Today after what seems like years of preparation, I (with the assistance of great support from volunteer hearth cooks) was successful in reproducing the coffin design for a Lamb Pastey! I will be using exclamation points throughout this post, as I do not think there are words that can express the feelings that I had when I opened the door of the bake oven and found this beautifully browned coffin! (Note: the darkened areas are the effect of the heat of the oven on the parchment paper that I decided to use to line my tin baking sheet.) The process started at about 10:30 a.m. with the melting of the lard in hot water and weighing of 3 pounds of flour. Visitors watched as each sheet of coffin paste was rolled and cut to shape and patiently placed on the coffin. I was still working on the coffin decorations at 3:30 p.m. to complete the bird sitting in a tree with intricate designs and leaves around the central motif. I opened the door and removed the magnificent coffin at 4:19 p. m. Seeing the results, made all the research, tool acquisition and anxiety over the end results, WORTHWHILE!!!! Perhaps my picture with the coffin, at left, shows some of the absolute delight I was feeling holding this masterpiece coffin. Teaching hearth cooking and baking techniques is something I delight in doing as well, I have a filled hearth cooking class March 20th at Bolton Mansion, but still have some openings in the class at the same location on March 27th. And May 22nd, 2010, I will be teaching 18th century confectionery skills. Come join me in the fun! Visit my website www.hearttohearthcookery.com for more information.