Seagrove, NC - On Saturday, November 9, Westmoore Pottery will present “Stepping Back in Time:  Hearthside Cooking.” 

Historical cooks Cindy Kepley and Susan Ball will cook foods in the large fireplace at Westmoore Pottery, using historical recipes from the 18th and 19th centuries. Cindy and Susan plan to churn butter as well as prepare Green “Frogs” and sauerkraut and also do a lot of baking – pies and cakes—all cooked using coals from the fireplace hearth.  In addition they will show some comparisons of how foods and recipes have changed over time.   Sampling of many of the dishes will be allowed as foods finish cooking. 

Cindy Kepley and Susan Ball both work at Old Salem Museums and Gardens in Winston-Salem, NC, where they have each held positions in the Museum Education and Children’s Education Departments.  Susan is a museum educator and coordinator of the Five Yesterdays program.  Cindy Kepley works with Historic Trades and is one of the main living-history interpreters for the Miksch House of Old Salem.  Susan and Cindy are both experienced hearth cooks who have been immersed in the world of 18th and early 19th century cooking for many years.  They are energetic presenters of their skills and are remarkably adept at simultaneously cooking and talking to visitors.  Cindy and Susan have been the cooks at previous Hearthside Cookery programs at Westmoore Pottery, with enthusiastic response from visitors.  

Westmoore Pottery is well known for making and providing replica historical pottery used for heritage cookery programs and museum furnishings.   Cindy Kepley and Susan Ball will use Westmoore’s pottery in their cooking, to demonstrate how various pottery pieces were used in the 18th and early 19th centuries.  Pots used will range from the more common bowls, pitchers, and plates to the lesser known pottery pipkins, skillets, and steep pans.  

“We are thrilled to have Cindy and Susan back doing hearthside cookery,” says potter Mary Farrell, “Not only are they extremely knowledgeable and skilled at 18th and early 19th century cooking techniques, they are also just great cooks!  Everything they make tastes wonderful!”  

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, pottery enthusiasts, teachers, and lifetime learners.  

Westmoore Pottery will be open from 9 am – 5 pm on Saturday, November 9.  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 Cindy and Susan will be making and explaining different foods throughout the day, returning later in the day means more watching and learning . . . and more sampling!  

Westmoore Pottery is located at 4622 Busbee Road, just off Highway 705 halfway between the small towns of Seagrove and Robbins, in North Carolina.  

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, specializes in historical ironwork, and has made the ironwork for Westmoore Pottery’s large fireplace.