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(For previous posts in this series, see items tagged with 'messisbugo'.)

The overall review of the non-dining activities in Part 7 provides a useful context for the course identified as a “collation”. After the main banquet is served, the guests enjoy dancing and perhaps other entertainments (such as the distribution of presents). After some time of this, they are presumed to need some additional refreshment, either before returning home or continuing with the dancing. This is introduced by name with a brief statement. In only one of the menus is this item omitted.

15?0

  • Then came the evening collation, that is:

1524

  • The evening collation was of...

1536

  • Then at night this collatione was brought:

1537

  • And the collation for the evening was of...

1540

  • [no collation mentioned]

1548

  • At 9 there was a collation of...

Like the confectionary course, the collation seems to have been served with knives and napkins. (So if people are using plates, then they are not considered noteworthy to mention. I keep trying to imagine snacking on “confections in syrup” with only a knife and napkin as my tools. Either my expectations are wrong, or not everything is being mentioned.) These are only mentioned explicitly in two of the menus, so it’s likely that expected default items may not always be listed. The format for the collation is very consistent confections in syrup and white confections (the contrast leads me back to the theory that “white confections” are dry candied items), fresh fruit (apples or grapes), and sugar water. (I’m not entirely sure what “sugar water” is beyond the obvious.)

15?0

  • Confections, white and in syrup,

  • and sugar water,

  • with napkins

  • and knives.

1524

  • confections in syrup and white,

  • and apples

  • and sugar water,

  • with knives

  • and napkins

1536

  • 20 ewers of sugar water.

  • Fresh grapes, 10 plates.

  • Dece apples, 10 plates.

  • Lettuce, gourd and melon in syrup, 10 plates.

1537

  • various confections,

  • fruits

  • and sugar water

1540

  • [no collation mentioned]

1548

  • sugar water,

  • fresh grapes,

  • and apples

  • and other little things

So our basic template for the collation is exceedingly simple:

  • Sugar water

  • Fresh fruit (grapes and/or apples)

  • Confections in syrup and in sugar (the specific examples include vegetables as well as fruit)

  • served along with:

  • Knives

  • Napkins

And now there’s nothing left to tackle except the intimidating bulk of the numbered courses. Don’t expect another update  for at least a week at the minimum.

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
eglantine_br
Feb. 3rd, 2014 03:47 pm (UTC)
I am imagining the 'confections in syrup to be something like modern gulab jamun. Do you think that is right?

I myself would like a fork-- but I suppose with enough hand-washing it would be ok. Also the hand-washing was a display of wealth. Fancy bowl, someone to carry the bowl, someone to fetch all that water, fancy linens to clean hands with...
hrj
Feb. 3rd, 2014 10:35 pm (UTC)
When more specific items are mentioned for "confections in syrup" they all seem to be preserved fruits or even vegetables that have been candied to a "wet" stage (whereas the "white confections" give hints that they are similar object candied to a dry form). Some of this information is in other writings that aren't part of the menus themselves.

Similarly, in other parts of the text, there is reference to forks and spoons (although some references may be to serving utensils rather than personal ones). I've been trying to avoid doing too much functional analysis/interpretation here, in part because I don't have the deep background myself and don't want to appear to take credit for the work of people like vittoriosa. The main thrust of this series of articles is to look at the overall conceptual structure and patterns, but sometimes interpretation is necessary for that to make sense.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )