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'Twice as Good' cooking show visits Old Fort Niagara to learn about food on Niagara Frontier

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Thu, May 12th 2016 11:35 am
Old Fort Niagara's Brian McDonald (interpretive department assistant manager) and Suzannah Emerson (interpreter) pose with `Twice as Good` twin hosts Delaney and Hadley.
Old Fort Niagara's Brian McDonald (interpretive department assistant manager) and Suzannah Emerson (interpreter) pose with "Twice as Good" twin hosts Delaney and Hadley.

Old Fort Niagara recently hosted the "Twice as Good" cooking show for kids, which airs on PBS stations across the country. The show's production crew and hosts were visiting the Niagara Falls area to film an episode to air in early 2017 that focuses "on the foods and traditions of the Ontario and upstate NY regions," according to a May 4 Facebook post.

While at Old Fort Niagara, twin hosts Delaney and Hadley learned about 18th century foods prepared at the original French fort, feeding the soldiers, and baking bread, which they helped to knead. Brian McDonald, interpretive department assistant manager, and Suzannah Emerson, interpreter, both dressed in period clothes, demonstrated bread-making methods and shared the fort's food history with them.

One of Old Fort Niagara's regular programs, called "foodways," involves demonstrating cooking techniques and sharing ingredients from the fort's past. This includes French, British and American methods used during different timespans. These demos happen during school tours, special events and fundraisers throughout the year.

Old Fort Niagara's archives of "provisions in store" records from January 1778 to serve 532 men (comprising the garrison, seamen and rangers) reveal:

  • 90,000 pounds of flour would last 169 days
  • 26,160 pounds of pork would last 86 days
  • 2,977 pounds of salt beef would last five days
  • 7,152 gallons of peas would last 250 days
  • 4,113 pounds of butter would last 144 days
  • 2,677 pounds of rice would last 70 days
  • 56,966 pounds of oatmeal would last 1,499 days

Old Fort Niagara (www.oldfortniagara.org) is located in Fort Niagara State Park in Youngstown.

Emerson shares some cooking tips with the girls. 

Emerson shares some frontier cooking tips with the girls.

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