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No modern conveniences found during Colonial Days at Fort Loudoun

July 30, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Gage Jones, 10, of McConnellsburg, Pa., helps food historian Linda Zeigler make mincemeat pastries Saturday in the summer kitchen of the Patton House during Colonial Days and Native American Tales at the Fort Loudoun State Historic Site in Fort Loudon, Pa.
By Roxann Miller

FORT LOUDON, Pa. — Electricity, refrigeration and running water weren't found in Linda Zeigler's kitchen.

The food historian is a stickler about authenticity when it comes to colonial cooking.

She whipped up mincemeat pastries (mini pies), chicken noodle soup and lemon ice cream without any modern conveniences.

Zeigler's cooking demonstration was part of Saturday's Colonial Days and Native American Tales at the Fort Loudoun State Historic Site. The event also included displays, demonstrations, re-enactments and storytelling.

Saturday also marked the official unveiling of the summer kitchen that Anna Rotz, president of the Fort Loudon Historical Society, said was added to the Patton House six months ago thanks to donations.

"It was a part of this house at one time, but it was destroyed when a huge tree came down and smashed it," Rotz said. "So we wanted to add it back on the house like it originally was."

The summer kitchen is authentic to the time period of the late 1700s or early 1800s.

"Any history is worth remembering, and one of the best ways to remember it is to re-create it. And that holds true for food history as well," Zeigler said. "One of the best ways of remembering history is actually showing people how to do it and taste it, feel it and smell it — and we are losing it."

Gage Jones, 10, of McConnellsburg, Pa., got rave reviews for the mincemeat pastries he helped Zeigler prepare.

"It was awesome making them," said Gage, who helps his mother, Sue Jones, in the kitchen.

While Gage liked cooking over a roaring fire, he is grateful for today's modern conveniences.

"We've always been interested in history," said Sue Jones, who came to the event with her husband, Bob. "It's a part of our history. As Americans, you want to see what is was like way back before the land was settled and developed."

Cliff Ellis of Fayetteville, Pa., is a history buff. He has been waiting for some time to visit the historic site.

"I just love history. I love reading about it, and I bought a few books here to read," said Ellis, who waited patiently for the mincemeat pies to bake.

His girlfriend, Ruth Hamilton, has lived in Fort Loudon, but had never visited the fort.

"I think it's wonderful," she said.

"It's a change from our time. It's a chance to go back in the past," Ellis said. "The kids here today will never forget this."

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