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The Food Programme BBC Radio 4 18th December - 12.32

Ivan cooks a goose dinner for Shelia Dillon. It includes Sawce Madame, a goose roasted to a 14th century court recipe, powdered goose and a Victorian Christmas goose pie.

A Banquet of Sweetmeats from the time of Sir Wullian Cavendish and Bess oif Hardwick will be displayed in the Great Chamber of Chatsworth House, Derbyshire this Christmas

An important date for your diaries 2006 Leeds History of Food Symposium - 1st April 2006. The subject will be Moulded Foods. More details will be posted soon on the Leeds page of this site.

A medley of Victorian jellies re-created for Hungry for the Past.

'Gum-paste' ornaments on their sugar socles at Hutton-in-the-Forest.

Firing the oven at Paxton House for the first time in probably a hundred years.

The ingredients for making ducks à la braize and kippered salmon in the Paxton House kitchen.

Above and right - a seventeenth century ambigu made by Ivan at Naworth Castle for Hungry for the Past.

A shield of brawn garnished with a yew bough dusted with flour.

A pike boiled in the city fashion garnished with 'jagged lemons', in front of a gilded battalia pie.

Above: Two 'cut-laid tarts' from the Earl of Carlisle's ambigu, made from designs in Robert May's The Accomplisht Cook (London: 1660)

Elizabeth Browne's 'herb pudding' from the Townend Farm episode of Hungry for the Past.

The firehouse of Townend Farm with a dinner laid out for Benjamin and Elizabeth Browne and two guests. The Brownes were statesmen farmers who lived at Townend for the best part of four centuries. The house is now a National Trust propery and is open to the public. Elizabeth, who married Benjamin in 1702, wrote a receipt book which contains a collection of cookery, confectionery and medical recipes, including a few charms. The meal consists of dishes made from Elizabeth's recipes. It also features other traditional Lakeland foods of this period, such as the mutton ham below and the 'clapcake' opposite right.

A smoked mutton ham made from a leg of 'eight-tooth' Herdwick mutton, one of the great 'lost' traditional foods of the English Lake District. Cured with coarse salt, saltpetre and brown sugar and smoked over oak or peat smoke, this was once the staple food of upland Cumbria. Sometimes the hams were coated in sawdust before they were smoked.

The rim of this charger is dusted with bread raspings and then decorated with 'figures' with the finger. It is ready for a breaded Cumberland ham, one of seven second course dishes in a two course supper prepared by Ivan and friends at Wordsworth House, Cockermouth, the birthplace of William Wordsworth.

The second course of a dinner for four in John Wordsworth's dining room. Below: orange custards.

A set custard design from Thacker's Art of Cookery. Click the image to find out more about these eccentrically shaped dishes.

This new facsimile edition of a rare and imporatant book is due for publication in the early autumn of 2004.

Fairfax House York 10 September to 31 December 2004

This exhibition, curated by Fairfax House director Peter Brown, takes an in-depth look at English table glass of the eighteenth century. A remarkable array of salvers of jelly glasses, syllabubs and sweetmeats, as well as a wide range of drinking glasses, will all be on display.

For details telephone 01904 655543, or go to the Fairfax House website -

A 1770s sweetmeat glass containing a carved candied orange.

The frontispiece of John Parkinson's Paradisi in sole Paradisus Terrestris (London: 1629), shows the pineapple growing at the very centre of Paradise. This 'king of the fruits' was said to combine the flavours of muscatel grapes, the quince and the citron and was thought to surpass all other fruits.

Industry presents Britannia with a cornucopia of exotic hothouse fruits, including two pineapples. Behind them, Science holds a horticultural thermometer. These early instruments were calibrated with a top temperature called Ananas heat. A detail from the frontispiece of Philip Miller's The Gardener's Dictionary (London: 1756). Miller also illustrates plans for the hothouses necessary for raising this 'king of fruit' in Britain. They were heated by large stoves with convoluted, serpentine flues, which spread the heat through beds of shredded bark. The young pineapples were planted in pots and plunged into these 'tan pits' to force them to mature.

Go to Radio 4 The Food Programme

Click on the pastry design for some eighteenth century recipes



A detail of the Tudor banquet Ivan has re-created in the Great Chamber of Chatsworth House for Christmas. The display is open to the public from the 7th November. It includes marchpanes, painted sugar trenchers (roundels) printed quince pastes (both red and white) and countless other Renaissance luxury foods.

CHRIST CHURCH OXFORD Special Interest Weekend

Thursday 6th-Sunday 9th April 2006

FOOD AND DRINK TheExtravagances of the Edwardian Table

Sorry! This event is now fully booked!

A century after the Edwardian ages' zenith, Food Historian and author Sara Paston Williams leads this Special Interest weekend, examining the exuberant life enjoyed by the priviliged few who lived 'above stairs' in the Edwardian household. Speakers will examine, describe and review the grand hosts and hostesses, the food fashions and novelties, the great chefs and the unnamed servants who laboured behing the baize door. The programme comprises lectures, tastings and samplings led by food and drink specialists and historians, and includes visits behind-the-scenes to see the colleges own 'household' arrangements, Edwardian and earlier! Speakers include Sara Paston Williams, Peter Brears, Robin Weir, Raymond Notley, Philippa Glanville, Jane Pettigrew and last but not least - Ivan Day!

Ivan spoke at the first Christ Church weekend devoted to Food and Drink, which was held at the college in 2004. It was an absolutely wonderful weekend in every way - excellent speakers, good food - as well as the unique atmosphere and beautiful surroundings of Christ Church. Don't miss this important event.

To find out more go directly to the Christ Church website, or you can download a pdf file of the booking form directly from here - click to download Christ Church booking form.

'Hungry for the Past' Television Series

A re-creation of an 1880s ball supper buffet dessert made by Ivan for his major new six-part television series Hungry for the Past, produced by Charlotte Dymond for Border Television. The first programme will be broadcast at 7.30 pm on 21st June. The series features the most accurate and ambitious re-creations of historic meals ever shown on British television. The plateau dessert above was filmed at Hutton-in-the-Forest, the historic Cumbrian home of Lord and Lady Inglewood. The table centrepiece is a pastillage gradin from an 1870s design in the form of a pavilion with two levels of garnitures.

Ivan with his buffet dessert in the Anthony Salvin dining room at Hutton-in-the-Forest.

The Georgian kitchen at Paxton House designed by John Adam in the 1760s. The kitchen has recently been restored by Peter Brears for the Paxton Trust and is now open to the public. See Peter and Ivan bring it back to life as a working kitchen in Hungry for the Past. To find out more about Paxton House visit the website -

The Earl of Carlisle's ambigu at Naworth Castle. An ambigu was a meal at which both courses and the dessert were laid on the table at once. It became a fashionable mode of dining during the Restoration period. Although this table is dominated by a very up-to-date pyramid of fruits and sweetmeats, it has many old fashioned aspects, such as the lack of forks and the pre-Civil War drinking glasses. Forks were only just becoming generally used in England at this time and even some of the more conservative members of the nobility were slow to accept them.

A pike roasted on a spit according to Elizabeth Browne's 1699 recipe (reproduced below). From the episode of Hungry for the Past, filmed at Townend Farm, Troutbeck in the English Lake District.

Westmorland clapcake toasting in front of the fire. See it being made on Hungry for the Past.

A moulded flummery - one of the items in the second course of a supper prepared at Wordsworth House, Cockermouth for Hungry for the Past.

A succulent Cumberland pork ham cured to an eighteenth century recipe. The cure mix includes black treacle and the ham was smoked over juniper wood. The 'raspings' used to coat hams like this were originally toasted with a salamander, which you can watch Ivan do in the Wordsworth House episode of Hungry for the Past.

A hackin for John Wordsworth, the poet William's father. A hackin or hack pudding was a Lakeland variant on the haggis. Although it contained meat, it was sweet and often featured as a Christmas dish. In our re-creation of a 1770s meal in Hungry for the Past, a hackin is served in the first course with two spit-roasted rabbits.

John Thacker The Art of Cookery 1758

with an Introduction by Ivan Day

Hardback 400 pp ISBN 1 870962 20 6 £25


2 Cockshut Road Southover Lewes BN7 JJH


The photograph above shows a mid-eighteenth century smokejack in the medieval kitchen of Durham Cathedral. The jack dates from the time of John Thacker, who worked as cook to the Dean and Chapter between 1739 and 1758. As well as running a cookery school for gentlewomen from his house in Durham, Thacker wrote a book, The Art of Cookery, which was published in Newcastle in 1758. Unusually for a cookery book of this period, it contains illustrations of food, some of which are reproduced on this site, like the rabbit pie and garnish for a soup dish in the recipe section.

The Art of Cookery is the only book of its kind to have come out of an English religious community. It is also that very rare thing, a cookery book of the English eighteenth century that has the author's own recipes throughout: nothing seems to have been plagiarised or borrowed from other writers.

The Dean of Durham Cathedral had a lavish grant f'or entertaining, and his generous hospitality meant that his cook had to cater for all levels of society, from canons of the Cathedral with sophisticated tastes, such as the gourmand Dr Jacques Sterne, to tradesmen, poor widows, and those of even more modest status. Thacker had been Cook to the 8th Earl of Exeter and also George Treby, Secretary of State for George II. His early training meant that he was well equipped to cook for the great and the good. His book keeps many pre-Reformation recipes and thus shows the gradual transition in the Cathedral's eating habits. Durham's Great Kitchen where he worked was in use until 1940 and is now the Cathedral bookshop.

Food historian Ivan Day is well known for his special interest in re­creating the food of the past in period settings. Here he examines Thacker's recipes and shows how the community at Durham survived the Reformation almost intact. His researches reveal a remarkable tradition of ecclesiastical hospitality that was carried on for more than eight hundred years.

Exhibition - The Glory of Glass Fairfax House York

A syrup pan full of carved "top oranges" being prepared in Ivan's kitchen. See them, together with other period confectionery, installed in superb Georgian sweetmeat glasses in The Glory of Glass at Fairfax House.

Favourite items for adorning the dessert were whole oranges and lemons, whose peel had been carved with intricate designs in the form of flowers, stars, borders "or any other fanciful ornament". All sorts of citrus fruits were decorated in this way, including Seville and China oranges, citrons, bergamots and green "baby" oranges and lemons, though these were apparently difficult to obtain in England, other than on estates with orangeries. An "orange cut in figures" was often given pride of place in a sweetmeat glass at the apex of a pyramid of salvers. As a result of this practice these "top glasses" were also known as "orange glasses", as mentioned in a glass dealer's advertisement of 1772, "Glass Salvers or Waiters chiefly from 9 to 13 inch, to be sold in Pyramids or Single, with Orange or Top Glasses". Top oranges were sometimes garnished with a coronet of sugar-preserved mustard sprigs, or candied pea pods, a decorative feature that dates from the seventeenth century. Hannah Wooley (1684), tells us that these were not eaten as, "they will look very finely, and are good to set forth at Banquets, but have no pleasant taste."

A pyramid of salvers or 'waiters' with a range of Georgian sweetmeat glasses, including rare flower glasses. The pyramid is surmounted by a 'top glass' containing a carved orange. See this spectacular display and much more at The Glory of Glass.

BBC Radio Four - Lady Curzon and a Pineapple

Tuesday 19th April at 9.30am

BBC Radio 4 presenter Ian Peacock visits Ivan to learn more about the culinary history of the pineapple in Britain. From left to right (clockwise) the dishes are - a 19th century panachee jelly made in a Benham and Froud No 1 pineapple mould, Mrs Marshall's Radaelia Pineapple Ice (c.1880s), Richard Bradley's Pineapple Tart (1732) and horror of horrors, a nineteen seventies cheese and pineapple sputnik!

Richard Bradley's Pineapple Tart, the earliest English recipe for pineapple, first published in the second part of The Country Housewife and Lady's Director (London: 1732)

BBC Radio 4 The Food Programme 10th October 2004 -PASTRY

Sheila Dillon interviewed Ivan at Wreay Farm on the history of English pastry.. If you would like to see the recipes for the period pastries which Ivan made for Sheila, click on Edward Kidder's pastry design opposite. It is from his book, Receipts in Pastry (London: c.1720), which was discussed on the programme. These recipes - for tamarind tort, tort du moy, filbert pasties and two period pastries - are also published on the Food Programme website.

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