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We had these extra pears and apples that we had lost track of in the fridge, which needed to be used. And we have this baby who should have fruit to eat that isn't already pureed.

4-5 pears peeled, cored, and chopped
4-5 apples peeled, cored and chopped (or any combination of apples & pears, with the bad bits cut out)
Prune juice-- and pear juice, if you happen to have any the baby won't drink-- to half cover.
2-3 large dates, pitted and chopped small
Ginger, Cassia Cinnamon, Powder Douce if you have it
large spoonful of mincemeat mixture

Cook in the crockpot on low for six hours or longer, until you get bored and want to package it up.
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From August09

I've been reading Hungry Monkey: A food loving father's quest to raise an adventurous eater by Matthew Amster-Burton (you should too, it's very funny as well as foodie). Mostly because I'm terrified of Beekman growing up to be a picky eater: we already have one serious picky eater, and because of the way I was raised, it makes me want to tear my hair out. Two of them will drive me right off the edge. (I know, picky eating usually peaks at age 4; I figure since Miss B. will be 14 and probably not speaking to any of us, the two of them will live on ramen noodles and salami sandwiches that year.)
baby foodie stuff here )
So, yes, my baby had creamed weeds for his first successful vegetable.

(We'd tried mashed potato but that came RIGHT back out; I was appalled and considered having a maternity test; nobody in my family has ever turned down mashed potato-- it's the traditional first food!_
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What to bring to the potluck if you don't cook:
A nice little handout, if a little heavy on the godecookery.com site (the contributory nature of that site makes it... difficult). Of course I think I could do better, and of course I haven't. :)

Intro to medieval food: http://www.advancenet.net/jscole/introfoodclass.pdf

A great sauces handout: http://medievalcuisine.madpage.com/classes/Sauces_Handout.pdf
with charts and humors and everything!

My much less impressive sauces handout:


Perfectly preserved 300 year old broom found in monk latrine:


Feb. 13th, 2009 03:28 pm
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So, is the correct term for the head cook of a feast in fact "Chef de Cuisine"? Consider what Tigers & Strawberries has to say about the title:
So what do I mean by “run” a professional kitchen? What is it that a chef does that home cooks, cooking instructors, food writers, food bloggers, line cooks and television personalities do not do?

They don’t create menus, cost out each menu item so that accurate prices can be assigned to them, set up pantries, understand and effectively run and repair arcane kitchen equipment, much of which is dangerous to life and limb, deal with multiple purveyors, keep track of inventory, order foodstuffs, hire and train staff, create plate presentation, devise and cook off-menu specials, expedite during service, deal with cranky dining room staff, cook and act as both den mother and field marshal at the same time.

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At the end of the dayboard, I checked the kitchen and, shocked, went out and sat down next to Olwyn.
"We're definitely not in Kansas anymore, Olwyn."
"Yes, but?"
"They didn't eat all the boiled garlic."

( The event and the dayboard went great. More info later.)
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From Eadric the Potter's class:
- Pack cooking gear in wool sacks, and wash them-- they make excellent hotpads, especially when they shrink.

Now I shall have to keep my eyes open for cheap wool. :)
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Some things I came up with in response to a question on the SCA cooks list:

1. Shop at discount stores. You must know what stores are likely to have what before you start.

2. Plan 2 or more alternative seasonal vegtables so you can use the one which you find at the best price/quality

3. Bulk buy-- case prices can be significantly cheaper.

4. Resell/split overages from bulk buying, either to another group/event or to local cooks.

5. Make drink syrups instead of using drink mixes.

6. Peas and lentils are still inexpensive in relative terms. So are favas. Try dishes with these ingredients. If you have to offer a vegetarian and non-vegetarian version, it's still worth it.

7. Grains, especially specialty grains, are underused. Try barley, millet, barley groats, buckwheat etc. Use them with AT least a homemade vegetarian stock, or make one pot vegetarian and the rest meat, and serve your meat ON the meat stock grain.

8. Make stews rather than roasts. Leg quarters are the cheapest part of the chicken.

9. A Gallon can of pomace olive oil from the Middle Eastern or Hispanic grocery is still cheaper than 2 quarts from the regular grocery.

10. Skimp on the dessert. A dessert served buffet style is completely documentable for the end of our time period, and can be used to lure people away from tables.

11. Greens and salads are still inexpensive. Plan a half head of lettuce or equivalent for each table-- mixing lettuce, spinach and spring mix makes a great salad, and dressed with kosher salt, cheap red wine vinegar
and pomace oil, goes over really well.

Someone else posted:
> 1) Make your own broth from suitable feast ingredients-appropriate
> bone/skin/fat/peels.

I responded

Curiously, we use paste 'base' at home and for feasts. At $5.99-$7.99 a pint, and only a few spoonfuls needed to make the difference between veggies in water and soup, we find it saves us significant cost in making
soups and stews for lunches. A pint lasts us about a half year! We get Minor's Chicken and Beef base from B.J.'s; I need to find a source for Minor's ham flavor.

I collect ham bones for stock from events we've done and use it for soup. If you cook the ham for the dayboard ahead of time, you can cut it off the bone. Dump the bones in water in a crockpot overnight and you get amazing soup base for something like pea or lentil soup. I float some ham cubes or pork neck bones, which are very cheap, in the soup to make it clear it's a meat dish.

I'd suggest that making your own vegetable broth is really the only way to go for SCA purposes: i've not found a vegetable broth that completely avoids tomato, pepper, and/or potato.
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I'm thinking of putting together a list of "easy to make medieval dishes" and I thought I'd start where I started, with Armored Turnips. For those who aren't familiar with them, they are a sort of turnip au gratin, or as some people have put it, turnips as cheese substrate.
Platina book 8
Cut up turnips that have been either boiled or cooked under the ashes.
Likewise do the same with rich cheese, not too ripe. These should be
smaller morsels than the turnips, though. In a pan greased with butter
or liquamen, make a layer of cheese first, then a layer of turnips,
and so on, all the while pouring in spice and some butter, from
time to time. This dish is quickly cooked and should be eaten quickly, too.

[Poll #1159629]
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Cutlery and Utensils: A Brief Taxonomic Study of the Evolution of Eusociality in the Kitchen:
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A couple of years back, I suddenly became wildly interested in cooking grains and dried beans. Ok, I seem to recollect that I became wildly interested in buying grains and dried beans and keeping them in pretty jars, but eventually one does have to eat them. Since then, I I've researched and cooked bulgur (cracked) wheat, barley and barley groats, buckwheat groats (kasha), millet, quinoa, oat groats and amaranth. Most of them are pretty yummy. Most of them make it into our food arrangements on a regular basis. We've also added couscous to our repetoire (who can't like a starch that cooks in five minutes if you dump it in boiling water, cover it, and take it off the heat?

But what I really need is a proportion chart, where the amount of grain and the amount of water are laid out for boiling and for slow cooking processes.

This is the best chart I've found so far:

There are some good grain cooking cookbooks, and I'll need to raid the Easton library for them (Madison PL, though good on many levels, has little on slow cooking and nothing on grains).

However, here's a few websites:
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Several weekends ago, members of my local SCA shire who are working on high authenticity Landsknecht stuff had their 'fall campaign'. I was asked if I would come up and teach some German cooking, as the frauen were getting a bit tired of hanging around camp.

So, we did the following dishes:
(Translations from GwenCat or Valoise Armstrong unless otherwise named)
Read more... )
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
an interesting point that I've been thinking about lately, because I've been reading books with other people's interpretations of pre-1650 recipes in them again.

In the SCA-cooks world, we try to limit ourselves to recipes that are fully documented, specifically ones that start with a known, extant recipe written down before 1650, and which we 'redact' (i.e., recreate in modern measurements) as exactly as we can and with great care to ingredients.

But I find myself fussing in certain ways about what people do in their redactions and in their service, and in different ways about what I do, and what corner-cutting or accomodations to modern life I find acceptable for me to do.

I, for instance, tend to fuss about modern spicing and modern expectations of textures being accomodated in redacting and menu choices. But then I smack myself about serving modern crudites in my dayboards, and my tendency to serve certain sauces to be eaten with bread. (I haven't found good sauce on bread documentation, though many of the veggies I serve in sauce are meant to be served OVER bread, such as buttered worts...)

And then there's the drinks. Infusions of herbs and jalabs of sugar syrup are very popular in my kingdom, and I've helped to make them so. But I wonder if anyone routinely drank cold mint tea or cold lavender tea rather than small beer or small mead? What about my lemon-ginger syrup jalab? I serve that at events, and people think I'm being very
period-- but I made that recipe up, using the proportions in a modern sekanjabin recipe, and I have to keep admitting it. That recipe has escaped out into the SCA cooking world and has a separate existence. People think it is period because they've had it at feasts that were full of redactions from period recipes.

I've served Vanilla pizelles in place of period wafers with something, because that's what I had time and people would eat, and comforted myself with the idea that Vanilla is the modern equivalent of rosewater. But my pizelles weren't from a period recipe, and they had vanilla in them!

And yet, I'm still cranky at Constance Hieatt because in Pleyn Delit she recommends allspice in a recipe, though the allspice can't be documented as a regularly used spice in our period, and because her cameline sauce is based on a completely obscure version, which, if tweaked by unsuspecting cooks, comes out as a raisin-nut stuffing...

Do I hold a double standard? Am I really judging my work by similar, if not the same, standards I judge others? I've served bananas at a dayboard, and will do it again. Is it right for me to complain so bitterly when someone serves Bigos/Hunter Stew with tomatoes in it at a feast?
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A quick look in the Roget's doesn't turn up any terms other than dominate or reign that really convey how I feel about the SRWC dayboard. It's mine. I'll "let" other people do it, if I have to. (I'm making fun of myself here. Other people should have a chance and autocrats have the right to pick people to work with.) And I will summarize/subsume any criticisms/objections I have to the way they do it as "That's not the way I would do it," because that would be the sum total of how I feel about it. (Ok, they should not run out of food. That's not right. But otherwise...)

So when I was offered a chance to do it this year, I jumped at it. Even though my housemate and dear friend was going to do the Sunday Breakfast. (We will never have this combination happen again. Two meals out of one house/family was too much stress.)

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, it's a cold buffet luncheon open to anyone who attends the event at no additional cost. Read more... )
Everyone loved the food. Everyone ate and ate and ate. We even fed a few late-comers when we went up to clear off the court board after a quick dip in the pool-- it was their first outdoor event and they hadn't known there was food or where to find it!) Oh. And yes, I came in under budget. :) I got many compliments from out-of-shire.

(It was only the stress of getting the kitchen ready for breakfast and helping with breakfast prep that burnt me out at the end...) It was a happy dayboard and I am pleased with myself.
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Digby Cakes with Splenda created by Master Tirloch of Tallaght
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Which Medieval or Renaissance cookbook are you?

You are the Menagier de Paris! Set down around 1390 by an elderly man for his much younger wife, you are unique for the time in your exhaustive discussions of household management.
Take this quiz!

Quizilla |

| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

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Olives *
Lombardy sops (layered casserole of bread & cheese with broth) (bread, dairy, meat; vegetarian version available on request)
Sallat *

Fish with Orange Juice
Fried Millet Polenta (contains dairy; plain dairy free millet available) *
Cooked dish of Lentils *
Garlic Chicken
Limonada (raisin-lemon-almond pudding) (nuts) *
Parsley Dish (contains nuts, bread)*

Casserole of Pork
Rice cooked in the Oven (may contain eggs)*
Modern Pottage of Chard, served with parmesan on the side *
Moorish Eggplant (contains eggs, dairy) *
Fried figs *
Carrot-Cheese Pie (contains dairy) *

Food for Angels (Sweetened cheese with rosewater or orange flower water) *
Anise Biscotti (contains wheat) *
Peach Dish (contains meat broth)
Quince Paste *
Fruit *
Jordan Almonds *

* indicates vegetarian options. An additional meat dish may be added at the cook's discretion.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
From De Nola:

Take blanched almonds and peel them, and grind them in a mortar, and blend them with good hen's broth; and then take new raisins, and clean them well of the seeds, and grind them by themselves and strain them through a woolen cloth; and after they are strained, mix them with the almonds, and put everything in the pot where it must cook; and put sugar and a little ginger in that same way, and set it to cook, constantly stirring it with a stick of wood. And when it is cooked, put a little lemon juice, and then stir it a little with the wooden stirrer so that the lemon juice is well-mixed within it. And then dish it out and cast fine sugar on the dishes.

So, I took about 20 almonds and ground them up in a food processor.
Then I blended them with 1 cup water and 1/2 teaspoon chicken base (yes, I'm lazy) and heated them up enough to combine.
I took about 2/3 cup of raisins and ground them in the food processor, then mixed them in the broth/almond mixture, added 1 tsp salt and pinch of ginger.
I heated it up and cooked it, stirring constantly, for about 5 minutes, or until it had thickened. Then I added 2 tsp of lemon juice and mixed them in, and turned off the heat.

I need to grind the almonds smaller, though; they are too chunky. But the raisins have a lemony taste to start with.

I could also see this being done with white grape juice instead of raisins; it's not clear. I'll try that too.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Slowly, ah, slowly...

But the feast for Conviviencia (Labor Day weekend in Peach Bottom PA) is coming together.

- Lombardy sops (cheese and bread casserole)
- something sharp-tasting?

First course
Fried Millet polenta
Armored Capon?
Sauce(s) of some kind?
Greens dish?
Moorish Eggplant (eggplant, meet de Nola)
Lentil or chickpea dish (vaguely favoring chickpeas)?

Second course
Casserole of meat, made with pork
Mirrauste of apples?
Rice in the oven
Fish with bitter orange juice?
parsley dish?
Carrot-cheese pie

Candied stuff
Peach pie?
Quince paste
Anise Biscotti
Food for Angels (venetian version)
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
So, I had promised to bring yummy treats in order to bribe my co-workers into coming to Groupwise training this afternoon. (Yes, our library runs on food.)
Fortunately, Juergen kindly put in the air conditioner so it was doable.

Last night I made a batch of Anise Bizcochos, from Brighid ni Chairain's redaction, just to make sure I still know how to do it. http://members.tripod.com/~breadbaker/sweets.html
The answer is yes, but I need not to let the dough sit as long between batches.

And then I made gingerbread, using the recipe from Form of Cury:
Curye on Inglysch p. 154
To make gingerbrede. Take goode honey & clarifie it on + e fere, & take fayre paynemayn or wastel brede & grate it, & caste it into + e boylenge hony, & stere it well togyder faste with a sklyse + at it bren not to + e vessell. & + anne take it doun and put + erin ginger, longe pepper & saundres, & tempere it vp with + in handes; & than put hem to a flatt boyste & strawe + eron suger, & pick + erin clowes rounde aboute by + e egge and in + e mydes, yf it plece you, &c.

This time I think I got the proportions as I like them and had them written down:
1 cup honey
2.5 cups breadcrumbs
1 rounded tsp ginger
1/2 a medium long pepper
1/3 tsp saunders
Whole Cloves
Sugar to roll in

Heat the honey to a simmer. Stir in the breadcrumbs with a silicone spatula (heavy duty) or wooden spoon. Add the ginger, grate in the long pepper and add the saunders. Mix in. Get yourself set up with pot of gingerbread, bowl of sugar to roll in, container of whole cloves, plate to put gingerbread in. This will allow the mixture to cool off enough to be handled.
Take handfuls of the mixture and knead with your fingers. When it forms a cohesive paste, pull off an amount the size of a superball and roll it into a firm ball. Insert a clove; roll in sugar, and set aside. Repeat. When the mixture is hottest, do one ball at a time; as it cools down, you can do larger quantities and roll them into ropes to pinch off from.
You MUST firmly incorporate the bread crumbs with the honey to get a good flavor and texture. If the balls crack or don't hold together you need to knead the mixture more. You can tell when a ball is ready when you roll it between your hands and it pulls away from your skin slightly as you roll.

The longer these sit, the spicier they are.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
from De Nola again:

178. Pottage called jota

You will take chard, and parsley, and mint, and borage, and put everything to cook so that it comes to a boil; and then put it on a chopping-block, and chop it small with spices; and when it is well-chopped, strain it through a woolen cloth, and put it in a pot; and you must give it a boil in such a manner that it does not lose its greenness. And do not cover it until the hour of dinner, and if you wish to cook it the night before, make it in the same manner, but you must put in some bacon from fresh pork and fry it to extract the juice; and with that juice, gently fry the above-mentioned things; and with pot-broth in the manner of spinach, and then prepare dishes, and upon each dish put a piece of that bacon which you have gently fried.

Ok, this one is a bit odder. I'm going to work on it this way:
- chard, mint, parsley (borage ommitted), cleaned and chopped roughly
-blanch greens
- chop up fine and add spices
- drain?
- cook on low just until done (make sure color does not change)

I'm worried about that 'strain through a woolen cloth but I'll try it.


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