I had the great pleasure of being invited to an event at the Harriton House in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania this week to celebrate the story of Wales and the Welsh in the USA that included incredible Welsh food and drink. The event was called Keeping Up with the Joneses and I'm not sure if Bruce Gill, curator at Harriton House, invited me because he knows how much I'm into food or because my last name is Jones and I live nearby.
Either way, we had a great time, sampled some great food, drank some lovely Welsh beer and my wife, Meg, even won a CD of new Welsh musicians called Music From Wales.
It was interesting to learn some of the history of the Welsh Quakers who settled in this area of Pennsylvania back in 1660 to 1700 and of the many famous people with Welsh backgrounds. Did you know that Daniel Boone, who helped settle Kentucky, was son of Sarah Morgan and named after his uncle, "Welch Quaker and preacher, Daniel Morgan?"
The Harriton House
The event was hosted at the Harriton House, just down the street from where I live and once home to Charles Thomson, the first and only Secretary of the Continental and Confederation Congresses. It was originally settled by Welsh Quakers in 1682 after they purchased 700 acres from William Penn.
It's now open to the public as a cultural resource and a great place to take the kids for a tour or one of their many events. We took our daughters to their annual beekeeping program to see how and where bees make honey. I even had the opportunity to come back later that week to help Bruce and Rose extract some honey from the honeycombs.
I'm hoping to interview Bruce Gill, the curator but also the beekeeper, gardener and horse and buggy driver along with a dozen more titles. I'd like to ask him about his experience raising bees and producing honey. You can see a very cool video about honeybees featuring Bruce at http://www.philly.com/inquirer/multimedia/9340697.html
Welsh Food & Drink
"Wales prides itself on supplying some of the finest produce in the world. Its very landscape reflects freshness, quality and variety, from unique cheeses and wines, famous Welsh beef and lamb to fresh fish and seafood, Wales has it all." from http://www.foodwales.com/
Some of the foods and drink we sampled included Welsh cheeses, pate, waffles, beer and a brand new single malt whiskey from Penderyn. Here are some links if you are interested in learning more about these Welsh products.
For an overall idea of what's available and for some Welsh recipes, go to http://www.foodwales.com/. Below I've listed some individual products that were served at the event and sampled.
Halen Mon Sea Salt
Showdonia Welsh Cheeses
Tomos Watkins Beers and Cider
Ty Nant Water