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The basics: Apple River Fort is located in Elizabeth, IL. It’s a little fort from the Black Hawk Wars. To welcome autumn, they have an intimate supper for the public (advanced ticket purchase necessary). The Ox Bow Tavern cooks the five course dinner. This year the menu was as follows:

1st course – pepper pot soup and pumpkin biscuits w/ jam

2nd course – cheshire pie and Jefferson’s mac ‘n cheese with sour dough bread

3r course – fish cakes and collards with wheat bread

4th course – sauer braten and spaetzel with red cabbage and dark bread

5th course – assorted pies, cookies, and cakes for dessert

It was really excellent to cook over a nice hearth. The other oddly delightful moment that was totally unexpected was being asked to serve at table and I was running back and forth from the house where we cooked and the block house where the diners were located. It was just like Downton Abbey!!! Only 1830s!!

Now for all the pictures!

Terry 2




Andrew and Cat

Inside the cabin that served as the kitchen…



Washstand and chair


Multi colored kitchen




Nancy 3


Food prep…

Cheshire pie step 1

Cheshire pie = layer of fried smoked pork sprinkled with nutmeg, a layer of apples sprinkle with sugar, repeat. Add top pie crust. Bake in baking kettle.

Apples 2


Making pie 2


Making pie 4


Double dutch


Nancy 5

Apple pudding (not on the menu; we made it for fun).



Bread cookies and pie


Arranging desserts


Cooking outside…

Terry 4


Man work 4


Fire pit


Fish cakes 4


Fish cake ball


Fish cakes 2


Setting the table for the guests…

Table 6

(I think Mr. Carson would be proud!)


Table 7


Table 5


Plates bowls and cups 3


Plates bowls and cups


With our guests…

Dinner guests


Obligatory selfies…

Cat 2


Dad daughter selfie