Last night I went to the Drinking With Dickens event at the Dark Horse Tavern in Society Hill, Philadelphia. This was the kind of pleasant eccentricity I live in the city for. There were a few brief readings and several pleasant toasts. Cups of smoking bishop and wassail were quaffed. And carolers (shown above in a photo taken by Don Lafferty) sang era-appropriate holiday songs.
Mostly, though, people chatted and enjoyed each other's company. It was, I trust, the sort of evening that the workhouse boy who made good would have enjoyed.
And because you're curious . . .
Here's the recipe for smoking bishop:
6 Seville oranges
1/4 pound sugar
1 bottle dry red wine
1 bottle port
Bake the oranges in the oven until pale brown and then place in a warmed earthenware bowl with five cloves pricked into each. Add sugar. Pour in the dry red wine, but not the port. Cover and leave in a warm place for about a day. Squeeze the oranges into the wine and pour it through a sieve. Add the port and heat but do not boil. Serve in warmed goblets. Drink hot.
Above: My thanks to Don for letting me post his photo.