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Carol has posted 5 annotations/comments since 25 October 2013.

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About Tuesday 25 November 1662

Carol  •  Link

a venison pasty, very good, and rare at this time of the year

At Bushy Park in south west London the wild deer herds are culled every September and November. These deer have no natural predators in the royal parks, nor are they hunted, so their numbers would become unsustainable without management through the culls.

Assuming that the parks managers know what they're doing, we can perhaps assume that this is a good time to either hunt or cull deer herds. Therefore at this time of year venison would be both plentiful and fresh.

Furthermore, the BBC 'Food in Season' section confirms that venison is in season in November.

Could Sam have meant 'rare' in the sense of 'unusually good'? Or, perhaps more of a stretch, given that the meat would be fresh perhaps it would be cooked 'rare' rather than 'well done'?

About Friday 13 September 1661

Carol  •  Link

"unless of course the daily bread and potatoes are not worth mentioning."
It's very unlikely that Sam would have eaten potatoes, and if he had done it would definitely have merited a mention in his diary. Although potatoes had been brought to England about 80 years earlier (reputedly, and probably, by Francis Drake) it wasn't until the industrial revolution of the 19th century that they were widely eaten.

About Sunday Lunch with Mr and Mrs Pepys

Carol  •  Link

Thank you so much for this Sue. I now have a clear picture in my head of how the complex (office, church, houses) must have been. I love the formal garden. Let's hope the neighbours don't have another plumbing malfunction now that the cheese is being stored in the cellar!