Colonial Cooking

Do you ever feel like you’re on your favorite TV show? Last month, at the Northeast Georgia History Center’s Family Day I got to cook in a cabin from the 1700’s, and I felt like I was on an episode of Cooking with Townsend and Son!

feb 11 cooking
The theme for this Family Day was Colonial Georgia. I made Succotash and “Tiny Purses”, which are Date Turnovers with recipes that I got from Townsend and Son. To check out their YouTube channel click here.
Townsend and Son is a shop as well as a YouTube Channel that is dedicated to the 18th century. They have hundreds of videos on 18th century living, cooking, clothing, and much more.

feb 11 cooking 4
Corn was the most important and widely consumed grain in early North America. Succotash was a nourishing Native American staple, a thick stew, that could (and did) feed a crowd. The name succotash is from the Wampanoag msíckquatash, meaning “boiled corn kernels”.
While the earliest published recipe for Succotash Townsend and Son could find dated to the mid-19th century, its introduction by the native people to European settlers can be documented in non-culinary texts as early as the mid to late 1600’s. Succotash remains popular today throughout certain regions of the United States.
This recipe is a summertime version that uses fresh corn and beans. Whole hominy and dried beans would have been used during other seasons of the year.
8-10 Ears of Sweet Corn
About 4 oz. of dried Jowl Bacon or regular Bacon
1 and a half cups of Baby Lima Beans
Salt, Pepper, and Butter to taste
What I Did:
First, I cooked the bacon and diced it. Then, I cut the cornels off the corn cobs. After that I added the bacon, corn, and baby lima beans that I had soaked overnight into a cast iron Dutch Oven. I warmed the concoction over the fire until it was time to eat.

Feb 11 cooking 2
“Tiny Purses” (Date Turnovers)
This recipe is for “Tiny Purses” or “Crematories” delicious little date turnovers. It was published in a 1596 English cookbook titled “The Good Housewife’s Jewel.” I got the recipe from my calendar that was sent to be my Townsend and Son.
2 cups Dates, pitted and chopped
1 cup Raisins or Zante Currants
1 tbsp. Beef Suet or Coconut Oil
1 tsp. Powdered Ginger
1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
2 tsp. Sugar
Puff Pastry
Powdered Sugar (optional)
What I did:
First, I chopped of all the dried dates then added them to a bowl with the raisins, coconut oil, ginger, cinnamon, and sugar. I stirred well until I was satisfied that it was mixed. I then cut the pasty dough into three-inch circles, added the filling, and folded it into a semicircle. Once they were all folded into semicircles I lined the bottom of the dutch oven with them and let them cook over the fire until they were a gold brown on the edges.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this recipe because I’m not the biggest fan of raisins or dates, but there were actually fantastic!



jastownsendandson. “Townsends.” YouTube, YouTube,
Tucker, Aimee. “Succotash | Recipe with a History.” New England Today, 10 July 2017,

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