The Feast of Candlemas

Dragonsspine, AS XXXV.
Planned by Tatiana Pavlovna Sokolova


This was a French feast, based primarily on Le Menagier de Paris, written in 1393 by a wealthy citizen of Paris. The author of Menagier wrote the book in order to instruct his young wife, who was only fifteen years of age to his sixty, on how to conduct herself in all matters, including the running of a household, and the planning of meals. It consists of three main sections; the first on worship and how to treat her husband, the second on household management and cooking, and the third on games and pastimes. Many of the recipes in this book also appear in Le Viandier, and were most likely derived from that source.

Some recipes were also taken from Le Viandier de Taillevent, written circa 1385 by Guillaume Tirel, known as Taillevent. Taillevent wrote that he started as a kitchen boy in the household of Charles IV of France, and rose to become the first cook of the king under Charles V, and finally was master of the kitchen stores of the king during the reign of Charles VI.  After the advent of printing, his cookbook was published in fifteen editions between 1490 and 1604.  There is some evidence that parts of the first half of Le Viandier were borrowed from an earlier manuscript, dating from the late 13th or early 14th century.

A single recipe was used from Du Fait de Cuisine by Maître Chiquart, the cook for the Duke of Savoy, written in 1420.  Many of Chiquart's recipes tend to be more elaborate than those listed in Menagier.  The fact that he calls for serving foods in gold or silver dishes indicates that he was accustomed to cooking for the highest of the nobility.

Here follows the list of dishes served and how to make them:


Some Treats to Whet the Appetite

Candied Orange Peel
Sugared Walnuts and Almonds

First Course

Cretonée of New Peas - A soup of peas cooked in milk, with ginger and saffron
Chicken cominée - Chicken in a cumin sauce
Carrots - Carrots glazed with honey
Pork Sausages

Second Course - Entremets  (between meat courses)

Rissoles - Pastries filled with figs, apples, walnuts and spices
Mushroom Pasties - Pastries filled with mushrooms, cheese and spices
Minces - Pickled Brussels sprouts with herbs
Fresh cheese - A soft cheese  made from milk, lemon juice and verjuice (the juice of unripe grapes)

Third Course

Roast Beef with 2 Sauces - Cameline (cinnamon) Sauce, and Green Garlic Sauce
Tuna with poivre jaunet - Poached tuna with a ginger and saffron sauce
Millet - Millet cooked in milk
Porée of Greens & Cheese - Spinach, Chard, Romaine lettuce and Mustard greens cooked with butter and cheese
Emplumeus de Pommes - Apples cooked with Almond Milk

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