I had Friday off, which allowed me to potter around at home. On Saturday I went to a talk on "History and Culture of Food - The Renaissance" at Glebe Library with some friends. The speaker was an amateur historian and researcher and she was definitely one of the most enthuuuusiastic (channeling the Big Knights here) presenters I've heard in a while. I learnt a little, realised I knew more than I thought I did, and wrote down a few statements for further research. One of these was about pudding cloths, which she said hadn't been invented until the early 17th century. I wondered about this, having read Anne Hagen on Anglo-Saxon foods, and Reay Tannahill on the history of food in general and both authors assumed that grains/pease could have been boiled in cloths in cauldrons and other vessels along with meat and herbs. Apparently I am out of date and should read "Traditional Foods of Britain" (2000), because the authors argued that the earliest recipe for a "pudding" tied in a cloth and boiled or steamed is 1617. Before that, all cooks had to work with was stomach/intestinal lining. Black pudding/haggis anyone! I remain unconvinced, I admit. Maybe whatever went before was not a "pudding" as we know it - for that, you'd need good flour to spread on the cloth to form a skin and a closely woven textile to contain a mixed mess of flours, meat, dried fruit and spices. Maybe I need to look up the arguments.
Afterwards we went to the Nag's Head in Glebe for a beer, then to the cinema for "The Other Boleyn Girl". I enjoyed it. Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson were very good as were Kristin Scott Thomas as their mother and Ana Torrent as Queen Katherine. The costuming was well done (I put on my "just a movie" goggles), although some of the colours seemed too vivid and I didn't like the 'circles' dresses because the patterning looked too modern.
After the movie, Tapas (chorizo, garlic mushrooms, prawns, lamb on skewers, Spanish meatballs in tomato sauce) followed by a "mess 'o seafood" dish, Spanish style. Very Yum.