Harleain MS 279 (ab. 1430) - xlviij. Tayloures & Cxiiij. Tayleȝ - Rice Porridge with Currants & Dates or Figs, Dates and Raisins + Bonus Recipes for Poudre Douce (Sweet Powder)
|Tayleȝ with Spiced Apples and Walnuts|
These two dishes do not disappoint. They differ differs from the other pottages with the use of the wine, the fruits used and the spicing. Some things to note; the interchange of bread with rice as a thickener in the first recipe, and the usage of honey versus sugar in the second. This led to a discussion on the preogative of the cook; Is it ok to follow the example of these recipes and add additional spices or exchange out the thickeners used when reconstructing recipes in period? We concluded that what we were using today was a set of instructions most likely written by someone watching the cook prepare the food, and listening to what the cook said, but who may have only seen it prepared the one time. Therefore, it is likely that just as modern day cooks will substitute one item for another, the medieval cook most likely did the same. In a situation where using a wheat based thickener is not idea, the use of eggs or rice would be appropriate. Likewise for the use of seasoning or other items. We also noted that in this particular manuscript several sets of instructions (like these two) may differ by one or two items, for example the addition of wine, the protein used, or in this case the fruit and spicing differ.
xlviij. Tayloures. — Take a gode mylke of Almaundys y-draw with Wyne an Water, an caste hym in-to a potte, and caste gret Roysouns of corauns, Also mencyd Datys, Clowes, Maces, Pouder Pepir, Canel, Safroun, & a gode dele Salt, & let boyle a whyle; þan take it and ly*. [Lye; allay.] it wyth Flowre of Rys, or ellys with Brede y-gratyd, & caste þer-to Sugre, & serue forth lyke Mortrewys, & caste pouder of Gyngere a-boue y-now.
3/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup wine (I used red wine)
1 tbsp currants (or raisins)
2 dates chopped as small as currants (or raisins)
1/8 tsp. each mace, pepper, cinnamon (or to taste)
pinch of saffron
salt to taste
2-3 tbsp. rice flour or bread crumbs
1 tbsp or to taste sugar (or to taste)
Pinch of ginger
I used commercially prepared almond milk and added white wine to it because I wanted to keep the pottage as white as possible. I much prefer the taste of homemade almond milk to the commercially prepared almond, and a easy recipe using almond flour can be found here: Quick Homemade Almond Milk. I heated the almond milk with the currants and the raisins and added the spices, a pinch of saffron and sugar to it. Once it had obtained the color I wanted, I added the rice flour and stirred till it was thick. Before serving I sprinkled the dish with a pinch of ginger and a pinch of currants.
114. Tayles - Take thick milk of almonds, and draw with wine, caste in to the pot; take figs & raisins a good portion, to make it thick, wash them clean and caste them on a morter, grind them as small as you might, temper them up with your milk, draw them through a strainer, also thick as you might; cast it in a clean pot, do it to the fire; take dates, sliced long, and do there-to; take flour of rice, and draw it through a strainer, and caste there-to, and let it boil till it be thick; set it on the fire; take powder ginger and cinnamon, galingale; temper with vinegar, and caste there-to sugar or honey; cast there-to, season it up with salt, and serve forth.
1/4 cup wine
2 dates sliced long ways
1 tbsp. vinegar (I used Apple Cider)
salt to taste
Le Viandier de Taillevent (France, ca. 1380 - James Prescott, trans.)
Tayle. Take a lytyll milke of almonds drawyn up with wyn & do hit in a pott do ther to figes reysens & datys cut and sygure & good pondys boyle hit up colour hit with safron & messe hit forth.
Half an ounce of cinnamon, one eighth of cloves, and for the lords cast in nothing but cinnamon, and a pound of sugar; if you wish to make it sharp in flavor and [good] for afflictions of the stomach, cast in a little ginger.
And the weights of the spices in the apothecary shops are in this manner: one pound is twelve ounces, one ounce, eight drachms; one drachm, three scruples; another way that you can more clearly understand this: a drachm weighs three dineros, a scruple is the weight of one dinero, and a scruple is twenty grains of wheat.
Cinnamon half an ounce --1 tbsp.
Cloves half a quarter (1/8th of an ounce) --3/4 tsp.
Sugar a pound -- (based on the 12 ounce pound) 1 1/2 cups
Ginger - a little --1 tbsp.
This mixture of spices, while not completely white, yields a very light tan powder. This is the mixture that I have used in my interpretation for Bolas and is pictured as the powder filling the dates.
Note: A dry ounce is equal to two tablespoons, or 1/8th of a cup.