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Having a Tudor Day today

Well Tudor but using new technology. I have gathered together copies of old tudor and jacobean recipe books and have picked the less outlandish recipes to try out. Teenage son has volunteered to be taster.

I'm not trying any Heston Blumental recipes, just ordinary ones the modern housewife can cope with albeit the taste may be unusual, sugar and cinnamon seemed to go into everything. Hopefully I can then go on to publish the tried out recipes alongside the more outlandish as a Bishops House Cook Book.

One piece of technology I bet the tudors would have liked was a grater as they had to chop everything very small and put it in a mortar and pound it.

I am also going a walk with a professional tudor historian around Bishops House to discuss my findings about the House. I have discovered by looking at original sources that the previous information given as to which stage was built when was wrong as I have documents that disprove them. Whether you are doing local history or family history never take someone else's word for it. Look for wills, court cases, tax lists.

And I am making a costume from recycled sheets and some cheap remnants but needless to say I am not sewing the whole thing by hand though I do sew the obvious bits by hand. Patterns are from a mix of free sources and paper patterns from the USA.

Not sure how much I'll get done today. Am off to soak the saffron.
What an interesting day you're having. I'd be interested to know how you get on - especially with the recipes!
Hopefully you'll have a lot more information after discussing with a Tudor historian- be interesting to see what they come up with.
Good luck with your costume making! :)
Well the baking wasn't too bad. Nothing inedible but will probably have to change seasoning. Trouble with tudor recipes is that they didn't weigh things. The saffron pastry apple tart though, is a recipe I will definitely bake again for the family.

The costume making didn't get as far as I hoped. Technical difficulties with sewing machine. I will try again today.

Walk with tudor expert was fascinating. He made sense of a lot of things and put in some new ideas which no one has thought of. Seems the next door cottages were probably the east wing of the house. They were very close to the house I had always thought considering there was plenty of room. He said if we borrowed a metal detector and swept down the hill we could find the Blythe Smithy if it was there as the detector would react to the concentration of iron left from it. So I just might do that.
One of the subjects I got stuck with is a cook book of the plantation. I found a Historical group did a cook book using photo/drawing/letters with text facing a recipe. What I am doing is take the old recipie and having two experts (my wife who is trained chef and a Dr of nutration) make them in to modern recipies with cooking temps and times, measurments, and modern names for old names. We are using photos from the site - salt pan, grist stone,blacksmith shop, peanut picker, and tools etc.. I am doing things the ladies are doing cooking and the kids tasting so its a win-win for everyone. Best of luck.
Recipe for Saffron Pastry
8 oz plain flour
5 oz butter
2 tbsp icing sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp warm water
½ tsp saffron strands
1.Gently crush the strands of saffron into a cup
2.Pour the warm water over the saffron, stir well and leave the saffron to steep until the water is quite cool
3.Sift the flour and sugar together into a bowl
4.Cut the butter into small pieces and then rub into the flour until the mixture has the consistency of breadcrumbs
5.Put the egg yolks in a bowl and then add the cooled saffron water and beat well
6.Add the egg and saffron mixture to the flour and butter mixture and mix well until a nice dough is formed
7.Cover and leave to settle in the fridge for half an hour or so

To make it into apple tart or pie. Grate several apples (It said cut them very small) add some brown sugar,large pinch cinnamon, and ginger. cook the bottom shell for short time at medium heat then put in contents and put on lid and bake pie. About half way through, brush with rosewater and sugar mix to glaze.

Hope you can follow it. Tastes superb.
Not sure Time Team would do this one. It's a bit small but trying to persuade everybody to seek funding for a dig. They thought the cottage was Victorian.

Somebody had written that the cottages were built by a George Hall in 1870. So when I said about the old cottages being the East wing they laughed and said that's not possible.

Got 1806 copy of 1798 map out and proved the cottages were there, then showed rent books and proved George Hall never owned or rented the cottages and they started getting more excited.

I have two experts saying that in their opinion the cottages go back to 17th century. Plus we have a will that lists 14 rooms and we have a house with only 11. The rooms are too small to have 2 rooms made into 1.

I've been standing around saying where have all the rooms gone and after several months they suddenly think where have all the rooms gone? It's very frustrating.

Anyway I think I shall have to see if there are any more photos of the cottages before they were demolished and if there is any description about contents, eg type of fireplace etc.
Maybe a email to Time Team. I would gather they have a email address:confused:
It might only be "small" but maybe the name Blythe might stir some interest with them.
I'm still waiting for Michael Wood to get back to me. He said he was looking to do a TV programme with the house in one episode but think he must have changed his mind.

Some members of our committee are a bit staid. Not sure their blood pressure would take Time Team and all the razzmatazz.

It has been suggested by an archeaologist that we get a metal detector and a sat Nav and sweep the park looking for the smithy. He says if we get a high reading over a building size area we can map it using the sat nav and so we would have another area for investigation. Cheap and cheerful. We don't have to do any digging or anything. Just map it.
It would make an interesting programme. If you do decide to take the archaeologists advice and map the area, I hope it goes really well for you. Please keep us posted on the outcome :)
You have put a lot of hard work into it all, tho it must be exciting to be part of something like that.
I wouldnt be able to help myself, if that metal detector started beeping i would have to have a little dig, even just a couple of inches:eek:
You have put a lot of hard work into it all, tho it must be exciting to be part of something like that.
I wouldnt be able to help myself, if that metal detector started beeping i would have to have a little dig, even just a couple of inches:eek:

My Irish friend who works on the buildings went Metal Detecting last week and said he was getting a beep and a buzz every ten seconds....realised after four hours that he still had his steel toe caps on:biggrin: