History IS Messy…

One of my writing projects and hands-on history experiments this autumn appeared in published form on Emerging Civil War’s blog for the week of Thanksgiving.

From History Books to A Modern Kitchen

Corn and Apples with the 17th Virginia Infantry

 Officers’ Mess Breakfast with the 61st New York

Miss Caskie’s Cake at General Lee’s Headquarters

Thanksgiving Dinner at the Wolfe Street Hospital

“War Picnic” at Second Manassas with Jackson’s Corps

Colonel Bartlett’s Dinner with the 49th Massachusetts

(Published on Emerging civil War blog)

The project pushed my little modern kitchen to the testing limits, and in an effort to always be an honest historian, I thought it was only fair to post a few photos of the disaster zone of dirty dishes and some of the cooking process.

After-all, these photos might be a little misleading, and authenticity and embracing the mess can be a good thing. History IS messy…

The food was delicious (mostly), and I found a few new recipes that are definitely “keepers.” But I’m not going to miss the mountains of dishes…and I did use paper plates for Thanksgiving leftovers.

Here’s to bringing the good and delicious history out of the books and back to life!

What’s your favorite historical food story? Messy cooking adventure?


Published by Sarah Kay Bierle

I’m Sarah Kay Bierle, author, speaker, and researcher. Past and present, everyone has a story. What will we discover and discuss?

2 thoughts on “History IS Messy…

  1. I enjoyed reading the blog posts, I had to admit some of the foods I was not familiar with (barberry sauce?). It must have taken quite a bit of work to put all of that together. I am not a big dessert eater but have to admit the cake looked quite good, it made me look at spiced cake recipes to get an idea of the ingredients. For me the underlying theme in the accounts you mentioned, as well as others throughout various texts, is the appreciation these men experienced when they were able to obtain something different or unique whether through a package from home, a sutler, foraging, or regular issuance. A man who is willing to fill his haversack with nothing but mustard is certainly appreciative. It can be easy in today’s world to take for granted how relatively easy it can be to obtain unique or different foods with the access many people have. It makes me grateful for what I do have.

    Liked by 1 person

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