Monday, January 19, 2009

Food Signals, Part 2.

The sisters of the Monastery of Sion in Middlesex in the fifteenth century had a ‘Table of Signs’ to get around the rules of silence, and some of these (the food related ones, naturally) provided a blog story in July last year. A sequel is long overdue. I don’t know about you, but I always have to re-read or re-view the primary story in order to remember enough of the original story detail to make the sequel comprehensible. If you are similarly affected by poor narrative memory and decide to revisit the first story, you can skip the following revision list:

BREDE: Make with thy two thombes and two forefyngers a roude compas. And if thou wole haue white make the sign thereof. And if brown, toche thy cowll sleue.

BUTTUR OR OTHER FATNES. Draw thy two right upper fyngers to and fro on thy left palme.

DRYNK. Bowe thy right fore fyngere and up it on thy neder lyppe.

ALE: Make the signe of drynk and drawe thy hande displaied afore thyn eer dunwarde.

EGG: Bowe thy right fore fyngere’ upon they left thombe to and fro. As though thou should pill [peel] eggs.

FYSSHE. Wagge thy hand displaied sidelynges, in maner of a fissh taill.

FLESSHE. Reyse up with thy rigt fyngers the skyn of thy left hande.

PERE. Joyne all thy fyngers in length of thy right hande and wagge douwarde.

Now for the new list:

APPULE (Apple): Put thy thumbe in they fiste & close thy ha[n]d and meue afore the to and fro.

CHESE (Cheese) : Holde thy right hande flatlynge in the palme of thy lefte.

CUPPE (Cup): Hold up they thombe and fyngers rou[n]de. as bery[n]g a coppe.

DISSH OR POTYNGER: Make a cercle with thy rigt forefynger in the myddes of they left palme.

ETYNG (Eating): Put thy right thombe wt two forefyngers joyned to thy mouthe.

HERYNG (Herring): Putte thy right fore fy[n]ger. all the other closed. streght on [thy]ne ere.

MILKE: Drawe thy left litle fynger in maner of mylkyng.

MUSTERD: Holde thy nose in the upper parte of thy right fiste & rubbe it.

POTAGE: Make a cercle with the fore fynger of thy right hande in the palme of thy lefte hande.

SALTE: Phillipe with thy rigt thombe & his forefynger ouer the left thombe. [bit baffling, this one]

WATER: Joyne thy fyngers of thy right hande & meve them dow[n]warde droppyngly

WYNE: Meue [move?] thy fore fyngre up and down upon the ende of thy thombe afore thy eghe.

You should now be able to order a nice three course meal, with your choice of beverage even in the confines of a silent religious order.

Quotation for the Day …

There is more simplicity in the man who eats caviar on impulse than in the man who eats Grape-Nuts on principle.

1 comment:

Scott at Real Epicurean said...

Ah, very good!

Strange how things change over time.