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Cooking in Old Florida – Heritage Village, Largo, FL

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I didn’t know what to expect when I signed up for The Blackpot Gourmet Cooking Class at Heritage Village.  Heritage Village is a living history museum in Largo, FL specializing in 19th century local history.  In other words, it’s Old Florida.  As the name suggests, the grounds take on the appearance of a 19th century village.  It turned out to be the perfect location for learning the age-old art of Black Pot Cooking.

The Menu:

  • Black Bean Chili
  • Noodles with Cheese Sauce
  • Green Onion Corn Cakes
  • Bread Pudding with Florida Orange Sauce or Brandy Hard Sauce
  • Autumn Fruits with Sweet Cream
Getting Started. Here Wendy is teaching us how to use an old-fashioned chopper/grinder. In the foreground, a hallowed out section of wood holds the produce we will be using.
Getting Started. Here Wendy is teaching us how to use an old-fashioned chopper/grinder. In the foreground, a hallowed out section of wood holds the produce we will be using.

The first step in making the chili is to chop the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and ginger.  Some of this was done by hand, and some with the Old Fashioned Chopper pictured below:

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As the chopping continues, the preparation of the noodles begins.  Eggs are added to a mixture of flour, salt, and baking powder. The dough is kneaded by hand, rolled flat, and cut into strips.

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Wendy and crew also get started on the corn cakes, cutting the kernels off the corn and then finely chopping/crushing them.

DSC02013 (2)Meanwhile, the beef for the chili is prepared by cutting up a chuck steak and then feeding it through the old chopper/grinder.

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Let the cooking begin! After all the grinding and chopping, the beef is cooked with garlic, onion, ginger, and pepper in a cast-iron Dutch oven, Then the tomatoes are added into the pot.  The black beans are added later.

While the chili is cooking, everyone gets started on dessert: Autumn fruits with sweet cream and bread pudding with orange sauce.

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DSC02039DSC02049DSC02056DSC02053DSC02042 (2)DSC02045DSC02072Now let’s head back to the fire for some more cooking.

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Time to eat!

DSC02136 (2) DSC02137 DSC02139 (2) DSC02142 DSC02143I’ve been to a lot of food-related events and it’s not often that I am wowed, but today I was.   This event was the most fun I’ve had since I started this blog a couple months ago, and the food was delicious.  It was like a holiday in the woods.  If you are interested in trying it out yourself, the next black pot cooking event is scheduled for October 3, 2015 at Heritage Village in Largo, FL.  Be sure to register in advance.  To those who attended this event today, check Facebook for additional photos: https://www.facebook.com/flillustrated.

Jennifer Ring

Jennifer Ring is a freelance writer & photographer living in the Tampa Bay area, on Florida’s west coast, home to some of the best beaches in the state.

http://flillustrated.com

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