Posted: Jun 19, 2014 6:58 PM by Pat Shingleton
Updated: Jun 20, 2014 4:00 AM
Thursday's column returned to the 1500's as we noted the origination of the peas' porridge hot rhyme and the term, threshold. With limited access to food stuffs, a slab of bacon became a sign of wealth and the recognition that a man "could really bring home the bacon." Sharing the bacon led to the guests "chewing the fat." Only the well-to-do had plates of pewter while the poor used wooden bowls called trenchers. The trenchers were rarely washed, were porous as bacteria and worms got into the wood causing cases of "trench mouth" for those that used the bowls. England ran out of places to bury people and would re-use graves. Some coffins displayed scratch marks, inside their lids, and some were actually buried alive. A string was tied on the wrist of a dead person and attached to a bell above ground. Someone on the "graveyard shift" would identify a "dead ringer" or someone "saved by the bell."