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Bicentennial Series: Martha Ballard’s Kitchen Table — What Mainers Ate 200 Years Ago

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 @ 6:00 pm 7:00 pm

The Camden Public Library will host food writer Nancy Harmon Jenkins’s online presentation about her deep-dive into Martha Ballard’s diary, one of the most precious and insightful primary sources for what life was like in the Maine territory in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The program is part of the library’s year-long Bicentennial Series. Please email jpierce@librarycamden.org to request a Zoom link to attend.

Martha Ballard is renowned for her diaries, which she kept in Hallowell on the banks of the Kennebec for almost half a century. She never wrote a recipe or even gave so much as a hint of cooking instructions. However, she still has a lot to say about how Mainers ate, what they grew, what they cooked, how they celebrated, and what they feared back when they were on the cusp of statehood. Nancy Harmon Jenkins casts a food historian’s eye on what Martha has to tell us and, as we gear up for Thanksgiving, brings us up to date on a Maine table that’s two centuries old.

Camden native Nancy Harmon Jenkins learned to read some years ago at the Camden Public Library. From there she went on to a career as a nationally known food writer and culinary historian, with eight cookbooks to her credit plus thousands of articles in publications from the New York Times to Saveur to Smithsonian. Most recently, she has published a long report on aquaculture in Maine for Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors.

“Snows & Blows but we are able to Make a fire and have food to Eat, which is a great Mercy for which I wish to thank ye Great Doner.”
– Martha Ballard

55 Main Street
Camden, ME 04843 United States
207-236-3440