[Sca-cooks] Farmer's feasts question

Pixel, Goddess and Queen pixel at hundred-acre-wood.com
Thu Dec 17 16:01:42 PST 2009

Besides in Rumpolt, does anyone know of any other late-period references 
to what a feast menu for the lower classes should be like? I am 
researching an A&S entry for 12th Night and my research library is 
woefully inadequate for Tudor/Elizabethan era anything, let alone feast 

The goal is to base the entry off of "a Shakespeare quote". So I am going 
with a quote from the play "A Winter's Tale" in which one of the 
characters is reciting his shopping list for the sheepshearing feast they 
are going to have.

"I cannot do't without counters. Let me see; what am
I to buy for our sheep-shearing feast? Three pound
of sugar, five pound of currants, rice,--what will
this sister of mine do with rice? But my father
hath made her mistress of the feast, and she lays it
on. She hath made me four and twenty nose-gays for
the shearers, three-man-song-men all, and very good
ones; but they are most of them means and bases; but
one puritan amongst them, and he sings psalms to
horn-pipes. I must have saffron to colour the warden
pies; mace; dates?--none, that's out of my note;
nutmegs, seven; a race or two of ginger, but that I
may beg; four pound of prunes, and as many of
raisins o' the sun."

Specifically I am looking for info on what the upper classes thought would 
be appropriate for a farmer's feast. I have a reference that says that a 
roast joint of mutton is expected at a shearer's dinner, and later there's 
a discussion of what grains to make the pie crusts and puddings out of, 
but that's all I have.

Any help is appreciated.

Margaret FitzWilliam

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