EDIT: I made an error in one of the historian's name, it was not Oliver but Robin. My apologies.
I have made it! Greetings Tudor fanatics!
Soooo....this day was long and coming and I don't know if this post will do it justice. I will try, but man there was so much info.
The day started out beautiful, Jeff was coming with me, so he made sure we had a good breakfast before we headed out. To be honest, I was not hungry. I was just too nervous to eat, but I made sure I stuffed my face. lol
Jeff decided he was going to video tape our ride to Hampton. When he is done with it, I will post it. It should be awesome. We decided to walk to Canada Water tube station since it was so nice, then hoped on the Jubilee line to Waterloo station. From Waterloo station we took the train to Hampton, which is about a half hour ride. I can't say how amazing it was outside...and of course I am going to be in a kitchen all day. In fact, I think this weekends weather will be the best since we have been in London. Figures!
|Main gates - 500th anniversary of Hampton Court Palace|
|Starting the walk up the drive!|
Our instructions were to go to the reception office and Richard Fitch was going to meet us there. So at the reception desk, we had to get special name tags to wear.
|An excited Erin...or really nervous, hard to tell|
Richard came and got us and brought us through to the main building and had us do the audio guide till they were ready to help us get started. I was so nervous, my stomach was doing flips. We had done this before, but there was some new stuff added since we were there last. Since they are celebrating the 500th anniversary, there are special activities happening till the end of august. We made our way to the main court to see the Henry VIII come in with his courtiers.
|Singing and dancing Tudors|
I am not sure how accurate this singing and dancing Tudors are, but it was fun to watch and listen to. Marie, maybe we can find something like this for the choir. Jeff has some video!
|I think this is Henry...they really didn't say! lol|
It was a fun thing to watch, but I think anyone who has to do protocol work for Royalty would be kinda offended. lol
Heading back to the kitchens, we watched Robin (My mistake yesterday - it was not Oliver - I apologize for that.) & Zak working the roasting meat. The great thing is that anyone can have a go at it. In fact, they encourage it. Richard had us start with Jorge who was playing the kitchen clerk. His specialty is period handwriting and manners. we watched him chat with all the visitors and get them to sign the visitor book they were creating. He even created a nice Tudor letter for our visit and sealed it with his personal seal.
|Our personal letter from Jorge|
|His amazing handwriting|
Jeff had a go at creating a ledger list.
Jorge was telling us all about the paper and that it was important to have this linen paper as they had examples that are well over 2000 years old. Modern paper is just not the same, it is too acidic and won't keep like historical parchment. We talked about inks and how cheap it was to make, and sealing wax. I really want to learn how to write like this. :) He then had us help him set up a Tudor table to talk about table manners. He explained how strict they were in Tudor time and how the table was set and the dishes used. This is very interesting!
|A Tudor table setting|
The table linen is better quality than the linen smocks I own. Sigh, my standards need to go up I think.
Once we were done with learning with Jorge, Richard had us come back to the kitchen area and work on some recipes. First up was Pudding of an Ox (or blood/black pudding) with Marc. Now I missed the messy part of making it, but I was there to stuff them. :)
|Getting instruction on using the horn to stuff the pudding.|
|getting ready to stuff|
|poking in the stuffing|
|pushing the stuffing down, making sure no air is in there.|
|Pleased with my sausage. :)|
The second dish I was working on was Sorge (sp?)
This dish was really easy and Jeff and I completed it together. First was the chicken Richard had been boiling for some time. Then we needed to get some hard-boiled eggs going.
|Richard checking the chicken|
|getting the spices ready|
|Jeff putting on the water for the eggs|
|Eggs are on|
|The herb and spice mixture|
|The egg mixture going into the bowl|
|chicken on top - the final dish|
This ends day 1 of my Tudor adventure. All I can say is that this is all I have ever wanted to do, I am in heaven!