What did lead smelters and lead carriers and their families eat? That’s what the Heritage Cook Off on Easter Saturday was all about – exploring the simple diet of working people all those years ago.
Download some of the recipes and their stories here.
Three ladies in their 80s were present, one of whom demonstrated how to make butter with untreated milk; another explained the artefacts used to prepare simple food and the third made five different gingerbreads. Gingerbreads were the “sweet treats” of the time.
Many of the demonstrators were ladies in their 60s who gave us Mutton broth, Maslin bread, Carlin Peas and Pan Haggerty. Moving down a generation to people in their 40s we had the chief at the Travellers Rest prepare a rabbit & mushroom stew and posset, while the chief from the Rose & Crown, a man in his 20s demonstrated curd cheese and lardy cake. Then the youngest of our visitors and cooks, children under the age of nine years made simple foods like barley broth & oat cakes. Our youngest demonstrator, a young lady who is still at school, made a wonderful tharfe cake.
The tasting tables with their accompanying recipes were similar to regional food displays at County Shows – lots of different foods to taste. The difference at the Heritage Cook Off was that the foods were being eaten 200 years ago and not something you would expect to find in shops today.
The Northumberland Sausage Company from Wark, cooked sausages throughout the day and demonstrated traditional sausage making at 5 p.m. A selection of Fentimans soft drinks and Allendale Brewery beers were available to buy.