HEARTH COOKING WORKSHOP – PART 1
The mission of the foundation,
Eastfield Village was painstakingly assembled by one of the foremost preservation arts experts, Don Carpentier. It is the campus for the Annual Series of Early American Trades and Historic Preservation Workshops, a nationally renowned program of lectures, symposia and hands-on classes.
I attended the workshop “DINNER WITH MRS. GLASSE,” given by Niel De Marino,
I arrived on Thursday evening with the sun low in the sky. My first mission was to take pictures of the village. Below you see the William Briggs Tavern 1793 and the Blacksmith shop 1830.
The fireplace in the back ell of the tavern would be where we would do our cooking. I would be spending my nights staying in the King’s bedroom. Now the tavern has limited electricity, you light your way with candles, it has a sink with running cold water for doing dishes and a necessary out back.
The classes started on Friday and after an introduction from Niel we began cooking around 12:00. There were 12 people attending the class and we worked in three rooms all vying for a chance to use the one fireplace and bake oven in the kitchen.
Lee, Holly and I began with Beef Alamode. Holly and Lee larded the beef butts with bacon while I gathered all the rest of the ingredients we needed. Once it was larded we fried the butts brown, added onions, mushrooms, both sweet and savory herbs and covered it with broth and red wine. This was placed over the fire on a trammel and simmered for the remainder of the day.
The next receipt was Soup Meager. Dave washed off all the celery and four different kinds of lettuce. These were chopped and put in the bowl with two bags of spinach. I fried green onions in the kettle with butter, and gently sautéed them. Next went all the greens to be softened a bit. When this cooked for about 15 minutes we added flour and stirred it in, then added broth and water. Bread crumbs were grated and added, and the soup slowly cooked for half an hour.
Linda and a few others made Chelsea Buns while Trudy sautéed some onion for the string beans.
This was a busy place with 13 people running helter-skelter here and there, plus Bob. Bob by the way is the wood man and does the wonderful job of splitting the wood, tending the fire, and making sure the bake oven is going. Just like Allan does for me when I have a workshop at home. Both of them are a blessing to have in the kitchen.
Kim and Trudy were making Curried Chicken and I think it was Dave and John making Curried Rice. Norfolk dumplings made by Linda and ginger cakes by Lee and Holly and raspberry dumplings by Dave and Kim were made being made here and there. And Carl was in there somewhere busy with some receipt. It was hard to keep track of who was doing what, as we all had several items we were responsible for.
Dave helps to finish off the Soup Meager with egg yolks whisked with vinegar. Karla digs in. I was doubtful about how this soup would taste, and was pleasantly surprised at just how good it was. It got rave reviews.
Someone filled vases with flowers and everyone dug in. From left to right. John, Carla, Kim, Holly, Dave and Lee. Day one was finished and we ate heartly.
At the same time there was a tin-smithing workshop going on and we had so many leftovers, we also fed them when they were done. One of the participants is a friend, Amy McCoy and it was her birthday so a tin crown was made for her. Happy Birthday, again, Amy.
“For people who aren’t doing it already, take classes – they’re worthwhile. Workshops or classes – a workshop is where you do, actually get feedback on your work, not just something where you go and sit for a day.”
Believe me when I say we did not sit in this workshop.
Workshop II coming soon