In the thyme and the dew of Jean De La Fontain...

RecipesJimmy RiordanComment

Thyme and Hare Liver Pâté:

2 or 3 hare livers

Butter (equal in weight to liver.)

¼ to ½ of an onion (depending on size of livers.)

½ tablespoon thyme

Pinch of salt and pepper (or to taste.)

Melt butter. Add thyme, salt and pepper to butter and let simmer. Dice onion and place in a Pirex or stainless steel bowl with livers. Place bowl into a pot of boiling water, making sure that the water level does not rise too high, overflowing into the bowl. Once the livers are cooked all the way through (the amount of time this may take depends upon the sizes of each liver, but should not be much more than 15min) combine with melted butter and thyme. Blend together, pour into container or mold, and cool.

"Dark lilacs poured forth over walls notched by the ages."

RecipesJimmy RiordanComment


Lilac Wine Performed by Elkie Brooks on the BBC in 1978.

Lilac Wine Recipe:

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5 quarts lilac flowers 4 lbs honey 2 lemons 7 ½ pts water Champagne yeast

place lilac flowers in your primary fermenter & pour boiling water over them. Cover the ferment or tightly & set aside for 48 hours. Strain & extract pulp. Stir in honey and lemon juice. Add this to fermenter. Pitch yeast. Keep at temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Ferment for seven days. Transfer to 5 gallon secondary fermenter. Re-rack & top up every 30 days until clear. Bottle & age for 3-6 months.

Candied Violet Petals

RecipesJimmy RiordanComment

To start, you will need to gather some fresh violets. Once you have returned to your kitchen with the flowers, place one egg white in a bowl, combine with a couple drops of water, and whisk lightly. In another shallow bowl place some finely ground sugar. Holding the flower in one hand, dip a paintbrush in your egg whites and paint the petals. Completely cover the flower, but not too generously. Hold the flower over the sugar dish and gently sprinkle the sugar over one side. Shake excess sugar from the flower and then repeat this step on the other side. Place the sugared flower on a sheet of wax paper and wait for it to dry completely. Store in an airtight container until time of use.

The following pictures were taken of Lindsay Clark preparing violets for Appendix E.

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Cold Rabbit Pie

RecipesJimmy RiordanComment


Concocted as a way of putting the Rabbit of Gladys Edgerton’s Romance of the Rabbit to rest, this recipe combines traditional elements of both rabbit pies and English cold pork pies.


For the filling

The meat of 1 rabbit, approximately 3 lb, finely chopped.

1 small cooking apple, peeled and chopped

4oz pitted prunes also chopped

1 diced onion

Mix these ingredients and lightly season with salt and pepper.

For the hot-water crust pastry

500g plain flour 1tsp salt 175g lard 1 egg, beaten

Mix the flour and the salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Bring 200ml water and the lard to a boil, and then stir this into the flour. Let the resulting dough cool for about 15 minutes, or until it can be handled.

Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Divide each of these balls into 2, one twice the size of the other. Roll the larger piece on a lightly floured table. Use the smaller piece to make another circle about half the size of the first. Put some of the filling in the centre of the larger circle, lay the smaller circle on top and raise the sides of the larger one up, then pinch the lid and the top of the sides together with your fingers. Leave a few small holes around the lid of your crust. Once you have done this with all of your balls of dough you may want to brush each with beaten egg. Cook your pies for 35-40 minutes. Through the holes in the tops of your pies, fill any empty space in each with gelatin, preferably collected from fresh pig’s trotters.


RecipesJimmy RiordanComment

As part of his research into Le Roman Du Lievre, James Riordan prepared a variety of foods using the content of the story as ingredients, the majority of these drawn from a scene in the third section of the story, in which Saint Francis visits God in his garden.

Thus Francis set out to find God who received him in his garden at the close of the day. God’s was both the most humble and the most beautiful of gardens. It was not known from what wonder its beauty came. Perhaps it was that the garden contained only love. Dark lilacs poured forth over walls notched by the ages. Its stones happily supporting mosses, smiling, their gold mouths drinking in the heart of the shade beneath the violets.

In diffused light (which was neither that of the dawn or the twilight, for it was softer than either) lying low at the centre of the garden’s bed a blue garlic bloomed. Mystery surrounded the blue sphere of the garlic’s inflorescence, motionless and collected upon its high stem. It looked as though it were dreaming. Of what? Perhaps the labours of its soul singing on a winter evening, in the pot where boils the soup of the disinherited. Oh divine destiny! Not far from hedges of boxwood mute words radiated from the lips of the lettuces, while a low light clung around the shadows of the sleeping watering cans. Their task was finished.

Trustful and serene, with neither pride nor humility, a sage plant propelled its pitiful perfume upwards toward God.

Francis sat down next to God, on a bench sheltered by an ash tree around which an ivy grew. And God said unto Francis:

Lilacs, violets, sage, leeks, recipes using these ingredients, or ones that relate to the text in other ways will be occasionally posted on this website. These will include those used by Riordan during Appendix E along with others that due to seasonality, timing and other logistics, were unable to be prepared at that time.