Sunday, 18 January 2009

More Elizabethan Food

Today on Sunday is History Night I made Lamb with a spiced red wine and orange sauce. It was very good and I served it with root veg as no potatoes then. Pudding was a bread and butter pudding which has not changed at all.
Last weeks chicken with gooseberry and parsley sauce was rather odd. The almond tart was nice, I thought, but work colleagues hated the rosewater flavour which was a common ingredient of the time.


Saw a really interesting programme last night on the archaeology of WW2 British defences. There are pillboxes, tank traps etc all over Britain ready for the German invasion. I have even seen them around Aberdeenshire. There is a fine pillbox near Tillyfourie, one at Fyvie and I know I've seen another further north. These were part of a stop-line where we would confront and hold the invaders. Has anyone else seen any?
The programme is on Channel 4 player at

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Food in History

Inspired by the fantastic new BBC TV series 'Victorian Farm'
I am starting some historical cooking.
My 1920s Mrs Beeton is a bit daunting and some of the food is just awful (Calf's head, turtles, parrots, blackbirds........) so I am starting with Elizabethan food from Elinor Fettiplace's Receipt Book.
Tonight chicken with gooseberry and herb sauce and an almond and date custard tart.
Might have to buy some more historical cookbooks too.....Eliza Acton is often bandied about.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Vintage is a vice

With the return of life comes the return of some bad habits.....frenziedly browsing (?) ebay again for vintage clothes. I like Victorian, Edwardian, 1930s and 1950s. My dream find is a New Look 1950s Dior suit or an Edwardian riding habit. My local vintage shops are not great, mostly 70s even 80s stuff, although I did get a fantastic black crepe 30s evening dress once. Problem was it was so elegantly understated no-one noticed how gorgeous it was! I like Monsoon for retro-ish stuff too and when I shop I tend to view everything in eras...'ooh very twenties'. My favourite charity shop (Sue Ryder on Holborn Street) has stopped doing clothes but was an ace source for old ladyish suits, coats etc from the 60s. Anyway wish me luck as I bid on a burgandy velvet coat possibly 1930s.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Life Returns

Life returns and I return to work. And to a big list of things you need at a large castle open to the public...enormous tablecloth, heraldic flag, rug underlay, kick stool for small staff struggling with huge doors, umbrella stands...
And to over 1000 items all requiring dusting, polishing, cataloguing, photographing etc etc
And to our resident pets/pests, the mice which come in through the shot holes and the bats that drop down the chimneys.
And to the sweeping park, romantic and frozen in the winter sun.
It's good to be back.