By Beth David, Editor
It would have been elegant. It would have been leisurely. It would have been generous in portions and variety. And it would have been social. That is what a traditional Colonial era dinner would be for guests of people of means.
And so it was, as Mr. & Mrs. Howard Smith hosted an evening of dining and entertainment, presented by the Fairhaven Village Militia on Saturday, 3/4.
The foods were traditional, taken from the cookbook of Martha Washington (yes, THAT Martha Washington), although cooked on modern equipment. The three courses had six items each, with coffee, tea, and a lemony mixed spirit called a syllabub (with sparkling apple cider instead of champagne because of the venue).
Venison, duck with orange juices, chicken pudding, beef, Scotch eggs and stuffed apples are just some of the tasty dishes, prepared as they would have been around 1770.
Between courses the Buzzards Bay Buccaneers entertained with an Irish bazouki, chromaharp and ukelele.
Ellie Sylvaria, commander of the FVM, said the militia is considering an annual event that would be open to the public and, hopefully, used as a fund-raiser for the organization.
The militia holds encampments at Fort Phoenix and joins area militias in their encampments, re-enactments and other activities. Several times a year, they fire the five cannons at Fort Phoenix.
At the dinner, Mr. Sylvaria told guests that the Militia wanted to contrast the meals that are made at the encampments with something different.
“We wanted a little elegance and charm,” said Mr. Sylvaria.
Dina Quinlan said she was “blown away” after the first course.
It exceeded her expectations, she said, especially the onion pie.
“I liked everything,” said Mia Quinlan, especially the chicken pudding.”
Georgia Sparling said her favorite was the apple sauce, which was more of an apple pie, with chunks of apple.
“It was amazing, delicious,” said Ms. Sparling. “I can’t say enough about it.”
“That was wonderful,” said Kristen SaintDon-Campbell, adding that the chicken pudding was her favorite. “It’s was like a quiche. And I love the butter.”
Of course, it was churned just minutes before the dinner was served.
The second course included the venison, Scotch Eggs (hard boiled eggs wrapped in sausauge), and stew of rump beef. Dessert was stuffed apples, little iced cakes and orange creams.
The hosts engaged their guests in conversation throughout the meal, including a tale about George Washington’s hospitality. According to Mrs. Smith, Mr. Washington’s house was known as a place where all were welcome, no matter how late. He would have the servants set the table and serve guests until they were satiated. He did, however, have to stop the wine at some point because “the wine bill got out of control,” said Mrs. Smith.
Mr. Sylvaria said that the dinner has been a dream of a few FVM members for years.
To learm more about the Fairhaven Villiage Militia, visit http:// fairhavenvillagemilitia.blogspot.com
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