Thursday, 26 May 2011

Clarke Hall Food History Day

FYI the details of the trip back to Wakefield that I mentioned on Twitter, maybe see some of you there??

Tuesday, 24 May 2011


Well so far this has turned out to be a pretty duff month!!

I really didn't enjoy the last cookery weekend, that's one of the reasons I only updated you for the first day...I had simply had enough of it all and after work time was set aside for drink and loud music....I expect I was an arse to work with so apologise to the rest of the guys, but they're kind of used to that by now!

Since then I've made great progress with the research I'm doing, worked out the plans for the June weekend (when it's my turn to be off rota) and started on putting together the talk for the International Medieval Congress in was then that things really bombed!
Simply put, the graphics card in my laptop went belly up and that's really put the mockers on things for me. It means that I'll have to replace the laptop, but that will have to wait until funds can be accrued..until then I thought I'd worked out a lashed together work around that would allow me to work without having to resort to just using my phone for internet access. The laptop will still run in "safe mode" which bypasses the graphics card and uses the on-board graphics of the motherboard to allow very basic operations..great I thought, that means I can still use the computer to look things up online and carry on with work, all be it at a much reduced screen resolution.
Unfortunately, the computer "safe mode" isn't designed for running the machine with, just to allow access to sort out problems and as such it has a VERY limited can't for instance save documents or create new ones, or view PDF files, or images, or pretty much anything except look at some already created documents, go online and check email...result being extreme frustration and VERY limited scope for getting things done.
Fortunately, I've got loads of reading to get through and a shed load of images of documents from the National Archive to transcribe...BUT that doesn't help with writing stuff or, more importantly, getting the IMC presentation sorted....luckily I can blag the use of another machine for a limited time now and then in order to put the talk together and I should be able to take the departmental laptop up to Leeds for the IMC itself in order to give the presentation.
So, if I needed another reason to reduce how often I update the blog....that would be it I suppose!

Well, enough of the sob story, on with the "normal" stuff I guess. For those that don't follow the Twitter feed (Why not?), I had mislaid the menu plans for the next weekend of cooking at the end of this week so couldn't let you know what we are going to be doing. I thought that they may have slipped under the sofa, but it seems that I had actually put them in my briefcase ready for the weekend and not in the epic pile of paper next to my chair...doh!
So what are we going to be doing? Pretty much the same as last time...more from Harl. 5401.

Marc H wants to work on pottage of prunes....using plums this time as the word prune can mean either the dried preserved fruit or the fresh. Last time he used dried prunes and the result, tasty though it was, wasn't as the recipe lead him to think it should be....I'm not going to go into detail as I would hope (vainly perhaps) that he might actually write and tell you about it himself.

I want to look at mylke rosted again, although I was "happy" with how it turned out last time I still think I'm missing something. As it happened we had some American visitors through who said that they still cook the dish, or one very similar, at Easter except they use vanilla sugar in it to give it some flavour. They said that their dish didn't have a name but that it was a traditional one, seems that it might be the Carpathian dish Hrutka or Sirek, so I want to look at that and compare the two just to see how similar they are.

Robert will probably carry on with looking at the various pork and egg recipes like charlet whilst Robin will potter with chewetts, papyns and viandre Cypre de Salmon amongst others...we've got 4 or 5 dishes each day plus a roast that we can have a go at depending on how much talking we end up doing.

As far as I know the wine fountain will once again be running each of the three days filling up free glasses of wine for anyone that wants one (subject to licensing over 18 and collect a free token from the visitor centre some time during the day which you then exchange for a glass of red or white between 4.15 and 4.45 pm each day, weather permitting)

After this weekend we rush headlong into the June event...I'll let you know the plans beforehand but as I won't be working there will not be updates over the weekend itself I'm afraid. That will then be it for events that are on consecutive weekends until the end of August/beginning of September and we settle back down to cookery on the first weekend of each month as before.

Well, I think that's it for now...I've just noticed the time and should be away to sleep.