I always enjoy the unique scent of Greenfield Village: the Model Ts, the trains, the farms, flowers and horses. But I especially delight in the aromas that seem to lead me through the village during Fall Flavor Weekends. As activities in the village celebrate food and flavors – there’s the extra-added bonus of some really wonderful smells, too.
I followed my nose to the cooking demonstrations at seven of the historic homes. During the weekends, the homes display many prepared period dishes, and each has one featured recipe printed on a card for visitors to take home.
This recipe card at Firestone Farmhouse calls for smaller squash – but the ladies at the farm supersized it with a beautiful Hubbard squash. The farm kitchen feeds all the workers throughout the farming seasons – not just during the Fall Flavor Weekends, so the women who cook there are accustomed to making large meals.
My next stop was the Fall Farmers Market situated in the Pavilion. Plants, produce, dairy items, meat, soaps, syrups, candy, kettle corn, fibers, herbs, pies and much, much more filled the open-air building.
Above, Laura Cuthbertson from Aunt Bea’s Place demonstrates spinning natural yarn at the Fall Farmers Market. It is the sheep farm’s first time participating in the event.
Doodle’s Sugarbush’s display had samples, samples and more samples. The Blanchard, Mich., maple syrup and confections’ company drew quite a crowd.
I didn’t know that a sugary tuberous root could be featured in so many delectable recipes until I read the product list for Detroit-based Sweet Potato Sensations.
There were handmade brooms, lovely and fragrant soaps, some charming little sculpted mushrooms and so many other curiosities and niceties to treat the senses.
After the market, I made my way around the village to see what else was cooking in the historic homes.
The presenters in small kitchen in the Adams Family Home were busy preparing the featured recipe for apple cake – following the same recipe card that visitors take home.
The 1800s recipe for the cake was published in a 1990 compilation: a reminder that good recipes stand the test of time.
Smothered pork was the featured fare at the Mattox Family Home. That recipe and the peach cobbler looked (and – no surprise - smelled) fantastic.
Next up was a walk to the Edison Homestead. The presenter there shared with guests the wonders of that (then) new kitchen staple: Crisco.
The featured recipe there is a bean soup. The presenter explained how the recipe would have been made in an 1800s kitchen, but also how the soup could easily be adapted using some of today’s convenience products – such as canned beans and tomatoes.
The Daggett Farmhouse is one of my favorite buildings in Greenfield Village. I love the simplicity of the 1750s house and the large fireplace in the center of the home.
This year’s featured recipe at the Daggett Farmhouse is a potato pudding. The rich but simple recipe is from The First American Cookbook, 1796.
After leaving the Daggett Farmhouse, I stopped by the Susquehanna Plantation to see what was cooking there.
The featured recipe is a baked shrimp dish, but when I was there, the ladies in the kitchen were working on dark baked biscuit, sharing with guests some of the challenges of baking over a fire.
I made my way back up to the Ford Home to see what was cooking and found a nice pumpkin fritter.
My last stop of the day was to get a closer look at the 1904 threshing machine in action. Ryan Spencer – the manager of Firestone Farm – shared some great details on the machine in a post last week.
A crowd gathered to see it in action. Next Saturday, visitors will get a chance to see some plowing with steam and horses.
The good news is that Fall Flavor Weekends is plural. Meaning, if you missed it last weekend, you’ll have another opportunity this weekend. Check out The Henry Ford website on the event to get the details.