Chapter 2

Recipes for Middling Sorts People

pewter cups and bowl

People who had made some money and were no longer poor would be called “middle sort.” A meal in a middling sort household would have been a little nicer. You could have found a few more places to sit and eaten off plates made of pewter or stoneware. There may also have been a set of eating utensils. Although there were chairs, children in middling households might have been required to stand while they ate.

You might not have had to share a beverage cup. The most common beverage in all households was beer. Beer was brewed three times, and each time the batch had less alcohol. Beer served to children was called small beer and was the weakest.

There were more food choices than in a poorer family’s home. A middling household would have had more money to spend on ingredients such as sugar and spices. A good housewife would know that to keep her family from becoming poor, costly items should be used sparingly. The Holland-Pierpoint family, in Children’s Lives at Colonial London Town: The Stories of Three Families, may have served many of these dishes in its own household and tavern.

This project was developed through a Teaching American History Grant partnership between Anne Arundel County Public Schools, the Center for History Education at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and Historic London Town and Gardens.