Fall Food History Events in Virginia

“Listen!  The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves.

We have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”

~Humbert Wolfe

Anyone who knows me knows that autumn is my favorite season.  My birthday and my favorite holiday – Halloween – are both in October, and I adore sweatshirt weather.  There are plenty of food events throughout the state throughout the fall.  My boys and I will be going apple picking this weekend, while the fall foliage of the Blue Ridge Mountains is at the peak of its color and the apple orchards have their fall festivals.

Here are some of Virginia’s upcoming food history events:

Oct. 11 – Archaeology Day at Historic Jamestowne – Featuring demonstrations of Algonquian cooking and foodways and archaeology-themed tours.  (Adult tickets $14, 15 and under free)

Oct. 11 – Colonial Hearth Cooking Demonstrations at Patrick Henry’s Scotchtown – Interpreters will prepare a fall feast using colonial cooking techniques and preparations. ($8/adult, under 6 free)

Oct. 13-18 – Awesome Heirloom Apples chef’s demonstration and tasting at Colonial Williamsburg – Learn to prepare creative dishes using locally-sourced apples with Executive Pastry Chef Rodney Diehl.  ($33.50/person)

Oct. 25 – Whiskey and Moonshine Tasting, History Museum of Western Virginia, Roanoke – Learn about the Appalachian region’s long history of whiskey and moonshine distilling, and taste some of the best local spirits.  ($10 in advance, $15 at the door)

Oct. 30-Nov. 2 – Fire, Flour & Fork – “A gathering for the food curious,” featuring speakers like Christina Tosi of famed New York dessert ship Momofuku Milk Bar, Jason Alley of Pasture restaurant, Tuffy Stone of Q Barbecue and Kendra Bailey Morris, author of “The Southern Slow Cooker.”  Themed receptions, lunches and dinners will showcase the talents of chefs from Richmond and beyond.  (Cost varies by event, one-day and multi-day tickets available).

Nov. 2 – Virginia Thanksgiving Festival at Berkeley Plantation – Celebrate the first Thanksgiving in the New World at historic Berkeley with a living history program, tribal dancers, a traditional Virginia Thanksgiving dinner and a re-enactment of the arrival of Captain Woodlief and his men.  ($5 parking fee per vehicle, additional fee to tour the house).

Saunders Brothers Orchard and Farm Market, Piney River:  Nov. 1 – Fall Vegetable Sampling, Nov. 8 – Apple Butter Demonstrations, Nov. 15 – Apple Cider Making Demonstrations, Nov. 22 – Apple Dessert Sampling.

Nov. 15 – Open Hearth Cooking Class at Brentsville – Join an experienced cooking historian and learn the techniques involved in recreating period recipes in an open hearth kitchen.  ($30/person).

Gadsby’s Tavern, Alexandria:  Nov. 22 – Mr. Jefferson’s Ball, a period-inspired banquet with retired President Jefferson including dancing.  ($120 for banquet and ball, $45 for ball only).  Nov. 23 – Jefferson Salon, an afternoon of conversation and Madeira with Mr. Jefferson while enjoying period foods.  ($45/person).

Nov. 27-29 – Foods and Feasts of Colonial Virginia – Discover the foodways of colonial Virginia at Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center.  Open-hearth cooking of puddings, pies and pottage will follow recipes of Elinore Fettiplace in 1604 and Robert May in 1660.  In Yorktown, soldiers will show how they cooked during the Revolutionary War, while the the 1780’s farm will demonstrate open-hearth cooking of stews, pies and breads, as well as salting and curing a whole hog.  ($20.50/adult, $10.25/child age 6-12, under 6 free)

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