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Jelly Day at Harewood

June 7th 2009

Victorian Floral Decoration

Macedoine Jelly

Macedoine Mouild

A Victorian macedoine mould. The inner liner allowed a hollow to be created in the jelly which could be carefully filled with an arrangement of fruit.

Belgrave outer mould

Belgrave liner

Steel engravings of Belgrave mould and lining. Note the little pipes in each individual liner, which allow air to enter the cavities in the jelly as the liner is removed.

Oval Belgrave outer mould and lining

An oval Belgrave mould with its pewter lining. Find out more.

Prince of Wales Feathers Jelly

Prince of Wales Jelly

Venetian Glass Dessert Service

From Banquet to Dessert

Fairfax House

+44 (0)1904 655 543

1561 Marchpane with Old St Pauls Catherdral

In the Tudor and Stuart periods the word ‘banquet’ meant the final part of the meal and consisted of hugely expensive novelties made from sugar. This exhibition charts the
evolution of these exotic sweetmeats and the objects used to present them at table. The display will feature loans from national and local collections.

edible sugar playing cards

17th century Italian trionfi

Fairfax House Website

Ices and Frozen Desserts

Wednesday 8th April 2009

Basket of Fruit Ices

Spend a day with Ivan Day at Food & the beautiful English Lake District, learning to make ices, bombes and frozen puddings of a quality well beyond the capabilities of a modern Michelin three-star chef. And all withot the aid of freezers and electricity. Using original ancient equipment and moulds, we will make a number of remarkable frozen creations from the 17th, 18th and 19th century to a standard that you will not believe is possible. When, for instance, were you last served an ice in a restaurant like those depicted here? The English ice cream has seen better days!. You will really learn to make these beautiful and impressive delights from the past.And what's more, you will enjoy eating them!

Large fancy ices were garnished with smaller moulded ices in the form of fruits and other novelty items, a tradition that goes back to the pezzi duri (hard pieces) of late seventeenth century Naples. Learn how these remarkable period ice creams and water ices were made using the technology of the past. They not only look good, but taste really extraordinay.


Greenwood Press

Cooking in Europe by Ivan Day

A new book by Ivan Day to be published by the Greenwood Press in November 2008. £25.95 ($45.00).

ISBN: 0-313-34624-0

Recipes include examples from France, Italy, England, Austria, Germany, Holland, Portugal, Spain, and Scotland, from the simple Salad of Pomegranate from La Varenne's 1651 cookery book to the elaborate 1833 Boar's Head in Galantine by Carême. This unique book is a culinary treasure trove to complement all European History library collections.

Find out more

2008 ended with Ivan contributing a number of food history features to BBC Radio Four. In a short slot on Woman's Hour on Boxing Day, he discussed condiments, not only grinding mustard with a cannon ball, but making a number of spectacular pickles and relishes. A number of listeners have been in touch requesting a recipe for the Peach Pickle that Ivan said was an excellent accompaniment to left-over turkey. The recipe is from Richard Brigg's The English Art of Cookery (3rd edition London: 1794) and is reproduced on the right below the image of the cannon ball.

The title page to Richard Briggs The English Art of Cookery

The title-page of Richard Brigg's much negelected book on English food and cookery. His pickled peach recipe also appeared in a number of other cookery books from this period. Briggs probably lifted it from Mrs Charlotte Mason's The Lady' Assistant (London: 1773). Mrs Mason calls the recipe Mango of Peaches. Unlike Briggs, she colours her peaches pale red with a little cochineal put in the pickle mix. She tells us that white plums were also prepared in this way.

Mrs Mason's book, one of the major cookery texts of the second half of the eighteenth century will soon be available to the modern reader in a new edition which will have an introduction by Ivan Day. It is being published by Equinox Publishing in the Southover Press Historic Cookery and Housekeeping series in December 2009.

For more details on Charlotte Mason, The Lady's Assistant go to the Equinox Publishing website.


A Taste of Christmas Past

Twelfth Cake

Ivan has added two spectacular new courses to the extensive range he already offers at Wreay Farm. These are A Taste of Christmas Past and Jelly and Moulded Foods.

The Christmas Food course was attended by Sheila Dillon and was the subject of a recent BBC Radio 4 The Food Programme. If you did not hear this programme, you can listen again by going to the following link:

Forgotten Christmas Meals

Sheila was only able to attend the first day of the course and although she managed to learn to make Plum Pottage, Cumberland Hackin, Twelfth Cake, Punch-Royal and Garnished Brawn, she missed out on the following day's activities. These included making a Yorkshire Christmas Pie (weight 36 lbs), Mince Pyes, Spit Roast Goose and Moulded Gingerbread.

Twelfth Cake in papered hoop

John Mollard's 1802 Twelfth Cake baked in a papered wooden hoop or garth.

A collar of brawn in its linen wraps

A "collar" of Christmas brawn in its linen wraps ready to be boiled in a souse of wine, water vinegar and spices. The cloth stopped the meat from falling to pieces.The brawn was sliced and garnished with coloured jellies, carved oranges and gold leaf.


A garnished brawn

A Grand Salad

A Grand Salad - one of the dishes served on Christmas day listed in Robert May's bill of fare of 1660.

Above: one of the dishes served for lunch on the Taste of Christmas Past course - a fricdandeau of veal with its hatelet garnishes. Opposite right: the fricandeau being larded with bacon fat.

Jelly and Moulded Foods Course

The other new course is a two day session of making jellies, flummery, moulded cakes and a few elaborate ice creams.

A happy group of jelly makers

A happy group of jelly makers with the results of their labours. One of the participants on this course was the amazing events organiser and designer Fiona Leahy, who has posted a blog about the course on her website - Fiony Leahy's Website

Fish pond of flummery fish

A shoal of gilded flummery fish made with 1760s Staffordshire salt glazed stoneware moulds.

Prince of Wales Feathers Jelly

A large jelly in the form of the Prince of Wales Feathers. This one is Victorian and commemorates Edward, the eldest son of Queen Victoria, who became King Edward VII.

A 1790s Prince of Wales Jelly

Another Prince of Wales Feathers jelly, but this time from the late Georgian period. This one commerorates Prince George who became George IV.

The Frost Fair

Start the New Year by listening to this lovely programme produced by Beaty Rubens, which goes out on Radio 4 at 11.00 am on New Years Day. It examines the historic Frost Fairs held on the Thames on those rare occasions when the river froze solid. It is presented by Francine Stock The programme features contributions from Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney; former Children's Laureate Michael Morpurgo; writer Francis Spufford; New Scientist editor Roger Highfield; meteorologist Ian Currie; museum curator Hazel Forsyth; culinary historian Ivan Day; internationally acclaimed Norwegian ice-musician Terje Isungset; and actor Adam Godley. Ivan fed everybody with mutton pies and Frost Fair gingerbreads. Below: some mutton and mince pies straight from the oven..

A selection of early modern period and nioneteenth century pies baked for the Frost Fair

Gingerbread mould of sledgers

Above: detail of gingerbread mould in the form of a sledge.

Right A selection of gingerbreads made by Ivan for the Frost Fair. Note the boys playing with the sledgemade from the mould illustrated above and the London drayman with his barrels of beer. Ivan also discusses some of the beverages that were enjoyed on the ice, including purl and mum. He makes hot wine chocolate from William Salmon's 1710 recipe.

The music for the programme is provided by the remarkable Tamsin Lewis and Passamezzo.


A High Victorian Dessert at Harewood

High Victorian Dessert

Yet another re-created dessert table! Ivan laid out this one in the manner ot the 1880s in the dining room of Harewood House as part of a Jelly demonstration day in the Harewood kitchen last June. The floral arrangements executed by Harewood florist Irene Truman, are based on designs published in Theodore Garrett's Encyclopaedia of Practical Cookery (London: nd. 1880s)- see opposite. Over 50 different jellies were created in the Harewood kitchen from moulds dating from the middle of the eighteenth century till the end of the nineteenth. That illustrated opposite is a large macedoine jelly made in a very rare two part mould. Most jelly moulds are usually no larger than about six inches in height, because an inordinate amount of gelling agent is needed to make them hold together. But macedoines of this kind contained an inner core of fruit, which acted rather like a supporting armature.

Dessert Table centre

The table featured this remarkable late nineteenth century Venetian glass dessert service from the Harewood collection. Two Russian jellies flank a Belgrave jelly with its mysterious spiral columns. The Belgrave jelly on this table is the very rare oval version. Opposite left are two nineteenth century steel engravings of this, the most eccentric of all jelly moulds. The outer mould was made from copper, the inner lining from pewter. Like the Macedoine mould, the liners were filled with warm water and literally screwed out of the set jelly to create a series of spiral cavities that could be filled with white jelly or blancmange..

Venetian Glass Dessert Service at Harewood

Detail of place setting using the Harewood Murano Glass Dessert Service.

Harewood Ventetian Glass Service


Visit Harewood House Website

The Banquet - Fairfax House, York

1st March - 30th August 2009

18th Century Dessert Table

This exhibition explores the original English meaning of the word banquet, which meant an aftercourse of sweetmeats, nuts and confectionery novelties, not a large formal or state meal. Peter Brown, the director of Fairfax House has put together a number of table settings and case displays featuring original period tableware. The confectionery, sugar sculpture and other decorative foods have been made by Ivan Day, Peter Brears and Tony Barton.

Television companies like Optomen and Silver River have recently made a number of programmes with a food history slant, but you will not have seen anything in their productions that comes anywhere near the level of the food displays in this exhibition. The Carry on Banqueting approach of these programmes has proved popular with viewers for its Baldrick-style entertainment value, but has totally failed to illuminate or celebrate the extraordinary culinary achievements of our ancestors. If you want to see what period food was really like, switch off Clarissa, Giles and Sue and visit this small, but important show. You will be amazed.

If they are going to make truly inspirational television on this remarkable subject, producers need to be much, much better educated.The current obsession with restaurant chefery means that contemporary chefs cook the so-called period food on these shows. They may be brilliant at what they do in their own restaurants, but they neither have the knowledge, experience, equipment, or skills required to produce food like that shown on this website. Most of them do not have a clue. In the last twenty years the subject has been much better explored in the museum world than it has on televison. "The Banquet" is just one of many pioneering exhibitions that have been shown at Fairfax House on the history of dining..

Ivan will be working on two major exhibitions later this year - one at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and another at Hillwood in Washington DC. Watch this page for more details.

Tickets and Information
Call +44 (0) 1904 655 543

A Day with Ivan Day at Food & Company

Ices and Frozen Desserts

A medley of Victorian Ices

To find out more on this and their other courses go to the Food & Company website.

Garnishing Ices


A new book by Ivan Day

Now available

Illustrations from Cooking in Europe

Some illustrations of pastries from Cookery in Europe 1650-1850

Woman's Hour Condiments Feature

Listen again to this feature

Grinding Mustard Seeds with a Cannon Ball

Grinding mustard seeds with a cannonball on a mustard quern, a technique described by a number of early modern period cookery authors such as Robert May, "Have good seed, pick it, and wash it in cold water, drain it, and rub it dry in a cloth very clean; then beat it in a mortar with strong wine-vinegar; and being fine beaten, strain it and keep it close covered. Or grind it in a mustard quern, or a bowl with a cannon bullet". The Accomplisht Cook (London: 1660).
Richard Brigg's recipes for pickled peaches
The pickled peach recipe from Richard Briggs The London Art of Cookery. 1794.

New Historic Food Courses for 2009

Twelfth Cake and Punch Royal

Punch-Royal and Twelfth Cake from the new Taste of Christmas Past course. The cake is decorated with gum paste crowns made using the original boxwood mould below. The sprig decorations on the cake have also been made from early sugar moulds.

Twelfth Cake Crown Mould

Roast Sirloin and Hackin

Above: a beef sirloin roasts above slices of Cumberland hackin, a prototype Christmas pudding, usually served on Christmas morning in the English Lake District until the middle of the nineteenth century. The fat on the beef is protected from the heat of the fire with a sheet of paper. Grilling or "firing" plumb pudding under roasting meat was a common practice in the eighteenth century. It was served in the first course rather than a sweet pudding as today. Below: slices of hackin.

Slices of Cumberland Christmas Hackinn

Christmas Pie

A 36 lb Christmas Pie made on The Taste of Christmas Past Course. This contains a goose, fowl, two ducks, two partridges and two pigeons and is made from an eighteenth century Cumberland recipe. The decorations are based on a water colour by Mary Ellen Best.

In recent years, a number of contemporary TV chefs and caterers have been promoting what they call multi-bird roasts, claiming that they are based on medieval or Tudor recipes. However, this is pure nonsense, because there are no recipes from these periods for these things. The first English dish that does contain a series of boned birds, one inside the other, is a Yorkshire Christmas Pye, the earliest surviving recipe dating from 1747. Baking the birds in a pie makes much more sense than roasting them. They usually contained a turkey and a goose. The dry turkey meat was lubricated by the goose fat. The pies were stored in a cold larder and could be kept for many weeks as the meat inside was embedded in clarified butter. They were designed as meat stores to be kept over the Christmas holiday period and were often sent long distances as presents. The lids were cut off and the meat removed when it was required. Often the pie was topped up with some more clarified butter and the lid put back on. Although pies of this kind are usually associated with Yorkshire, they were also made in County Durham, Northumberland. Westmorland and Cumberland. The Lake District versions usually did not include turkey and were known simply as goose pies..

A cushion of veal being larded

Royal Jelly

A selection of jellies

Just a few of the day's achievements, including a very rare 1790s obelisk jelly. This course provides a unique opportunity to learn to use antique moulds to produce some of the glorious decorative dishes of our past.

Flummery fish before gilding

Making flummery fish for Mrs Raffald's fish pond (1769) using a contemporary Staffordshire salt glazed stoneware mould.

Georgian Flummery

A flummery decorated with the cipher of George III made in a very rare 1790s creamware mould. Both this photograph and that above it are reproduced courtesy of Lena Sheill.

The Frost Fair - BBC Radio - 4 New Years Day

Gingerbreads for the Frost Fair

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