Saturday, July 10, 2010

Food for Love

My husband bowls once a week. On that night he comes home and I'm already asleep. Because he goes straight from work to bowling, he picks up fast food on the way home. For a while, he liked to get In-n-Out cheeseburgers animal style. Animal style is when they grill the onions in mustard before putting them on the burger. He would come to bed and cozy up to me, smelling like mustardy onions. It was nasty.

I would never try to kiss someone after eating:
corn nuts, Doritos, Funyons, sour kraut, pork sausage, onion rings, buffalo wings, bruschetta, and the list can go on.

Add smoking a cigar to the list.

Of course, I usually brush my teeth after eating anything because I'm a little ocd.

This brings me to my point.
I write about Elizabethan England. I have studied recipes from the era. I've looked at methods of cooking, spices used, and the differences in food stuffs between social classes. I have read primary accounts of feasts, both at private homes and at court.

I am an reasonably adventurous eater, but I don't like my sweet pies to have meat in them. And I don't like my meat dishes to be packed in butter or to stare back at me as I cut into them. As such, I have always adapted the foods they ate to our modern food sensibilities.

Right now, in my wip, I am working on an elaborate feast for the fourth night of Christmas festivities. Instead of cleaning up the Elizabethan use of marrow in everything, I am challenging myself to render a more accurate, if disgusting, representation. Who am I to pass judgment on historically accurate food?

That said, how kissable will my heroine be after eating a pudding made from blood, barley, figs, and honey? That's way worse than mustardy onions. I don't know if I can do it.


Jiren said...

And what did dental care consist of back then? I'd imagine at some point everyone's breath wasn't so great. Or did they chew mint/herbs of some kind before a romantic interlude?

Erin Kane Spock said...

They did! They would bite on a clove, which was both antiseptic and left a pleasant flavor.
They cleaned their teeth in a variety of ways, the most common being scraping the teeth with a fibrous implement like a shredded stick.

Candyland said...

I'm so distracted by the pig head, I can't think, lol.

Lindsay Gage Natale said...

Great post - of course I like anything food related so I may be biased ;). So I say go for the accurate depiction of foods because we, as modern people, need to understand that things weren't always the way they are now foodwise. In fact, I think the so-called gross stuff is making a big come back in modern haute cuisine, so you may be on to something.

Erin Kane Spock said...

I did it. Sir Nicholas is really into his blood and beef pudding and side of egg custard. Of course, the word pudding will elicit different images than sausage, but oh well. Mary is too stressed out to eat her wedge of sharp cheese covered with honey and walnuts (which sounds delicious to me). The whole court is being served a swan stuffed with a goose, pheasant, black bird, French hen, turtle dove, and partridge.

Raquel Byrnes said...

Did they have fruit salad? Cause strawberry breath is good, right? That's why they do the whole strawberries and champagne thing at romantic restaurants.

A.T. Post said...

Have the heroine make some snarky comment (either to the guy, or to herself) about his breath. Adds a bit of humor, and doesn't come down too hard on the food they ate back then, just the halitosis it caused.

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