[DWJ] Re: mince pies

Minnow minnow at belfry.org.uk
Mon Jan 7 15:32:20 EST 2008

>Minnow warmed my heart by writing:
>> Our Jadwiga wrote
>>>We made the drive to Dietrich's market [snip]
>>> and they had real mincemeat pies for sale. I
>> We may be divided by a common language again, I suspect.  Real mincemeat
>> is
>> meat-free in England; only mince from the butcher is ground-up meat.
>Thank you, Minnow, for sorting this out. Being both American and a
>medieval-ish cook (I can do spaghetti sauce and bean soup and salsa, but
>otherwise it's all medieval food) AND living in the Pennsylvania Deustch
>region, I get muddled about these things because my food timelines seem to
>have huge holes in them and essentially go round in circles. :)
>-- Jenne Heise / Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

I tell you what, Dorothy Hartley wrote a book called *Food In England* back
in 1954, and it was in print in paperback in 2006 from Little, Brown so it
is obtainable now.  (ISBN given as either ISBN-13: 978-0-316-85205-0 or
ISBN-10: 0-316-85205-8; make of that what you will.)  It is very well worth
reading, not because it's in any very obvious order or easily cookable-from
-- she does quite a lot of medieval 'take enough onion' things here and
there -- but because it has things like pictures of three varieties of
sheep with comments about which bits of them are best for what at what time
of year, and quotation from the food law of Richard II on the subject of
proper Sunday morning behaviour and not playing harepipes, and how to make
rowan jelly with a parenthetical remark about witches, and braxy mutton (I
opened the book four times at random and that's the four things I found).
It's an Everything Book, really.  670 pages of interest and unexpectedness.


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