Sunday, 23 March 2008

It Snow Joke!

Blimey, loads of snow falling this morning when we got up.......good job it didn’t settle and a good job that it warmed up a bit today as about cold yesterday, everything and I mean everything went cold on the supper table within minutes and it made for a pretty miserable time as far as I was concerned.....the rest of the guys were more upbeat, but I just can’t push myself to eat cold fish.....eyuk!?!

Today was much more of a success I think, possibly because we were back to a meat based existence, possibly because it was warmer who knows but time really did fly today and we were nice and busy with lots of visitors that were fun to talk to.
Dave and Adrian have decided that this is it for the wax fountain and all the stops have been pulled out in an effort to get it finished by the end of tomorrow. Today I shot some video of them finishing off the Bacchus figure that sits at the very top........dipping the rough wax model into a red wax, coloured with alkanet, to smooth him off and give him what was supposed to be a ‘lifelike’ pink hue, although he went much more ‘bronze’ so their just as happy with that as he looks like a cast bronze statue now. Fingers crossed that after tomorrow I’ll be able to show you footage of the finished fountain in operation.

It was a meeting of the blog commenter’s today with Helen joining Elise in front of the tables for the proved to be quite handy as they ended up discussing the days recipes with each other and assorted other visitors giving us a nice little break from chatting for a while.......they also kept picking me up on the recipe selection I had made for the day.......ok so I meant to have written soupes dorroy rather than soppes dorre, well I knew which one I meant (even if Marc H says that’s not the case!) sue me eh!?!

Apart from that, not a massive amount to tell about today, we did try using chafing dishes on the table today, our newish ceramic ones got their first use.......and possibly their last as they now have dirty great cracks in them......oh well, at least they did the job though and the buknade stayed piping hot throughout the meal; not that I was too interested in that when there was perre, wardons in syryp and crustade lumbarde on the table, although Adrian and Ross managed to make great inroads into the wardons before I got there!

It looks like another clear night outside, so it’s off to find Robert now to see what new pictures he’s taking.........’fraid you’ll have to wait until Tuesday to see yourselves.

.........All change now as I've just managed to coax the technology into getting an internet connection....all the above was written for a mobile phone posting, but now you can have this

which is the video of the turbot roasting on Friday, I haven't processed todays video yet (read that as checked the audio for incriminating evidence) so that will come later on along with the pictures from the last couple of days.


Helen said...

It was really good to meet up with Elise and spend time chatting at length. She certainly made good use of her time here in the UK, spending all four days over Easter at the Palace. (Mike and I chose to visit Sunday, as you were back to meat with the accompanying delicious aromas!)

Elise and I exchanged email addresses so we can now keep in touch direct and we'll make sure we meet up again when she's back next year.

I knew there was something wrong when I asked Robin what the onions were for and he said Soppes Dorre/Soupes Dorroy and I said there weren't any in the recipe. Then debate started, with Marc H being in agreement (yup, I actually had one of the boys on MY side instead of ganging up against me, though he would probably have agreed to anything yesterday!) Mind you, I have to admit that Soupes Dorroy with onion was a better bet than Soppes Dorre with almond milk, so you're forgiven and won't get sued this time! And, as you know, we did re-position your marker into the correct place - to save face!

The fruits of your labours looked stupendous, especially the Fylettes in/en Galentyne. Slicing the meat fairly thinly rather than chunking it made quite a difference. We've always been pleased with my results (using various meats), but slices are definitely the order of the day next time. Crustard Lombarde looked wonderful, beautifully coloured and paste cases perfectly made by Robin. I have to stick to using a tin.

I didn't get to see the Buknade dished up. I think it went straight from pan to dish to main table. I'm hoping Mike got a shot of it on the chafer. It's a shame about the chafers, but they did do their job, if only the once.

I picked up the tip from Robin & yourself re not adding the onion to the peas for the Perre until 30 mins before serving, to keep the crunch. That's what I'll do next time.

When we finally left after yet another thoroughly enjoyable day, Mike & I decided that it was warmer OUTSIDE than it was in the kitchen (other than by the fire). The earlier snow hadn't settled and it was just drizzling a little by the time we got home.

Hope today was as successful. Thank you as always for your dedication. And, on another note, Elise had mentioned The Taste of The Fire - so we picked up a copy from the shop. Lots more reading!

See you in April.


Elise Fleming said...

I was privileged to spend four days in the kitchens, mostly watching the cooks ply their trade. But some of the time was in the "prep" kitchen with the two Barrys who finally had more work to do once meat came back on the menu. And, being a "sugar person", I surprised myself by not spending all that much time at Adrian and Dave's work station. How Adrian can tease a lump of cold wax into a recognizable Bacchus is amazing. Watching - and hearing - a history lesson given by Dave about the Scots and the French against the English, all illustrated with lumps of clay flung down onto the table and emphasized with appropriate finger jabs in historical locations... it boggles the imagination and tickles the ribs!

I appreciate even more now the lengthy training that an apprentice would have had in a Tudor kitchen. I used to make pie dough, but not like Robin made it. There were techniques there that I'd never heard of and that only became evident after standing (or sitting on the cold brick ledge) around for several hours. Richard was patient with me when I kept interrupting his work with "You're doing that but the recipe says this. What made you decide to do it that way?" He also took some photos for me when I couldn't get close enough to the item. (Thanks!) "Wrong Marc" provided menu details as I tried to follow the recipe book that Richard compiled. Marc M.'s table setting commentary placed all the work into context of how food was served. Ross was patience with the children who wanted their turn at the spit. And I got to see Robert, his nose almost in the food, as he took those fabulous close-up photos. I think it's my flash going off in the video of the fish being roasted.

If you ever can get to Hampton Court, plan to spend several hours in the kitchens. Walking through is fascinating - seeing the bustle, the clothing, the utensils. But the real inspiration and joy is the stalking of a new technique such as piercing the membrane of an egg yolk to let just the yolk run out, or a long watch observing that incorporating butter into flour for dough is not a matter of a few moments but takes somewhere up to 10 minutes before it is satisfactory. And, I will admit that I'm somewhat tickled to provide a suggestion for using saunders that actually worked!

Thanks, gentlemen cooks, for the best four days of this trip!