Shakespeare’s Concession Stand

This is a column I did June 15, 2009 for World Wide Recipes. The fabulous Karlis Streips is the current editor of the Culinary Chronicles, and an excellent job he does, too!

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Is this a hot dog I see before me, its mustard on my hand? I just learned something new, which isn’t really surprising, considering the vast quantity of things I don’t know. Back in the day–yes, children, even before Granny Marian was born–innkeepers allowed traveling shows to set up in their inn-yards in hopes that the shows would draw crowds. The crowds would get hungry and thirsty and there they would be, hungry and thirsty and in the yard of a convenient inn which was more than happy to serve their needs. Some inns would even build tiered galleries, so more people could fit in. Some inns had such frequent entertainment, people forgot they were inns at all, and considered them playhouses that sold refreshment. When open-air theaters were built, they were built along those lines–in the shape and style of inn-yards without the inns. They still sold refreshment, though. Common theater foods in Shakespeare’s time were apples and pears, nuts and oranges–all equally good for throwing at bad actors or for eating–and gingerbread. Drink was usually water or beer or ale. The next time I go to the movies and start to complain that it’s gotten to where the concessions earn as much as the show, or watch tv and reflect that the commercials matter more than the program, I’ll remember that it hasn’t gotten to that point, it’s still at that point. Tradition!

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DRESSED FRUIT SALAD

  • apples, diced
  • pears, diced
  • nuts, chopped
  • orange marmalade

Mix fruit and nuts. Warm marmalade or other preserves and stir into fruit/nut mixture. Serve cold or at room temperature. If desired, warm salad and sprinkle with goat cheese.

WRITING PROMPT: Write a character who was pretty good at a job but is superseded by someone who turns out to be better. Is the character bitter? Relieved? Does the character try to undermine the replacement, support him/her, try to ignore it?

MA

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About

I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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