Tuesday, 12 June 2007

A Few More Pictures

are now up on Flikr, nothing spectacular I'm afraid, but a good excuse to share the recipe for lobster loaves with you all:

To make Lobster-Loaves.

PICK out all the Meat of three little Lobsters shred it a little; take a piece of Butter, and brown it with Flour in a Sauce-pan: the stir in a very little Onion and Parsley shred very fine, and put in a little Pepper, a Spoonful of Anchovy Liquor, three or four Spoonfuls of good Gravy, three Yolks of Eggs well beat; stir all these over the Fire in the brown Butter, then put in the Lobster, and stir it a little together: Take three French Rolls, and cut a round Piece off the top of each, and pick out the Crumb, but do not Break Holes through the Sides of the Bread; fill up the Roll with the Mixture you have prepared; put on the Piece of Top you cut off, close and tie them round with a Piece of Tape: Make some Dripping boiling hot in your Frying-pan; and when you have just dipt the Roll in Milk, throw it in to the Pan-full of scalding Liquor: When they are crisp, take them out, and take off the Tape: Be sure to put in three times as much Parsly as Onion. Thus you may do Shrimp or Oyster-Loaves.

This comes from 'Above 300 Receipts' By Mary Kettilby from 1734 and is a heart attack inducing, artery hardening taste of heaven!
We've tried it with lobster and shrimp for the filling and tend to demonstrate it with prawns (simply for the ease with which you can buy them.) I can only suggest that you have a go at it.....I'm sure that you won't be disappointed.

Now that I've got family birthdays and a couple of technical niggles out of the way, it should be back to normal here. I'm currently working on the next cookery weekend in July - trying to sort out what we're going to be cooking; a couple of adult education courses at Hampton Court, along with transcribing a couple of cookery books.....so I should have enough to talk about for a while now.

Currently, the plan for July is to try experimenting with a few of the recipes. Trying out different variations with a small number of recipes, basically taking advantage of the loose interpretation that can be applied to the various recipes; trying to take some weights and measure some temperatures and stuff along those lines. Which recipes it will be I'm not quite sure yet, but rest assured that you'll all know as soon as I do!

By the way, comments will be replied to later today, but first I have to go and cook dinner!

Thursday, 7 June 2007

A Public Apology

It was recently brought to my attention that I may have given the impression to some people that Jorge's only skill is breaking wind for Britain!

I would like to take this opportunity to point out that Jorge is a highly skilled individual (that's why we asked him to join us), good with the public (so my mother says!), with a wide base knowledge that can be easily applied to the work we do, practical and a skilled artist - as can be seen from his website http://www.guildofsayntluke.co.uk/

who happens to break wind for Britain!

Post Something You Damn Slacker!!!

I'm back!!
The Prince of Procrastination, the Lord of Laziness.....oh hell you get the idea! - I'm a lazy so and so who is really good at putting things off and then suddenly half the week's gone by with no posting.

So how did the weekend go you ask? Very well I think, good ticket sales and lots of happy visitors made for a great couple of days.....most of them even 'got it' that we weren't talking about just the Tudor period as well, which was a bonus.
I've posted some pictures of the set up so that you can see roughly what we did, there will be some more of the food and stuff later on.
There's also this video:

which should make it clearer as well.

It was a bit of an odd weekend compared to most as the number of people that stopped and talked was, or at least seemed to be much higher than usual - could have been that we are more approachable in chefs whites rather than period clothes? - and when then talked, boy did they ever. Most of the questioning seemed to be much more in depth than usual, with many visitors staying for really long periods to chat and discuss what we were doing. This was great but also lead to other unexpected eventualities.

For example, we hardly cooked anything in comparison to a normal event and did very little in the way of experimentation, which had been one of the aims for the event, still people seemed to be happy with what they got and in the end that's what counts.

This means that answering your questions Elise regarding the comfits is, I'm afraid, not that easy. Yes we (well Robin anyway) managed to make two batches of comfits - I'll post some images another time - but as to how many coatings they got I can't say, we rather got carried away and 'stuck in' to it without thinking of keeping a record and when we did, Robin lost track several times, all I can say is at least 50 coats before colouring them, which was probably 20 coats. Proportion of sugar to water I know I have no idea and the same goes for temperature as in this case the end result of comfits was the important point not the method of making them - sorry, we'll try harder for you next time.

As for the colouring experiment, well......see for yourself what happened when the parsley juice was converted into a syrup:

not at all successful really, so we ended up with red and yellow comfits (cochineal and safflower) and unfortunately no idea as to how the parley would have made the seeds taste. I would like to do some more experiments with the colours later in the year, very probably when the weather is too hot for Dave to work on the wax model, so hopefully more info' on that soon.
With luck this post will kick start me back into a regular posting schedule again - I've some more pictures from this weekend as well as Roberts selection from the last May Holiday event, so that should keep us going image wise for a bit.

More later on ladies and gents.

Saturday, 2 June 2007

It Worked!!

Hooray.....it actually worked! The AV display thing was pretty good when the sun wasn't directly shining on the wall, the public were interested.....and talked....a lot and the cooking went very well although we didn't make half the things we thought we would.

Over 2400 ticket sales for the day and we are all absolutely knackered. A nice 'quiet' night in tonight as we're sort of confined to barracks due to the function that's on in the palace ......so a few beers and nibbles all round with a lot of chat i'm sure.