I was at Freeman farm all day my first day with another intern, Halie. She is one of the homeschooled ones. There is quite a lot to learn in the 4 main rooms. Fortunately, I am a quick learner. There were two staff people there, and then us two Jr. Interns. I was in the kitchen with one of the staff, Katie, (who I have been working with several times since) and we worked on a sponge cake. The other staff lady, Christie, knows a TON about freeman farm, and was with Halie in the parlor. Halie was working on a hexagon quilt, and Christie was knitting.
Katie did most of the interpreting for the first hour or so, until I got comfortable enough with what we were doing to tell people.
Once I started I was quite happy t o share the little I knew with everyone who would listen. Its just all so interesting. The sponge cake called for 12 eggs. Which, now, seems like a lot, but they would have had a ton of eggs because of their chickens, so it really was not that much. Katie and I took turns beating the eggs, and it took forever. Then we added the flour and things when the eggs had been whisked for about an hour. Yes, you read that right. It took about an hour to get it fluffy enough. The whisk is made of birch twigs tied together. We use birch because it is the only twig that will not add flavor to it. If we used maple, our food would have a taste of maple to it. Or if we used oak, it would taste of oak. And so on and so forth.
Now, Not only was paying attention to all this going on, but there were school children going around with clipboards. What they were doing, was a slavery petition to set them free. Katie did most of the talking for a while and I just listened to how she did it. It was very fun arguing with them and making them think. When we asked “Why?” Some would just say “It was wrong” and so we would say “Why is it wrong?” and make them think about it. One group said “Well they do the same things you guys do but” and Katie jumped in saying “Wait. They do the same things we do? Why are you not signing a petition to set us free?” and things like that. Some of the kids made interesting points. There were only 4 that made good enough arguments. Aka things besides “It was wrong they were not paid”. So I think I only signed like 3.
Around 12, Halie and I “Headed out to visit Mrs. Bullard” Which really is us going up to the staff area in Bullard Tavern for our lunch. We both had Freeman all day, so when we were done, we went back out. We were stopped several times on the way back for pictures and things, but we got there on time. If you have to be somewhere, you always leave a tad early, because you are almost always stopped for pictures or questions. Halie and I traded places, so I was sewing in the parlor, and she was in the kitchen with Katie. Christie had gone to lunch, so I was alone in the parlor for a while. Interpreting the parlor is interesting, because you are asked about the parlor, and also the rest of the house. I answered what I could, and when I did not know, I directed them to Katie, or when Christie was there, I directed them to her. It really depended on who was less busy.
The sponge cake came out wonderfully. It was nice and dense, and the frosting that Katie and Halie made was absolutely delicious. Consequently, the farmers thought so too. They heard that there would be sponge cake, so we pretty much got bombarded with Farmers looking for food. Haha It happens almost every day really. The village closes at 5, and seeming Freeman is at the furthest end of the village, we usually don’t have visitors there past 4. Then we start to clean up, and head home around 5. I had a wonderful first day, and, although I was wicked tired, I was also wicked happy. It had been a wonderful day.