They say it’s all in the prep, and who am I to argue? So we went at it with attitude. Well, at least I did. The children didn’t really catch on until the day of the banquet when they miraculously turned into mini Super men and women, whizzing around enthusiastically (well, nearly) doing my every bidding (again, nearly).
I had woken up rather disconcertingly to a five year old sitting on my bed staring down at me, approximately three inches away from my face, 5am in the morning. Given I’d got to sleep two hours previously I was not amused. In fact I very nearly jumped out of my skin. I attempted to tuck her down in Gary’s side of the bed and sternly told her to go back to sleep. Alas she was far too interested in stroking my arm (!) to make any attempt at close eye, and so we got up and started our day, hours earlier than would have been my preference.
There is something to be said for starting the day earlier than planned, and given it was the day of our banquet and we were expecting to feed 12 that very evening, a few extra hours wouldn’t go amiss. We had already done a run through of the actual presentation to my mum the day before, a sort of dress rehearsal. C11 had been feeling terrible (she is the last in our family to have caught the cold that’s been going around) and could barely talk, let alone enthusiastically on her topic of medieval fashions. We all did our best and retired for the day with the knowledge that we had an enormous amount to do the next day and we would probably be one man down.
C rallied, however, and in spite of feeling like rubbish she did her level best to participate as much as she could in the preparations of the feast. And there was much to do…cleaning for example:
Much, much cooking, which L11 and I did together:
- Melting the butter for the pork roll filling
- Stuffing the goose
- Basting the goose
- Making the raspberry coulis
We were planning on using bread trenchers as plates and so made those the day before:
- Grinding the flour
- L mixed the flour with an egg, water, oil and yeast
- We baked them in the hot oven for 30 or so mins and then left them in a cool oven for maybe 6 hours to completely dry them out.
- They were rock solid, really – if we had thrown them at glass the glass would have shattered rather than the dish. That hard.
L worked so hard on the day of the feast producing much food, all ready to be popped into the oven to cook in the hours before the guest arrived:
We cooked only food which would have been around in the middle ages, which meant no potatoes
- Roasted carrots and squash
- Pears in a spicy red wine sauce
- Roasted beetroot and red and white onions
- Cherry pottage
Presentation boards and props were gathered and displayed in readiness for the presentations:
- C11 collected all the costumes
- Medieval signs
- Wooden bowls for hand washing, salt and desert
- One of the place settings – bread trencher, wooden spoon and wooden cup
However, we did get the odd moment for relaxation:
Four thirty came about quickly (this was the time the guests were arriving). L11 was due start proceedings with her presentation which would aim to educate our guests in the etiquette expected of them during the feast – y’know burping and so forth….
More next week!