Into A Pitcher. Blend In Vanilla Extract. Add To Chocolate Slowly. Pour Remaining Egg Mixture Over Top. Serve.


  1. I've wondered what wassail is...I can't say I'd love it, but if I was at your party, I'd try it!

    Are you making everything yourself? It sounds like you are quite the party planner. (Unlike myself...themes and decorations just aren't "me.")

  2. Sounds SO good - excited for you! I wish you were closer - the fifth graders at my son's school are having a colonial day a week from today. All sorts of stuff. Enjoy!

  3. Annette, I'm planning on recruiting Mom and maybe Mom-in-law to help with this stuff. My sister's a better planner than I am, but for this one, the theme pretty much took care of itself, and most of the recipes are from the Colonial Quills blog. =)

    Joanne, how fun for your son! Anything they're having that I should add??

  4. So that's how you make Wassail.

    I wish I could come to your in person books signing. I guess you'll be safe from your trusty stalker.

    Seriously, From West Coast to East Coast, I hope the event is blessed and profitable! Amen.

  5. LOL, Tammy. I wish you could come too! It would be good to see my trusty stalker again. ;-)

    Some wassails were a milky version that was apparently pretty nasty, but I'll go for the mulled cider version, thank you very much, LOL.

  6. This is so pretty! Don't forget to post on MidAtlantic Roseanna! Wish we could all be there from CACW but glad my little men made it there and can protect you (plastic or not lol!) I pray it goes super well!

  7. thanks for sharing these delicious recipes, roseanna =)


  8. Oh, I love gingerbread! And I have GOT to make some of that hot chocolate. :)