PITTSBURG — One event accessible with a Little Balkans Days button — which are available for $5 at Celebrations by Lori, Kansas Teachers Community Credit Union, Memorial Auditorium, Pittsburg Area Chamber of Commerce, and Ron's Supermarket — will be a series of ethnic cooking and cultural demonstrations on Saturday, Aug. 31, at Lincoln Center, sponsored by Labette Bank and Miners Hall Museum.
While three out of four of these will be cooking demonstrations, the first one, starting at 9:30 a.m., will be a “wagon wheel” style weaving demonstration, using a circular frame for weaving.
“It fits in with that time period” that Little Balkans Days celebrates, said Miners Hall Museum Board of Trustees Member Linda Roberts, in discussing the decision to offer a demonstration that did not involve cooking. During the Little Balkans era when immigrants were coming from far and wide to work in the mines of Southeast Kansas, weaving using the “wagon wheel” method would have been a fairly common way of making items such as circular rugs, Roberts said.
Later in the day there will be three cooking demonstrations at Lincoln Center, starting with a spaghetti sauce demo by Gerald Blazic at 11 a.m., a biscotti demonstration by Southeast High School culinary teacher Janet Holden and her students at 12:30 p.m., and a Cornish pasty demo by Matt DeMoss of The Meat Shed at 2 p.m.
Holden said her students will bring three or four biscotti varieties to the demo and make one in front of the audience.
Holden said she would be teaching her students to make biscottis — which are a kind of twice-baked dry cookie that is traditionally served with coffee and “can essentially be made into any flavor” — during the first week of school, before demonstrating how to make them during Little Balkans Days. Like the other cooking demos, anyone with a Little Balkans Days button will be able to attend the biscotti demonstration.