Adventure is out there!
As an English major, I’m required to read a lot of books in a very short period of time. As someone who’staking a lot of medieval literature classes, a lot of what I read is either in a language I don’t understand or long-winded histories of saints. Sometimes, it’s both. A lot of the time, I read them because I have to, although I don’t particularly enjoy them.
I am, however, in the process of reading something that I genuinely love for one of my classes. Most people know about Chaucer and The Canterbury Tales; that poem, however, is certainly not the only thing he ever wrote. He composed the five volume poem Troilus and Criseyde in Middle English, and many scholars consider it to be his finest work. The poem is set during the Trojan War, and tells the love story between Troilus, the second son of the Trojan king, and Criseyde, the high-born daughter of a traitor. Their story ends tragically, with Criseyde returning to Greece alone and Troilus being left in Troy.
When I first started Troilus and Criseyde, I had low expectations. Middle English is a difficult language to read, because it looks just off enough from English that one has to go very slowly; I also have never been a huge fan of romances, and reading an entire poem centered around one seemed daunting. But as I became more and more immersed in the story, I started to fall in love with the setting, the constant mythological references and asides, and with the characters: the pragmatic yet still romantic Criseyde, the manipulative yet well-intentioned uncle Pandarus, and the warlike Troilus who is timid in love. I had found something I didn’t expect to love at all, and now I’m devouring the poem every free second I have.
I feel like this happens a lot–we find a book that we’re not particularly excited about, and find that it’s everything we never knew we wanted. It makes me excited to hit the library this summer–there are so many things to discover! Adventure is out there!
Recipe: This is a 14th century recipe for a pork pie. I’ve never tried it, but I figure it’s appropriate given the subject matter for today. Source: http://medievalcookery.com/recipes/mylates.html
2 – 3 lbs. cooked pork
1 cup mozzarella, grated
1 1/2 tsp. powder fort
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 tsp. salt
pastry for a double-crust pie
Cut pork into approximately 1 inch pieces. Combine with eggs, cheese, pine nuts and spices in a large bowl. Mix well and place into bottom crust. Cover with top crust and bake at 350° until golden brown – about 30 minutes. Serve either hot or cold.
Source [Forme of Cury, S. Pegge (ed.)]: MYLATES OF PORK. XX.VII. XV. Hewe Pork al to pecys and medle it with ayrenn & chese igrated. do þerto powdour fort safroun & pyneres with salt, make a crust in a trape, bake it wel þerinne, and serue it forth.