Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dorset Verse and Victuals

Clockwise from top left: The Old Rectory, Winterborne Came / William Barnes / St. Peter's Church, Winterborne Came

William Barnes was born in Dorset in 1801 and worked as both a solicitor's clerk and a schoolmaster before getting his degree from Cambridge in 1851. He served as rector of St. Peter's in Winterborne Came, Dorset, from 1862 to his death in 1886. Barnes was extremely interested in language and published three volumes of poetry written in the local Dorset dialect. This poem comes from an edition of Barnes's poems edited by fellow author and Dorset-dweller Thomas Hardy. I think it's safe to say they both admired milkmaids!

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Wedding of Sir Gawain and Dame Ragnelle

For as long as I can remember, I've loved folk tales, fairy tales, myths and legends. I thought I would share some with you and, naturally, include some recipes as well. Look for more story/recipe combinations in the coming months. What are your favorite folk tales, fairy tales, myths or legends? Tell me in the comments section!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dunmow Flitch Trials, Part 3: Made in Heaven

Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: July Chicken Casserole 

David Tomlinson and Petula Clark, two Brits who would become much more famous in the 1960s*, star in Made in Heaven (1952). Tomlinson and Clark play a married couple, Basil and Julie Topham, who are in the running to win the Dunmow Flitch. The only obstacles? One sexy Hungarian maid and a missing side of bacon. Made in Heaven isn't a particularly amazing movie, but it's enjoyable enough and has three things going for it:

1. There's a portrayal of the Dunmow Flitch Trials. I wouldn't have known about them otherwise.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

July Chicken Casserole

What are the Dunmow Fitch Trials? Check out yesterday's post!

When that lucky couple wins their flitch of bacon, they'll have half a pig to eat. Might I suggest cooking up this dish? It's chicken braised in a vegetable-filled, bacony broth seasoned with lemon, crème fraîche and a bit of whole-grain mustard. It's divine with herby mashed potatoes and a crisp Chardonnay. You can also add a green salad as a starter.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Feasts and Festivals: Dunmow Flitch Trials

The Dunmow Flitch Trials are this Saturday! Aren't you excited? What? You've never heard of the Dunmow Flitch Trials?! No worries. I hadn't heard of them either until I watched the 1952 film Made in Heaven on Netflix (more on that later this week).

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Meal-making Music: Fleetwood Mac's Rumours

I almost always have NPR or BBC4 on when I wash dishes or sometimes I'll crank up the volume on Hall & Oats or Paul's double-disc Bad Company greatest hits album. Occasionally, I even decide to put on some music while I cook. It definitely makes the process more fun. Of course, it's important to pick music that accompanies whatever it is I'm cooking. Lentils always seem rather 1970s to me, so some vintage vinyl was in order.