Well, I can say with certainty that it wasn’t swan or turducken.
My 13th century sleuths were monastics under the Benedictine Rule. And Prioress Eleanor, for all her striving to free herself from the chains of mortal limitations in the pursuit of justice, is very conservative when it comes to her priory food.
In the early days of the Benedictine Rule, red meat was forbidden for everyone and under all conditions. The meat of the four-footed was supposed to heat the blood and lead to (gasp!) sex. By the 13th century, however, the Rule had been officially modified and frequently just ignored. The sick were allowed meat to help them gain strength. But most priories were also quite delighted to get a haunch of venison, or even the carcass of an aged ox, as a gift for the general monastic table. Few kept to the fish and fowl routine.
Not my Eleanor, or at least not for anyone who isn’t sick or frail. Tyndal has fish ponds and flocks of chickens, of which the aged hens are eaten first. The practice of pittances, little snacks of extra food to fill in between the two allowed meals, is followed. She is never curmudgeonly about that, nor did she think food should be tasteless. Fortunately, she has Sister Matilda, a culinary wizard with fruits, veggies, grains, and winter stores of salted fish. To my prioress’ credit, she encourages Sister Matilda to improvise and delight the monastics, allowing her access to the best herbs and spices either grown on priory grounds or bought (and often donated) from spice merchants at the weekly market. I was quite surprised to discover that saffron was used in a few meals at Tyndal. Expensive but the merchant, with a little prodding from The Author, decided to gift some to the priory kitchen for the good of his soul.
So you might be disappointed in the favored foods at Tyndal Priory around the holidays, but I can guarantee you that few can match the wonderful flavors in Sister Matilda’s mushroom tart or her elderflower pie.