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Showing posts from November, 2015

SCA Feast - Push for Pennsic July 9-11,2004 Early Roman Style Feast

Another blast from the past! This was a three course feast done in the Roman Style which would allowed me to offer a selection of several dishes that ran the gamut between savory and sweet in each of the three courses. Most of the items were made ahead of time. Those that required heating were heated on a grill the day of the event. The remaining items were served room temperature. The site of this event is rather primitive, offering no kitchen, and water obtained via a hose. This would have made my third or possibly fourth event that I hosted a feast for over 100 diners where no kitchen was available.

Unfortunately--I assumed that I would remember ...years later mind you...where I found many of these recipes. It would be very safe to assume that they came from one of more the following sources, all of which are available new or used from Amazon.com and which I have in my library.


Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome by ApiciusThe Roman Cookery Book by Apicius and Barbara FlowerCooking …

A Hobbit's Feast

In memory of good times and better company, I am posting a fantasy styled banquet which I cooked in honor of the opening night of "The Hobbit".

"Hobbits love their food and enjoy simple, home country food and drink like home-brewed beer and wine, soups, stews, roasted meats, lots of fruits like apples and blackberries which they grow and pick." Bilbo Baggins
In 'The Hobbit' where the dwarves come to tea unexpectedly, Bilbo serves them seed cakes, beer, ale, porter, coffee, cakes, buttered scones, tea, red wine, raspberry jam, apple tart, mince pies, cheese, pork pies, salad, cold chicken, pickles, hard-boiled eggs and biscuits!

Thankfully for Bilbo, the Dwarves did the washing up!

A Shire Pie

"P'raps there are more like him round about, and we might make a pie," said Bert. ~ a Troll

2 deep dish pie crusts **
1 pound mushrooms, quartered
1 onion diced
3 cloves garlic
2 stalks celery diced
1 carrot diced
1 pound sausage **(I used a half pound of…

Harleian MS. 279 Published approximately 1430 to 1440

This manuscript is divided into three separate parts, containing a total of 258 recipes along with "Bills of Fare", or menu's from several individual banquets. The first part of the manuscript is labeled "Kalendare de Potages dyvers" and it contains the largest collection of recipes numbering 153.  The second part is labeled "Kalendare de Leche Metys" which contains 64 recipes.  The final part is "Dyverse bake metis" which contains 41 recipes.

An example of one of the "Bill's of Fare" is below.  The information can be found at the following link: Full text of "Two fifteenth-century cookery-books. Harleian ms. 279 (ab. 1430), & Harl. ms. 4016 (ab. 1450), with extracts from Ashmole ms. 1429, Laud ms. 553, & Douce ms. 55"

In Festo Sancte Trinitatis in cena.            

Le .j. cours.                                                                  

Brewys.���������������������������������������������������������…

Harleian MS. 279 xij. Fride Creme of Almaundys- Cream cheese made from Almond Milk

Almond milk cream cheese? Yes, yes, yes! This dish is definitely being added to my repertoire of things to make at feast.  Despite the fact the instructions sound forbiddingly difficult, this dish is very easy to make.  It starts with my quick and dirty almond milk recipe and ends with a sweet, creamy Lenten substitute for cheese or butter.

.xij. Fride Creme of Almaundys. — Take almaundys, an sta?«pe hem, an draw it vp wyth a fyne thykke mylke, y-temperyd wyth clene water; throw hem on, an sette hem in fe fyre, an let boyle onys : fan tak hem a-down,an caste salt )7er-on, an let hem reste a forlongwey ^ or to, an caste a lytyl sugre Jier-to ; an J^an caste it on a fayre lynen clothe, fayre y-wasche an drye, an caste it al a-brode on fe clothe with a fayre ladel : an let J^e clothe ben holdyn a-brode, an late all j^e water vnder-nethe fe clothe be had a-way, an panne gadere alle fe kreme in fe clothe, an let hongy on an pyn, and let fe water droppe owt to' or .iij. owrys ; )7an ta…

Harleian MS. 279 - Pottage Dyvers Cxxxj. A Potage Cold - Spiced Almond Milk Soup

I have to be honest and admit that this is not among one of my favorite dishes. It was an interesting experiment in medieval flavors--not one to be repeated. Ever.

.Cxxxj. A potage colde. — Take Wyne, & drawe a gode j^ikke Milke of Almaundys with Wyne, jif ]>ou mayste ; fen putte yt on a potte, caste J^er-to Pouder Canelle & Gyngere & SafFrou?? ; >en lat it boyle, & do it on a cloj^e ; & jif ]>on wolt, late hym ben in dyuers colourys, }jat on whyte with-owte Spyces, & |iat ojier jelow with Spicerye.

Recipe taken from: Full text of "Two fifteenth-century cookery-books. Harleian ms. 279 (ab. 1430), & Harl. ms. 4016 (ab. 1450), with extracts from Ashmole ms. 1429, Laud ms. 553, & Douce ms. 55"

131. A pottage cold. Take wine and draw a good thick milk of almonds with wine, if they may; then put it in a pot, caste thereto powdered cinnamon and ginger and saffron; the let it boil, and put it in a cloth; and if thou will, let him be in dive…

Harleian MS. 279 (~1430) Pottage Dyvers - Soupes Jamberlayne - Sops of Bread in Mulled Wine

What do you get when you add toasted pieces of sugar coated bread to wine? Soupes Jamberlayne, also known as Sops Chamberlain. This is another very easy, quick to throw together recipe that could easily be incorporated into a feast using items the cook may already have on hand.

The recipe below can be found here: 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

.xxviij. Soupes Jamberlayne.*. [Chamberlain.]—Take Wyne, Canel, an powder of Gyngere, an Sugre, an of eche a porcyoun, þan take a straynoure & hange it on a pynne, an caste ale þer-to, an let renne twyis or þryis throgh, tyl it renne clere; an þen take Paynemaynne an kyt it in maner of brewes, an toste it, an wete it in þe same lycowre, an ley it on a dysshe, an caste blawnche powder y-now þer-on; an þan caste þe same lycour vp-on þe same soppys, an serue hem forth in maner of a potage.

D…

Quick Homemade Almond Milk Recipe

Almond milk is a very basic and essential ingredient in medieval cookery.  I wrote about its importance in this article: Almond Milk. Rather than reiterate what I already said, I wanted to post about a nifty, quick method of making almond milk which used up a surplus of almond flour that I had left over after making the callishones  for the Battle of Five Armies dessert course.  My current project is documenting various sops and pottages found in Harleian MS 279.  A majority of them require almond milk.  I could purchase unflavored almond milk, it has the basic ingredients needed, but quite a few recipes specified "thick" almond milk.  In other words, what I needed would have to be thicker than the commercially prepared stuff.  So I started researching on the internet for quick almond milk recipes and I found a remarkably simple recipe to make nut milk using nut flour and water here.

The recipes that I am currently working on require the almond milk to be thick. In order to…

Harleian MS 279 (~1430) - Bruet of Almaynne in lente - Rice Porridge with Dates

Talk about comfort food! Bruet of Almaynne in Lente definitely needs to be served more often; creamy, sweet and delicious.  It can be put together in just a few minutes, however, I caution that it does thicken as it cools so instead of the "running" dish that the recipe called for, by the time I went to eat this; it had thickened to the consistency of a loose pudding. This recipe has been added to my "must be served at a feast" in the future list.

The term 'bruet" refers to a broth that has been thickened in some way; in this case, rice flour was added to the dish to thicken the broth slightly.

During times of Lent the eating of meat products was prohibited this included fowl, eggs, milk, cheese and butter. Fish was allowed.  Individuals could seek a special dispensation from observing the strict diet during lent, if they were elderly, pregnant, young or sick.

Individuals would partake of one meal a day, usually served after Vespers (midafternoon). The c…

Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) -- Rastons - A Fifteenth Century Bread-like substance that is a pastry

This month I have decided to focus on various sops and pottages from Harleian MS 279.  Sops are thick slices of bread which have been soaked in liquid, usually a broth and then eaten.  They were quite common during the period, yet we seldom see them featured at the banquets that are recreated in the SCA.  An example of a modern day sop, would be the bread you find on top of french onion soup! Pottage is another word that can be used for a soup or a stew.  For my next several posts you will see that this kind of cooking is a very simple kind of cooking, using ingredients that many cooks have on hand.  I believe it would be an easy way to "add" an extra dish at the beginning of a course without breaking the budget.
Given my focus on simple soups or stews, I wanted to create bread that would have been used in the same period.  I am using a recipe for "Rastons".  This recipe creates a small round loaf of bread that has been fortified with eggs.  Traditionally, the top…