WHY NOT TRY: Cooking a spit roast?
I FELT hard done by, devoid of crown and sceptre, a distinct lack of satin-waving dancers in sight and not even a court jester intermittently belting his skull with a plank of wood for my royal amusement.
But at least a couple of slabs of slowly rotating meat were on hand to pique my regal interest.
This week a band of likely buffoons and I tried our hand at that bastion of medieval feasts, the spit roast.
Totally inexperienced and more than a little intimidated, we nevertheless spiked a chunk of pork and a healthy wedge of lamb and fired up the coals.
We picked up some tips along the way.
Use a mound of charcoal to get that authentic, smoky flavour, topping up the fire pit throughout the process.
The meat should be hovering about 15cm above the coals.
A meat thermometer is essential but we were not so organised. We survived but I suggest you research the finer details and definitely use a meat thermometer long enough to reach the centre of the largest piece of meat.
Just as important is the marinade - ours was a simple mixture of lemon juice, olive oil, salt and garlic with the occasional wipe of a sprig of fresh rosemary.
Pork should be cooked for about 80 minutes a kilo, lamb gets about an hour per kilogram. But the thermometer is your best guide.
The end result: tender, juicy meat, falling off the bone and a mob of proud but inebriated backyard chefs.
It was also a smidgen embarrassing in retrospect.
My post-roast research revealed Frenchman Christian Falco spit-roasted a 550kg camel for 15 hours in Morocco in 2007, using 2.7 tonnes of wood and 15 litres of oil.
He has held the world record for spit-roasting a 985.5kg piece of beef.
The World Health Organisation might have something to say about that effort.
Next time we will go the whole hog, pop an apple in a suckling pig's gob and don velvet hats, elaborate fur coats and brocaded silk pantaloons to really get into the kingly mindset.
But I don't think we can beat a camel.