Friday, December 11, 2009
Let's Liven Things Up...!!
I've been talking a lot lately about the traditions of Christmas times.
You know, so many of the traditions that we celebrate didn't actually come from here in the States. Most came to us as European traditions that we adapted to use as our own. However, nearly everyone of them was a version of medieval traditions.
Heard the term "Eating humble pie?"...want to know the origins of the term? Of course you do! And you just know that the old reliable Hermit is going to bring it to you, right?
Humble (or 'umble) pie was made from the "humbles" of a deer -- the heart, liver, brains and so forth. While the lords and ladies ate the choice cuts, the servants baked the humbles into a pie (which of course made them go further as a source of food). This appears to be the origin of the phrase, "to eat humble pie." By the seventeenth century Humble Pie had become a trademark Christmas food, as evidenced when it was outlawed along with other Christmas traditions by Oliver Cromwell and the Puritan government.
Another tradition that has it's roots in history is the popular drink "Wassail". Originally a very strong drink with some very strong ingredients, this traditional holiday drink has been adapted to the point that there many less harsh recipes, with a variety of ingredients.
Wassail comes from the Old English words waes hael, which means "be well," "be hale," or "good health." A strong, hot drink (usually a mixture of ale, honey, and spices) would be put in a large bowl, and the host would lift it and greet his companions with "waes hael," to which they would reply "drinc hael," which meant "drink and be well." Over the centuries some non-alcoholic versions of wassail evolved.
If you want to liven up the holidays a bit, why not try both of these old time traditions at the same get-together! It might raise a few eyebrows...and certainly should raise the energy level!
Now, let's get some coffee and sit outside a while! Looks like a beautiful day coming!