May 13, 1851



Tues May 13  Mrs Witherell heat her oven and I baked

a loaf of brown bread & some cake & tarts with

her  Orinthia made some sifted dried apple pies

Mr Robinson here to paper the dark bedroom

chamber. Mr Pratt called this morning for Orinthia

to go to meet him & Brown for an examination

We went to Mr Pratts this afternoon and

called at Mr Whitwells


Mr. Robinson, all-purpose painter-and-paperer, was back at Evelina and Oakes’s house today to paper one of the bedrooms. It may be the one that Frank Morton Ames had to move out of some days ago while it was being refurbished.

Orinthia Foss, meanwhile, underwent some kind of scholastic examination.  Evidently, she was being considered to teach at the town’s public school system for which she had to undergo at least an interview.  Her interviewer was Amos Pratt, a former school teacher himself, and member of the Easton school superintending committee (the one on which Oakes Angier had hoped to serve, but had missed by one vote.)  Her other interviewer was Erastus Brown, a butcher by trade who also served on the school committee and taught. Not unlike today, some folks from 160 years ago had to pursue more than one trade to make ends meet. Pratt, who lived in the Furnace Village area of Easton, some miles south and west of North Easton, eventually gave up his teaching career to run a mill.

Before being escorted by Mr. Pratt to her interview, Orinthia helped Evelina and Sarah Witherell with baking.  Evelina made brown bread, cake and tarts; Orinthia made an unseasonal apple pie from dried apples. The apples were remnants of last fall’s harvest, and ordinarily Orinthia would have had to plump them up with hot water or cider or some other liquid in order to form the pie.  How the apples would have been “sifted” is a puzzle; did this mean that the apples were in powder form?  All you cooks out there: what is a sifted dried apple pie?



One thought on “May 13, 1851

  1. From Frank Mennino, Curator at Easton Historical Society:

    “In answer to your question, we always sifted apples, fresh or dried, in flour and spices before placing in the shell. Really, you would sift flour, cinnamon and other spices, maybe some sugar together, then add the apples, stir to coat, and add any other liquid needed. When I make an apple cake, or date bread, or any such thing, you must coat the fruit in flour to prevent it from dropping to the bottom of the batter before it is set by baking. A date nut bread with all the dates at the bottom is not so nice!”

    Thank you, Frank. I want a slice of your apple cake. Sarah

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