Valentines-Fst-art – 3/23/04
Bardic Madness Feast - A Valentines Day themed feast by Faerisa Gwynarden. Held in the Barony of Castel Rouge, Principality of Northshield, Midrealm on February 14, 2004. (Illusion foods and aphrodisiacs).
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).
Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous
Stefan at florilegium.org
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2004 15:19:09 -0600
From: Robert Downie <rdownie at mb.sympatico.ca>
Subject: [Sca-cooks] Bardic Madness Feast Pamphlet
To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>
Well, this was my first time as head cook. It was a Friday the 13th Event from the start, but luckily everything turned out OK in the end. Here's the feast pamphlet that never materialised:
Bardic Madness Feast - February 14th 2004
Barony of Castel Rouge, Pricipality of Northshield, Midrealm
Head Cook: Baroness Faerisa Gwynarden
Co-Cook: Kolbrunna Gisladóttir
Many thanks to Mistress Hauviette D'Anjou and Mistress Sinciefu for sharing their research into period illusion foods and sotleties.
Listing of aphrodisiacs: (many of which appear in the menu) Aniseed, Almonds, Asparagus, Basil, Beavers, Bulbs, Bulls, Carrots, Caviar, Chick Peas, Coriander, Cucumbers, Eels, Eggs, Figs, Garlic, Ginger, Honey, Liquorice, Lobster, Mustard, Nutmeg, Oysters, Peaches, Pine Nuts, Rabbits, Snails, Snakes, Spanish Fly, Strawberries, Sparrows, Truffles
Platina on Right Pleasure and Good Health
On the Tables:
-Peacocks: bread bodies adorned with paper-mache necks/heads with skewers of vegetables, cheeses, sausage etc. for the tails. Inspired by salats for show only from _The English Huswife_ 1615
-Flavored butters piped in the shape of roses Inspired by Hugh Plat's _Jewel-house of Arte & Nature_ 1594 And 'Wolfenbüttel Manuscript' aka 'Mittelniederdeutsches Kochbuch', North Germany, mid-15th century
Presentation: The servers will be hidden behind a cloth painted with an underwater scene. The swans will file out and wait on either side of the cloth enclosure while the Castle of love is presented to the head table. Then they will each place a 'swan' on their respective tables, unclothe them with a flourish, and file back into the enclosure with the paper-mache swans to process out again.
-For Head Table, a Castle of Love inspired by De Fait du Cuisine 1420 escorted by a stream of paper mache swans (lined with foil) covering Chicken with Orange Sauce to simulate redressed swans (idea courtesy of Mistress Hauviette D'Anjou)
-Heart shaped mushroom and cheese pasties _Le Menagier_ de Paris 14th C
-Sausage 'snails' (idea courtesy of Lady Olwen the Odd)
-Oak leaves From _A Queen's Delight_, 1671
-'Apple' eggs (idea courtesy of Lady Olwen the Odd)
-candied walnuts in sugar paste shells _Menagier de Paris_, 1393 French
Presentation: Neptune serves head table. He rides a chariot, pulled by two seahorses.
-Mock Turtle: a beef stew hidden in a pastry turtle
-Rice served molded into the shape of a fish (idea courtesy of Mistress HauvietteD'Anjou)
-salmon 'carrots' _Das Buoch von Guoter Spise_ 1345-54,
-beef and/or marrow 'peascods'
-faux oysters (aquapatis in sanitized oyster shells) with tapioca pearls
-a sugar plate crab filled with compost (sweet and sour vegetable pickle with wine and honey)
-fritters in the shape of fishes Platina on Right Pleasure and Good Health
Presentation: a wild boar has been terrorizing the countryside. He finds his way into the kitchen, where he proceeds to devour the dessert course until the cooks subdue him with pots and pans and manage to salvage what the can of the food.
-mock entrails with "spanish" flys
-white gingerbread grapes
-molded cookies in appropriate shapes
Flavored butters- Wolfenbuttel Manuscript mid 15th C North Germany 59 you shall take cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, pepper and ginger in equal weight, and add butter or cheese.
Flavored Butters- Recipe from Hugh Platt's "Jewel-house of Arte & Nature", dated 1594.
"2. How to make sundry sorts of most dainty butter with the saide oils. In the month of May, it is very usuall with us to eat some of the smallest, and youngest sage leaves with butter in a morning... in stead whereof all those which delighte in this heabe may cause a few droppes of the oile of sage to be well wrought, or tempered with the butter when it is new taken out of the cherne, ...as also with cinnamon, mace, and clove butter (which are all made in one selfe same manner) ...Ore, if by som means or other you may not give a tincture to your creme before you chearne it, either with roseleaves, cowslep leaves, violet or marigold leaves, &c. And thereby chaunge the color of your butter. And it may be that if you wash your butter throughly wel with rose water before you dish it, and work up some fine sugar in it, that the Country people will go neere to robbe all Cocknies of their breakfasts, unlesse the dairie be well looked unto.
Chicken with Orange Sauce -The Medieval Kitchen Recipes from France and Italy p 115
To prepare roast chicken, you must roast it; and when it is cooked, take orange juice or verjuice with rosewater, sugar and cinnamon, and place the chicken on a platter; and pour this mixture over it and send it to the table. (Maestro Martino, Libro de Arte Coquinaria). Idea of the paper mache reclothed swan courtesy of Mistress Hauviette D'Anjou.
1 free range chicken, 3 1/4 to 4 1/2 lb (1.5 to 2 Kg)
the juice of 3 bitter oranges or
10 T (5 fl oz) (or the juice of 2 lemons mixed with 6 T water) plus 1 T rosewater
1/2 tsp sugar
1 pinch ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 425 *F. Wash and dry the chicken and salt the cavity. Place in a roasting pan and put in the oven, basting frequently with the pan juices, until golden brown and nicely cooked. Add the sugar and cinnamon to the bitter orange juice or the verguice rosewater mixture, and pour this over the roasted chicken (still in it's roasting pan). Place the chicken on a platter. Serve with the pan juices. You can substitute normal orange juice for the bitter orange juice, but in that case omit the sugar and add the juice of half a lemon.
Mushroom Pasties Pleyne Delit #2 from Le Menagier de Paris 160
"Mushrooms of one night are best, if they are small, red inside, and closed at the top; they should be peeled and then washed in hot water and parboiled, and if you wish to put them in a pasty add oil, cheese, and spice powder.
Perhaps it was necessary to peel mushrooms and wash them in hot water in 14th C France, but we doubt that the kind of little button mushrooms here described need to be treated so today: a scrubbing in cold water should suffice. Medieval 'pasties' were made like turnovers: put the filling on top of a piece of pastry, then doulble the pastry over and pinch the edges together. The pastry must be very thin, or there will be too much in proportion to the filling."
Pastry dough (I used a heart shaped pasty press to make these)
3/4 lb small button mushrooms
1-2 oz cheese (eg, 1 oz each of cheddar and parmesan)
2 T olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground pepper
Wash the mushrooms and pare away the bottom of the stems, but leave whole. Parboil in salted water 3-4 minutes. Drain, and mix with oil and seasonings. Make turnovers, mix the cheese in with the mushrooms. Bake in a 425*F oven for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
To make Apples look like Oak Leaves and Plums From A Queen's Delight, 1671; (see also p 102 Banqueting Stuffe edited by C. Anne Wilson)
"Take Pippins pared and coared, and cut in pieces, and boiled tender, so strain them, and take as much Sugar as the Pulp doth weigh, and boil it to a Candy height with as much Rose-water and fair water as will melt it, then put the pulp into the hot sugar, and let it boil until it be as thick as Marmalet; then fashion it on a Pye-plate, like oaken leaves, and some like half Plums, the next day close the half Plums together; and if you please you may put the stones and stalks in them, and dry them in an Oven, and if you will have them look green, make the paste when Pippins are green; and if you would have them look red, put a little conserves of Barberries [see insert] in the Paste, and if you will keep any of it all the year, you must make it as thin as Tart stuff, and put it into Gallipots."
Honey-Nut Conserve Menagier de Paris, 1393 French -Early French cookery p 290
1 cup liquid honey
10-15 whole cloves
2 T finely sliced slivers of ginger
8 oz whole or halved walnuts
On low heat in a small cooking pot, combine honey and spices. Let spices marinate in warm honey for 5-10 min. Add walnuts & bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally until honey reaches soft ball stage (approx. 10 min.). Spoon out the walnuts (and include some cloves and ginger), & set them to cool & harden on a piece of tinfoil or marble slab. Store in tightly sealed container. We put these into sugar paste walnut shells.
We made sugar paste walnut shells using a metal mold and hid the candied walnuts inside, sealing the two halves shut with a little royal icing.
Apple Eggs (Idea courtesy of Lady Olwen the Odd)
Hard boil eggs. Peel, one at a time, and while still hot carefully pinch the top and bottom between your thumb and fore finger until completely cool (it helps to do this in a bowl of cold water). Let dry, paint with food colors and add a clove stem on top.
Sausage Snails (Idea courtesy of Lady Olwen the Odd)
Take raw pork sausage and remove it from the casing. Knead in bread crumbs (and additional poudre douce or forte, to taste) until the meat is stiff enough to hold it's shape. Fashion into little snail bodies with raised heads, adding 2 cloves for the eyes. Bake at 350 until set and cooked through. Top with real snail shells or shell shaped jumbal cookies.
Jumbols Delightful Exercise for Ladies and Gentlewomen 16th C (adaptation courtesy of Lady Bonne found in Stefan's florilegium)
1 cup flour (I used 1/2 cup extra flour)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp aniseed
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp rosewater (I used 2 tsp water + 1/4 tsp orange blossom water)
1 T water
Sift dry ingredients. Beat egg whites till stiff, fold into flour. Add enough water to make a workeable dough. Roll into rolls shaped like letters and figures. Bake on parchment. Bake at 350*F 10-15 min. or until done but not browned - remove to rack immediately.
Rice for a Meat Day - Menagier de Paris, 1393 French- Cariadoc's
Collection pg M41
Pick it over and wash in two or three changes of hot water and put to dry on the fire then add boiling cow's milk and grind up saffron to color it yellow soak with your milk then add in grease from beef stock
2 cups medium grain rice (we used Rooster Brand sticky rice)
4 cups water with pinch salt
1 cup whole milk
3 or 4 saffron threads crushed and soaked in milk
1/4 cup beef stock fat or salted butter
Fish mold, coated with food release or butter (we just used cold water)
Bring rice to a boil, reduce and simmer till water is absorbed (for large quantities, bring to a boil, simmer 5-7 minutes then turn heat off and let sit for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour). Add milk/saffron mixture and butter. Stir to incorporate. Remove from heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes to thicken and absorb all liquid. Pour into molded fish dishes. Recipe adaptation and concept courtesy of Mistress Hauviette D'Anjou.
Compost of Pasternak and of Peeres - Forme of Cury:
See original at http://www.godecookery.com/alabama/alabam01.html#compost
Gode Cookery translation:
Pickled Salad. Take parsley, carrots, radishes; scrape and clean them. Take white radishes & cabbages, pared and cored. Take an earthen pan with clean water & set it on the fire; and put all these in. When they've boiled, add pears and parboil well. Take all these things out and let cool on a clean cloth. Add salt. When cooled, place in a container; add vinegar, powder, and saffron, and let sit overnight. Take Greek wine & honey, clarified together; take "lumbarde" mustard and whole currants, and cinnamon, "powdour douce" & whole anise seed, & fennel seed. Take all these things and place together in an earthen pot, and take from it when you need to, and serve.
2 lb. carrots, peeled and chopped into medium sized pieces
3-4 pears, peeled, cored and chopped into medium sized pieces
1 1/2 heads cabbage
1 tsp. salt
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 Tbs. ground ginger
1/2 Tbs. each anise seed & fennel seed
1 1/2 quart white wine
1/2 cup honey
1/2 Tbs. mustard seed
3 cinnamon sticks
Boil the carrots for several minutes, then add the pears, cook a little more, then add the cabbage. Cook until tender; drain well. Lay carrots and pears on a clean cloth. Sprinkle on the salt. Let cool, then place in a large dish or container; sprinkle on the ginger & saffron then pour the vinegar over all. Cover (the cloth works fine for this) and let stand for several hours or overnight. Mix the compost with the seeds, place in a non-metallic container that can be sealed, then set aside. In a separate pot, bring the honey, cinnamon, and wine to a boil, skimming off any scum until clear. Remove the cinnamon sticks and pour the liquid over the compost mixture. Let cool and seal. May be stored for a week or more.
Aquapatys - Forme of Cury
Pill garlec and cast it in a pot with water and oile and seeth it. Do thereto safron, salt, and powdor-fort and dress it forth hool. To better simulate the look of fresh oysters, we decided to roast the garlic with a little olive oil. The dish is not a direct copy of a period dish, but is based on the period idea of putting a filling into a seafood shell." - (Epulario, "p. 29; crab variation, A Proper New Booke of Cokerye, p. 17 Inspired by the mushroom variations of Mistress Sincgiefu and Mistress Hauviette D'Anjou.
Epulario pg 29
To dresse Oysters
They are to be roasted on the coales, and when they open they are enough, you may take them also out of the shells, and fry them in oile, and eat them with vinegar and pepper
A Proper New Booke of Cokerye - 16th C- Cariadoc's Collection pg C5 Fyrste take awaye all the legges and the heades and then take all the fysh out of the shelle and make the shell as cleane as ye can and putte the meate into a dysche, and butter uppon a chafying dysche of coles and putte therto synamon and sugaer and a lytle vyneger and wehn ye have chafed it and seasoned it then putte the meate in the shelle agayne and bruse the heades and set them upon the dysche syde and serve it.
Beef Peascods- A Propre new booke of Cokery, 1545
Take mary bones and pull the mary hole out of them and cut it in two partes then season it with suger / synamon ginger and a little salte / and make your paest as fyne as ye can and as shorte and thyn as ye can / then frye theim in swete suet and cast vpon theim a lytle sinamon and ginger and so serue them at the table.
We duplicated this recipe using ground beef for the "peas" due to availability. We also tinted the dough green to better simulate the effect. We used the "Fine paste" recipe from All the King's Cooks by Peter Brears.
1 lb plain flour
1/2 tsp salt, 4 oz butter
pinch ground saffron
6 fl oz ale
1 egg, lightly beaten
Place sugar, salt, butter, saffron and ale in a saucepan, bring them to a boil, stirring to melt the butter. Put the flour into a bowl, make a well in the center, pour in the hot liquid, and quickly beat it with a wooden spoon, while pouring in the egg, to make a dough. Knead the dough...Bake at 400*F
This dough was a joy to work with. To avoid greasiness, we parboiled the meatballs, then baked them (this also helped preserve the round shape), and then encased the cooked meatballs in the dough and baked it at 400*f for about 15 minutes. The result was extremely realistic!
Roasted Carrots Das Buoch von Guoter Spise Translation by Alia Atlas
23.A good food
Take of the breast of the hen. And cut it small. And pound it in a mortar. And add thereto a little meal and large bread. (add) pepper or ginger to mass. Salt to mass. (Add also an egg or two to the mix). Cook that together well. Cut two little clubs of a fingers length and as an ulna. flat and round in front. And take the boiled (mixture) as large as a carrot and squeeze it out so that it is creased liked the form, in which it was pressed. Lay it in a pan. Let it boil with the stick. (During) the time that the first boils, work the other stick. As you take it out, let the other in. And make it as full as you want. When it is well boiled so take it out. Stir a chopped puree with butter. Fill that in the "carrot" and stick it upon the spit. Make it hot and sprinkle it with butter and give it out. Also, you may make carrots too of pike and of salmon and where you want.
132. A dish
Rub garlic with salt. Shell the head well and mix with six eggs thereto without the white. And take vinegar and a little water there to not too sour and let that boil so that it stays thick. There with may one make roasted chicken "carrots" or swan or what you want The "puree" to be puree of carrots with recipe 132?.
Recipe adapted by Mistress Hauviette d'Anjou
The above recipe presented a few challenges as I set to work out the details. There are several cooking steps involved. First of all, you are asked to cook the bread/salmon mixture well then cut it mold it and cook it again. Without further research into possible translation errors, I am working on the idea that this either required you to work the mixture meaning blend or, if actually requiring cooking, was maybe the same idea as cooking a bread pudding. This step however seems redundant in my redaction as the salmon I am using is already cooked as it were by canning. Secondly, the recipe requires you to "boil" the mixture after you have cut it into clubs. This I believed is boiling in oil not water as one might first suspect. I tried the latter to find what results would occur. As it was, the mixture disintegrated into the boiling water. When the mixture was set into boiling oil, it browned beautifully, into a dark amber crust. Perfect for mimicking "carrots".
200g can pink salmon (155 g drained)
3 TB bread crumbs
1 slice fresh whole wheat bread cut into small cubes
1/3 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
Cooking oil (preferably canola)
2 cloves of garlic, roasted whole
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
1 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp water
Combine first 5 ingredients well, then add eggs. Mix well. Partially fill a small pot with oil and heat to 400 degrees or until a small piece of mixture bubbles when dropped into pot. Using a wooden spoon, form the mixture around the handle forming a conical "carrot" shape around the end, approximately 5 inches (10 cm) in length. Place the carrot into the hot oil and brown. If necessary, turn and brown the other side. Using a soft edged knife or spoon, slide the carrot off the spoon into the oil and let brown a few minutes longer. As this is happening, make a second "carrot" on the spoon handle, setting it into the oil to begin browning. Remove the first and set it aside on some absorbent towel. Continue until all the mixture is made into carrots.
If you wish, make the puree recipe of garlic, egg yolk, vinegar and water and fill the hole of the carrot. This provides a flavor punch, reminiscent of a spicy mayonaise.
Combine the roasted garlic, salt and mash well. Add vinegar and water. Mix well. Put on a low burner and add egg yolk and stir while it is heating. Do not allow it to burn. Once it has thickened, remove from heat. Fill "carrots". Place carrots in the oven at 425 degrees for 5 -7 minutes to crisp and heat centres.
Serve with parsley poked into the large end of the "carrot".
Fritters in the Shape of Fishes
Redaction courtesy of Lady Ann-Marie and Count Gunthar (found in
To make fritters like fishes: [Epilario, #232] Blanch thy almonds [here is a transcription error about adding chopped fish. It's not in the original Italian] and stampe together with Currans, Sugar, Parsely and Margerum chopped small with good spice and saffron, then have in a readinesse a fine paste, and making it in what forme you wil you may fill them with this composition, then frie them in oile: they make likewise be baked dry in a frying pan, and when they are baked, they will shew like fishes.
Make a batch of your favorite shortbread cookie dough, or use refrigerated sugar cookie dough.
We opted for shortbread instead, to allow us to bake it directly in the cast iron fish molds I'd found. However, I believe it would probably be closer to the "fine pastry" recipe in All the King's Cook's by Peter Brears, as described in the recipe for peascods.
1 c. blanched almonds
1/2 c each raisins and currants
1 c powdered sugar
3 T dry marjoram, or 1 T fresh
1/2 c. fresh parsley
4 threads of saffron
1 tsp "good spice", ie a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, etc
Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, and blend until the stuff begins to stick together. Makes 2c. filling. Roll out the pastry dough, and cut out shapes. Fish shapes are appropriate. Place a dollop of filling on the bottom crust, cover with a top crust, and seal the edges with a fork dipped in water. Bake at 375o for 10-15 min, or until lightly brown.
Exerpt from Banquetting Stuffe, Rare Conceites and Strange Delightes by Peter Brears p 67: Cast sugar work was perhaps the most impressive, and the most difficult, of all the highly decorated dishes that appeared at the banquet table. It was used to make all kinds of birds, beasts, fruits, and the other three dimensional figures or "standards" necessary for decorating marchepanes, etc., in which the cook could fully demonstrate his skill in technique and design...eg. Hugh Plat 1600... Work of this kind began with the preparation of a number of moulds. These might be made in stone, wood, or pewter by a craftsman with the required skills, but probably most moulds were made of 'alabaster' or plaster of Paris, by the cooks themselves. Taking actual objects, such as a pheasant with it's plumage smeared down to a smooth surface, or an orange or a lemon, plaster was poured over first one section and then another to produce a mould which could be dismantled to remove its contents. The dry plaster was then soaked in water for a period varying from an hour to overnight, depending on the recipe. Having been dried with a cloth, it was assembled, its sections tied securely together with tape, and a syrup of sugar boiled to hard crack (325*F) poured in. The mould was then rotated in the hand to spread an even layer of sugar around the interior, allowed to cool, and then opened to reveal a complete sugar creature or fruit. This could either be decorated either in its natural colors or with gold-leaf guilding.
Sugar Plate recipe from Banqueting Stuffe, Rare Conceits and Strange Delightes
1/2 tsp gelatine (as an affordable alternative to gum tragacanth)
1 tsp (5 ml)lemon juice
2 tsp (10 ml) rosewater
1/2 egg white, lightly beaten
12-16 oz (250-450g) icing sugar
A few drops of food coloring if required
Stir the gelatine into the lemon juice and rosewater in a basin and place over a bowl of hot water until melted. Stir in the egg white, add food coloring and work in the icing sugar, little by little, until a dough is formed. It can then be turned out on a board dusted with icing sugar, kneaded until completely smooth, rolled out and used as required to make (SEE DESCRIPTIONS IN BOOK)
We made sugar paste crab shells built around styrofoam bowls to hold the compost (or "sweet and sour crab")
We also meant to make the turtles out of hot water pastry, but after some logistical difficulties went with foil lined paper mache instead
Stewed Beef _Take a Thousand eggs or More_ vol 2
Take fair ribs of fresh beef, And (if thu will) roast it till it is nigh enough; then put it in a fair small pot; cast thereto parsley and onions minced, raisins of corinth, powdered pepper, cinnamon, cloves, sandalwood, saffron, and slat; then cast thereto wine and a little vinegar; set a lid on the pot, and let it boil soakingly on a fair charcoal till it is enough; then lay the flesh, in dishes, and the syrup thereupon, And serve it forth.
(we used a dry red with berry and oak overtones and a mixture of round roast and sirloin roast for the meat)
Trayne Roste Take a Thousand Eggs or More p 255 Harleian MS 4016
4 pieces heavy string 18" long
1/4 cup sliced almonds, soaked in warm water and drained
18 dried figs, halved
6 oz dates, halved
1/2 cup seedless raisins
1 1/2 cups oil
7 oz beer, ale or wine
1 1/3 cups flour
1 tsp sugar
1 1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground ginger
dash of salt
Using a sharp needle, thread the dried fruits and nuts onto the strings. Alternate the fruits and nuts to achieve an uneven appearance. Set aside. Beat together beer, flour, salt and spices. Dip the strings of fruit and nuts in the batter to coat. Fry in oil over high heat one at a time. Fry until golden and drain.
Fine Gingerbread: Hugh Plat's Delites for Ladies 1603
22 To make Gingerbread
Take three stale manchets and grate them, drie them, and sift them through a fine sieve, then adde vnto them one ounce of ginger being beaten, and as much Cinnamon, one ounce of liquerice and anniseeds being beaten together and searced, half a pound of sugar, then boile all these together in a posnet, with a quart of claret wine till they come to a stiff paste with often stirring of it, and when it is stiff, mold it on a table and so driue it thin, and print it in your mouldes, dust your moldes with Cinnamon, Ginger and Liquerice, being mixed together in fine powder. This is your Gingerbread vsued at the court, and in all Gentlemens houses at festivall times. It is otherwise called drie Leach.
Adaptation of the above recipe given in: All the King's Cooks p86
8 oz (225 g) fresh white breadcrumbs
1 tsp (5ml) aniseed
1 tsp (5 ml) ground liquorice
1 tsp (5ml) ground ginger
1 tsp (5 ml) ground cinnamon
1 oz (25 g) sugar
1/4 pint (150 ml) claret
Dry the breadcrumbs under the grill or in the oven, without browning. Mix them with the remaining ingredients in a saucepan, and work with a wooden spatula over a gentle heat until they become a very stiff red dough. (This is a long and laborious process - hard stirring is necessary to prevent the mixture from sticking and burning.)
Turn the mixture out onto a board dusted with ground ginger and cinnamon, knead until perfectly smooth, then roll out to about 1/4" (7 mm) in thickness. Either cut them into squares, or press into small moulds and turn out, then leave to dry on a wire rack. Note: I instead fashioned them into small spheres to cluster together into faux grapes.