Deborah Peterson
327 Sumneytown Pike
Harleysville, PA 19438
Telephone 215-256-9399
E-mail Deborah










All text and images copyright Deborah Peterson 2002-19.

Website design and maintenance:
K L Martz



Deborah J. Peterson
Culinary Historian

Celebrating over 37 years of
Colonial Domestic Skills Research and Sharing

Email Deborah for notifications of new programs on our email list!

Programs Offered
Many programs are available as demonstrations for festivals, fairs, and other social events. Contact Deborah for rates, and to make arrangements. Deborah has her own projector. Special programs can be arranged. Descriptions follow this list:

Women in Trade When the Armies Came to Your House
Understanding Colonial Cooking Terms Coffee, Chocolate, Tea, Spices, and Many Other Items Too Tedious to Mention
Seasonal Foodways Isinglass, Trotters, and Hartshorn (Jellies!)
Sugar: from Harvested Cane to the Table Sweet-meats, Sugar plums, Suckets, Comfits
Sweet-meats Sugar-plums!
Chocolate! Colonial Chocolate
Packaging in the 18th Century Exotic Spices of the 18th Century
Ice Cream! Making Colonial Ice'd Creams
The Common Pin A Visit with MOTHER GOOSE!
Sweet-bags (sachets) Paper Filigree
Natural Dyeing School Programs

Hands-on Hearth Cooking Demonstrations and Classes, tailored to your needs, are available

Women in Trade
This PowerPoint program covers just what women in the Philadelphia area did outside their homes. Not all women stayed home as housewives. By using tax records, contemporary newspapers, diaries, ledgers, and journals, we see that a surprising number of women were recorded as being independent tradeswomen.

When the Armies Came to Your House
A fascinating PowerPoint program that tells what it was like for many people during the Revolutionary War when the soldiers - English and Continental - came and took your food, stock, and other assorted goods. Not a pretty story.

Understanding Colonial Cooking Terms
The focus of this PowerPoint presentation helps today's cooks understand colonial language shifts from the 18th century to the modern day. It can be daunting to interpret period cookbooks, diaries, letters, journals, almanacs, and newspapers. Add to that the use of unfamiliar words, terms, punctuation, measurements, and often difficult handwriting, and the challenge becomes even greater. A handout is supplied.

Coffee, Chocolate, Tea, Spices and Many Other Items too Tedious to Mention: 18th Century Imports into the Colonies
This PowerPoint program covers such imports into the colonies as coffee, chocolate, imported and patriotic teas, spices, sugars, salts, peppers, food colorants, isinglass, hartshorn, gums, leavenings, oils, pickles, sweetmeats, syrups, jellies, rose- and orange-flower waters, and many, many other items that were part of our nation's imported foods. A handout is supplied.

Seasonal Foodways
Not all foods were available all year long. This PowerPoint presentation brings to light just how dependent colonial Americans were on the seasons of the years for their food. It also touches on the goods imported into the colonies. A handout is supplied.

Isinglass, trotters and Hartshorn (Jellies!)
A show-n-tell and PowerPoint program about gelatines in English colonial America. We know them today as Jello(TM) products. A handout is supplied.

Sugar: from Harvested Cane to the Table
This PowerPoint presentation deals with the colonial sugar making process. Sugar was much desired in the colonies. Beginning with pressing the juice from the cane, explaining and illustrating the many steps and the equipment needed to do this, the different kinds of sugars will be discussed along with their packaging, export, marketing, and uses in the home. A vocabulary handout will be given.

Sweet-meats, Sugar plumbs, Suckets, Comfits (and Other 18th Century Sweets)
This is a show-n-tell and PowerPoint presentation that details the diverse selection of "sweets" that were available in English colonial America...just not for the kids. A handout is supplied.

A lively and fascinating workshop where participants make, eat, and take home a variety of sweetmeats from the colonial era. Lots of sugar work. Recipes supplied.

Explore how sugar-plums got their name. This PowerPoint program is a delightful prelude to Christmas planning. Some tastes and receipts (recipes) will be supplied.

This PowerPoint program covers chocolate in America since the 17th century. Tastes, receipts (recipes), and a handout are supplied.

Colonial Chocolate
In this hands-on workshop, participants make and consume several dishes made from period receipts featuring chocolate as it was imported into colonial America. Receipt (recipe) book supplied.

Packaging in the 18th Century: What Came in What?
This PowerPoint presentation makes sense of the somewhat surprising and bewildering world of packaging products for shipment and sale. A handout is supplied.

Exotic Spices of the Eighteenth Century
A PowerPoint program illustrating the various spices imported and used by our English colonial ancestors. A handout is supplied.

Ice Cream!
Make and eat your own hand-made ice creams. Each session shall pre-select three flavors before the class meets, from a list of authentic colonial flavors including Raspberry, Vanilla, Strawberry, Apricot, Pine Apple, Currant, Pistachio, Brown Bread, Ginger, Coffee, Chocolate, Orange, Lemon, Millefruit, Peach, or Cherry. A handout is provided. An excellent hot-weather activity!

Hands-on Hearth Cooking Demonstrations and Classes, tailored to your needs, are available.


The Common Pin
Pins were very important in colonial America, used not just for sewing but in clothing use. This PowerPoint program provides a careful look at the straight pin, the surprisingly many steps to its manufacture, its importance and uses in the eighteenth century. A handout is supplied.

Deborah as Mother Goose! Dressed in period-correct colonial clothing, Mother Goose comes to visit preschool and kindergarten age classes and groups with appropriate stories, rhymes and riddles. A very interactive visit with lots of excitement! In her basket of goodies are all sorts of charming stuffed animals and accessories to add to the fun.

Sweet-bags, or what we today call sachets
This hands-on activity allows participants to make the historically correct sweet-bags that were so useful in scenting clothing and controlling insect infestatinos. This is a cut above just making a sachet, using ingredients that are not quite so common in this day and age.

Paper Filigree
This hands-on workshop teaches guests to make the basic shapes of paper quilling - lovely, lacy paper shapes. These filigree shapes make delicate ornaments.

Natural Dyeing
Available as a class, or as a demonstration. Using natural dyes available to our colonial ancestors, visitors see first-hand the different colors produced.

School Programs
Included: Making ice'd cream; natural dyeing; candle making; sweet-bags; seasonal food preparation; grinding spices; pastimes for children; food preservation; writing with a quill; and games.

Deborah's programs are also available for demonstrations at festivals, fairs, and other social events.



eXTReMe Tracker