Cooking Stage – 2019



Old-time cooking – the stories, recipes, and dishes will be featured at this year’s What’s Cookin’ Stage at the Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival, along with a healthy dose of Dutch Oven cooking. This is the 15th year for the Cooking Stage. Aid’s Downtown Antiques is the sponsor of this event.

The 25th annual Festival will be held May 31 and June 1, 2019, in and around the West Plains Civic Center. The two-day annual event in downtown West Plains, Mo., celebrates Ozarks music and culture.  Admission to all festival events is free. Festival hours are noon-9 p.m. both Friday and Saturday.

In the Brush Arbor, neighbors will share stories from their families, highlighting the way food was prepared in their homes here in the Ozarks. Dutch Oven cooking will be featured both days.   Coordinator Tara Hensley starts the menu off with Dutch Oven Biscuits and Chocolate Gravy, followed by an hour of reminiscing with vintage kitchen gadgets. Completing the day’s offerings will be a Dutch Oven workshop preparing breakfast for dinner.

Saturday’s session will kick off with the 2nd Annual Pie Competition. Bring your best apple pie, and entries will be received from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Entries should be brought to the Redbud Room inside the West Plains Civic Center. Judging by a select group of experts begins at noon, with awards announced (and samples offered at the Cooking Stage) at 12:30.

Pies should be prepared “from scratch,” including crusts, as that will be included in the judging criteria. Please bring a copy of your recipe so it can be shared in next year’s Festival Cookbook. Winners will also be featured in the Cookbook. Pies should be brought in non-returnable tins.



GravyWell Good Greasy Gravy!

Dutch Oven Biscuits and Chocolate Gravy This segment will discuss the history of chocolate gravy and why it is so popular with the mountain people of the Ozarks.  Did your grandmother make chocolate gravy?  Do you have a treasured family chocolate gravy recipe?  Gather round and share your stories and recipes while sampling our own Ozark Chocolate Gravy recipe.  Your recipe could be featured in the Old-Time Music Ozark Heritage Festival Cookbook!  Drop it in our recipe box at the Cooking Stage.
WhiskOn the Back Burner – Kitchen Gadgets of our Past

This segment will encourage discussion and storytelling of the vintage instruments that people used to cook with.  People used a lot of crazy tools to help them cook, all the while cutting down on prep time. Unfortunately, many of these contraptions are now a distant memory.  We will be bringing you a bit of nostalgia as we “show and tell” these unique kitchen gadgets of our past.


dollVinegar Pie – WHAT?              Desperation pies are making a comeback.  Laura Ingalls Wilder mentions both the Ingalls and Wilder families baking Vinegar Pie in both the Little House in the Big Woods and Farmer Boy. This recipe was sometimes called, “poor man’s pie” and was used as a substitute for lemon pie in places where they did not have lemons. Vinegar pie was popular at the time because most people had the ingredients on hand.   Laura Ingalls Wilder’s vinegar pie recipe will be demonstrated and of course, there is sampling!



DutchDutch Oven Workshop – Hey Grandpa, What’s for Supper?  Breakfast for dinner made in a cast iron pot.  Bacon, eggs and hash browns with cheese on top!  Biscuits and apple butter.  That hits the spot!  YUM! YUM!


In American history, the Dutch oven was first used by American colonists. Because of the durable cast iron that they were made from, Dutch ovens were the perfect vessel for conducting a more uniform heat; not only on the bottom of the pot, but on the sides as well. For the American colonists who began their new lives in a new country, Dutch ovens were indispensable for baking, boiling, frying, roasting, and stewing. As colonists ventured westward across the United States, so too did the Dutch oven go.


This segment will demonstrate the basics of Dutch oven cooking.  We will discuss the history of Dutch ovens, Dutch oven equipment and how to cook in a Dutch oven.  Demonstration and sampling of recipes.  Mountain Man Breakfast Casserole.  Dutch Oven Biscuits.


Recipe BoxBring your treasured family recipes and drop it in our recipe box to be featured in the forthcoming Old-Time Music, Ozark Heritage Festival Cookbook!


Recipe OTMF


Here are the instructions to submit your recipe.


Check the official schedule for specific times each day


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