‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and Something WAS Stirring in Lord Byron’s Abode!

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse… Clement Clarke Moore

Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen, Christmas Eve has finally arrived at 13 Piccadilly Terrace in the year 1815!

its-christmas-eve-at-just-a-small-regency-house-13-piccadilly-terrace-circa-1815

Although Lord Byron remains a most-beloved ‘Man of Letters’; it is unfortunate that references to this festive time of year are difficult to locate within the volumes of his copious scribblings and I can’t help but wish that if only he had shared his thoughts, salutations or whatever in the same spirit in which he extrapolated his opinion on the virtues of the fairer sex then my creative endeavours within this ‘Small’ abode would have been so much easier.

And although the children may be ‘nestled all snug in their beds’ waiting for the Visit from St Nicholas; there is plenty ‘stirring’ within the basement kitchen of 13 Piccadilly Terrace…

a-silver-tray-of-freshly-made-bread-rolls-for-a-christmas-day-breakfast-13-piccadilly-terrace-circa-1815

Beginning with a breakfast of Plover’s Eggs, freshly made bread and red currant jelly to prepare for the Christmas Day Morrow…

a-breakfast-of-fresh-bread-and-plovers-eggs-13-piccadilly-terrace-circa-1815

a-bowl-of-delicious-seville-orange-conserve-13-piccadilly-terrace-circa-1815

However, I am a little gratified that as Lord B was never known to ‘mince his words’ about anything or anybody that his opinion on the value of the humble ‘Minced Pye’ has at least been left for posterity…

a-bowl-of-delicious-cranberry-jelly-awaits-13-piccadilly-terrace-circa-1815

I have made a sumptuous meal on your minced pies – which are worthy of the donor and of his table… I congratulate you on your Cook…

mixing-the-mincemeat-13-piccadilly-terrace-circa-1815

Seven years have elapsed since I saw a minced pie – and time and distance had not diminished my regret for those absent friends to “a merry Christmas and a happy new year”…

preparing-the-pastry-13-piccadilly-terrace-circa-1815

However, before I return to the ‘roleing’ of this ‘Puff Past’ to create a minced pie worthy of his Lordship’s table with my copy of Margaretta Acworth’s ‘book of receipts’ to hand; I shall enjoy this sumptuous Christmas Eve dish of Roast Beef and Plum Pudding that has been kindly left for me…

enjoying-a-late-supper-of-roast-beef-and-plum-pudding-13-piccadilly-terrace-circa-1815

And if after your Christmas lunch you still have room for a ‘Mince Pye’ just like the indomitable Mrs Acworth used to whittle up over two hundred and fifty years ago and to which her ‘Dear Mamma Always Made & Was Generally Admired’; I shall be sharing her unique recipe as adapted by Alice and Frank Prochaska in another post…

a-plate-of-delicious-mince-pies-awaits-13-piccadilly-terrace-circa-1815

Until then however, I shall wish you much merriment and delicious minced pie!

Adieu!

Sources Used:

Byron’s Letters and Journals Volume 10 (1822-1823) Ed: Leslie A. Marchand (London: John Murray 1980)

Margaretta Acworth’s Georgian Cookery Book Ed: Alice and Frank Prochaska (London: Pavilion Books  Limited 1987)

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'Of All Romances in Miniature... Perhaps this is the Best Shape in which Romance Can Appear.' ~ Lord Byron

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