The cooking guild cooks on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month (except June, July and August), from 10 am to 2 pm, at the President James K. Polk State Historic Site


Spring 2019

Shad with bones showing about cooking.









Haggis and Scots Irish dishes begin our cooking year. We will continue Dutch cookery with waffles and wafers; Spirits, salt, using mushroom ketchup, cooking shad and fried chicken [by request].

Cooking fried chicken outdoors in kettle of Lard, May 2018.

1736 recipe of fried chicken! Delicious. We will do this again in 2019.















Fall 2018.

We begin cooking in September with lessons on rice, Dutch cookery, salt, and using mushroom ketchup we had made to preserve spring mushrooms.


 We continue to cook and teach ourselves in our 21st year. In January we did Hannah Glasse’s Thatched house pie [photos in the Photos category]. In February we have made root soup and coffee by roasting the green beans and grinding the beans after roasting.

 The NC Museum of History did a live stream/podcast from the kitchen house on cooking ways and foods of the season the end of January.  See our description of this under “Reporting”.



At the end of 2016, the cooking guild researched heritage pumpkins. We observed several kinds: tasting it raw, cooked, and baked. They were all good but each of us had our favorite. We did stuff a pumpkin and cooked it in the coals. At the end of the sessions, we dried thin slices of pumpkin for use in the new year’s winter fare.

And yes, this January, we did use the dried pumpkin, rehydrated it into a pulp and baked a pie. On a winter day, a pumpkin pie is eaten…..







This year the guild has already researched egg and butter preservation, spices used in the backcountry; and cheese. We will study  sauces and gravies, cullis, broth; make a chartreuse!; ragoo of eggs; spring greens with making a tansy.

More to come…..especially more local research of foods.

Made a root vegetable chartreuse, February 9, 2017











Fall 2016

Recently, the Cooks made little meat pies with stand up tallow crust [rendered beef suet]. These small meat pies were put in lunch pails and eaten cold.








Our cooks are happy to be back in the Polk kitchen. We have had lessons on making candied orange/lemon peel used in baking for special treats. Also in making brandied peaches, we discovered that the left over syrup and brandy is the best “peach brandy.”

This September we are celebrating our 19th year together—-of course we treated ourselves to Syllabub!

In August, the Historical Cooking Guild of the Catawba Valley represented their artistry of cooking at the reception to the Backcountry Artisans in Contemporary Times at the Schiele Museum in Gastonia. We cooked a few historical dishes that the invitees could taste. Our skills of cookery were well received! As well as our cooking techniques exhibit!  We were given a 25 out of 10!!

In October, the cooks are involved in 2 big events. We will present a workshop on Food ways with and without a kitchen to the North Carolina Museum Council meet here in Charlotte. We will also be in the tavern at Hart Square, cooking and talking about the doings of the taverns.



Fall 2015

We are Cooking! Our kitchen house’s chimney is repaired and we are given the OK to start having fires. So our first fire will be Thursday October 8, 2015.

October 8, Th.- Fried apples and sausages, stuffed pumpkin, slaw, gingerbread, apple cider.

Oct. 10, Sat.-cooking in down town Kings Mountain, NC, at the hearth of the Barber House.

Oct.22, Th.-seasonal foods

Oct. 24, Sat.-cooking in the tavern at Hart Square

Nov.12, Th.-cooking seasonally

Dec.10, Th.-cooking seasonally


Winter/Spring 2015

 Our home, the kitchen cabin, had an accidental roof fire in October 2014. While we are waiting for the roof to be repaired, the cooking guild will be giving 3rd grade kitchen talks under a tent on selected days each month. Please see the Polk staff for the days and availability.

We are also busy preparing two workshops for regional and national ALHFAM meetings. Regionals in February 2015 in Huntsville, Alabama and nationals in June 2015 at Colonial Williamsburg.

We are still practicing hearth cookery each month at Schiele Museum and will be participating at Rural Hill highland games in April.