Sometime toward the end of September, Richard and John hosted a wonderful feast together for reasons not quite clear to historians. Some speculate that it was held to assure the nobles that there was no discord between the young king (then only 20 years old) and his Uncle. More likely it was an end-of-harvest feast for a particularly good year. The reasons behind the manuscript’s creation are more certain. Banquets and feasts were symbols of power and prestige. They allowed kings and nobles to show off their wealth by displaying fine cutlery, extravagant dishes, and a ridiculous amount of food. For the 1387 feast, King Richard II’s team of over three hundred cooks commissioned a grocery list that included:
”Fourteen salted oxen, two fresh oxen, one hundred and twenty sheep, twelve boars, fourteen calves, one hundred forty pigs, three hundred kegs of lard and grease, three tons of salted venison, fifty swans, two hundred forty geese, fifty high-fat capons, eight dozen capons, sixty dozen hens, four hundred large rabbits, four pheasants, five herons, six young goats, five dozen pullets for jelly, twelve dozen pullets for roasting, one hundred dozen pigeons, twelve dozen partridges, eight dozen rabbits, twelve dozen curlews, twelve cranes, wild fowl, one hundred twenty gallons of milk, twelve gallons of cream, twelve gallons of curds, twelve bushels of apples, and eleven thousand eggs”
The Forme of Cury was written on a scroll made of vellum, an expensive parchment made of fine calfskin.
《The Forme of Cury》写在珍贵的牛皮纸上。
King Richard II was eventually deposed by Henry of Bolingbroke, the Duke of Lancaster’s eldest son. The 33-year-old King died of hunger in prison in the year 1400. Many modern adaptations of the medieval recipes can be found, including this one of a dessert known as Pears in Confection, taken from Cook Books a-la-Carte.
理查二世最终还是被叔叔的长子废黜，1400年在狱中死于饥饿，时年33岁。目前人们发现了《The Forme of Cury》的许多改良版本，包括以下这份名为“糖梨”(Pears in Confection)的甜点：
Pears in Confection
6 large firm cooking pears, peeled, cut in half, and cored
2 cups water or red wine
½ teaspoon red sandalwood powder [turns pears dark read and gives them a pleasant flavor]
1/8 cups good-quality Muscatel, Vernaccia, or any sweet heavy wine
½ – ¾ teaspoon powdered ginger
2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar (or more for a thicker syrup)
garnish: pomegranate seeds
1. Boil pears in the water or red wine and sandalwood in a covered pot about 15 minutes or until soft but still firm. Drain.
2. Combine sweet wine, ginger, and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook until syrup is slightly reduced and thickened.
3. Pour syrup over pears. Serve warm or cold, garnished with pomegranate seeds.