Friday, November 21, 2014

Food Fridays: Start a new Thanksgiving tradition with this easy, no bake dessert!

Last week on Food Friday we mentioned how traditions had been formed around food. With the Holidays just around the corner, we thought we’d elaborate on how food, tradition, and a sense of community went hand in hand throughout the history of Arlington Heights.
Socializing has always been an important part of life in Arlington Heights, and what better way to socialize then over food?!

In the very early days of Arlington Heights, socializing meant getting together for a barn raising. While the men worked to build the structure, the women of the community would work together to create a meal. After the day’s work was done, everyone would sit down together for the meal. This made socializing a benefit of working hard.

Throughout the 1800s people socialized and ate any chance they could; church suppers, funerals, weddings are just a few examples.

Businessmen's Banquet

In the late 1800s, Meyer’s Pond became a local hangout. Food may not have been the highlight of going there, but they offered picnic space, homemade ice cream and beverages to engage people.

After World War II, the tradition of a block party came to being. These were great ways for entire neighborhoods to catch up over snacks, meals, and games.

Every family has different Thanksgiving traditions, but one thing remains the same, it’s all about the food! Below is a recipe for Swedish Cocoa Balls. It was submitted by Arlington Heights Historical Museum volunteer, and Arlington resident of 56 years, Sharon Combs. It is an easy, no bake dessert that is a good way to get kids involved in the celebration.

Recipe from The Arlington Heritage Cookbook. Photos are from Chronicles of a Prairie Town. Both books are on sale now through the end of the year at the Arlington Heights Historical Museum. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Phyllis Mustain: Preserving childhood memories for generations come

The Arlington Heights Historical Museum is proud to announce that we will now be highlighting one of our many awesome volunteers once a month.

Our first Volunteer of the Month is Phyllis Mustian. Phyllis works with our Martha Mills Doll Collection and is such a wonderful attribute to the Museum.

Martha Mills was born in 1885 & was a resident of Arlington Heights who grew up with a love of dolls. Her mother only let her have two dolls as a child, so when she was older she began collecting and making dolls of all sorts. The dolls that she collected date back to the early 1900s, and the dolls she created were all made by hand between 1949 & 1963. Her dolls won her national awards and have been on display in Detroit, Miami, New York, and San Francisco.

Since she began working with the Doll Collection in 2010, Phyllis has conducted an audit of the entire collection, maintained an up to date photo directory of the dolls, managed repairs of the dolls, & created lovely exhibits to highlight the variety of the collection. With over 1,000 dolls, not all can be on display at one time. Phyllis has designed lovely exhibits around certain themes; circus, fashion, celebrations, books, etc.

With all the dolls we currently have and new ones being donated regularly, Phyllis could use some help. If you would be interested in giving a few hours of your time once a month to continue this tradition that is a jewel in the crown of the Arlington Heights Historical Museum, please call 847-225-1225. Any amount of time would be greatly appreciated.

Once again, we want to thank Phyllis Mustain for all her hard work in maintaining this exhibit. We value all the work you do beyond what we can express in this short post.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Food Fridays; Warming your soul with history and good eats

Food is a very important, and often overlooked, part of our history. Food brings people together to celebrate, to mourn, and to simply enjoy each other’s company. Communities begin and carry on traditions based solely on how food is prepared or how it’s eaten.

In 2006, the Arlington Heights Historical Society reached out to different Arlington Heights residents and compiled recipes, historical photographs traditions, stories, and folklore. Staff at the Historical Museum hope you get inspired to start, or carry on your own traditions, try a new recipe, or just to get a good laugh out of some of the Food Folklore. Whatever your reason for reading this, we hope it fills you with warmth as we enter the cold, Winter season. 

Mary Carol Frieburg's famous Chicken a la King

The recipe we wish to share is from Mary Carol Frieburg. She celebrated her
90th birthday earlier this Fall and has been a resident of Arlington Heights for 56 years. Her Chicken A La King recipe is a family favorite that is requested many times a year by her large family.
The recipe below feeds a small army, so it is perfect for a gathering of friends or family. Mary Carol estimates that it feeds 8-12 people, so feel free to cut portions in half to feed a small group, or double it if you're feeding a large army. 

Below are some of the Food Folklore, photographs, and historical information that this cookbook is full of. With more than just recipes inside its front and back cover, the Arlington Heights Cookbook would make a great gift to any chefs, history buffs, Arlington Heights lovers, or Arlington Heights missers who have had to move away from the area for jobs or schooling, etc. Throughout the holiday season they will be on sale for $10 at the Arlington Heights Historical Museum's Heritage Gallery Gift Shop. They can also be ordered over the phone, plus the price of shipping, at 847-255-1225.