Category Archives: Kitchen

Master Robert Bedingfield’s Report on the Great Muster of Gardiner’s Company of the London Trayned Bandes the fourteenth day of October 1597

Master Bedingfield’s watching

By Order of Captain Gardiner, a Very Great Muster of the Company was held the week before St. Luke’s at the Cat’s Perch Inn, wherein the Company did receive good service and drink.

Mostly done

The Cat’s Perch having been stolen some years before is (still) in a rebuilding year and has recently completed for the most part a Very Great Kitchen, missing only a roof, door, shutters, a proper dresser, shelving, an oven, a brazier, interior walls and floor befitting it.

An abundance of very satisfying and wholesome meat was served, as well as the Cat’s Perch’s well-famous Incredibly Strong Ale, and was admired and consumed in quantities large by the Company.


FIRE! Fire, I say!

Hello, My name is Olivia. Serve your own damn self


The cooks did prepare our meals upon an open hearth and expressed satisfaction with the kitchens accommodations.

Butter was churned,

Makin’ butter while the sun shines

The Company fed well,

I know not this “chipotle”

and all had a Very Fulsome and Satisfying Dinner.


Drill was the Order of the Day (see what I doth there), with the Pike making a Very Ardent,            if Unskilled show of its prowess, to the Delight of Fanny, the Innkeep.

No, we’re not doing Charge to Horse

Later in the Day, the Pike did hone their skill by trimming the shrubbery.

A lovely hedge

The Company’s Shotte was also Very Well Accounted in practice.

Give…FIRE! Fire, I say!

BANG! Bang, I say!

The practice of Sword was not neglected and the Company acquitted itself in its use Very Respectfully.

The pointy end go in…Oowww!


There was after the Dinner a competition of a Popinjay Shoot, sponsored by Capt. Gardiner and overseen by Master Bedingfield, who had previously engaged with the Innkeep to procure a Popinjay for this purpose.

When the commissioned Popinjay was determined to have been kept too close to the kitchen fires,

It has ceased to be! This is a dead Popinjay!

…a substitute was offered, with a Very Energetic negotiation as to price and the true nature of its Popinjay-ness being in dispute.

6 Shillings…no, pence! 6 pence! Wait…we’ll pay you!

At the end, a very fine Shoot was held

Volley fire

with Mistress Kate winning the Shoot by detaching the Popinjay from its hat.

De-hatted the fowl, she did


After a fine Supper, the Company took its ease and a Very Well-earned rest.

So, when’s the gambling starting?

Bet I finish this before Zeke does his

In all a very fine Muster was had with the Company now Proudly to field a Very Formidable force of fine Young Gallants.

Like this fine, downy-cheeked lad

Kitchen Update — Shaka, when the walls didn’t fall

With the mortaring of the last brick, the Company kitchen wall is now one for the history books.


we haz wall

we haz wall!

The wall stands ~6′ 11″ high, and will serve as the hearth and cooking area. A wall oven will be built into the right corner, with a raised hearth to its left, more or less centered on the wall.

hearth & oven base

hearth & oven base

We’ll be laying the block for those next week. The hearth will be done for Muster. To the left of the hearth is a salt niche, that will get some final touch-up grinding.

salt niche

salt niche

The outsides still need to be cleaned; we’ll be using mortar acid cleaner to get the haze off.

Yes, we gots some cleanin' to do

Yes, we gots some cleanin’ to do

Gardiner's has a handball court!

Gardiner’s has a handball court!

Elsewhere on the site, the sawhorses are still frisky, with one of the small ones’ having delusions of grandeur.


The next work weekend will entail setting the hearth and oven slabs onto the block supports, layout of the rest of the kitchen and more site clean-up and prep. Also, building corrals for the sawhorses.



Kitchen Site Update

Things have been happening at the Gardiner’s kitchen site this past month.

A load of gravel was put down on the road. While not complete, it will make the drive down better for those in cars.

New road, now gluten-free!

New road, now gluten-free!

If you are driving down the road, you’ll need a place to park. We’ve had some gravel put down in the parking area. More cars can now be parked to either side.

The white zone is for loading and unloading

The white zone is for loading and unloading

We plan to expand the parking area in the future, so this roadway is temporary.

The Company decided to purchase a used port-o-john, rather than renting one whenever we had something going on at the site. It was delivered this week.

PJ - Copy

While the outside fits in well with the surrounding forest, the inside is a different story:

One that ends with tears and a journey

One that ends with tears and a journey

The main thing is, it’s ours and it works.

Bob tested. Bob approved.

Bob tested. Bob approved.

The biggest news is the work that’s been done on the kitchen brick walls. The Company hired a local bricklayer, who started work on Friday. After just one day, the wall is almost complete.

It's a Wall! Mostly!

It’s a Wall! Mostly!

Laura1 - Copy

The sidewall to the right of Laura is the final height, just under 7 feet. The remaining work should be done next week, in time for the first work weekend, March 26th. We’ll be working on the hearth and oven, and doing layout on the charcoal braziers which go somewhere along here, I think.

Where's Laura

Where’s Laura

Zeke has been hard at work planning the timber framing, which we’ll get started later this year.

Those who can come to the work weekend can help us get the kitchen and the site ready for Muster.

We hope everyone can get out to Muster, this year April 28th – May 1st. You really have to see the site to appreciate how beautiful it is.

Lookin' good

Lookin’ good



October Tavern Work Day

Upon the 17th of October, a few Gardiner’s and friends gathered at the Tavern site to continue brick work on the Tavern base. Seven of us started work in the crisp air of Saturday morning; mixing mortar, soaking bricks prior to laying, cutting bricks down to size, and laying bricks.

start of the work day

We quickly discovered that we were disturbing the sleep of a local barred owl. Of course, the photographer didn’t bring her real camera, so it hung out quite a while despite the noise of breaking bricks and calls for supplies. Eventually it flew off and moved to a lower limb, but further in the woods.

Owl Visitor

After a break for lunch, Ann joined us back at the work site. She started laying bricks for the doorway plinth wall working towards the same corner Vic was working towards. Bob set the bricks for the final corner, and let Vic and Ann meet up in the middle.

Final corner

At the end of the day, the tired crew had made significant progress. We have completed all of the low plinth walls that will serve as a base for the timber framed walls, and built up a few courses along the back chimney wall.

End of Day

Happily at the end of the day, tired and sore, Laura fed us full of salad and Shepherd’s Pie, and then Key Lime Pie. You can see a few more photos from the day on Tavern Site photos, if you need more.

Site Improvements and Kitchen Progress

On July Fourth we held a work day for the Tavern site. One group of folks started laying bricks for the kitchen back wall, specifically starting and setting the two back corners.

Kitchen at the start of the day on Sept. 5th

Kitchen at the start of the day on Sept. 5th

So on Saturday of Labor Day weekend, a crew of members continued laying bricks, raising the back wall to about a foot high, and adding the two rows to complete 95% of a plinth wall on the south wall of the kitchen. We’ll plan more workdays to get as much brick laying done as possible before winter’s freeze sets in.

Kitchen progress at the end of the day!

Kitchen progress at the end of the day!

Gardiner’s also ordered a big pile of dirt to help us even out the low spots around the tavern site. A hardy crew spent the day moving the mountain of dirt to the various depressions sneakily lying about hoping to collect mud and trip passers by. We have further plans to spread grass seed, and possibly aerate the area to encourage a nice lawn for pike drills and skirmishing.

The daunting pile at the beginning of the day.

The daunting pile at the beginning of the day.

The much smaller remaining pile of dirt. :)

The much smaller remaining pile of dirt. 🙂

And another crew worked on the roof tiles. They built a shelf system for tile drying and storage, cleaned up the already poured tiles, mixed up and poured another batch of roof tiles into the molds, and then tested out the existing tiles on a nearby woodpile roof. This final test proved very illuminating, as the tiles cracked due to vibrations from nailing them in place. Using screws instead proved more holy, if less accurate. The crew also noticed that the broken tiles had more air bubbles in them, so perhaps a way to encourage fewer air pockets might help too. So, we’ve still got a way to go to figure out and make enough tiles.

Test use of roofing tiles proved informative.

Test use of roofing tiles proved informative.

On the whole, it was a very successful weekend. We accomplished quite a bit on Saturday and the site and kitchen are progressing along nicely.

Amy works on laying bricks

Amy works on laying bricks

Laura weeds out some saplings from the site

Laura weeds out some saplings from the site

Child labor was legal in Elizabethan England!

Child labor was legal in Elizabethan England!

Bob "Ever But At Times of Need At Hand" washes down the newly laid bricks.

Bob “Ever But At Times of Need At Hand” washes down the newly laid bricks.

And you can see more pictures of site work on Flickr.


Kitchen Update

Lots happening this month on the kitchen.

Given the nature of the soil (clay) and the driveway was carved out of a forest, the ground was soft and unstable. After a good rain, it was difficult to get up the hill leaving the site. So we’ve had gravel put down on the driveway.

The long and winding road

The long and winding road

Just to highlight why the rock was necessary, the gravel truck got stuck at the entrance, and they had to get another truck to pull it out. The entire driveway is now rocked right up to the back of the kitchen site. The rock was needed so the cement truck could get in and pour the slab.

driveway to kitchen

The rock is a base; it’s large stone that we want to settle before we do anything else with it. Right now it’s for trucks (mine has no problem getting up and down without 4WD), but we’ll grade and put a final layer down that will make it good for cars as well.

A slab was the easiest and quickest way to get a foundation under the kitchen. It gives us a solid base that won’t shift or heave. It also provides secure footing for the cooks. We’ll cover it with pavers of some type after the building’s done.

looking at the kitchen site toward the road

looking at the kitchen site toward the road

Our next job will be to lay a brick plinth wall and the full back wall and sides for the fireplace. That will form the base on which the timber framing will rest. In concept, it will be something like a medieval kitchen done by a group in Sweden.

We'll be safe up here from the moose.

We’ll be safe up here from the moose.

We can start laying brick later this month, once the freeze threat has passed.

We’ll post more on the project as we move forward.

It's ours now

It’s ours now.





Tavern Site

We staged a few photos on Sunday morning to give a better idea of the space of the newly cleared tavern and kitchen site. It’s quite large and spacious with plenty of room for kitchen, tavern, tents, drilling, skirmishing, archery, and games.

Bandesmen stand at the approximate four corners of the kitchen.

Bandesmen stand at the approximate four corners of the kitchen.


Marking the proposed corners of the tavern, while Fanny admires the space.


Looking to the gathering in the tavern, with a corner of the kitchen to the right


Looking across the drilling green to a gathering of Bandesmen in the tavern

A few more photos of our first meal on the Tavern site during a break in work on Saturday, and the site on Sunday morning, are available on Flickr.

Timber Framing

Two of our members, Bob and Harv, traveled up to Michigan to take a Timber Framing class with Tiller’s International. It was encouraging to discover that creating a timber framed building for a kitchen, and eventually even a Tavern of our own is possible. We look forward to them sharing their tales and skills with the rest of the group.

Tiller's Timber Framing Oct 2013 181

You can see some pictures of the process on Flickr: