Grateful American Kids

Try one of Martha Washington’s favorite dishes: Peas Porridge

Peas Porridge

 What you’ll need: 

  • 1 quart green peas
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 bundle dried mint
  • A pinch of salt
  • Ground pepper to taste
  • Walnut size ball of butter (about 2 T)
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 quarts milk

 Here’s how: 

  1. Pick a quart of green peas, and put them into a quart of water with a bundle of dried mint and a little salt.
  2. Let them boil until the peas are quite tender, then put in some ground pepper, along with a piece of butter as big as a walnut rolled in flour.
  3. Stir it all together and let it boil a few minutes.
  4. Add 2 quarts of milk.
  5. Let it boil for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove the mint bundle and serve. 

Watch them cook this historic recipe.

Did you know: In August 1789, Pennsylvania Sen. William Maclay listed in his diary the foods the Washingtons served in New York at a dinner the senator attended.

“It was a great dinner,” he wrote. “First was soup [followed by] Fish, roasted & boiled meats Gammon Fowls &ca.” [fn, WM, pp. 136-137]

Watch the historians at Mount Vernon who opened the doors — and the outdoor kitchen — to welcome three of our Grateful American™ Kids, AJ, Avery, and Callie. They prepared two dishes the Washington’s and their guests would have enjoyed: curry of catfish and peas porridge. These students from Longfellow Middle School in Fairfax County, VA, were our reporters for the day as they were guided through a Revolutionary cooking lesson by Deborah Colburn, the interpretive programs supervisor at Mount Vernon, and her colleague, interpreter Sara Marie Massee.

Recipe fromThe Art of Cookery made Plain and Easy by Hannah Glasse, 5th edition p.79



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