Bethlehem Press

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PRESS PHOTOS BY CAROLE GORNEY Vice President and Blueberry Festival Managing Director LoriAnn Wukitsch (right) discusses attendance with board member Jean Theman. Festival organizers anticipated that 3,000 persons would visit the Burnside Plantation festival this year. PRESS PHOTOS BY CAROLE GORNEY Vice President and Blueberry Festival Managing Director LoriAnn Wukitsch (right) discusses attendance with board member Jean Theman. Festival organizers anticipated that 3,000 persons would visit the Burnside Plantation festival this year.
Burnside Plantation's brewmaster Christopher Bowen pours boiling water on barley in his demonstration of the first steps in colonial method of beer making. Burnside Plantation's brewmaster Christopher Bowen pours boiling water on barley in his demonstration of the first steps in colonial method of beer making.
Bethlehem's mounted police officers showed spectators how well their horses are trained. The horses are housed at Burnside Plantation when they are not on duty. Bethlehem's mounted police officers showed spectators how well their horses are trained. The horses are housed at Burnside Plantation when they are not on duty.
The Lehigh Valley branch of the Embroiders' Guild of America was featured at the Blueberry Festival. Member Alice Bet works on a Norwegian needle-weaving technique on linen called hardanger. The Lehigh Valley branch of the Embroiders' Guild of America was featured at the Blueberry Festival. Member Alice Bet works on a Norwegian needle-weaving technique on linen called hardanger.
 Marissa Martinez and her sister, Jada, learn about the high horse power wheel used by the early Moravians. Blueberry Festival volunteer Cathy Mordosky explained that this wheel came from Nazareth because the original one was destroyed in a barn fire in 1924. Marissa Martinez and her sister, Jada, learn about the high horse power wheel used by the early Moravians. Blueberry Festival volunteer Cathy Mordosky explained that this wheel came from Nazareth because the original one was destroyed in a barn fire in 1924.
"No food left," Claire Green shows a disappointed goat in the children's petting farmyard at the plantation
 Student dancers from the O'Grady Quinlan Academy of Irish Dance performed on one of the three stages where entertainment was provided. Student dancers from the O'Grady Quinlan Academy of Irish Dance performed on one of the three stages where entertainment was provided.
What would the Blueberry Festival be without blueberry pie and blueberry swirled ice cream? Barbara Bertram of Center Valley, her niece Emily Perose of Allentown, and Jay Spinelli from Swathmore, were served their desserts by volunteer Sydney Hoover. Tombler's Bakery provided 680 blueberry, 50 peach and 50 strawberry-rhubarb pies for the two-day event. What would the Blueberry Festival be without blueberry pie and blueberry swirled ice cream? Barbara Bertram of Center Valley, her niece Emily Perose of Allentown, and Jay Spinelli from Swathmore, were served their desserts by volunteer Sydney Hoover. Tombler's Bakery provided 680 blueberry, 50 peach and 50 strawberry-rhubarb pies for the two-day event.
 John Bitman of Flourtown near Philadelphia tried his hand at churning butter. This was his first trip to the festival, and he was making the most of the experience. John Bitman of Flourtown near Philadelphia tried his hand at churning butter. This was his first trip to the festival, and he was making the most of the experience.
Did you know that the early colonists made ice cream? Well they did, using ice from the icehouse and salt. Ice cream maker Cindy Surovi, shown here, says colonial cooks added berries and other fruits, even apples, to their frozen desserts. Did you know that the early colonists made ice cream? Well they did, using ice from the icehouse and salt. Ice cream maker Cindy Surovi, shown here, says colonial cooks added berries and other fruits, even apples, to their frozen desserts.

Blueberry Festival: Music, crafts and pie

Thursday, July 31, 2014 by CAROLE GORNEY Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

You know it's really summer when Historic Bethlehem holds its annual Blueberry Festival, and this year, the summer and the festival were better than ever.

An estimated 3,000 festival visitors enjoyed mild temperatures, a variety of live musical entertainment, and traditional pie and ice cream at the colonial-period Burnside Plantation, which has housed the festival since its inception 28 years ago. In fact, according to the festival's managing director, LoriAnn Wukitsch, the two-day event was organized to open the plantation to the public and to promote an awareness of colonial gardening.

Purchased in 1748 by Moravian missionaries James and Mary Burnside, the then 50-acre farm was the first public (non-church) residence in the community. It contained a barn, stables, and both a log and a stone farmhouse - all still standing on the remaining 6.5 acres of the plantation, now located in the heart of the city.

Besides craft demonstrations and house tours, this year's festival expanded its nearly non-stop entertainment to three stages, with performances appealing to all ages and musical tastes.

Also added was the popular "Pints from the Past" beer-brewing demonstration. Dressed in 18th Century Moravian clothing, brewer's assistant Craig Larimer poured boiling water from one giant pot on an open fire to a second pot of two different kinds of malted barley. A sugary liquid from the barley pot was added back to the boiling water, and later it would be cooled. Finally, hops would be added.

Brew master Christopher Bowen said the liquid would become alcohol within 7-10 days, but it would be better to wait.

"Today's brew is two months from bottling," he said.

Cooking in colonial times also took a lot of time and effort. Plantation volunteers have researched recipes from the period, and every year they demonstrate various methods of food preparation that use ingredients grown or raised on the plantation. This year, they concentrated on making dairy products, including cheese, butter and even ice cream.

Across the grounds, people were lined up to buy ice cream and pie made the modern way.

The Bethlehem Dairy Store custom makes blueberry-swirl ice cream every year for the festival.

Most of it winds up on top of slices of blueberry crumb pie baked by Tombler's Bakery, using "scratch bake" methods and all natural ingredients. This year, Tombler's baked 680 blueberry pies, and 50 each of peach and strawberry-rhubarb.

For the first time, pies could be pre-ordered online, and 70 were sold in advance.

For youngsters there were pony rides, hands-on crafts to make, and the petting zoo. Looking around as people purchased tickets at the entrance, Wukitsch observed that there were a lot of children in attendance - a fact that she said was "so exciting," given the educational mission of the plantation and its festival.