...the 1st and 2nd of November? No me neither to be honest!
I've just sent Roberts pictures from the November weekend over to Flickr for all to see (not much re-touching.....just straightening them out and hiding the faces of the innocent).
So apart from the fantastic fireworks...
...just what did we do that weekend? Well it happened to coincide with the end of the school half term holidays over which Hampton Court ran its once yearly promotion 'Kids go Free'. During this time children aren't charged admission (up to 4 per accompanying adult) and the visitor numbers go through the roof! Loads of stuff for kids and families to do and we were told NOT to be the exception...so what did we do?
Well the usual spit turning with Ross was a 'given'....although it turned out to be more of a chore than we thought...but what else could we do? After much thought we decided on having Barry and Barry grinding bread-crumbs and making butter, Dave would do his usual thing, Robert would be assisted by Jorge in enthralling people with tales of the office whilst the main area of the kitchen would do all the normal sort of thing PLUS one massive new test run.....we'd let people have a go at cooking themselves!!
First let-down of the weekend was somewhat of a potato potahto moment when once again the wrong flanks of meat turned up..
so, loads of picking at it later and we had enough meat to 'create' roasting joints for people to turn and absolutely tons of fat to render out for cooking at other weekends.
The butter wasn't quite as successful.....the guys made plenty of it, but it was really hard going, still that's one reason why people didn't make butter in the winter (apart from the lack of milk, the cold really works against the cream turning to butter). Not that it mattered too much as all the public seemed to like it. The breadcrumbs on the other hand were an out and out winner.....I don't think I actually saw Carter do any physical labour all weekend as there was a near constant queue of kids wanting a turn at making breadcrumbs....again, all to put into store for use at Christmas and other weekends. I would never have believed that such a simple task would have proved so popular!
As I said, Dave did his usual 'thing'...I'm not quite sure what it was, but kids loved it..
So that just leaves the 'hands on cookery' to tell you about. We were going to try to be fair about it and take turns so that we didn't go ga-ga, but in the end Robin stepped up and did it all as he was trying out some ideas for future education sessions at the same time.
We'd plumped for ryschews close & fryez as the recipe to try, not least because we had a bag load of the filling already made and in the freezer, but also because the various processes involved lend themselves to this sort of 'have a go' event.
¶Ryschewys close & Fryez.
¶Take Fygys, & grynd hem smal in a mortere with a lytil Oyle, & grynd with hym clowys & Maces; & þan take it vppe in-to a vesselle, & cast þer-to Pynez, Saundrys, & Roysonys of Coraunce, & mencyd Datys, Pouder Pepir, Canel, Salt, Safroun; þan take fyne past of flowre an water, Sugre, Safroun, & Salt, & make fayre cakys þer-of; þan rolle þin stuf in þin hond, & couche it in þe cakys, & kyt it, & folde hym as Ruschewys, & frye hem vppe in Oyle; and serue forth hote.
The biggest question was how to cope with the cookery part??.....should we cook them there and then or what? Fortunately the solution came from the boss, Chris when he suggested that we let people make them at the Palace then take them home to cook them...bag them up and include instructions then hopefully everyone would be happy.
So we made up the paste and filling then all people had to do was roll out a small amount, cut out a circle, wet the edge with water, pop in some fruity filling, then fold and seal before Robin popped the finished item in a bag with ingredients list and instructions.....it went down a storm, especially with the family who were first to try. They'd waited and waited and come back several times for this all to be set up and when they'd finally finished and the kids had their bags in their hands, Robin pointed out that they were the first people who weren't us or 'off the telly' to have cooked in the kitchen for many many years they were really quite chuffed...loads of pictures for the school projects ensued and they went away with beaming smiles....and that seemed to be the results for the rest of the weekend, from both young...
..and old alike...
Now all I have to do is cover last weekend and we should be square.....perhaps not tonight though.....do remeber to have a look at all the other picture I've put up at Flickr...trust me they're a lot more interesting than this past weekend bunch will be...but that's for another time!