Celebrate Mother’s Day with some cherished favourites – made with love over the generations ­– from our new book,Eat your history: stories and recipes from Australian kitchens. 

A visit to Elizabeth Farm, Australia’s oldest homestead, takes us back to Jane Austen’s era. Built in 1793, it was home to members of the Macarthur family until the 1850s.

In the early 19th century places for genteel women like Elizabeth Macarthur to meet were limited in the colony, with public houses and coffee palaces entirely unsuitable.  The only option was to entertain guests at home. The trend was known as ‘morning calls’, though many took place in the afternoon. Guests would be served tea, often a blend of green, black and fragrant leaves and flowers, made to the mistress of the household’s preference, with accompanying sweet and savoury snacks. With its cosy drawing room, lush gardens and shady verandah, Elizabeth Farm offered plenty of options for elegant entertaining.

Elizabeth Farm. Photo © James Horan for Sydney Living Museums

Baked cheesecakes made with fresh ricotta-style cottage cheese appear in many cookery texts from the period. The original recipe for these cheesecakes, published in 1816, gives instructions for making fresh cheese from ‘the curd of three quarts of milk’. It was not unusual for families of the time to have their own ‘milch’ goat or, on larger properties, a house cow to provide fresh milk each day. They would also have had to make their own ‘puff paste’, which meant making cheesecakes was quite an accomplishment. These days, however, most of the work is done for us, even when we make things ‘from scratch’.

Buy the book

$49.99

About the Author

Sydney Living Museums Image
Jacqui Newling
Assistant curator
Creative Services
Jacqui brings over ten years of ‘visitor first’ interpretation experience to her role as a curator at SLM. She specialises in place-based social history and heritage, bringing meaningful stories from our past to contemporary audiences through various forms of media, from exhibitions to interactive opportunities for visitors in our museums. 

Closed until further notice.

 

COVID-19 updateFriday 25 June 2021

In line with decisions made by the NSW Government, Sydney Living Museums will close to the public from Saturday 26 June to Friday 2 July (inclusive) to help protect the health of all visitors and staff and minimise the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in the state.

Students in historic house setting.

Learning

Learning subsidyTuesday 1 June 2021

From 1 July 2021, we are pleased to offer support to selected students to attend our learning programs.

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Events

Cornersmith Cooking School takes up residency at The MintFriday 7 May 2021

Cornersmith Cooking School is bringing its pop-up cooking classes to The Mint.

Elizabeth Bay House

Foundation

Annual Appeal 2021Friday 23 April 2021

To help us continue our important work, we invite you to support Sydney Living Museums through the Annual Appeal 2021.

Elizabeth Bay House Verandah

Membership

Exclusive Member EventsWednesday 21 April 2021

We’re delighted to offer members a selection of special events at Elizabeth Bay House.Members will have exclusive access to view