Monday, April 10, 2006

I cannot resist posting one more picture of the Mosaic Mural.
This plate is in the bottom right hand corner of the mural. It began with a plain white plate, which had pictures of traditional Norfolk foods printed onto it.
I suggested to Archie and Sandy that our museum may be willing to hand over a few of the thousands of shards of pottery in their collection. Over years of archeological investigations in the Kingston penal settlement area, these shards have been collected from places like the bottom of old privies. This was the old method of disposing of things like old broken plates, cups and "gazunders" (goes under the bed.) The items would have belonged to the early Pitcairners, although some would date back to convict times. Many are in the traditional blue and white patterns. Many plates and other articles have been patiently pieced together by people helping the Museum staff. But there are still hundreds of loose pieces, all of which have been carefully catalogued according to where and when they were found.
Anyway, we were pleasantly surprised that the Museum director agreed to donate a few pieces, and they were cut into shape to form the outer rim of the plate.
The inner rim? Well.....about three years ago, Bernie gave me a lovely Spode "Blue Italian" sugar bowl for Christmas. After I unwrapped it, I sat it up on the mantlepiece. And because it looked so good there, that is where it stayed. That is, until the following Christmas' Eve, when Oliver the cat knocked it down and broke it!
Without saying anything, I quietly put the pieces away into a drawer, where they stayed until I decided that they could perhaps be used in the mosaic. Sandy has even included the "Spode " logo, which is quite appropriate because many of those early plates would have been manufactured by Spode.
I cannot tell you from the photo what all the foods are, but at the bottom of the plate is a baked fish which has been garnished, and rests on a piece of Banana leaf (the Polynesian equivalent of greaseproof paper or doileys!)
I think at least one of the other pictures represents Mudda.
Mudda is made by finely grating green banana (plun) and forming it into dumplings. These are then cooked either by steaming them in simmering milk, or frying them in fat or oil. Mudda is one of my favourite Norfolk dishes, and it is a beautiful accompaniment to fish.

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