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Bnfld-Bat-Fst-art - 7/13/99


Feast menus and recipes from the Bonfield Battle event in the SCA kingdom of Ealdormere.


NOTE: See also the files: Fst-Menus-art, feast-menus-msg, headcooks-msg, p-menus-msg, kitchen-clean-msg, fst-disasters-msg, feast-serving-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Thu, 17 Sep 1998 14:13:29 -0400

From: "Groulx, Michelle" <MGroulx at NRCan.gc.ca>

Subject: SC - A fellow Ealdorereans experiment


Greetings all,


I have been asked to post this to the list for any and all comments/opinions

on this. I will post your findings on the E-List if thats alright.


Thanks all





What follows is my menu, recipes and redactions for this year's

Bonfield Battle, held in Ealdormere. As many of you may realize, I'm one

of those painful people who attempt to prepare mostly period repasts at

any outdoor event I attend. All recipes this year were from James

Prescott's translation of _le Viandier de Taillevent_. To quote Prescott:

"Guillaume Tirel, also called Taillevent, was probably born about 1310

and died in 1395. He started as a 'kitchen boy' under Charles IV, rose to

'first cook of the king' under Charles V, and eventually became 'master

of the kitchen stores of the king' under Charles VI."


46. Small birds like larks, quails, thrushes and others.


Pluck, them dry, without water, boil them a bit, and spit them including

the heads and feet (crosswise and not lengthwise). Put some slices or

cracklings of pork fat or sections of sausages between each pair. Eat

them with fine salt. in a pie, with harvest cheese put in the belly.


6 quail

1/3 lb sausage


I prepared the latter variation of this recipe last year, and this

year wished to try the former, being a lover of small birds. As my quail

were commercially purchased, they were already gutted and plucked. As

Taillevent suggested, I skewered them crosswise with sausage, starting

and ending with sausage. I used a butcher-prepared sausage from the pig

we purchased this year from our farmer friend, about 1/3 lb, cut into 2"

pieces and skewered through the filling, not the casing, to allow

drippings to come into contact with these lovely wee birds. Six birds

were used.


Once spitted, the birds and sausage were placed over a medium fire

with a good bed of coals, and roasted gently until well done. These were

served with watercress greens. A succulent dinner for two.


150. Watercress greens


Take your watercress, boil it with a fistful of chards, chop it,

brown it in oil, and then (if you wish) boil it in [almond] milk. On meat

days boil it in meat stock, or with butter or cheese. If you wish, eat it

raw without anythin else. It is good against gravel.


1 bunch fresh watercress

1 pkg beef bullion

1 tbs olive oil

1 cup water


Wash and trim the watercress. Pour oil into a small cast iron

saucepan. Add watercress. Cover and set over a medium fire until the

cress begins to go limp. Add bullion and water. Cover and allow to simmer

for about three minutes. Remove cress from pan and serve immediately. The

broth, BTW, makes a very tasty consomme for an appetizer.


37. Scallops.


Pick them over well, scald and wash them brown them in oil with

copped onions and Spice Powder and eat them with good White Garlic



1 lb. bay scallops

1 medium onion, peeled and chopped coarsely

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp poudre fort


Pour oil into a medium skillet and place over a medium fire. Add

scallops and onion and sautee gently until tender, about 10 minutes. Add

poudre fort. Toss gently. Remove from fire and serve with White Garlic



222. Spice Powder.


Grind ginger (4 parts), cassia (3 1/2 parts), nutmeg (2 parts), pepper (1

1/2 parts), long pepper, cloves, grains of paradise and galingale (1 part



Poudre fort

(from Mistress Sarra Graehem)


2 tbs. ginger

2 tbs. cinnamon

1 tbs. nutmeg

4 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. cloves

1 tsp. grains of paradise

1 tsp. galingale


Grind all together and store in air-tight jar.


154. White Garlic [Sauce].


Crush garlic and bread, and steep in verjuice.


2 cloves of garlic, minced finely

2 tbsp commercial bread crumbs

4 tbsp red wine vinegar


Combine all ingredients and serve.


Scillian Eggplant


This is not a medieval recipe, rather one adapted by me to create a

medieval-like dish, based upon Martino's Rape Armate (turnip pie) which

was served at the Septentrian Baronial 12th Night Monadh hosted.


1 Scillian eggplant, peeled and sliced into thin circles

4 oz. (approx) Asiago, crumbled

1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced thinly

1 tbsp olive oil


Roll olive oil around a small (#*), cast iron baker. Layer

eggplant, garlic and Asiago into the pan. Cover and place oven to the

side of the fire, over a few hot coals, with a few hot coals on the lid.

Turn periodically, and bake until tender, about 20 minutes. Serve



12. Almond cumin dish.


Cook your chicken well in water, quarter it, and brown it in lard.

Take almonds, crush, steep in your broth, and boil with your meat. Add

ginger and cumin steeped in wine and verjuice. This dish always thickens



2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup ground almonds

1 pkg chicken bullion

1 cup water

1" fresh ginger, peeled and sliced thinly

2 tsp cumin seed

2 tbsp red wine vinegar


This meal was cooked over our wood stove, as it was tipping down

with rain. This is also a recipe I've tried, unsuccessfully, to prepare

accurately, for three years, having one year a person with nut allergies

in my camp, and having mistaken a package of pork butterfly chops for

chicken breasts. This year we hit pay-dirt. :)


Pour olive oil into a medium skillet and place over a brisk fire.

Brown chicken breasts in the olive oil. Combine almonds, chicken bullion

and water. Add to pan and remove to a medium fire. Combine ginger, cumin

and vinegar. Add to pan and simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve

immediately. This is a simply stunning dish, which was served with

braised leeks.


28. Veal ragout.


Roast it on the spit or grill without letting it cook too much, cut

it into pieces, and fry it lightly in lard with onion cut very small.

Take grilled bread steeped in wine and beef broth or puree of peas, and

boil with your meat. Grind ginger, cassia, cloves, grains of paradise and

saffron (to give it colour), and steep in verjuice and vinegar. There

should be enough onions; the bread should be browned; and it should be

thick, sour with vinegar, spicy and golden.


2 veal fillets

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, peeled and diced finely

3 tbsp commercial bread crumbs

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 pkg. beef bullion

1 cup water

1/2 tsp poudre fort

pinch saffron


As on Sunday, this meal was prepared over our camp stove, because

of rain and age.


Brown the fillets & onions in olive oil in a medium skillet over a

brisk fire. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over fillets. Simmer

for 10 minutes. Serve immediately. The dish was served with braised

parsnips. This one had Gerraint smacking his lips.



Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 09:18:09 -0400

From: "Groulx, Michelle" <MGroulx at NRCan.gc.ca>

Subject: SC - A fellow Ealdormereans Menu


In reference to the menu I posted a while ago from a gentle at Bonfield, I

forwarded her the discussion and this was her response.





Thanks very much, Micaylah, for forwarding those responses. Heavens, such

discussion! :)


I found it interesting those two gents got all caught up in two items:

parboiling the birds and lard/olive oil. From long experience I've known

parboiling meat or fowl was to: a/ enable a person to pluck the feathered

beastie, b/ render a tough bird or beastie tender. As I was using chicken

breasts, modern, grocery store variety, they needed neither plucking nor

tenderizing. I suppose I should have mentioned I used, in addition to the

cheat OXO packet, the wee amount of drippings I did garner from the pan,

but as this was merely a dinner for two, it seemed hardly worthwhile.


The whole question of lard is legitimate. However, it's one of those old

bug-a-boos about modern taste, diet, etc., etc. I do carefully monitor our

fat intake. Particularly as my husband's dad popped off in his 50s with

heart-failure, and because I'm rather, well, Rubenesque, shall we say.

It's also easier to transport/store olive oil than lard, and it can be

used for so much more than mere cooking. So, olive oil won out. And it

wasn't such a leap, as olive oil certainly was used extensively throughout

the Med region. At least that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. :) As to

a superior taste when cooking with lard, well, that's definitely personal

taste. I and mine loathe the taste, in particular the aftertaste. But



I was also curious about the comment regarding chard in the watercress. I

had prepared this very recipe the year previous using the chard. It was

yummy. But waaaay too much for two to eat. So this year I

deleted the chard and used only the watercress, both of us being fans of

the wee green herbage. Cress isn't bitter at all. Very peppery and sweet,

in fact. Anyone who eats it regularly knows this. Chard is the more bitter

of the two. But, hey, each to their own.


One other curiosity was regarding the interpretation of Taillevant's

instructions for the quail. I think Ras misread and thought the

parboiling, spitting with sausage, eating with fine salt, and then in a

pie stuffed with harvest cheese was all one recipe. It's not. It's two.

One's for spitted quail and sausage eaten with fine salt. The other's for

a quail pie, birds wrapped in bacon and stuffed with harvest cheese and

then covered with pastry. I feel fairly confident I did Taillevant proud

with this one.


Anyway, it was interesting to receive the feedback. My thanks for your

considerable trouble.




<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org