Friday, February 26, 2010

Dinner Rules.

It sometimes seems that in modern times we live in an over-legislated society, but perhaps the rules in previous times were not less, but just different. For example, I don’t suppose the staff at Buckingham Palace have the exact details of their meals set out in their work agreements nowadays.

Princess Cecily, the mother of King Edward IV (1442-1483), outlived her son by many years – managing to get to the then very ripe old age of 80 years. The Ordinances governing the day to day business of her household state exactly what the staff (most of whom lived in) were to receive for their meals on each day of the week.

Uppon sondaye, tuesdaye, and thursdaye, the houshoulde at dynner is served with boyled beefe and mutton, and one roste; at supper leyched [sliced] beefe and mutton roste.
Uppon mondaye and wensdaye at dynner, one boyled beefe and mutton; at supper, ut supra [as above].
Upon fastinge days, salte fyshe, and two dishes of fresh fishe; if there come a principal l fasted, it is served like unto the feaste honorablye.
If mondaye or wensdaye be hollidaye, then is the houshold served with one roste, as in other days.
Upon satterdaye at dynner, saltfyshe, one fresh fishe, and butter; at supper saltfishe and egges.

Here, for satterdaye dinner, is a nice recipe for fish with herbs and sorrel sauce. It is from a manuscript dated about 1500, called A Noble Boke Off Cookry Ffor A Prynce Houssolde

Freche makrelle
To dight a freche makerelle tak and draw a makerelle at the gil and let the belly be hole and wesche hym and mak the sauce of water and salt and when it boilithe cast in mynt and parsly and put in the fisshe and serue it furthe with sorell sauce.

Quotation for the Day.

Fishing is boring, unless you catch an actual fish, and then it is disgusting.
Dave Barry.


Heiko said...

I've just put my take on your recipe for a spring tart with primrose, violet and strawberry leaves on my blog. It was delicious!

The Old Foodie said...

Heiko, that is marvellous!