July 16 ...
Global citizens that we are, connected to everyone, everywhere, 24/7, it is almost impossible to imagine what life was like in the days when the circle only stretched to your immediate community. For most folk, for most of history, the circle was as far as you could walk in the course of your daily work. For some folk, who could read, knowledge of the wider circle could come from books (and newspapers), depending on which were available. There is a delightful point in the diary of the eighteenth century country Parson James Woodforde (who we have met many times before in this blog) when he has sent ‘the boy’ into the big town on an errand. The boy brings the newspaper back to the village – the news by now days to weeks old. The good parson notes briefly in his diary the news about some sort of kerfuffle in France (i.e the beginnings of the Revolution) – the brief note given perspective by appearing in the midst of great detail about the vitally important trivia of day to day life in the parish.
Are we less on mystery and adventure now, for knowing (or being informed of) so everything that is happening everywhere else? For an island nation (like
To make a stewe after the guyse of beyonde the sea.
Take a pottel of fayre water, and as much wyne, and a breste of mutton chopt in peces, than set it on the fyre and scome it cleane, than put therto a dyschefull of slyced onyons, and a quantite of synamon, gynger, cloves and mace, wyth salte and stewe them all together, and than serve them with soppes.
[Proper Newe Booke of Cokerye, c1545]
Tomorrow’s Story …
High and mighty tasty?
Quotation for the Day …
The only cooks in the civilized world are French cooks. . . . Other nations understand food in general; the French alone understand cooking, because all their qualities - promptitude, decision, tact - are employed in the art. No foreigner can make a good white sauce. Louis Victor Nestor Roqueplan, 1853.