Friday, December 28, 2007

Baroness Gwir verch Madog - Soiree

Continuing my obsession for Taillevent, I propose a menu for the soiree based upon the 14th century work of The Viandier of Taillevent (Terence Scully edition). The choices for dishes come from menus set out in Appendix one of Take a Thousand Eggs or More (Cindy Renfrow), specifically, the 1387 feast for King Richard II by the Bishop of Durham (p. 336); Henry IV's coronation of 1399; and The Funeral Feast of Nicholas Bubwith,1424, which sets out a separate menu of fish for the clergy. In looking at the extant menus, there are either fish or meat day menus; Bubwith is the only one with a separate fish menu (for the most pious clergy who would not imbibe on flesh, not sure if that is just due to the solemnity of the occasion).

At any rate, the soiree will have a meat menu for the 'nobility' and a fish selection for those who will. In keeping as close as possible to the extant menus, the challenge of this feast is to cook it on an open fire (ok, it's not a challenge for me, but a great excuse to play with food and fire. Can't get any better than that!). The challenge is to dig a fire pit in the back yard without scaring the neighbors. I'd like to be able to hold the feast in a feasting tent, to ensure that there is a fitting atmosphere.

The menu will depend, in final form, on availability of ingredients and costings. Most of the recipes have not yet been redacted, and final forms will be posted.

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