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vegetables-msg - 4/6/08

 

Medieval vegetables. Recipes.

 

NOTE: See also the files: root-veg-msg, peppers-msg, vegetarian-msg, turnips-msg, leeks-msg, lentils-msg, peas-msg, beans-msg, gourds-msg, beets-msg, lettuce-msg, artichokes-msg, greens-msg, salads-msg, mushrooms-msg, olives-msg, onions-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

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

************************************************************************

 

From: Sabia <sabia at unm.edu>

Date: Sat, 3 May 1997 14:46:54 -0600 (MDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Question(long,Iamsorry)

 

> Please do!  I have never seen a white gazpacho, and I am intrigued!

>

>    Alys of Foxdale          Shire of Stierbach, Kingdom of Atlantia

>  mka Sallie Montuori               Chantilly, Virginia, USA

> foxdale at wolfstar.com

 

        Ok, first sorry I am so slow to get back to you, second, the

following recipes are Not redacted by me, and are from modern cookbooks,

but the citings they list are'nt bad.

 

1} The Spanish Cookbook by Barbara Norman, Bantam Books/Atheneum

Publishers 1967.  

This one I haven't tried yet the next one works wonderfully.

 

        Ajo Blanco Con Uvas(Malagan Gazpacho)

               4-5 servings

 

        1 1/4 cups raw scalded almonds      2 medium cloves Garlic

        white part of four slices bread(soaked in wine vinegar and squeezed)    

        4 cups ice water                    2/3 cup olive oil

        7 to 8 peeled white grapes per serving

 

        Using a mortar, pound almonds with garlic and bread, gradualy add

        olive oil, strain, and stir in ice water. Serve very cold with

seven or eight peeled white grapes in each soup plate.   If you use an

electric blender, mix all ingrediants except grapes simultaneously untill

almonds are ground as fine as possible; strain and serve as above.

 

{2} The Foods & Wines of Spain by Penelope Casas, Alfred A Knopf New York

        1987

 

Gazpacho Extremeno(white gazpacho)  serves six

 

        1 egg                                     1/4 teaspoon sugar

        4 slices white bread crust removed     2 tablespoon red wine vinager

        7 tablespoons olive oil                  2 tablespoon whitewine vinager

        2 cloves garlic peeled cut in 1/2       salt

        1 green pepper, seeded cut in strips    1/2 cup ice water

        2 small Kirby cucumbers, or 1 cucumber  chopped cucumber and pepper

        peeled and cut in chunks               for garnish and croutons

 

                       Vegetable Broth (3 cups)

 

        place the egg in the bowl of a processor or blender, beat until

light colored. Soak the bread slices in cold water. Squeeze throughly to

extract most of the moisture.  With the moter running, add the oil to the

processor in a thin stream, then add the bread, garlic, green pepper,

cucumber, sugar, red and white vinagers, salt, and pepper. Blend until

no large pieces remain.  Beat in 1 cup of the broth, strain the mixture

into a large bowl pressing with a wooden spoon to force through as much

as possible.  stir in the remaining 2 cups of broth and the ice water.  

Add more vinager and salt if desired. Refrigerate several hours or

overnight, then serve very cold with chopped cucumber, green pepper, and

croutons.  

 

        If there is a conflict with the peppers (are any green peppers

period) then they can be dropped with out too much substituition, and I

did not find it necessary to add extra vinager, but most people in this

area (al-Barran) don't seem to be used to vinager.  it had mixed results,

as many people want soup hot, or were taken aback by the wonderful green

this comes out.  Those who like green, really liked it.  

 

If interested check this book out for other varities of this dish (casas)

 

Sabia at unm.edu

 

 

Date: Tue, 6 May 1997 13:27:44 -0400 (EDT)

From: Rooscc at aol.com

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: New World Foods

 

It is tricky determining how quickly a new world food

caught on in any particular area of Europe. I've found that

garden/household accounts and incidental mentions are

more helpful than anything. Watch secondary sources--

they will often say that a plant was "introduced" when

they mean "first mentioned" and this isn't the same thing.

When you look up that first mention it might say "grows

in everyone's garden"!

 

For beans, look for references to staking, red flowers,

and other things that wouldn't fit broad beans. In England,

"the" potato is the sweet potato--and by the end of our

period it was being served at least among the well-to-do.

The tomato was known but seems to be a novelty, while

squash (and/or pumpkins) appears on Tusser's lists

mid-century. Curiously the red beet with a bulbous

root was new to Gerard; common beets were white or

yellow and eaten as greens. (Even in the 16th, beets

often were called by their French name.)

 

I'd like to hear what others have found about particular

vegetables.

Alysoun

Middle Kingdom

 

 

From: Stephen Bloch <sbloch at adl15.adelphi.edu>

Date: Mon, 2 Jun 1997 22:57:08 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - Mediterranean Feast

 

>      I am doing my first feast in September at Mooneschadowe Guardian.  I

>      want to use a mediterranean theme but I am having a hard time with

>      vegetables.  I am planning to do a marinated fresh vegetable platter

>      as a first course but I haven't been able to find a vegetable dish I

>      like to put with either of my meat courses.

 

>      About the only other things I'm considering are a

>      chick-pea dish or a spinach dish but I'm afraid there may be some

>      hesitation on the part of the populace.  Thanks!

 

Both of those ingredients turn up frequently in Platina and the Arabo-

Andalusian _manuscrito anonimo_.  The _Libre de Sent Sovi_ contains a

recipe for chickpeas cooked in almond milk with onions and spices; we

haven't worked it out yet.  The early 16th-c. Catalan _Libre del Coch_

contains a cooked pottage of spinach and beet greens (and borage, if you

can find it) which we served to good reviews at a feast a few months

ago; see http://www.adelphi.edu/~sbloch/sca/cooking/st.val.feast.html.

 

                                      mar-Joshua ibn-Eleazar ha-Shalib

                                                 Stephen Bloch

                                           sbloch at panther.adelphi.edu

                                      http://www.adelphi.edu/~sbloch/

                                        Math/CS Dept, Adelphi University

 

 

From: zarlor at acm.org (Lenny Zimmermann)

Date: Tue, 03 Jun 1997 17:42:28 GMT

Subject: Re: SC - Mediterranean Feast

 

While not as "Mediterranean" in style as Greece or Turkey, there are

an exceptional number of salads and fruit/veggie dishes listing in

"The Fruit, Herbs & Vegetables of Italy. An offering to Lucy, Countess

of Bedford", by Giacomo Castelvetro. The original is in Italian and

written in 1614 (just a hair post period). I tend to have the greatest

interest in Late Renaissance Italian cuisine, so this and Platina are

my current bibles. ;-) The copy I have is put out by Viking Press,

with Introduction and Translation by Gillian Riley (c) 1989 and

Foreword by Jane Grigson. ISBN 0-670-82724X. I am not sure if this

book is even in print any longer, but Amazon.Com was able to come up

with a copy for me.

 

The listings are

by season and then, generally, by fruit/herb/veggie. Oh, and one of my

favorites is the listing under Sweet Fennel (it has a seed that tastes

like licorice): "Fennel Seeds are gathered in the autumn. We flavour

various dishes with them, and eat them on their own after meals." So

now I always have a little dish with Fennel Seeds to "sweeten the

breath" after a feast. It just seems like such a nice little touch.

 

Honos Servio,

Lionardo Acquistapace, Barony of Bjornsborg, Ansteorra

(mka Lenny Zimmermann, San Antonio, TX)

zarlor at acm.org

 

 

Date: Wed, 13 Aug 1997 17:30:01 -0700

From: ladymari at GILA.NET (Mary Hysong)

Subject: SC - SKIRRETS

 

Hello, well, finally made it to the library after the skirret info. and

here it is:

 

"The  World Encyclopedia of Food"

copyright 1982 L. Patrick Coyle

ISBN 0-87196-417-1

 

(BTW really yummy book.. :-) ...once a herald, always a herald...  :-)

 

Page 612

 

I didn't copy word for word, this is the gist of the entry...

 

Skirret, also Chervin, the roots of Sium sisarum; originated in Eastern

Asai, but cultivated in Europe since Roman times. Supposed to have a

sweet taste, with a woody core which is removed before cooking [rather

like parsnips, I think]  The taste is compared to sweet potates.  Also

dried and ground for a coffee substitute.

 

This is a huge book that has probably *almost* everything ever known to

have been eaten for  food in the world.  If anyone spots a source for

it, I would love to get a copy! to keep at home and read.

 

Well, good cooking and happy feasting everyone.

Mairi

 

 

Date: Mon, 25 Aug 1997 14:33:09 -0400 (EDT)

From: Uduido at aol.com

Subject: SC - Parsley

 

<< There were two different types of parsley mentioned on this

list recently, curly and Italian(?). >>

 

Italian Parsley is the parsley used for culinary purposes. It is definately

100 steps above Curly-leaved parsley with regards to flavor and is a standard

form. Curly leaved parsley is a relatively modern introduction, has little to

offer in the way of flavor and it's only redeeming feature is it's "pretty'

appearance. By all means, if you can find Italian parsley snatch it up! You

won't be sorry you did.

 

If you are making a decision on which type to use so far as "historically'

accurate, Italian (a.k.a. 'Flat Leaved') parsley would be the only choice.

 

Lord Ras

 

 

Date: Sat, 30 Aug 1997 15:58:09 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Seasonal Foods

 

Since we are also talking about cooking the feast in a short time, here is an interesting little recipe which purports to be from the 1300's.  I lifted the original out of Herter's Bull Cook and Authentic Historical Recipes and Practices.  It is a source chock full of historical inaccuracies and interesting recipes.  I think this one is medieval, although I suspect the grease in the recipe would have been an animal fat rather than butter.Danish Cooked Lettuce

 

Into a 2 qt sauce pan with lid, put 1 heaping teaspoon of butter and let it melt.Add ? cup of water, 1 medium onion (finely diced), 8 sticks of celery (diced)Pack leaf lettuce tightly into the sauce panBring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.Salt and pepper to taste.Comments:For 30 people, I'd use a 4 qt pan and 3 or 4 heads of lettuce, 1 bunch of celery, 1 or 2 medium onions, 1 bunch of celery, 2 tablespoons of butter, a half cup of water and a little salt.Thoroughly wash the leaf lettuce and celery.Put the water, salt, butter, diced onions and diced celery in the pan, don't worry about melting the butter.Pack the lettuce in on top as tight as you can.  It will be looser in the larger pan and should steam faster. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat.  I usually use a total cooking time of about 10 minutes, so that the lettuce is thoroughly wilted, but not mushy.Stir the lettuce to mix all of the ingredients.  Spoon into bowls and serve to the tables.I usually figure about 2 oz. per feaster when making this. It is unusual and people tend to be wary of cooked greens.Don't try to make this dish in advance.  It doesn't keep well.Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 24 Sep 1997 21:48:21 +1000

From: KandL Johnston <woodrose at malvern.starway.net.au>

Subject: Re: SC - Ein Guter Spise

 

Cathy Harding wrote:

> I am going to be doing a lunch for about 14 people in a couple of weeks and

> thought I would use my latest aquisition ( a copy of ein guter spise).

> This weekend I showed the recipes to one of the persons in charge to see if

> any of the recipes apealed to her.  Her observation was that there were few

> or no recipes with vegetables (There are some no meat eaters in the group).

> My question is does anyone know of german vegetable recipes from this time

> period?

 

Baked Mushrooms, mushrooms dragged first through egg whites, then a thin wine

batter and fry in hot oil....

 

Carrots in an Orange Sauce with raisins and orange peel..

 

I have more but out of time right now. Hope this helps.

 

Nicolette

- ---------------------------------------

Rudolf von der Drau and Nicolette Dufay

Baron and Baroness, Stormhold

 

 

Date: Wed, 08 Oct 1997 13:05:30 -0400

From: marilyn traber <margali at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: SC - below the salt

 

My version of Cassoulet d'isignie

 

In a large pot place a bag of white beans, a large onion with 4 whole

cloves stuck into it, a smoked ham hock, 2 whole carrots, 2 ribs of

celery and a gauze wrapped bouquet garni of 2 bay leaves, a sprig of

rosemary, a sprig of thyme, and a whole bulb of garlic peeled but not

chopped and a half gallon of chicken stock. Simmer but not boil for

about 1 hour. Test the beans, you want them firm and just past the

crunchy stage.

 

When the beans are 'done',  drain and reserve the broth for a different

recipe to follow : line a basic covered casserole with bacon, and cut up

beef, pork loin, lamb into 1/2 inch dice, a fresh large onion coarsly

chopped and layer starting with beans and ending with beans. Top with

about an inch of seasoned bread crumbs, arrange small garlic sausage

slices and legs of chicken on top, dot with butter, cover and bake for 2

hours at 300 f .

 

potage puree des haricots

take the broth from the cassoulet, put a bag of white beans in and cook

til soft. Puree the beans, simmer for another 15 minutes with the same

composition bouquet garni as above and enough stock to make a thick

creamy soup. Fry up some bacon and make crumbles for garnish, and blend

some parlsey and lemon zest into real butter[imitations need not

apply...] Take the soup off the burner, add 1/4 cup heavy cream and top

with pats of the seasoned butter and bacon crumbles. sit back and listen

to the capillaries scream for mercy/.

 

margali

 

 

Date: Wed, 29 Oct 1997 21:48:53 +0000

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <harper at idt.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Coriander vs. cilantro

 

And it came to pass on 28 Oct 97, that LrdRas at aol.com wrote:

> A better question would be <does anyone out there have a period

> recipe from the barbarous Europeans the uses cilantro as an

> ingredient?>   :-)

>

> <blinking innocently as I adjust my turban>

> Ras

 

::Smiling sweetly::   Here are three, for a start.  They are from

the 1529 edition of the "Libro de Guisados". The translation is

mine; I have not tried redacting any of these.

 

POTAJE DE CULANTRO LLAMADO PRIMO - Pottage of Coriander Called the

First

 

You will take dry and green coriander and pound it all together in a

mortar; and then take well toasted almonds; and pound them well

together with the coriander; and a crustless piece of bread toasted

and soaked in white vinegar; and pound it all together, and after

pounding it take a hen which has been cooked in a pot and take the

breasts from the hen; and pound them all together with the other

things; and when everything has been pounded, strain it all through a

woolen cloth, and when everything has been strained through, put it

in the pot where it must cook and cast in a good quantity of sugar;

and of all fine spices which are good, strained through with the

other things and cook it on the hearth; and put in the pot nutmeg and

mace and cinnamon and ginger and cloves; and when it is cooked remove

it from the fire and cover it, as if it were rice, and let it rest;

and then prepare dishes, and cast sugar and cinnamon upon them.

 

 

OTRO POTAJE DE CULANTRO LLAMADO CELIANDRATE SEGUNDO - Another

Pottage of Coriander Called the Second Celiandrate

 

Take dry coriander seed, and clean it and grind it well in a mortar,

and then take well prepared almonds, and pound them well with the

coriander, and when everything is well pounded, put these ground

spices with it: cinnamon, ginger and cloves: and when it it well

ground, dissolve the sauce with the juice of sour oranges and sweet

white grapes, so that it is not very sour; and put it on the hearth

to cook, and sample the taste, which must be between sour and sweet;

and the color of this sauce must be a gray color, and this sauce is

good for roast partridges and chickens, and upon the sauce [put]

sugar and cinnamon.

 

 

OTRO POTAJE DE CULANTRO LLAMADO TERCIO - Another Pottage of

Coriander Called the Third

 

You must take green coriander, and cut it finely, and pound it in a

mortar at the same time as dry coriander; and then take toasted

almonds and toasted hazelnuts, and pound them separately in a mortar;

and when they are pounded, mix them with the almonds; and resume

pounding it all together; and when it is well pounded, pas it through

a woolen cloth; and set it to cook in the pot, and cast in all fine

spices with saffron; and vinegar and sugar, and set it to cook with

little fire just until it is a little thickened; and remove it from

the fire and prepare dishes and upon them cast sugar and cinnamon.

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain of Tethba

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

mka Robin Carroll-Mann *** harper  at  idt.net

 

 

Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 14:10:08 -0500 (EST)

From: DianaFiona at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Period veges

 

<<  What is rocket?

Mercedes  >>

 

      Wonderful! ;-) But to be more specific, it's a cool-weather green that

combines a savory flavor with sweet and hot all at once. It can, like many

greens, get a trifle bitter and strong in the heat, but I'll still take it

over mustard any day! Unfortunately, the one time I had enough to try a pesto

with it, the grinding seemed to destroy the flavor......... :-(

 

   Ldy Diana

 

 

Date: Mon, 08 Dec 1997 10:15:20 -0600

From: Maddie Teller-Kook <meadhbh at io.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Request for documentation: Honey Glazed Vegetables

 

Michael F. Gunter wrote:

> I would like to do mashed parsnips and carrots for my 12th Night feast but

> I don't have any documentation for it. I'm pretty sure a carrot/parsnip dish

> is period but I would prefer having a source for it.

>

> Gunthar

 

Gunther,

This recipe is from Terence Scully's latest cookbook: Early French

Cooking. This recipe is a redaction from the Menagier de Paris.

 

Honey Glazed Vegetables:

 

for 5 lbs vegetables:

 

1 lb each (or chose any mix of a total = 5 lbs).

 

Turnips, carrots, squash (I used zucchini, i know its not period but it

really worked in the recipe and Scully listed it), fennel root, parsley

root and/or parsnip.

 

cook all vegetables in a pot with a little water, bring to boil and cook

until almost tender.  Add 20 tablespoons honey (1 1/4 cups). Reduce heat

and stir. Simmer until liquid has almost evaporated. Shake the pan to

assure honey is coating all the vegetables.

 

I did this dish for the Noble's Dinner at Bryn Gwlad's fall event. It

was a success.  Give it a try.

 

meadhbh

 

 

Date: Tue, 05 May 1998 16:59:00 +1000

From: Robyn Probert <robyn.probert at lawpoint.com.au>

Subject: Re: SC - re:period recipes

 

TOMC = The Original Mediterranean Cuisine

TFCC = Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books

 

Asparagus...

Fried Asparagus TOMC

Aspargus with Shallots TOMC

 

Fennel...

Fennel and Leek TOMC

Broccili with Fennel TOMC

 

Rowan

 

 

Date: Sun, 24 May 1998 23:37:20 EDT

From: KKimes1066 <KKimes1066 at aol.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: Problems!

 

Rhubarb is illustrated in Tacinum Sanitatis as well as several other herbals.

It's "period", period.

 

Percival

 

 

Date: Thu, 28 May 1998 22:34:58 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Armored  Rape???

 

> This is my current "BIG project". What you are looking for is COLEWORTS.

> I have several pictures of this plant, in manuscripts and woodcuts. But,

> it has been replaced by the hybrid Brassicas we are familiar with today. As

> far as my research has gone, crossing a loose leafed cabbage and mustard

> greens should get me back to something very close to coleworts. This is going

> to take a few years, but if/when I am successful, I'll let anybody in the SCA

> have seeds for free.

>

> Just a gardening fool,

> Percival

 

Coleworts is a linguistic variation of collards, Brassica oleracea var.

acephala (this variation covers all of the headless cabbages such as

collards, kale, kohlrabi, etc.).  Collards and kale are about the closest

cabbages to the sea kale (Crambe maratima) which is believed to be ancestor

of all modern cabbages.

 

Sea kale is still grown, so if you really want to go into a breeding

project, you might want to get some and breed for the variant you desire.

 

BTW, most of the Brassicas are not hybrids but variants, being all the same

species (oleracea) but having been selectively bred for specific traits.

Hybrids are generally created by inter-species crossbreeding.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 2 Jun 1998 21:44:29 -0700

From: "Anne-Marie Rousseau" <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - a question

 

[Bogdan asked for a recipe using mulberries.]

 

Epilario uses a syrup of mulberries with a dish of peas. Yum!

#53: To fry pease with Bacon

Take the pease cod and all as they are and boyle them, and take a little

Bacon larded with fat, and cut it into Collopes, then fry it a little with

the aforesaid pease, adding thereto a little Verjuice, Sugar, or sirope of

Mulberies, and a little Sinamon. In this sort also are white pease fried.

 

- --Anne-Marie

 

 

Date: Fri, 26 Jun 1998 19:14:22 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - Will's- more recipes

 

Here are the few recipes my co-feastocrat at Will's Revenge, His Lordship

Thorstein,  was willing to share. :-) Sorry for the lack of documentation but

this isn't my work. Enjoy. They are wonderful. :-)

 

Honey glazed vegetables

1 lb. choice of vegetables

4 tbs. honey

Garnish

        sprigs of parsley or fennel or saffron threads

 

Directions will vary according to your choice of veggies

Peel turnips, cut into smaller pieces

Pare and slice carrots

Slice squash in half, remove seeds & peel; cut into slices

Peel outer skin of fennel root, slice; remove hard center core

Peel parsley root and cut into slices

 

Cook all vegetables in a medium pot in as little water as possible:  bring to

a boil and cook until almost tender.

 

Stir in honey and reduce heat.  Simmer until liquid has almost evaporated.

Shake pan to ensure the honey has coated all the vegetables.

 

Garnish and serve

 

<snip of other recipes>

 

 

Date: Sat, 15 Aug 1998 11:54:59 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - SC-green beans?

 

Mike and Gail Young wrote:

> Could anyone tell me if green beans are period.  I have a recipe for green

> beans and almonds that was served at a feast I attended once but I am

> trying to do documentation on a feast I am preparing. Any help would be

> greatly appreciated.

 

> Lady Gwyneth Blackrose

> Gail Young

 

Through most SCA period, the legumes generally available to Europeans were fava

beans, chick peas, lentils, and various types of peas. New World beans (the

haricot bean, of which our green bean is a type) seem to occur in period

recipes only in the last quarter of the sixteenth century, at best, and I'm not

aware of green (in other words, immature) haricots being eaten in the shell or

pod in period.

 

On the other hand, baby fava beans in their shells, fresh green fava beans,

shelled, and baby peas in their peascods, all do seem to have been eaten in

period, generally boiled very briefly and eaten with butter, butter and

vinegar, or vinegar and oil. This would generally be considered a simple sallat

of green beans or peascods. And, in season, a very commendable one. BTW,

shelled fava beans still have a leathery husk on each individual bean, and it's

kind of a pain to remove, which is why the beans must be young if they're going

to be eaten fresh. That, and the fact that the shells or cods have an inner

lining to which many people are allergic. But, if you're prepared to go through

the hassle, peeled green favas are great, and even are sometimes eaten raw.

 

All that being said, if you were to serve beancods of unknown provenance at

your feast, it wouldn't be the end of the world. If someone were so crass as to

leave persona to kvetch about the green beans not being period, you can simply

refer them to the farmer, and/or point out that pointing out that things aren't

period isn't period.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Wed, 14 Oct 1998 11:05:53 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - gingered butternut squash soup (Was: Italian Ren Feast)

 

> Seannach asked...

> >I just found a modern recipe for gingered butternut squash soup that has

> sweet potatoes in it, and am making it tonight to test out.....is there

> any way this could be period?<

>

> Prolly not. It has sweet potatoes in it. But then, I have gotten somewhat

> confused as to the legitimacy of yellow potatoes in late period Italy.

> Some of us are saying that they were there, and others are saying nay.

>

> Since I was the original poster for the question of butternut squash being

> period (can't find it in Culpeppers or other sources) I too would be

> interested in this.

>

> Micaylah

 

The references I have available suggest that the sweet potato (Ipomoea

batatas) entered Italy about 1528 with haricot beans as part of a

presentation to Pope Clement VII from Cortez's expedition into Mexico.

 

The butternut squash (Cucurbita moschata) is much more of a problem.

Cucurbita moschata is found in Africa, Asia, and both Americas.  The genus

contains winter squash, some pumpkins, and some gourds.  Of particular

interest are bottle gourds, which have been found in Egyptian and

Mesoamerican tombs.  While I have not been able to confirm it, I suspect

butternuts are modern variants and bottle gourds or Japanese pumpkin would

have been more likely to be used in period.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Thu, 29 Oct 1998 19:16:16 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - Vegetable Names

 

Melissa Martines wrote:

>If anyone has any documentation or educated guesses about what the following

>items are, please let me know.  Thanks in advance!!

 

>Rote of persel

Parsley root

 

>Rafens

radishes

 

>Rapes

turnips

 

>Caboches

cabbages

 

>Also, did we ever determine if raisin of courance were currents or raisins?

Raisins of Corinth are the dried mini-raisins, as opposed to black or red

currants, which are berries.

 

Adamantius

Crown Province of ¯stgardr, East Kingdom

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998 15:03:57 -0600

From: Helen <him at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - parsley roots article

 

http://www.detnews.com/1998/food/9804/28/04280037.htm

 

 

Date: Fri, 30 Oct 1998 18:05:17 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Vegetable Names

 

mmartines at brighthorizons.com writes:

<< If I did try to use parsley, any idea how/where to get roots of parsley? >>

 

Most major supermarkets carry parsley root in season. It is not difficult to

grow either taking the same care as regular parley.. If you cannot find

parsley root substitute the finely chopped stems of Italian parsley which has

a similar flavor. DO NOT substitute parsnips because they have a totally

different flavor.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Wed, 4 Nov 1998 06:09:37 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - period items

 

> Our British cousins use the term 'vegetable marrow', which may be some

> sort of squash.  Reading the word 'marrow' made me wonder when that word

> came to be used for a veggie as well as the rich stuff inside bones.

>

> Allison

 

The giant marrow looks like a dark green pumpkin with orange or yellow meat.

It shows up in Italian Renaissance paintings during the 16th Century.  It is

a cucurbita and may be an early adoption from the Americas.

 

Wilson in Food and Drink in Britain places marrows as part of the diet of

Roman Britain.  This suggests that the term is used to describe varieties of

bottle gourds and squash, creating an "interesting" problem in nomenclature.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Wed, 4 Nov 1998 10:27:03 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - Marrows (vegetable)

 

allilyn at juno.com writes:

<< Our British cousins use the term 'vegetable marrow', which may be some

sort of squash.  Reading the word 'marrow' made me wonder when that word

came to be used for a veggie as well as the rich stuff inside bones.

Haven't actually read anything tonight that I think could be the veggie,

but it's nice to know these things.

 

Allison >>

 

It is indead a squash variety. The closest modern equivalent would be patty

pan squashes so far as texture and flavor although zucchini is a viable

sunstitute. Italian edible gourds could also be substituted if they are

available in your area or if you had the forethought to plant them in your

garden last spring when the subject came up. :-) I have several bags of it in

my freezer but I see no way of getting it to you in a frozen condition. :-(

 

It is certainly hard to see the similarities of vegetable marrow to bone

marrow given the fact that it is currently the hip thing to undercook

vegetables. However, if you cook your squash until it is totally soft and then

drain it , the texture is very similar to cooked marrow which could explain

the use of the same word.  for both plant and animal products. Also the outer

skin of a mature squash is very hard and if the squash is cooked whole, opened

and the 'marrow' removed, the similarity to hard bone with a succulent

interior is even more evident. :-)

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 12:35:50 -0500

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

Subject: Re: SC - Salsify or Oyster Plant

 

LrdRas at aol.com wrote:

> Everywhere I looked it simply said it is an

> ancient vegetable. Did you try looking it up under the term 'oyster plant'? It

> can be grown succesfully whereever carrots and parsnips thrive. I will

> continue looking for more info and post it as I find it unless there is

> someone else who might be able to help here..

 

The aptly-named-but-not-always-scholastically-impeccable Waverly Root

sez it is believed to be native to the Mediterranean Basin, possibly the

African side.

 

IIRC, I have seen no references to salsify in any period source in a

language I can understand or otherwise access. I wonder if it's one of

those vegetables that began to be cultivated and widely eaten late in

period, or possibly later still.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 13:35:14 -0500

From: renfrow at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)

Subject: Re: SC - Salsify or Oyster Plant

 

><snip>>IIRC, I have seen no references to salsify in any period source in a

>language I can understand or otherwise access. I wonder if it's one of

>those vegetables that began to be cultivated and widely eaten late in

>period, or possibly later still.

>

>Adamantius

 

Hello!  I looked it up in Gerard & Parkinson under its Latin name,

Tragopogon luteum.  In English of the time it was commonly known as

Goats-Beard or Go-to-bed-at-noon.  Other names include Joseph's flower,

Star of Jerusalem, Noone-tide, Sassefrica (Italian), Barba Cabruna

(Spanish), and Barbe de bouc (French).

 

Gerard says it was imported and is grown in gardens as an ornamental & for

their roots.  Both mention that there are two kinds, the purple & the

yellow.  (The purple one is T. purpureum.)

 

>From Gerard, p. 736:

"The roots of Goats-beard boyled in wine and drunke, asswageth the paine

and pricking stitches of the sides.

The same boyled in water vntill they be tender, and buttered as parsneps

and carrots, are a most pleasant and wholsome meate, in delecate taste

farre surpassing either Parsneps or Carrot:  which meate procures appetite,

warmeth the stomacke, preuaileth greatly in consumptions, and strengthneth

those that haue been sicke of a long lingring disease."

 

Cindy Renfrow

 

 

Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 16:10:13 -0600

From: Helen <him at gte.net>

Subject: SC - salsify photo

 

http://wwwrce.rutgers.edu/weeddocuments/salsify.htm

 

 

Date: Fri, 15 Jan 1999 22:27:59 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - source for Salsify

 

him at gte.net writes:

<< Where does one get the roots of salsify and are they still in season in

May?  >>

 

I get mine at Giant Market and I grow them. :-) I doubt that they would still

be available in May. They have a lonnnnnnnggggg growing season (approximately

120 days) and are pretty much seasonal. You might discuss it with the produce

manager at your market or talk to the produce people at Wegman's. Wegman's

will order stuff for you that they don't normally carry (e.g. eels) You might

be able to purchase them now. Clean them, slice them and blanch them then

put them in the freezer for later use. They freeze really well.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 09:11:55 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - Salsify-update and useful info

 

Master A, your suppositions about Salsify appear to be accurate. I found

this in the Visual Food Encyclppedia:

 

"Although known in southern Europe for more than 2000 years, salsify was not

cultivated until the 17th century. It was introduced into North America by

the Pilgrims, but remains relatively unknown even today."

 

Also anyone working with Salsify might consider the fact that it blackens on

contact with the air after being peeled and cut. To prevent this they should

be plunged into vinegar or lemon water or boiled for 15 mins. before peeling

and preparing them.

 

Helen, given the above info, I would recommend preparing the vegetable in

advance for long term storage in the freezer. My apologies for not remembering

this in my earlier post as I normally automatically use Froit Fresh or

ascorbic acid baths for all my fruits and vegetables when processing them

and it completely slipped my mind. :-0

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 10:08:42 -0500

From: "Daniel Phelps" <phelpsd at gate.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Salsify-update and useful info

 

My copy of "Larousse Gastronomique the Encyclopedia of Food, Wine and

Cookery" in English translation (Prosper Montagne, Crown Publishers, Inc. NY

1961 Library of Congress Cat. # 61-15788) says that what is called Salaify

is actually two plants the "...root of the plant of the Compositae family

which alone is entitled to it, but also for that of another plant on the

same family which botanically is called scorzonera." The entry goes on to

say that the flesh of the roots of both plants are very similar in taste and

are prepared in exactly the same way.  The word Scorzonera comes from

Catalan "escorso" or in English viper as it was formerly believed to be a

specific against its bite.  The entry in my edition provides 11 recipes.

Copies of Larousse Gastronomique, at least in West Palm Beach, can often be

found in the book secions of charity thrift stores for about $5 or $6 if you

keep your eye out for it, about $20 in used book stores and over $75 new.

 

Daniel Raoul Le Vascon du Navarre'

 

 

Date: Sat, 16 Jan 1999 18:21:20 -0000

From: "=?iso-8859-1?Q?Nanna_R=F6gnvaldard=F3ttir?=" <nannar at isholf.is>

Subject: Re: SC - Salsify-update and useful info

 

The bothanical names are Tragopogon porrifolius (salsify, oyster plant) and

Scorzonera hispanica (scorzonera, black salsify). True salsify has brown

skin and the flowers are purple. There was another salsify type, Tragopogon

pratensis, yellow goatsbeard (which has yellow flowers), that was eaten in

the seventeenth century but that is now largely forgotten (as food, that is).

There seems to be a long history of confusion between these two types, as

their taste and uses is very similar, but they do not even belong to the

same genus of plants.

 

Colin Spencer says in his Vegetable Book about scorzonera:

 

"It was not cultivated much before the seventeenth century. One of the first

to mention it is John Evelyn, who refers to it as viper-grass. After

pointing out its medical virtues, Evelyn goes on to say how good it is

stewed with beef marrow, spice and wine. He also says how pleasant it can be

raw in a salad. ... It came from Spain and crept into the rest of Europe,

especially France, Belgium and England, whose herbalists and gardeners all

took an interest in it at the end of the sixteenth century. The astonishing

fact is that the flavour is hardly distinguishable from salsify and, once

peeled and cooked, I would defy anyone to tell the difference."

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Sun, 17 Jan 1999 04:04:22 -0000

From: <nannar at isholf.is>

Subject: Re: SC - Salsify-update and useful info

 

nannar at isholf.is writes:

><<  It came from Spain and crept into the rest of Europe,

> especially France, Belgium and England, whose herbalists and gardeners all

> took an interest in it at the end of the sixteenth century.  >>

>

>I found the mention of Belgium above especially interesting due to the fact

>that in the current middle ages Belgium is the world's leading producer of

>salsify. That a food fad would last for 400 years is mind boggling. :-)

>

>Ras

 

Yes and no. Even if Belgian herbalists/gardeners took an interest, it may

not exactly have become a fad. To quote Jane Grigson:

 

"The odd thing is that neither vegetable (salsify & scorzonera) has ever

really caught on, at least with the general public. Intelligent gardeners,

from John Evelyn onwards, have always grown either salsify or scorzonera.

People who write books on gardening have been pushing them from the 17th to

the 20th century, but outside a few specialized and resourceful

greengrocer«s shops one can rarely buy them."

 

So maybe it just took the Belgian general public 400 years to catch on?

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 00:04:05 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Okra

 

At 1:48 AM -0500 2/21/99, Philip & Susan Troy wrote:

>Cathy Harding wrote:

>> A qustion came up after dinner tonight.  Where does okra originate? Would

>> it have been available or used in the area which is now armenia or other

>> parts of the middle east prior to 1600?  Does anyone have references to it

>> in period recipes?

>>

>> We have looked in the Andalusian  recipes in the Miscellany, and did not

>> find it.

>

>Off the top of my head, I believe okra is of African origin. It is now

>common across North Africa and the Middle East, but I don't know how

>common it is, or was, in Spain. Dried okra is, I think, a common Middle

>Eastern staple (I can buy it strung on threads in the local Lebanese

>grocery), and it seems like this would be a good way to ship it to

>places where it is inconvenient to grow it, if it was something people

wanted.

>

>Of course, the absence of a given food from the Andalusian recipes

>sampled in The Miscellany doesn't necessarily mean they're absent from

>the primary source. It may simply be that His Grace and/or his team-mate

>redactors haven't gotten to an akra recipe yet, or that okra may appear

>in another recipe collection from Al-Islam.

 

1. It doesn't appear in the Charles Perry translation of the Andalusian

cookbook.

 

2. According to Harold McGee's book, okra is native to tropical Africa and

Asia, was cultivated in Egypt in the 12th c., but there is no mention of it

in "ancient western sources."

 

David Friedman

 

 

Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 09:07:53 -0600

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - Okra

 

> Off the top of my head, I believe okra is of African origin. It is now

> common across North Africa and the Middle East, but I don't know how

> common it is, or was, in Spain. Dried okra is, I think, a common Middle

> Eastern staple (I can buy it strung on threads in the local Lebanese

> grocery), and it seems like this would be a good way to ship it to

> places where it is inconvenient to grow it, if it was something people

> wanted.

>

> Adamantius

> ¯stgardr, East

 

Root comments that African slaves introduced okra to the New World from

Africa and the plant was brought to Europe from there.  It is tied to an

African religious sect, Candomble, which was transferred to Brazil.  The

name appears to be derived from "nkruman" or "nkrumun," the name for okra in

the Twi language of Africa's Gold Coast, primarily Ghana.

 

As an interesting point:

 

"The Horizon Cookbook reproduced an ancient Egyptian painting which was

alleged to depict slaves harvesting okra from trellises, but if the fruits

shown were supposed to be okra, the Egyptians were very inaccurate painters.

I have yet to come across any convincing evidence that okra was known to any

literate society before our era, a point in favor of an African rather than

an Asian origin, for Asia became literate before Africa did."

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 21 Feb 1999 11:32:32 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Okra

 

charding at nwlink.com writes:

<< A qustion came up after dinner tonight.  Where does okra originate? >>

 

Okra, or gumbo, Hibiscus esculentus L. (syn. Abelmoschus esculentus), is an

annual, warm season, frost-susceptible plant belonging to the mallow family,

Malvaceae [Malvaceae Images], and is grown for its edible capsules, or

seedpods, which are harvested immature. It bears hibiscus-like flowers and

large, three- to five-lobed leaves. Okra is thought to be of African or Asian

origin, and was used by the Egyptians as early as the 12th century BC. It

was probably brought to N. America by African slaves.

 

See http://www.hort.purdue.edu/rhodcv/hort410/okra/ok00001.htm

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 08:54:00 EST

From: Seton1355 at aol.com

Subject: SC - my medieval dinner party - long

 

Last night I had some mundane friends over and served them a medieval feast.

They really enjoyed it and were interested in the background of the recipes.

The evening went off well so I thought I'd post the recipes I used.

Phillipa

 

<snip of ***Winter Squash or Pumpkin Soup*** recipe>

 

<snip of ***Chicken Ambrogino With Dried Fruit*** recipe>

 

***Green Poree for Days of Abstainence***

The Medieval Kitchen

Redon, Sabban, Serventi

University of Chicago Press

1998

Trim, cut up and wash it in cold water without cooking it, then cook it in

verjuice and a little water, adding salt.  It must be served boiling hot and

good and thick.  And in the bottom of the bowl, undr the Poree, put some

salted or fresh butter and cheese or curd or aged verjuice.

 

3 1/4 lbs swiss chard leaves*1

2/3 C verjuice  OR  1/3 C cider vinegar mixed with 1/3 C water*2

2/3 C water

2 - 6 Tbst butter*3

 

Wash the swiss chard and then cut into fine strips.

Soak in 2 changes of cold water.

Add the verjuice and water and salt  to a pan and bring to a boil.

Cook the swiss chard over a low heat for 20 - 30 minutes.

When completely cooked, drain thoroughly.

Put the swiss chard into a warm serving bowl.

Stir in anywhere from 2 - 6 Tbsp of butter, until the dish seems nice and

creamy

Check for salt and serve-

*1   I used spinach.  I didn't have swiss chard and I am allergic to it anyway

*2   verjuice, I used 3 parts lemon to 1 part water

*3  I used margarine and next time I am going to either really reduce the

quantity or leave it out all together.

 

<snip of ***Mashed turnips and parsnips*** recipe>

 

<snip of ***Gingerbread*** recipe>

 

Anyway, this was  my menu...oh yes, I also made fried potatoes, no recipe.

Everyone liked everything, includeing my picky son!

 

Phillipa

 

 

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 1999 11:47:31 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - my medieval dinner party - long

 

At 8:54 AM -0500 3/14/99, Seton1355 at aol.com wrote:

...

>***Winter Squash or Pumpkin Soup***

>The Medieval Kitchen

>Redon, Sabban, Serventi

>University of Chicago Press

>1998

...

>  I just found another pumpkin soup recipe in

>this book that I like better.  I'll try that next time.

 

You probably already know it, but just in case you don't...  .  Both

pumpkin and winter squash are new world vegetables. The originals of these

recipes presumably refer to an old world edible gourd, probably Lageneria

Sicereia (sp?), the white flowered gourd.

 

David/Cariadoc

http://www.best.com/~ddfr/

 

 

Subject: Rhubarb:Old World or New

Date: Thu, 01 Apr 1999 20:02:20 -0500

From: "BARY E. SEARS" <besears at erols.com>

To: atlantia at atlantia.sca.org

 

My Good Lord William,

 

  Old World for certes.  Interestingly (considering some of

the more recent threads on culinary predilictions) it may have

have originated in Mongolia...Waverly Root sites its origen

as definitely northern Asia, but is unwilling to commit beyond

that.  It is mentioned in a Chinese work, the Pen-king herbal,

believed to be dated circa 2700 B.C.  It was considered a

medicinal plant.

 

  By the beginning of the Christian era rhubarb had reached the

Western world where both Pliny and Dioscorides mention it,

though it wasn't considered an important plant.

 

  Thoughout our most of our period, it was considered a

medicinal plant, its roots used as a purgative (read laxative)

when it was used at all.  As late as 1578 it was referred to

as "a strange plant cultivated in the gardens of some herborists

out of curiosity."  Again, according to Waverly Root, the

earliest mention of rhubarb as a food may have been in 1597,

though it could have been as late as 1636.  Unfortunately,

people thought that the leaves where edible and could be eaten

like spinach.  After a false start, and the identification of

the stalk as the edible portion, rhubarb entered the market

garden as a food stuff.

 

  Note:  there is a hint that rhubarb stalks were known to

be edible earlier and were part of the cuisine of Syria and

Persia (there is a reference in Waverly attributed to Ibn-el

Beithar -thirteenth century-) to that affect.

 

  Rhubarb is a member of the same family as sorrel and

buckwheat (both of which contain oxalic acid, though in far

lower concentrations).

 

Cordelia

 

 

Date: Wed, 12 May 1999 18:24:25 -0500

From: LYN M PARKINSON <allilyn at juno.com>

Subject: SC - RAISYA at aol.com: Re: skirrets

 

Here is a post from Christianna's friend, after I sent her Duke Sir

Cariadoc's recipe on skirrets, and my veggie version, since she didn't

have any skirret recipes.  The quote she quotes is from the Miscelleny.

I thought some of you might be interested in her additional information.

 

Allison

allilyn at juno.com, Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands, Pittsburgh, PA

Kingdom of Aethelmearc

- --------- Begin forwarded message ----------

From: RAISYA at aol.com

To: allilyn at juno.com

 

>skirrets are, according to the OED, "a species of water parsnip, formerly

>much cultivated in Europe for its esculent tubers." We have never found

>them available in the market.

 

The description of skirrets as "a species of water parsnip" doesn't fit with

the information I have on them.  They're an umbelliferae, which makes them a

relative of carrots.  The cultivation information I have doesn't fit a water

plant.  It needs to be kept watered, but that may partly be because the young

shoots can be eaten as well as the root, drying out would probably damage

 

their tenderness.  It's a Chinese plant in origin, but it was brought to

Europe by the Romans.  I suspect the Europeans only ate the roots. Carrots

are a good substitute, but it's possible you could find skirrets in a

Chinese/Asian market.

 

It's a pretty unique food plant, from a gardener's point of view, and I'd

 

love to try growing it, but I haven't found anyone that carries it.  If

you're interested in it, THE COMPLETE BOOK OF HERBS by Lesley Bremnes, p.

129 has beautiful photos.

 

Raisya

 

 

Date: Sun, 29 Aug 1999 23:03:13 -0400 (EDT)

From: cclark at vicon.net

Subject: Re: SC - Anthro and cooking

 

>Tollhase1 at aol.com wrote:

>How similar and different are Chinese noodles, and Italian pasta which

>developed from it? Any other examples of similar medieval foods

>developing regional variation? Seems like Great Britain vs. the

>Continent would provide several examples.

 

There are some spinach recipes that might be worth looking into. Al-Baghdadi

(1226) has a recipe for fried spinach (isfanakh mutajjan), which is

parboiled in salted water, dried, fried in refined sesame oil, and seasoned

with garlic, cumin and coriander seed, and cinnamon. The Forme of Cury

(English, about 1390) has a recipe for fried spinach (spynoches yfryed),

which is parboiled, dried (by pressing, not just draining), fried in oil

(type not specified; I would guess maybe olive or walnut), and seasoned with

sweet powder (a spice mix that may have been similar to pumpkin-pie-spice or

pudding-spice mixes). According to one contemporary English food writer, all

fried foods were sugared before serving - that might apply to this recipe.

 

The main difference between the two recipes is that in the English recipe

the seasoning is the same sweet powder that is used for many other English

vegetable dishes. I would guess that as spinach was transported northwards

to England, the recipe came with it. When the English cooks first

encountered spinach, they might have asked "How do you cook it?" and someone

told them. And from there they just adapted it to their local style. Later

English cookbooks have various other spinach recipes, such as sweet and sour

boiled spinach with currants.

 

Alex Clark/Henry of Maldon

 

 

Date: Sun, 19 Sep 1999 22:19:50 -0400

From: "Alderton, Philippa" <phlip at morganco.net>

Subject: Re: SC - It's Harvest Time

 

Stefan said:

>We have talked about turnip greens and beet greens here before. I've

wondered how you would get them since in the grocery store these "unwanted"

portions are already trimmed off.  <

 

They might be down your way, Stefan, but they certainly aren't up here.

Granted, you have to look around a bit, but they're here.

 

BTW, if you can't find them fresh, the freezer sections of most grocery

stores usually have turnip, mustard and collard greens for sale- you just

have to look for them. They're usually in the section with the less flashy

packaged vegetables like the 10-12 oz packages of peas, broccoli or spinach.

Most of the "unusual" greens taste pretty good cooked with a little ham- you

can tell which ones by the long cooking times. Spinach is best fresh, cooked

in a sealed pot with just the wash water on them, just barely wilted, beet

greens are great cooked with diced beets, a half cup or so of water, not

covered, but maybe 1/2-3/4 inch in the pan, and butter and pepper- cook them

to just tender.

 

FWIW, Stefan, the seed catalogues are now advertising various root vegetable

varieties as being particularly good for their greens. If you want to try to

grow beets, seed them way too close and thin them as the summer goes on-

take the thinnings, wash them, and serve them up. I honestly like both beets

and greens so much, I'm not sure which I like better ;-)

 

Philippa Farrour

Caer Frig

Southeastern Ohio

 

 

Date: Thu, 30 Sep 1999 20:54:27 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - gazpacho and Rome

 

LrdRas at aol.com wrote:

> 'made from different herbs and legumes.' Does legumes refer more correctly to

> favas and garbanzos? Or more generally to things that grow on vines?

 

More generally even than that!

 

In English, and from a scientific standpoint, legumes are all those

nitrogen-fixing seed-poddy things like beans, peas, lentils, etc.

 

However, in most of the Romance languages, AFAIK, the term just means

vegetables of any kind.

 

Interestingly enough, the meaning of the Latin term "puls" has changed

in an odd way too. Originally it seems to have referred to just about

anything that could be, or was, ground and made into porridge or

polenta: beans, peas, lentils, and grains. Nowadays grains no longer

seem to be so classified, but the peas, etc., remain classified as pulses.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Sun, 3 Oct 1999 08:50:36 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Need help with "Compost"

 

troy at asan.com writes:

<< I've never grown parsley. Is it a perennial or an annual?

Adamantius >>

 

Parsley is neither perennial nor annual. It is a biennial forming a rosette

the first year and then sending out flowering shoots the second year.

 

Regardless of it's nature the fact remains that parsley grown for the root is

a completely different variety specifically grown for root production while

culinary types of parsley such as flat leaf (e.g., Italian) and curly leaf

(not period) are grown for their leaves.

 

Carrot, radish, turnip and kohlrabi are examples of other plants which have

perfectly edible leaves but the root (or swollen stem in the case of

kohlrabi) is the part they are most often grown for. Turnips are sometimes

grown for their leaves but when grown for this purpose they are planted

closer together and harvested before bulb swelling occurs.

 

As with many plants in the garden, other parts of parsley root may be able to

be used for food but why bother when there are varieties that are better

suited to the purpose? Certainly, worrying about the loss of secondary parts

should not be a factor when harvesting the root.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1999 09:31:23 -0700

From: "David Dendy" <ddendy at silk.net>

Subject: SC - Rhubarb in Period

 

Quite some time ago someone was inquiring about the use of rhubarb in period

cooking, and if I recall correctly the consensus was that it was a

post-period innovation, as "pie-plant".

 

This may be correct for western Europe, but I was just re-reading a summary

of a mid-13th century Arab cookbook, the "Kitab al-Wusla ila l'Habib" (in

Maxime Rodinson, "Recherches sur les documents arabes relatifs a la

cuisine", in REVUE DES ETUDES ISLAMIQUES, vol. 17 (1949), and a number of

recipes using rhubarb are listed. In Chapter V (Chicken recipes), three

recipes for "poulet a la rhubarbe' (chicken with rhubarb) are given, and in

Chapter VI (Dry dishes, fried, rissoles, etc.) two for "viande a la

rhubarbe" (meat with rhubarb). In a note on the section on Cold Relishes

("bawarid" in Arabic), the editor quotes Najib ad-din as-Samarqandi (a

medieval Arab physician, if I recall correctly): "Les bawarid sont des

legumes verts cuits que l'on met dans des liquides acides comme le vinaigre,

le verjus, le [jus de] sumac, le jus de pommes, le [jus de] rhubarbe et le

lait caille (persan "mast")." (which, roughly translated, is "Bawarids are

chopped green vegetables which are put in acid liquids like vinegar,

verjuice, sumac [juice], apple juice, rhubarb [juice], and yoghurt.")

 

So it seems clearly that at least by the 13th century rhubarb was being used

in Middle Eastern cookery, as an acidulant or souring agent. It would surely

be the stalks, as today; the leafs are full of oxalic acid, which causes

horrible pain if ingested, so it's not the leaves; and the root is a

pugative, so it won't be the root.

 

Unfortunately, Rodinson gives only the summary of the cookbook, with only a

few full recipes, not including any of the rhubarb recipes.  If there is

anyone on the list who can read medieval Arabic, it might be possible to get

a copy of the cookbook (at least one copy, in the British Museum, has been

microfilmed) and translate them (and there are a couple of recipes for spice

mixture I'd dearly love translations of, as well).

 

Any other examples?

 

Francesco Sirene

David Dendy / ddendy at silk.net

partner in Francesco Sirene, Spicer / sirene at silk.net

Visit our Website at http://www.silk.net/sirene/

 

 

Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1999 13:03:56 -0400

From: "Donald W. Lewis" <don at NATSO.com>

Subject: RE: SC - Rhubarb in Period

 

Here is a page that shows many cases of rhubarb being used through

history.

http://www.rhubarbinfo.com/rhubarb-history.html

 

Donald MacGregor

 

 

Date: Sun, 17 Oct 1999 17:30:17 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - chard

 

lorix at trump.net.au writes:

<< I have been puzzling over "chard" what exactly is it, is it just spinach? >>

 

Chard is  a beet. Not spinach.

 

Swiss chard (noun)

 

First appeared 1832

 

: a beet (Beta vulgaris cicla) having large leaves and succulent stalks

often cooked as a vegetable -- called also chard

 

chard (noun)

 

[modification of French carde, from Provencal cardo, from Latin carduus

thistle, cardoon]

 

First appeared 1664

 

: SWISS CHARD

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 08:59:00 EDT

From: WOLFMOMSCA at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - chard

 

lorix at trump.net.au writes:

<< Might it be known by another name (ie what would supermarkets sell it as),

cause

I've looked and cannot find, although I have found several varieties of beet?

  >>

 

It's a winter crop, usually.  You'll find it with the "greens" (i.e., turnip,

beet, & field).  It may be labeled as a field green, in which case you've got

to know what it looks like in order to pick it out from the other generic

field greens.  It's also called just chard, or Swiss chard, depending on your

place of residence.

 

Wolfmom

 

 

Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 08:44:51 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - chard

 

> >  : SWISS CHARD

> >

> > Ras

> Might it be known by another name (ie what would supermarkets sell it as),  

> cause I've looked and cannot find, although I have found several varieties of

> beet?

>

> Lorix

 

Chard is normal sold under that name or as Swiss Chard. If you can't find

it with the other greens like lettuce and spinach, the grocery probably

doesn't carry it.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 08:53:17 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: SC - chard

 

> It's called silverbeet here - I had one of those end-of-the-working-day

> mental blanks and couldn't remember whether I knew the name as chard from

> here or from when I lived in England. Resorted to the Oxford Concise

> Australian Dictionary, which says it is called silverbeet, but also known

> as seakale beet, which I've never heard of. Hope that helps.

>

> Kylie

 

I'll have to file that one away.  I've never come across either of these

names for chard.

 

As a guess, the name, seakale beet, comes from the fact that the leaves

resemble sea kale, a wild leafy cabbage, which some botanists believe is the

wild ancestor of our cultivated cabbages.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 09:28:42 -0700

From: "David Dendy" <ddendy at silk.net>

Subject: SC - Another Chard Name

 

Lucullus is the name for the green (as opposed to the red-veined) variety of

chard, at least in the US and Canada.

 

Francesco Sirene

 

 

Date: Tue, 19 Oct 1999 18:56:35 -0000

From: "=?iso-8859-1?Q?Nanna_R=F6gnvaldard=F3ttir?=" <nannar at isholf.is>

Subject: Re: SC - Another Chard Name

 

- -----Original Message-----

From: David Dendy <ddendy at silk.net>

To: SCA Cooks <sca-cooks at Ansteorra.ORG>

Date: 19. okt—ber 1999 16:37

Subject: SC - Another Chard Name

 

Francesco Sirene wrote:

>Lucullus is the name for the green (as opposed to the red-veined) variety

of

>chard, at least in the US and Canada.

 

Jane Grigson says in her Vegetable Book, under the heading Swiss chard and

other leaf-beets, that "in the seakale beet, the stalks are even larger and

more pronounced, as its name suggests, than in Swiss chard" - so the names

do not seem to be synonymous. She also mentions spinach beet leaf in the

same paragraph.

 

And some more varieties - information found at this site :

 

http://www.nfarley.dircon.co.uk/thomas-etty/vegtables/greens.html

 

Leaf or Seakale Beet

 

Perpetual Spinach

Introduced around 1790. Valuable on dry soil where true Spinach runs to

seed.

 

Lucullus

Introduced into cultivation in 1914.

 

Silver or Seakale Beet

Noted in 1845, and probably around much earlier, with many of the major seed

houses offering 'Improved' varieties by the 1870's.

 

Rhubarb Chard

A red stalked variety looking very attractive in a vegetable flower garden

setting. Possibly dating from as early as 1857, when a Ruby Chard appears in

a contemporary listing.

 

Fordhook Giant

Known in the colonies since 1750, this is still one of the most widely grown

varieties. Resembles Perpetual Spinach but with darker green leaves.

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 09:58:12 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - Recipe 6-Weekend of Wisdom

 

BROWNED VEGETABLES

This recipe was contrived. Numerous mentions of 'Browned Vegetables' are made

throughout the feast menus in Le Manegier. My inspiration for this creation

was based on a recipe called 'To Fry Beanes' which is found in The Book of

Cookerye in Cariadoc's Collection of Medieval and Renaissance Cookbooks, Vol.

I, pg. C-7. It was a really good vegetable dish and well received.

Makes 88 Servings.

 

1 gal.  Chickpeas, cooked and drained

17 1/2 lb.    Carrots, sliced, parboiled, drained

11 lb.  Turnips, sliced, parboiled, drained

11  Onions, sliced, parboiled, drained

8   Leeks, sliced, parboiled, drained (white part only)

6   Parsnips, sliced, parboiled, drained

3 lb.   Cardoon, sliced, parboiled, drained

5 lb.   Swiss chard, chopped, parboiled, drained

3 lb.   Butter

    Salt, to taste

    Black pepper, to taste

    Nutmeg, ground (to taste)

    Mace, ground (to taste)

 

Melt butter in pan. Add vegetables. SautŽ, turning occasionally until browned

and tender. Add seasonings.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 11:28:53 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Recipes 5 & 6

 

BanAvtai at aol.com writes:

<< Verjuice and Cardoon?  >>

 

Cardoon is related to the artichoke. The part used is the leaf stalk. Verjuice

is a preparation of the juice of unripe grapes, sorrel, wheat sprouts or

crabapples.

 

<< Iu'liana >>

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1999 10:46:00 -0500

From: Jeff Gedney <JGedney at dictaphone.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Late Fall/Early Winter Vegetables

 

I was also concerned about serving a lot of greens at my first feast

(the going notion around here is "green stuff is what food eats"),

but I went ahead and did it anyway!

Guess what?

They ate it and they liked it!

I used several recipies from an Ordinance of Pottage, which is taken

from a manuscript at the Beineke Library at Yale, as my base.

See my website describing that event for more info...

  http://members.iconn.net/~gedney/Recipes/bdayfeas.htm

 

here is how I served the "rabbit food" ( these recipes serve 104 ):

 

Buttured Wortys

original:

Take al maner of good herbes that thu mayste get. Peke hem,

weshe hem, hewe hem; boyle hem in fayre water. Put butter

therto, clarified, a grete dele, when they be boyled ynow.

Salte hem; let none otemele come theryn. Dyse bred to smale

gobbettys, and do in dishes, and powre wortys theruppon, and

serve hem forth.

 

My interpretation:

Two large bunches Turnip Greens

Two large bunches Mustard Greens

Two large bunches Collard Greens

One large bunch Italian parsely

3 lbs butter

About 16 cups plain untoasted white bread croutons

Stem and coarsely chop greens and parsely. Lightly Parboil them

(until wilted and bright green) and sieve out the water. Melt and

clarify butter and mix with the greens. Pour mixture over croutons

in bowls, and serve.

 

Sallet

(Notes on this recipe:

The Common wisdom around my Barony is that salads are not

usually eaten, that often almost as much salad is returned to the

kitchen uneaten as is sent out.

I hoped that that would not be the case, as I wanted to have a

green in every course. My philosophy was to have each course

more or less complete, with meat, at least one green, and at least

one starch, and one sweet thing.

There are only so many servings of boiled green stuff that I would

eat, so I wanted a nice salad in the second course as a contrast.

Since there were no sallet recipes in the source book that I was

using (Heiatt and Butler's "An Ordinance of Pottage" which is entirely

taken form a single document in Yale's Beineke Rare Book Library),

I turned to the roughly contemporaneous "Forme of Cury", and got

a nice recipe there.

Here I had couple of glitches: I had used up too much of the

Vinegar in the Cameline sauce in the frst course, so I was forced to

substitute Lemon Juice (which I had on hand) for the vinegar, and I

forgot to put in the rosemary)

 

Original

Take parsel, sawge, garlec,chibollas,onyons, leeks, borage, myntes,

porrectes, fenel, and ton tressis, rew, rosmarye, and purslayne.

Lave, and washe hym clene: pyke hem, pluck hem small with thyne

honde, and myng hem wel with rawe oyle. Lay on vinegar and salt,

and serve hit forth.

 

What I did.

3 bunches of green leaf lettuce

3 large bags of spinach

3 bunches "Italian" flat parsely

4 or 5 large leeks

2 or 3 bunches scallions

2 handfuls fresh mint leaves

2 handfuls fresh sage leaves

2 handfuls fresh basil leaves

1/2 cup lemon juice (or vinegar ;-) )

1/4 cup kosher salt

1 to 1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil

Rinse and pick out the stems from the herbs and spinach. Rinse and

cut (or tear) the lettuce into smallish pieces. Clean the scallions and leeks,

removing the sand, and coarsely chop up the green parts and only a little

of the whites.

Mix everything and distribute into 14 large bowls. Splash on the oil, and

sprinkle with salt. Just before serving splash with the lemon juice (or

vinegar ;-) ), toss and serve.

 

The borage called for in the original recipe would be fabulous here. I just

couldn't obtain any. If you can get it the electric blue flowers are striking!

(and very tasty!)

 

Jowtys

original:

Take Kawlys & Parcellye and othir good herbes. Perboyle hem welle

yn water. Presse out the watyr; hew hem right smalle, or grynd hem. And

yf thu wylte, thu may hew a lytylle fat porke therwyth, and grynd hit therwuth;

and temper hit up with swete broth. Look hit be somdell chargeaunt of the

herbes. Do hit in a pot, Boyle & alye hit up a lytylle therwith. And yf thu

wylte, thu may draw bredde with sum of the brothe. Then salt hem, and

serve hem forth with ribbys of bacon, or with fat flesche, yf thu wylte.

 

What I did:

3 large bunches kale

3 large bunches broccoli rabe

2 large bunches flat italian parsely

1 40 oz can chicken broth

Optional:

- --2 or 3 lbs of salt pork or "fatback", poached and finely diced.

 

Rinse and chop the greens into 1/2 inch chunks, and put into a pot of

boiling water (along with the optional diced pork). Parboil the greens until

just tender, and still bright green (the rabe will still be a little undercooked).

Drain off the water, and add the broth, and stir, return to heat, and stir

constantly until the mixture is heated through. Distribute between the

serving dishes and serve it up.

 

brandu

 

 

Date: Thu, 16 Dec 1999 21:10:55 -0900

From: Kerri Canepa <kerric at pobox.alaska.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Late Fall/Early Winter Vegetables

 

>I know i have to do research and turn up some recipes myself, but i

>thought i'd ask experienced feast planners what late fall/early

>winter vegetables you've served and people have actually eaten :-)

>I'm not exactly asking for recipes (although if you want to share

>any, they will be appreciated), but rather, pointers to what SCA

>folks seem to actually *like to eat*.

 

Well, we haven't had the feast yet, but the taste tests so far have been

positive. And yes, we're using winter vegetables.

 

I highly recommend some version of Compost. It is a pickled mix of cabbage,

parsnips (we're using carrots since we have over 30 lbs of them), parsley root

(which we're not using since we can't find it), turnips, pears, currants, and

radishes. It's flavored with a sweet wine, honey, and lombard mustard (we're

using Plochmans), vinegar and a variety of spices. And the wonderful thing about

it is that once its made, it lasts for a very long time without refrigeration.

We're serving it as a compliment to ham.

 

The beet recipe we're using is "perioid" since I haven't had any luck finding

any 14th c beetroot recipes and we have over 30 lbs of beets as well. Roasted or

boiled beets are peeled, cubed, and mixed with a dressing of olive oil and

basalmic vinegar. Even folks not fond of beets found it pleasant. Beet lovers

snarfed it down and went for more.

 

The turnip recipes we plan to use are (you guessed it) armored turnips and

another "perioid" dish I call a Disshe of Rape. Peel and julienne turnips, boil

for 10-15 minutes in water, pitch the cooking water, then cook in beef broth

until considerably reduced. Add ground black pepper. This recipe is very much

like Rapes in Pottage from _Forme of Curye_ - thanks Henry! This dish was a hit

at the taste test.

 

We haven't actually made armored turnips yet but we're lucky; it's not a dish

that's served in these parts at feasts. Having discovered the trick to bite-free

turnips (choose the smallest turnips you can, peel, cut up, cover with water and

boil until just tender and, here's the trick, pitch the cooking water then do

whatever is necessary to complete the dish), I think armored turnips will go

over well.

 

Interestingly enough, we will not be serving any leafy green dishes. The event

is 12th Night and while parsley and some sort of cole plants could survive the

winter weather, the more usual stuff of turnip/beet greens, spinach, and

lettuces were not generally available.

 

We're going to do a carrot dish as well. Again, there's not much in the 14th c

corpus for carrot dishes, so far we've found a soup. I'm not sure what we'll do;

maybe the soup, maybe another "perioid" recipe yet to be determined.

 

Kerri

Cedrin Etainnighean, OL

 

 

Date: Thu, 20 Jan 2000 21:29:03 -0500

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <harper at idt.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Period French Toast Recipies

 

And it came to pass on 20 Jan 00,, that Lurking Girl wrote:

> The glossary says that Sibbolds are Welsh onions, and doesn't give an

> entry for Rocket.

 

Rocket is the English name of arugula.

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2000 22:00:12 -0500

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <harper at idt.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Borage (was Saxon Violets)

 

And it came to pass on 6 Mar 00,, that lilinah at earthlink.net wrote:

> Borage flowers are sooo beautiful (ok, so the hairy plants aren't

> real pretty but i hear the leaves are good in beverages) and i like

> to toss flowers into salads. Besides using the flower to flavor

> sugar, were borage leaves used in "sallats" or other dishes? Or does it

> just fall into the general term of worts?

 

Borage (borraja) appears in a fair number of Spanish recipes.  It seems

to be mostly included with the cooking greens: spinach, beets, bugloss,

chard, etc.

 

Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Settmour Swamp, East (NJ)

 

 

Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2000 03:22:49 EST

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #2071 - cooking vegetables

 

I have poured through numerous cookbooks spanning modern back through the

late 1700s CE. For all intent and purposes, the most widely recommended

advise was to cook until fork tender. 'Tender crisp' is a relatively modern

method of vegetable preparation (one I would like to see go by the wayside

personally :-)), I would venture the opinion that most 'period vegetables

were served fork tender when cooked.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Tue, 04 Apr 2000 12:14:20 -0400

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

Subject: Re: SC - soup question

 

sdrake wrote:

> I've had rutabaga and turnip and I've been told what parsnips taste like -

> what does kohlrabi taste like?

>

> 1 kohlrabi, quartered (optional)

 

Kinda like the stem of broccoli, maybe a little more cabbagey than that.

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Tue, 4 Apr 2000 21:19:46 EDT

From: CBlackwill at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - soup question

 

mercedes at geotec.net writes:

> I've had rutabaga and turnip and I've been told what parsnips taste like -

>  what does kohlrabi taste like?

>  

>  1 kohlrabi, quartered (optional)

 

Kohlrabi tastes somewhat similar to a bitter cabbage - turnip cross breed

(which it is not).  One important step in the cooking of this vegetable is to

change the water a few times during the cooking process. This will help to

mellow the bitterness (which is not pronounced if cooked in this manner, and

actually adds a bit of depth to the dish it is used in.) I enjoy it boiled

tender, and then sauteed in bacon drippings with a splash of white wine or

wine vinegar.  Salt and pepper, too, natch.

 

Balthazar of Blackmoor

 

 

Date: Wed, 5 Apr 2000 11:36:11 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - Kohlrabi

 

CBlackwill at aol.com writes:

<< Kohlrabi tastes somewhat similar to a bitter cabbage >>

 

Interesting. I suppose it is all a matter of when you harvest it and how

quickly it is grown. My kohlrabi has never exhibited a bitter taste when

grown without stress or harvested in it's prime. Also extended storage will

cause a bitter taste. When harvested and used promptly it has a flavor which

I describe as a very mild sweet cabbage core.

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Fri, 5 May 2000 08:07:06 -0500

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

Subject: RE: An Test was Re: SC - Truck Crops

 

> Actually, I think I remember (is that even possible) that the "btata" was

> indigenous to both South America and certain parts of Africa.

> Balthazar of Blackmoor

 

The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is from the New World tropics.  The yams,

which are members of the genus Dioscorea, are from Africa. The fact that

many Americans call a sweet potato a yam doesn't make it so.

 

The butter bean is Phaseolus limensis, although the term is used regionally

in New England to refer to type of yellow string bean. All Phaseolus are of

New World origin.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sun, 18 Jun 2000 01:21:29 -0500

From: "RANDALL DIAMOND" <ringofkings at mindspring.com>

Subject: SC - Re:SC-PLATINA -Date Pie long

 

I think I have another comment on your redact

after rereading it for a third time.  Specifically:

>>>1 tsp Flat leaf parsley

       3-4  baby spinach leaves

      .5 tsp fresh marjoram chopped well and fried in 1

       tsp olive oil**<<<<

 

You have used spinach for orach, which is a related

but different potherb common in the Mediteranean

region then and now.  You can get orach seeds from

Burpee.  The plant is very tall and has burgundy leaves

looking quite unlike any spinach variety.  But it does turn

green when boiled and is somewhat like spinach, I

suppose.  But so do many other leafy potherbs, including

poke salat.   I am not sure that this substitution is valid

as Platina is using orach as a herb seasoner rather

than as a vegetable.  I think that boiling orach leeches out

a flavouring which spinach does not possess, much as

you would cook poke and other bitter greens in several

waters to moderate their bitter taste.  I don't see Platina

regarding the herbal potency of spinach sufficiently high

to use it as he describes with orach.  I think orach embues

a separate flavour.  I will have to check out raw orach if I

can find it. I think it is too late to grow it this season myself.

 

Akim Yaroslavich

 

 

Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2000 11:18:33 EDT

From: ChannonM at aol.com

Subject: SC - Re: Orach vs Spinach, kinda long

 

In a message dated 6/19/00 10:26:10 AM Eastern Daylight Time, > Akim

Yaroslavich

>  writes:

>  

>  > You have used spinach for orach, which is a related

>  >  but different potherb common in the Mediteranean

>  >  region then and now.

 

Okay, messes are now cleaned up and I had a moment to look at Platina. BTW,

thanks Akim for you input, I love picking apart these recipes and ensuring

that they are "right on", you are encouaging me in that endeavor :)

 

Orach vs Spinach

This is not a complete analysis of the issue, only a commentary on what

Platina himself, says on the matter, (this was my original rationale for the

choice, I just didn’t post the info).

 

In PlatinaÕs 7th Chapter he discusses orach in the following way;

ÒI would think that orach is what the country people call spinach from the

spines which it produces on seedÓ .

 

This is a derogitory statement in that he implies Ôcountry peopleÕ to be

uneducated and don’t know the difference. However, he goes on to say

ÒSome would want orach not to be what they call spinach, although it has

similarity and almost the same force, for orach softens the bowels and is

good for people with jaundice, that is, those with “golden disease”, so

called from gold on account of spattered gall, as Varro says. It cools a warm

liver and represses inflamed bileÓ

 

OTOH, Platina gives spinach a definite place among herbs and describes

spinach and chard thusly;

 

Ò Spinach is the lightest kind found among garden vegetables. I would believe

it is divided into two kinds, since there is black and white. Black grows

almost with a head like onions, cabbage, and lettuce, and there is almost no

garden vegetable greater in breadth. Some think the nature of spinach inert

and with out force, even if it usually distrubs the bowel even to the bile.

Taken in food, it soothes excessive menstruation in women, but chard, which

is white, maintains a mean. It is most usefully given to those with liver and

kspleen illnesses, with sweet spices which temper its saltiness. It likewise

relieves the heat of summer, revives those who are disinterested in food

because of squeamishness, and fills nursing women with a lot of milk. Eaten

with it’s own juice, it moves the bowels, but eaten alone, with the juice

thrown away, it constricts them.Ó

 

I believe that Platina is describing white spinach (chard) at the end,

however it may be argued he is referring to either, if you re-read the orach

commentary it implies that spinach in general has similar properties. Either

way, it seems to me that spinach is a reasonable and justifiable substitution

to orach.

 

Hauviette

 

 

Date: Sun, 25 Jun 2000 15:04:40 EDT

From: allilyn at juno.com

Subject: Re: SC - The truth about Green Beans Savory

 

I've been working, today, with Castelvetro, from his Herbs, Fruit &

Vegetables of Italy.  He published just post-period, but is recalling the

dishes served in his youth in Italy.  The author's note (Gilian Riley)

says that the beans he lists, other than the fava or broad bean, are new

world beans and goes on to list some of the reasons they became so very

popular in Italy.  They do appear to have been grown and used there

during the 16th C.

 

Castelvetro doesn't mention the savory cheese version for his green

beans, but he is stressing the simple, quality versions of the fruits and

veggies, as opposed to heavier, meat-rich meals in England

 

Broccoli, BTW, was not the headed variety we buy today, but the shoots

which grew from cabbage stalks left in the garden to over-winter.

 

None of which means I wouldn't like to eat green beans or modern broccoli

at feasts...

 

Allison,     allilyn at juno.com

 

 

Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2000 15:12:15 -0600

From: "UnruhBays, Melanie A" <UnruhBays.Melanie.A at broadband.att.com>

Subject: RE: SC - Cinnamon Cucumbers

 

No, it's not English. But, the Platina recipe *does* mention that the

cucumbers might have spices on them, although he does not elaborate. As

cinnamon was most definitely considered a spice by Platina, I think that it

is not out of the question that cinnamon *might* have been used. OTOH,

without elaboration, there is no evidence that cinnamon *was* used....

BTW, Lady Allegra made cucumbers dressed in vinegar and salt and pepper -

very much like Platina - this last weekend. Nummy, and very satisfying on a

hot summer day.

 

Maredudd

 

 

Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2000 08:54:49 -0500

From: Magdalena <magdlena at earthlink.net>

Subject: SC - vegetables

 

No questions, no answers.  I just thought I'd share

something I typed up for myself.

- -Magdalena

 

Parkinson, J. / Paridisi in Sole:  Paradisus

Terrestris.  London 1629

1975 Amsterdam: Walter Johnson Inc, Theatrum Orbis

Terrarum, Ltd.

 

#758 The English Experience, Its Record in Early

Printed Books: Published in Facsimile

 

 

The Kitchen Garden

p508

 

The Use of Parsneps

 

The Parsnep root is a great nourisher, and is much more

used in the time of Lent, being boyled and stewed with

butter, then in any other time of the yeare; yet it is

very good all the winter long.  The seede helps to

dissolve winde, and to provoke urine.

 

p509

 

The Use of Turneps

 

Being boyled in salt broth, they all of them eate most

kindly, and by reason of their

sweetnesse are much esteemed, and often seene as a dish

at good mens tables : but the greater quantitie of them

are spent at poore mens feasts.  They nourish much, and

engender moist and loose flesh, and are very windy.

 

p508

 

The Use of Carrots

 

All these sorts being boyled in the broth of beefe,

eyther fresh or salt, but more usually of salted beefe,

are eaten with great pleasure, because of the

sweetnesse of them: but they nourish lesse then

Parsneps or Skirrets.

 

p510

 

The Use of these Raddishes

 

Raddishes doe serve usually as a stimulum before meat,

giving an appetite thereunto; the poore eate them with

bread and salt.

 

*

 

The Horse raddish is used Physically, very much in

Melancholicke, Spleneticke, and Scorbuticke diseases.

And some use to make a kind of Mustard with the rootes,

and eate it with fish.

 

p512

 

The Use of Onions

 

Onions are used in many ways, as sliced and put into

pottage, or boyled and peeled and layde in dishes for

sallets at supper, or sliced and put into water, for a

sawce for mutton or oysters, or into meat roasted being

stuffed with Parfly, and so many waies I cannot recount

them, every one pleasing themselves according to their

order, manner, or delight.

 

p502

 

The Use of Mustard

 

The seede hereof grownd between two stones, fitted for

the purpose, and called a Querne, with some good

vinegar added unto it, to make it liquid and running,

is that kinde of Mustard that is usually made of all

sorts, to serve as sawce for fish and flesh.

 

p506

 

The Use of Skirrets

 

The rootes being boyled, peeled and pithed, are stewed

with butter, pepper and salt, and so eaten ; or as

others use them, to roule them in flower, and fry them

with butter, after they have been boyled, peeled and

pithed: each way, or any way that men please to use

them they may find their taste to be very pleasant, far

beyond any Parsnep, as all agree that taste them.

        Some doe use also to eate them as a sallet,

colde with vinegar, oyle, &c. Being first boyled and

dressed as before said.  They doe help to provoke

urine, and as is thought, to procure bodily lust, in

that they are a little windy.

 

p522

 

The Use of Pease

 

        Pease of all or the most of the sorts, are

either used when they are greene, and be a dishe of

meate for the table of the rich as well as of the

poore, yet everyone of them observing his time, and the

kinde: the fairest, sweetest, and earliest the better

ort, the later and meaner kindes for the meaner, who

doe not give the deerest price: Or

       Being dry, they serve to boyle into a kinde of

broth or pottage, wherein many doe put Tyme, Mints,

savory, or some other such pot herbes, to give it the

better relish, and is much used in Towne and countrey

in the Lent time, especially of the poorer sort of

people.

        It is much used likewise at Sea for them that

goe long voyages, and is for change, because it is

fresh, a welcome diet to most person therein.

        The Rams Ciches the Spaniards call

Grau(v?)ancos, and Garau(v?)ancillas  , and eat them

boyled and stewed as the most dainty kinde of Pease

that are,

 

 

p490

 

The Use of Beetes

 

        Beetes, both white, greene, and red, are put

into the pot among othere herbes to make pottage, as is

commonly known unto all, and are also boyled whole,

both in France usually with most of their boyled meats,

and in our Countrey, with divers that delight in the

eating of herbes.

        The Italian Beete, and so likewise the last red

beete with great ribbes, are boyled, and the ribbes

eaten in sallets with oyle, vinegar, and pepper, and is

accounted a rare kind of sallet, and very delicate.

        The roote of the common red Beete with some,

but more especially the Romane red beete, is of much

use among Cookes to trimme or set out their dishes of

meate, being cut into divers forms and fashions, and is

grown of late dayes into a greate custome of service.

        The rootes of the Romane red Beete being

boyled, are eaten of divers while they are hot with a

little oyle and vinegar, and is accounted a delicate

sallet for the winter; and being cold they are so used

and eaten likewise.

 

 

Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2001 15:58:08 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: SC - Fried spinach recipe

 

>Hi all.  I cann't find the recipe for fried spinach that was posted

>on the list a couple of months ago.  I looked in the Flori-thingy

>and didn't find it there either.

>

>HELP!!  Someone please repost the recipe please.

>

>Olwen the disorganized

 

Isfanakh Mutajjan

al-Baghdadi p. 206/12

 

Original

Take spinach, cut off the [lower] roots, and wash: then boil lightly

in salt and water and dry. Heat sesame-oil, drop in the spinach, and

stir until fragrant. Chop up a little garlic, and add. Sprinkle with

fine-ground cumin, coriander seed, and cinnamon: then remove.

 

My version

1 lb spinach, chopped [i use frozen, chopped for camping events]

1/3 c cold pressed sesame oil (NOT Asian roasted), or olive oil

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or smashed

1/2 tsp. ground cumin seed

1/2 tsp. ground coriander seed

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

 

1. Put a heavy shallow pan on the heat. Add oil.

 

2. When warm, add chopped spinach, stirring until wilted.

 

3. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and salt. You may also

want to add some ground pepper, i usually do. The cumin should

predominate, of the spices.

 

4. The consistency of the dish should be a bit unctuous: not too

oily, but it should have a nice glossy sheen and a smooth mouth feel.

 

It is possible that the green used was not spinach as we know it, but

something a bit tougher. I think they use chard in Morocco, where i

ate this dish in a Fez Palace restaurant in December 2000.

 

If you are using spinach, you don't need to boil it. Just put it in a

metal colander and pour boiling water over it, letting the water run

off into the sink. Then cook the spinach with the seasoning. Or don't

bother to par-boil - spinach cooks fast.

 

 

Date: Fri, 27 Apr 2001 09:08:29 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: SC - Fried spinach recipe

 

>>Hi all.  I can't find the recipe for fried spinach that was posted

>>on the list a couple of months ago.  I looked in the Flori-thingy

>>and didn't find it there either.

>>

>>HELP!!  Someone please repost the recipe please.

>>

>>Olwen the disorganized

 

Oops, the disclaimers got snipped off as i was cutting and pasting.

 

One: I *believe* that Isfanakh Mutajjan, below, was the recipe

posted. I don't seem to have saved the message. However, if it was

something new and different i definitely would have saved it. So i

think this is the recipe you want, but can't guarantee it.

 

>Isfanakh Mutajjan

>al-Baghdadi p. 206/12

>

>Original

>Take spinach, cut off the [lower] roots, and wash: then boil lightly

>in salt and water and dry. Heat sesame-oil, drop in the spinach, and

>stir until fragrant. Chop up a little garlic, and add. Sprinkle with

>fine-ground cumin, coriander seed, and cinnamon: then remove.

 

Two: Below is my redaction. Chances are if the original post was for

Isfanakh Mutajjan, then it included Lord Cariadoc's redaction. The

first time i made the recipe, that is what i used and found it bland,

dare i say grossly underseasoned, to my taste. I added both more oil

and more spices. I can assure you that it is not "overspiced", just

nicely seasoned.

 

>My version

>1 lb spinach, chopped [i use frozen, chopped for camping events]

>1/3 c cold pressed sesame oil (NOT Asian roasted), or olive oil

>3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced or smashed

>1/2 tsp. ground cumin seed

>1/2 tsp. ground coriander seed

>1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

>1/4 tsp. salt

>

>1. Put a heavy shallow pan on the heat. Add oil.

>

>2. When warm, add chopped spinach, stirring until wilted.

>

>3. Add garlic, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and salt. You may also

>want to add some ground pepper, i usually do. The cumin should

>predominate, of the spices.

>

>4. The consistency of the dish should be a bit unctuous: not too

>oily, but it should have a nice glossy sheen and a smooth mouth feel.

>

>It is possible that the green used was not spinach as we know it,

>but something a bit tougher. I think they use chard in Morocco,

>where i ate this dish in a Fez Palace restaurant in December 2000.

>

>If you are using spinach, you don't need to boil it. Just put it in

>a metal colander and pour boiling water over it, letting the water

>run off into the sink. Then cook the spinach with the seasoning. Or

>don't bother to par-boil - spinach cooks fast.

 

I have served this at the Crown Tourney period potlucks of the Shire

i camp with and it gets eaten up.

 

Anahita

 

 

From: Jenne Heise <jenne at mail.browser.net>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Date: Thu, 3 May 2001 16:37:34 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Apium (Celery/Smallage) and Lovage

 

From Walafrid Strabo's _Hortulus_ (trans. Raef Payne)

 

Lovage

Here in this fragrant thicket is sturdy lovage.

So deep is my love for this little garden of mine,

I have to mention it. Although its juice and smell

Are thought to injure the eyes and bring the shadows of blindness,

Yet its tiny seeds are often added to cunningly blended

Cures, winning fame from praise that is due to others.

 

Celery (Apium)

Celery is now held cheap in our gardens and many think

Taste is its only merit. But it has its virtues

And offers quick help in many remedies. If you grind

The seeds and take them, they are said to banish the racking pains

Of a troubled bladder. If you chew them together with the tender buds

It helps digest the food as it moves through the inmost parts

Of the system. And if the stomach, that king of the body, is sick,

Hurry to take a draught of water and sour vinegar

With celery: the discomfort will pass, routed and quickly cured.

--

Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise       jenne at mail.browser.net

 

 

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Date: Thu, 3 May 2001 23:55:43 EDT

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Cutting Celery Revisted

 

Here is the info on cutting celery that Jadwiga requested.

 

Zwolsche Krul/Cutting Celery

 

Leaves used like parsley. Use thin hollow stems in soups.

 

Available from Pinetree Garden Seeds

 

This  form of celery appears to have been used by a lot of early Apicius

aficionados. Unfortunately I can't find out  presisely why. :-(

 

Ras

 

 

Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2001 18:46:22 -0700 (PDT)

From: Terri Spencer <taracook at yahoo.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Scappi's Aromatic Spinach

 

Many thanks for the suggestions for a filling fighter's feast.  My

recipe search list includes plentiful charred protein with sauces,

hearty soup, starchy lozenges or ravioli, salty fried things, sweet

fritters and puddings.

 

As for veggies, what could be more strengthening than spinach?  The

recipe from _Renaissance Recipes_ caught my attention when Christianna

and I looked up Michelangelo's lenten menu - yes, it was there in both

of our libraries all the time.  The recipe as given:

 

Aromatic Spinach

2-3 lbs. fresh leaf spinach

1/2 cup dried fruit

4 salted whole anchovies

1/2 cup pine kernels

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt, pepper, white sugar, and cinnamon to taste

Balsamic vinegar

 

Wash the spinach under cold running water...dry and put into a large

pan.  Cover and cook slowly over low heat, turning gently from time to

time until the leaves wilt.  Rinse salt from the anchovies and chop

them into quarter-inch lengths.  Warm them through in a little olive

oil.  Fry the pine kernels untile golden.  Soak the dried fruit in a

little Balsamic vinegar.  When the spinach is tender but not soggy,

pour off any juices and stir in the rest.  Season with spices.

 

This seems to be a common Mediterranean dish. _A Mediterranean Feast_

gives two modern recipes  that are essentially the same, minus

anchovies, add garlic, substitute nutmeg, fruit = golden raisins soaked

in water.  It talks about the medieval culinary connection between

Catalonia and Italy, and an older Arab tradition, but gives no details

(a failing of this book).  It lists it as traditional in Rome, Venice,

Provence, Languedoc, Sicily, Attica, Catalonia (with Swiss Chard),

Andalusia (with Swiss chard, almonds & saffron).  Also as a filling for

rissoles or calzone.  There are lots of recipes on the web,   described

as Catalan or Sephardic, served in Greece, Turkey and Italy.

 

I was served a similar dish (with cream, over fresh pasta) by an

owner/chef from Venice in a small cafe in (of all places) Douglasville,

GA.  I made it this weekend with frozen spinach and even that was good.

Soggy but tasty.

 

I'll serve it anyway, but I'd really like to see the original pre-1600

recipe.  Platina suggests spinach with sweet spices, and recommends

pine nuts with raisins, but doesn't put them all together. No luck

with Scully's Neopolitan Collection either.  Has Scappi's _Opera

dell'Arte del Cucinare_ been published in English?  Has it been

re-published in a modern edition at all?  I can translate one recipe -

how hard can it be?  Is this dish in any of the various Catalan

collections that folks are working on?  Arabian collections?  Anything

like it that might have evolved/fused into this version?

 

Tara

 

 

From: rcmann4 at earthlink.net

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2001 22:17:04 -0400

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Scappi's Aromatic Spinach

 

On 2 Jul 01,, Terri Spencer wrote:

> I'll serve it anyway, but I'd really like to see the original pre-1600

> recipe.  Platina suggests spinach with sweet spices, and recommends

> pine nuts with raisins, but doesn't put them all together.  No luck

> with Scully's Neopolitan Collection either.  Has Scappi's _Opera

> dell'Arte del Cucinare_ been published in English? Has it been

> re-published in a modern edition at all?  I can translate one recipe -

> how hard can it be?  Is this dish in any of the various Catalan

> collections that folks are working on?  Arabian collections?  Anything

> like it that might have evolved/fused into this version?

 

Nola has a recipe for Chopped Spinach (#86 -- Espinacas Picadas).  The

spinach is fried in bacon fat, then cooked with broth or milk.  Various things

can be added to it -- raisins are one of them.

 

Granado has a recipe for a similar dish -- spinach fried in oil or butter or

poultry fat, then cooked with broth and prunes.  My translation of the recipe,

and a redaction, are in the Florilegium in this file:

http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-BY-REGION/fd-Spain-msg.html

It may be worth noting that many of the recipes in Granado are plagiarized

from Scappi.  I do not know if this is one of them.

 

Brighid ni Chiarain

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

 

 

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 09:40:45 -0700

From: Susan Fox-Davis <selene at earthlink.net>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Recipe for fried avocado from Trudy's North Star

 

"Decker, Terry D." wrote:

> I'd say take the Columbus tale with a grain of salt until "they" identify

> the contemporary source.  Avocado is southern Mexico and south, so some

> sources attribute it to Cortez.  Their use in the US doesn't start until

> around 1833, when they were introduced into Florida by Henry Perrine.

 

I don't much care when they were introduced in the US, that's all after SCA period.

The earliest citation I find online is 1519, not by Cortez but "Suma de

Geografia" by Martin Fernandez de Enciso.

<http://www.arc.agric.za/institutes/itsc/main/avocado/origin.htm>;

 

Selene, mean and green in Caid

 

 

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Recipe for fried avocado from Trudy's North Star

Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 14:14:12 -0500

 

> I don't much care when they were introduced in the US, that's

> all after SCA period.

 

Actually, it is of interest.  Everyone knows the Spanish settled San Agostin

in the mid-16th Century, so obviously they imported the first avocados and

set up the original avocado orchards in what was to become the U.S. Whether

or not they actually did bring in avocados is open to debate, but if they

did, avocados didn't catch on and had to be re-imported in the 19th Century.

 

> The earliest citation I find online is 1519, not by Cortez

> but "Suma de Geografia" by Martin Fernandez de Enciso.

> <http://www.arc.agric.za/institutes/itsc/main/avocado/origin.htm>;

 

AFAIK, Cortez never wrote an account of his expeditions and the attribution

of his finding the avocado is as apocryphal as that of Columbus finding it

(of course, I haven't read Peter Martyr, so I can not say that the account

does not appear there).

 

Encisco commanded an expedition into the Isthmus of Darien in 1513. He lost

command of his forces to a creditor-fleeing stowaway, Vasco Nunez de Balboa,

who went on to cross the Isthmus and become the first conquistador to reach

the Pacific.

 

I didn't know about "Suma de Geografia," but I'll add it to the book list.

This discussion also reminds me that there was a recently published

translation of Balboa's papers and letters, which may provide more

information.

 

> I'm just proposing a "what if?" exercise.  It could happen; avocados can keep

> for a couple of months under refrigeration, what about in cold sea water?

 

That creates a different set of problems which I doubt the avocado would

survive.  The avocados are more likely to have gotten to Europe as seeds or

seedlings.  It would be interesting to try to find when and where they first

start appearing in the botanical literature.

 

> Selene, mean and green in Caid

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2002 11:32:33 -0800 (PST)

From: Philippa Alderton <phlip_u at yahoo.com>

To: "Cook's List" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Spinach- Miscellany- redaction questions.

 

Last night, we cooked a couple dishes from the

Miscellany. I'll let Margali tell you about the

Medieval Lasagna, since that was her project, but I

did the Isfanakh Mutajjan, from al-Baghdadi, p 206/12.

 

Translation reads:

 

Take spinach, cut off the lower roots, and wash: then

boil lightly in salt and water and dry. Refine sesame

seed oil, drop in the spinach, and stir until

fragrant. Chop up a little garlic and add. Sprinkle

with fine-ground cumin, dry coriander and cinnamon,

then remove.

 

Cariadoc's redaction reads as follows:

1 lb spinach

1 T sesame oil

1 clove garlic

1/4 t cumin

1/8 t coriander

1/2 t cinnamon.

 

Boil spinach in salted water about 2 minutes. Chop

garlic. Fry spinach in oil briefly; add garlic and fry

a bit more; add spices and serve.

 

Upon discussion, we decided to omit the boiling step,

because we felt that it might be inappropriate under

the circumstances. Our first question was, was Spinach

the actual green mentioned? The instructions seem more

appropriate for a tougher leaf, such as, perhaps,

arugula. Second, boiling for two minutes seems

excessive- rather than discrete leaves, as the recipe

seems to imply, with the drying and then frying, you'd

have a soggy mass. We were thinking that if this did,

in fact, refer to spinach, it might refer to older,

tougher leaves than we had gotten from the grocery,

and a quick blanching might be more appropriate than a

boiling- soggy mass, again.

 

As done, I stir-fried a couple of lbs of spinach, in

batches appropriate for our frying pan, and was a bit

light on garlic on the later batches because Margali

had to go to work this AM, and didn't necessarily want

to be garlic flavored all day ;-) Added the spices as

suggested, using a bit of chopped garlic to test the

heat of the (light sesame) oil- didn't measure, used

the pinch and experience method. Used whole cumin

because that's what we had, and I didn't feel like

digging for the morter and pestle.

 

Result was a very tasty, bright green spinach dish,

with discrete leaves.

 

Cariadoc, anyone else, may I have some input on the

translation of the "spinach" word, and thoughts on the

toughness and parboiling of spinach leaves in general.

 

Phlip

 

 

Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2002 17:20:09 -0500

From: Elaine Koogler <ekoogler1 at comcast.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Spinach- Miscellany- redaction questions.

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

------

Cariadoc, anyone else, may I have some input on the

translation of the "spinach" word, and thoughts on the

toughness and parboiling of spinach leaves in general.

 

Phlip

------

 

When we made it, we steamed it rather than boiling it...until just barely

wilted.  I know it says to boil it, but we had the same concern.  If you

were going to boil it, you'd have to literally dunk the leaves in the

boiling water just long enough to wilt them, then pull them out...sort of as

if you were going to freeze them.  Doing it that way produced a very tasty

dish.  We got the idea from a Chinese dish that is basically the same thing,

only done with Chinese seasonings.

 

Kiri

 

 

Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2002 16:29:36 -0800

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Spinach- Miscellany- redaction questions.

 

Philippa Alderton <phlip_u at yahoo.com>wrote:

>Translation reads:

>

>Take spinach, cut off the lower roots, and wash: then

>boil lightly in salt and water and dry. Refine sesame

>seed oil, drop in the spinach, and stir until

>fragrant. Chop up a little garlic and add. Sprinkle

>with fine-ground cumin, dry coriander and cinnamon,

>then remove.

 

>Boil spinach in salted water about 2 minutes. Chop

>garlic. Fry spinach in oil briefly; add garlic and fry

>a bit more; add spices and serve.

SNIP

>Our first question was, was Spinach

>the actual green mentioned? The instructions seem more

>appropriate for a tougher leaf, such as, perhaps,

>arugula.

 

I was served a dish very like this when i was in Fez last year. In

Morocco they use some green other than spinach, but i'm not sure

what. Definitely not arugula, though... Something i was reading

somewhere referred to a green called "orach" or "French spinach".

 

A quick search on http://www.google.com

turns up

Orach as Atriplex patula and Atriplex hortensis and says it's in the

goosefoot family. There's a photo at

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/MV103

and it looks an awful lot what i find marketed as "New Zealand

spinach" - has "heart-shaped" leaves.

 

>Second, boiling for two minutes seems

>excessive- rather than discrete leaves, as the recipe

>seems to imply, with the drying and then frying, you'd

>have a soggy mass. We were thinking that if this did,

>in fact, refer to spinach, it might refer to older,

>tougher leaves than we had gotten from the grocery,

>and a quick blanching might be more appropriate than a

>boiling- soggy mass, again.

 

I agree that a different greens, such as kale, chard, and orach

require some boiling.

 

>As done, I stir-fried a couple of lbs of spinach, in

>batches appropriate for our frying pan

SNIP

>Added the spices as

>suggested, using a bit of chopped garlic to test the

>heat of the (light sesame) oil - didn't measure, used

>the pinch and experience method.

 

I feel His Grace's version of this recipe is extremely under

seasoned, on the basis both of having eaten all sorts of modern Near

Eastern food, including, as I said, a similar dish in Morocco, and my

personal taste. I use more of every single ingredient except the

cinnamon (personal taste, again) to 1 lb. of spinach.

 

Here's my recipe:

1 lb spinach

1/3 c sesame oil

3 cloves garlic or more, smashed

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ground white pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

 

I use white pepper because i have an unpleasant reaction to black

pepper, although i've been finding that if i get the extremely finely

ground powder my local spice shop carries, i'm not having so much

trouble with black pepper.

 

At camping events i use frozen chopped spinach (helps keep the cooler

cool although it begins to thaw). I put it in my cast iron skillet

and cook it until the water evaporates, then i add the oil and

garlic, and once they're cooked i add the spices. At home i've cooked

it with fresh spinach. I put oil and smashed garlic in the cast iron

skillet, cook very briefly then add the spinach, stirring almost

constantly so the spinach wilts and the garlic doesn't burn. It cooks

down pretty fast. As soon as it's soft i add the spices, stir for a

short time, and serve.

 

I use more oil because of all my experiences with modern Near Eastern

vegetables. No guarantee that's how Medieval Near Eastern vegetable

were cooked, but no guarantee that they were not. I like them

unctuous - yes, the first time or two i used way less oil, but i

prefer it the way i do it now.

 

I have yet to experiment with kale or chard - i really like chard,

but am less fond of kale, although i'm a fan of just about every

leafy green, including dandelion greens and chrysanthemum greens. Now

I should go looking for orach...

 

Anahita

 

 

Date: Mon, 25 Mar 2002 17:12:35 -0800

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Spinach- Miscellany- redaction questions.

 

OK, further search via google indicates that New Zealand spinach is a

whole nother plant, and NOT what would have been used in North Africa

or Southwest Asia.

 

Found the following, which i've edited, at a gardening site:

http://www.bountifulgardens.org/seeds-books-tools/vegetable-seed/spinach.html

 

>Malabar Spinach - Basella alba - A very unusual and delicious

>vegetable from the Orient. Thick, dark-green leaves... [have]

>attractive red stem[s].

>

>New Zealand Spinach - Tetragonia expansa -

>Has small arrow shaped leaves, thicker than spinach. Tastes a lot

>like spinach when cooked.

>

>Egyptian Spinach - Corchorus olitorius - Melokheya. Jew's mallow.

>West African sorrel. We don't think of jute as a food crop, but this

>form of jute was eaten by the pharaohs (and just about everyone else

>from Egypt to Sierra Leone to to the Sudan).

>

>Strawberry Spinach - Chenopodium capitatum -

>At least 400 years old, an ancient popular plant throughout Europe.

>Re-discovered at various monasteries. Similar to Lambs Quarters in

>habit, only smaller...

 

Another website

http://www.gardenews.co.nz/kp64.htm

says "ORACH, PURPLE ORACLE -  Atriplex hortensis - French Spinach

Orach has been used as a pot herb since the early Greeks and Romans.

The succulent leaves are in the same family as Spinach and make a

colourful addition to salads with a mild flavour, or can be boiled

like Silverbeet or Spinach. "

 

Another website

http://www.thesaurus.com/cgi-bin/dict.pl?term=red%20goosefoot

says Orach is "common Eurasian weed; naturalized in United States"

 

If all this is true, orach might have been found in the Levant or

Iraq "in period"... It is mentioned in the translation of the

Anonymous Andalusian cookbook.

 

I suppose the molokhiyya mentioned above is another possibility, but

it's hard to find fresh.

 

Anahita

 

 

From: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

Date: Fri, 17 May 2002 16:04:58 -0400 (EDT)

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Story about carrots!

 

> http://abcnews.go.com/sections/scitech/DailyNews/purplecarrots020517.html

> So I thought carrots were in England before the 15th century?

 

Yes, says John Harvey, AFAIRC.

 

Harvey, J.H. "Vegetables in the Middle Ages" Garden History 12 (2), p.

89-99, 1984.

 

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

 

 

From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>

To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Recipe for fried avocado from Trudy's North Star

Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2002 08:57:02 -0500

 

I'd say take the Columbus tale with a grain of salt until "they" identify

the contemporary source.  Avocado is southern Mexico and south, so some

sources attribute it to Cortez.  Their use in the US doesn't start until

around 1833, when they were introduced into Florida by Henry Perrine.

 

Given the 2 to 3 month voyage from the New World, if you were an innkeeper

gifted with avocados, they would probably be unpalatable mush which you

would throw in the garbage.  In my opinion, outside of the tropical New

World, avocados were most likely found in botanical gardens and were rarely

eaten.

 

Bear

 

> Apparently, the "alligator pear" is cited amongst Columbus' discoveries so I

> see no reason not to use it in "speculative" period-style cookery.

> If an innkeeper such as myself was gifted with some of these by a passing

> mariner, what would she make of them?

>

> Selene, Caid

 

 

Date: Wed, 21 Aug 2002 15:09:13 -0400

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Gads, Zooks!  was Drive-by Dessertings

 

They are part of the New World squashes, so it can't be that

early and it may be rather late before they achieved popularity.

Davidson suggests the 1920's.

Castelvetro includes them in his manuscript as translated by

Gillian Riley. That would place them as 17th century with them being

eaten as marrows in Italy in the late 16th.

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis  Johnna Holloway

 

Susan Fox-Davis wrote:

> Tiptoe-ing back on-topic:  when, precisely, was the Zucchini as we know it

> discovered and used in European cookery?

> Selene, Caid

 

 

Date: Sat, 05 Jul 2003 08:08:38 -0400

From: "Nancy Kiel" <nancy_kiel at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Jerusalem artichoke

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

One explanation for the name, IIRC, is that it's a corruption of "girasole,"

the Italian word for sunflower.  But there doesn't seem to be any  

connection to the city of Jerusalem.

 

Nancy Kiel

 

 

Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2003 07:37:51 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Middle Eastern Food

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> But what about something called Jerusalem Artichoke (I has been three

> times in Jerusalem, am on my way now again) and never saw any in a

> market or saw in a menu.

> Ana

 

Helianthus tuberosus is a New World sunflower called the Jerusalem artichoke

or girasol.  The tuber is edible and is marketed as Jerusalem artichoke.  It

may have seen limited use in the 16th Century and it has spread all  

over the world, but it is not generally a period foodstuff.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Sat, 5 Jul 2003 08:29:31 -0400

From: Jane Boyko <jboyko at magma.ca>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Middle Eastern Food

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

In "The Food Chronology" by James Trager he notes that the artichoke is used

by the Romans.  He quotes Pliny's "Historia Naturalis".  This is in the 1st

century.  (p31)   The next mention of the artichoke is in 1533 and I will

quote here  "Cooks attending Catherine de' Medici introduce to France such

vegetables as broccoli, globe artichokes ... fonds d'artichauts...."  

(p91).

 

As to the Jerusalem Artichoke it seems to be a new world plant.  First

mention of it is in 1609 when the Virginia colony finds that its' food stocks

have run low.  Survivors take on different tasks (ie hunting, fishing and

gathering) of which they gather "...Jerusalem artichokes and other wild

plants" (p113).  It is again mentioned in 1616 with the French explorer

Samuel de Champlain.  He introduces the Jerusalem artichoke to France in

1616.  At first it is known as the Canadian artichoke, the earth pear  

etc.

There is abosolutely no mention of how the Jerusalem artichoke became  

known as the Jerusalem artichoke.

 

Okay, I have become too curious.

 

Here is an interesting url that recounts some of the history and  

nameing of the Jerusalem artichoke. http://www.vegparadise.com/highestperch26.html

 

Also if you check out Apicius there are three recipes using artichokes:

Artichokes with Fish-pickle dressing (Carduos)

Artichokes with Hot Herb dressing (Aliter carduos)

Cumin spiced artichokes (Aliter carduos elixos - steamed artichokes).

 

Hope this helps and clears up some of the questions surrounding  

artichokes.

 

Marina

 

 

Date: Sun, 7 Sep 2003 05:46:59 -0700

From: david friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Mongol Feast Questions

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> While reading though, I did find references to just plain vegetable

> matter. I think the one we're going to incorporate in the Soup for

> the Qan course is going to be the one for spinach, fried with

> garlic.  Do you need the page reference? (I found it by simply going

> through the index and finding all references for spinach in there).

 

Sounds a little like:

 

Isfanakh Mutajjan

al-Baghdadi p. 206/12

 

Take spinach, cut off the lower roots, and wash: then boil lightly in

salt and water, and dry. Refine sesame-oil, drop in the spinach, and

stir until fragrant. Chop up a little garlic, and add. Sprinkle with

fine-ground cumin, dry coriander, and cinnamon: then remove.

--

David/Cariadoc

 

 

Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2003 16:11:44 -0400 (EDT)

From: <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Redacting another Jewish dish (fwd)

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Among the stuff in _A Drizzle of Honey_, there is one account from an

Inquisition record that looks very much like a period recipe. The quoted

text from the report appears to have been:

 

"Los viernes fasta . . su ama acelgas sancohadas en agua e despues

ahogadas en aseyte e con cebollas, e alli, en el azeyte, reheruir; e

despues echana alli su agua e pan rallado e especias y yemas de hueuos; e

cozia fasta que se para muy espeso." (Accent notes: the c's in acelgas,

cebollas and especias have the down-hook on the bottom; the i's in alli,

fasia, and cozia, and the second e's in despues are all accented.)

 

The authors of _Drizzle of Honey_ translate this:

 

"... Swiss chard, parboiling it in water and then frying it with onions in

oil, and then boiling it again in the oil. And then she threw in water and

grated bread crumbs and spices and egg yolks; and she cooked it until it

got very thick."

 

I'm a) wondering about 'boiling it again in oil' and also whether this

should be treated as a variant on the de Nola-type recipes where you

parboil the vegetable, sautee in oil, and then thicken the result...?

 

-- Pani Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

  "in verbis et in herbis, et in lapidibus sunt virtutes"

 

 

Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2003 23:22:40 -0400

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Redacting another Jewish dish (fwd)

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

On 23 Sep 2003, at 18:13, Alex Clark wrote:

> In the original, the article is used the second time that the veggies go

> into oil, but not the first. I don't know Spanish so I can't tell, but I

> wonder if this indicates that the oil used the second time was the exact

> same oil, or perhaps that it was the same type of oil.

 

The use or non-use of the article does not indicate different types of oil.  In

Spanish recipes, "aceite" without any qualifier always means olive oil. If

there was a second kind of oil, then it would be identified, eg., "aceite de

almendras" (almond oil).

 

See my response to Jadwiga for my opinion on the meaning of "boiled

again".

 

> Henry of Maldon/Alex Clark

 

Brighid ni Chiarain *** mka Robin Carroll-Mann

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

 

 

Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2003 23:22:40 -000

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Redacting another Jewish dish (fwd)

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

On 23 Sep 2003, at 16:11, jenne at fiedlerfamily.net wrote:

> Among the stuff in _A Drizzle of Honey_, there is one account from an

> Inquisition record that looks very much like a period recipe. The  

> quoted text from the report appears to have been

>

> "Los viernes fasta . . su ama acelgas sancohadas en agua e despues

> ahogadas en aseyte e con cebollas, e alli, en el azeyte, reheruir; e

> despues echana alli su agua e pan rallado e especias y yemas de hueuos; e

> cozia fasta que se para muy eseso." (Accent notes: the c's in acelgas,

> cebollas and especias have the down-hook on the bottom; the i's in  alli,

> fasia, and cozia, and the second e's in despues are all accented.)

>

> The authors of _Drizzle of Honey_ translate this:

> "... Swis chard, parboiling it in water and then frying it with onions in

> oil, and then boiling it again in the oil. And then she threw in water and

> grated bread crumbs and spices and egg yolks; and she cooked it until it

> got very thick."

 

A more literal translation would be, "On Fridays, her mistress made chard

parboiled in water and then drowned in oil and with onions, and there, in the

oil, boiled again; and then casting there her water and grated bread and

spices and yolks of eggs, and coked it until it became very thick."

 

> I'm a) wondering about 'boiling it again in oil'

 

I think the steps would be as follows:

1. parboil chard in water

2. remove chard from water

3. put chard in oil ("drowned" may mean a lot of oil) with onions

4. Bringthe oil and vegetable mix to a "boil"

5. add remaining ingredients

6. cook until thick

 

I think the "boiling it again" refers to the frying.  It was boiled the first time in water, and then again in oil.  I do not think that there are two separate frying steps.

 

> and also whether this

> should be treated as a variant on the de Nola-type recipes where you

> parboil the vegetable, sautee in oil, and then thicken the result...?

 

It seems so to me.

 

> -- Pani Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlrfamily.net

 

Brighid ni Chiarain *** mka Robin Carroll-Mann

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

 

 

Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003 09:22:51 -0400 (EDT)

From: <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Redacting another Jewish dish (fd)

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> I would be interested to know what the exact context was, which might

> indicate hether this is supposed to be the preferred preparation method,

> how knowledgeable the writer was about cookery, and also how interested the

> writer was in the clarity of the description.

 

The authors don't give enough information to tell _why_ he Swiss chard

recipe was so important, though it appears it is probably from the

testimony of Maria Alvarez's maid, Francesca, who would have been quite

knowledgeable about cookery. Presumably this was not the preferred

preparation method for old-Christin cooks. Whether it was a preferred

cooking method for Jews is not given. It's possible that the dish was

served on a special occasion, such as a funeral, since not eating meat at

a funeral was considered a symptom of Judaizing, or Francesca may have

ben highlighting the use of oil instead of bacon fat.

 

Unfortunately, the source materials for the quotation are all in Spanish,

being published accounts of the Inquisition proceedings, and my Spanish

just isn't up to it.

 

-- Pani Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowedge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

 

 

Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003 11:20:07 -0400 (GMT-04:00)

From: Robin Carroll-Mann <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Redacting another Jewish dish (fwd)

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

From: Alex Clark <alexbclark at pennswoods.net>

At 11:22 PM 9/23/2003 -0400, Brighid ni Chiarain quoted and wrote:

> A more literal translation would be, "On Fridays, her mistress made chard

> parboiled in water and then drowned in oil and with onions, and there, in the

> oil, boiled again; and then casting there her water and grated bread and

> spices and yolks of eggs, and cooked it until it became very thick."

 

So by this new improved translation, not only do ahogadas and

reheruir/rehervir add up (as I suggested) to a single cooking, but (as I

hadn't realized) there's no indication of time between them. Does this now

leave a possibility that the drowning and boiling could have commenced at

the same moment, in hot olive oil? In other words, could they describe two

aspects of the same step, rather than sequential steps?

 

Henry of Maldon/Alex Clark

----------------------------------------------------------------

 

In short, yes.  Period recipes can often be fuzzy about the sequence of

actions.  Furthermore, this isn't from a cookbook, but legal testimony

from a servant whose mistress was suspected of secretly practicing

Judaism.

 

This morning, I checked the RAE dictionaries, and found that "ahogar"

can also mean to suffocate, to choke, or to overwhelm.  It is used of

plants killed by too much rain.  It is used as an exaggeration in

several idiomatic expressions.  "Ahogar de calor" is said of someone

who is suffering from hot weather.  "I'm stifling in this heat!" would

be an English equivalent.

 

If I were to retranslate that recipe, I would say "smothered in oil",

since this is fairly literal, but also has a culinary meaning in

English.

 

Brighid ni Chiarain

 

 

Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003 09:23:03 -0700 (PDT)

From: Robin Carroll-Mann <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Redacting another Jewish dish (fwd)

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

-----Original Message-----

From: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

 

The authors don't give enough information to tell _why_ the Swiss chard

recipe was so important, though it appears it is probably from the

testimony of Maria Alvarez's maid, Francesca, who would have been quite

knowledgeable about cookery. Presumably this was not the preferred

preparation method for old-Christian cooks. Whether it was a preferred

cooking method for Jews is not given. It's possible that the dish was

served on a special occasion, such as a funeral, since not eating meat at

a funeral was considered a symptom of Judaizing, or Francesca may have

been highlighting the use of oil instead of bacon fat.

 

-- Pani Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

----------------------------------------------------------

 

The authors' translation doesn't include the beginning phrase, "On

FRIDAYS... her mistress used to make..."  [Emphasis added]  I think the

significant thing is that she was making a certain dish regularly on

Fridays.  This would be an indication to the Inquisitors that the woman

might have been secretly observing the Jewish Sabbath.  I don't think

the absense of bacon fat is an issue here, since Christians would be

abstaining from meat on Fridays.

 

Brighid ni Chiarain

 

 

Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003 14:08:38 -0400

From: Tara Sersen Boroson <tara at kolaviv.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Redacting another Jewish dish (fwd)

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> The authors' translation doesn't include the beginning phrase, "On

> FRIDAYS... her mistress used to make..." [Emphasis added]  I think

> the significant thing is that she was making a certain dish regularly

> on Fridays.  This would be an indication to the Inquisitors that the

> woman might have been secretly observing the Jewish Sabbath.  I don't

> think the absense of bacon fat is an issue here, since Christians

> would be abstaining from meat on Fridays.

 

You are probably right, though using olive oil rather than butter might

also have played a part?  However, the book also specifies "The

Inquisition's informants keyed on the principal ingredient of the main

dish, it's relation to the Jewish or Christian calender of ritual, and a

few foods - chard, chickpeas, eggplant - that old-Christians associated

with Semitic cuisine."  So, it may have been the use of chard in that

particular season, combined with it's particular use on Fridays, that

drew attention.  I wonder what record there is of foods associated with

seasonal rituals for Jews at that time?  Certainly, there are enough

seasonal foods these days - charoset, latkes, etc.

 

-Magdalena vander Brugghe

--

Tara Sersen Boroson

 

 

Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003 19:15:15 -0400

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Redacting another Jewish dish (fwd)

To: <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Cc: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

On 24 Sep 2003, at 15:12, jenne at fiedlerfamily.net wrote:

>>  The authors' translation doesn't include the beginning phrase, "On

>> FRIDAYS... her mistress used to make..." [Emphasis added]  I think the

>> significant thing is that she was making a certain dish regularly on

>> Fridays.  This would be an indication to the Inquisitors that the woman

>> might have been secretly observing the Jewish Sabbath.  I don't think the

>> absense of bacon fat is an issue here, since Christians would be

>> abstaining from meat on Fridays.

>

> Hm... does that maybe mean the dish is to be served cold?

 

Not necessarily.  The Sabbath begins at sundown on Friday, so a dish

prepared during the afternoon could be kept warm over the coals.  For that

matter, one could have a hot dish on Saturday.  The Sabbath prohibitions are

against lighting (or extinguishing) a fire and preparing food.  An existing fire

may be left burning.  A traditional Jewish practice has been to start a slow-

cooking casserole Friday afternoon, and leave it over coals or in the back of

a slow oven, so that a hot meat dinner could be served on Saturday.  (I do

not think this chard recipe would be suitable for *that* kind of  extended

cooking.)

 

The above is from casual reading, not personal experience, so you may want

to check on the details.

 

> -- Pani Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

 

Brighid ni Chiarain *** mka Robin Carroll-Mann

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

 

 

Date: Wed, 24 Sep 2003 16:40:26 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Redacting another Jewish dish (fwd)

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

(sound of palm of hand smacking forehead)

This Spanish Jewish dish sounds an awful lot like...

Isfanakh Mutajjan!

 

Many modern dishes that contains greens, translated as "spinach" in

English, in Arabic call for silq, and silq is chard. As far as i can

tell Isfanakh is spinach, but silq was also a popular leafy green.

 

A chard dish i ate in "palace restaurant" in Fes, Morocco, a couple

years ago had a nice amount of olive oil to make it unctuous- the

dish is eaten cold as a side dish (i don't recall what it was called,

but it was awfully close to the same dish). It seems that the Spanish

Jewish recipe does, too. I have reproduced this dish by making

Isfanakh Mutajjan, being generous with the oil, and, of the

seasonings, accentuating the cumin. I know it wasn't made with

spinach in Morocco - it was a green with a bit more, uh, body...

 

-----

 

According to my Moroccan Jewish cookbook, a similar recipe (with the

addition of Moroccan preserved lemon) "is part of every Sabbath

meal"... p. 63 _The Scent of Orange Blossoms: Sephardi Cuisine from

Morocco_, by Kitty Morse and Danielle Mamane (both Moroccan Jews).

Say the authors:

"Chard is one of the vegetables that receives a special beraha

(blessing) during Passover"

They also note that Fassis snack on this chard between two pieces of

crisp matzoh.

 

They only give the name in French and English, sigh, not Arabic

(Moroccan Jews speak Arabic, and some Sephardim may speak Ladino,

which is a form of Medieval Spanish)

 

Chard Salad with Preserved Lemon

Blettes aux Citron Confits

 

3 Tb. virgin olive oil

5 cloves garlic, minced

12 oz bunch of red chard, stemmed and chopped

12 oz bunch of white chard, stemmed and chopped

rind of 1/4 preserved lemon, finely diced

1 Tb. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

lemon slices for garnish

 

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic

and cook, stirring occasionally until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the

chard leaves, a handful at a time. Using 2 wooden spoons, toss them

until wilted, 3 to 4 minute. Proceed in this manner until all the

leaves are used. Add the lemon rind, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Toss to blend and transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with lemon

slices and serve at room temperature.

 

-----

 

In "The Great Book of Couscous, Classic Cuisines of Morocco, Algeria,

and Tunisia" by Copeland Marks, is this recipe, on page 185 in the

Algerian section:

 

Chakcouka bil Slk

 

1 lb fresh spinach

3 Tb olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

4 cloves garlic, crushed in a garlic press

2 large ripe tomatoes (1 lb.)

1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste

1/4 tsp. white pepper

 

Pull off and discard that tough stems of the spinach. Put the spinach

in a large pan with 1/4 cup water, cover the pan and steam over

moderate heat for 3 minutes to reduce the bulk. Drain, cool and press

out the liquid quite firmly. Set the spinach aside.

 

Heat the oil in a skillet, add the onion and garlic and stir-fry a

minute. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook

for 5 minutes. Add the spinach and mix everything together. Cover the

pan again and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes more.

 

Anahita Notes:

1) Chakcouka is more typically made with bell peppers and tomatoes...

2) Silq (here romanized as "slk") is more likely to be chard, not

spinach. Chard will really benefit by the pre-steaming...

 

-----

 

In "Cooking at the Casbah: Recipes from my Moroccan Kitchen" by Kitty

Morse, page 59, is this recipe:

 

Bokkola b'Zitoun

Chopped Spinach Salad with Lemons and Olives

 

2 bunches (about 1-1/2 lb) fresh spinach

2 Tb. olive oil

1 Tb. Hungarian paprika

1 Tb. ground cumin

1 tsp. pepper

6 Tb. minced fresh cilantro

3 garlic cloves, minced

15 green olives, pitted

2 tsp. finely diced Preserved Lemon rind

1 small lemon, cut into thin slices

 

In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the spinach until it wilts, 2

to 3 minutes. Drain in a colander. When it is cool enough to handle,

press the spinach with the back of a large spoon to remove excess

water. On a cutting board, chop the spinach finely and set aside.

 

In a large skillet over medium heat, combine the olive oil, paprika,

cumin, and black pepper. Cook, stirring constantly , 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the chopped spinach, cilantro, and garlic, and cook, stirring

constantly until most of the liquid evaporates, 8 to 10 minutes.

 

Reserve 6 of the olives. Finely chop the remaining olives Combine the

chopped olives and the diced preserved lemon with the spinach. Cook

until heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

 

To serve, mound the spinach in the center of a serving plates. Dot

the salad with the reserved olives. Cut the lemon slices in half and

place them around the plate to create a scalloped border. Serve at

room temperature.

 

-----

 

And in "North African Cooking: Exotic Delights from Morocco, Tunisia,

Algeria, and Egypt" by Hilaire Walden, on page 94:

 

Swiss Chard Tagine

Marak Silk

 

2 lb Swiss chard

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

3 Tb. oil

1 tsp. paprika

1 largish onion, finely chipped

1/8 cup long grain rice

4 Tb. chopped fresh cilantro

4 Tb. water

salt and pepper

 

Separate the leaf part from the thick ribs of the chard. Shred the

leaves coarsely and slice the stalks into 1/2 inch wide strips.

 

Warm the oil in a heavy flameproof casserole, add the chard stalks

and the garlic, cover and cook gently for 10-15 minutes, stirring

occasionally. Stir in the paprika, stirring for 30-60 seconds, then

the onion, chard leaves, rice, cilantro, water, and seasoning.

 

Cover with a very tight-fitting lid and cook, stirring occasionally,

for about 30 minutes until the rice is tender; if necessary add some

more water. The lid must fit really well so that no steam can escape

(seal it with foil to be sure).

 

Anahita Notes:

This is an extremely conservative amount of garlic - i think it was

reduced for the English for whom this book was originally published.

Note the amount of garlic in the other recipes above and increase

accordingly.

 

-----

 

None of these is the same as the Spanish Jewish recipe in "A Drizzle

of Honey", but they sure appear to be related...

 

-----

 

As an unrelated aside, there's a dried meat thingy called khlii (sort

of hlee), sort of like jerky, but not eaten as it. It is shredded and

cooked. I recall reading an SCA period resource - but not which one -

that mentions having dried meat strips to take on long journeys when

food would be uncertain (sounds like khlii, but the original Arabic

was not mentioned) - but, again, this was cooked, not eaten like

modern jerky.

 

Anahita bint 'abd al-Karim al-Fassi

 

 

Date: Tue, 30 Sep 2003 21:56:58 -0400 (EDT)

From: <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] adventures in doing things with Spanish food

        preparation sources

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

So, tonight I tried 2 dishes that I want on my feast: stuffed eggs and

The dish of chard and onions

 

_______________________________

 

The Making of Stuffed Eggs (al-Andalus)

 

<snip – See eggs-msg   Stefan>

 

________________________________________

The other was the Jewish dish of chard and onions cited in _A Drizzle of

Honey_

 

Brighid ni Chiaran translated the original from the inquisition records

thus:

  "On Fridays, her mistress made chard parboiled in water and then  

drowned

in oil and with onions, and there, in the oil, boiled again; and then

casting there her water and grated bread and spices and yolks of eggs,

and

cooked it until it became very thick."

 

She says:

"I think the steps would be as follows:

1. parboil chard in water

2. remove chard from water

3. put chard in oil ("drowned" may mean a lot of oil) with onions

4. Bring the oil and vegetable mix to a "boil"

5. add remaining ingredients

6. cook until thick"

 

So, I took a little under half a pound of swiss chard and cut off the very

ends.

Then I parboiled it until the green bits were dark green.

Drained the chard, and chopped it up.

Minced one small onion into small bits.

put about 1/4 inch olive oil in an 8-inch cast iron skillet

Added the onion and the chard.

Brought to temp (on medium high electric setting) and cooked until onion

softened, stirring.

Added about 1/2 c. water, 1/2 c. breadcrumbs, 1/2 tsp poudre forte, and  

3 egg yolks, and mixed.

Decided it needed more breadcrumbs-- added another half cup.

Then needed more water (about 1/2 c.)

Stirred over low heat until thickened.

Let sit on low for about 15 minutes, then turned off heat and let it sit

for a while.

 

Ok, so I put too much breadcrumbs in. And maybe too much oil, and I didn't

cook it long enough. It's a sort of oily, oniony, crumby thing that isn't

quite a stuffing but is quite good and reminds me of some holiday dish I

just CANNOT recall (which isn't stuffing...)

 

-- Pani Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

 

 

Date: Thu, 19 May 2005 18:37:26 -0500

From: "Terry Decker" <t.d.decker at worldnet.att.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Okra - Seasonal Foods

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> Since its from Africa, are there any medieval-oid recipes that call for

> Okra?  I can't recall seeing any, but I could be supressing them...

> Christianna

 

Actually, its of Asiatic origin and enters the Americas via the slave trade. It may be one of the plants that was introduced into Madagascar in the 3rd

Century BCE and slowly dispersed across Africa.  If so, then Europeans

probably encountered it first in the 15th Century.  Topic for digging.

 

Bear

 

 

Date: Tue, 15 Aug 2006 22:54:00 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Purslane

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

I got a big bag of moderately mature purslane from a local FreeCycle

list. I have tasted a few leaves... general green flavor with a sour

finish. Not as sour as sorrel, which i love, but quite pleasant. The

lady i got them from says she just sautes them with chopped onions.

 

Besides being used raw in late 14th C.-early 15th C. salads, anyone

have any historic recipes for using purslane? Even medicinal receipts

would be interesting if anyone has any.

--  

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)

the persona formerly known as Anahita

 

 

Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2006 21:07:00 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Purslane

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Well you could use it in this recipe from Alessio--

The thyrde and last parte of the Secretes of the reuerende Maister

Alexis of Piemont from 1562

 

Another remedy founde very syngular.

 

ROste well two Dragmes of Rubarbe, together with the seede of Purselane

and Coriander prepa|red, of eche a Dragme, make all into verye small

pouder, and mingle a Dragme of this pouder with as muche iuyce of

Purselane as shall suffice, and geue it to the Pacient whan he spitteth

bloode.

 

It's from the section on recipes to treat consumption.

 

Johnnae

 

lilinah at earthlink.net wrote:

> I got a big bag of moderately mature purslane from a local FreeCycle

> list. I have tasted a few leaves... general green flavor with a sour

> finish. Not as sour as sorrel, which i love, but quite pleasant. The

> lady i got them from says she just sautes them with chopped onions.

>

> Besides being used raw in late 14th C.-early 15th C. salads, anyone

> have any historic recipes for using purslane? Even medicinal receipts

> would be interesting if anyone has any.

 

 

Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2007 13:56:16 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] skerrits?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> skerrits are carrots... or carrot-like, correct?  

>

> cailte

 

At medievalcookery.com a search under "skirret" has 6 recipes.

Nothing under "skerrit" OED doesn't list that spelling.

 

OED lists skirret --* A perennial umbelliferous plant, /Sium sisarum/, a

species of water parsnip, formerly much cultivated in Europe for its

esculent tubers; the root of this plant. In one or two 15th cent.

glossaries /skyrwyt/ renders L. /eruca/, prob. in error.

 

   1573* Tusser /Husb./ (1878) 94 Herbes and rootes for sallets and

sauce... Skirrets.

 

   1608* Machin /Dumbe Knight/ i, Roasted potatoes, or boil'd

       skerrets, are your only lofty dishes.

 

   1699* Evelyn /Acetaria/ 64 Skirrets..exceedingly nourishing,

       wholsome and delicate.

 

skirret of Peru*, the potato. Obs.

 

   1597* Gerarde /Herbal/ ii. cccxxxiv. 780 This plant which is

       called of some /Sisarum Peruuianum/, or Skyrrits of Peru, is

       generally of vs called Potatus or Potatoes.

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 13:09:52 -0500 (CDT)

From: jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] skerrits?

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> skerrits are carrots... or carrot-like, correct?  

 

Welll....

 

I wouldn't say that skerrits are all that carrot like, based on the

descriptions I've read-- but I've never seen them in real life. They

definitely aren't carrots though.

 

Found this:

SKERRIT, skarrett: skirret (Sium sisarum), a species of water parsnip

cultivated for its root. (John Evelyn, Cook, C17)

on http://dialspace.dial.pipex.com/town/lane/kal69/shop/pages/glosss.htm

and it clicks with what I know.

--

-- Jenne Heise / Jadwiga Zajaczkowa

 

 

Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2007 15:09:53 -0700

From: K C Francis <katiracook at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] skerrits?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

>> OED lists skirret --* A perennial umbelliferous plant, /Sium > >  

>> sisarum/, a> > species of water parsnip, formerly much cultivated  

>> in Europe for its> > esculent tubers; the root of this plant. In  

>> one or two 15th cent.> > glossaries /skyrwyt/ renders L. /eruca/,  

>> prob. in error.

 

FYI,

At: http://www.suffolkherbs.com/kolist/1/CHINESE++ORIENTAL/ROOT

+VEGETABLES/0/CH30.htm

 

I found:

 

Description

  SKIRRET (Sium sisarum)The skirret is a native of China and is  

certainly an ancient vegetable. The plant produces a ?bundle? of  

swollen edible roots which are tender and sweet and floury. Use in  

the same way as Salsify.

 

WHEN TO SOWMarch to May.WHERE TO SOWDirect into a seed bed.  Best in  

soil suitable for carrots.WHAT TO DO NEXTAs soon as seedlings are  

large enough to handle, thin out to 20cm apart.HARVESTFrom September  

onwards.

At:  http://www.amishlandseeds.com/rare_seeds.htm

I found:

  SKIRRET - Siumsisarum These are very rare and hard to find seeds. I  

am very proud to be offering it. The name (sium) is from the Celtic  

siu (water), referring to their wet habitat. Skirret is derived from  

the Dutch "suikerwortel," meaning "sugar root." It is also known as  

"skirwort." It is a vegetable grown for its sweet, edible roots. This  

member of the carrot and parsley family (Umbelliferae) originated in  

the Far East. It is still used widely in China and Japan, but is a  

very minor crop in the United States. Has a taste superior to  

Carrots, not unlike parsnips. The roots are white inside and the  

flowers are white, too. Emperor Tiberius liked it so much that it is  

said he demanded it as a tribute from the Germans who had evidently  

introduced the plant from China. Skirret or Water Parsnip, was once  

popular in the American colonies, but is rarely grown now. If you  

enjoy Hamburg Root Parsley and Salsify, you should try Skirret. It is  

grown for its numerous, swollen, fleshy roots.

 

At: http://www.edirectory.co.uk/chilternseeds/pages/moreinfo.asp?

pe=DBFAABFFQ_+skirret+b+heirloom+variety+b&cid=211

I found:

 

Search Criteria:

SKIRRET HEIRLOOM VARIETY Umbelliferae Skirret

 

Genus:

SKIRRET

 

Variety:

HEIRLOOM VARIETY

 

Family Name:

Umbelliferae

 

Synonym:

Sium sisarum

 

Seed Catalogue No.:

1365A

 

English Name:

Skirret seeds

 

Description:

Although this vegetable hardly ever even receives a mention in modern  

gardening literature, the Emperor Tiberius liked it so much that it  

is said he demanded it as a tribute from the Germans who had  

evidently introduced the plant from China. It is grown for its  

numerous, swollen, fleshy roots, formed in bundles just below ground  

level, and having the appearance of long, slender Dahlia tubers.  

These were once much esteemed as amongst the sweetest, whitest and  

most pleasant of roots when used in the manner of Salsify or  

Scorzonera. Simply sow ? in. deep in drills and thin out to 6 or 8  

ins. apart.

 

I tried to grow skirrets a ways back but that year germinating seeds  

in the ground wasn't optimal and most of my 5 different color carrots  

also didn't grow.

 

If anyone has grown them or purchased any to cook, I'd love to hear  

about it.

 

Katira

 

<the end>



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