October 1, 2013

Ice Cream from Two Eras

by Kendra Newhall, Assistant Registrar, Montana Historical Society

On Friday, September 20, Curator of History Sarah Nucci and I presented at The Association of Living History, Farms and Agricultural Museums (ALHFAM) conference in Virginia City, Montana. ALHFAM is an international organization focused on farming and agriculture. ALHFAM has greatly impacted the museum field through its advocacy of using reproductions rather than originals in museum programming; of systematically collecting and preserving living collections (stock and crops); and of sharing findings broadly. Our workshop focused on historic foodways through making ice cream.

Our first demonstration used Thomas Jefferson’s vanilla ice cream recipe and a reproduction sabottiere. 

Thomas Jefferson's Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe. The original is held at the
Library of Congress and a digitized copy published on its web site.

Montana Cook Book, 1881, page 141
Next, we used a reproduction hand-crank ice cream maker and a recipe from 1881. Montana Cook Book, by the "Ladies of Butte City," is the earliest cookbook in the Montana Historical Society collections.