Another Elizabethan sport is hawking. This was a kind of sport only for the rich, because the poor could not afford birds of prey, much less a place to keep them. Nobles would train their birds, and sometimes trade them to others. Once, people tried to breed different birds to make a perfect type, but it did not work very well.
One of the most popular entertainment was jousting, like a practice fight. Jousting tournaments were a big deal, and only nobles were allowed to attend or even host one. Knights went one at a time, fighting with a lance (a long blunt spear), trying to knock the other opponent of his horse. Jousting was another chance, like hunting to show of your armor, clothes, and horse.
Other sports are bowling, field hockey, skittles, and soccer. Soccer though, is different than the way we play now. Two teams of players from different cities meet at the borderline. The object is to get the leather ball back to your side—any way you can. Some of these games are dangerous. For example, soccer causes many riots. Backgammon and chess were also enjoyable board games. At the end of the day, many families took part in music moments, where family members all sang and played instruments.
There are other sickening and cruel games. Bull or bear baiting, and cockfights. Bull/bear baiting is when a bull or bear is tied to a post, and dogs are set upon it. Cockfights are when two cocks are put in a pen, and riled up so that they fight to the death. Bets are made on the results of these “games”.
Probably the most popular form of entertainment is going to the theaters. The most common theater is the Globe. It only costs one penny, and another one for a seat. If you don’t take a seat, you stand in the middle, where you take the risk of bad weather. William Shakespeare was one of the best playwrights in his time, and still is, although he is not alive. When in the theater, be careful for cutpurses, or thieves, who take people absorbed in the play as a good opportunity.
Although slow and uncomfortable, coaches are very popular for protecting passengers from bad weather. Men riding in coaches though, are considered “unmanly”.
Women’s hair was always swept up, either in a snood (a gathered bag in the back, covering the hair, or in a popular heart-shaped style, which from the front looks like to little cones sticking out from either side of your hair. Queen Elizabeth wore this hairstyle for many of her portraits.
Men wore vest-like shirts called jerkins, and knee length pants that puffed out. Nobles wore fine leather shoes and either a velvet hat, silk hat, a tall feathery hat, or a tall fabric hat. Later on, the fashion was to wear long, billowing cloaks fastened with a pendant of chain. The hats changed to beaver hats or hats with a plume sticking out jauntily on one side. Silk stockings were added to the pants.
Salt and meat were rare in common villages, and the middle classes ate mostly grains and vegetables, but noblemen ate sweets and meats. As chocolate and vanilla were rare, desserts were often flavored with almonds, and meat with fruits.
After a short breakfast came “dinner”, and then supper.
1 pound lean ground beef, lamb, cooked lamb roast or beef
1 quart mashed potatoes (use your favorite recipe)
Make your favorite mashed potatoes and keep them warm.
Grate cheese and pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Pour vegetable oil in a hot skillet, then brown meat with garlic, shallots and onions.
When meat is browned and vegetables are tender, add salt, pepper and flour.
Cook for 3-4 minutes over medium heat, stirring often.
Add the tomato paste, beef or chicken broth and cook until the mixture becomes thick and creamy. (If you like a thinner sauce, add more broth).
Add the peas (and other vegetable combinations if you like) and parsley.
Taste mixture and add more salt and pepper if desired.
Place mixture in a casserole dish and top evenly with the warm mashed potatoes and grated cheese.
Bake for twenty minutes or until golden brown.
1 cup flour
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix flour and salt, and pour in milk.Add eggs beaten with 1/3 cup of water. Grease skillet or roasting pan with drippings from roast and heat skillet on stove top. Pour in batter and bake for 25 minutes. Serve with roast beef.
1 cup honey
In the top of a double boiler, heat honey. Add spices except anise seeds, and stir to blend. Add bread crumbs and mix thoroughly. Cover and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Mixture should be thick and moist. Place ginger bread on a large sheet of waxed paper. Fold up sides of paper and mold dough into small rectangular shape. Sprinkle anise seeds on top and press them gently into dough with the side of a knife. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Serve ginger bread at room temperature in thin slices.