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In Festo Sancte Trinitatis In Cena

This is the menu of an actual dinner, probably held in the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century, and recorded, along with the menus for several other historic feasts and dinners, in an early fifteenth-century cookery book in Harleian MS 279. I have found medieval recipes, and prepared redactions, for nearly all of the menu items named, and present what I feel are plausible substitutions for those I couldn't identify specifically.

A Dinner on the Feast of the Holy Trinity:

Le .j. Cours

Brewys | Chykonys y-boylid | Pygge en Sage | Spaulde de Motoun | Capoun Rostyd | Pastelade

Le .ij. Cours

Venysoun en brothe | Kyde Rostyd | Heronsewys | Peioun | Venysoun Rostyd | Rabettys | Pety perneux

Le iij. Cours

Gely | Quaylys | Samaca | Pescodde | Blaunderellys | Strawberys

- Austin, Thomas. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books. Harleian MS. 279 & Harl. MS. 4016, with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1429, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS 55. London: for The Early English Text Society by N. Trübner & Co., 1888.


The Pastelade was substituted by a Bake Mete, a cold Pear Pie. It is unclear from the historical sources exactly what Pastelade was, other than pastry of some sort. I suspect that it may refer to "fancy pastry in general," so I offered in its place a fancy generic pastry.

Blaunderellys were a variety of white apple, similar to pippins, which are round and often tart. In the previous courses, this place in the menu is filled by a bake mete, so it is possible that the apples were served baked.

The Feast of the Holy Trinity, on which this dinner was held, falls at the end of May, or the first half of June, eight weeks after Easter. The Pea pods menu item indicates that advantage was being taken of the availability of fresh produce.

The final menu item was probably fresh fruit, which was sometimes used to conclude elegant dinners. As with the pea pods, served earlier in the third course, use was being made of what was currently in season.

Metric, Celsius, & Gas Mark Equivalencies

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In Festo Sancte Trinitatis In Cena © 2000 Rudd Rayfield | This page © 2000 James L. Matterer

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