Open Hearth Cooking: A Taste for History

January 22, 2017, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

In an annual tradition spanning 35 years, visitors have looked forward to gathering around Durand-Hedden’s 18th century hearth and experiencing how Maplewood residents of long ago cooked, ate, and kept warm during the long winter months. This January, Durand-Hedden is pleased to welcome a new cook to its kitchen.

Susan Luczu is a New Jersey food historian who has a passion for open hearth cooking that she has practiced at historic sites such as Monmouth County Historical Society’s Covenhoven House as well as the cooking fireplace of her own circa 1705 home in the historic Old Bridge community of East Brunswick. On the menu this year will be vegetable beef soup, apple-cornbread fritters, bubble and squeak, beer batter bread and hearth roasted beets cooked over the fire. Children can try their hands at old-fashioned cooking chores like kneading dough, churning butter, and watch a spinster make yarn at her wheel.

An Annual Tribute

Durand-Hedden’s mid-winter open-hearth cooking demonstration has become an annual tradition to honor late longtime trustee, Irene Kosinski. Irene, a gifted educator and lover of living history, oversaw the restoration of Durand-Hedden’s beehive oven in 1981 and went on to establish our perpetually popular open-hearth cooking program.

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Domestic Arts

Next Event

April 28, 2019, 1:00 PM

Shuttles, Spindle and Flyer Wheels: Hand spinning and Weaving in the 21st Century

The Essex County Hand Spinners Guild will demonstrate the magical art of spinning fibers into yarn on hand spindles and spinning wheels, some antique or traditional in appearance, and some contemporary that have a modern look. Weavers will also demonstrate how cloth is made on a variety of looms. Visitors will also be invited to try their hands at spinning and weaving.


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Membership in the Durand-Hedden House & Garden Association is open to all. Please consider your membership an invitation to join us as a volunteer or docent educator.