October 24, 2023 6:00 pm - October 24, 2023 7:30 pm

Get Your Biscuits in the Oven: The Domestic Side of Life at Starr Family Home

Ever wonder what a working kitchen from the 1880s would have looked like, what recipes might have been used, and who might have prepared them? Join us as we visit Starr Family Home State Historic Site for a step back in time. We’ll learn about the restoration of the Maplecroft kitchen, which took the room from a more modern-day style back to a full working 1880s kitchen.

We’ll also hear about former domestic staff and explore their relationships to the larger community, beyond their jobs at the Starr home. Many of the staff were considered friends of Ruth Starr Blake, the daughter of Frank and Clara Star who built Maplecroft in 1870.

Additionally, the presentation will highlight the extensive recipe collection left by the family and will introduce viewers to the large collection of 18th, 19th and early 20th century cookbooks held by Michigan State University as part of their Feeding America project. These cookbooks, 72 in all, are scanned and fully searchable for anyone that wants to cook like their great-grandmother! The program will be wrapped up by site staff who will explain why historic foodways programs are a great way to teach Texas history.

Join site manager Barbara Judkins and other site staff for this fun romp through an 1880s kitchen! On January 16, 2024, Barbara will celebrate her 10th year with the agency as Site Manager at Starr Family Home State Historic Site in Marshall. She loves the beautiful site set against the backdrop of tall trees and green grass in a neighborhood full of historic homes. Barbara has been married to Kenneth for over thirty-five years, has two grown children, a wonderful son-in-law, and a grandchild arriving in the spring.  She loves a good book and spends as much time outside as possible, gardening and volunteering with the local chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists. Family always comes first, but her love of history and historical interpretation is a very close second. She considers it an honor to have been able to work in museums for over twenty-three years talking to guests about Texas and its very colorful past.