Cornish Feasts and Festivals

Liz Woods, illustrations by Freya Laughton

Cornish Feasts and Festivals front cover imageUK win­ner of the Gour­mand World Cook­book Awards 2013, for the Best Local Cuisine, Cornish Feasts and Festivals combines two of Cornwall’s great assets: its lively culture and its strong culinary tradition. Liz Woods travels the county seeking out both traditional festivals and recent revivals. She then links them imaginatively with both classic Cornish dishes and more modern feasts using local ingredients. On the way we get a lively, and sometimes idiosyncratic, look at Cornish history, folklore, food and customs. So whether it’s Falmouth Oyster Festival or Goldsithney Charter Fair, wild herb tart or Penzance apple cake, this book will guide you around the county and enable you to cook a Cornish-inspired feast of your own.

Cornish Feasts and Festivals describes 30 Cornish festivals, each with quirky illustrations and an accompanying recipe, old or new. For each recipe there is a photograph of the finished dish.

You can use Google Book Search to look inside this book here.

Liz Woods trained as a lawyer, but spent most of her career as a college lecturer and manager. She came to Cornwall in the late 1990s. Her interest in history, food and folklore inspired her to begin writing her popular Feasts and Festivals blog in 2010. Cornish Feasts and Festivals builds on the success of that, and on the resurgence of interest in local food and cuisine in Cornwall. Liz’s poetry has been anthologized by Grey Hen Press.

Freya Laughton is a versatile artist, living and working in west Cornwall. Her wide range of work includes greetings cards, drawings and textiles.

Cornish Feasts and Festivals is published in our Pocket Cornwall series.

  • Introduction
  • Notes for the Cook
  • Twelfth Night… Twelfth Day cake
  • St Hilary’s Day… Whole cauliflower soup with smoked paprika oil
  • Shrove Tuesday… Penzance seafood pancakes
  • Hurling Match at St Columb Major… Heavy cake
  • St Piran’s Day… Cornish pasties
  • Good Friday… Saffron hot cross buns
  • Trevithick Day in Camborne… Spotted Dick
  • May Day… Syllabub
  • Padstow ’Obby ’Oss… Mussels in saffron cream
  • Helston Flora Day… Wild herb tart
  • Beating the Parish Bounds on Rogation Day… Elderflower cordial
  • Bugle Band Contest… Cornish tea bread
  • Golowan… Summer fruit shortcakes
  • Bodmin Riding… Riding ale casserole
  • The Knill Ceremony at St Ives… Paper ‘pasties’ with hake and onions
  • St Endellion Music Festival… Spiced cherries
  • Goldsithney Charter Fair… Cornish fairings
  • Tea Treats and Sunday School Outings… Cornish cream tea
  • Newlyn Fish Festival… Marinated mackerel
  • The Cornish Gorsedd… Cornish under-roast
  • Michaelmas… Extra rich bramble and apple pie
  • Harvest Time: Crying the Neck… Poppy seed roll
  • Callington Honey Fair… Metheglyn tart
  • The Nelson Thanksgiving Service at Madron… Hedgerow relish
  • Allantide – Nos Calan Gwaf… Penzance apple cake
  • St Just Feast… Pigeon pie
  • Montol… Spicy parsnip, squash and apple soup with hog’s pudding croûtons
  • Tom Bawcock’s Eve… Star gazy pie
  • Nadelik Lowen… Yule log
  • New Year’s Eve: Wassail… Hot spiced cider
  • Further Reading
  • Places to Visit

ISBN 9780906720875
1st edition

128 pages
30 colour photographs, 31 colour illustrations
150 x 153 mm

‘As always with books in this series, the design is clean and sumptuous, with, in this title, not only the usual high standard of photography but also fun illustrations of festival sights by West Cornwall-based Freya Laughton.
‘A departure from the usual more topographical concerns of the Pocket Cornwall series so far, the only question for the bibliophile is not whether to purchase it – but where to shelve it: alongside other Cornish works, or in the kitchen, so those recipes are near to hand?’ (Cornish Guardian, 25.04.13. You can read the full review here.)

‘An unusual and highly indi­vidual take on our feasts and fest­ivals … recipes for everything from Twelfth Night cake to Tom Bawcock’s Eve star gazy pie, … splen­did pho­to­graphs … quirky, eye-​​catching and very amus­ing illus­tra­tions by Penwith-​​based artist Freya Laughton … ful­filling in sev­eral dif­fer­ent ways with its slices of Cornish his­tory and folk­lore as well as food … A ban­quet of a book, as delight­ful as it is deli­cious and excel­lent value’ (The Cornish­man, 09.05.13. You can read the full review here.)

‘Cooking up a proper feast of Cornish festivals old and new’ (Western Morning News, 14.05.13. You can read the full review here.)

‘The latest title in the series proves a tasty treat… truly captures the flavour of the place.’ (Tavistock Times Gazette, 30.05.13)

‘a pleasingly designed book of folk celebrations and associated recipes tied to particular places in Cornwall… the colored pictures contribute to its desirability as an object to put on your shelf’ (Perceptive Travel, August 2013)

‘This lovely little book… a lively look at Cornish history, folklore, food and customs … with Freya Laughton’s quirky illustrations adding to the overall picture. … Dig into this book and you’ll find some festive treasures.’ (myCornwall, vol. 2, issue 19, August/September 2013)

‘Cornish Feasts and Festivals… lovers of both will find much to enjoy and digest’ (Evergreen, Autumn 2013)

‘Another little gem in the “Pocket Cornwall” series, this is a well-produced and very colourful light-hearted publication. … an imaginative little book all round.’ (Old Corn­wall, vol. XIV, no. 9, Autumn 2013)

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