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Monk-ish Easter Morsels for Abbey Choristers

Monday, 28th March 2005

Monk-ish Easter Morsels for Abbey Choristers

Choristers at Westminster Abbey tucked into a traditional Easter pudding, last eaten by Monks 500 years ago.

Reviving an ancient gastronomic Easter tradition, Abbey Choir School chef, George Tabet, will recreate the original recipe for "Principal Pudding". Eggs were the main ingredient - 300 of them. 18 pounds of suet, a large quantity of bread crumbs, veal, cloves and mace were also included in the pudding.

Using archive materials from the Abbey's Muniments room - part of the library - George will be using a scaled-down version:

This is a recipe for 50 food-loving medieval monks, who were only allowed this treat on special occasions. However, for the boys, I will use only 30 eggs, and less of the other ingredients too.

Edward the Confessor founded the Monastery. As it's the 1,000th anniversary of Edward's birth this year, what better way to reward the boys' hard work than with a traditional Abbey Easter feast.

Fortunately for the Choristers, the feast will include more modern chocolate Easter Eggs as well.

Richard Mortimer, Keeper of the Abbey's Muniments, explains:

During Lent, the Monks were very strict about not eating anything but the most frugal food. So this was, literally, a huge treat for them.

The work can be tough, but even the cold and rain don’t bother me as I enjoy it so much. I love every day that I spend at the Abbey – just being here makes me smile.

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Tim - Gardener

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