I was thinking back to the Pressganged Theatre Company which put on an annual play at Bard and a Banquet in the Shire of Lionsdale. Headed up by Master Luther Magnus and Don Pierce O’Brien it was started in 2001 and hosted a play every year till 2011, including two in 2004. In 2015 Luther brought it back to put on a play at that year’s Winter’s Tourney.
This month the theme of Montengarde Culinary Night is “Italian Night”. I’ve been wanting to research mushrooms for a while and thought this was a good opportunity.
I love mushrooms, but there aren’t a lot of medieval recipes for them. In fact I’ve only found about a dozen recipes that call for mushrooms, only one English (to my sorrow), six Italian, four German, and two French.
I’ve seen what might possibly be mushrooms in period art, but on closer examination they are might just as easily be eggs:
Ok, this is 50+ years out of period. However, I thought I’d try it anyway.
Coffee comes to Europe through trade with the Ottoman Turks. Coffee first came from Ethiopia, sometime in the 15th century it was introduced to Yemen (The Ottomans and the Yemeni Coffee Trade, Hathaway, Jane, 163) and by the 16th century was also being grown in Egypt, Syria, and near Istanbul (Ibid.). If those places sound like they might be linked at the time it’s because they were all part of the Ottoman Empire. They loved their coffee, and the best coffee was grown in Yemen (164).
One great thing about being done the A&S 50 is that I don’t feel bad about doing a recipe where I didn’t do the recreation and the background research is shaky. So, with that said, here’s pretzels.
Ever since I made some modern soft pretzels I’ve been reading about the history of pretzels. Modernly we use boiling water with baking soda in it. Previously they used lye in the water to accomplish the same dark colour. However, I can’t find any use of lye or ash in boiling water in the production of bread products in the SCA period. Some people have suggested that they used malt in the water but again there’s no proof of it. That of course doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
Pretzels of course are a period shape
I realized I hadn’t shared a lot of what I’ve done with sugar cane over the last while. This actually predates the sugar paste experiments. So here’s a huge update heavy on the photos. (Also a shameless test of the new photo plugin I’m using for enlarging photos on click)
First, my failed sugar cane juice crystallization experiments:
I made him give an account of his responsibilities. He gave me a discourse on this science of supping with grave and magisterial countenance, as if he were speaking of some grand point of theology. He unravelled differences in appetite for me: the appetite one has at the outset, and Read more…
A friend of mine is providing some treats for a meeting at an SCA event and asked me to contribute. Ever since I did the Sugar Paste work I’ve been wanting to try some of the more advanced versions. One of the ones I’ve thought was interesting was the “White Ginger Bread” recipe in A
Book of Cookrye, by A. W. in 1591. Of course this is the 16th century use of the word so it’s referring to confection, not necessarily something with bread in it.
I’ve never made marzipan before but I thought that combining marzipan, sugar paste, and ginger seemed like a great combination and a way to try something new.
This also marks the end of A&S 50 for me which I started in 2010. There was a fairly substantial break when I stopped playing in the SCA for two years but I’ve now completed it. As part of the completion I began linking all of my recipes on the new Recipes page. Also as part of this I won’t be using the category or tag A&S 50 any more; however, each new recipe will be added to my recipes page which should make them easier to find.
I made this for a recipe that I’ll be posting in the next two weeks, but I thought it should have it’s own post. I brought some of it for the Montengarde Culinary Group meeting yesterday.
Modern Marzipan uses a 5:3 ratio of blanched ground almonds to sugar then adding rosewater until the texture is right (between one and two parts). However An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook (13th century Spanish), Das Kuchbuch der Sabina Welserin (16th century German), and Delights for Ladies (16th century English) use a 1:1 ratio of almonds to sugar so I’ll be using the same. You can make this in your mortar but this time I’m using my kitchen servant, aka food processor, to speed things up.