Christmas was an amazing time during the Renaissance, just
as it is now. There were parties and feasting, excitement and happiness – and not
just for the rich. Servants and peasants observed the holiday with extra food,
parties, and even days off from their menial work.
Churches and houses were decorated with greenery which wasn't taken down until January. Gift-giving during this time was the New
Year Gift, as it was improper to give a gift during the Christmas season.
There was dancing and music all during the day and night. Everyone
would wear their best clothes and play sporting games, racing horses, and
Of course, food played an important role in this merriment.
Rich and poor alike had special dishes they made during the holiday season. There
might be twenty courses to a meal!
Roasted boar’s head was the main course for many
wealthy people. The poor had to settle for a ham.
There were pastries made with various kinds of nuts and
honey. Flavored custards were served, as eggs and milk were plentiful. Fruits
were cooked with sugar and cinnamon, many times served whole on a plate.
Hundreds of pies and cakes would grace the heaping tables.
Besides the boar’s heads and hams, there were dozens of
various birds served – partridges, capons, pigeons turtledoves, pheasants,
quails and peacocks.
A really special dish might include a roasted calf’s head covered in sugary almonds.
Another course might be a whole pig or a whole sheep.
Chickens were roasted and served almost as snacks between the main courses.
Of course there would also be olives, carrots, peppers,
cabbage, and other vegetables.
Fortunately, since there was so much food – these feasts would go on for days.
Sometimes weddings were scheduled for these times simply
because there was so much for everyone to enjoy!
Fatal Foodies is a group of mystery writers and food lovers. We'll be reviewing food-related cozy mysteries, posting recipes, commenting on writing-related subjects, and announcing book signings and other events. We might even host some contests and/or giveaways.
I'm a full-time freelance writer, editor and author living in Virginia. I have a terrific husband and two wonderful children who are, by the way, boy/girl twins. I love writing, reading, baking, cake decorating and, sometimes, needle crafts. I prefer almost instant gratification with my needlework, though. I have a cross-stitch picture I've been working on for years; but in the meantime, I've finished several pieces that can be done in an afternoon.
My cozy mystery MURDER TAKES THE CAKE is scheduled for release by Bell Bridge Books in October of 2008. My heroine in MURDER TAKES THE CAKE has her own site. Check it out at Daphne's Delectable Cakes. I also have a Squidoo lens for Freelance and Novel Writing; so, if you're a writer, surf on over to that page.
I'm a stay-at-home mom/writer/food fanatic in Fall Branch, TN. My two novels, Secrets, Lies, and Pies & Cheaters, Pies, and Lullabies, are published by Mountain Girl Press.
Marian Allen has had short stories appear on the labels of coffee cans and the wall of an Indian restaurant. Many of her stories involve food, although she is not, as her youngest daughter claims, obsessed. She is not. She is currently working on a novel with recipes in it, which she'll finish if she can stop cooking and eating long enough to write. Short stories and recipes are available for free on her website, http://marianallen.com/.