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Friday, June 10, 2005

It's Friday: Time for Middle English cooking!

What's a blogger to do when he doesn't own a cat — or a digital camera — and Friday rolls around? Sure, he could steal other "Friday Cat Blogging" pictures and pretend they're his own, but supposedly the Internet is self-correcting and eventually he'd be caught. Happily, Mrs Philocrites has come to the rescue.

At first, I couldn't see exactly why we needed to own a used copy of the Dictionary of Early English, but after we got on the T with our purchase, I recognized what a boon to blogging it would be. Scattered throughout are recipes from the fourteenth-century Forme of Cury ("cury": cookery). Dear reader, these are blog entries to be read aloud and savored. Without further ado, Friday "Forme of Cury" Blogging:

Douce-ame: Take gode cowe mylk, and do it in a pot. Take parsel, sawge, ysope, savray, and oother gode herbes, hewe hem, and do hem in the mylke, and seeth hem. Take capons half yrosted, and smyte hem on pyces, and do thereto pynes and hony clarified. Salt it, and color it with safron, and serve it forth.

(Dictionary of Early English, Joseph T. Shipley, Littlefield, Adams & Co. 1963)

Copyright © 2005 by Philocrites | Posted 10 June 2005 at 7:52 AM

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June 12, 2005 08:10 AM | Permalink for this comment

Any fish recipes in there?

If so, Dame Juliana Berners' 1496 Tretysse of Fysshinge wyth an Angle ("angle" = "hook") offers the following instructions for tying flies to catch trout in May and June:

The yelow flye. The body of yelow wull: the wynges of the redde cocke hakyll & of the drake lyttyd yelow.

The blacke louper. the body of blacke wull & lappyd abowte wyth the herle of the pecok tayle: & the wynges of the redde capon wt a blewe heed.

The donne cutte: the body of blacke wull & a yelow lyste after eyther syde: the wynges of the bosarde bounde on wyth barkyd hempe.

The maure flye. the body of doske wull the wynges of the blackest mayle of the wylde drake.

The tandy flye at saynt Wyllyams daye. the body of tandy & wull & the wynges contrary eyther ayenst other of the whitest mayle ofthe wylde drake.

However, she warns:

YE shall now wit that there be twelue maner of impedymentes whiche cause a man to take no fysshe, without other comyn that may casually hap. The fyrst is if your harneis be not mete, nor fetely made. The second is, if your baytes be not good nor fyne. The third is if that ye angle not in byting tyme. The fourth is if the fysshe be frayde with the syght of a man. The fyft if that the water be ve[r]y thycke, whyte or read of any floude late fallen. The syxt if the fysshe stere not for colde. The seuenth, if that the wether be hote. The eyght, if it rayne. The .ix. if it hayle or snowe. The .x. if it be tempest. The .xi. if it be great wynde. The .xii. if the wynde be in the east, and that is worste. For commonly neyther wynter nor somer the fysshe wyl not byte than. The west and the north wynde ben good, but the south is best.

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