Thursday, 9 October 2014

I hope you like eels.

"Gamaliel Ratsey, a highwayman condemmed to hang at Bedford, is at the very moment of death with a rope around his neck when he indicateds that he has something important to say to the sherrif. In front of the crowd he is let down from the gallows and allowed to speak to the official, who pataiently waits while Gamaliel says his piece, which is lengthy. It begins to rain, in fact, it starts to pour. After a few minutes Gamaliel admits he has nothing to say: he just noticed a storm cloud coming and wanted to see the sherrif and the crowd get thoroughly drenched.

Wit on the gallows is noted in several other cases. As George brooke listens to his executioner and the sheriff argue over who should have his damask gown, he asks them when he should lay his head on the block, adding that he does not know becasue he has never been beheaded before."



All this is from this book:


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Time-Travellers-Guide-Elizabethan-England/dp/1847921140



"A brighter red, used to dye the broadcloth called scarlet, comes from kermes: a parasitic insect that lives on evergreen oaks in the Mediterranian and which, when pregnant, is killed with vinegar, dried in the sun and opened to extract its wormlike larvae. When rolled into little balls called 'grains' and soaked in water, these produce a bright-red dye called 'grain' - hence the words 'ingrained' and, in connection with the worms, 'vermillion'."






 FEASTS

The following migh be useful if anyone wants to run a feast. He's handily put it in random-table format already.

"Sir Francis Willoughby strictly observes Fridays and Saturdays as non-meat days; therefor if you happen to visit on one of these, expect four or five of the following dishes to appear, one after another in the following order, along with a dish of butter. Remember not to eat too much: this is just the first course.

1. A sallat (salad) with boiled eggs.
2. A pottage of sand eels and lampreys.
3. Red (smoked) herring covered with sugar.
4. white (pickled) herring, ling or whiting in mustard sauce.
5. Minced salt salmon in a sauce of mustard, vinegar and sugar.
6. Pickled conger eel, shad or mackerel.
7. Plaice or thornback ray with vinegar, or wine and salt, or mustard.
8. Cod, bass, mullet or perch.
9. Eels, trout or roach upon sops (bread soaked in the liquor in which the fish was cooked)
10. Pike in pike sauce.
11. Tench in jelly.
12. A custard tart.

There will be an interlude before the second course. When the carvers reappear, bearing their silver platters, expect another four or five dishes selected from th following list, served in this order:

1. Flouders in pike sauce.
2. Salmon, conger eel, brill, turbot or halibut in a vinegar sauce.
3. Bream or carp upon sops.
4. Fried sole.
5. Roast lampreys or porpoise in galantine sauce.
6. Sturgeon, crayfish, crab or shrimps in a vinegar sauce.
7. Baked lamprey.
8. Cheese tart.
9. Figs, apples, raisins and pears.
10. Blanced almonds.

Most people would rather call on Sir Francis on a meat day, especially on a Sunday, which in most great houses, is a day for luxuriating in the food available. This is the likely palette of first courses served on a Sunday, from which four or five will be prepared for you (Turn up after 1 November if you want to eat the swan.)

1. Brawn in mustard.
2. Capons stewed in white broth.
3. A leg of venison in beef broth.
4. A chine of beef and a breast of mutton boiled.
5. Mutton pies.
6. Three green (geese) in a dish of sorrel sauce.
7. A stubble goose (a goose left to feed itself on stubble in the fields) with mustard and vinegar.
8. A swan in sauce chauldron
9. A pig roast.
10. A double rib of roast beef, with pepper and vinegar sauce.
11. A lion or breast of veal with orange sauce.
12. Half a lamb or kid.
13. Two capons roasted, either in wine or salt sauce or a sauce of ale and salt (but not the latter if it be served wit thhe sops)
14. Two pasties of fallow deer in a dish.
15. A custard tart.

And for the second course, expect four or five dishes from the following list.

1. Jelly.
2. Peacock in wine and salt.
3. two coneys or half a dozen rabbits in a mustard and sugar sauce.
4. Six chickens upon sorrel sops.
5. Six pigeons.
6. Mallard, teal, gulls, stork or heronsew (young heron) in a mustard and vinegar sauce.
7. Crane, curlew, bittern or bustard in a galantine sauce.
8. Pheasant, or six rails (corn crakes), cooked in salt water with sliced onions.
9. Six woodcocks cooked in mustard or sugar.
10. Six partridges.
11. A dozen quail.
12. A dish of larks.
13. A pasty of red deer.
14. Tart, gingerbread fritters.




... Elizabeth decides to call on Lord North at Kirtling; she stays from suppertime on sunday 1 September to after dinner on Tuesday 3rd, and this is the food that Lord North has to provide for the two day visit.

Bread: 1,200 manchet loaves, 3,600 loaevs of cheat bread and 276 extra loaves.

Meat: 11 and half cows, 17 and a half veal calves, 67 sheep, 7 lambs, 16 bucks made into 128 pasties and 8 gammons of bacon.

Birds: 32 geese, 363 capons, 6 turkeys, 32 swans, 273 ducks, 1 crane, 38 heronsews, 110 bitterns, 12 shovellers, 1,194 chickens, 2,604 pigeons, 106 pewits, 68 godwits, 18 gulls, 99 dotterels, 8 snipe, 29 knots, 28 plovers, 5 stints, 18 redshanks, 2 yerwhelps, 22 partridges, 1 pheasant, 344 quail and 2 curlews.

Fish: 3 kegs of sturgeon, 96 crayfish, 8 turbot, a cartload and 2 horse loads of oysters, 1 barrel of anchovies, 2 pike, 2 carp, 4 tench, 12 perch and 300 red (smoked) herring.

Other: 2,201 cow's tongues, feet and udders, 18lbs lard, 430lbs butter, 2,522 eggs, 6 Dutch cheeses, 10 marchpanes (marzipans) £16 4s-worth of sugar and 329 1s-worth of salad, roots and herbs.

The whole visit, during which he entertains more than 2,000 people, costs him 3642 4s 2d (not including a present of a jewel worth £120 for the queen). For these two days his house becomes a town about the same size as Stratford.
abeth decides to call on Lord North at Kirtling; she stays from suppertime on sunday 1 September to after dinner on Tuesday 3rd, and this is the food that Lord North has to provide for the two day visit.

Bread: 1,200 manchet loaves, 3,600 loaevs of cheat bread and 276 extra loaves.

Meat: 11 and half cows, 17 and a half veal calves, 67 sheep, 7 lambs, 16 bucks made into 128 pasties and 8 gammons of bacon.

Birds: 32 geese, 363 capons, 6 turkeys, 32 swans, 273 ducks, 1 crane, 38 heronsews, 110 bitterns, 12 shovellers, 1,194 chickens, 2,604 pigeons, 106 pewits, 68 godwits, 18 gulls, 99 dotterels, 8 snipe, 29 knots, 28 plovers, 5 stints, 18 redshanks, 2 yerwhelps, 22 partridges, 1 pheasant, 344 quail and 2 curlews.

Fish: 3 kegs of sturgeon, 96 crayfish, 8 turbot, a cartload and 2 horse loads of oysters, 1 barrel of anchovies, 2 pike, 2 carp, 4 tench, 12 perch and 300 red (smoked) herring.

Other: 2,201 cow's tongues, feet and udders, 18lbs lard, 430lbs butter, 2,522 eggs, 6 Dutch cheeses, 10 marchpanes (marzipans) £16 4s-worth of sugar and 329 1s-worth of salad, roots and herbs.

The whole visit, during which he entertains more than 2,000 people, costs him 3642 4s 2d (not including a present of a jewel worth £120 for the queen). For these two days his house becomes a town about the same size as Stratford."

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  2. I have the Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England by the same author, form the bits above I can see I will find this book as enjoyable and useful as the earlier one.

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  3. A fun read. This recently appeared in Uncle Hugo's/Uncle Edgar's our friendly local genre stores. We should pick up this book.

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