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An Elizabethan Madrigal Dinner (Part 1)

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An Elizabethan Madrigal Dinner (Part 1)By Andrew Krause

A madrigal dinner is a wonderful way of going back in time, it shows just how people lived during the Elizabethan era and here is how it goes.

The Great Hall is where the dinner is held. Ye Order Of Feast

The wassail is to be used as a toast Please refrain from partaking till the appointed time. Although the cost was shocking, there was keen competition among Queen Elizabeth's subjects to entertain Her Majesty when she passed through their counties on one of Her numerous summer progresses. In 1576 Sir Roger North was honored at his estate by the "Queen Majesty's coming thither on Monday the first of September supper and tarrying until Wednesday after dinner. "The honor cost Lord North a bundle, most of which was paid to serve the Queen and her enormous entourage meals like the one we are about to be served. The Lords account book showed that among other things he purchased a cartload and two horse loads of oysters, 430 pounds of butter, and 2,522 eggs. In anticipation of the glorious event, he had put up a banqueting house and some new kitchens. He also hired special cooks from London to augment the dozens of people already on his serving and kitchen staff. For most of Elizabeth's hosts, such generosity paid off, not only in preferment's, however equally important, in friendship of the monarch.

Fanfare The First Announcing the seating of ye guests by ye jesters

Fanfare The Second Announcing the procession of ye singers, Wassail Bowl, and the Toast to the Occasion

Gloucester shire Wassail... English "Wassail" was an old Angelo-Saxon drinking pledge Waes-Hael which means," Be in good health." At early Saxon feasts it was customary to drink a wassail to the Lord ofthe house, and thus the wassail bowl became a feature of English events. Also, the customs of wassailing the fruit trees were common throughout England. Men went out to the orchards with a large jug of cider and there they drank a toast to the trees, often beating them, bidding them bear fruit in the coming spring. Spain and it's Canarie Islands produced the Elizabethan favorite wine, Sack, a type of sherry. Some gentry preferred a still sweeter and richer drink called hippocras, compounded of white wine, sherry, nutmeg, cloves, Jamaican pepper and sugar, a concoction that was to survive in later times as a Christmas or New Year's punch.

Fanfare The Third Announcing the passing of ye viands

The Mince Pie Long before Francis Bacon wrote that "mincing of meat in pies sparest the grinding of the teeth," mixtures of spices and liquor had been used to preserve perishable meats and fruits. By the seventeenth century, mince pie had a politico-religious connection. At Christmas time, cavaliers would bake rectangular "coffins" or crusts, for the spicy filling and often created monstrous affairs weighing over 100 pounds.

Andrew Krause is a Chef and Pastry Chef for over 30 years, at present I own a Gourmet Bakery called The Cheese Confectioner. You can visit my site at For Free Recipes.net

NOTE: You are welcome to reprint this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the about the author info at the end),

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An Elizabethan Madrigal Dinner (Part 2)

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An Elizabethan Madrigal Dinner (Part 2)By Andrew Krause

My Lord Lumley's Peas Potage

Most of the peas in the soup are strained. The reason for leaving some of them whole, say's Digby, "is only to show that it is peas potage."

Mussels, Bacon, and Pullets

Robert May prefaced his eight-volume cookbook with the modest admission that "God and my own conscience would not permit me to bury these experiences in the grave. "When The Accomplished Cook was the first published in 1660, he had served some fifty-five years as a professional or expert cook in a dozen noble places. Mays experiences were fast becoming démodé in a nation infatuated with French cuisine and in such dishes as the above he took his readers back to "those golden days wherein were practiced the triumphs and tragedies of cookery to be good rather than to seem so. "We took the liberty of changing the oysters with mussels.

Fanfare The Fourthe CONCERT

The Introduction of your Musicians and Singers as each is about to entertain while the dinner goes on.

Fanfare The Fifthe

Announcing the passing of the Salat, from the oldest know treatise on cooking in the English language cones this recipe for salad. The manuscript, The Form of Curry, was compiled around 1390. In Richard II's court, some 196 examples of mid evil "curry" and cookery were identified.

Fanfare The Sixthe

Announcing The Homage To Ye Boar's Head

The use of the Boar's Head is not only based on its value as an article of food, however it's symbolism as well. The boar, because he roots into the ground with his tusks, had long been revered as having taught mankind the art of plowing. Henry VIII first established it as a dish. The head was dressed with a garland of rosemary and laurel. As a final touch a lemon, the symbol of plenty, was placed in it's mouth. The eating of a suckling pig today is a variation of eating the boar's head. Smoked Loin with Prunes and Apples The Danish sometimes refer to this dish as "mach duck" prunes and apples being a favorite stuffing for roastduck as well.

CONCERT

Lets have more singing and dancing

Fanfare The Seventhe

Time to announce the jugglers, Tumblers and Magician Boiled Beef With Sauce Robert In Rebellious day, the onion was judged excellent for exorcizing ghosts, warding off baldness, and curing dog bites, hence his remark that this old French sauce is "so salubrious and so essential.

Fanfare The Eighte

More singing, dancing

Fanfare The Ninthe

Announcing the passing of the Flaming Plum Pudding

The plum pudding has evolved from a sorry mess of watery gruel pottage-fermety-which, according to the oldest recipe extant, was, "what boiled till the grains burst, and when cool, strained and boiled again with broth of milk and yolks of eggs. "It must have been quite awful fir every year somebody tried to do something about it. As it's thicker form evolved, it migrated to the end of the meal, with no sign of meat however the vestigial suet. The first published recipe for the pudding as we know it appeared in 1675. It's change in form is partially due to it's having been disguised when the Puritans outlawed the dish as sinfully rich. Surely the most spectacular pudding ever produced was Brobdingnagian 900 pounded, created by Devon Villagers in 1819.

Fanfare The Tenthe

There you have it, have a Madrigal dinner and have a lot of fun.

Andrew Krause is a Chef and Pastry Chef for over 30 years,at persent I own a Gourmet Bakery called The Cheese Confectioner.You can visit my site at For Free Recipes.net

NOTE: You are welcome to reprint this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the about the author info at the end).

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