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New CCHS series to focus on food traditions

SUBMITTED PHOTO  - But What Did They Eat? is a new series of educational programs presented by Clackamas County Historical Society. The first class focuses on canning, and it will be held Sept. 19.

One of the most common questions received by staff at the Stevens-Crawford Heritage House in Oregon City is: “But what did they eat?”

In answer to that question, the Clackamas County Historical Society is kicking off a new series next week focused on common food practices of Oregon families near the beginning of the 20th century.

“But What Did They Eat?” centers around Oregon cooking and food traditions. This new series is made possible by an Oregon Museums Grant offered through the Oregon State Department of Parks and Recreation.

“Food is a powerful topic,” said CCHS Executive Director Claire Blaylock. “Food preparation and recipes are passed down from one generation to the next. The Stevens-Crawford Heritage House is the perfect place to talk food — it was, first and foremost, a home.”

The series kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Sept. 19 in the Stevens-Crawford House, 606 Sixth St. in Oregon City. The initial lecture will focus on canning, a technique originally created by the French in 1795.

The discussion, led by Nan Hege, will touch on the history of the practice and detail the role canning played in the development of the Western United States. This then-new method of food preservation helped fight food insecurity.

The event is free, but attendees are encouraged to bring canned food donations for the Oregon Food Bank.

Registration is required, as space is limited.

To register, visit clackamashistory.org or call 503-655-5574.

The SCHH is a historic home located in the heart of Oregon City. It was donated to the CCHS by lifelong resident Mertie Stevens.

— The Review, Tidings