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  • Hanna Rashidi, Intern & Guest Blogger

A Taste of Providence: Introduction

Welcome to Lippitt House Museum’s virtual series on eating habits and culinary practices in Providence. My name is Hanna. I am an intern at the museum and in the coming weeks I will share different facets of food culture inspired by Lippitt House Museum and Rhode Island in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Food has long been a vital and vibrant part of social interactions. The Lippitt family was no exception, as seen in “The Art of Dining: A Taste of Providence” exhibit. For Mary Ann Lippitt, wife of Henry Lippitt, conventions and expectations surrounding meals were a careful dance for each social occasion. The evidence of the meticulous planning that went into a particular eight course luncheon from 1877 can be found in this journal entry by Mary Ann from September of that year.

handwritten text from a journal
1877 journal entry from Mary Ann Lippitt provides details for an eight-course meal. Click to enlarge.

Access to the variety of food served at Mary Ann’s September lunch party was not the norm for everyone. In this series, I’ll share how Providence residents, and beyond, adapted their cooking and diets to the food limitations of WWI, exploring victory gardens, lima bean soup, and cocoa powder.

Check Lippitt House Museum social media on Wednesdays for #ATasteOfProvidence for historical recipes, blog posts, and new explorations into dining culture in the coming weeks.

We look forward to when we can gather again and share the interesting history of Providence at Lippitt House, but until then we have a few questions for you to answer virtually. To respond, please with your response to one or more of these prompts:

  • Send a photo of an object or objects that represent an important aspect of your family’s dining traditions and tell us why.

  • What is one aspect of dining that you have inherited from past family or loved ones?

  • What ways have your dining traditions had to adapt to different circumstances such as locations you’ve lived in, shortages of certain ingredients, etc?

At the end of April, we will choose our favorite response and share it with our community. We are excited to read your input!

Visit our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter feeds and search for #TasteofProvidence to find related posts. To view the online exhibit "The Art of Dining: A Taste of Providence" visit our history page.

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