thirteenfridays: Hen Galan, Radios, Opera & Bernard

Friday January 13 2017

The first Friday 13th of 2017 and we decided to combine three celebrations into one to celebrate in fine thirteenfridays style.

We started the evening by setting up a radio experiment to commemorate the first public radio broadcast made on January 13th 1910 and at the same time pay homage to Jacob’s Grandad Bernard Jones, born on January 13th 1914, an inventor and pythagorean, interested in using technology to communicate with the other side. Bernard was one of the inspirations for setting up the Absent but not Forgotten project back in 2010, so we wanted to send him birthday greetings across the great divide.
Bernard was interested in EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) so we set up a detuned radio to play white noise into a Latitude 150 walkie-talkie (446.00625-446.04375 MHz)) while a Sennheiser EW100 wireless microphone kit (830-866MHz) picked up the noise at the other end of the walkie-talkie and sent the noise to a reciever where an Ipad webcast live to youtube. Bernard would undoubtedly have enjoyed the new technologies we could bring to the experiment.
Using 2 radio frequency transmitters and receivers potentially increases the chances of paranormal communication…the experiment ran while we dined in the adjacent room, the result is below. The intermittant transmission is the result of the frighteningly poor upload speeds in rural west Wales rather than any spooky goings-on we fear!

During our thirteenfridays meal we listened to the opera Cavalleria Rusticana which is cited as the first public radio broadcast in 1910 and included this song by Enrico Caruso. Not natural consumers of opera we were feeling quite high brow,  but it must be said that not all our guests appreciated the cultural adjustment (you know who you are…).

Hen Galan is the Welsh New Year or the old new year as it was before the calendar change of 1752. Still observed in the Gwaun Valley not far away, our thirteenfridays menu took a Welsh turn in celebration.

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Worrying Welsh Rarebit – 13 slices of local Bara Menyn 5 seed bread topped with classic Welsh rarebit made with Welsh cheddar and served with a foraged garnish of 13 pennywort leaves and 13 wild sorrel leaves.

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Pastai Bysgod Peryglus – Welsh fish pie made with 13 ingredients – Cod, Smoked Salmon, Mussels, Potatoes, Leeks, Fish Stock, Parsley, Bayleaf, Dill, Flour, Butter, Egg, Pepper.  Served with 13 New Potatoes, 13 Purple sprouting Broccoli and 13 Kalettes.

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13 Twisted Welsh Cakes – 13 crushed cardamom pods and dried cranberries providing the twist on the classic.

Bernard’s birthday cake was a Lemon Drizzle with 13 drizzle holes and 13 candles. In memory of the stories by Liz Whittaker about a strange series of events on another of Bernard’s birthdays some years ago, we had a helium balloon and phone at the table throughout the meal…

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thirteenfridays – Lemuria special

The ancient Roman festival of Lemuria is thought to be a pre-christian antecedent of All Saints Day.  Taking place from May 11th to 13th, feasts and rituals took place  ‘…to exorcise the malevolent and fearful ghosts of the dead from their homes. The unwholesome spectres of the restless dead, the lemures or larvae were propitiated with offerings of beans.’ (read more)
MackerelOatcakes
13 Homemade Oatcakes with Manes Mackerel Pate, served with a 13 ingredient seasonal salad – Red cos, Green Batavia, Spinach, Rocket, Little Gem lettuce, Wild Sorrel, Pennywort, Jack in the Hedge, Wild Garlic & Violets dressed with Mustard, Honey, & Olive oil.

BeanPot
Bellona’s Bean Stew, a 13 ingredient stew with Black Turtle beans, Pinto Beans, Cannellini Beans, Green Beans, Tomatoes, Stock, Onion, Garlic, Worcestershire Sauce, Carrots, Celery, Chilli, Olive oil.

PearPudding
13 ingredient Plutonian Pear Pudding – Passum, Honey, Hazelnuts, Plain flour, Caster sugar, Butter, Baking powder, Bicarbonate of Soda, Eggs, Vanilla, Dark chocolate, Cream, Milk.

So having dined on oatmeal cakes (a nod to the Vestals’ ‘Mola salsa’,) Passum poached pear pudding (passum was a sweet raisin wine with honey), garnishes of wild violet flowers and more honey we continued the evening with a short and effective ritual –

Ovid notes that at this festival it was the custom to appease or expel the evil spirits by walking barefoot and throwing black beans over the shoulder at night. It was the head of the household who was responsible for getting up at midnight and walking around the house with bare feet throwing out black beans and repeating the incantation, “I send these; with these beans I redeem me and mine” (Haec ego mitto; his redimo meque meosque fabis.) nine times. The household would then clash bronze pots while repeating, “Ghosts of my fathers and ancestors, be gone!” nine times.’

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thirteenfridays – Lupercalia special

A meal for Friday 13th of February.
Apparently our modern St Valentines day has its roots in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia and the start of Parentalia. For this thirteenfridays meal we combined modern and ancient Italian dishes, packed with aphrodisiac ingredients to stimulate and arouse the spirits!

Spooky Scallops
Spooky Scallops served on 13 Oatmeal cakes with a Roman cumin sauce for shellfish. Salt meal cakes were apparently prepared by the vestal virgins to burn as offerings on Lupercalia.

Lupercalian Lasagne
13 ingredient Lupercalian Lasagne (onion, leek, carrot, squash, pasta, tomatoes, olive oil, basil, oregano, bay leaf, vegetable stock, white sauce & cheese), a classic modern Italian dish with an ancient roman vegetable twist.  This was served with a 13 ingredient Warm Aphrodisiac Rocket Salad (rocket, 13 baby plum tomatoes, pine nuts, capers, extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, red onion,  garlic, brown sugar, dijon mustard, 13 chopped green olives,  salt & pepper).

Violent Violet Truffles
13 Violently Violet Truffles – Violets and flower garlands were (according to Ovid) laid as sacred offerings at family tombs during Parentalia.

Frightening Fig Cake
Frightening 13 Fig Cake (13 ingredients – Flour, baking powder, vanilla extract, salt, milk, sugar, rosemary, orange zest, butter, olive oil, eggs, honey, fresh figs).  Figs are a staple of aphrodisiac cooking and we all know how the romans loved a fig!

Rose Petal Wine

All accompanied by a Roman favourite – Rose Petal Wine!

13 aphrodisiac ingredients – Scallops, Mint (cumin sauce), Basil, Tomatoes, Rocket, Pine Nuts, Honey, Figs, Rosemary, Vanilla, Chocolate,  Violets, Rose Petals.

thirteenfridays – Strawberry Moon Special

thirteenfridays
St Anthony is the patron saint of lost things, how appropriate for Absent but not Forgotten that in 2014 his feast day of 13th June is on a Friday.  Coinciding with a full moon, known as a strawberry or a honey moon, a great excuse for a thirteenfridays special.

So cheese ( because that’s what the moon is made of…), fish and bread for St Anthony’s feast day, honey and strawberries for the June moon and our usual thirteen-ness in ingredients and numbers. Blue Moon beers and honeyed mead to tipple.

HaloumiHair-Raising Halloumi
13 barbequed Halloumi Bruschetta with green pesto and basil on grilled slices of french bread.

Kebabs
Killer Kebabs
Barbequed prawn kebabs – 13 items per skewer.

Cod
Creepy Cod Salad
13 chunks of cod barbequed with fresh herbs and served with 13 salad leaves and baby tomatoes.

Cheesecake
Full Moon Cheesecake
Thanks to Kirsten for the Full Moon baked Cheesecake served with 13 strawberries and honeyed cream – totally delicious.

Drinks
Terrifying Tipples

Moon themed playlist:

Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon, Echo & the Bunnymen: Killing Moon, Debussy: Clair de Lune, Feist: My Moon, My Man, The Waterboys: The Whole of the Moon, The Police: Walking on the Moon, Captain Beefheart: Blue Jeans & Moonbeams, Boby Vinton: Blue Moon, T-Rex: By the Light of a Magical Moon, David Bowie: Moonage Daydream, Nick Drake: Pink Moon, Tom Waits: Grapefruit Moon, Cliff Edwards: It’s Only a Paper Moon, Tim Buckley: Tijuana Moon, Ozzy Osborne: Bark at the Moon, Tamsin Archer: Sleeping Satellite, The Doors: Moonlight Drive, Captain Beefheart: Moon Over Vermont, Rolling Dtones: Moonlight Mile, Bombay Bicycle Club: Luna, Andy Willimas: Moon River, Amy Winehouse: Fly Me to the Moon, Beethoven: Moonlight Sonata, Little Feat: Spanish Moon, Neil Young: Harvest Moon, Lykke Li: I Follow Rivers (Live on the Moon)

thirteenfridays

thirteenfridays

What’s in a number?
There seems to be a general consensus that both 13 and friday are individually unlucky so together they become disastrous! this article might explain some of the origins of our fears!

Several stories revolve around food and meals so to celebrate the two Friday 13ths in 2013 (13 weeks apart) we are created 13 meals over 13 weeks each involving the number 13.

The work was documented here from September to December 2013.

The Last Supper

To celebrate Friday 13th and the end of our thirteenfridays project in December 2013, we invited 13 guests to partake in a Lussinatt feast of 13 at Small World Theatre in Cardigan.

December 13 is the festival of St Lucy, particularly celebrated in Scandanavia – the festivities celebrate light in the darkest part of the year – but there is also an older tradition on the same day –Lussinatta, the Lussi Night. On the night of December 13 Lussi, a female being with evil traits, like a witch was said to ride through the air with her followers, called Lussiferda. According to tradition, children who had done mischief had to take special care, since Lussi could come down the chimney and take them away. The tradition of Lussevaka – to stay awake through the Lussinatt to guard oneself and the household against evil, has found a modern form through throwing parties until daybreak.

13invites

Our masked waiters (the lovely – but truly spooky – Nick and Beth) greeted guests with traditional Lussekatter saffron buns and a glass of 13 Ingredient non-alcoholic Glogg – a hot, mulled drink with fruit and nuts (with a tot of vodka for those needing extra fortification!).
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With this appetiser guests were invited to select a small envelope containing a numbered badge.  The randomly selected numbers gave us a seating plan, seats marked by a small numbered bottles of wine placed on the table.
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Thirteen guests at a dinner table is considered bad luck – so we laid a 14th place setting where we projected images of all the dishes created during the 13 previous weeks (each image displayed for 13 seconds).
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Our menu presented 13 dishes, each themed either in multiples of 13 or made with 13 ingredients:
13 goat cheese and fig crostini; 13 mini parmesan and potato pasties; 13 homemade oatcakes with mackerel pate; 13 ingredient salad with spinach, nuts and pomegranate; 13 rice stuffed sweet peppers with cheese crust; 13 mini baked potatoes with sour cream and chives; 13 antichristi (antipasti selection); 13 feta cheese and spinach filo parcels; 13 Cajun prawn parcels; 13 mini lentil bakes; 13 ingredient salad with egg; 13 mini quiche tartlets; 13 ingredient vegetable soup with 13 bread rolls creme fraiche and seeds to top.

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During the meal, whilst guests tried to guess the contents of the mini wine bottles, (each a different variety of country wine), we showed a selection of 13 film clips of dinner table scenes from vintage films.

Throughout the evening our waiters without faces slowly and silently served wine and cleared empty plates, approaching guests with dishes and awaiting their attention – quite disconcerting!

During the evening we showed a compilation of our previous Absent but not Forgotten projects around the venue.
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We asked our guests to contribute a choice of spookily themed music to the evening and we were honoured that singer, Julie Murphy chose to sing us a beautifully haunting song.

Here’s the rest of the soundtrack…

A chance to chat and digest….then cue the Omen soundtrack…it was time to introduce the 13 desserts…

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With the exception of a dangerously delicious 13 ingredient Ice cream (red gooseberries, apple, star anise, cloves, cinammon, ginger, chilli, eggs, sugar, milk, cream, rum & paprika) designed especially for the event by Mari Beynon-Owen and 13 pieces of Cardomon barfi made by Jacob Whittaker, the desserts were all made by the amazing Kirsten Hinks – a truely exceptional feat of baking! They were – 13 Macaroons with Cardigan picked blackberry buttercream; 13 Peanut butter and Brownie Stacks; 13 Mini Chocolate Tarts; 13 Mini Lemon Tarts; 13 Vanilla Ghost Biscuits with raisin eyes; 13 Rosemary Cakes with satsuma icing; 13 Honey and Pistachio Nut Cream Meringues; 13 Profiteroles; A 13 choux bun Gateau Saint Jude; a 13 ingredient Chocolate Cake (Maltesers, Eggs, Caster Sugar, Brown Sugar, Self Raising flour, Wholemeal flour, Butter, Baking powder, Cream, Icing sugar, Margarine, Cocoa, Vanilla essence); a 13 ingredient Ispahan Tart (the evocative name for the taste combination of Lychees and Rose Water).

Shortly after revealing the desserts the waiters joined us for the remainder of the evening while witches could be seen flying overhead…

We would like to thank all our guests for coming to our thirteenfridays Last Supper.  Special thanks to Small World Theatre for the venue, our waiters Beth Guiver and Nick Johnson for their wonderfully sinister silent service, Marc Hayes and Sam Vicary for taking some lovely photographs, Mari Beynon-Owen for the Ice Cream, and Kirsten Hinks for the terrifyingly good dessert trolley!

Invidious Italian

thirteenfridays

Our penultimate thirteenfridays meal –

Riceballs
Alarming Arancini balls – 13 Risotto and Mozzarella balls served with a tomato and basil sauce.

Prawnspag
Spooky Spaghetti with Prawns – Italian style prawns and spaghetti with 13 ingredients – Spaghetti; King Prawns; Rocket; Baby plum tomatoes; Tomato Puree; Garlic; Dried Red Chili; Butter; Olive Oil; Lemon; Onion; Red Pepper; Sundried Tomatoes;

choctorte
Terrifying Chocolate, Almond and Chestnut Torte – A rich dark chocolate torte made with ground almonds, orange, cinnamon and 13 roasted chestnuts, decorated with 13 roasted whole almonds. Served with extra thick fresh cream.

‘What are we going to eat on Fridays after next week?’  Kirsten Hinks