Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Medieval Feast

I'm still on a medieval kick with these books!  This one is similar to Merry Ever After in that it shows the traditions and preparations for a feast and the artwork and design is done in a medieval style. 

Aliki 1986

 In this story the King and Queen are planning a stop at Camdenton Manor and the lord of the manor must prepare for their visit. The food takes center stage with such dishes as peacock, "cooked and then reassembled with its feathers", meat pies, boar's head, a marzipan sculpture called a Subtletey, and a pastry model of the castle filled with meat, eggs, fruit and nuts.

After the story, Aliki explains how "when the king announced he would visit, the lord was shaken. The expense of the preparations could cost him his fortune; it had happened to others. But he had no choice.

Medieval feasting was an art. Cooks not only prepared delicious food- they used their wild imaginations as well. They molded pastry into castles, sculptured desserts into kings and queens and elaborate scenes, all decorated with food paints. Live jugglers jumped out of puddings. Birds were baked in pies. But sometimes live blackbirds were hidden into the pie, to fly out at astonished guests. Each new dish was announced by trumpets and drums, and in between there was music and song.

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