It’s not very often I get to have an educational dinner. (And no, eating lunch during a seminar doesn’t count.) But if you head north of Indianapolis to Conner Prairie Interactive History Park, you can enjoy a 19th century multi-course meal by candlelight that’s nutritious and educational.
On Fridays – Sundays, between January 8 and March 21, 2010, you can step back in time to experience an authentic and intimate supper — not dinner. Supper. This is 1823, remember — in the William Conner House. This is a three-hour program hosted by the museum’s costumed historical interpreters.
You’ll follow your hosts to the William Conner home, just in time to help with the last steps of finishing the meal. You’ll be able to help churn butter, grind coffee, prepare vegetables, or make bread. Afterward (dessert is included), you can explore the Conner house and play traditional games we played in 19th century Indiana.
The menu includes popcorn, pounded cheese and crackers, queen soup, pork roast with winter vegetables, chicken fricassee, dilled pickled beans, skillet cranberries, apple sauce, hearth bread with fresh butter and jam, bread and butter pudding with cherries, coffee and tea.
My friend, Angela Tuell, the PR Manager for Conner Prairie, said that the menu is based on recipes from cookbooks of the day, and includes foods that were typically served during the winter. They change the menus each year to give guests a variety of taste experiences each year.
The Hearthside Suppers program runs from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. and costs $55 per person, $50 for members. You’ll need to call ahead for reservations. Call Conner Prairie Guest Services at (317) 776-6006 or (800) 966-1836, or email them at email@example.com.
They recommend the program be limited to children older than 10, since it does take 3 hours. And be sure to dress warmly and in layers, since Conner House can vary in temperature.