Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding.

I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop...
It was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.


Saturday, 26 March 2011

First catch your swan


If, having read Fr Ray Blake's recent post on feasting to mark the Annunciation, you did roast a swan for dinner yesterday and want to sample more late medieval fare, the site from which he took the recipe can be found here, and offers a wide range of culinary possibilities.

A friend of mine did want to have swan at a dinner he was organising for Oriel historians. When the difficulties of obtaining such provender were pointed out he began to think of going out on the Thames with a punt gun... ( In the event we had goose for dinner).


3 comments:

  1. Not too much of a problem in Oxford I would think?
    Actually, I believe that a full grown swan would be a challenge to one's molars, the custom was to cull the cygnets just before they moulted into white.

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  2. It puts me in mind of a thirsty college chaplain who, wandering through the covered market one day, made an impulse purchase of a Canada goose. I guess the Fellers boys saw him coming. The goose was disgusting: it tasted of mud. No doubt it had been poached (stolen, not cooked) by some oik from Blackbird Lees.

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  3. With reference to the Last Knight's comment the goose had definitely been shot - I know because I got some lead shot in my mouth from it. The goose may not have been that good, but the accompanying sauces and forcemeats were very tasty - and we had a lot of wine to wash it down.

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