After Christmas & New Year, January can easily feel anti-climactic. The festivities are over and a diet seems ominously near. Meanwhile dark grey days do not provide any much needed inspiration. And spring, with her sunshine, flowers & general air of hope seems an age away.
You might assume that Tudors felt the same, and indeed, unless you were wealthy, you probably did.
But just when you thought all was lost, Shakespeare reminds us in his “the Twelfth Night” that there is still much fun to be had in January. In fact, from Christmas to the 5th of January each day was marked with some sort of fun, feast or frivolity. Obviously the largest of these was the last twelfth night, otherwise known as the feast of the Epiphany.
One of the central themes of these festivities, whether rich or poor, was giving back. In the rural countryside it might take the form of the Wassail, when farmers would dance drink and sing in the dormant fruit orchards making special cakes to throw on the ground in the hopes of a profitable forthcoming crop. In more urban environments, servants and villagers would wear masks and go door to door to the wealthy in hopes of exchanging a carol or even funny banter for post Christmas feast leftovers.
The Tudor Modern menu for January is inspired by this idea of both scarcity and revelry. Celebrating what lives and thrives in the harshest month of the year , and creating food in the kitchen that with both nourish our bodies and warm our souls.
-Matt and Rachel
Our historical inspiration :
"On the daie of the Epiphanie at night, the kyng with a. xi. other were disguised, after the. maner of Italie, called a maske, a thyng not seen afore in Englande, thei were appareled in garmentes long and brode, wrought all with gold, with visers and cappes of gold & after the banket doen, these Maskers came in, with sixe gentlemen disguised in silke bearyng staffe torches, and desired the ladies to daunce, some were content, and some that knewe the fashion of it refused, because it was not a thyng commonly seen. And after thei daunced and commoned together, as the fashion of the Maske is, thei tooke their leaue and departed, and so did the Quene, and all the ladies"
-Edward Hall , describing the Twelfth Night at the court of Henry VIII
Beet, carrot, blood orange and ginger smoothie
Perfectly poached eggs
Wilted spinach salad with Pickled pink peppercorns apple dressing and candied walnuts
Sole with Saffron Honey Velouté
Caramel Apple cake served with Cider brandy creme fraiche
Figgy pudding rolls
Parsnip and Seville orange soup with saffron
Seared Venison with vanilla cinnamon apple compote
Vanilla Scented Celeriac roasties
Rose hip , Hawthorn berries , elderberry tisane
plus our alcoholic version, go on its medicinal!