Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Archives and Local Studies team is presenting ‘Seasons Eatings’, a growing and cooking event, at Grosvenor Museum on 9 July as part of Festival for the Future
They will be joined by a representative of the North-West National Allotment Society, John Irwin, who will offer tips, tricks, and expert advice on how to grow ingredients – all while on a budget.
Resident archivist-foodies will show attendees how to make a ‘herb pie’ – a historic recipe which uses seasonal and sustainable ingredients, while sharing how locals through the ages managed to grow, store, and cook food that was produced locally.
This recipe was put to page by Elizabeth Raffald all the way back in 1769 in her ‘Experienced English Housekeeper’. Raffald cut her teeth as a housekeeper at Cheshire’s own Arley Hall, before starting her own café in a shop co-owned by her florist and gardener husband, John, who sold seeds and plants alongside her.
Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Councillor Louise Gittins said, “If you fancy learning how to do your own version of farm-to-table all by yourself, come join the Cheshire Archives team on Saturday, 9 July, from 11am to 12 noon at the Grosvenor Museum in Chester. No need to book or register in advance, and all are welcome.”
“Elizabeth Raffald went on to publish her own cookbooks which were hugely popular, allowing her to set up further inns and businesses. You might call her the 18th century’s answer to Mary Berry. This is going to be a very useful and interesting event.”
Carrying on this tradition of pairing together growing and eating, John Irwin will give advice on low-cost ways that you can grow the ingredients of this dish, which includes some of the more-neglected parts of common vegetables. Lucky attendees will even be able to get their hands on some free seeds and young plants to grow their own crops.
This event is part of West Cheshire Museums’ Festival for the Future, a month-long celebration of sustainability and climate action.
Main image: Baker Family collection – showing members of the family working on the gardens and preserving plums