A Taste of the Past

Historical and Traditional Cookery

Day-long Cookery Courses: Basic Bread Making | Further Adventures in Bread | Jam and Curd | Basic Baking | Sour Dough and Sponges | Fancy Breads | Mediterranean Breads
Evening Cookery Club: Christmas Treats
Other Services: Talks and Demonstrations | Recipes for Forty Hall | Catering


A Taste of the Past is a small, independent catering company that provides cookery courses, talks and demonstrations a small range of sweets and baking and small scale catering for up to around 20 people.

Making lemon curd
Making lemon curd
Lunch at a cookery course
Lunch at a cookery course
Chicken in white sauce
Chicken in white sauce

Cookery Courses

Day-long Cookery Courses

Course Name (click for details)DatesStatusNotes
Bread Making for Beginners9 Feb 2013Full
Jam and Curd16 Mar 2013Spaces
Bread Making for Beginners20 Apr 2013Full
Basic Baking in a Day14 Sep 2013Full
Sour Dough and Unusual Breads12 Oct 20131 Space
Christmas Treats16 Nov 20132 Spaces
Bread Making for Beginners18 Jan 2014Full
Further Adventures with Bread8 Feb 2014Full
Bread Making for Beginners8 Mar 2014Full
Further Adventures with Bread26 Apr 2014Full
Bread Making for Beginners14 Jun 2014Full
Bread Making for Beginners12 Jul 2014Full
Further Adventures with Bread13 Sep 2014Full
Bread Making for Beginners11 Oct 2014Full
Bread Making for Beginners10 Jan 2015Full
Enriched and Fancy Breads24 Jan 20153 Spaces
Bread Making for Beginners14 Mar 2015Full
Enriched and Fancy Breads21 Mar 20151 Space
Mediterranean Breads12 Sep 20152 Spaces
Bread Making for Beginners10 Oct 20158 Spaces
Mediterranean Breads7 Nov 20158 Spaces

Evening Cookery Club

Course Name (click for details)DatesStatusNotes
Christmas Treats12 Dec 2014Full
Christmas Treats16 Dec 20143 Spaces

Booking and Other Information

To find out more information about any of the courses or catering on offer please call Claire Passaris on 07999 871 053.

To book a course please send a booking form and cheque to Claire Passaris, A Taste of the Past, 80 Orpin Road, Merstham, Redhill, Surrey. RH1 3EY. I do require payment in full at the time of booking as I have to pay for everything before the course. However I will not cash your cheques until I have enough people to run the course. Please give me your e-mail address or mobile phone number and I will send you a message a couple of days before I cash your cheque. I will also use it to tell you of any changes to the course details.

Talks and Demonstrations

11 Dec 2012Forty Hall, Enfield CouncilFood for Thought: Festive recipes from the 17th Century
4 Apr 2013Christchurch Ladies Group, Waltham CrossPresentation on 17th Century Marmalade Recipes
13 Jul 2013Forty Hall, Enfield CouncilFirst Fruits: Historic cookery demonstration
10 Aug 2013Forty Hall, Enfield CouncilCookery Course: 17th Century Jam-Making Techniques
24 Nov 2013Forty Hall, Enfield CouncilProviding breakfast to the Dawn Chorus event and talking about the history of breakfast
7 Dec 2014Forty Hall, Enfield Council17th Century Christ Tide Banquet

I am happy to give talks to local clubs. Please call me to discuss what you would like.

For talks to charities I just make a small charge to cover my time and travelling expenses. However, if you would like a cookery demonstration and tasting samples then I do have to cover the costs of public liability insurance for your premises and food insurance for the audience as well as the cost of ingredients and cooking.

Blog Posts

Healthy Snacks

It is that time of the year again....

...when you really crave something other than chocolate

Here are 3 recipes for something a bit more wholesome and very tasty.


Anyone listening to Radio 4 this week will have probably been hearing about the great cookery writer, Claudia Roden.  She is credited with introducing this lovely spice mix to Britain and indeed a lot of the rest of the world.  It is pronounced do'ha by the way (the wonders of radio versus a recipe book!)

Anyway, I don't have her original recipe and a quick internet search revealed that everyone has their own blend of favourite flavours so here goes with mine.  I apologise now for lack of accurate quantities, this isn't that sort of recipe.

4 tablespoons of nuts - lightly roasted
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
1 table spoon each of coriander seed, cumin seed, fennel seeds
some salt, quite a lot of salt actually, this is a spicy salt mix
dried mint to taste, oregano would work as well.

lightly roast all of these in a dry frying pan or warm oven.
Crush the seeds and food process / crush the lot together.

Dip bread in olive oil and then the dukkah.
Sprinkle onto meat before grilling or roasting
Mix into yoghurt or mayonnaise for a lovely dip
any other ideas.....

Savoury Seed Mix

Take your favourite seeds, I use sunflower, sesame and linseed and flax.
Spread on a baking sheet in a thin layer.
Sprinkle over soy sauce, not too wet.
Roast at 180 and check every 5 minutes.
This cooks very unevenly so you really do need to check and stir the seeds every five minutes until they are evenly dry.
Take out of oven and while they cool a little bit pop a jam jar in the oven to sterilise it.
Add cold seeds to cold jar and seal.
If you leave the seeds around for too long they re-absorb all the moisture you have just cooked out and go sticky.

There are lots of recipes on the internet that include sugars, herbs and spices.  I avoid the sugary as they can really burn your oven tray very quickly.  Mixes of spices and salt are nice as well.

Dried Bananas

I don't usually go in for recipes that need special equipment but if you happen to have a dehydrator or an Aga then have a go.
Slice bananas, dip into lemon water and dry them out.

I run bread making course in Surrey, please visit my website for more details:

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