Monthly Archives: February 2017

A Connoisseur’s Guide to Victorian Manners, Mores, Food, and Drink

February 20, 2017
By joyosity (Tea at the Rittenhouse Hotel)  Wikimedia Commons

By joyosity (Tea at the Rittenhouse Hotel) Wikimedia Commons

If you wax nostalgic for a time when there was social civility, proper etiquette, and afternoon teas with scones and clotted cream, your longing will be requited on March 20th, when Professor Anna Saikin begins her 10:00 a.m. class “Victorian Foodies.”

Get ready for a literary feast as Saikin takes us on a tour of lavishly arrayed meals using a selection of Victorian books, meal plans, recipes, table settings, and etiquette guides for authentic Victorian dining experience. We visited with her to find out more about this sumptuous subject.



WIH Reporter: What is important to know about your upcoming class?

Saikin: Victorians liked to eat! Each class will feature a different cuisine, dish, or drink based on novels, poems, and cookbooks from the nineteenth century, and whenever possible, I will bring samples for the class to taste as we nibble our way through the juiciest bits of Victorian literature.

WIH Reporter: What would surprise us to know about the topic of your class?

Saikin: When we think about Victorian food, the first thing that often comes to mind are elaborate, multi-course tea times, completed with Earl Grey, scones, lemon curd, and clotted cream. While we will discuss and sample these dishes (frequently and with gusto!), we will also discuss how British palates were expanded during the century as nabobs brought back popular Indian curries and it became possible for ordinary subjects to enjoy extraordinary food.

WIH Reporter: What mistaken impressions might we have about Victorian manners and mores?

Saikin: Queen Victoria set a dignified and resplendent model for her subjects to emulate, but not all British citizens were fortunate to have enough to eat. Part of our class will dive into the historical reasons why Oliver Twist’s plea, “May I have some more, please?” was so revolutionary for its time. We will examine Dickensian feasts of decadence as well as destitution and consider the ways in which different classes interpreted notions of propriety.

WIH Reporter: What format do you plan to use in the class.?

Saikin: We will begin with a selection of delicacies related to our weekly topic. As we munch, we will read and discuss selections from Victorian literature, and, whenever possible, watch movie clips that illustrate the diversity of Victorian cuisine. We will analyze seating arrangements and recipes from the nineteenth century cookbook, Mrs. Barton’s Book of Household Management, and marvel at the number of silverware required for each meal. Participants should bring with them a curious mind and a hungry belly!

WIH Reporter: Are you planning to have a class in which food is featured such as authentic scones and tea?

Saikin: Absolutely! In fact, class participation during tea time is required!

Professor Saikin’s class begins March 20th at 10:00 a.m. For more information, or to register, click here.

The Remodeling Revolution

February 20, 2017

remodelHome is where the heart is, but when you own a home there are so many choices and design decisions than ever before. For homeowners who are not familiar with the remodeling process or knowledgeable about the latest products on the market, Susan Fruit is teaching “The Remodeling Revolution”, a class which explores everything from essential finishes and paint colors to plumbing and light fixtures to appliances, cabinetry, hardware, and much, much more. According to Fruit, if it has been more than two decades since faucets were last changed and countertops and light fixtures last updated, then chances are your home isn’t keeping pace with the times, which seriously impacts its market value. Starting March 7th at 10:00 a.m., you can learn how to begin your own remodeling project and how to achieve a tasteful, timeless look for the home that will be loved and enjoyed for years to come. For more information or to register, click here.

Attachment and Relational Mores – The Balance Between Self-Actualization And Self-Sacrifice

February 20, 2017
By John William Waterhouse - Art Renewal Center – description, Public Domain,

By John William Waterhouse – Art Renewal Center – Public Domain, Wikipedia Commons

Valentine’s Day just passed, and what better time is there to find out more about love, attachments, and relationships? Dr. Rebecca Cubberly’s upcoming class, “Attachment and Relational Mores“, (starting on March 22nd at 1 p.m), covers everything you ever wanted to know about relationships. Topics include conflicts in the realm of intimacy because of fears of exploitation or abandonment, patterns formed in childhood that interfere with intimacy, and the importance of self-love in the face of others’ imperfect or improper behavior. In addition, Dr Cubberly will explore such challenges as holding onto oneself while attempting to maintain a healthy marriage, rear a family, and pursue a career. She will also examine the need in relationships to work through betrayals of all kinds. Finally, she will bring understanding to what it means to be a good wife, a good mother, a good business partner and pursue a career. For more information, or to register, click here.

The Centenniel of The Great Migration: How Six Million African Americans Transformed the United States

February 20, 2017

mlkThe Great Migration (1917-1970) of  more than six  million African Americans out of the South to other regions of the United States is one of the most important, courageous, underreported yet consequential movements in our nation’s history.  In search of true freedom, equality, education, and opportunity, those brave migrants—fleeing systemic racism, abuse, oppression, enforced poverty, and violence—transformed American culture, society, demographics, and politics in a multitude of ways, both tangible and intangible, short-term and long-term.  Although many Americans do not learn about the Great Migration in their history classes, its centennial reminds us of just how far-reaching and long lasting the Migration’s legacy truly. To find our more and to register, click here.