Wade House offers Hearthside Dinner trip into the past

The Wade House Historic Site will be hosting Hearthside Dinners, a foodways program in which participants will have the opportunity to enjoy a delicious hearthcooked meal, prepared with their own hands, in the historic Wade House stagecoach hotel, on Saturdays, Oct. 19, Oct. 26 and Nov. 2 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Hearthside Dinner guests will experience a link to culinary history by helping to prepare 19thcentury dishes on a wood-burning stove and over an open-hearth fire just as Mrs. Wade did more than 150 years ago.

A close gathering of up to twenty guests will be guided by costumed staff as they learn about historic food preparation, ingredients and historic cooking tools. Authentic recipes from late 19th century cookbooks will be referenced as guests chop and stir, season and roast, preparing their midday meal. When the dinner preparation chores are complete, guests receive a guided tour through the stately stagecoach hotel and learn about the respite which was offered to weary travelers along the plank road between Sheboygan and Fond du Lac in the 1850s and 1860s.

Once dinner is prepared, participants gather family style in the lovely Wade House dining room for a wonderful sit-down meal with lively conversation. The menu will feature a delectably abundant feast of squash soup, pork loin roast, red cabbage with apples, mashed turnips, glazed carrots, cranberry muffins, bread pudding, cider cake, apple cider and coffee. This satisfying encounter with central Wisconsin’s past concludes with everyone pitching in to clear the table, wash dishes (19th-cenury style) and sweep the hearth.

Hearthside Dinners are $45 per person, and reservations are required. If you have any questions about the program or would like to reserve your spot at the table, please call (920) 526-3271. Private Hearthside Dinners for groups of 10 to 20 may also be arranged.

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