October 2018: Things that go Bump After Dark or “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” —UPDATE: ALL PERFORMANCES SOLD OUT! THANK YOU!– River Theater of Charlestown and The Fort at No. 4 have joined forces to create a special Halloween treat this October: six presentations of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”! Yes, SIX opportunities to to …
One of the may recipes to be found in Foods From the Fort offered in our bookstore is Oatmeal Bread. To make the bread you will need:
- 1 cup rolled oates
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 package active dry yeast (or not quite one tablespoon yest)
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon shortening or butter or coconut oil
- 1 1/2 cups flour
Places oats into a large bowl. Pour the boiling water over oats then stir in the molasses, salt and shortening to the oats. Let the oat mixture set about an hour until cool.
Once the oat mixture is cool, dissolve yeast in the lukewarm water in a small bowl. Add the dissolved yeast to the cooled oat mixture.
Once the oat mixture and the yeast are mixed together, add in the flower one cup at a time. Stir until well mixed. Cover and let the oats/flour mixture rise until doubled in bulk.
Once the mixture has doubled in bulk, stir it down. Spoon the sticky mixture into two greased bread tins. Let rise again until almost doubled in bulk.
Bake in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. turn oven temperature down to 350 degrees and bake an additional 25 minutes.
After baking remove bread from pans and rub the top of the bread with butter. Allow to cool.
Makes two loaves.
From Hannah Glass’ “The Art of Cookery Plain and Easy” (1760)
- take a pound of loaf sugar, beat and sift it
- a pound of flour, well dried
- a pound of butter
- eight eggs
- half a pound of currant, washed and picked
- grate nutmeg
- the same quantity of mace and cinnamon
Work butter to a cream, then put in your sugar, beat the whites of your eggs near half an hour, mix them with your sugar and butter, then beat your yolks near half an hour, and put them to your butter, beat them exceedingly well together, then put in your flour, spices and currants; when it is all ready for the oven, bake them in tins, and dust a little sugar on them/
The last piece to the Fort’s Beehive Oven is a cover. We weighed the various options and decided to go with a single slant roof elevated several feet over the oven. Of course it took a “design team,” “framer,” rough frame roofers, and two “roofers” to get the job done. Also a blacksmith…
Before one can use a cob oven (cob meaning earth or in this instance clay, sand, water and a smattering of straw) there is the necessary–and often long–drying period. The cob needs to dry (outside and inside) and harden, forming a kind of mud brick before the oven is usable. Because we used a sand …
The first weekend of May began with our Beehive Oven Workshop. Ed Murphy, leading the workshop was anxious to get things underway. First folks sieved the clay to remove any stray bits, then sand and water were mixed with the clay until deemed the right consistency (something about dropping a ball of cob and seeing …
Some times repair work requires a little dis-assembly. In the case of the fort’s well-loved beehive bake oven, almost everything, roof, oven, oven base, had to be taken apart so that we might start anew. The roof came off easily, tried from so many years of work. The inside of the oven had already collapsed …
The fort’s community oven (beehive) has served the fort for more than two decades. After so many years of hard service, our oven is ready for major repairs. While we make plans to work on our oven, we thought that we might take a moment and look back at the beginnings of the museum’s famous …
While doing some research in preparation for our upcoming beehive (cob) oven rebuild we came across some interesting materials. Among these, from the Canadian Museum of Civilization, is the Book The Bread Ovens of Quebec (BOILY, Lise, and Jean-François Blanchette. 1979). Now out of print, but available in PDF form, The Bread Ovens of Quebec …
Rebuilding the Fort’s Beehive Oven
The chief source of spiritual nourishment for any nation must be its own past, perpetually rediscovered and renewed.
Ralph Barton Perry