Our First 20 Years………of 18th Century Hearth Cookery and Lifestyles
The Historical Cooking Guild of the Catawba Valley

Current Cooking Guild Members

 

 

 

Members and guests celebrate the guild’s 20th anniversary with syllabub, salmagundi, great cake with sugared violets and rose petals.

 

Salmagundi and Cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time Line

 

1997September 18

Co-founders Carolyn Dilda and Barbara Goodwin, with Sharon Van Kuren, Janet Dyer, and Mary Godsey met for the first time. They agreed to cook and dress 18th Century, cook each meeting, teach anyone interested in open hearth cooking, handle school tours and site visitors, and participate in the James K Polk State Historic Site’s special events. [At this time they decided not to ask for sponsorship but remain separate from a site or Mecklenburg Historical Association.]

 

1998October

The Historical Cooking Guild of the Catawba Valley presented an “Edenton Tea Party”, by invitation.

 

1999February

The Cooking Guild attended the ALHFAM meeting at Brattonsville and they presented a Workshop ‘Food Preservation, Preparation and Storage.’

 

2000January

The Cooking Guild attended the Lifeways Conference at Williamsburg, Va. Karen Hess gave us our rally cry of ‘Asparagus.’

October

The Polk SHS presented the ‘Young Hickory Award’ to the Cooking Guild.

 

2001February

The Cooking Guild attended the ALHFAM conference at Tryon Palace, New Bern, NC. They presented a Workshop “A Cooking Guild? What is it?” There they met Pat McMillon and Crystal Kitchen from Burritt on the Mountain, Huntsville, AL, who were interested in forming a hearth cooking group.

 

July

The Burritt on the Mountain ladies came to the Polk site to learn hearth cooking from the Cooking Guild.

September

The Cooking Guild participated at Fashion show at Charlotte Country Club, “200 years of Fashion”

 

2002

The Cooking Guild was one of the test kitchens for William Rubel’s ‘Magic of Fire’ cook book.

Barbara Goodwin and Sharon Van Kuren taught Girls Scouts 18th Century Backcountry Lifeways.

 

2003January

The Cooking Guild became part of the MHA Docents as a sub-committee. [The main reason was to become a part of a larger organization as an insurance umbrella. The only stipulation by MHA Docents was that the cooking guild would state on any publication ‘affiliated with the MHA Docents.’]

February

The Cooking Guild visited Old Salem, NC., to learn how to use the bake ovens.

March

Audrey Mellichamp attended a Native American outdoor cooking workshop at Jamestown, Va., which she in turn shared as a lesson to the Cooking Guild members.

June

Bear Day event at the Polk site. The Cooking Guild prepared bear meat and used bear fat for salad dressing. [22 historic hearth cooks came to participate].

October

The Cooking Guild presented an ‘Edenton Tea Party’ to the Daughters of the American Revolution at the Polk site.

 

2004

Wall Street Journal; NPR interview with Barbara Goodwin and Carolyn Dilda.

July

Carolyn Dilda along with Kathleen Purvis interviewed about ‘Funeral Foods’ on “Charlotte Talks”, WFAE.

 

2005August

William Rubel, author of “Magic of Fire” and Peter Reinhart, Johnson & Wales University, visited with the Cooking Guild at the Polk site for lunch.

October

The Cooking Guild presented an 18th C Formal Dinner including 3 courses with multiple dishes, candlelight, and music. Tickets for the event were raffled.

 

2006

The Cooking Guild rode a private coach on the Silver Bullet Train to Philadelphia and cooked with the Past Masters.

 

2007February

The Cooking Guild held their first public workshop on beginning open hearth cooking at the Polk site for a fee.

 

2008April

Ivan Day, noted English foodways historian, visited and cooked with the Cooking Guild at their hearth at Polk.

May

The Cooking Guild visited the Foxfire Museum, GA, and were the featured cooks at their hearth.

November

The Cooking Guild went to Horne Creek Farms to learn about Heritage Apples in the South. Following the field trip, the Cooking Guild used the heritage apples collected in various 18th Century recipes.

 

2009

The Cooking Guild cooked with Elk meat and Bear meat from Audrey Mellichamp’s brother-in-law, which was hunted with bow and arrow.

The Cooking Guild visited the Manuscript library in Columbia, SC. on a research project.

September,

Sandy Oliver, a food historian, held a workshop for the Cooking Guild on the evolution of recipes by researching cookbooks.

October

The Cooking Guild learned the history and techniques of 18th Century painted floorcloths from Erica and Olga, 2 guild members.

 

 

2010March

The Cooking Guild participated in a Fashion Show, ‘Whatever Did They Wear?’ at the Sugaw Creek Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall. The Cooking Guild planned the menu of historic foods for the catered lunch.

April

The Cooking Guild visited Polk’s home and Museum in Columbia, TN, and were the featured cooks at an all day cooking event.

 

2012February

The Cooking Guild attended the regional ALHFAM conference at Historic Brattonsville, SC, where they also presented a workshop ‘When is Catsup Not Red?

October

The Cooking Guild participated at Hart Square, presenting Tavern cooking.

 

2013February

The Cooking Guild attended the regional ALHFAM conference at Meadow Farm Museum, Henrico, Va. where they presented a workshop ‘The Cook is in the Kitchen [with or without a fire]’

The Cooking Guild researched Lard rendering with hog leaf fat.

 

2014October

Chimney fire in kitchen cabin at the Polk site.

The Cooking Guild was the featured hearth cooks at Westmoore Pottery, Seagrove, NC, where they cooked Scot Irish Backcountry foods.

 

2015February

The Cooking Guild attended the regional ALHFAM conference at Burritt on the Mountain, Huntsville, AL. They presented a workshop, ‘FATS is a Four Letter Word.’ Leaf lard, Crisco, butter, bacon fat, and suet piecrusts were baked and compared.

June

The Cooking Guild attended the national ALHFAM conference at Colonial Williamsburg, Va. They presented a panel discussion ‘Cooks—the Greatest Tool is You.’

September

The Cooking Guild was cooking again for the first time in the repaired kitchen cabin at their home hearth at the James K Polk SHS.

 

2016January

The Cooking Guild participated in the Historic Brattonsville Hog Butchering event. They cooked pork items in the McConnell kitchen.

March

Bear fat rendering

 

April

The Cooking Guild participated at Rural Hill, Loch Norman Highland Games, where they featured the preparation of an authentic haggis in a sheep stomach on the hearth.

June

Some of the Cooking Guild members attended the national ALHFAM conference in New Orleans, La.

August

The Cooking Guild participated in the Schiele Museum, Gastonia, NC., Backcountry Artisan Exhibit. They presented an exhibit on Backcountry hearth cooking methods as well as prepared 18th Century foods for the reception.

October

The Cooking Guild presented a workshop for the Southeastern Museum Council conference in the Polk site kitchen cabin, titled ‘Smoke and Fire: Hands on Engagement in the 21st C.’

 

2017Summer

The Cooking Guild members researched and prepared preservation projects.

September

20th Anniversary of the Historical Cooking Guild of the Catawba Valley.

 

Barbara Goodwin said: “The Guild opened doors we wouldn’t have had on our own.”

 

Our motto [since June 2015, National ALHFAM, Williamsburg]

“Coming together is a beginning,

Keeping together is progress,

Working together is success.”

Henry Ford

 

 

 

Compiled by Barbara Goodwin, assisted by Audrey Mellichamp, Pam Dudeck, Sharon Van Kuren, Carolyn Dilda, Cathy Davis, and Linda Beverly.