May 29th End of the Middle Ages Day

The Middle Ages were no doubt a difficult time to live in. It was a time of crusades, dark thoughts and feudalism.  Kings and Queens ruled through strength and ruthlessness – dealt to both friend and foe alike. On May 29th, 1453 that all came to an end. Well maybe not over night but at least things started to change. Battles began to subside.

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And a Knights place in society began to disappear.

crusades

Why did all of this happen? Because Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Empire.

With the Byzantine Empire now crushed, the Greeks that resided there since early in the Roman Empire days left, scattering across Europe. With these scholars and artists an entire new movement spread where ever the Greeks went.

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A new era had begun, the Renaissance. Art became more important than battles. Saving people was more valuable than slaughtering them. Education began to feed more than the feudal system ever did.

Kings and Queens still ruled nations but the people began to have a voice. It was an Age of Enlightenment that in a sense, started the world all over once again.

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How to celebrate: Study the Renaissance. Go to an exhibit of Renaissance art.  Imagine yourself a King or Queen and trying to serve them instead of them serving you. Find a Renaissance fair to participate in.

April 4th National Cordon Bleu Day

Today is National Cordon Bleu Day.  The actual original name was schnitzel cordon bleu.  I always thought it was French but apparently, its Swiss.  (Hence why we spell it Bleu instead of Blue.)  The original version was made with veal but it has gone on to include ham and chicken.  By definition it means a meat wrapped around cheese, breaded and then pan-fried or deep-fried.  (For those health conscious, you can also bake it)

Here’s a recipe for Cordon Bleu for those of you that are do not have one of your own.  I suppose you could use anything you want in place of the meat, as long as you put cheese in the center.  There was even a recipe for fish Cordon Bleu but I passed on that one.  The first time it appeared in a cook book was in the 1940’s, a veal recipe.  Ham followed next in 1955 and finally chicken in 1967. (I could have sworn I had cordon bleu before 1967 but that was so long ago)

Cordon Bleu actually means “Blue Ribbon”, which is French. It came from Henry III court in France and was given to the “Highest Order of Knighthood”.  Known as L’Ordres des Chevaliers du Saint-Esprit, 1578.

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Some inventing chef even mixed ham and chicken together to make their Cordon Bleu, what most of us commonly know today. So I guess Chicken, Veal or Ham served up with cheese, breaded and fried is Blue Ribbon material.