[Sca-cooks] A horse for a peppercorn-Explanation of a Food Myth
kiridono at gmail.com
Wed Sep 15 05:07:47 PDT 2010
There is also a tradition/superstition that, when you give someone a wallet
or purse, you put a coin in it to make sure that it (the wallet or purse) is
never empty. I'm not sure of the origin of this one, but it's one I've
known about since I was a child...LONG many years ago!
Kiri (feeling fairly ancient this morning)
On Mon, Sep 13, 2010 at 3:17 PM, Susan Lin <susanrlin at gmail.com> wrote:
> My friend of Scottish heritage has the same tradition - paying something
> (she taped a penny to the box so I could pay her) so as not to cut the
> On Mon, Sep 13, 2010 at 10:47 AM, David Friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com
> > ...
> > There is a similar tradition followed to this day by some Southern
> >> possibly others as well. For reasons associated with kharma, one does
> >> give certain items as gifts; for example knives, weapons, medications,
> >> are not considered appropriate to give as gifts. When you find yourself
> >> wanting or needing to do so anyway, it is considered good manners to
> >> with the gift a shiny new penny, to be returned by the recipient to the
> >> donor, so it can be agreed upon that the gift item was in fact
> >> thereby changing the kharmic implications.
> > I'm familiar with that as a current American tradition--whether derived
> > from the Chinese or not I don't know. It doesn't include giving the
> > just having a token payment in order that the knife will not cut the
> > friendship.
> > I didn't know about the peppercorn for a horse thing. It might be worth
> >> knowing as a reference point that for much of Europe in the Middle Ages,
> >> cooked capon cost around a penny [which would usually have ben a silver
> >> coin?], so the two shillings you spoke of -- which doesn't seem like so
> >> much -- would buy, what, forty of them?
> > A penny was a silver coin. In the original Carolingian monetary reform,
> > from which most of the medieval and renaissance European monetary systems
> > derive, a penny was one two hundred and fortieth of a pound of silver.
> > pound was a unit of account, defined as 240 pennies. Initially it was
> also a
> > pound of silver, but over time the penny got debased, at different rates
> > different places.
> > The shilling was also (initially) a unit of account, defined as twelve
> > pennies, and created to provide continuity with the pre-existing Roman
> > system--it corresponded to a coin in that system.
> > --
> > David Friedman
> > www.daviddfriedman.com
> > daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/
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