Sunday, October 05, 2008


The heroine of my novel-in-progress is having a problem understanding the connection between scones and visits to historical houses.

Go to any historical house and you will always be able to choose from three or four different sorts of scones with your tea in the restaurant.

Why scones ? The Tudors didn't really sit down to plates of them, right ?

Scone Palace near Perth in Scotland is so-called because it is made entirely out of scones. This would be the one exception where it's justified to serve them.

It's not ? Oh well.

My heroine intends to launch her historic house in a different way to appeal to a younger crowd - we're thinking flagons of ale and some less fogeyish, more authentic food. We're not sure exactly what - but maybe something like Red Deer Pie:-
To Bake Red Deere. Parboyl it, and then sauce it in Vinegar then Lard it very thick, and season it with Pepper, Ginger and Nutmegs, put it into a deep Pye with good store of sweet butter, and let it bake, when it is baked, take a pint of Hippocras, halfe a pound of sweet butter, two or three Nutmeg, little Vinegar, poure it into the Pye in the Oven and let it lye and soake an hour, then take it out, and when it is cold stop the vent hole.
Sounds like that would go down well with a couple of cold flagon of ale. And once you'd quaffed that, you'd be in the mood for a guided tour that was a bit saucier and lively than the usual. Because life in these Halls was probably a lot livelier and saucier than the National Trust guides would suggest.

And yes, I am referring to myself and my heroine as "We" and yes, this is not a sign of abundant mental health.

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