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Joseph Plumb Martin's 1830 Memoir of a Revolutionary Soldier gives readers a first-person account of what life was like as an everyday soldier during the Revolutionary War. He described the hunger he felt in the early days of the Valley Forge encampment in the winter of 1777. Without anything to eat, Plumb Martin turned to half a small pumpkin and a hot rock. 

In his memoir, he wrote: "I lay here two nights and one day, and had not a morsel of any thing to eat all the time, save half of a small pumpkin, which I cooked by placing it upon a rock, the skin side uppermost, and making a fire upon it; by the time it was heat through I devoured it with as keen an appetite as I should a pie made of it at some other time."

Watch Tyler Putman, Gallery Interpretation Manager at the Museum, demonstrate how to cook a pumpkin, inspired by Joseph Plumb Martin's words.

This Living History at Home cooking demonstration was released as part of Virtual Spring Break with the Museum, sponsored by PECO, which ran online in April 2020, featuring do-at-home crafts and activities, virtual story time, Artisans Field Trip living history interviews, and live Q&As with Museum staff.

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Image 102320 Cooking Demo Hard Bread
 

Living History at Home: Making Hard Bread

Watch Tyler Putman, Gallery Interpretation Manager at the Museum, demonstrate how to make hard bread from flour, water, and salt.
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Image 051420 Cooking Demo Gingerbread Gingerbread3 Moment
 

Living History at Home: Making Gingerbread

Tyler Putman, the Museum's Gallery Interpretation Manager, demonstrates how to make an 18th-century gingerbread recipe.
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Image 100220 16x9 Transparent Rtr Memoir Of A Revolutionary Soldier
 

Memoir of a Revolutionary Soldier

Read an excerpt from Joseph Plumb Martin's Memoir of a Revolutionary Soldier.
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