[Sca-cooks] Farmer's feasts question

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Fri Dec 18 06:54:59 PST 2009

There's also this:

The regiment for Winter, December, January, and February.

THe shepheards in winter are clothed in thick gowns of rough cloth hie  
shorne well furred with foxe. For it is the warmest furring that is,  
and Cats, Conies, Lambs, and diverse other thicke furres that be good  
and wholsome.

In the winter shepheards do eat beef, Pork, Brawn of Harts, Hinds and  
all kind of venison, Partriges, Fesants, Hares, fowles of the river  
and other meats that they love best: for that is the season of the  
year that nature suffereth greatest plenty of vittle for the naturall  
heat that is drawn with in the body.

In this season also they drink oft strong wines, after their  
cōplexion, bastard or Osey. Twice or thrice in the week they use good  
spices in their meats: For this is the wholsomest season of all the  
yeer in the which chanceth no sicknesse, but by great excesse and  
outrages done to nature, or by evill government. Shepheards say also  
that Prime time is hot & moist, of the nature of ayr, complexion of  
the sanguine, and that in the same season nature reioyceth, and the  
pores open, and the bloud spreads through the veins more than another  
time. Summer is hot and dry of the nature of fire, of complexion of  
cholerick, when one ought to keep him from all things that procure  
heat, all excesse, and hot meats. Harvest is cold and dry of the  
nature of earth & complexion of melancholy, in the which time one  
ought to keep him from doing excesse more thā at other times. But  
winter is cold and moist, of the nature of water, and complexion of  
flegmatick, then ought a man to keep him warm and meanly to live in  
  from The Shepheards kalender newly augmented and corrected. London,  

A revision of The shepardes kalender. [1570?]]

Markham offers this humble menu:

Now for a more humble Feast, or an ordinary proportion which any good  
man may keepe in his family for the entertainment of his true and  
worthy friends, it must hold limitation with his prouision, and the  
season of the yeere: for Summer affords what Winter wantes, & Winter  
is master of that which Summer can but with difficulty haue: it is  
good then for him that intends to feast, to set downe the full number  
of his full dishes, that is, dishes of meate that are of substance,  
and not emptie or for shew; and of these sixteene is a good proportion  
for one course vnto one messe, as thus for example,

First, a shield of Brawne with mustard: Secondly, a boyld capon;  
Thirdly, a boyld peece of Beefe: Fourthly, a chine of beefe rosted:  
Fiftly, a neates tongue rosted: Sixtly, a Pigge rosted:

Seuenthly, chewets back't; Eightly, a goose rosted: Ninethly, a swan  
rosted: Tenthly, a turkey rosted; the eleuenth, a haunch of venison  
rosted; the twelfth, a pasty of venison;

the thirteenth, a Kid with a pudding in the belly; the fourteenth, an  
oliue pye; the fifteenth, a couple of capons; the sixteenth, a custard  
or dousets.

Now to these full dishes may be added in sallets, fricases,  
quelquechoses, and deuised paste, as many dishes more, which make the  
full seruice no lesse then two and thirty dishes, which is as much as  
can conueniently stand on one table, and in one messe: and after this  
manner you may proportion both your second and third course, holding  
fulnesse in one halfe of the dishes, and shew in the other, which will  
be both frugall in the spendor, contentment to the guest, and much  
pleasure and delight to the beholders. And thus much touching the  
ordering of great feasts and ordinary contentments.

The English house-vvife. 1631.

Time is probably too short but there's this volume:

Christmas in Shakespeare’s England. Compiled by Maria Hubert. Stroud,  
Gloucestershire, UK: Sutton Publishing, 1998. ISBN: 0-7509-1719-9.  
It's rather expensive even if you can locate a used copy, but it's a  
good book.

Liza Picard's book Elizabeth's London might be good too and it's more  

hope this helps

Johnnae llyn Lewis

On Dec 17, 2009, at 7:01 PM, Pixel, Goddess and Queen wrote:

> 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 menus.

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list