Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium


This document is also available in: text or RTF formats.

EK-Crwn-Fst-art - 5/20/98


Feast Menu, Notes, and Receipts, Spring Crown Tourney, II May, A.S. XXXIII, In The Crown Province of Østgardr, East Kingdom.


NOTE: See also the files: feasts-msg, feast-ideas-msg, feast-decor-msg, Fst-Menus-art, fst-disasters-msg, headcooks-msg, kitchen-clean-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: Tue, 05 May 1998 15:08:02 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: SC - As promised, EK Crown Feast (long!)


Here goes, folks, in what I hope are manageable chunks, but still long:


Feast Menu, Notes, and Receipts, Spring Crown Tourney,

II May, A.S. XXXIII, In The Crown Province of Østgardr


- --The First Course:

Porrey Chapeleyn (White Onion Pottage with Almond Milk and Crisps)

Conynges in Papdele (Hashed Rabbit Stew Layered with Pasta)

Salat (Mixed Raw Greens, Seasoned)

Rampaunt Perre (Pear cream with Pastry)


- -- Entremets:

Blank Maunger (Rice cream with almonds and Chicken Breast)

Cuskynoles (closed rissoles of fruit)


- -- The Second Course:

Cormarye (Marinated Pork Loin in Red Wine Sauce)

Chyches (Chick Pea Puree with olive oil and garlic)

Green Porray on a Fish Day (Spinach Pottage Creamed with Butter)

Daryols (Honey Custard Tarts with saffron)


- -- Issue:

Wafers (anise cookies)

hippocras dragiees (hippocras spice candies)

Anise in Confyt (sugared anise seeds)


Porrey Chapeleyn

"88     For to make a porrey chapeleyn, tak an hundred onyons o*er an half,

& tak oyle de olyf & boyle togedere in a pot; & tak almande mylk & boyle

yt & do *ereto. Tak & mak a *ynne paast of dow, & make *ereof as it were

ryngis. Tak & fry hem in oyle de olyue or in wyte grees & boil al

togedere. "


        From Curye On Inglysch, Book II, Diversa Servicia (MS D, ff.86r-96v.)

What they did:

        To make an oniony pottage, they took 100 or 50 onions (one of the few

quantities mentioned in recipes from the Anglo-Norman corpus), peeled

and cut them up (mincing or grinding seems to produce the best results,

but slicing would work too), and cooked them in olive oil. Note that

frying isn’t specified, so they are probably cooked until soft and

golden, a lightly caramelized puree. To this is added some almond milk

until a soupy consistency is reached. The mixture is simmered until the

almond milk has taken on some of the flavor and color of the onions, and

the onions are soft and velvety. Fried faux onion rings made from dough

are added at the last minute and brought to a boil before serving.


What we’ll do differently:

        Not so much differently as more specifically. The recipe is pretty

vague as to exactly what is done to the onions. For speed and

expedience, we’ll grind the onions to a slightly grainy puree. The

procedure reminds me a bit of some modern Southeast Asian curry pastes,

made largely from caramelized onion puree thinned down with coconut

milk, so we’ll use proportions similar to what might be used to produce

a tasty curry sauce, except this will be a bit thinner. We’ll also cheat

and use pre-fab pasta rings, cut from gyoza wrappers with cookie

cutters, and we’ll garnish the soup at the last minute, so the rings

should remain fairly crispy, which in the original dish they probably

wouldn’t have been.


What you should do to make eight servings:

2 lbs onions, peeled and finely                minced or thinly sliced

        3 or 4 Tbs olive oil

        8 oz. blanched almonds, finely          ground

        ~1/2 tsp salt

        pepper to taste (optional, not in the

original recipe)

~1/2 cup flour

1 egg

1 tsp olive oil

1/8 tsp salt

oil for frying


        Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a wide 3-quart saucepan. Saute

the onions until they become soft and golden. Stir frequently. Reduce

the heat if the onions begin to brown too quickly. You may need to add

the fourth talblespoon of olive oil, and if the juices begin to

caramelize, stick to the pan and burn, add a couple of tablespoons of

water, stirring and scraping to deglaze the pan and temporarily halt the

browning process.


While the onions cook down to about half their original volume, make the

pasta dough for the garnish: mix the egg, the flour, the teaspoon of

olive oil, and the 1/8 teaspoon salt to make a firm, elastic dough,

kneading until smooth and glossy. You may need to add a bit of extra

flour if the dough is too sticky. Wrap the dough in a piece of plastic

wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

        Bring six cups of water to a boil, and remove from the heat. Add the

ground almonds, stirring constantly. Let steep for five or ten minutes,

and blend the resulting milk in a blender. Strain through a strainer

lined with cheesecloth, and reserve until the onions are soft and

golden. Pour the milk over the onions and stir. Bring to a low simmer

and leave to reduce while you make the faux onion rings.


On a floured board, roll out your dough into a thin sheet, 1/8 inch

thick or less.

Put perhaps three cups of frying oil to heat to 350° F. in a saucepan or

deep skillet (a wok is good for this, as it uses less oil and heats

pretty fast). Using two concentric round cookie cutters, or a donut

cutter, or any other tool that’ll do the job, stamp out rings two or

three inches in diameter. Fry them three or four at a time, until

golden brown and somewhat puffy. Drain them on paper towels. You can

recycle shreds of leftover dough to make new rings.

        By this time the soup should have thickened slightly and be ready for

its final seasoning. Add salt, and, if you wish, pepper to taste. Add

the fried rings to the soup and stir them in, or use as a garnish for

each serving.


Connynges in Papdele

"26     Hares in papdele. Take hares; perboile hem in gode broth. Cole the

broth and

wasshe the fleysshe; cast a3ain togydre. Take obleys o*er wafrouns in

defaute of loseyns, and cowche in dysshes. Take powdour douce and lay

on; salt the broth and lay onoward & messe forth."

Curye on Inglysch, Book IV, "The Forme of Cury", c. 1390 C.E.


What they did:

        Note that the recipe calls for hares. Hares are simmered in stock

(probably chicken, capon, or white beef stock) until the meat can be

easily removed from the bones. The stock is strained off the hares,

which are cleaned of all bone, gristle, and extraneous proteins like

albumen scum, which may or may not actually involve rinsing the meat, as

washing would suggest to the modern mind. The chunks of meat are added

back to the broth, and the stew is layered between sheets of cooked

pasta or wafers. The difference between obleys and wafers seems to have

been pretty minor: both are a thin pastry cooked between irons like a

thin waffle, and after they’ve sat in hare broth for a few minutes the

difference becomes even less important. Our hare lasagna is topped with

a mixture of powdered sweet spices like cinnamon and cloves.


What we’ll do differently:

        The primary difference is that we’ll be using coneys (rabbits), since

they‘re more readily available and sufficiently adventurous for most

SCAdians I know anyway. We’ll pretty much follow the recipe as stated

above, using chicken broth for our rabbits, and interpreting the phrase

"good broth" to include a generous amout of fresh herbs, like whole

thyme, savory or marjoram, and parsley stems. But, while the rabbit meat

is being removed from the bones, we’ll reduce the broth to a saucier,

syrupy consistency, and lay the meat between our loseyns, while the

recipe is rather unclear on just how the meat and pasta are arranged.

We’ll take a line from a recognizable lasgna dish as far as the

presentation is concerned. By the way, a nearly identical dish of

braised duck sforza on papardella was, until quite recently, a big

seller at Felidia’s in New York City.


What you need to make eight small servings:

1 large rabbit, around three pounds, jointed

1 quart good chicken stock, low sodium if canned

dry white wine or water

optional: fresh herbs -- parsley, thyme,        rosemary, etc. ; use 1/3 the

amount if dried

optional: packet of unflavored gelatin if       using canned stock

1/2 lb dry lasagna noodles (at least nine       strips)

salt to taste

1/4 tsp powdered cloves

1/4 tsp powdered cinnamon


In a 3-or-4-quart saucepan, bring the rabbit to a boil in the stock with

the optional herbs and enough wine or water to cover the rabbit pieces

well. Reduce the heat to a simmer, skim, and cook for about 2  1/2 to 3

hours, or until rabbit is tender. Let the rabbit cool in the broth for

half an hour or so.


Meanwhile, boil your lasagna noodles in lightly salted water for around

12 minutes or until tender. Remember this doesn’t get a subsequent

baking, so it won’t absorb the tomato sauce that isn’t there anyway, and

get softer. Boil it until it’s as tender as you want it to be. Drain and

reserve the noodles, with a little oil to keep them from sticking



Lift the rabbit pieces from the broth. Strain the broth and reserve the



Reduce the broth, if necessary: moisten the gelatin, if using, with a

little lukewarm water, until it puffs up and becomes clear. Heat the

broth and dissolve the gelatin (which occurs naturally in real stock,

but is more or less absent from canned) in it. Bring the broth to a boil

and reduce it to around 2 1/2 cups, by which time it will have thickened

slightly: you’ll see the bubbles that normally occur on top of boiling

liquid suddenly collapse, and the liquid will have become slightly



While the sauce is cooking, remove the meat from the rabbit bones.

Scrape rib meat from the bones with a paring knife, but the rest should

come right off using the fingers. Watch our for gristle. Give the meat a

rough chop if you want to, and add it to the broth/sauce.


Lay out 1/3 of your noodles in a serving bowl, and spoon half of the

rabbit hash (or stew if you’ve left it in big chunks) onto it, spreading

it evenly. Cover with another layer of pasta, followed by the other half

of the rabbit. Top with the last of the pasta. Pour any remaining broth

over the top. Cut like a tac-tac-toe board, dust lightly with the cloves

and cinnamon, mixed, and serve.



"78     Salat. Take persel, sawge, grene garlec, chibolles, oynouns, leek,

borage, myntes,

porrettes, fenel, and toun cresses, rew, rosemarye, purslarye; laue and

waische hem clene. Pike hem. Pluk hem small wi* *yn honde, and myng hem

wel with rawe oile; lay on vyneger and salt, and serue it forth."

Curye on Inglysch, Book IV, "The Forme of Cury", c. 1390 C.E.


What they did:

        This is a mixed green salad, notable by modern standards by the absence

of lettuce. More than a third of the ingredients mentioned are some

member of the onion family, and this is generally much spicier and more

flavorful than a lettuce or spinach-based salad.  Listed in order are

parsley, sage, garlic chives, scallions, onions, leeks, borage, mint,

wild baby leeks (known as "ramps" in the U.S.A.) fennel, town cress,

rue, rosemary, and purselaine. The herbs are washed and picked over for

nasty bits, then torn up by hand, topped with raw oil (meaning either

virgin olive oil, not extracted by heat, or else oil that has never been

used for prior cooking -- yecch!), vinegar, and salt.


What we’ll do differently:

        Mostly, we’ll probably have trouble finding the exact herbs specified,

but I suspect this is a rough guideline rather than what’s mandatory for

a salad recognizable to the 14th-century English eye. What we use will

largely depend on what looks good in the market when we shop for this.

We may get uppity and use commercial mesclun (mixed field greens). We’ll

make a simple vinaigrette of vinegar, oil, and salt. We may splurge and

include some pepper. There are a couple of problems with the separate

toppings of oil and vinegar, as they tend to separate on the plate, and

most people have a sensitive spot in the back of the throat that

absolutely hates undiluted vinegar, which results in (hopefully) dry

heaves. If the salad isn’t overdressed, though, that usually isn’t too

much of a problem.


What you need for eight servings:

        2 bunches flat parsley

        2 bunches watercress

        1 bunch mint

        1 bunch scallions

        1 head fennel with some of the green leaves

        Small amounts of the herbs suggested above (5 or 6 sage leaves, or a

handful of rue, a couple of chives, etc.) finely shredded or chopped

        4 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

        1 1/2 Tbs. vinegar of your choice, malt or a good red wine version is


        1/4-1/2 tsp salt, to taste

        optional 1/4 tsp black pepper


        Remove the whole leaves of the parsley, watercress, and mint from the

bunches. You can simply grasp the bunches by the stems and cut off the

leaves all at once in the case of the parsley and cress, but you may

need to do the mint by hand if the stems are tough. Wash and dry the

above greens, either in a salad spinner or by wrapping in a towel, tying

it (we usually use a pillowcase for events), and shaking and swinging it

until most of the surface moisture is off the leaves. Shred the

scallions. Shred or chop the opther herbs. Wash the fennel carefully (it

is often sandy), and dry it. Chop the stalks and leaves, shred the

bulbous part.

        Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, quickly toss to mix

evenly, and serve.


Rampaunt Perre

"24     Rampaunt perre. Peopren ysoden in water, y*ikked wi* ayren and wi*

amidon, ystreyed abouen of *e leues; mak of dowe *e colour 3oelu of *ree

lyouns raumpauns in *e dysches."

        Curye on Inglysch, Book I, "Diuersa Cibaria", c. ~ 1325 C.E.


What they did:

        Pears, probably a hard cooking variety like Bosc, Seckle, or Comice,

are boiled in water (presumably after peeling and removing the core)

until soft enough to mash or sieve. They are then thickened by cooking

with eggs (either yolks only or a combination of yolks and whites) and

wheat starch. The result is a thick puree with a consistency something

like pastry cream or pumpkin pie filling, which, when cool, is garnished

with shaped and decorated cutouts of dough, baked and stuck upright in

the thick pear cream.


What we’ll do differently:

        The garnish is probably a simple flour-and-water dough, or possibly an

egg pasta dough, baked lightly until hard and dry, but since I don’t

generally believe in inedible garnishes, we’ll be using decorated sugar

cookies instead.


What you need to make eight servings:

2 1/2 pounds cooking pears (Boscs work well)

optional sugar to taste

4 egg yolks

2 whole eggs

2 1/2 ounces (10 Tbs.) wheat or corn starch

1/4 tsp salt

optional unsalted butter


Peel, quarter, and core the pears, and cook them in a covered pot with

just enough water to keep them from sticking, say, a cup or so. This may

take an hour for a small batch, but they need to be almost falling

apart. Drain off most of the water and mash the pears with a potato

masher, food mill, or food processor, until you have the pear version of

applesauce. Sweeten to taste if you want to.


In a large mixing bowl, beat the wheat starch, salt, and the eggs until

completely smooth. Spoon in the hot pear puree, beating to completely

mix after each spoonful. When the pears and the egg/starch mixture are

fully incorporated, return them to the pot and bring to a boil, stirring

frequently, until a thick, custardy sauce is formed. Pour the sauce into

a somewhat deep serving dish, and if you’re concerned about a skin

forming, paint the surface of the hot perre with a stick of unsalted

butter. Unwrap one end and just draw on the hot surface as with a large

marker or crayon.


When cool, garnish by sticking in your favorite lion-shaped pastry, and

serve immediately.


Blank Maunger

"38     Blank maunger. Take capouns and see* hem, *enne take hem vp;

take almaundes blaunched, grynde hem & alay hem vp with the same broth.

Cast the mylk in a pot. Waisshe rys and do *erto, and lat it seeth;

*anne take *e brawn of *e capouns, teere it small and do *erto. Take

white grece, sugur and salt, and cast *erinne. Lat it see*, *enne messe

it forth and florissh it with aneys in confyt, red o*er whyt, and with

almaundes fryed in oyle, and serue it forth."


                  --From Curye On Inglysch, Book IV, The Forme of Cury


What they did:

        As this type of recipe goes, this is pretty straightforward. Capons are

simmered in water to cook them and make a stock. The capons are reserved

while the broth is used to make an almond milk from some ground blanched

almonds. Rice is cooked to a thick porridge (the recipe doesn’t specify

how thick, but other recipes for blank maunger do) in the almond milk.

Then the reserved capon meat, skinned, deboned, and shredded, is added

to the hot rice, as well as some lard to keep it from congealing as it

cools. The dish is seasoned with sugar and salt, dished up, and

garnished with candied anise seeds and fried almonds.


What we’ll do differently:

        First of all, we’ll be using chickens instead of capons, primarily for

budgetary reasons, but also because there is less difference between a

good-quality chicken and a capon today than there was between a somewhat

tough free-range chicken and a capon in period. Secondly, we’ll make our

almond milk from almonds and water, since we’ll be using a vegetarian

almond milk in another recipe, and it is more efficient to make one

large batch and split it. We’ll include some stock later on in the

cooking process for the flavor and texture. Thirdly, we’ll be using

walnut or vegetable oil instead of lard: life is too short to spend it

arguing with folks. Last, we’ll probably omit the candied anise seeds,

as they are called for elsewhere in our feast, and we don't want our

diners to get tired of them before the evening is over. So, we’ll be

garnishing with the fried almonds alone, a solution consistent with some

other blank maunger recipes.


What you should do to make eight servings:

        1 breast of one large chicken,  around 2 pounds

        1 cup white rice (short-vs-long-grain not really relevant in this


        4 oz. blanched almonds, ground

        2 oz. blanched almonds, shredded or sliced

        2 Tbs lard, butter, or oil

        2 Tbs. white sugar

        optional 1/2 tsp ginger

        optional 1/4 tsp white pepper

        ~1/2 tsp. salt or to taste


        Place the chicken in a 2-or-3-quart saucepan and add enough cold water

to cover. Add some salt, and a dash of white pepper if you want. Bring

to a boil, skim, and simmer over medium-low heat for 20-40 minutes, or

until a meat thermometer reads 165° F., or until done. Don't be shy

about poking with a knife if necessary; remember this is going to be


        While the chicken cooks, toast the shredded almonds in an oiled skillet

over medium heat, or in a 325° F. oven for 5 or 10 minutes. Don’t let

them burn, and remember they will continue to brown after they are

removed from the heat source.

        When the chicken is done, let it cool a bit, remove any skin, bones,

etc., and shred it with a knife or your fingers, along the grain, into

two-inch strips. Pack it into a container and cover with some of the

broth to keep it moist as it finishes cooling.

        Make almond milk from the rest (anywhere up to five cups or so) of the

broth. Bring the broth to a boil, add the ground almonds and stir. Let

it sit for five minutes or so, then strain or whiz it up in a blender,

in which case straining is optional. It’s a good idea to strain it

anyway (in a fine strainer or one lined with a layer or two of

cheesecloth), as the great thing about the dish is its creaminess, which

is lost if it’s full of little crunchy almond bits.

        Return the almond milk to the saucepan, bring it to a boil, and add the

rice, stirring constantly until it all begins to thicken somewhat.

Reduce the heat to a simmer and continue to cook for a combined total of

around 25 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking and burning. If

the pottage is too thin, continue cooking it until it thickens enough

and the rice is soft, and if it’s too thick add some hot water to loosen

it up a bit. When the rice is done, add the chicken, stir in the fat or

oil, and season with the sugar and salt. Transfer the blank maunger,

which should be, as the name suggests, pretty dazzlingly white, into a

serving dish, topped with the toasted almonds.



"45     A mete *at is icleped cuskynoles. Make a past tempred wi* ayren, &

so**en nim peoren & applen, figes and reysins, alemaundes & dates; bet am

togedere & do god poudre of gode speces wi*innen. & in leynten make *i

past wi* milke of alemaundes. & rolle *i paste on a bord, & so**en hew

hit on moni parties, & vche an pertie beo of *e leyng*e of a paume & an

half & of *reo vyngres of brede. & smeor *y paste al of one dole, &

so**en do *i fassure wi*innen. Vchan kake is portiooun. & so**en veld

togedere o*e 3eolue manere, ase *eos fugurre is imad:


[Graphic got eaten by Netscape; check the source or ask Lord Ras to mail

you the photo]


& so**e boille in veir water, & so**en rost on an greudil; & so**en


Curye on Inglysch, Book I, "Diuersa Cibaria", c. ~ 1325 C.E.


What they did:

        This one is pretty confusing, and there’s a great deal of controversy

about exactly what some of it means. It all boils down to whether the

illustration above is of one portion or fifteen. My feeling is that the

illustration shows how several are made and cut from large sheets of

dough. If it’s one portion, then it’s pretty difficult to fill.

Observance of the principles known colloquially as Occam’s Razor and

K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, stupid!) leads me to conclude this is fifteen

portions. You may not agree, but it’s a big world.

        So, a dough is made with eggs (probably yolks only), and somehow filled

with a filling of mashed apples, pears, almonds, and assorted dried

fruits. The cuskynoles are filled and sealed so as to follow the

illustration in some way, but exactly how is unclear. I’m betting on a

simple rectangular fruit ravioli, boiled and then fried on a griddle

like a pierogi.


What we’ll do differently:

        Apart from the fact that we’ll be omitting the almonds (we’re using a

lot of them elsewhere, and there’s the allergy question to consider),

we’ll be stuffing a pulverized filling of mixed fresh and dried fruits

as described above, into fresh pasta dough, in this case halved

Cantonese egg roll wrappers. We’ll boil them until they float, and then

saute them till crispy on one side, and serve with a dusting of sugar on

the crispy side. The recipe doesn’t call for this, but numerous sources

of the period suggest a dusting of sugar on "fryed metes".


What you’ll need for eight servings:

        4 Cantonese spring roll wrappers ("egg roll" wrappers, raw pasta


        1 Bosc or other hard, tart pear

        1 Granny Smith or other tart cooking apple

        3 oz. dried figs

        3 oz. dried dates, pitted

        2 oz. raisins

        optional 1 oz. finely chopped almonds

        1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

        1/8 tsp. powdered cloves

        1/8 tsp. powdered cinnamon

        In a meat grinder or food processor set on pulse, finely chop the

filling ingredients, and let the filling mixture sit for 20 minutes or

so while the dried fruit absorbs some of the excess pear and apple

juice.  Lay out the wrappers on a clean, dry, cutting board (you might

need to dust with flour, but the wrappers will probably be coated with

starch anyway). Cut each large square in half (vertically), and brush

each half with water or egg wash, especially around the edges. Spoon 3-4

Tbs. of the filling in a little mound on the "lower" half (the half

closest to you) of each strip of dough. Make sure there is a clean

border of about 1/2 inch free of filling. Fold the further end down

towards the nearer end, sealing the edges with the edge of your hand.

You can crimp them or otherwise decorate the edges if you wish. Let sit

for ten minutes or so, covered with a clean dish towel, while the wet

"glue" hardens to seal the edges.

        Boil in lightly salted water in a deep skillet or casserole for 3-5

minutes, until the cuskynoles just float. Remove them from the water

with a slotted spoon or deep-frying basket (they’ll be delicate at this

stage). Allow to cool a bit and air-dry, then saute in a preheated,

oiled skillet over medium-high heat for 3 or four minutes, until golden

brown on one side. Flipping is an option, but I like the idea of the

contrast between crispy and soft. Serve crisp side up, dusted with

confectioner’s or other sugar.



"54     Cormarye. Take colyaundre, caraway smale grounden, powdour of peper

and garlec ygrounde, in rede wyne; medle alle *ise togyder and salt it. Take

loynes of pork rawe and fle of the skyn, and pryk it wel with a knyf,

and lay it in the sawse. Roost it whan *ou wilt, & kepe *at *at falleth

*erfro in the rostyng and see* it in a possynet with faire broth, &

serue it forth wi* the roost anoon."

Curye on Inglysch, Book IV, "The Forme of Cury", c. 1390 C.E.


What they did:

        This is simply a marinated roast, with a sauce made from the pan juices

and added stock. The ground garlic thickens the sauce slightly, as does

the further reduction in a possynet, which is a shallow pan like a

skillet. Pork loin is poked full of holes to allow the marinade to

penetrate, then red wine, pureed garlic, ground coriander and caraway

seeds, salt and pepper are added. The meat is marinated for an

unspecified time, and then roasted before a fire, over a dripping pan.

The pan drippings are boiled in a wide pan with added stock, until

syrupy. Slices or bite-sized chunks of the roast are served in a bowl

with the gravy.


What we’ll do differently:

        We’ll be roasting our marinated meat on a grill, so saving pan juices

may be a problem. Instead, we’ll save our marinade to help replace them.


What you need for eight servings:

        2 1/2 - 3 lbs. pork loin roast

        3 cups dry red wine

        1 Tbs ground coriander seed

        2 - 3 tsp ground caraway seed

        1 tsp ground black pepper

        8 cloves garlic

        1 tsp salt

        1 pint chicken, pork, or beef stock

        Have the butcher remove the chine (spine) bone, or crack it, to make

carving easier. Otherwise simply remove all the bones, cutting between

the ribs and the main chunk of meat, rolling it away from the bones as

you cut. Finish by slipping your knife between the meat and the spine’s

"finger" bones, removing the meat from the mostly-clean bones in one

piece. There will be some waste, but not too much, and you can use the

bones to make the stock you’ll need for the gravy. Prick the meat all

over with a fork.

        Combine all ingredients except the stock in a deep glass or

non-reactive bowl, and marinate the pork for six hours or overnight.

Remove from the marinade and roast on a rack in a roasting pan, for 70 -

90 minutes at 350°F., or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thick

part of the meat reads 160°F. or so (trichinosis is killed at 137°F., so

anything over 140 is safe to eat, but most people don't like pork pink).

Let the meat rest for 20 minutes or so, while you make the sauce: boil

your pint of stock with a cup of the reserved marinade and any pan

drippings (degreased and including any dripping that come from the roast

as it rests). Cook the sauce until it begins to thicken slightly, to a

syrup. If this doesn’t happen (say, if you’re using canned broth) , you

can cheat by using unflavored gelatin. See the instructions for this in

the "Conynges in Papdele" recipe. Slice the roast, pour the sauce over,

and serve.



"73     Chyches. Take chyches and wrye hem in askes all ny3t o*er al a day,

o*er lay hem in hoot aymers. At morowe waische hem in clene water, and do hem

ouere the fire with clene water. See* hem vp and do *erto oyle, garlek

hole, safroun, powder forte and salt; see* it and messe it forth."

Curye on Inglysch, Book IV, "The Forme of Cury", c. 1390 C.E.


What they did:

        This is yet another porridgy spoon food. The passage instructing the

cook to roast the chick peas in ashes or embers probably refers to

fresh, whole, chick peas, which have a fairly tough husk like a fava

bean. A slow roast overnight would help separate the ceci from the outer

layer, which will have dried to a papery texture, with the chick pea

slightly shrunken inside. The chick peas are simmered in water with

olive oil, whole garlic cloves, saffron, and powdered "strong" spices

like pepper, grains of paradise, and cinnamon [I’m fascinated by the

idea that cinnamon does double duty as both a strong and a sweet spice;

it leads me to suspect that the spice mixtures were more of a "cook’s

choice" thing rather than a mixture prepared in advance according to a

formula -- offhand I can only think of one period recipe for a prepared

spice mixture, and that is for the fine spice powder used by Le Menagier

de Paris.]


What we’ll do differently:

        We’re using canned chick peas, run through a food mill to a rough

puree, and simmer with the garlic and other ingredients. The oil will be

beaten in at the end of the cooking process, which will give a fresher

flavor and a better mix. We’ll probably also garnish with copious

amounts of chopped parsley.


What you need for eight servings:

        2 16-oz cans chick peas, drained (reserve some liquid)

        8 cloves garlic

        3 oz. extra-virgin olive oil

        1/4 tsp saffron (a large pinch)

        1/4 tsp ground black pepper

        1/8 tsp ground grains of paradise

        1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

        1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt

        Simmer the chick peas in just enough liquid (water or can liquid) to

keep them from sticking. Stir with a wire whip, which will semi-puree

them as they cook. Peel and add the garlic and powdered spices. When the

garlic is almost falling apart, add the saffron. Cook gently for five

minutes more, beat in the olive oil, season to taste with salt, and



Green Porray on a Fish Day

"There is a kind of porray called spinach and it has longer leaves,

thinner and greener than common porray and it is eaten at the beginning

of Lent...


"...Green porray on a fish day. Let it have the outer leaves removed and

be cut up and then washed in cold water without parboiling it and then

cooked with verjuice and a little water, and put some salt therein, and

let it be served boiling and very thick, not clear; and put at the

bottom of the bowl, underneath the porray, salt butter, or fresh if you

will, or cheese, or old verjuice."

Le Menagier de Paris, trans. Eileen Power; Harcourt, Brace  New York



What they did:

        Greens in some form seem to have been a common springtime food, since

it was a way of replenishing the body’s supplies of vitamins and

minerals that the winter diet lacked. Scurvy seems to have been fairly

common in late winter, but dishes like this one, a salat, or an

arbolaste (herb omelette) were among the common springtime curatives for

the nobility, and a simple dietary necessity for the lower classes as

well. Greens were washed and boiled/steamed in a small amount of water

(cabbagy greens like mustard or kale would be parboiled first) and

seasoned with salt and verjuice (essentially a vinegar made from the

juice of crabapples, green grapes, green wheat, or sorrel). The

resultant broth could be thickened with butter or grated cheese, and

further seasoning with more verjuice was an option. Non-Lent versions of

this recipe would include ham or bacon for the well-off, which suggests

the modern American dish of ham or bacon and greens, pot likker, call it

what you will, is a direct linear descendant, even down to the dash of

vinegar added at the end (although Tobasco or other chili sauce is

favored today).


What we’ll do differently:

        We’ll be using frozen spinach, which is prewashed, compact, and of a

more or less predictable price. Our feeble modern butter will be added

at the end of the cooking process, in small chunks, beaten into the

spinach likker/broth, producing a greenish butter sauce similar to

beurre blanc, especially when verjuice or vinegar has been added. The

emulsified butter sauce will also help protect the greens from turning

black in the acidic broth, as will adding all of our acid at the end of

the cooking process, instead of at the beginning.


What you need for eight servings:

        2 10-oz. packages frozen spinach

        4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter

        1/4 tsp salt

        1- 2 Tbs white wine or cider


        optional 1/2 tsp white pepper

        Thaw the spinach at room temperature or under cold running water, and

press out some of the juice. Simmer over low heat with a teaspoon of the

butter, until some liquid begins to accumulate in the bottom of the pan.

Raise the heat slightly when that happens, stirring frequently. Cook the

spinach, uncovered, until tender but still green and whole. There should

be about 1/4 cup of liquid left in the pan.  Lower the heat and push the

spinach to one side of the pan, checking to see how much liquid is left.

Remove any excess, and if there isn’t enough, add some water or a dash

of vinegar. Add another teaspoon of butter, stirring it around in the

liquid and shaking the pan until it is melted into the liquid and

incorporated. Add another teaspoon of butter and repeat the process,

until all of the butter is used and you have a creamy emulsion. Season

this sauce to taste with salt, optional pepper, and vinegar. Stir the

spinach into it and serve.



"191    Daryols. Take creme of cowe mylke, o*er of almaundes; do *erto

ayren with

sugur, safroun and salt. Medle it yfere. Do it in a coffin of ii ynche

depe, bake it wele and serue it forth."

Curye on Inglysch, Book IV, "The Forme of Cury", c. 1390 C.E.


What they did:

        This is a simple custard tart. Cream and eggs (either whole, yolks, or

a mixture) are sweetened with sugar (or, in later versions of the

recipe, honey is an option) and seasoned with saffron. The mixture is

poured into a pie shell and baked. The pastry would probably have been

made with flour, egg yolks, sugar, saffron, and possibly butter, and in

lent with almond milk and possibly some oil instead of the egg yolks and

butter. The recipe doesn’t tell us how the dough is made, but the pastry

would have had more of a cookie-like texture than modern short/flaky



What we’ll do differently:

        We’ll be borrowing some of the better aspects of later recipes for

daryols and doucetys: our custard mix will go into pre-baked pie shells,

to limit soggy bottom crusts. A 15th-century recipe speaks of baking the

shells partway, opening the oven, attaching a bowl to the end of the

handle of a baker’s peel, and pouring the filling mix into the shells as

they bake. The same recipe also suggests the option of honey instead of

sugar, and instructs the cook to bake the tarts until the filling puffs

slightly, which is good advice, especially when cooking in quantity. Who

wants to go in with a toothpick 40 or 50 times? Some recipes seem to

suggest that these tarts are small, probably six inches across for two

servings, but we’ll be using 9-inch pie shells.


What you need for eight servings:

        1 9-inch pie shell

        3 cups cream or half-and-half

        3 eggs

        3 egg yolks

        1/2 cup honey

        1/8 tsp saffron

        1/8 tsp salt

        Preheat your oven to 350° F. Bake the empty shell for 10 minutes or

so, either using "pie beans" or being careful to watch for puffing of

the pastry. Push it back down if it occurs; an empty pie tin is a good

tool if it happens. Don't let the pie shell brown too much.

        While the shell bakes and cools, prepare your filling. In a large

mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, the yolks, the honey and the salt.

Scald the cream with the saffron: heat in a saucepan until steaming and

bubbles form on top. This is not boiling, which would impart a burnt

flavor. (The scalding helps prevent curdling of the eggs.) Ladle the

cream into the egg mixture, beating with a whip and fully mixing after

each ladleful.

        Pour the filling into the shell (don’t overfill!) and carefully

transfer to the middle rack of the oven. Bake for around 25 minutes,

until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center of the filling comes

out clean, which means the eggs have set. The filling will still be a

very liquidy gel, but it will set as it cools. Serve just warm, or at

room temperature.


Suggested Reading

1. Curye On  Inglysch, Ed. Constance B. Hieatt & Sharon Butler, Oxford

University      Press, Oxford 1985


2.  The Art of Cookery in the Middle Ages, Terence Scully, © Terence

Scully 1995,    Boydell Press, Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK, 1995


3. The Goodman of Paris, trans. Eileen Power, pub. Harcourt, Brace, New

York 1928




<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