It has been a busy few months, flying from photography assignments and meetings in London to Latvia for research, London again, then to New York, two days after to Milan, then London again, then Milan again a few days ago. I have been spreading myself too thin, so over the Easter weekend, my first weekend home since somewhere in februari, I barricaded myself onto the sofa between stacks of pillows and two sleepy cats.
We are talking Jumbles today and I don’t mean gibberish.
I was following ‘A History of Royal Food and Feasting’, a fun free online course from the University of reading and Historic Royal Palaces with a lot of interesting historical information about food. A lot of the information I already knew but I did manage to learn a few things, plus it was just great fun to do and force myself to take some rest while still being productive. One of the dishes that were recommended to try on the course were Jumbles, a biscuit I had been meaning to bake but haven’t had the time in my mad schedule. When the Learning and Engagement department got in touch to check if I wanted to get involved to spread the word about the course I of course said yes because I enjoyed it. So Jumbles it was!
Jumbles were knot shaped biscuits that first appeared in the wonderful book The good Huswifes Jewell by Thomas Dawson, dating to 1585. But legend places this biscuit right at the heart of The War of the Roses a century before Dawson’s recipe.
For those who are unfamiliar with English history The Wars of the Roses were a series of battles fought in the period of 1455 to 1485 between two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet, the House of York and the house of Lancaster – both sporting a rose in their heraldic emblem. Both made a claim for the throne of England. They were a result from the social and financial problems following the Hundred Years’ War. The Lancastrian claimant, Henry Tudor defeated the last king of the House of York, Richard III at Bosworth Field, near Market Bosworth, a market town in Leicestershire. He then married Edward IV’s daughter, Elizabeth of York, to unite the two houses.
And it is precisely on this last battlefield that a new legend was born, at least a few centuries later……