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Showing posts from March, 2021

How to pickle Cowcumbers, The whole body of cookery dissected; Rabisha, 1661

How to pickle Cowcumbers, The whole body of cookery dissected; Rabisha, 1661 This is a recipe that is too good to pass up!  I learned quite a bit while working on this recipe and I am too excited to wait for the final product not to share.  The author begins his book in a most humble fashion:  Impartial Reader, MAny reasons have at last induced me to present the world with this small Tract of my many years study and practice in the Art and Mysterie of Cookery. ....he goes on to explain his reasons and the one that has stuck with me throughout the years is this:  Secondly, It hath been the practice of most of the ingenuous men of all Arts and Sciences, to hold forth to Posterity, what light or knowledge they understood to be obscure in their said Art: And the wisest of Philosphers, learned and pious men of old, have highly extolled these principles, who went not out like the snuff of a candle, but have left their Volumes to after-ages, to be their School-master in what they have a mind

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 I was very eager to try out this 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 by Thomas Austin " for Tayloures, which is another pottage based on the almond milk and rice flour base.  Previously published interpretations which contain this base include;  Cxxxvj. A potage of Roysons (Rice Porridge with Apples and Raisins ),  .Ixxxv. Gaylede (Rice Porridge with Figs & Honey),   .Cxxv. Vyolette - Violet . and  . lxviij. Bruet of Almaynne in lente (Rice Porridge with Dates) .  The taste testers and I had an interesting conversation about where in a feast you would find dishes like these served.  The consensus is that for the modern day pallet you serve them at breakfast--barring that, they should most likely be served either as a sweet side dish as part of a course, or at the end of the meal for a warm puddi

Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) -.Cxliiij. Schyconys with þe bruesse - Chicken with the Broth Bonus Recipe: Strong Spice Powder

Schyconys with þe bruesse, Rys & Lange Wortes de pesoun "I want no peasant in my kingdom to be so poor that he cannot have a poule au pot on Sundays."  King Henry IV Oftentimes when you are attempting to interpret older manuscripts you find yourself  going down a rabbit hole attempting to find the meaning of a word.  Bruesse is one such word. After extensive searching I was able to locate the many different ways this word has been spelled in the various manuscripts.   Brewis, broys, brouwys, browis, brewes, brus, brewish, brewys, brues, brewes, bruesse, brows, breawis, brewis-from the ME Browes, browys, brewes and Old French brouets, meaning a pottage (soup) made with the broth of meat.  Formally defined as broth, liquor in which beef and vegetables have been boiled;sometimes also thickened with bread or meal.  The oldest usage of a form of this word can be traced back to the 13th century. (Murray) My first thought when I ran across this set of instructions in the  Two fi

Robert May's "To Make French Bread the Best Way"

  Robert May's "To Make French Bread the Best Way" I must smile whenever I reference "bread", because there is a great debate about what differentiates bread from pastry especially in period. I am also reminded of a rather tart blog post that referenced my interpretation of " rastons " calling me out publicly on the fact that I had "incorrectly" referred to rastons as a kind of bread.  Here we have the root of what I like to call “ The Great Debate"  which at its epicenter is this:  all pastries are bread, but not all breads are pastries . The difference between a pastry and a bread (aside from purpose) is fat content.  At a minimum pastry’s are made of flour, water, salt and fat in different proportions. The leavening agents for most pastries are steam and air except for brioche, danish and croissants which use yeast.  The minimal ingredients for bread any bread are flour and liquid. The leavening agent being mostly yeast.   Bread is