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OK – odd request perhaps; or perhaps not.

I have been trying unsuccessfully to locate a 15th/16th (?) century English (?) recipe I found online a few years back. Despite my, if I say it myself, pretty amazing googling powers, I haven’t managed to find the original site, a copy of the same recipe, or my original printout (doh!). I need your help to find it, gentle reader, because that baby was a tasty thing, and I want it in my repertoire for future Med-Ren Feasts (an *awesome* annual tradition of the Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies at Monash).

Here’s what I can recall:

As modified for a modern shopping list according to the original site, it definitely had the following ingredients:

  • chicken
  • oranges
  • lemons
  • mace
  • white wine
  • prunes
  • currants

It may also have contained (memory is hazy…):

  • dates?
  • cinnamon?
  • onion?
  • chicken stock?

You were supposed to serve it in its broth, although I had to drain most of that off when I first made it, in order to transport it 75km by train, bus, car and foot….

This is as close as I have found recently, but it’s not the version I originally used, which included some advice about modern substitutions: http://medievalcookery.com/recipes/caponstew.html

If these details ring a bell with you – please ‘elp!

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So! (or rather Hwæt!)[1] My dissertation has just been passed, and it’s winging its electronic way to the printer and binder as I type (hat tip: I always use White’s, whenever I do a PhD!). One day, perhaps soon, it will be a book which all of you can read (if you can be bothered… if not, I’ll forgive you. Probably.). But the book won’t be quite the same, and it certainly won’t have quite the same acknowledgements in the front. In reflecting on the journey from thesis to book, it occurred to me that since this version will ultimately be read by few people, very few people will ever see the list of thank-yous that were important enough for me to put in the acknowledgements section. So I’m sharing them with you here, just so that my thanks are on record publicly, and because lots of people out there are awesome, friendly, helpful, wonderful colleagues, and that should be celebrated!

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It seems to be a trope of academic blogging to begin by apologising for one’s extended absence from the airwaves. So much so that it actually reminds me of the medieval monk (any medieval monk) who knew that the only way to begin a treatise was by insisting on his inadequacy for the task. Right; so we’ll consider that done and move on.

It’s not anything to do with the thirteenth century, or England, but it is still rather exciting that Jonathan Jarrett of A Corner of Tenth Century Europe (among other things) is going to be in Melbourne and talking about new work on the evening of 3rd April. So if you are around, come along. But let me know – because if the audience really starts to swell I am going to need to book a bigger room! We shall also be wining and dining Dr Jarrett at a local eatery afterwards, and you are welcome to join us provided you indicate your intentions in advance. A rather spiffy poster of which I am quite proud is here for you to download and print as a memento, and/or to promote the thing at your home institution should you wish.

Melbourne may not have been the first place you associated with the word ‘medieval’ when asked. That’s OK. We forgive you. We don’t have a lot in the way of medieval architecture (unless you count Gothic Revival), or famous kings and queens (except by proxy). But actually there’s a lot going on here that doesn’t involve the beach, koalas, or the complex love lives of Ramsay St.[1] The intellectual life of medievalists is thriving around town. If you are an international scholar – or an expat  Aussie on the lookout for an excuse to visit mum and charge it to your research budget what’s going on back home – please note the following opportunities! We’d love to see you down here.

Yarra River by twilight. Wikimedia commons.

1) ANZAMEMS 2013

[Update: the submission deadline has been extended to 21 September 2012, and early bird registrations are open until 30 November at a reduced price.]

The biennial meeting of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Medieval and Early Modern Studies takes place at Monash University’s Caulfield campus in early February 2013. The call for papers closes on 1 September. There is a loose theme (“Cultures in Translation”) which you are welcome to address, but like other major meetings, in fact it is an open call. Limited travel funding is available for local and international postgraduate students (that’s grad students for any Americans who may be reading…). This meeting is known for its relaxed and friendly vibe, is within striking distance of all those wineries I was just telling you about, and – if you insist – it’s even being held within a 20 minute tram ride of some pretty-darn fine urban beaches, where it will (probably)[2] be hot and sunny by day, and cool and breezy by night…

2) ARC Centre for Excellence in the History of Emotions (Europe, 1100–1800) Early Career Researchers’ Visitor Program

Actually, to be fair, this program welcomes proposed visits to any of the ‘nodes’ of this major inter-varsity project; the gang at UWA, for example, are rather lovely, and I really like the university campus in Adelaide. I’m not saying you can’t go somewhere else if you want… Melbourne is just my personal fave! The program provides funding for early career researchers to spend two months at their chosen ‘node’ for collaboration with the Centre’s staff and participation in activities there. An early career researcher is defined on their site as someone who gained their doctoral qualification in a relevant field of study in the period 2004–12. The current call for applications is for visits to be taken during the period 1 January 2013 – 31 December 2014, so if you get in quick, you can even combine it with ANZAMEMS, and sample the real breadth of Medieval & Renaissance studies ‘down under’. Applications close on 20 August. More details, direct from the horse’s mouth, are here.

So what are you all waiting for?

Brighton Beach, Melbourne. Wikimedia Commons


[1] You can, if you so desire, visit said location, but just don’t admit it to a local. Unless you’re British, in which case, expect an amused-yet-mildly-patronizing species of counter-colonial derision in return. Come to think of it, I’m not sure if anyone other than Brits tend to be interested anyway…
[2] This doesn’t constitute a guarantee. No responsibility for the climatic conditions is accepted by management. It is Melbourne, after all, where the local weather maxim is “four seasons in one day”. Pack for something in the range 18°–45° C and be prepared for abrupt fluctuations…

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I teach and research at the Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies in the School of Philosophical, Historial and International Studies, Monash University (Australia). Views expressed here are my own and not representative of the CMRS, SOPHIS or Monash.

You can also find my academic profile on Academia.edu

Twitter: @KB_Neal

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