I found this book very enjoyable. Still others are staged in an effort to grasp or hold onto power. A smorgasbord of informative and entertaining essays on feasts through the ages, from the sweet and spicy indulgences of ancient Persia to the Scottish celebration of Hogmanay at the turn of the second millennium. Thanksgiving is offered for many reasons from the harvesting of crops to the end of a war or the return of a long-lost relative. I have selected events that interest me and which I hope produce a satisfying coverage of the subject — I ask forgiveness of those who find my omissions leave them hungry. Less a history than a thematically-arranged mosaic, this is nevertheless a pleasant if not exceptional book.
This was an odd breed of book. Nichola Fletcher wrote the large venison section of this technical manual with Alex Bowles. Nature is either evoked or revoked, but rarely ignored. They oil the wheels of diplomacy, smooth the paths of the ambitious, and spread joy at family celebrations. Indeed, in cultures where the monarch was regarded as divine, it was expected that he should be provided with both quality and quantity — failure to nurture the king appropriately might anger the gods and lead to a famine.
The definit A wonderfully odd book. From a humble meal of potatoes provided by an angel, to the extravagance of the high medieval and Renaissance tables groaning with red deer and wild boar, to the exquisite refinement of the Japanese tea ceremony, Charlemagne's Tablecloth covers them all. And so, although Persia had her share of successful warriors, her lasting influence on a very large part of the world has been through pleasure, especially that of food and feasting, but also those of polo, chess, falconry, wine-drinking and smoking, to name a few. Some feasts have given rise to hilarious misunderstandings, at others competitive elements take over. And therein lies the endless fascination of feasts.
Fletcher, a British food writer, devotes loving attention to the great feasts of the golden age, but all manner of meals fall within her range, from the fireside barbecues of early Homo sapiens to the celebrated dinner on horseback concocted by a New York socialite in 1903. They oil the wheels of diplomacy, smooth the paths of the ambitious, and spread joy at family celebrations. As such, any mediaeval or Persian or Roman feast - however many intricate meat courses, however grand the fake castle on the table - would be pretty much a dead loss for me. They oil the wheels of diplomacy, smooth the paths of the ambitious, and spread joy at family celebrations. Sometimes the aim is to encourage: one of the most spectacular medieval feasts, the Feast of the Pheasant given by the Duke of Burgundy in 1454, was given to promote the idea of a crusade against the Turks.
Plenty of tales from the Middle East describe feasts of Arab hospitality with dozens of delicious dishes and sweetmeats, perhaps an entire herd of camels, produced to entertain a complete stranger. Mostly we learn about ourselves: how inventive we can be, how sometimes we are individualists and sometimes conformists. There were also discussions about what constitutes a feast; whether all feasts have common elements; and, inevitably, whether there is still a place for feasts or whether the notion of such spectacular magnificence is outdated — a barbaric squandering of resources when we are overfed anyway. The Chinese banquets of 1150 served dessert first and soup last, and meat of beast every kind, every way. However, attempting to arrange subjects as diverse as these into any logical sequence presents problems. Nichola Fletcher has written a captivating history of feasts and entertaining throughout the ages that includes the dramatic failures along with the dazzling successes. However, on the whole, Charlemagne's Tablecloth was a fascinating read.
Mardi Gras, Japanese kaiseki and Scottish hogmanay - all get equal billing. Nichola Fletcher has written a captivating history of feasts throughout the ages that includes the dramatic failures along with the dazzling successes. The perfect grain for a wheat-free diet, oats have many health benefits. Indeed, much social and feasting history that would otherwise have been lost was passed down orally through ballads sung by troubadours and their successors. Some feasts have given rise to hilarious misunderstandings, at others competitive elements take over.
Nichola Fletcher lives in Scotland and France and is multiskilled. It is good to know, for example, that the dead, too, can feast. Fletcher answers these questions and many more while inviting readers to a feasting table that extends all the way from Charlemagne's castle to her own millennium feast in Scotland. The gathering-in of a harvest is one example, building a house could be another. The definition of a feast here is itself elastic - as well as the obvious grand dinners, Fletcher finds room for everything from cannibalism to the austere pleasures of the Japanese tea ceremony.
Feasts, banquets, and grand dinners have always played a vital role in our lives. They lift the spirits, involve all our senses and, at times, transport us to other fantastical worlds. They oil the wheels of diplomacy, smooth the paths of the ambitious, and spread joy at family celebrations. What an incredibly wrong-headed and arrogant notion! Some feasts have given rise to hilarious misunderstandings, at others competitive elements take over. I knew that sugar had been combined with a substance to make plates, goblets, etc.
She also explores the myriad reasons for feasting and the occasionally dubious motives of the hosts. Now out of print, but may be found on some second-hand book sites. Miraculously, because the threads of the cloth had been interwoven with asbestos fibers, the crumbs were consumed and the cloth emerged unscathed. The history and cooking of game meats with sections on sauces, marinades, preparation and some excellent desserts to follow. When George Neville was installed as archbishop of York in 1465, the occasion called for a festive meal. Every culture has its own feasts that confirm its identity, and whose food is a source of comfort or, to an exile, of longing. It does not require fancy food to make a feast, either.