Thursday, 8 April 2010

Easter Update....

....well not really I'm afraid!

As seems to be all too common if we check back through the blog, the event finishes and my head empties of anything that may have been of the vaguest interest to pass on to you all....sorry, but that's just the way it is. I've not even got any pictures to show you, but you can pop to these links PICTURES and MORE PICTURES to have a look at some that follower Terry Love took of us in 'action' (if what we do can be described by the use of the word action!!)...many thanks for letting us pop the link here Terry...hope you all enjoy.

Apart from letting you know the links above there's not much to tell about the weekend...thousands came and went, having spoken to us and reamed our brains for all they held, we cooked some food and served some meals and talked a whole lot more...job done.
Although we cooked a few recipes that we haven't really done much with before, there was almost nothing 'experimental' planned for the event and I can safely say that the plan was followed almost to the letter...with a little exception here and there...mostly from Pick and Carter with the work that they are doing looking at the practicality of ceramic and bronze chafing dishes...more about this though later in the year when they've added to what they have already learned and submitted it to the boss.
It was, as I say though, planned to be a fairly straightforward event...the idea being that the rest of the year emphasises and highlights the experimental and investigative work that we do, not just to the public, but those higher up the food chain at HRP as well...and to do that we started the year with a 'normal' event and from here on in it will be anything but that....fingers crossed for the ideas I've got planned, still awaiting confirmation of the broad idea from the boss before we can discuss detailed ideas, but the idea for the Palace as a whole over the year is to be more 'edgy' and boy can we do spades!!...nothing too out of the ordinary, but enough to not be that most hateful of I hate it and all of the cozy, bland, safe, dull repetitiveness that it implies.

How 'edgy' will we be? Can't say until I get confirmation of the proposed events from the boss, but to be honest it should be just like we have done in the past, but with more pictures, more recording of information, more interaction with the public (I hope) and more regular updates on an event weekend. What I can say is that there are no more plans for us to cook and eat a meal until Christmas and then hopefully we'll be back presenting that, but in a new and much improved style....the only possible exception being the second July event when I believe on the Saturday we shall be cooking a meal to be served to the 'King' in the Privy Garden, so we may well sit down to a meal ourselves to 'play the game' too.

Next event is the first May bank holiday, as and when plans are known I'll pass them on for all to see....until then I'll probably fill your time and mine by digging through the archives and sticking up a load of stuff from our dim and distant past, before all this blogging malarky, some kitchen based and some not, but all possibly of interest...should be entertaining to see what we all looked like with less paunch and more hair (well me at least!)



terrylove said...

Richard, I feel honoured you lined to my humble photographic efforts, now I suppose I've got to go back and caption them, (I've been putting it off as there are so many to do). I'll also have to think a bit harder about captions than my usual, off-the-cuff, efforts.

I look forward see some of the new "edgy" stuff in May, although cooks cooking is kind of what you expect to see in a kitchen, and the Tudor table manners demo, dispelling the images of Charles Laughton's Henry VIII, always seems to be popular with the visitors.

I've always, (since my first visit last August anyway) been surprised at how you manage to prepare the food and still spend so much time talking to the visitors. I'm not surprised is you suffer a case of "my brain is numb" at the end of it.

Elise Fleming said...

Questions about the activities in Terry Love's photos...

In "Pictures", #12, what is the marchpane made of? (It's so white!) The red is cochineal? Is the yellow saffron or egg or...?

Photo 16 & 17: What is that metal pot called? What is in it?

Photo 19: Oooh! What did you have in it? Are the holes for straining?

Photos 18 & 24: Some type of bread, right? Where was it prepared - in a pan? in an oven? Recipe??

In the "More Pictures" group...

Photos 22 & 23: What is Dave doing with the strainer/colander? What's in the green-edged bowl?

Please explain #27. It's an ingenious arrangement for the small charcoal fire, but is the only reason for the jury-rigging because the metal "trivet" is so high? Isn't there one with shorter legs?

Photo 37: What is Adrian working on?

Would you want to post links to other people's photos of Hampton Court kitchen activities? There should be a number out there.

terrylove said...

BTW, Robert has copies of some of my originals with an OK to use as and how he sees fit if any are of interest, (slim chance maybe). If anything from past sets (on my Picasa) is of any use (the collapsed chaffing dish maybe) I'm more than happy to pass on copies of the originals.

terrylove said...

A thought, to make the cooking "more accessible" to the visitors a couple of cameras and screens, mounted on a frame that could hook over the top of the wall near the main waor area and the burners.

The cameras, on on the work tables to show what Robin and Marc H, or whoever is, doing, and the other on the pots cooking.

When the crowds get thick it's difficult to see what's going on and the constant shuffle for position means that you can't stand and watch in detail.

With the higher viewpoint and screens more people could get to see some of the details and people could stand back and watch longer without the jostling.

By mounting the equipment on a fram no changes to the building fabric would be needed, (I think there are lights up there already so power is available) and the frame and stuff could be taken down when the guys aren't there.

These days a reasonably quality camera and say a 24" display no longer costs the earth, a simple and compact computer (Mac mini or one of the Shuttle cased PC - maybe even netbooks), would handle the computing needed.

Sorry, am I annoying and coming up with silly, impractical ideas?

Tudor Cook said...

Terry, again many thanks for the images...very helpful now you've tagged them a little more than when first posted.
As for your concerns, edgy? perhaps not for the old hands who have seen us before, I think it would be better to think of it as a return to better days (well better in terms of being allowed a broader scope with which to look at things)....certainly will be cooking for all to see and perhaps a little mythbusting too, who knows.

As for the idea of the cameras......waaaaay ahead of you, although less high tech....we suggested a mirror....shot down though as not viable, people can always wait or come back, when the numbers get sooooo huge that this isn't practical then the idea may be considered again, not a great problem but I would tend to agree that it would add to the value that people get out of what we do.

Tudor Cook said...


I'll try to answer all your questions, but would also suggest that you pop back to Terry's photo page and have another look as he has added labels to most of the images now that explain an awful lot more.

Why is it white? because it isn't marchpane it's sugar and water mixed as a paste...i'd guess the yellow was saffron.

The metal pot is a portable charcoal stove.

The straining idea, I don't think it's particularly practical and can see little application outside of a small domestic or medicinal setting...could be wrong though.

Wafers I think, batter cooked between irons on the portable stove.

he's blanching almonds, that's what is in the bowl, they are soaking in hot water.

The arrangement is simply because we only have a trivet that is waaay too tall or not tall enough, so oversize has to be used.

I believe he's making a sugar ship, but to be frank I really don't care. Until they can show that the techniques they use are those that were used instead of ones that they are able to work out using their modern modelling and art skills then they have been told I have no interest in what they do. I order stuff for them to use but that's's unfortunate that we have reached somewhat of an impasse in respect of what research and training are part of the job and what research and training should be provided as extra to the job. Until that is resolved they can and probably will carry on making their models ( although my recommendation for the last 2 years has been to stop the sugar work as it is not representative of the work done in the kitchens of Henry VIII...however popularity continues to overrule me!), but be warned that they have extremely limited basis in historical fact....if you're reading this Dave then you know I love you and it's not personal, how many times have we had that conversation??

terrylove said...

Not surprised you're ahead of me, mirrors would have been good, and simple and maintenance free, but with no option of "recording" if something "interesting" had happened.

I'm lucky, and I can and do just come back when the crowds thin, but people on coach parties or with long drives, small kids in tow, or other time constraints can't always.

Shame it was vetoed, but management too has it's views, problems and agenda, cost, expense, effort, changes/damage to the historic (much messed about) fabric of the kitchens, safety, liability, ohhh and I don't know what.

However, you and the rest continue to entertain, educate and amuse us visitors while still carrying out your own experimental culinary archaeology, well done all.

terrylove said...

Elise, from listening to David, I think some of his sugar creations, (like the ship), have a structural inner core for strength, (can't remember if it was marchpane or not), and a coating of sugar. The model would just crumble if if it was solid sugar as it wouldn't be strong enough.

I didn't ask about the Tudor Rose medalion he was working on, as that's supported by a plate I suppose it could have been solid sugar.