One of our members at Emmanuel in London, Lucie Brear, has compiled a fantastic collection of recipes and suggested Scripture readings for advent. If you want to discover a traditional English way to prepare for Christmas, then just read on! I’ll post them here one week at a time. Here’s the second:
A Medieval Christmas: Fast Days and Fish Days
Christmas conjures up images of a host of culinary delights. It is a time of feasting and merry-making, celebrating the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In Medieval times, feasting at Christmas was commonplace, though there are striking differences in what was eaten and served at Christmas time then as compared to now. There was a version of Christmas pudding (or ‘Christmas porridge’, as it was then known) but generally speaking, there were not as many Christmas-specific foods as there are now. The same sorts of things were eaten at Christmas as during the rest of the year, though in greater abundance.
Fast and Feast by Bridget Ann Henisch is filled with detailed and fascinating information on food and feasting in Medieval society. Here is what the author has to say on Christmas: