On Saturday, October 18, Westmoore Pottery will present “Stepping Back in Time: Hearthside Cookery.” Cooks from The Historical Cooking Guild of the Catawba Valley will be the guest presenters this year as they cook foods in the large fireplace at Westmoore Pottery using historical “receipts” (as recipes were then called) from the late 18th century.
For this presentation, the Historical Cooking Guild of the Catawba Valley will be preparing Scots Irish foods such as would have been cooked and served in the backcountry of North Carolina in the latter 1700s. This will include some familiar foods, such as apple pie and shortbread, as well as some less common dishes – colcannon, bannocks, haggis, and metheglin among them. Butter will be churned as well. Sampling of many of the dishes will be allowed as foods finish cooking.
This experienced and very active group, a branch of the Mecklenburg Historical Association, travels from their home base near Charlotte, NC all over the country, teaching others and constantly learning more about historical cooking themselves. The cooks frequently demonstrate period cookery at the James K. Polk State Historic Site in Pineville, NC near Charlotte.
Westmoore Pottery is well known for making and providing replica historical pottery used for heritage cookery programs and museum furnishings. The Historical Cooking Guild of the Catawba Valley will use Westmoore’s pottery in its cooking, to demonstrate how various pottery pieces were used in the 18th century. Pots used will range from the more common bowls, pitchers, and plates to the lesser known pottery pipkins, skillets, and steep pans.
“I am excited to have The Historical Cooking Guild of the Catawba Valley this year,” says potter Mary Farrell. “I have seen presentations these cooks have done at other venues.
They have a wealth of knowledge to share with the public.”
The Hearthside Cooking programs are always among Westmoore Pottery’s most popular special events, and attract a wide and varied audience who learn about a part of history that people sometimes forget about — the history of foods, cooking skills, and the daily tasks of those who lived long ago. These programs interest many different types of people – history buffs, cooks, foodies, pottery enthusiasts, teachers, and lifetime learners. Never has history tasted so good!
Westmoore Pottery will be open from 9 am – 5 pm on Saturday, October 18. The hearthside cooking demonstrations will run from 10 am – 3 pm. (The end of the day is allotted to washing dishes!) Visitors may come at any point during the day, and come back as often as they like to see the various foods being cooked. No admission fee will be charged and no pre-registration is required.
“We sometimes have people who stay the whole day to watch, ask questions, and learn,” adds Mary, “though most visitors just come for a part of the day.”
Since the cooks will be making and explaining different foods throughout the day, returning later in the day means more watching and learning . . . and more sampling!
In conjunction with the Hearth Cookery program, Mill Creek Forge (next door to Westmoore Pottery) will also be open with demonstrations making hand forged ironwork by blacksmith Jerry Darnell and friends. Jerry is one of the most skilled blacksmiths working in the US today. His work is used and treasured by many hearth cooks.
Westmoore Pottery is located at 4622 Busbee Road, just off Highway 705 halfway between the small towns of Seagrove and Robbins, in North Carolina.