bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
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.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Last sunday, I got a taste for pork with dried fruit. And there was this crockpot.

So I split a pork loin into 2 roasts, and put one in the crockpot with dried fruit and wine and all kinds of spice and some carrots... and it was good, but I didn't write down the recipe. On the other hand, on Tuesday I did something similar with Chicken Thighs and I *am* writing it down:

4 skinned and defatted chicken thighs, bone-in.
4 carrots, peeled and cut into coins
4 cloves of garlic, chopped up
about 8-10 rounds of dried apple, snipped up to 1" size
5-6 dried apricots, cut up small
4 dates, pits removed, chopped very small
about 1/4 cup of raisins
Liquid: equal parts prune juice* and white wine
1 very heaping tablespoon of jarred mincemeat mixture**
Onion Salt***
Shallot pepper ****
Cassia cinnamon, ginger, 1 blade mace,

Cook on high for 4 hours or until you remember to eat it.

*We got this prune juice for Beekman a while ago, but he wouldn't have anything do with it, and it's sitting in the fridge. Did you know prune juice is not made by juicing prune plums, but by water extraction of dried prunes (prune plums)?
** I got this at a discount place a while ago, and it is handy for certain types of cooking. I haven't made a pie with it, but we did make a chutney with it a while ago, which is why we have an open jar in the fridge.
*** we were out of onions
**** there was about a smidge left in our Penzey's container. time for a Penzey's order! Wee-HA!

We served this with the leftovers of a Millet-Quinoa dish (from Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven) that is so quintessentially vegetarian-cuisine that you expect it to spontaneously manifest a garnish of alfalfa sprouts... we made a little much of it and it just doesn't go with everything.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
From Markham's English Housewife, reformatted for my own convenience:

Of boiled meats ordinary

It resteth now that we speak of boiled meats and broths, which, forasmuch as our housewife is intended to be general, one that can as well feed the poor as the rich, we will begin with those ordinary wholesome boiled meats, which are of use in every goodman's house: therefore to make the the best ordinary pottage; you sahll take a rack of mutton cut into pieces or a leg of mutton cut into pieces; for this meat and these joints are the best, although any other joint, or any fresh beef will likewise make good pottage:
and, having washed your meat well,
put it into a clean pot with fair water, set it on the fire;
then take
  • violet leaves
  • endive
  • succory
  • strawberry leaves
  • spinach
  • langdebeef
  • marigold [calendula] flowers
  • scallions
  • and a little parsley

and chop them very small together;
then take half so much oatmeal well beaten as there is herbs, and mix it with the herbs
and chop all very well together:
then when the pot is ready to boil, scum it very well,
and then put your herbs,
and so let it boil with a quick fire, stirring the meat oft in the pot,
till the meat be boiled enough, and that the herbs and water are mixed together without any separation,
which will be after the consumption of more than a third part:
then season them with salt and serve them up with the meat either with sippets or without.

Michael Best translation, page 74.

So, we take our mutton or beef, cut up,
wash it,
put it in a pot with fair water, on the fire (possibly a new ceramic pot)
chop up our herbs
take half as much oatmeal as we have herbs
chop herbs and oatmeal together.
When the pot boils, skim off the scum
and then add the herb/oatmeal mixture
and boil until it is reduced by one-third and the herb/oatmeal mixture is porridgey.
Salt to taste.
Serve with sippets (toast triangle-like objects) or without, the pottage along with the meat.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
The Closet of Sir Kenelm Digby opened, 1669:
on Project Gutenberg
bunnyjadwiga: (Huh?)
Just a note to remind myself and anyone else who cares what we served for Sunday morning breakfast at the Tournament of St. Joseph.

This is one of those things where I try to get something as close to what is 'traditionally' served there and also as close to period as I can.

French Toast (pain perdu-- bread dipped in  egg yolk mixture, fried in butter, and topped with sugar)
Rice pudding with almond milk
Oatmeal (oop- rolled oats not grits)
Mushrooms (funges: mushrooms boiled then fried, with a little onion and some pepper, nutmeg and coriander)
Onions (based on the Roast Onion salad recipe, but with some changes: onions were cut into strips and baked with olive oil, then spiced with salt and pepper)
Bread and Butter
Strawberries, Peaches, Plums, Grapes
 Sausage gravy and biscuits (OOP)
Orange, apple, and concord grape juices (OOP)
Roasted ham (spiral sliced) (I meant to provide bitter orange juice and cinnamon with this, to make it into carbonadoes, but I got distracted).

We meant to make Chersye -- cherry pudding- but ran out of time. Last time I did this, I served a plum mousse which is redacted in Redon's <I>Medieval Kitchen</I>.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Causaubon's Book linked to these two pages on the Rehydration project site:
Signs of dehydration: http://rehydrate.org/dehydration/index.html
Homemade Rehydration Solutions: http://rehydrate.org/solutions/homemade.htm

Apparently, including starches and sugars with the water helps it be absorbed.

Thus, apparently, the barley-water treatment for the ill. I've looked briefly for recipes for barley-water using Doc's MedievalCookery.com site (if you don't already use the Medieval Cookbook search, go bookmark it right now: http://www.medievalcookery.com/cgi-bin/booksearch.pl
Most of the recipes that did turn up-- in the Libre de Coch-- also called for chicken and almonds, prime sources of protein. But I know of other barley water recipes that call for barley, water, and salt/sugar...
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
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: (illfated romance)
1. Sign up to bring a vegetable side dish for the Library Holiday Lunch.
2. Fuss over what period dish to bring this year. Decide on Flooded Apples.
3. At the last minute (the day before the day before) decide instead to make Figgy Pudding.
4. Look up the 2 recipes for Figgee in Take a Thousand Eggs.Read more... )
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
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:
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Digby Cakes with Splenda created by Master Tirloch of Tallaght
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
So, as of last night, the Bizcochos have claimed TWO different hand mixers. But boy, are they good. Sarah helped me do the last 2 batches of 3, so they are done.

Juergen helped me with the coriander comfits. I think my candy thermometer is out of calibration, as when it read 228 I put the syrup on the comfits, but it definitely wasn't hot enough; we got damp sticky comfits that didn't dry. So, since I couldn't stand the thought of wasting them, I tried the other period method. I took a stainless steel frying pan, heated it up on medium-low flame, and pour the comfits in there. Then I rolled them around for a while. Slowly they dried out, so I started adding sugar. My hands aren't tough enough to stand hot sugar, so I switched to our massive silicone spatula to stir them. I did have to turn the heat up a bit, but the sugar melted and re-hardened on the coriander. A couple more coats got better coverage, but not complete coverage, and then I chickened out and stopped, lest I lose the coverage I'd gotten. But... I DID IT! I did the coating-in-the-pan trick! Yay me!

The orange peels and lemon peels are peeled (revelation: a good sharp veggie peeler DOES do a good job on citrus; obviously the one I used before wasn't configured right; 2nd revelation: I NEED a NEW paring knife; the house is full of knives but no non-serrated paring knives that work worth a damn to be found) and soaking in water; they've already had one change. This is a speed round; they should soak for 10 days but I hope if I change the water several times a day it will make up for shorting on the time.
bunnyjadwiga: (Tapestry Rabbit)
Trans. by Brighid ni Chairain

Make broth from good meat which should be quite fat; and cast much saffron into it, that it should be quite yellow and very deep in color; and the broth should be well-salted; and then take slices of bread, removing the crust, and toast them and scrape off the burnt part, and scald these sops with the said broth; and when they are scalded, place them in an iron casserole, making a layer of sops and another layer of buttery cheese of Parma, or of Aragon, or of Navarra; and so fill all the casserole; when it is full, set it on the fire to cook over good coals or in the oven, and cook it little by little; and as it cooks, cast in that broth, from time to time, fatty and yellow, by spoonfuls inside the casserole, sprinkling it over the sops; and when it is more than half cooked, cover the casserole or frying pan with an iron lid which should be laden with coals on top; and cook it in this way for an hour, looking and
ascertaining occasionally that it should not dry up too much, and that it should be well supplied with said broth, which should be the fattest; and when you put it on the table, do it in such a manner that they go dry. And having done this, prepare dishes or if you wish to make plates of
them, let it be as you wish.


What we did:
Toasted about 8 slices of vienna bread, sliced about 1" thick, until browned on both sides. We didn't remove the crust, which we probably should have done to make the finished product easier to cut. Sarah grated about a pound of cheese (colby and yogurt cheeses), and we made up some chicken broth from chicken base and added a good big pinch of saffron.
The bread was dipped in the broth, and layered 3 layers deep in a souffle dish with cheese spread between the layers. Broth was added to the resulting dish, and it was put in a 325-350 degree F oven. After about 15 minutes, more liquid was added, and we let it cook in total about an hour.

The bread rose up so that we could not put a lid on it, sort of like a souffle. Once we removed the dish from the oven, the bread fell down. The result was rich, fatty, and cheesey (Sarah thinks maybe too much cheese) but hardly damp at all.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Ok, here's another recipe from de Nola. Christopher, bless his heart, redacted this one for me first, but I did it again to taste it myself (he did it for Iron Bog Cooks Guild).

85. Another Modern Pottage: OTRO POTAJE MODERNO

Take the fleshy leaves of the bledas (61) which is chard, and clean them very well; and give them a brief boil with water and salt, so that they come out half-cooked. And then remove it from the fire, and remove more than half of the broth; and return it to cook on the fire with a little good sweet oil; and when they are cooked, taste them for salt; and then prepare dishes and cast good grated cheese upon them, and also cast some of this cheese beneath them; and they are good for Lent, if you have a dispensation. (62)

My plan is to serve the pottage with grated parmesan on the side, so those who want it, may have it.

So I cut the ribs out of enough chard to make 2 good handsful of chard.
Then I put them in a pot with enough water to cover them, and 3 pinches of salt.
Boiled them until they were bright green.
Poured out about one-half to 2/3 of the water.
Added about 2-3 tbsp of olive oil and cooked until they were fully cooked and starting to turn dark.
Served with the cheese.
As Sarah said, what could be wrong? I think cooking down the water is important, though. And enough oil.

This is making it into the feast.
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)
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.
bunnyjadwiga: (Tapestry Rabbit)
Along with the millet, on Saturday I tested this Casserole of Meat from de Nola:


You must take meat and cut it into pieces the size of a walnut, and gently fry it with the fat of good bacon; and when it is well gently fried, cast in good broth, and cook it in a casserole; and cast in all fine spices, and saffron, and a little orange juice or verjuice, and cook it very well until the meat begins to fall apart and only a little broth remains; and then take three or four eggs beaten with orange juice or verjuice, and cast it into the casserole; and when you wish to eat, give it four or five stirs with a large spoon, and then it will thicken; and when it is thick, remove it from the fire; and prepare dishes, and cast cinnamon upon each one. However, there are those who do not wish to cast in eggs or spice, but only cinnamon and cloves, and cook them with the meat, as said above, and cast vinegar on it so that it may have flavor; and there are others who put all the meat whole and in one piece, full of cinnamon, and whole cloves, and ground spices in the broth, and this must be turned little by little, so that it does not cook more at one end than the other. And so nothing is necessary but cloves and cinnamon, and those moderately.

So, I was pretty sure this could go in a crockpot. Obviously it's meant to be made with lamb, mutton or goat meat but it doesn't say that, and besides, if de Nola uses all that bacon, there's got to be some pig bits around somewhere. So I tried it with pork.

About 2.5 to 3 lb pork loin, cut into 1-1.5" chunks
I fried 5-6 pieces of bacon ends in a pan to make the grease, then browned the pork loin chunks in that.
The pork loin chunks then went into the crockpot with about 2 quarts of beef broth made from beef base.
1 heaping tsp powder forte
7-8 whole cloves
2 sticks cinnamon, broken up
about 1/3 cup bitter orange juice

Then I put it to simmer all day. (The general concensus was that it definitely smelled Catalan.)

When we came home, it looked good, but the liquid hadn't cooked down all that much, so I transferred it back to the frying pan and let it simmer while the millet cooked to reduce it a bit.

The broth was not really thick enough-- next time I would use less broth. But the meat-- oh oh OH! yummmy! and the broth was quite nice on the millet. I'll serve this with rice.
bunnyjadwiga: (Tapestry Rabbit)
Well, so we tried it again on Saturday.
Original from Granado, trans. by Brighid ni Chairain
Para hazer escudilla de mijo, o de panizo machado -- To make a dish of millet, or of chopped panic-grass

Take the millet, or chopped panic-grass, clean it of dust, and of any other filth, washing it as one washes semolina, and put it in a vessel of earthenware or of tinned copper with meat broth, and cause it to cook with stuffed intestines in it, or a piece of salted pig's neck, to give it flavor, and when it shall be cooked, mingle with it grated cheese, and beaten eggs, pepper, cinnamon, and saffron. (You can also cook the said grains with the milk of goats or cows.) And after they shall be cooked with broth, letting them thicken well, they shall be removed from the vessel and shall be left to cool upon a table, or other vessel of wood, or of earthenware, and being quite cold, they shall be cut into slices, and shall be fried with cow's butter in the frying-pan, and serve them hot with sugar and cinnamon on top.

This time I wanted to use some of the millet with dinner, first, so:
2 cups millet
7 cups water (3.5 water / 1 millet proportions) *
Brought to a boil, covered, and then reduced the heat very low and simmered until very soft and creamy.
This time, with less water but a longer slower cook, the resulting mass was more like pictures of polenta I've seen.
Pulled out about half for dinner.

With the remaining millet, mixed:
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch saffron
1/3 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup shredded 4-cheese mix
2 eggs, beaten

over heat, until a thick mush results.
Dumped it out into a rectangular plastic chinese food container and left it on the counter to cool.
After about 45 minutes, the resulting object could be shaken loose from the pan in a single oblong.
We put it in the fridge uncovered over night (for fear that it would accumulate condensation if we covered it.

In the morning (ok, about 15 hours later), we took it out, sliced it about 1/3 " thick and 2x4" slices, and fried it in butter in nonstick skillets, trying for a nice uniform browning on both sides. The more times we fussed with it, the more likely it was to fragment, but I'm afraid I wasn't daunted by that!

Definitely a success. I will hold out some millet plain for those who have dairy issues.

* Sarah still wants to try it with broth, I just forgot to put the meat base in. I liked it with no broth, myself. It might be quite good with a light vegetable broth though.
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Well, after leaving the millet mixture in the fridge for 48 hours, I got it out last night and prepared to fry it.
First I poured off the liquid on top. Then I tried to slice it.
It was definitely too wet/gooey. Drat!
So, we fried some in butter in globs. Interesting, but it kept falling apart when I went to turn it.
Still, it was fried starch-- what could be bad? Especially with cheese.
Sarah wants to try it again with broth in the cooking water, and I want to use less liquid.

However... there is a problem. There are three dishes I had already planned on for the meal:
Eggplant Morisco
Lombardy Sops
Carrot-Cheese Pie
that all have cheese. That makes a 4th cheese dish. Hm. That may be too much dairy.

Drat drat drat.

Back to the drawing board, I guess: I could do plain rice and barley or bulgur with almond milk...
bunnyjadwiga: (Default)
Last night I started working on the Millet Polenta..
I cooked 1 cup millet in 5 cups water (started out with 3, but had to keep adding because the water was gone while the millet was not cooked). I didn't add broth or anything.
Then I added a pinch of saffron, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of grated mozzarella, and 1/2 cup grated parmesan. Cooked it until it was good and thick, then put it in a rectangular container and refrigerated it.
Tonight we'll try slicing and frying.

It's pretty clear that the combination of cheese was a) too much and b) a suboptimal combination, and that yes, one really does need broth, milk or something else to flavor the millet. So we'll have to try it again, but first I think we should finish this iteration!


bunnyjadwiga: (Default)

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