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Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) - .Cxv. Quynade. - Almond Milk Cream Cheese with Quince Puree

When I first came across this recipe in 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", I knew that I *had* to make it, the difficulty was in waiting until quinces were in season.  Last year I missed the season and I nearly missed it again this year--the ability to purchase quince is only a few weeks where I live. It is a shame, because I could see this becoming a regular spread in addition to butter, marmalade's or preserves at any event.  This is a delicious spread that would go well on bread or to be used as a substitute for butter.  The picture cannot do justice to how pretty the slight yellow of the almond "cream cheese" studded with bright golden quince is. I wish I had silver or gold leaf to jazz it up. 

The taste testers raved about it. It also keeps very well, and is an alternative for those who are lactose intolerant…

Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) - .lxxxxiij. Walkys*. [Whelks. ] in bruette.

The last of the seafood shellfish recipes that I found 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 was for whelks, which is a kind of snail that was plentiful in the late Medieval period and still enjoyed in Europe today.
Whelks are difficult to get where I live, so the Cook's Thesaurus suggested periwinkles or conch, again, difficult ingredients to obtain fresh where I live.  I finally settled upon clams, which are locatable but are a bit firmer and stronger in flavor then whelk, conch or periwinkles.  The taste testers and I really enjoyed this dish, made all the better through the use of a strong home brewed beer (a lager) courtesy of my son, and dried parsley from my garden.  This is a dish that I will make again. 

.lxxxxiij. Walkys*. [Whelks. ] in bruette.—Take Walkys [supplied by ed.] an sethe in Ale, þen pyke hem clene; þan wasshem i…

Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) - .lxxxxij. Oystrys in bruette.

The last pottage recipe 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  for oysters is Oysters in Bruet.  It is very similar to  the previously published xl. Oystrys in grauy bastard.  The difference is in the spicing (adds cinnamon), and in the specific set of instructions "Take an schene Oystrys", indicating that for this dish the oysters should be removed from their shells.  

.lxxxxij. Oystrys in bruette.—Take an schene*. [for schele. ] Oystrys, an kepe þe water þat cometh of hem, an strayne it, an put it in a potte, & Ale þer-to, an a lytil brede þer-to; put Gyngere, Canel, Pouder of Pepir þer-to, Safroun an Salt; an whan it is y-now al-moste, putte on þin Oystrys: loke þat þey ben wyl y-wasshe for*. [on account of. ] þe schullys: & þan serue forth.


92. Oysters in Bruet - Take and shell oysters, and keep the water that come of …

Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) - .xl. Oystrys in grauy bastard

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 Thomas Austin allows an interesting look at our culinary past. Oysters were a very cheap and plentiful source of protein in the Middle Ages.  Although the oysters that were most likely eaten (ostrea edulis) were much smaller then the oysters many of us enjoy today.  So it is surprising that the manuscript only contains three specific preparations for oysters in the pottage section.

Oysters, whelks, cockles, muscles and limpets are shellfish that were plentiful. The Romans brought with them their love of shellfish when they arrive in Britain in 43AD.  After they left, the oyster fell out of favor, however, by the 8th century that was no longer case.  Oysters were once more a very popular food.

Fish and shellfish were eaten on days that meat and animal products were prohibited--Lent, all Wednesdays, Fridays and Sat…

Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) - ixl. Oystres en grauey

It is rumored that King Henry IV enjoyed oysters so much that he consumed 400 in a single sitting! Bear in mind that he was probably eating the much smaller, and more delicate European (commonly known as belon) oyster (ostrea edulis).  The Romans prized oysters.  They were (and still are) considered an aphrodisiac, but they also believed that consuming oysters would improve your prowess on the battlefield.  So it should come as no surprise that guards were posted to protect oysters beds and that the cost of an oyster could be valued at a denarius--the value of a days labor.

Oysters in Gravy was the first of several recipe's I prepared featuring oysters 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 most likely one of the earliest versions of a well known classic--oyster stew, and it received the best reviews. I also prepared .xl. …

A Fryed Meate (Pancakes) in Haste for the Second Course (The Whole Body of Cookery Dissected, 1682)

A Fryed Meate (Pancakes) in Haste for the Second Course (The Whole Body of Cookery Dissected, 1682) Take a pint of curds made tender of morning milk, pressed clean from the Whey, put to them one handful of flour, six eggs, casting away three whites, a little rosewater, sack, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, salt, and two pippins minced small, beat this all together into a thick batter, so that it may not run abroad; if you want wherewith to temper it add cream; when they are fried fryed, scrape on sugar and send them up; if this curd be made with sack, as it may as well as with rennet, you may make a pudding with the whey thereof.

1 cup creamed cottage cheese drained and slightly pressed
1 large, tart cooking apple
3 egg yolks
1 egg white
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. white wine
1 tsp. rosewater
1/8 tsp. each salt, nutmeg, cinnamon
¼ cup flour
Butter to fry in
Additional sugar to sprinkle on

Drain the liquid from the cheese and press it through a sieve, quarter, core, and peel the apple, then …

Chawatteys (Harlieian MS 279, c. 1430)

Chawatteys (Harlieian MS 279, c. 1430) Take buttys of Vele, and mynce hem smal, or Porke, and put on a potte; take Wyne, and caste + er-to pouder of Gyngere, Pepir, and Safroun, and Salt, and a lytel verjus, and do hem in a cofyn with yolks of Eyroun, and kutte Datys and Roysonys of Coraunce, Clowys, Maces, and + en ceuere + in cofyn, and lat it bake tyl it be y-now.

3 cups chopped pork or veal (about 18 oz)
3/4 c red wine
5 threads saffron
3/4 t ginger
3/4 t pepper
3/4 t salt
1 t wine vinegar
9 egg yolks
3/8 c dates
3/8 c currants
1/4 t cloves
1/2 t mace
double 9" pie crust

Cut the meat up fine (1/2" cubes or so). Simmer it in a cup and a half of water for about 20 minutes. Make pie crust, fill with meat, chopped dates and currents. Mix spices, wine, vinegar and egg yolks and pour over. Put on a top crust. Bake in a 350deg. oven for 50 minutes, then 400deg. for 20 minutes or until the crust looks done.

Funges (The Forme of Cury, c. 1390)

Funges(The Forme of Cury, c. 1390) - Take Funges and pare hem clere and dyce hem. take leke and shred him smal and do him to seeþ in gode broth color yt wȝt safron and do þer inne pouder fort and serve hit forth.

1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1 cup vegetable broth
1 leek, finely sliced
1 tsp. Powder Fort
1 pinch saffron

Combine vegetable broth and saffron in a pot and bring to a simmer. Add mushrooms and leeks to broth, cook until tender. Stir in powder fort before serving.

Recipe by Felice Debbage




To Stew Shrimps being taken out of their shells (The Accomplisht Cook, c. 1660)

To Stew Shrimps being taken out of their shells(The Accomplisht Cook, c. 1660) (To stew Cockles being taken out of the shells.)

Wash them well with vinegar, broil or broth them before you take them out of the shells, then put them in a dish with a little claret, vinegar, a handful of capers, mace, pepper, a little grated bread, minced tyme, salt, and the yolks of two or three hard eggs minced, stew all together till you think them enough; then put in a good piece of butter, shake them well together, heat the dish, rub it with a clove of garlick, and put two or three toasts of white bread in the bottom, laying the meat on them. Craw-fish, prawns, or shrimps, are excellent good the same way being taken out of their shells, and make variety of garnish with the shells.

2 pounds of shrimp
¼ cup white wine
1 tbsp. wine vinegar
1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 tbsp. bread crumbs
2-3 egg yolks
¼ cup butter
1 tbsp. capers
¼ tsp. mace
1-2 cloves garlic minced

Place all ingredients into a pot and stew until shr…

Gammon of Bacon (A Book of Cookrye, 1591)

Gammon of Bacon (A Book of Cookrye, 1591) – Ham and Bacon -To bake a gammon of Bacon. Take your Bacon and boyle it, and stuffe it with Parcely and Sage, and yolks of hard Egges, and when it is boyled, stuffe it and let it boyle againe, season it with Pepper, cloves and mace, whole cloves stick fast in, so then lay it in your paste with salt butter.

-Recipe Courtesy of Dan Meyers

2 lbs. bacon, unsliced <--I used Ham
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage
6 egg yolks, hard boiled
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/8 tsp. mace
1 pie crust

Remove skin from bacon and discard. Place the bacon in a large pot and add enough water to cover. Cover, bring to a boil, and cook for 30 minutes. Put parsley, sage, egg yolks, and spices into a bowl and mix well. Remove bacon from pot, cut open, and stuff with mixture. Wrap in pastry and bake at 350°F until done - about 1 hour.
This is a delicious savory tidbit that would make a lovely hand pie to serve at events. It tastes lik…

Savoury Tostyde (The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digbie, Kt, Opened (1669)

Savoury Tostyde (The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digbie, Kt, Opened (1669)  – Recipe Courtesy of David Friedman and Elizabeth Cook

Cut pieces of quick, fat, rich, well tasted cheese, (as the best of Brye, Cheshire, &c. or sharp thick Cream-Cheese) into a dish of thick beaten melted Butter, that hath served for Sparages or the like, or pease, or other boiled Sallet, or ragout of meat, or gravy of Mutton: and, if you will, Chop some of the Asparages among it, or slices of Gambon of Bacon, or fresh-collops, or Onions, or Sibboulets, or Anchovis, and set all this to melt upon a Chafing-dish of Coals, and stir all well together, to Incorporate them; and when all is of an equal consistence, strew some gross White-Pepper on it, and eat it with tosts or crusts of White-bread. You may scorch it at the top with a hot Fire-Shovel.

1/2 lb butter
1/2 lb cream cheese
1/8 lb Brie or other strongly flavored cheese
1/4 t white pepper

Melt the butter. Cut up the cheese and stir it i…

Compost (The Forme of Cury, c. 1390)

Compost (The Forme of Cury, c. 1390) Take rote of parsel. pasternak of rasenns. scrape hem waisthe hem clene. take rapes & caboches ypared and icorne. take an erthen panne with clene water & set it on the fire. cast all þise þerinne. whan þey buth boiled cast þerto peeres & parboile hem wel. take þise thynges up & lat it kele on a fair cloth, do þerto salt whan it is colde in a vessel take vineger & powdour & safroun & do þerto. & lat alle þise thinges lye þerin al nyzt oþer al day, take wyne greke and hony clarified togider lumbarde mustard & raisouns corance al hool. & grynde powdour of canel powdour douce. & aneys hole. & fenell seed. take alle þise thynges & cast togyder in a pot of erthe. and take þerof whan þou wilt & serue forth.

-Recipe Courtesy of Daniel Myers

3 parsley roots
3 parsnips
3 carrots
10 radishes
2 turnips
1 small cabbage
1 pear
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup vinegar
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 pinch saffron, ground
1 …

Egges yn Brewte - Poached eggs with Cheese- Gentyll Manly Cokere, MS Pepys 1047, C. 1490

This is another recipe from Curia Regis brunch. It is a beautifully simple, perfectly period recipe for poached eggs served with a surprisingly simple pan sauce of milk, flavored with saffron, pepper and ginger and then topped with cheese.

Egges yn Brewte (Gentyll Manly Cokere, MS Pepys 1047, c. 1490) Take water and seethe it. In the same water break your eggs and cast therein ginger, pepper and saffron, then temper it up with sweet milk and boil it. And then carve cheese and caste thereto small cut. And when it is enough serve it forth.

Eggs in broth
- Take water and boil it. In the same water break your eggs and caste therein ginger, pepper and saffron, then temper it up with sweet milk and boil it. And then carve cheese and caste thereto small cut. And when it is enough serve forth.

Interpretation

Eggs
Water
1/4 cup of milk per egg
1/8 tsp. ginger and pepper
1-2 threads of saffron or to taste
Cheese

I used Butterkäse cheese for this recipe.  If you have not tried this cheese, pl…

Rose Conserve - The Queen-like Closet (1675)

Conserve? Jam? Jelly? Marmalade? Cake? Paste? Compote? Butters? Curds? What are they? Before electricity and the advent of modern day refridgeration and freezing food preservation was an art. It still is, don't get me wrong, but think about it. Living seasonally has made me much more aware of how necessary it was to carefully preserve summer and fall bounties to make it through the leaner winters and springs. I can't go into my garden and pick a quart of fresh strawberries in winter, but I might be able to go into my cellar and bring up cabbages, turnips, apples or a winter squash. Our ancestors were geniuses! They had to be. Many of us would be lost if we had to survive without electricity or refridgeration for more then a few days. they lived their lifetimes without it.

Sugaring is a method of food preservation, along with smoking, salting, drying and pickling. I have become fascinated with the way sugar was employed in the diet of our ancestors. It was thought to be…

Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) -.Cxlij. Vyande Ryalle. - A Royal Dish (incomplete recipe)

Sometimes in cooking we are presented with a mystery, some portion of the manuscript is missing or has been damaged, and we are given just enough information to begin to interpret a recipe but not enough to complete it.  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 contains several incomplete recipes, Vyande Ryalle, a Royal Dish is one of them.  Some of the text is missing and it makes it difficult to guess what the missing ingredient is in order to complete the dish. This post reveals my attempts at trying to discover what is missing in hopes of being able to  recreate this interesting sounding dish.  I do have an interpretation at the end of this post, but it is there with the caveat that what I have recreated may have no actual resemblance to the dish as originally intended. 
The   Fourme of Curye has a similarly named dish but it bears no resem…

To Make Quidinia of Quinces (Delights for Ladies, Sir Hugh Platt, 1600)

My adventures in making fruit pastes began in late 2014 when I started experimenting with Quince. At the time I was just beginning to find a passion for Medieval confectionary and that has grown as I have branched out to make additional fruit pastes, comfits, and candied fruit and preserve flowers and other assorted "Elizabethan Banqueting" dishes.

I have experimented with making golden quince paste and red quince paste.  I have a confession to make; I don't particularly care for the flavor of quince.  So this particular paste was made with mostly quince, but I did at two apples and two pears to it to up the flavor a little bit.  When I make my fruit pastes I do make them in very large batches and store them in my fridge to give away as gifts or use in feasts throughout the year.  When I was asked to cook for the Curia Regis brunch I knew that one of the items I was going to feature was quince paste.  I had several large sheets that I had previously made. One I cut into…

To Dry Peaches - The Queen-like Closet (1675)

Several of the recipes that I have experimented with recently can be found in The queen-like closet; or, Rich cabinet stored with all manner of rare receipts for preserving, candying & cookery. Very pleasant and beneficial to all ingenious persons of the female sex. By Hannah WolleyThis book was first published in 1670, which is late for the period I most normally cook in. However, I believe that while the publishing date is late for the SCA, the recipes are reflective of cooking of the latter half of our SCA time line and therefore are not outside of the boundaries of SCA cooking.

The author, Hannah Wolley was born in 1623 and was the "Martha Stewart" of her day. By the age of 17 (1640) she was working in a nobles household who recognized that the culinary skills she had learned from her mother (general cooking, confectionary and medicinal remedies) was extraordinary and helped her to develop those skills.  Hannah had many firsts in her long career; the first woman t…