Monday, 23 April 2012

Dinner at Haddon Hall and NOTHING to eat

Today The Tudor Group (They are also on Facebook) prepared dinner at Haddon Hall. Seems like a small thing, but as their name implies, they do things the Tudor way. No gas ovens, running hot water, electric mixers, food blenders but PLENTY of muscle.

It was fascinating to see and to talk to the people involved about the way they believe things were done. But I did say believe. Do you know that no-one wrote down whether they used a funnel (made for horn or made from wood or anything else) to stuff sausages? Well of course they wouldn't. They did these things daily and everyone knew how things were done. Except us of course. We are left guessing. But they try to make things work and if it works they may try an alternate method to see if they COULD have had the technology to do it more efficiently. But sometimes the first method proves to be the best. In preparing marchpane from boiled almonds, if you chop them with a knife before pounding in a pestle then you are bound to save effort... but if you just crush them in the pestle you get a better result and a better control of the texture.

For their recipes and dress and customs and table manners they research extensively and then work to fill in the gaps. While they have featured several times in various TV programs about history they are a delight to see and more importantly to speak to and ask questions of.

If you get the chance do go and see them. I should warn you though that they favour Haddon Hall as one of the most important Tudor buildings in the UK.

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