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Aug 25, 2011

The fire is in the hearth

Natalie Palacio

Good old fashion fire hearth cooking is still preferred by many Belizeans. But in the era of butane stoves, fire hearths are now limited to villages and rural areas. This weekend the residents of Willows Bank want to go back to the basics with a Firehearth Festival, which features a cooking competition among the villages. It will be a full day of events for the entire family and transportation will be provided. The coordinators stopped by our studios today to share the details.

Natalie Palacio, Coordinator, Willows Bank Fire hearth Festival

“One of the major features of the festival is the fire hearth cooking competition, to be more specific the Roddler fire hearth cooking competition so named because the fire hearths are going to be built by Roddler Construction Company Limited. This competition is basically a challenge among the villages in that area. Basically we are trying to find out who is the better cook on the fire heart. Like if Willows bank says we have the best cook on the fire hearth, we are daring the other villages to challenge us. So it’s a challenge among the villages.”

Daphne McFadzean, Coordinator, Willows Bank Fire hearth Festival

“We have many other activities including volleyball competition, tug of war competition, coconut husking, coconut grating, beer drinking, watermelon eating, we have bouncy house for the kids, face painting. So a lot of different activities for the family.”

Delahnie Bain

“Can you give us the details of the date, time and place?”

Daphne McFadzean

“Okay, this happens Saturday the twenty-seventh in Willows Bank Village, small village off the Boom Road.”

Delahnie Bain

“And what time do the activities start?”

Daphne McFadzean

Daphne McFadzean

“We start at ten and by six o’clock we should be finished with all the activities and then we have a dance in the night as well. Transportation is available. We have a bus leaving Belize at ten in the morning and returning—leaving willows bank at six pm in the evening; going again at nine-thirty and then returning at two-thirty, three in the morning.  The concept behind the willows bank fire hearth festival is highlight the role in forming our tradition. The fire hearth is very important in our tradition and it is something that is dying out. There are very few people who even look at a fire hearth or would even think about using a fire heath and because of this, a lot of us younger generation do not know anything about a fire hearth. And in these times when the cost of fuel and everything going up, we just might have to revert to fire hearth cooking but we don’t know anything about it.”

There’s only space for one more village team to sign up for the cooking competition and interested persons can call 660-1157 or 651-4678. Ingredients for the cook-off will be provided by Grace Kennedy Belize.

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3 Responses for “The fire is in the hearth”

  1. Victoria says:

    yum, yum, the best food is the one that is cook on the fire heart, the flavor is sooooooooooo good

  2. VINO says:

    I am so glad that Ms. Natalie Palacio and Ms. Daphne McFadzean are organizing this Fire Hearth event. Hope they can make it an annual event. The best food I had eaten from a Fire Hearth cooking was at an Easter event at Gales Point Manatee, many years ago, not to mention the onion pepper sauce that went with it. I think this taste is still on my taste bud, LOL. Hope that Gales Point Manatee is one of the contestants in this Village event. We know that it will be a tough time for the Judges, because Village cooking is exceptionally good. Sorry I cannot be there to enjoy my Belizean food.

  3. Darlene says:

    Gald to see that these young ladies are doing something positive for Willows Bank. I was born in this little village, but migrated to the US, I still go back and visit when I return to Belize. I am sure my other relatives in Belize will be there to support this worthy cause. Good Job Natalie and Daphne. Something positive in the new for a change Love it.

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