Sunday, 16 March 2008

I'm Back You Lucky People!!

Why lucky I hear you ask! Simple really, thanks to a lack of internet access over the course of the recent trip States side you are being spared the bulk of the pictures that I took........I seem to have inadvertantly taken over 3.5 Gb of pictures over the week, so you can be thankful that I'm only going to subject you to the very edited highlights along with the briefest of written descriptions, with the Easter cookery fast approaching I'm well aware of the need to tell you all about that this week as well.

I personally had a brilliant trip and I came away from our visit to Greenbank Mill absolutely astounded at the educational and interpretative programming that they do there......there isn't a square inch of the site that isn't used for some teaching purpose, many of which are quite inspired and it really has shown me that any historic site that says that they can't come up with educational or interpretational strategies really isn't trying hard at all. Hats of to Tony Shahan and all the team at the mill because they really do knock a lot of sites I've been to into a cocked hat.

So what did we do on our trip? Well having landed at Philadelphia airport and found our rental car, we took the easy drive into Delaware to the mill where Tony gave us the golden ticket tour. It's been a while since we last met up with Tony, probably 2001 at an ALHFAM conference in Williamsburg and it was good to catch up again and see what he's been doing with the's well worth visiting their web page and seeing the results of a flood in 2003 and how they brought the site back from near disaster to where it is now by teaming up with local colleges and so on......but I digress. After the full works tour and a bite to eat in a local Italian eatery (location still a mystery due to jet lag and darkness) it was time for a nights sleep ready for what turned out to be a fully packed day on the Friday.

After a chilly night Friday turned out to be baking day, with the oven at the mill being fired for us to try out some of our bread recipes........which proved to be interesting to say the least. It was good to see that the problems that we've been having with bread and the early recipes wasn't just down to us being inept as we had limited success with our recipes at Greenbank. Although so saying, the bread looked like c*&£ on the outside, but was pretty even on the inside and not too bad to taste either. We learnt a lot and I hope to be able to put it into practice at work soon (more of that though when we get round to bread again). After bread we tried a tart, tartes owte of lente actually, it was a little spur of the moment so we had to make do with ingredients from the local Acme store.....I still can't work out what ultra pasteurized cream is, either it's pasteurized or it isn't surely.....the end results weren't pretty, mainly because we left the tart to cook in the cooling oven whilst we all went out to dinner, but at least it was edible.....more astonishingly so was the crust that had been in contact with the oven floor which I was expecting to be like concrete! An early night was in store ready for Saturday and the presentation that we were giving.

I'll leave you today with one of my favourite images from the first couple of days pictures

view over Long Island

Taken as we flew over Long Island heading towards Philadelphia.

Hopefully I'll have finished sorting out the rest of the pictures tomorrow and can regale you with more of what we did last week when I post tomorrow as my bed is calling me to sleep now!

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