Friday, 18 June 2010

Just A Quickie!

As promised, just time for a brief to be short as I've been burning the candle at both ends over the last week or so and it's all started to catch up with me now and joined up thinking is proving a little tricky tonight.

After a fraught week of computer problems I finally managed to get it all back up and working....but then had to crack on with finishing off the chocolate talk that I ended up giving yesterday at Kensington Palace. All in all it went fairly well, especially the tasting at the end with the chosen recipes of Chocolate Tart and Wine Chocolate taken from John Nott's "Cooks and Confectioners Dictionary" of 1733 going down a storm....even if my pastry was "far too thick", they still ate it all and what was left behind was eagerly claimed by the education department for "further tasting"!!....I certainly wasn't going to bring it home as I can now confidently saw that any desire for eating chocolate ever again has well and truly gone from me now.

I'm still pretty sure that the actual talk could have been miles better than I felt it actually was, but that's probably because I know what got left could also have been a little smoother if my remote control had actually worked, but then I guess that it will teach me to change the batteries or at least check them beforehand won't it? What I must do before I try to forget all I have crammed into my head about chocolate and the rise of chocolate and coffee houses in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries is write up the notes that I made as I know that I won't be able to make head nor tail of the scrawl in a few weeks to try to forget it for now to make room in there for information on meat as I've still got one more paper to finish and another presentation based on it to create....and all before the end of the week, so I guess that I'll be pretty occupied with that...sorry if I don't keep you updated in the meantime, but it's a fairly major paper to produce and when I last was working on it I'd hit a massive mental blockage and got 'stuck', hopefully that will have shifted when I look at it again over the weekend and the words will come flooding out.

Today was a planning meeting for the 2nd event in July (the weekend of 24th-25th), well to be more accurate, the Saturday as that's the big event....called the flotilla event in meetings but with the title "Henry's Honeymoon" it's another river based event with the King and Queen along with two ambassadors arriving by boat and has a whole host of things planned for the day.
As I mentioned on Twitter earlier, lots of broad plans sorted out, but the nitty gritty still needs finalizing, so for now what's the broad idea?
Well, have a look at the HRP website for the roughest of ideas.... but from our perspective the aim of the game is to cook and serve a very simple (time and staff numbers limit this) meal for the King to eat in front of the public inside the Privy Garden sometime between 2.00 p.m. and 4.00 p.m. there are no set times for events during the afternoon...which include a couple of falconry displays amongst other things...with the aim to have a very fluid feeling to the day; because of that the food needs to be ready and waiting from 1.30 p.m. so we'll be starting early in the day, cooking the meal then serving the food out of the kitchens at around 1.15 p.m. The kitchens will then shut down along with the rest of the inside of the Palace (interpretively at least) and the whole team will decamp to the gardens to talk food and cookery with the public that are there.

The King departs by river again at 4.30 p.m (or thereabouts) and we'll then clear the food away and go back to complete the washing up and a well deserved pint! Sunday is not part of the event and will see a return to some experimental stuff...still not too sure what it will involve at the moment, but could well be looking at ideas of service and transportation of food and such like as well as cooking some recipes to record again.

As well as sorting that out there was time for a quick stock check to see what ingredients we are short of as well as a quick peruse of the freezer to check what needs using by the end of this weekend I should also have the final plans for the 1st July weekend sorted too...if I haven't then there'll be trouble as I HAVE to concentrate on the elusive paper next week....if this past week is anything to go by then possibly at the cost of a fair amount of sleep!

Thinking has now ceased so off to bed, will endeavour to add some more info' for you over the weekend....some images from the last weekend or two might be nice eh?

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