Tuesday, 30 November 2010

old bag's cookbook

It has been such a busy last 2 months with lots of exhibitions, making, with many late nights and early mornings to get things finished. But without doubt one of my favourite days in the last month has been the launch of The Old Bag's cookbook. I have worked at this project for a long time bringing the arts to older people who live in care with varying needs from physical disability to people with the onset of dementia and some in the latter stages. They are like my second family.
I can honestly say it is a place that makes me laugh more than anywhere else.
We have been talking along time about writing our own cook book and after lots of trial and error with our Old Bags pickle range the brand was born. One sherry fuelled afternoon the idea was inspired and we set to work, reminiscing, sharing stories, drawing, painting and cooking.

We worked out between us with 13 people around the table that there were almost 1200 years culinary experience, so that gives you some idea of the ages of our gang.
We pondered long and hard about the recipes to be included, some of our recipes are treasured hand me downs, some that hold special meaning and others too good not to share.
We split the book into four sections More tea vicar.......... This was all about Sunday afternoons, eating cakes with family and friends, whether it's warm summer or cold wintry afternoons waiting patiently for mouth watering cakes. But before the eating was the making and fighting to lick out the bowl. The next section was Wash day the meaning of this has changed beyond belief. This is when Wash day usually done on a Monday and done in a copper which took up the whole day. Food needed to be quick with little preparation and was often made from the leftovers from Sunday lunch. Then we added Good for the Soul just food that is simply good for the soul and gives you that warm contented feeling. Last but not least Getting Pickled the section all dedicated to pickling and getting pickled.
The book has over 20 recipes like Canary Pudding, Stovies, Clootie dumpling, Rose petal ice cream and Carrot jam. The illustrations were made using lots of different materials, mono printing, collage and little pencil drawings. They really are so beautiful and delicate.
We really laughed lots making this book, we always laugh lots and hard. The perception of care environments for older people are still not great. I can assure you that this gang here are all about living the next project is a dating agency for the more mature and discerning client.
Watch out Gordon, Jamie and Delia the Old Bags are ready to take on the big boys!


  1. This is a great idea and sounds like an ace cookbook. I love 'old' cooking, chutneys, cakes, etc. Is it available to buy?

  2. Yes it is all the monies raised goes to the residents fund. You can contact me on enquiries@patchworkbutterfly.co.uk.
    Hoping your world is well x