the Magnificent Leaven


September 9th, 7pm

Cambridge, MA

Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College

Culinary Historians of Boston

Ovens on the Edge, a presentation about the archaeology of baking

September 12th, 9 - 11 am

Charlottesville, VA

Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello

Monticello Harvest to Hearth Experience

with Paula Marcoux and Dr. Leni Sorensen  • Historic Monticello Kitchen

Sample the flavors of produce from the Monticello grounds, cooked using techniques and recipes dating to the garden’s heyday. Join food historians Paula Marcoux and Dr. Leni Sorensen in the historic Monticello Kitchen as they transform the best of the early September harvest into surprising and delicious dishes that deserve to be restored to American tables. Learn period live-fire methods that you can bring home to your own fireplace or grill, and be inspired to think about next year’s garden in a new — or, better yet, old — way! $55

         cymlins tomatoes okra figs corn apples potato-pumpkin hominy beans eggplant

September 14th, 2 pm

Jamestown, VA

Historic Jamestowne

Jamestown Rediscovery Project

Ovens on the Edge; How the First European Colonists Baked Bread, 1590-1640, a presentation about the archaeology of baking, followed by a walk onto the James’ Fort site to have a look at the remains of a couple ovens in situ!

September 16th, 7 pm

Richmond, VA

Camden’s Dogtown Market

201 W. 7th St., Richmond, VA 23224

Subscription dinner, cool venue, excellent menu:

*Pine Needle Mussels (pg. 34) with Cast Iron Bread (pg. 155) Domaine de Rome Sancere


*Fish Kebabs with Fennel Salad (pg. 68) Louis Latour Chablis


*Roast Pork Loin (pg. 52) with Ash Roasted Veggies (pg. 31) and Salt Roasted Taters (pg. 128) Louis Latour Bourgogne Rouge

*Almond Meringue Cookies (pg. 296) with House-Made Ice Cream Sandeman Rainwater Madiera 

Brought to you by Fountain Bookstore, 1312 E Cary St, Richmond, VA 23219

This looks like FUN!

September 17th, 7pm

Chapel Hill, NC

Flyleaf Books  752 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd

Culinary Historians of the Piedmont -- NC

Cooking with Fire presentation -- lessons from food history and live fire...

September 18th,

Lorton, VA

Gunston Hall

Cooking with Fire presentation, plus a demo of Hannah Glasse’s fabulous Muffins (Cooking with Fire, p. 117) in their sweet hearth.

September 20th, 2 pm

Tysons Corner, VA

Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival

Pushing the limits with hot pokers. Flip (Cooking with Fire, p. 88), and other fun...

September 26th, 5 - 8 pm

Plymouth, MA

Harlow Old Fort House Flip Fest

119 Sandwich Street


Independent Fermentations Brewing & Dirty Water Distillery

Flip (Cooking with Fire, p. 88) is a rich melange of beer and rum frothed with a hot poker, and served up sizzling. Enjoy a taste of this old New England concoction and other delicious drinks locally brewed and distilled by Plymouth’s own Independent Fermentations Brewery and Dirty Water Distillery. Local food historian and author Paula Marcoux will share her expertise on traditional cookery and offer tasting plates based on recipes from her new book, Cooking with Fire; copies available for signing in the Harlow Gift Shop. Chowders, pies and other homemade treats also available. Tours of the historic Harlow House are included with admission. Cover charge $5.


An afternoon of Cooking with Fire book-signings!

   September 27th, 12 to 1 pm

Fruit Center Marketplace Milton

10 Bassett St
Milton, MA 02186

September 27th, 3 to 4 pm

Fruit Center Marketplace Hingham

79 Water Street
Hingham, MA 02043

Shop for local foods and other delicious treats, and stop and see me!

October 10th, 6:30 pm

Brooklyn, NY

The Brooklyn Brainery

190 Underhill Avenue

Ovens on the Edge; How the First European Colonists Baked Bread, 1590-1640, a presentation about the archaeology of baking.

October 11th, 11am - 2pm

Brooklyn, NY

Washington Park

336 Third Street, bet. 4th/5th Avenues

Brooklyn, NY 11215

The Old Stone House

Hands-on at the hearth: bread in a wood-fired oven, bread in an iron pot, bread on a griddle, bread under ashes...

October 18th, 4 pm

Cohasset, MA


(781) 383-2665

Buttonwood Books

Oktoberfest! Cranberries, beer and fire!

I’ll be doing an outdoor wood-fired demo and signing....

November 6th, 7 pm

Kingston, MA

Kingston Public Library

Cooking with Fire presentation -- lessons from food history...

November 20th, 7pm

Taunton, MA

Old Colony Historical Society

Presentation on Plymouth Succotash!

(Just in time for you to start thinking about celebrating Forefathers’ Day..)

December 6th, 1-3 pm

Middleboro, MA

Trucchi’s Supermarket

Book signing, halfway between my hometown, Rehoboth, and my home of two-an-a-half decades, Plymouth. Come in, stock up for the weekend, and say hi! And remember, there is no more enduring holiday gift than a cookbook.... 

December 13th, 1-3 pm

Abington, MA

Trucchi’s Supermarket

858 Bedford Street

(781) 878-5080

Book signing. Come in, stock up for the weekend, and say hi! And remember, there is no more enduring holiday gift than a cookbook.... 

December 21st, 9 am - 4 pm

Buzzards Bay, MA

Experience Food History:

Plymouth Succotash — from Archive, to Farm,

    to Plate

Roll up your sleeves and participate in the construction of Plymouth’s signature holiday dish, as well as the deconstruction of its history and mythology. We will corn beef and pork, hull dry corn with wood ashes, and concoct the real thing from an 1880s Plymouth recipe. We’ll work outside over a wood fire as much as weather allows. We’ll break twice from cooking — mid-afternoon, for an illustrated presentation about the history of the dish and its erstwhile holiday, Old Colony, or Forefathers’, Day; and late-morning, for a light meal to tide us over to the main event. We’ll sit down and share our handiwork as the delicious culmination of the program.

Our ingredients will include New England-grown corn and beans, beef brisket, pork, and chicken (fowls, really), potatoes and turnip, all sourced as locally as possible. Our recipe comes from the notebook of Frona Spooner (1831- 1917), who lived on North Street in Plymouth.

Through the nineteenth century pretty much the entire Anglo population of Plymouth sat down on December 22nd to big plates of succotash to celebrate the the anniversary of the arrival of their “Forefathers”. We’ll examine why this was, as well as how turkey and Thanksgiving came to take the place of these earlier traditions.

A fabulous dish in every sense, authentic Plymouth Succotash deserves to be enjoyed today.

This is my first workshop through our new hands-on outfit, PlymouthCRAFT!

Register at:

January 23, 2015,

Saratoga Springs, NY

NOFA NY Winter Conference

Earthen Construction for Backyard Cooking Fun

Register at:

March 14, 2015, 1-5 pm

Buzzard Bay, Massachusetts

Sausage, Scrapple, Lard

Spend an afternoon exploring three delicious traditional ways of keeping the family fed all winter long. We will make a big batch of sausage, learning about a wide variety of helpful equipment  in preparing the meat and stuffing the casings. We will render lard from both fatback and leaf fat, examining the differences between the two. And we will prepare scrapple—despite what you may think, a completely delicious wholesome substance when made at home—out of the hog’s head.

Participants will take home samples of each of the projects, as well as the confidence needed to make these wonderful traditional foods at home.

Our hog was humanely raised, and well-fed on a ridiculous amount of goat milk, in Middleborough, Massachusetts.


March 28th, 2015, 11am - 3pm & Independent Fermentations Brewing

Plymouth, Massachusetts

A Day of CRAFT Brewing

Curious what it would be like to run a very small brewery?

Spend a day finding out at Independent Fermentations Brewing in Plymouth. Owners Paul Nixon and Rose Forbes will be crafting one of their signature brews, and you are invited to participate.

The session will begin with grinding and mashing the grains. After the wort is put on to boil, we’ll tour the facility and talk more about styles, ingredients, techniques and equipment. Paul and Rose are very active in the local micro-brewery scene, and they can fill you in on where to visit to sample a wide variety of beverages made in small operations all over Bristol and Plymouth counties.

Food historian Paula Marcoux will be on hand to answer questions about New England’s checkered beverage history.

Lunch will be provided, and, for those over 21 years of age, will include a tasting of Independent Fermentations products.

Dedicated hopheads may hang with the pros until the end of the brewing process, very late in the afternoon. But all participants over 21 are welcome to return to the brewery three weeks later to pick up the fruits of the day’s labor — three 22-ounce bottles our handiwork.


Co-sponsored by Independent Fermentations and edible South Shore and South Coast

Register at:

May 2nd - 3rd, 9 am - 5 pm

Monument Beach, Massachusetts

Build an Earthen Oven

Join me for in intensive two-day experience. Gain the know-how and confidence to build your own super-fun backyard oven, just in time for the summer baking season!    

Your $275 registration includes a great

lunch both days.

Register here.     

April 19th, 2015, 2 - 3pm

Brockton, Massachusetts

455 Oak Street, Brockton, MA 02301


Make Speak at the Fuller Craft Museum

Seven takes on craft, seven presentations, seven minutes.

This is a free public lecture choreographed by the Commonwealth of Craft. The online registration for this event will be at:

April 25th, 2015

Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery

Westport, Massachusetts

Cooking with Fire

presentation and book-signing

Fun with live-fire cooking and, along with Corey Nuffer, Westport Rivers’ wine-paring maven, some contemplation of the challenges raised when food meets fire. How do you select wines that can handle the bitter char, luxuriant smoke, and caramelized sugars characteristic of bold handling over coals?

May 5th, 2015, 5 - 8 pm

Castle Hill Center for the Arts

Truro, Massachusetts

Wood-fired baking series

Recreating Pastries Depicted in 17th-century Dutch Paintings

Recreating Pastries Depicted in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Still Li

Ever been tantalized, or mystified, by the pies and other baked goods in the art of Pieter Claesz, Willem Heda, and other Golden Age painters? Let's reproduce some using Castle Hill's wood-fired oven! We'll employ period recipes and images to make free-standing meat pies, fruit tarts, and intricate filled cookies. For art-lovers and adventurous bakers and eaters of any level.


May 12th, 2015, 5 - 8 pm

Castle Hill Center for the Arts

Truro, Massachusetts

Wood-fired baking series

Wood-fired Pizza Party

Celebrate the return of green to the garden by making delicious, crispy wood-fired pizzas using the freshest, tastiest, seasonal ingredients. We'll mix pizza dough together and prepare toppings using live fire. When the oven is ready, we'll hone our dough-stretching skills and experience using the peel to launch pizzas onto the oven's searing-hot hearth. After enjoying the fruits of their labors hot from the oven, participants will take home pizza dough for further practice and enjoyment.


May 19th, 2015, 5 - 8 pm

Castle Hill Center for the Arts

Truro, Massachusetts

Wood-fired baking series

Focus on Natural Leavening

Toss out the notion that sourdough is for the "advanced" baker with exacting habits, a white toque, and a degree in microbiology. On the contrary, anyone who enjoys baking may find that stepping into the world of natural leavening improves the flavor and texture of the bread, opens up a range of international specialties, and best of all makes baking so much more fun. Participants will learn the basics of starting and maintaining a culture, and will take home a piece of vibrant natural leavening to get them going. Along the way, we'll cover mixing and developing techniques, fermentation basics, and dough handling and shaping. Using the wood-fired oven, we'll bake wheat and rye loaves employing natural leavenings in different ways.


May 30th, 2015

Plymouth, Massachusetts


June 6th, 2015

Freetown, Massachusetts

Freetown Historical Society

Brown Bread!

Steam a ton of brown bread on a wood-fired cookstove to prepare for the Freetown Clambake on June 7th. Meet cast-iron stove expert Skip Mull, who will be setting up one of his beauties, and cranking it up to provide the steam we need to prepare bread for the masses.

June 13th, 2015

Watch Hill, RI

Ocean House

Cooking with Fire

Beachside live-fire cooking and book-signing

Photo credit for chicken-roasting at Searsport Shores, ME:

Thank you, Sandra van Dusen!