Hy-Vee Presents Foodways Fridays - Living History Farms

Hy-Vee Presents Foodways Fridays

Foodways Fridays

Foodways Fridays showcase typical cooking techniques, ingredients, and food culture of the past! Each Friday from 10am to 12pm, historic sites at Living History Farms will explore a differing food theme through demonstrations and displays. Sites and theme topics vary from week to week June 9 through August 25. Food trivia and recipes will be available to take home!

Thank you to Hy-Vee for their support of our Foodways Fridays program.

June 9:  Ethnic Food Culture. Every cultural group has recipes and food that help define them. Visit the Tangen House for a peek at some Norwegian-American foodways and watch the Tangen site staff make Kringla!

June 16:  Special Occasion Foods. Iowans throughout history prepared celebration food to mark special occasions. Visit the 1850 Pioneer Farm discover how to bake a special Groom’s cake for the upcoming Pioneer Wedding. Chat with staff at the Flynn Mansion to watch decorations and preparations for a 19th Century Victorian Wedding Anniversary Party. Check out the spices and treats available for baking at the Schaefer Drug Store.

June 23:  Dairy Day: Milk was an integral part of farm food culture, but mostly for cooking and treats. 1850 Pioneer Farm staffers will be churning butter this morning, sharing the science and reasons why butter was so important to a farm family. The 1900 farmers will be churning a special occasion treat; visit the farm to learn about the science of ice cream!

June 24: Saturday Food Challenge: The various food preparation areas in LHF’s historic sites are put to the test! The 1700 Ioway Farm, 1850 Pioneer Farm, 1900 Horse-Powered Farm, Flynn Mansion, and Tangen House will receive a “secret ingredient” basket first thing in the morning. Each site will have two hours to prepare a specific meal course for a panel of judges. Sites will be judged on their creativity, their use of historical technique, and taste! Food preparations are ongoing at historic sites throughout the morning and plates will be judges at the Visitor Center from 11:30am to 1pm. 

June 30, Did they really have that?: Food culture throughout the past is made up of familiar ingredients and spectacular surprises to the modern pallet. Visit the 1700 Ioway Farm to discover some of the ways Native cooks flavored their meals. Drop in on the Tangen House to see what macaroni and cheese comfort food looks like in the 1870s. Explore the General Store and test your knowledge of hat might and might not be available on a 19th century grocery shopping trip!

July 7, Picnic Day: Eating outside and enjoying seasonal foods is at the heart of Iowa food culture. But did this happen in the past?   Several 19th century cookbooks offer full menu suggestions! Stop in at the 1850 Pioneer Farm to see how a family might prepare outdoor meals using what they have handy. Then visit with the Flynn Mansion where staff plans a picnic for a wealthy family’s social entertainment. The Broom Shop will also seize the opportunity to test their cake tester brooms—are the picnic desserts done?

July 14, Corn and Hogs: Modern Iowa takes a great deal of pride in the quality of the pork and amount of corn it provides. Visit the history farm sites today to explore the corn and pork production of the past! Ioway farmers grew flour corns for making corn flour. Join the 1700 Ioway Farm staff in exploring corn mortars and corn flours. Check out the 1850 Pioneer Farm hog pen and corn fields where farmers will be explaining the change to cash farming and the dilemma of selling corn or keeping it to feed pigs to sell. The 1900 Farm will render lard today, talking about the needs and uses for lard at the turn of the century!

July 28, Cookbook Showcase: Recipes and techniques are passed down from generation to generation. Sometimes they are written on note cards, in journals and in the covers of cookbooks. American cookbook publishing started in colonial times. Visit the Tangen House and 1900 Farm today for a peek at the evolution of cookbooks! The Advocate Print Shop will also be printing a period recipe.

August 4, Cake and Pie day: Are you a cake person or a pie person? Which is your ideal homemade dessert? The 1900 Farm staff is baking pies for the upcoming oat threshing harvest. Check out their hints for a flaky crust! Flynn Mansion staff is exploring the cake baking recipes in preparation for the upcoming Victorian Birthday party. Drop by to explore baking and decorating techniques in 1875! The Broom Shop will also seize the opportunity to test their cake tester brooms!

August 11, Need a Sip of Something?: Hot weather creates thirst! Visit the Tangen House this morning to explore the various punches and beverages recommended for hot and cold weather! The General Store will showcase their knowledge of lemonade mixes! Drop in at the Drug Store for a discussion of how soda waters and sarsaparillas changed from medicine to everyday indulgences.

August 18, Fried Food: It’s State Fair time! That time when every Iowa fair goer indulgences their fried food desire. Stop in at the 1900 Farm for a look at making home fried apple dumplings on a wood stove or visit the Tangen House to see how doughnuts were a Victorian obsession!

August 25, Food Preservation: Even in the heat of August, Iowans were already thinking of the coming cold months. Visit the 1700 Ioway Farm and 1850 Pioneer Farm today to explore how early Iowans preserved food without the aid of canning and refrigeration. Chat with General Store staff in Walnut Hill to discover how tin cans and glass jars changed what was bought and sold for 1875 Iowa.


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