Simply Simnel

As we approach the holidays, I am flipping through at least fifty English cookbooks to get the lowdown on Simnel Cake.  I know that it has long been associated with both Mothering Sunday (similar to North America’s Mother’s Day) and the Easter season.  Nevertheless, it is a relatively simple fruitcake, covered in the usual marzipan… Continue reading Simply Simnel

A French Medieval Lenten Repast

Good Friday falls today and in commemoration of the crucifixion of Christ we offer several meat free loosely-based receipts from the medieval manuscript Le Menagier de Paris or The Goodman of Paris.  First published anonymously in 1391, it is amusingly similar to Mrs. Beeton’s famous 19th century book of household tips covering diverse subjects such… Continue reading A French Medieval Lenten Repast

Gourmet Magazine Does a Christmas Medieval Feast

Long before Gourmet Magazine went out of business in 2009, collapsed under too many overwrought articles on bovine emissions, it had been an intellectual colossus in the culinary world.  From the 1940s through the ’60s, it featured lush travel articles on world cuisine venturing into far-flung places such as Persia, Bhutan (“a taste of Shangri-La!”)… Continue reading Gourmet Magazine Does a Christmas Medieval Feast

Rhoda Edwards, Author of Ricardian Books, Dies

The Ricardian author of “Some Touch of Pity” died on November 27th, 2018 at the age of 78.  When researching this interesting woman, one finds only a solitary photograph of her which accompanied the book when it was published in 1976.  The photo here was taken by Stephen Lark of the Murrey and Blue blog… Continue reading Rhoda Edwards, Author of Ricardian Books, Dies

I’ll Have What She’s Having: A Medieval Christmas Tasting Menu

“Let us consider some of our genuine English culinary assets.  Among the best of them are our cured and salted meats.  Hams, gammons, salt silversides…” So begins one of Elizabeth David’s chapters in “Spices, Salts and Aromatics in The English Kitchen,” a charming book that takes us through centuries of English cookery with its yin… Continue reading I’ll Have What She’s Having: A Medieval Christmas Tasting Menu

Clarissa Dickson Wright and the Art of Medieval Food

  The late Clarissa Dickson Wright is known to the English-speaking countries of the world as one of The Two Fat Ladies – the middle-aged motorcycling cooks who zipped around the English, Welsh and Irish countryside, one at the wheel of a Triumph Thunderbird, the other stuffed into the sidecar wearing what appeared to be… Continue reading Clarissa Dickson Wright and the Art of Medieval Food

Joan of Arc and Les Soldats

    Today marks the 587th anniversary of the death of Joan of Arc, burned at the stake at Rouen, France.  As the flames engulfed her, she clutched a cross made of sticks to her bosom, fashioned by an ordinary English solder.  “Jesus!”  was her last word.  She was 19 years old.  In 1920, almost… Continue reading Joan of Arc and Les Soldats

Strange Times by Joan Szechtman

Today, we interview Joan Szechtman, an American writer who has just published her third time-travel novel about King Richard the Third.  Fans of Joan have read her books, THIS TIME, which was published in 2009 and LOYALTY BINDS ME which was published in 2011.  Her third Richard the Third novel, STRANGE TIMES, has just been… Continue reading Strange Times by Joan Szechtman

The Madness of King Richard III

A while back, Sunday, December 3rd, 2017, to be exact,  I was looking through The New York Times Book Review section when I came across playwright Alan Bennett’s new book called “Keeping On Keeping On.”  It was a mildly interesting review of his diary (ODD SPOILER ALERT:  he once shared the same doctor as Sylvia… Continue reading The Madness of King Richard III

Witchcraft (4): Witchcraft American Style

Why do the Salem Witch Trials continue to fascinate after three hundred and twenty five years?  Why do tourists and locals, wiccans, witches, warlocks and wizards continue to walk the crowded streets of this pretty little seaside city in Massachusetts in search of magic and mayhem?  What propels them to stroll the narrow streets, licking… Continue reading Witchcraft (4): Witchcraft American Style