Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) - Rede Rose - Rose Custard

Cxxvj. Rede Rose 
There are a number of dishes in Two fifteenth-century cookery-books : Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430), & Harl. MS. 4016 (ab. 1450), with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1439, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS. 55 Thomas Austin, which make a pudding, or custard flavored with edible flowers. I interpreted the recipe for Rede Rose, which creates a lovely rose flavored custard, that would be wonderful for a vigil, or luncheon or served at the end of a meal. I have also included similar recipes found in the manuscript for Cviij - Prymerose, Cxxvij - Prymerose and .Cxxviij. Flowrys of hawþorn which I have not interpreted, partly because, they say "to create this dish in the same manner as vyolette", and partly because I do not currently have access to primroses or hawthorn flowers. 

For more information on the kinds of flowers that were eaten, and thus, a way to add considerable variation to this simple dish, please visit Agnes deLanvallei's "Medieval Herbs We Grow Chiefly as Flowers". It is an excellent resource.

Cxxvj. Rede Rose.—Take þe same, saue a-lye it with þe ȝolkys of eyroun, & forþer-more as vyolet.

126. Red Rose - Take the same, save mix it with the yolks of eggs, and furthermore as violet.

Interpreted Recipe

1 cup almond milk
1/3 cup or more rose petals
3 egg yolks
1-2 tbsp. sugar

I cheated quite a bit with this recipe. I placed the almond milk, egg yolks, rose petals and sugar into the blender and pulsed for a few seconds, just enough to break up the petals. I then poured the mixture into a double a double boiler and cooked until it became thick. I garnished this with a red rose before serving.

Three taste testers and I fought with spoons for this custard, velvety, sweet and just a hint of roses. I wish the picture would have done it more justice. The bits of rose petal floating in the custard were beautiful. It couldn't have been simpler to make, requiring only a watchful eye on the custard once it started to thicken. This would be very lovely as a dessert dish at an event, or, if not thickened completely, as a boiled cream to be poured over berries and served. Definitely on the "must serve" at feast list.

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MS Royal 12.C.xii (England/France, 1340 - D. Myers, trans.)

Rosee. Almond milk, rose petals that it will taste all of roses, cinnamon, rice flour or amidon; coarse meat; powder of cinnamon, sugar; the color of roses; rose petals planted thereon.

Forme of Cury (England, 1390)

Rosee. XX.II. XII. Take thyk mylke as to fore welled. cast þerto sugur a gode porcioun pynes. Dates ymynced. canel. & powdour gynger and seeþ it, and alye it withflores of white Rosis, and flour of rys, cole it, salt it & messe it forth. If þou wilt in stede of Almaunde mylke, take swete cremes of kyne.

Liber cure cocorum [Sloane MS 1986] (England, 1430)

Rose. Take flour of ryse, as whyte as sylke, And hit welle, with almond mylke. Boyle hit tyl hit be chargyd, þenne Take braune of capone or elle of henne. Loke þou grynd hit wondur smalle, And sithen þou charge hit with alle. Coloure with alkenet, sawnder, or ellys with blode, Fors hit with clowes or macys gode. Seson hit withsugur grete plenté, Þis is a rose, as kokes telle me.

Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books (England, 1430)

.Cviij. Prymerose.—Take oþer half-pound of Flowre of Rys, .iij. pound of Almaundys, half an vnce of hony & Safroune, & take þe flowre of þe Prymerose, & grynd hem, and temper hem vppe with Mylke of þe Almaundys, & do pouder Gyngere þer-on: boyle it, & plante þin skluce*. [viscous compound? ] with Rosys, & serue forth

Cxxvij - Prymerose. Ry3th as vyolette.

.Cxxviij. Flowrys of hawþorn.—In þe same maner as vyolet.

A Noble Boke off Cookry (England, 1468)

To mak prymerolle in pasthe tak blanched almondes and flour of prymerose grind it and temper it with swet wyne and good brothe drawinge into the thik mylk put it into a pot with sugur salt and saffron that it haue colour lik prymerolle and boile it that it be stondinge and alay it with flour of rise and serue it as a standinge potage and strawe ther on flour of prymerolle aboue and ye may diaper it with rape rialle in dressinge of some other sewe.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) - Pumpes - Meatballs in Almond Milk

Pumpes - Meatballs in Almond Milk
Here is another meatball recipe from Two fifteenth-century cookery-books : Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430), & Harl. MS. 4016 (ab. 1450), with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1439, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS. 55 Thomas Austin.  This is very pretty to look at, but without salt or pepper the dish is a bit on the bland side.  My guess is that the majority of the seasoning would come from whatever seasonings might have been used in the pork when it was cooked.  I used ground raw pork to make the meatballs, and would highly suggest that you add additional seasoning then just clove and mace (I did).  

.Cxxxviij. Pumpes.—Take an sethe a gode gobet of Porke, & noȝt to lene, as tendyr as þou may; þan take hem vppe & choppe hem as smal as þou may; þan take clowes & Maces, & choppe forth with-alle, & Also choppe forth with Roysonys of coraunce; þan take hem & rolle hem as round as þou may, lyke to smale pelettys, a .ij. inches a-bowte, þan ley hem on a dysshe be hem selue; þan make a gode Almaunde mylke, & a lye it with floure of Rys, & lat it boyle wyl, but loke þat it be clene rennyng; & at þe dressoure, ley .v. pompys in a dysshe, & pore þin potage þer-on. An ȝif þou wolt, sette on euery pompe a flos campy*. [? field-flower. ] flour, & a-boue straw on Sugre y-now, & Maces: & serue hem forth. And sum men make þe pellettys of vele or Beeff, but porke ys beste & fayrest.

Cxxxviij - Pumpes. Take an sethe a gode gobet of Porke, and no3t to lene, as tendyr as thou may; than take hem vppe and choppe hem as smal as thou may; than take clowes and Maces, and choppe forth with-alle, and Also choppe forth with Roysonys of coraunce; than take hem and rolle hem as round as thou may, lyke to smale pelettys, a .ij. inches a-bowte, than ley hem on a dysshe be hem selue; than make a gode Almaunde mylke, and a lye it with floure of Rys, and lat it boyle wyl, but loke that it be clene rennyng; and at the dressoure, ley .v. pompys in a dysshe, and pore thin potage ther-on. An 3if thou wolt, sette on euery pompe a flos campy (Note: ? field-flower) flour, and a-boue straw on Sugre y-now, and Maces: and serue hem forth. And sum men make the pellettys of vele or Beeff, but porkeys beste and fayrest.

38. Pumpes - Take and boil a good piece of pork, and not to lean, as tender as you may; then take them up and chop them as small as you may; then take cloves and maces, and chop forth with all, and also chop forth with raisins of Corance; then take them and roll them as round as you may, like to small pellets, a 2 inches about, then lay them on a dish by themselves; then make a good almond milk, and mix it with flour of rice, and let it boil well but look that it be clean running; and when you go to serve lay five meatballs in a dish and pour your broth thereon. And if you will, set on every meatball a field flower (wild campion - a small red flower), and above strew on sugar enough and maces; and serve them forth.  And some men make the pellets of veal or beef, but pork best and fairest.

The Middle English Dictionary, Volume 6 by Hans Kurath defines the flos campy flour as "a special flour and hath that name for he groweth by himself in places that be nought tilled...and is a litil flour with a small talk and the flour is reed as blood." 


Interpreted Recipe Serves                                                                                1 as main, 2 as side

1/4 pound ground pork
1/8 tsp. clove and mace
1 tbsp. raisins
1 c. almond milk
2 tbsp. rice flour
Small red flowers (I used red dianthus (known as clove gillyflower in period))
Pinch of sugar and mace to garnish

Mix together pork, clove, mace, raisins (and any additional seasoning you may wish), and then shape the meat into a ball. I did add an egg to bind it together. Drop the meatballs into a pan of cool water and bring to boil. Cook until they are cooked thoroughly. While the meatballs are cooking bring the almond milk and rice to boil and let thicken. I like thicker gravy, so I made this with 2 tbsp. of rice flour. When the milk has thickened and the meatballs are cooked, place them into a bowl and garnish with small red flowers. Before serving sprinkle with a pinch of sugar and mace. The flowers will wilt very quickly so do not place them until you are ready to serve the dish.

As I stated above, this was a very bland dish, additional seasoning is required, at the very least salt and pepper to make it better for the modern pallet. This would have been very good if the same seasoning that had been used in the lvj. Poumes recipe had been used. As written, this was one of the more disappointing, albeit pretty dishes that I have made to date. I would very much like to hear if someone else tries this, what seasonings they may have used. I will most likely try this again, using the same seasoning mix as Poumes. This was such an easy and simple dish to prepare that I would like to see it at a future feast.

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153. Pumpes - Take beef, pork or veal, one of them and raw, all together chop it then grind them in a mortar as small as you may, then cast thereto raw yolks of eggs, wine, and a little white sugar: caste also thereto powder pepper and mace, cloves, cubebs, powder cinnamon and salt and a little saffron; then take and make small pellets round enough, and look that you have a fair pot of fresh broth of beef or of capon and ever throw them thereon and let them seethe till they be enough; then take and draw up a thrifty milk of almonds, with cold fresh broth of beef, veal, mutton or capon, and thicken it with rice flour and with spices; and at the table, lay the pellets five or six in a dish and then pour the syrup on it and serve it, or else, make a good syrup and lay the pellet thereon and good service

Pumpes - Dan Myers' Recipe at Medieval Cookery

Harleian MS 279 (ab 1430) -lvj. Poumes - Meat Dumplings

Poumes - Meat Dumplings
One of the more unusual recipes that I ran across in Two fifteenth-century cookery-books : Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430), & Harl. MS. 4016 (ab. 1450), with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1439, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS. 55 Thomas Austin is a recipe for a spiced meatball made of veal that is first cooked in water, and then roasted on a spit and covered with green batter.  I had to try it and I am glad I did. These were good!! They tasted quite a bit like deep fried mincemeat pies and I wish I would have amped up the spicing a bit more.  They were easy to make, and the fussiest part of making them was dipping each one individually in the batter and then tossing them into the fryer.  These have made it onto the "must try at a future feast" list.

I chose to fry the batter coated meatballs instead of trying to roast them on a spit. The reason I chose to fry the meatballs instead of spit roasting is because I don't have a spit roaster. I was afraid if I tried to imitate a spit roasting by baking in the oven that I would end up with a smoke mess.  Frying batter is a known method in period and I've used a similar method for making Trayne Roast, also known as mock entrails. 

lvj. Poumes.—Take fayre buttys of Vele & hewe hem, and grynd hem in a morter, & wyth þe ȝolkys of eyroun, & with þe whyte of eyroun; an caste þer-to powder Pepyr, Canel, Gyngere, Clowys powþer, & datys y-mynced, Safroun, & raysonys of Coraunce, an sethe in a panne wyth fayre water, an let it boyle; þan wete þin handys in Raw eyroun, þan take it an rolle it in þin hondys, smaller or gretter, as þow wolt haue it, an caste it in-to boyling water, an let boyle y-now; þan putte it on a Spete round, an lete hem rosty; þen take flowre an ȝolkys of eyroun, an þe whyte, an draw hem þorwe a straynowre, an caste þer-to pouder Gyngere, an make þin*. [Thine. ] bature grene with þe Ius of Percely, or Malwys, in tyme of ȝere Whete, an caste on þe pommys as þey turne a-boute, & serue forth.

xlvj - Poumes. Take fayre buttys of Vele and hewe hem, and grynd hem in a morter, and wyth the 3olkys of eyroun, and with the whyte of eyroun; an caste ther-to powder Pepyr, Canel, Gyngere, Clowys powther, and datys y-mynced, Safroun, and raysonys of Coraunce, an sethe in a panne wyth fayre water, an let it boyle; than wete thin handys in Raw eyroun, than take it an rolle it in thin hondys, smaller or gretter, as thow wolt haue it, an caste it in-to boyling water, an let boyle y-now; than putte it on a Spete round, an lete hem rosty; then take flowre an 3olkys of eyroun, an the whyte, an draw hem thorwe a straynowre, an caste ther-to pouder Gyngere, an make thin (Note: Thine) bature grene with the Ius of Percely, or Malwys, in tyme of 3ere Whete, an caste on the pommys as they turne a-boute, and serue forth [correction; sic = f].

46 - Poumes - Take fair butts of veal and hew them, and grind them in a mortar, and with the yolks of eggs, and with the white of eggs; and caste there-to powder pepper, cinnamon, ginger, clove powder, and dates minced, saffron, and raisons of Corrance, and boil in a pan with fair water, and let it boil; then wet your hands in raw egg, then take it and roll it (the meat) in your hands, smaller or greater, as you will have it, and cast it into boiling water, and let boil enough; then put it on a spit round, and let them roast; then take flour and yolks of eggs, and the white, and draw them through a strainer, and caste there-to powder ginger, and make thine batter green with the juice of parsely or mallow, in time of year wheat, and caste on the dumplings (pommys) as they turn about, and serve forth.

Interpreted Recipe                                                         Serves 1 as a main, 2 as a Side

1/4 pound ground veal
1 egg
1/4 tsp. each pepper and cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ginger and cloves
1 date minced
Pinch of saffron
2 tsp. raisons
1/2 cup flour
1 egg
1/2 tsp. ginger
Water as needed
Oil to fry
*Green food color or juice of parsley to desired color

Mix the veal, egg, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, date, saffron and raisins together in a bowl and shape into balls.  Place the balls into a pan of water and slowly bring to a boil, lower heat and cook until done.

Meanwhile, make your batter using flour, egg and ginger.  Add water if paste is too think (I used medium eggs, so needed to add water, batter should be the consistency of pancake batter).  Add food color or parsley juice.

When meatballs are thoroughly cooked, strain from the water and dry with a towel.  Heat the oil, and then dip each meatball into the batter and add to the oil.  Cook until the batter is crispy.

I let my daughter and her friends (the taste testers) color the batter--yes, it is lime green, which is a fun little color, and I imagine that with all of the variety of colors available to the medieval (and modern) cook that a batch of these on a table in the kingdom or baronial colors would be very festive indeed.  Not to mention....tasty!

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Forme of Cury (England, 1390)

XLII - FOR TO MAKE POMMEDORRY. Tak Buff and hewe yt smal al raw and cast yt in a morter and grynd yt nozt to smal tak safroun and grynd therewyth wan yt ys grounde tak the wyte of the eyryn zyf yt be nozt styf. Cast into the Buf pouder of Pepyr olde resyns and of coronse set over a panne wyth fayr water and mak pelotys of the Buf and wan the water and the pelots ys wel yboylyd and set yt adoun and kele yt and put yt on a broche and rost yt and endorre yt wyth zolkys ofeyryn and serve yt forthe.


For powme dorrys. Take porke and grynde hit rawe, I kenne, Temper hit with swongen egges. þenne Kast powder to make hit on a balle. In playand water þou kast hit schalle To harden, þenne up þou take, Enbroche hit fayre for goddes sake. Endore hit with 3olkes of egges þen With a fedyr at fyre, as I þe kenne. Bothe grene and rede þow may hit make With iuse of herb3 I undertake. Halde under a dysshe þat no3t be lost, More honest hit is as þou wele wost.

A Noble Boke off Cookry (England, 1468)

To mak pomes tak and grind raw pork and temper them with swonge egges caft ther to good poudurs and [quere, rolle omitted?] it in a balle and lay it in boillinge water to hardyn then tak it up and endore it with yolks of eggs and ye may make it grene or red with juce of erbes and serue it

Monday, May 2, 2016

Harleian MS. 279 (ab. 1430) - Gaylede - Rice Porridge with Figs & Honey

Harleian MS. 279 (ab. 1430) - Gaylede - Rice Porridge with Figs & Honey
It would be easy to pass over this recipe if you were looking for one of the more exciting period dishes, but to do so, would be a disservice. Gaylede is one of a number of almond milk and rice flour based recipes that you can find in the pottage section of Harleian MS. 279. The completed dish is very pretty; the sandalwood adds a very pretty pink color to the recipe, while the ginger and galingale provide a warm spice. Ideally, the medieval cook would serve this at the beginning of a meal because it fit in with the ideology that foods which were easily digestible, along with sugar and warm spices would prepare the stomach for the important job of digestion. Most of us would probably want to start our days with this cereal like dish. Either way, I encourage you to try it. 

This dish is interesting in that it calls for either sugar or honey to be used as a sweetener and it is the first time that I have seen this references in the Two fifteenth-century cookery-books : Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430), & Harl. MS. 4016 (ab. 1450), with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1439, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS. 55 by Thomas Austin--which does not mean that similar recommendations were not made in other period cookery books. We know that sugar arrives in Europe in the early 1100's, and that prior to that honey was the main sweetener that would have been used in dishes. We are also given multiple suggestions on how to serve this dish, either with figs, raisins, or hard bread that has been diced.

When sugar first arrived in Europe it was used as a medicine, and would have been restricted to those households that were able to afford it. By the 1600's it would have been more readily available. Prior to sugar, honey was the universal sweetener and its usage is as old as written history itself. One of the earliest mentions of honey is 2100 BC, where it is mentioned in Sumerian and Babylonian writings.  However, there are cave paintings in Spain dating back to 7000 BC that may depict individuals gathering honey and engaging in possible bee keeping activities.  Legend states that Cupid would dip his arrows in honey before shooting them into unsuspecting lovers!

.Ixxxv. Gaylede. — Take Alraaunde Mylke & Flowre of Rys, & do ])er-to Sugre or Hony, & Powder Gyngere & Galyngale ; |ieu take figys, 'an kerue hem a-to, or Eoysonys y-hole,' or hard Wastel y-dicyd^ and coloure it with Saunderys, & sethe it & dresse hem yn.

.lxxxv. Gaylede - Take Almaunde Mylke & Flowre of Rys, & do there-to Sugre or Hony, & Powder Gyngere & Galyngale; then take figys, an kerue hem a-to, or Roysonys y-hole, or hard Wastel y-diced and coloure it with Saunderys, & seethe it & dresse hem yn.

85. Gaylede - Take almond milk and rice flour and add sugar or honey, and powder ginger and galyngale; then take figs, and cut them in two, or raisins whole, or hard Wastel (bread), diced, and color it with saunders, and boil it and dress them in.

Interpreted Recipe                                                                                     Serve 1 as main, 2 as side

1 c. almond milk
2 tbsp. rice flour
1 tbsp. sugar or honey
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. galingale
1 figs, or 1 tbsp. raisins, or 1/8 c. diced bread
2 tsp. sandalwood

Bring the almond milk to a simmer and add the sandalwood. Let steep ten minutes or until desired color is reached. I used sandalwood bark that I purchased from Amazon, and you will want to strain the bark out from the almond milk--it's just not pleasant biting into a piece of bark. Trust me on this! Once the milk has been strained, add the sugar or honey, ginger, galingale and rice flour. Cook this until the rice flour has cooked thoroughly and almond milk has thickened. Top with figs, raisins or diced bread and enjoy!

Pretty and pink! That is what I thought when I completed this dish that I am ashamed to say I did not share with anyone. I ate it all myself and I do believe this will become a regular dish on my table. It's too bad the pictures don't do the color of this porridge any justice. The sandalwood turned the almond milk a very pretty rosy pink. The ginger and galingale was a perfect complement to the figs that I used. This was a very comforting dish that I could see being used for a breakfast, especially on a cool camp morning! I have convinced myself that cream of rice cereal might be a very good substitute for the rice flour--mostly because the rice flour I have made is not smooth like wheat flour and I would miss its texture in any dish that I have added it to.