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.
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