Friday, 29 June 2012

Petworth 17th century biscuits

In honour of our 'What’s cooking?' event this weekend, I thought I’d share our recipe for 17th century Petworth biscuits. The traditional recipe is written first, see if you can follow it - it gets a bit tricky so I’ve included the modern translation too! We’d love to see a picture if you have a go.

500g flour
115g butter
115g sugar
1 egg
2tsp caraway seeds

To Make Bifkits (Biscuits)
To a quart of flour take a quarter of a pound of butter, and a quarter of a pound of sugar, one egg and what caraway –feeds you pleafe.
Wet it with milk as stiff as you can, then roll them out very thin, cut them with small glafs.
Bake them on tin plates.
Your oven muft be flack; prick them very well juft as you fet them in.
Keep them dry when bak’d.

Heat oven to 180 degrees.
Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
Beat in egg to butter and sugar mixture. Add caraway seeds.
Beat in flour until stiff dough is formed. If it is too stiff, add milk until you get workable dough.
Roll out to 5mm thick and cut out circles either using a cutter or small glass as a guide.
Place on baking sheets leaving spaces between each biscuit, and prick each biscuit with a fork.
Bake in oven until golden brown, around 10-20 minuets, depending on your oven.
Keep in an air tight tin once baked.

Happy baking! Don’t forget to come along this weekend to see Mrs Brown making strawberry and gooseberry jam, shortbread and other traditional treats in the Historic Kitchens.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Spot the Spaniel

Hi all, I've been a very busy spaniel this week, but just wanted to share these pictures with you. They were taken at our 'Spot the Spaniel, event last Sunday; it was a fantasic day and lots of tail wagging fun was had by both dogs and people!

My favourite part was the fun dog show and the spaniel ear making for children. There was also spaniel face painting which was very good, it was difficult to tell the children and spaniels apart.

'Best looking spaniel' being judged by Robert Jackson our General Manager

Bella the Sussex Spaniel who won 'best looking spaniel' and 'best in show' with her prize, which is a cuddly toy of me!

The Just Springers Rescue stall

Having a go at the scurry

Thanks to everyone who came, it was a bit rainy but us dogs don't mind the rain!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

A mural for Her Majesty

Hi Samuel here, I’ve got two bits of very exciting news for you. Firstly, have a look at the amazing mural of Petworth House created by the families who attended our Diamond Jubilee picnic on Monday! We’re going to send one of the photographs below to Buckingham Palace for the Queen to see.

I think the finishing touch would be a mini Samuel the spaniel somewhere, don’t you? Although I might need some help creating one, as it’s quite difficult to do crafty stuff with these paws.

I’m also excited because this weekend there will be lots of dogs around for our ‘Spot the Spaniel’ event in the park! We’ve invited all varieties of spaniel (non-spaniels welcome too) to join us for a day of tail wagging fun. There will be games, a ‘search and sniff’ trail (I’ll be testing this out later today), a ‘paws in the park’ dog show and demonstrations from some very well trained dogs. It’s on Sunday 10th June from 11am – 4pm.  

Friday, 1 June 2012

Red, white and… green!

Not only are the visitor receptions and courtyard looking lovely with their jubilee bunting, the park is also sporting some decoration in the form of a giant ‘60’ mowed into the side of Lawn Hill, overlooking the house and the lake.

Our talented garden team created the shapes using two pegs, some string and a method that’s often known as the gardeners’ ellipse to get the shapes right…

Place two pegs vertically in the centre of where you want the ‘0’ then attach a loose circle of string stretching around both pegs.  Then use chalk to pull the sting taught so it forms a triangle.

Finally keeping the string taught move your chalk around both pegs and you should have an ellipse (oval).

For the ‘6’ Gary our head gardener used a similar method for the ellipse at the bottom then employed the good old technique of standing back a shouting instructions to the rest of the team positioning the pegs for the top half. We’ve all been out to have a look at their handiwork before the reign arrives (sorry) and can confirm it looks fit for a Queen!

Samuel says: ‘I’ve already seen lots of people and dogs having their photo taken by it during my daily walkies in the park, so make sure you come and see it over the weekend.’