Great Greenbank Mills

Rain, Rain and more Rain should be the title but I still had a great time on March 8 at the lecture at Greenbank Mills. I have never been To Greenbank Mills and what a delightful site! Of course I was there for the lecture and let me say how informative it was. Tudor Cooks, my people. Not that I do not enjoy all the 18th century cooks that I know…I do! But to hear a talk on Tudor cooking history was a joyous change. Charged my batteries to get stuck in and do some cooking this spring.

The Lecture gave me some insight as a culinary historian that I wish I had the finances to experience. The Tudor cooks, J. Marc Meltonville and Richard Fitch, allowed us a glimpse at the method they used to tackle this thing “Historic Food”. I was glad to see that they use the bases of the “Receipt” but through the art of doing, many factors come into play; clothes, the instruments in which cooking was accomplished, and the actual methods and persons who did the cooking. I, who had never been to Hampton Court, just assumed they had always had the kitchens set as each room had a specific job for the cooking (i.e. a room for pastries, a room for roasting), however, the kitchen was originally set up in more as a production line but through the work these men are part of, they have done a clean sweep and set it up in the correct manner.

Now, I make my interpretation clothes out of appropriate cloth but the Tudor Cook’s clothes are made from the material up; from cloth making, to dyeing and ultimately to the hand sewing so as to have everything in the manner that the cooks during Henry VIII’s time had. Now mind you with modern times we can’t always get the “Historical” accuracy we want but Hampton Court strives to have this kitchen experiment as close to “Tudor” as humanly possible but they even hit snags like the beautiful brass pots they have. They are too thick and they haven’t found anyone to make them as thin as the ones during the Tudor period. As “experimental archaeologists” they are doing a grand job and I am glad they are able to share their findings with those of us wishing to be “experimental archaeologists” but are happy we are all culinary historians.

So, after the lecture we, those of us new to Greenbank Mills, went on a tour. The Mills has an oven! I had forgotten that I had met one of the lady’s from Greenbank at the Kneading Conference I went to this past summer. The Mill has one of the Le Panyol Ovens made of Terre Blanche, a dream oven! The Mill was a grist mill but the owner also had a wool business. So the Mill demonstrates the wool industry. Wow, two different industries being shown at one place. If you have a chance to visit Greenbank, do.

I am so lucky to have been able to visit the mill and get a lecture that whet my appetite to work harder at my historic cooking.  Thanks Tudor Cooks, Greenbank Mills and you readers who support what I do!

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Published in: on March 19, 2008 at 3:39 pm  Comments (2)  

Winter Wishes

So, I haven’t posted lately…not that I have not been cooking.  I cook all the time but I haven’t been doing any historical receipts.  Not cooking? What have I been doing?  Planning!  Yes, planning my outside “historical” kitchen.  My fire-pit has already been used, although, I wish I had a hearth (less wind trouble).  I have plenty of friends interested and willing to help me build the kitchen this spring.  I hope all will be done, then up and running by May.  I have so many things I want to try but I need to be patient and wait for better weather.  Too cold, too windy and my back yard is way too muddy to be out there cooking, so I plan and I go to lectures.

Writing of lectures, this Saturday I am off to Delaware to listen to the cooks from Hampton Court Palace.  I am so excited!  I am a avid reader of their blog and look forward to what they do next.  Since we won’t be going to England until 2 years from now for me to go to Hampton Court to see them in action, I was delighted to see they were coming here!  I have my trip already planned out, the camera with new batteries and note pad ready to go…can you see how excited I am.  I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised a few weeks ago to see that the Tudor Cooks linked my blog to theirs…what an honor!  I have just started blogging and really haven’t even shown all that I have done but it makes me happy to see someone interested in what I do!  Thanks to all of you for your support.  And don’t worry, I’ll be blogging about the trip and the cooks when I get back.

Published in: on March 6, 2008 at 5:54 pm  Comments (2)