“To V. or not to V.” The 3rd Act

The invitation to my birthday party read,           

   ”To v. or not to v.?” That is the question. Come to a birthday party to celebrate my birth, rebirth and the birth of William Shakespeare. I’ll supply the Elizabethan feast, please supply your ideas of Shakespeare or of the Elizabethan era or just come as you.           

The kitchen counter laden with the feast

After research and dreaming, this is the menu I came up with; roast Cornish hen surrounded with boiled quail’s eggs and garnished with peacock feathers, ricotta drizzled with honey and garnished with candied oranges, lemons and pansies, grilled duck breast also drizzled with honey and served with poached pears flavored with cardamom, lemon peel and rosewater, roasted beef filet with thyme served on a bed of cress accompanied with grated and vinegared horseradish, leg of lamb braised in sweet wine and cinnamon, rosemary and orange rind, accompanied by white grape mint jelly made from mint and grapes from my garden, potato pie with chives, nutmeg, butter and cheddar cheese [In a complete reversal of value potatoes were very expensive in the Elizabeth era, newly discovered, an exotic ingredient. As I had bought a 10 pound bag for $2.oo, they have made a journey to one of the least expensive foodstuffs one can buy and luckily, waistline aside, can be consumed in large delicious quantities] huge steamed artichokes with melted butter, salat [Elizabethan salad] composed of arugula, watercress, parsley, mint, pansies, pea leaves and tendrils and basil, served with oil and vinegar dressing, carrots braised with preserved lemon peel, honey and butter, steamed asparagus, whole white, sweet and red onions and  large shallots baked with honey, rosemary and vinegar. For dessert; marzipan [which was known in the era as marchpan] gilded with 24 carat gold, rice and raisin pudding flavored with rose water and lavender, and gilded fresh strawberries and blackberries. English ale and Italian wine to quench the thirst    

           

Laurie shaping the marzipan in the afternoon before the party

The marzipan was concealed in the antique drawers only to be revealed at dessert to the delight of the guests

Marzipan pearls that were plucked and consumed one by one by the guests from the rosemary sprig base

   

guests enjoying the dessert surprise

Guests enjoying the dessert surprise

  

Ariel

The sonnet Ariel wrote as my birthday present

Carrots

Shallots, red, white and sweet onions braised with honey, vinegar and rosemary

Duck breast and cardamon and rosewater poached pears

Rick Saks as Prospero and Linda Smith as Shakespeare's sister

Fides and Linda

         

A little Elizabethan dancing

    

       

Serving wench wearing a ruff created by Clara and chain mail skirt from Flavourhall

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