Wednesday, 31 October 2007

What's Cooking This Weekend?

Good question......and one that I had said that I'd answer sometime this week.

The plan is that on Saturday we shall try to cook:
roast beef
beef y-stwyd
buttyrd wortys
wardons in syryp
ryse of genoa

and chawettys

with Sunday seeing us try:
roast beef
crustade lumbarde

and perre

Both days will hopefully also see Pick and Carter continuing with their bread experiments as well as trying to make rastons.

Nothing really adventurous or out of the ordinary as it happens, but there is method in my madness. To see some of the recipes you can search back through the blog where I've posted some of them before (or perhaps purchase the recipe book eh!) and I'll post a few more either later this week or early next week.

Why cook such a 'mundane' set of meals with recipes that we've tried fairly successfully several times in the past? The aim this weekend is to work on food that will in the future form the menu for a fundraising dinner at Hampton Court Palace, so hopefully this weekend will see us sort out the menus foundations as well as seeing the start of work into portion size and probably most importantly, working on the size of the 'lumps' in each dish.

The idea for the fundraiser is that guests will be able to get an idea of the dining style of the Tudor period whilst still having all of the comfort of a modern meal......Robert put it best I think when he said that the idea was to prepare a meal as if the food service style hadn't evolved or changed, only the service ware! So instead of serving food in bowls that the diners help themselves from, they will be presented with a selection of person sized portions to choose from......don't worry, it'll become much clearer in the future when we can take pictures to show you! As the portions will be smaller than we'd normally make, we think that the size of the bits of meat and so on will need to be smaller and that's what we'll be playing with this weekend.

One offshoot from all of this is that we should end up with a group of redacted recipes that will allow the less adventurous cook to try them at home.......yes, yes I know, I'm on record as saying how much I dislike modern redaction's of history recipes.....but in this case as we'll be catering for 200 people we really will need some constants to work to so that quality is maintained throughout.

That's about all I can say about the meal for now, still loads of details to get when and how and who, but I'm sure that these will all get sorted in good time and when the time comes I'll be able to tell you more about it.

I've put a few of Roberts pictures from last months cookery up on Flickr, not as many as I thought there would be to be honest....I'll just put that down to him learning how to use his new camera and us not actually doing as many photogenic dishes as we have in the past.

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Art For Arts Sake

Not much to say at the list is in but I've got to wait for an answer from work before I can tell you exactly what we're going to cook.....nothing hush hush, just need an answer to check something out is all!!

So to give you all something to see I've put some of Roberts pictures up onto the Flickr site. I've chosen to put up some of the experiments he was doing at night like these:

Pop over to Flickr to see the rest and to look at these a little bigger (click on the 'all sizes' at the top of the picture to see the image a little larger when you're there)

I've got all of his pictures from the October cookery weekend as well, but I'll wait 'til next week to show you some of those.......enjoy

Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Dates For Your Diary

Now available at Lulu as well as The Noble Boke of Cokery you can also now get a calendar for 2008 called A Year In The Kitchen, which features some of the photographs taken this year in the kitchens!

It contains some of the dates that we will be cooking in the Tudor kitchens already filled in for you, so there's no excuse for missing us in action next year is there?! These aren't the only dates that we will be cooking, but as yet some of the holiday weekends have not been confirmed in our current budget always, the next two or three dates for cookery will be put in the top of the right hand column.

You can get to the calendar page here or by the link towards the bottom of the right hand column, and there's a small preview available there too so that you can get an idea of what it looks like.
The nitty gritty.............the price is £8.72 plus shipping and handling. It seems that the calendar is printed in the USA so delivery to the UK is between 2-4 weeks from date of proof copy took 3 weeks from ordering to my doorstep.

So for a great (and easy!) Christmas gift for friends and family pop over and take a look!!

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Normal Service Is Resumed!!!!

Well Hoo Bloody Ray!! What a week that was.
What was the 'technical problem'?....suffice to say that a small problem that could have been easily resolved if certain PC manufacturers sold their machines with all the software disks instead of 'recovery partitions' ended up with the tech support departments 'solution' hosing my machine and deleting all my archive......everything in fact. So I've spent the week recovering everything and re-installing stuff.....there lies the case for the defence m'lud.

So what kitchen stuff has happened since the last post? Octobers cookery went well, in fact it well enough that there wasn't anything worthy of posting on the Saturday Robin and I went to the pub instead!
I've stuck the paltry number of pictures that I took over the weekend on Flickr for you to see (If you want)....I'm hoping to get hold of Roberts cookery pictures later this week so you'll see them as and when I do.......I believe that he took loads as his new toy is a digital SLR camera......"It's like free film" he keeps saying, although to be more correct it's actually like "free processing" as it's enabling him to experiment with shots that would have proved a nightmare to get with film, especially night time stuff and now both he and I are coming up with lots of ideas for outlandish night time shots of/around the palace, so stay tuned to see if we have any success. I'm also fairly certain that seeing Roberts pictures will jog my failing memory of what we did over the last weekends cooking.

In the meantime, I've put up some of the macro shots he's been playing with this week like this one of some nutmeg

and this one of garlic

Pop over to the Flickr page to see the rest.....and any of the others that you may have missed, the link is in the right hand column.

This week I intend to plan the November weekends menu with Robin, so as soon as I know what we end up planning to do I'll let you all know. We're also progressing with plans for cookery next year and the celebratory year 2009 (500th anniversary of Henry VIII's coronation in case you didn't know) well as working out what's going to happen on the forthcoming adult education days and evenings.

Final thing for now is to say thank you to all of you who clicked on the poll I had running. I've now got a better idea of how you all found this den of iniquity and, more importantly your answers combined with some of the other statistics I have at my disposal mean I now have an idea of where I can target to 'spread the word' about these ramblings.........if I can be bothered ;-)

Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Technical Trouble

Just a short post to let you all know why the lack of posts.

I'm having rather major computer problems that means it's looking like a complete overhaul for the computer at my end, meaning I'll be out of commission for a couple of days!!

Updates as and when I'm afraid, but rest assured I'll be back........Robert took some absolutely stunning pictures this weekend with his new camera and you really do have to see them, He's been like a kid in a candy store for the last few days playing with this new toy and finding out just what it can do.


Friday, 5 October 2007

A Catch Up Before Cooking

With cookery almost upon us I thought it was time for a very brief catch up before the onslaught!

This week saw Marc M and myself off to France again shopping for ingredients. Nothing out of the ordinary, just the usual wine for cooking and any other ingredients that caught our some lobster for a blamanger which we'll probably do over the Christmas week of cooking. These little frozen lobsters really wind me up!! One cooked lobster, frozen in salt water, just defrost and use.........just under 5 euros EACH!!!!! (that's about £3-£3.50!!!! we had 4). The same size lobster, cooked and frozen in a supermarket near me (no names, but they stand for price and quality) £14.99..........FOURTEEN POUNDS!!!!!! .......and the story is a similar one with a huge list of other food stuff, it makes me mad it does! (in case you hadn't worked it out, that's the reason we shop in France for so much of our ingredient just makes more economic sense)

Now the rant is over, what else?

Robert took this picture the other day:

It's a dead male cardinal spider......our 'indigenous' species at Hampton Court. As you can see, Roberts been playing with macro photography a bit lately, so expect to see lots of pictures of stuff in EXTREME close up!

Research has been ticking along nicely this week and I'm making good progress with the stuff that I'm working on, Robert as well so I believe.

That's about it for now, ordinarily I'd be at the Palace by now but family stuff means that I won't get there 'till later today......we can then have a chat about what we're doing tomorrow and hopefully plan some good pictures for you to see.

There's only a few hours left to vote if you haven't already done so (12 hours as I write this post) to let me know how you found out about the blog. I won't see the final tally until I get back after the weekend, but as the previous post says, I'm fairly confident that I know how you all 'got here'.

Monday, 1 October 2007

Only A Few Days Left..... vote over to your right. That's right, the voting closes in a few days so if you haven't already done so, do me a favour and let me know how you found out about the blog!

So far, short of a ridiculous 'Blue Peter' style vote rigging it looks like the word of mouth option has it, with only a small number of you having actually seen us cook live. Still, I'm not going to jump the proverbial gun just yet, there's still a few days to go before the finish.........what I'll do with this profound knowledge I'm not sure, but I'd like to think that it'll help shape how I get the word about the blog 'out there'.