Episode 20 Instant Restaurant


Episode 20

Two amateur cooks go head-to-head to see if they can create a restaurant in their own homes for one night. Wartime rations go up against a menu at The Commonwealth Arms.


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Transcript


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Two rival amateur cooks are converting their homes into instant restaurants.

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Just beginning to feel a bit sort of...aggh!

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-Disaster, isn't it?

-They have just one day...

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Keep calm, carry on.

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I'll be glad when this is over.

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..and a budget of up to £200.

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I'm quietly confident that everything will be on time.

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I'm just feeling a little bit nervous.

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Well, I'm feeling very nervous.

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-Twenty strangers will be judging the results.

-That was a bone.

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And it's up to the diners to decide how much or how little they will pay.

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I didn't really get that you're at a banquet, you should just take little bits.

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I just thought, "Oh, get stuck in," so did.

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I'm glad that I didn't have to eat rationed food and that I'm born in the time that I'm born in.

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So, can the cooks deliver the goods, and will either of them make a profit?

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Hello and welcome to Instant Restaurant, the ultimate challenge for home cooks.

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Now, opening a contemporary restaurant for one night only

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is a mission in itself, but today's two rivals want to take their diners back in time.

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So, will they have what it takes to make a historic profit?

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Today, we're being evacuated to Kidderminster and wartime Britain more than 65 years ago.

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This leafy haven is home to our first cook,

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57-year-old Lynn Robinson, who just lives and breathes the '40s.

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The theme is '40s wartime restaurant.

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They'll experience '40s dress, '40s food,

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and we'll also finish off the end of the night with '40s music.

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Ah, so a song to combat the rationing, then.

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It is fairly challenging, '40s food, because,

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basically, you haven't got a great deal to play with.

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Vegetables were the main thing, pulses next.

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Of course, you did have rationing.

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And there was no preservatives, so everything was cooked pretty fresh in those days.

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In all, it was pretty healthy eating.

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At this pebbledash semi in Bedford, Lynn's rival is going back

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at least another three hundred years in time, to seventeenth-century England.

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Sixty-year-old retired civil servant Perry Staker is a fanatical Civil War re-enactor

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who doesn't just look the part but cooks it, too.

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It's just tremendous fun, and since I've retired,

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I've actually had the time to sit down with seventeenth-century cookery books

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and work out the recipes, because quite often, you get "take a handful of this" or "some of that".

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There's one recipe that says "take a pig, cut its head off".

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Ooh! So are we going the whole hog tonight?

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It's very much creating a seventeenth-century atmosphere, inasmuch as we can.

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Wow!

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'We want to make people feel that perhaps they're travelling back in time a bit.'

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I love this. I think it's really beautiful the way that works.

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'I'd like them to feel it's an adventure,'

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something slightly different.

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Before we serve it, we will give them a health warning!

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But this challenge is about so much more than just food.

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With the assistance of two helpers, each cook must empty their front rooms

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and create their own unique slice of history.

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Getting the right period ambience is crucial.

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Good first impressions could make the difference between a profit and a loss.

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Wine glasses done!

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Perry is going for authentic seventeenth-century communal dining at the home of helper Viv,

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complete with regimental and the commonwealth flags.

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My job for today is to greet our guests and perhaps give them an idea of some of the manners

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without overloading them with information.

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We're going to call it the Commonwealth Arms,

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and the theme is mid-seventeenth-century dining,

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the sort of dining that the gentry and the aristocracy would be experiencing

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rather than the average person in the street.

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Glad it's posh nosh, Perry. And for extra muscle, Perry's recruited Viv's husband, James.

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Tonight, I've been helping with the cooking, but I'll also be helping with the serving,

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because it comes in in procession and gets presented to the table.

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Loving the look, James.

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These breeches are an early form of breeches.

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They're called petticoat breeches, and they've got seven metres of silk in the breeches. Just showing off.

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And for her wartime restaurant, Lynn's got the flags out and bomb-proofed the windows.

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On her wartime patrol is daughter Victoria, who'll be front of house.

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I'm rubbish in the kitchen, but hopefully,

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as long as everyone has their food before it goes cold,

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and yeah, everything, hopefully, will be fine.

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Touch wood!

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And helping her dig for victory in the kitchen, son-in-law Anthony.

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It's all about timing.

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It's all about timing!

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Both cooks have been given an allowance of up to £200.

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For her Civil War evening,

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Perry's decided she needed £110,

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so to break even, she must take £11 from each of her diners.

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For her '40s experience, Lynn's staying in the '40s,

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asking for a frugal £42,

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so she needs just over £4 a head to make ends meet.

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Each cook will be judged by ten strangers with just one thing in common...

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Welcome, my lady. Welcome, my lord.

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..an appetite for a good night out.

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Table for two?

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And if it tickles their fancy, they'll open their wallets.

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If it doesn't, Perry and Lynn could be on rations for weeks to come.

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So it's the battle of wartime Britain, the 1940s versus the Civil War.

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Welcome to the Commonwealth Arms.

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It's opening time at the Commonwealth Arms,

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and Perry's guests are being transported back 350 years, to Cromwellian England.

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You'll see that you have no forks on the table.

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They were available but not commonly used.

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It was seen as a very suspicious invention from over the water!

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And with three prongs, the work of the devil, no less.

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So these little angels will have to do battle with just knives and spoons.

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The napkins which you see in front of you are worn over the left shoulder.

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So when you use them, you wipe your hands on them, no problem.

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If you look at the menus, you will see that there's a mix of sweet and savoury.

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It will all come to the table at once.

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This is common practice in the seventeenth century.

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So I will leave you just for the moment and find the first remove.

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"The first remove"? What's all that about? Well, I'm sure we'll find out.

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When I walked in, the first thing I saw was the lady in full dress-up,

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and I thought, "Ooh, fancy dress! Wish I'd dressed up!"

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It was a bit strange at first, kind of wondering,

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-because no-one really understands what seventeenth-century food is.

-Did they dress like that normally?

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And do they dress like that normally? So.

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When we first walked into the restaurant, it was sort of slightly unexpected.

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It was a case of thinking, "Oh, crikey, what's going to happen now?"

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Well, you'll know soon enough.

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Which would you like? The rose. The rose.

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Lynn's time travellers only have to step back 65 years.

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Well, as you can see, ladies, with the taped-up windows, we are in the 1940s. The war is on.

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But is it what this home guard was expecting?

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Absolutely fabulous. Really gone to town, haven't they, with everything? It looks really good. Very authentic!

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From outside, you could see the tape on the window, which you knew was going to be a blackout.

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And then they've got the bulldog there with the helmet on, and that. So it's really nice.

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I noticed all that on the windows.

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We had to do that years ago, yeah.

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I remember the war!

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There you go, sweetheart.

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Absolutely stunning. Gorgeous.

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It's done out really nice, isn't it?

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Fantastic! I wish I'd have wore a war dress!

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I like the little touches here, the 1940s pictures and stuff.

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-It looks good.

-You all drinking, girls?

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-Yes, please.

-Absolutely.

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Not convinced.

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'I wasn't impressed. I really wasn't looking forward to it.'

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I thought we were going to be eating Spam and wearing tin helmets.

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And I knew that there wasn't very much food available in the '40s, so I wasn't looking forward to it at all.

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Where's your Dunkirk spirit, girls? And there's nothing wrong with Spam!

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They were fighting fit in the '40s.

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But the diners are intrigued with seventeenth-century England, aren't they? Now it's all about the food.

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So, napkins on shoulders and over to Perry's for starters from 350 years ago.

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For Perry's first remove - that's what they called starters in those days -

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she's serving tortelletti of green peas,

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a richly spiced mix of peas and cheese in pasta parcels,

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and seethed mussels with parsley and vinegar, apparently a hot favourite with the Pilgrim Fathers.

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The two that I chose for the starter are from original seventeenth-century recipes

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and just to give a flavour of the things people would have been eating.

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Well, this sounds fascinating, and I would like to try it myself.

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Sounds like Lynn wouldn't mind being at Perry's.

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Perry was hard at work on the tortelletti nice and early.

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It's very much got its modern equivalent in filled pasta, like tortellini, ravioli.

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Peas, chopped onion, Parmesan, cottage cheese and Cheddar

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are mixed with sugar, cloves, nutmeg and pepper before being dropped into little rounds of pasta.

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So they're like tiny little Cornish pasties or tortellini.

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But it's not long before Perry thinks she's come unstuck.

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I have grave doubts about the tortelletti,

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which is not behaving itself as it ought to.

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But the trouble is, they're sticking, and consequently they're beginning to...

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Yeah, there's another one that looks like the fillings might come out.

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I hope people like it. And if not,

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well, I shall go and hide in a corner!

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Oh, don't do that, Perry. Your diners will be here any minute.

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Oh-h!

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It's looking OK.

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I, erm...

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I'm just worried about...

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Erm, they're looking a little pale, but perhaps they haven't been very well recently.

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Hmm. Wonder what your guests will make of them.

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I'll just have to see how people take them.

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So out go the tortelletti, along with the seethed mussels,

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quickly cooked in water and red wine vinegar.

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And there's also cheese and grapes and bread and butter.

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Time for some formal introductions.

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My name is Mistress Vivienne,

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and working very hard...

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..and making a brief appearance...

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..is your head chef, Mistress Perry.

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-Hello!

-..and our sous-chef,

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-Master James.

-Hello.

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What we've got here is a tortelletti of green peas, which is a sort of seventeenth-century equivalent

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of filled pasta, and mussels that have been seethed with parsley and vinegar.

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So if I were you, I'd get into them quickly, before they go completely cold.

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And I hope you enjoy.

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-Thank you.

-Yep, that's it, napkins over shoulders and dive in.

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It's lovely. Very nice.

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And of course, if you can't reach anything...

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one of the other things is you would say, "The dish of whatever looks particularly fine,"

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and the person who could reach it for you would say,

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"Yes, it is excellent - would you like to try some?" and hand it to you.

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It is a very mannered time.

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So, tell me, milords and ladies, is the fare particularly fine?

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The food is delicious. Really, really nice. Very enjoyable.

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It's a bit like the first time you use a pair of chopsticks.

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There's going to be as much on the floor as there probably is in my mouth.

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And a bit worried about wielding the knife about when you need to take things off the plates,

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but we'll give it a go.

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Pasta's not too bad.

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It's interesting flavours.

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Could've done with maybe a sauce or something, if I'm being really picky, but very edible.

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God bless the seventeenth-century people.

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'When the first remove came out, I had a bit of everything!'

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Well, that is the idea.

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I didn't really get the you're at a banquet, you should just take little bits.

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I just thought, "Oh, get stuck in,"

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so did. The thing that I liked the most was the tortellini-type thing,

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which was kind of like a Chinese dumpling, like dim-sum type thing.

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It seemed like how we would have actual tortellini, with the filling and pasta type stodge,

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but it was really yum.

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Mussels, always a big favourite with me, but a little bit dry.

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I do like my moules mariniere, and having mussels on their own, dry,

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it was very tasty, but I did find it a bit hard.

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I couldn't have eaten a whole bowl to myself, much as I did attempt that.

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Not really something that tickled my fancy.

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I'm more of a meat person, so to have vegetables in pastry and some fish was not really my cup of tea.

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Stick with it! I can't imagine Cromwell or the Cavaliers let their armies march on meat-free stomachs.

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I think it seems to be going fairly all right.

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I was pleased that Viv announced that they seemed to have eaten a lot of things.

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I got stressed about the tortelletti, as they were sticking a bit,

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but on top of that, they didn't look desperately appetising in the end, however much I tried

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to sort of tart them up with, um...

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I think you're being a bit hard on yourself, Perry.

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So, what '40s treats are in store at Lynn's Brief Encounter?

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Her opening salvo is a simple lentil soup

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or chicken pate with a dash of sherry - strictly rationed, I hope -

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served with angel toast, trimmed, thin slices of bread toasted in the oven until crisp and golden brown.

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Everyone had soup as their staple diet in the war years,

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and as I live in the country and keep chickens,

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the pate was a perfect alternative.

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Of the two, lentil soup I think I would go for.

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I have to say, chicken pate is definitely living it up for 1940s.

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Well, hop off, Perry.

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She can't get rabbit, so a flutter for the chicken it is.

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The diners should count their blessings,

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because the frugal '40s didn't usually run to a choice of starters.

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I'll make an exception tonight.

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There's actually a choice of food.

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But normally, when the restaurants opened, you had what they had for that day.

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Mid-morning, and Lynn got cracking on the pate.

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I'm just taking out any sinewy bits from the chicken livers.

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I'll just fry these gently in butter till they just turn a nice, soft brown

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and the pinkness has just gone.

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Another little ingredient is a drop of sherry.

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Just a drop, mind. Then a pinch of thyme and a whizz in the blender before chilling for six hours.

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Next in the firing line, a wholesome lentil soup - lentils, carrots and onions

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simmered in a vegetable stock for thirty minutes before being pureed.

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Victoria's ready to fire off the orders.

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-Four soups and two pates for table one.

-Yes, chef!

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That's right, Anthony, stand to!

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Do you think three pieces will do? I mean, I've got plenty more.

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-No, I think that's fine. It's a starter, yeah?

-Yes.

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-That's fine.

-Yeah.

-Oh, it looks like loads to me, Lynn.

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Crusty bread to go with the soup, which is on its way.

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Good old-fashioned doorstep slices.

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That'll fill 'em up!

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Right, ladies.

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It's always the same.

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You always want what the other person's ordered.

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< The pate's beautiful.

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Well, the starters have gone out, and I'm pretty happy at the moment.

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Well, let's hope the troops are as happy with their rations.

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It's so nice. I'm really glad I chose it.

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Mm, beautiful!

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I had the starter of the chicken pate,

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which is one of my favourite starters.

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And with the angel toast, as well, as you can see, it's completely gone!

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The lentil soup is absolutely beautiful.

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It's thicker than I thought it would be.

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It's almost like a broth.

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But it's absolutely beautiful. It's delicious.

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The soup's really nice. It tastes just like my grandma used to make it, so it's really nice.

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-Aw, bless!

-I'm really liking it.

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These guys aren't so keen!

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-Ah.

-A bit bland.

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And it was quite watery, but generally it's quite nice.

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I'm enjoying it, but, you know, it's not that flavoursome.

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The pate's nice, but it's a bit dense.

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And with the dry toast, as well, it's all a little bit too much for my mouth.

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It could do with a bit of a chutney, but I guess they didn't have that during the war.

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But maybe she should have chosen a post-war era, then we could've had some chutney!

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Yes, but that's slightly missing the point of this evening.

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-Empty plates!

-Oh, good, good, good!

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We have a little bit of over in the one, but she said she didn't want to spoil her main.

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-You take that back out...

-She said it's beautiful.

-Right.

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Keep an eye on her, Vic.

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Mm, I should watch out for that duo of Spitfires, too.

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Lynn's wartime austerity is getting mixed reviews, but soup as good as your nan's is high praise indeed.

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And I think Perry's diners should loosen their belts.

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"Less is more" was not part of the seventeenth-century food philosophy.

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I wonder what she's got lined up for her next remove.

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For Perry's second remove, there are no less than seven sweet and savoury dishes,

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starring chicken with apricots, raisins and mace,

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and beef hashed other ways,

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beef braised in red wine with mace and cloves and fritters in the Italian fashion,

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a mix of eggs, cheese, saffron and rose-water with yet more cloves and mace.

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Seventeenth-century food, a lot of it's about conspicuous consumption,

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showing off that you've got the money to afford the imported spices.

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And a lot of dishes were a mix of sweet and savoury and highly spiced,

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and I want to give people that opportunity to experience those flavours.

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It sounds fascinating.

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I wish we could've been side-by-side so I could try a little bit of hers and she could try a bit of mine.

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I think Perry would love that idea.

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Right, so at the moment I'm just preparing the meat for the beef hashed another way.

0:20:050:20:11

Cubes of braising steak were browned in butter before being simmered for two hours

0:20:110:20:16

with red wine, beef stock, cloves, mace and seasoning.

0:20:160:20:19

So for the roast chicken with raisins and mace,

0:20:220:20:27

I've already marinated the apricots that have been burping away gently in sherry all morning

0:20:270:20:33

since about seven o'clock in the morning.

0:20:330:20:36

So they should be fairly comfortable with life.

0:20:360:20:39

Chicken pieces were popped on top of the drunken apricots, onions and raisins

0:20:390:20:44

and then simmered for an hour and a half in sherry, white wine vinegar and ginger.

0:20:440:20:48

There was this mix of fruit and savoury with the meat,

0:20:480:20:54

things like mincemeat that we have mince pies at Christmas,

0:20:540:20:59

you'll find that originally the recipe had meat in it.

0:20:590:21:05

And there was nothing cavalier about 17th-century presentation.

0:21:060:21:10

The chicken is dressed with apricots and capers,

0:21:100:21:12

while the hashed beef is spruced up with what's known as sippets of toast with a garnish of orange.

0:21:120:21:18

And also for the troops' delectation, a palate-challenging sweet custard,

0:21:180:21:22

golden leeks and onions, a tart of creamed spinach, a tart of rice

0:21:220:21:26

and finally, fritters in the Italian style, all heavily spiced in a curious mix of sweet and savoury.

0:21:260:21:32

Right, we're almost ready to deliver.

0:21:320:21:38

More alcohol.

0:21:400:21:42

Talking of more alcohol - can't wait.

0:21:430:21:46

Steady on, Perry.

0:21:460:21:47

Have I got a dish for the fritters in the Italian fashion?

0:21:470:21:51

We can get a dish for the fritters.

0:21:510:21:53

-And there's a salad too.

-Amazing!

0:21:530:21:57

Traditional 17th-century again.

0:21:590:22:02

This would be a throw-away dish.

0:22:020:22:05

They were very suspicious of raw fruit and raw vegetables,

0:22:050:22:08

although this is completely edible, except for the rosemary. It's up to you.

0:22:080:22:13

And we have also here chicken with raisins and mace

0:22:130:22:19

and the beef hashed other ways.

0:22:190:22:22

I would warn you about the beef, there are whole cloves in it and blade mace,

0:22:220:22:27

so for heaven's sake, just pick out the cloves and spit them over your shoulder or something!

0:22:270:22:33

No over the shoulder! That's too much Hollywood.

0:22:330:22:37

-We'll just bring the side dishes in.

-And the side dishes to come.

0:22:370:22:40

The golden leeks are going out. That's the tart of spinach.

0:22:400:22:45

And onions, which have been cooked in saffron, that gives them the golden colour.

0:22:450:22:51

This is the tart of rice,

0:22:510:22:54

which is a sweet dish and conspicuous by the absence of pastry.

0:22:540:23:00

-Fritters in the Italian fashion...

-Fritters in the Italian fashion, yes.

0:23:000:23:04

-..which are breadcrumbs, spices and cheese mix.

-Wow!

0:23:040:23:11

Yes!

0:23:110:23:14

This is a sweet custard.

0:23:140:23:16

Can I pass that over?

0:23:160:23:18

I was watching a programme about a Tudor feast at Christmas and someone described it beautifully I thought.

0:23:180:23:26

Whereas you normally have a menu to choose from, you've got a living menu.

0:23:260:23:29

You're not expected to eat everything

0:23:290:23:33

but the idea is you can see what's there and you can pick what you feel like.

0:23:330:23:37

Blimey, sounds like this could all be a bit of an acquired taste.

0:23:370:23:40

I do hope you enjoy it. Right.

0:23:400:23:44

Right, where do we start?

0:23:440:23:47

Will the diners be defeated?

0:23:470:23:49

There was enough to feed an army, the food just kept coming out.

0:23:560:24:01

I personally had the chicken and beef.

0:24:010:24:04

I preferred the beef, I thought it was very tender, very moist.

0:24:040:24:07

The chicken was a bit dry but, all in all, I thought very good.

0:24:070:24:11

A bit strange without forks, you get very used to using them but coping fairly well.

0:24:110:24:16

I've managed not to fill my lap so far.

0:24:160:24:19

I've come away with seeing that actually when you eat, you can mix your food up a little bit.

0:24:190:24:25

Don't stick to the norm. Just have what you want, when you want. Slap it on your plate and eat it.

0:24:250:24:29

Looks like Perry's got a convert.

0:24:290:24:32

I wonder how Lynn's battalion will shape up to her mains.

0:24:320:24:36

A wartime speciality, Walton pie, packed with loads of nutritious veg, topped with a savoury pastry...

0:24:360:24:43

..or lamb stew with dumplings.

0:24:450:24:49

Both these dishes are nutritious, very filling and very economical.

0:24:490:24:56

I've heard so much about Walton pie over the years,

0:24:560:24:59

I'd really love to try that.

0:24:590:25:00

I hope the diners are as enthusiastic, Perry.

0:25:000:25:04

I'm certainly intrigued.

0:25:040:25:05

I'm just preparing the pie topping for Walton pie

0:25:050:25:11

so it's quite a savoury pastry.

0:25:110:25:14

I've added dry mustard, salt and pepper

0:25:140:25:18

and grated cheese.

0:25:180:25:20

Walton pie was named after Lord Walton, who was the Minister of Food.

0:25:200:25:28

The vegetable water is going to make a little bit of stock to go over the vegetables in the pie.

0:25:320:25:41

I'll thicken it with a bit of cornflour and put some extra bouillon and seasoning.

0:25:410:25:47

The pie is packed full of veg -

0:25:470:25:50

cauliflower, carrots, parsnip, swede, potatoes and spring onion.

0:25:500:25:54

Beautiful.

0:25:540:25:57

I did forget to put in the parsley, didn't I?

0:25:570:26:01

In the pastry.

0:26:010:26:03

So I'm hoping I can just add a little bit to it as I'm rolling.

0:26:030:26:09

For the stew, Lynn is using scrag end of lamb, a good old-fashioned cut.

0:26:130:26:18

It can be quite bony but the meat is very tender when you simmer it for a couple of hours.

0:26:180:26:27

It just drops off the bone.

0:26:270:26:29

It's a fiddly job. Lots of fat to get rid of.

0:26:290:26:32

I'll parboil it for one hour, let it cool a little, take off the rest of the fat

0:26:320:26:39

and then I'll add all the vegetables afterwards and then seasoning.

0:26:390:26:43

Then onions, potatoes, parsnips, swede, carrots

0:26:430:26:47

and lentils are added to bulk up the stew in true wartime fashion.

0:26:470:26:51

Very good actually. I'm pleased with it.

0:26:530:26:57

Very pleased with it.

0:26:570:26:58

Blimey, yet more hunks of bread.

0:26:580:27:02

-And there we go.

-It's looking good, it's looking good.

0:27:070:27:11

Yeah. We'll put the dumplings in each one first.

0:27:110:27:15

We'll make sure everybody gets some nice meat.

0:27:150:27:18

And just for good measure, there are dumplings with the stew too.

0:27:180:27:21

Beautiful.

0:27:210:27:24

There you go.

0:27:250:27:26

That's lovely.

0:27:300:27:33

It's like an original wartime main course.

0:27:330:27:37

For some diners, this could be a trip down memory lane. I hope it's a nice one.

0:27:370:27:41

That reminds me of when the war was on.

0:27:410:27:43

Hardly any meat, plenty of vegetables!

0:27:430:27:46

That's how stew tastes.

0:27:470:27:50

It reminded me so much of the stews that my dad made me when I was a little girl.

0:27:500:27:54

I used to come home from school and they'd be bubbling away in the saucepan on top of the cooker

0:27:540:27:59

and it tasted exactly the same as what I remembered. It was fabulous.

0:27:590:28:03

How lovely!

0:28:030:28:04

But what do the rookies make of it?

0:28:040:28:06

It's the vegetarian option.

0:28:060:28:08

I'm not a vegetarian but I thought I'd try it but it's nice.

0:28:080:28:11

Lots of vegetables, flavoursome.

0:28:110:28:15

I think the pastry might be a bit of a wartime touch.

0:28:150:28:17

A bit different to modern-day pastry.

0:28:170:28:21

I don't know what's in it but it's nice though. Very nice.

0:28:210:28:24

But what will our Spitfires unleash?

0:28:240:28:27

It is not the sort of thing I'd normally order if I went out

0:28:270:28:30

but it's quite nice, but I am a bit jealous of her pie.

0:28:300:28:33

I think I made the wrong choice there.

0:28:330:28:36

It's really flavourful.

0:28:360:28:38

There's a lot of vegetables in there and I like the vegetables.

0:28:380:28:41

And the dumplings are really good as well. Warm for the cold winter nights.

0:28:410:28:46

It's really tasty but I don't know, the lamb's really fatty.

0:28:460:28:52

Oh, well. You can't win 'em all, Lynn.

0:28:520:28:55

But she's got some reinforcements waiting in the wings.

0:28:550:28:59

Right, ladies and gentlemen. I've got a nice surprise for you.

0:28:590:29:02

We have singer Lola L'amour.

0:29:020:29:06

-Hello.

-Hi.

-Are you all having a nice time?

0:29:080:29:13

-Yes.

-Smells good!

0:29:130:29:16

# Sing, sing, sing, sing Everybody start to sing

0:29:160:29:21

# La dee da, ho ho ho Now you're singing with a swing

0:29:210:29:25

# When the music goes around Everybody goes to town

0:29:250:29:30

# But there's something you should know

0:29:300:29:32

# Oh-ho, baby, oh-ho-ho! #

0:29:320:29:34

The singing was a really good touch.

0:29:340:29:36

It created a different kind of vibe.

0:29:360:29:38

# La dee da, ho ho ho Now you're singing with...

0:29:380:29:42

When the singer came on, I thought that made it. That was really good.

0:29:420:29:46

-She was brilliant.

-She was, but they could have warned us because she when she came out,

0:29:460:29:51

I was a little bit like, "What the hell is going on?" But she was really good.

0:29:510:29:55

-I thought she was fantastic.

-And she was gorgeous.

0:29:550:29:58

-A little bit awkward.

-It was a bit, there were only 10 of us.

0:29:580:30:03

It was like, should we clap, should we dance?

0:30:030:30:06

Don't know what to do.

0:30:060:30:09

# Sing, sing, sing, sing Everybody start to sing

0:30:100:30:15

# La dee da, ho ho ho

0:30:150:30:17

# Now you're singing with a swing! #

0:30:170:30:22

Thank you. Thank you very much. Enjoy your desserts.

0:30:270:30:32

Wow! Eat your heart out Vera Lynn.

0:30:340:30:38

Now, they may have enjoyed the entertainment but the diners didn't relish the rations.

0:30:380:30:44

And Perry's guests were hooked in by her feast but I'll be amazed if they have any room for puds.

0:30:440:30:51

For her third remove, Perry is offering no less than six dishes,

0:30:540:30:59

including pears in red wine with cinnamon and ginger,

0:30:590:31:02

based on a Tudor recipe from Hampton Court no less.

0:31:020:31:05

And almond tart with a rose-water sweet pastry.

0:31:050:31:09

The pudding course was a banqueting course and again, it's about conspicuous consumption.

0:31:090:31:15

The use of sugar, which was incredibly expensive,

0:31:150:31:18

it was the first time I had ever done the almond tart

0:31:180:31:20

but I thought I would give it a go and see how it goes.

0:31:200:31:23

This sounds as though they're from some posh restaurant in London.

0:31:230:31:28

Well, it was certainly posh in those days but I suppose you needed to build yourself up

0:31:280:31:34

for that Civil War musket-and-sword wielding.

0:31:340:31:37

Just peeling the pears before I start cooking them in the red wine, with ginger and cinnamon.

0:31:370:31:46

Once you've cooked the pears, so that they're soft,

0:31:460:31:51

you then boil down the... reduce the liquid

0:31:510:31:58

until it becomes syrupy.

0:31:580:32:00

You end up with a really, really nice sort of thick, syrupy sauce that goes over it.

0:32:000:32:07

-Next, Perry's first-time almond tart.

-Whoops-a-daisy!

0:32:080:32:12

I'm just about to make the filling for the almond tart, which is caster sugar, four eggs,

0:32:120:32:21

and it's a case of beating the eggs and sugar together until it's creamy.

0:32:210:32:27

A slosh of rose-water. Whoops.

0:32:270:32:30

Rind of one lemon and nine ounces of ground almonds.

0:32:300:32:35

James, I don't suppose...

0:32:350:32:37

It's awfully heavy, I don't think I can manage this in one go. Thank you.

0:32:370:32:43

Step sharp, James, she must be exhausted.

0:32:430:32:45

I don't know how she's managing in all that hot clobber.

0:32:450:32:49

Almonds are popped on top of the sugar and rose-water mixture

0:32:490:32:52

before that tart is baked for half an hour.

0:32:520:32:55

A sweet almond tart.

0:32:560:32:59

And as if an almond tart and pears in red wine aren't enough,

0:32:590:33:03

there's also white gingerbread sheets, cinnamon and ginger marzipan squares brushed with rose-water,

0:33:030:33:08

stuffed apricots and dates, and boozy prunes.

0:33:080:33:13

Wow...more!

0:33:130:33:16

Will the diners fall at the final hurdle?

0:33:160:33:19

Three-year-old prunes marinated in brandy.

0:33:190:33:22

Don't indulge if you're driving.

0:33:220:33:24

I do recommend them.

0:33:240:33:27

They're highly recommended.

0:33:270:33:29

Enjoy.

0:33:290:33:32

Thank you.

0:33:320:33:34

Does anyone want this?

0:33:370:33:39

Sorry?

0:33:400:33:42

-Napkins.

-Stab it.

0:33:420:33:45

Or spoon it.

0:33:460:33:48

Almond tart, good. Very good.

0:33:480:33:52

Three-year-old prunes in brandy. Very, very good.

0:33:520:33:56

-How many have you had?

-Too many!

0:33:560:33:58

For dessert, I had some of the almond tart which was delicious

0:33:580:34:02

and I had some of the apricots with the mascarpone and almonds

0:34:020:34:06

and they were delicious as well, and I can't eat anything else.

0:34:060:34:10

The prunes in... Yeah, soaked in a lot of booze, they were good.

0:34:100:34:13

A nice end to the meal.

0:34:130:34:15

I decided to continue where I've been going the whole meal and had a bit of everything.

0:34:150:34:21

The pears in red wine were really good.

0:34:210:34:24

I'd never have thought of just drenching pears in red wine but it worked well.

0:34:240:34:28

The almond tart was delicious as well.

0:34:280:34:30

All in all, favourite course.

0:34:300:34:32

What has Lynn got in reserve to rival Perry?

0:34:340:34:36

Well, she's dishing up apple charlotte.

0:34:360:34:39

Or toffee apple pudding served with custard.

0:34:390:34:43

In the country, apples were free and I used custard powder,

0:34:430:34:47

as there wouldn't have been enough fresh eggs.

0:34:470:34:50

They both sound nice but I have to say,

0:34:500:34:52

"Toffee apple pudding, mmm! Can I have some now?"

0:34:520:34:55

No, you'll have to wait, Perry.

0:34:570:34:58

She hasn't even started them yet.

0:34:580:35:00

We're lucky enough that this restaurant has got some apple trees.

0:35:000:35:04

So, we're making the most of it.

0:35:040:35:08

In the wartime period, you cooked whatever you had to hand.

0:35:080:35:12

And how economical is this?

0:35:120:35:15

Apples, free from the orchard for both dishes.

0:35:150:35:18

Nothing like a bit of make do.

0:35:180:35:20

I'm preparing the apple... toffee apple puddings because they need to steam for a couple of hours.

0:35:200:35:27

Lynn greased the pudding bowls and patted on a dark brown sugar coating.

0:35:270:35:31

Coat them really well

0:35:310:35:34

and that will give you more sticky toffee when they're cooked.

0:35:340:35:38

After the bowls were chilled, she filled them with apples and topped them with a dough

0:35:380:35:44

of flour, salt, margarine and sugar.

0:35:440:35:46

Greaseproof paper was tied around the top...

0:35:460:35:48

Seems OK to me. Yep.

0:35:480:35:51

-..before steaming the puds for a couple of hours.

-Sorted.

0:35:510:35:56

But there's a bit of a hitch.

0:35:560:35:58

Disaster! Right.

0:35:580:36:00

-Isn't it?

-Just a little one.

-Just a little one. The water has run dry.

0:36:000:36:05

But it takes more than a pud disaster to faze a '40s girl.

0:36:050:36:09

I've still got one pudding on the go, so...

0:36:090:36:13

-Good wartime slogan, keep calm, carry on.

-Yes. Keep calm, carry on. Definitely.

0:36:130:36:18

Her second pud is the apple charlotte which is baked once her diners have arrived.

0:36:180:36:23

Waste not, want not, Lynn, crumbed the trimmings from the angel toast for the pate starter

0:36:230:36:28

and mixed it with sugar, cinnamon and margarine which was layered with sliced apples

0:36:280:36:32

before going in the oven for 45 minutes.

0:36:320:36:36

I'll put a sprinkling of cinnamon,

0:36:360:36:39

just to give it a bit of a. Mmm!

0:36:390:36:41

With one toffee apple pud down, Victoria's got to arm herself

0:36:410:36:44

with a bit of propaganda for the apple charlotte.

0:36:440:36:47

We had a little bit of a problem with the desserts

0:36:470:36:52

in that one of the toffee puddings, we've lost. It's gone down.

0:36:520:36:56

We've got one toffee pudding, which is a serving of six.

0:36:560:37:01

We need to ration this.

0:37:010:37:03

It's the war, we need to ration these six puddings fairly between the three tables.

0:37:030:37:10

-She's good.

-She was a fantastic host and the service was impeccable. Can't fault it.

0:37:100:37:16

-She looks fantastic and she's a really good host, isn't she?

-She is.

0:37:160:37:20

-She was the highlight, to be honest.

-Yeah, definitely.

0:37:200:37:23

Looks like Victoria has saved the day

0:37:230:37:26

and in the kitchen, there's a flurry of activity as the desserts are plated up.

0:37:260:37:31

Anthony, are we ready with that custard?

0:37:310:37:34

It's hard to say.

0:37:340:37:35

Looks like Anthony has got the powered custard done and dusted.

0:37:440:37:48

That's good custard. It's good custard.

0:37:480:37:51

And out they go.

0:37:510:37:52

-One toffee.

-Thank you.

0:37:540:37:56

And there you is your custard.

0:37:560:38:00

-Is it nice?

-It is nice, yeah.

0:38:040:38:06

What will the diners make of this brace of wartime classics?

0:38:060:38:10

-I like it. Just eat the topping bit.

-Carry on.

0:38:100:38:14

I had the toffee apple pudding. It was absolutely excellent, really was nice and tasty.

0:38:160:38:22

The custard was excellent as well.

0:38:220:38:24

It was a bit bland, to be honest.

0:38:240:38:27

I've eaten it but I probably wouldn't ask for it again.

0:38:270:38:31

This apple charlotte is absolutely gorgeous. It's very filling, though, it's quite big.

0:38:310:38:37

Apple charlotte, it was very nice but so filling, isn't it?

0:38:370:38:42

It's like going to your friend's house and not enjoying their parents' food

0:38:440:38:48

and then being asked to pay for it.

0:38:480:38:49

Oh, dear! They'd have been grateful for it in the war.

0:38:490:38:54

I'd pay for the singer. I'd pay for the singer to come back any day, wouldn't you?

0:38:540:38:57

Well, Lynn and Perry have pulled out all the stops but have they done enough to make a profit?

0:38:570:39:04

Their fate is now entirely in the hands of the diners

0:39:040:39:07

who will decide how much or how little they want to pay.

0:39:070:39:10

Neither of our cooks has any idea of how much that might be.

0:39:100:39:14

Perry spent £110

0:39:140:39:17

on her Civil War banquet

0:39:170:39:19

so for her to have any booty from the battle,

0:39:190:39:21

she must take more than £11 a head from each of her diners.

0:39:210:39:25

But what did they make of their experience?

0:39:250:39:28

That's if they can speak after all that food.

0:39:280:39:31

I thought that was an excellent meal. Gone to a lot of effort, lovely people. A fantastic banquet.

0:39:310:39:37

It was thoroughly enjoyable, great company, good food.

0:39:370:39:41

Food was OK, it wasn't the best food I've ever eaten but they made up for it with the service and hospitality.

0:39:410:39:46

I had a brilliant evening. Thought it was a great experience.

0:39:460:39:50

Something I'll never do again and ate everything.

0:39:500:39:53

A toast. A toast to our guests, who made the evening very enjoyable.

0:39:530:39:59

And worthwhile.

0:39:590:40:01

-To you as well.

-Very gently.

-Whoops. Yes.

-Chink.

0:40:010:40:06

Lynn spent £42

0:40:080:40:09

on her wartime experience.

0:40:090:40:12

So, if she's to emerge victorious, she needs just over £4 a head.

0:40:120:40:18

But were enough of her diners appreciative of the frugal '40s, especially the younger ones?

0:40:180:40:23

I wasn't over-impressed with the food but, you know, it was reasonable

0:40:230:40:27

and mainly towards the service and the whole atmosphere because it was a different thing to do.

0:40:270:40:32

I did enjoy the evening and the service was really brilliant.

0:40:320:40:35

The ambience and the singer was fantastic.

0:40:350:40:37

The waitresses were lovely. I had a nice evening on that behalf.

0:40:370:40:41

The food wasn't my cup of tea but the whole evening was fantastic.

0:40:410:40:46

I'd definitely go to this restaurant again.

0:40:460:40:48

I've really enjoyed it and I'd do it again.

0:40:480:40:52

The food was lovely, brought back many memories for me.

0:40:520:40:55

Would I do it all again? Yes.

0:40:570:40:59

-Yes, definitely.

-Definitely, yeah. As long as I've got my helper.

0:40:590:41:03

-Helpers.

-Helpers.

0:41:030:41:05

Well, you know...

0:41:070:41:09

Lynn, Perry, what an incredible night you gave your diners.

0:41:120:41:17

Not only fabulous food but a real step back in time.

0:41:170:41:20

-How was it for you, Perry?

-It was great.

0:41:200:41:23

Quite a challenge. It was great fun. I really enjoyed it.

0:41:230:41:26

You said it was challenging. What was the most challenging thing?

0:41:260:41:31

I don't know, really.

0:41:310:41:33

It was all sort of...

0:41:330:41:35

it was trying to make sure that people had a good time.

0:41:350:41:38

Yes, it sort of all worked and the best bit of the day was taking my shoes off.

0:41:380:41:43

That end-of-the-day feeling. And, Lynn, how was it for you?

0:41:440:41:48

Quite pleasant and a lovely experience actually.

0:41:480:41:52

I really enjoyed it.

0:41:520:41:53

I wasn't at all nervous. I did think, "Will I get the timing right?"

0:41:530:41:58

Hopefully, I think I did all right, actually.

0:41:580:42:02

Certainly, the older people loved the food.

0:42:020:42:05

-Yes.

-Everybody loved the experience but some of the young people said

0:42:050:42:09

they were quite glad they didn't have to eat such bland food from the '40s.

0:42:090:42:14

My food is quite basic, as it was in the '40s.

0:42:140:42:19

Our tastes have changed now to what we did then.

0:42:190:42:25

But it proves the point, though, that you can eat healthily, fill yourselves up quite cheaply really.

0:42:250:42:33

Actually, a lot of what was going on in the '40s is very fashionable now.

0:42:330:42:37

We're getting back to home cooking and home-grown food. It's very relevant.

0:42:370:42:41

I think it's time for both of you to find out whether you made a profit or not.

0:42:410:42:46

-I'd forgotten that bit.

-How lovely! Well, let's have a look anyway.

0:42:460:42:50

-OK, Perry, you spent £110 and your diners donated £214...

-Good Lord!

0:42:500:42:58

which means you made a profit of £104.

0:42:580:43:00

-Good heavens.

-That cash is for you.

-Wonderful.

0:43:000:43:04

-Don't spend it on sugar, either.

-No, no, no.

0:43:040:43:07

Lynn. Wow, Lynn, you did the '40s proud.

0:43:070:43:10

You spent just £42.

0:43:100:43:12

And your diners donated £160, which means you made a profit of £118.

0:43:120:43:18

Wow.

0:43:180:43:19

Thank you. That's amazing. Absolutely amazing.

0:43:190:43:23

Thank you both very much and thank you for watching

0:43:230:43:26

and I will see you next time on Instant Restaurant.

0:43:260:43:30

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:360:43:39

Nadia Sawalha presents as two amateur cooks go head-to-head to see if they've got what it takes to create a restaurant in their own homes for one night only - and make a profit. Instant Restaurant takes a step back in time. Lynn Robinson lives and breathes the Forties but can her wartime rations reap a profit? And how will Perry Staker's diners take to the menu at The Commonwealth Arms where they get a taste of 17th century England?


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