Fest-Cooking4-art - 9/7/17
"How to Cook for Festival Like Mistress Yseult, Part IV" by by Mistress Yseult de Lacy. Butterflied Grilled Quails. (humor)
This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.
These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org
Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author or translator.
While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.
Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous
stefan at florilegium.org
How to Cook for Festival Like Mistress Yseult, Part IV
by Mistress Yseult de Lacy
*Butterflied Grilled Quails*
*Boy! What /are /you doing with that grill! Practicing demonstrating the Martyrdom of St Lawrence? Uh, when did you develop an interest in saints? What do you mean, at University in your Medieval History class? Oh. Well, yes, I /had/ noticed you're getting older. Every year, actually. With much relief. Just hadn't realised you'd got THAT much older. What? YES, I have a mirror, and I ... oh. You need to shave now and forgot yours. Well, yes, you may borrow mine. (For some reason, I try only to look at my hair before I put my coif on in the mornings now, to make sure everything is nice and tidy. Sigh.)*
*Very well, lad. What do you mean, you're a "man" now? Well, even if you ARE eighteen, to me you're still a lad, OK? Oh shut up about old age and crabbiness. When your mother stops paying me to take care of you at Festival, THEN you're a man. Right. Got that? Good. Ummm, why were you practicing.... tell me it's not to impress that St Ursulan? Oh it is. All right, we'll talk about that later. Now, pour me a glass of wine. NOT what YOU drink -- open a bottle of the good white. Oh all right, you may have one glass. A SMALL glass. STOP!! Well, that's YOUR share for the night, boyo. Meanwhile...*
*Quails. You DID remember we're doing butterflied quails tonight for High Table? You did? A miracle! All right, all right. You're grown up and responsible now. Just don't push it too far. You DID remember to fetch them out to thaw, didn't you? WHAT? You thought they were small enough they'd just thaw on the grill? YOU IDI---oh. Well, you might be right. Crispy outside and rare inside. Mmmmmn.*
*Well, let's get the marinade going. Fetch the oregano, please. What? Yes, it IS period. Why do you ask? You wouldn't like people to know I'm slipping? Er, thank you, I think.(My Ghod, what have I created? And, when did this happen? Don't tell me he's actually LISTENED to me all these years?) Right. Bruise the oregano with the mortar and pestle, add garlic and pepper. Where are the limes? Bo -- er, lad? Limes? You used them for margaritas? I THOUGHT it was all too good to be true. Do you by NOW know the meaning of "nincompo...?" You DO? WELL THAT DESCRIBES YOU, BOYO!!!*
*Oh all right. We can use lemon. BUT LIME IS MUCH BETTER. And, YES, it's period. Ghod help me.*
*Here's your set of poultry shears. Follow me, and cut the quails up the middle of their backs. Then spread them out so they lie flat, both halves of their breasts squeezed together. Bo -- lad, calm down. They're QUAILS. Their breasts are just nice little mounds of flesh we eat -- oh. Off to the privvies with you. Come, er, RETURN when you're cleaned up. Dearie, dearie me. Moving right along now.*
*Let's see. I'll marinade the quails in the lemon (grunch, should be lime) juice, with the bruised oregano, crushed garlic and pepper, a little salt, and some chopped onion. Onion. Where -- I don't think I want to know. In fact, I'm SURE I don't want to know. At least we seem to still have spring onion. Choppy chop, chop. Good. A nice slug of white wine (yum. Gosh I have good taste!) and the marinade is done. Bo --lad! Oh good you're back. Fetch out those trays that fit together, please. Yes, good. Ergh. How many times have I told you to WASH THE DAMN TRAYS!??! Yes, six hundred sounds about right. So wash these, please. Yes, NOW. Thank you, Grown Up B---Lad.*
*Ah. Quails marinating on tray, covered by the other tray. Four hours to dinner. Or three if Court actually happens on time, ha ha. Most of a bottle of good white, and the household is taking care of the other bits we're doing. Life may actually be pleasant for a while. Oh, hello my lord. How nice to see you. How went the battle? Your side won? Excellent! Pray have seat and a cup of this nice chilled wine and tell me all about it. You thought I'd be bored? Didn't you know I wanted to fight in my youth, but damaged my arm? I thought not. So -- tell me how it went!*
*Well, my lord, the sun is setting, the wine's run out, and I must return to the hearth. We're cooking for the Royalty tonight, you know.*
*Oh my lord! So you think anyone who eats my food must feel like Royalty? How mmmmmmn! Well! That was a bit of a surprise! But a delightful one, I must say. Hmmn? I expect the feast will be over by midnight. I could save you a choice morsel or two. My lord! I *meant* something for you to nibble. OH!*
*Ah -- here's my assistant. I must return to work. Shall I see you later? Yes? The evening cannot pass fast enog---mmmmmmn.*
*What? B---lad? How come I can snog and you're forbidden? Well, did I SAY you can't this year? So... just how old IS that cute St Ursulan? Oh, she's eighteen now, too? Ah, young love! How sweet it is.*
*What? No, as a matter of fact I have NOT been struck by lightning. But YOU'LL be struck by the back of my hand right smartly if you don't see to the fire and produce a nice bed of coals to grill the quails over,*
*AND none of that, thank you! If you don't know by now how to make a nice even bed of coals, I shall have to give you a few more good clips with the giant ladle! Oh? You don't think that'll be necessary? Good. Put the grill on the fire now please. Yes. Gosh, you got it right first time! What? Oh all right, you're grown up now. Right. (*snerk*)*
*Now -- help me lay the quails out on the grill, backs down. Yes, THIS MEANS THEIR BREASTS ARE UP. Bo---lad, get a grip! Good lord, NOT a grip on THAT! THANK you. Let's try this again. Right. They're evenly spaced. In about 6 or 7 minutes we'll turn them over so they're breast down. STOP WHIMPERING. You seem to have gone from incompetence to concupiscence in one fell swoop. Hmmn? Use a dictionary.*
*Ah! Time to turn them in a minute or so. Hand me the tray they were on, we'll pour the rest of the marinade over them first. What do you mean, there isn't any? Why not? You washed it up? WHY, for heaven's sake? I said you should always wash up as you go? Uh. <...waaaaaah....>*
*All right. Grab your tongs, let's turn these babies. Flip, flip, flippety flip! Please bring out the big tray now, b---lad. What -- the BIG TRAY. The big silver one we use for all the presentations to Royalty. What do you mean, it's not here? WHERE IS IT?*
*WHAT!!??!! St Ursulan au naturelle?...I don't want to know any more. But if you don't produce it, clean and dry, in 10 minutes, let's just say the next dish I cook will be testicles au jus. YOUR testicles. YOUR jus. Comprende?*
*Your Majesties, I'm so glad you liked the quails. Yes, they're one of my specialties. But I must also commend my assistant here, without whose help I might not have managed. Oh Sire, really? Your nephew? And to think I never realized! Amazing. *
*Ah. The b---lad is off on his own, without enough coin to get more than mildly drunk. And the second bottle of that delicious white has cooled beautifully. The fire is at that pleasant stage where one just needs to add a log or two now and then. Nicely warm against the chill. Ah -- welcome! Musicians AND singers, *most* welcome to my fireside. There's still food and drink in the feasting tent behind me, and if you, my lord there, would care to step into the cook tent, in the crock on the left just inside the door you'll find sachets of spices for making mulled wine, and a large jug of red next to it. And there's an empty kettle here by the fire, and a hook to hang it on.*
*Ah this is good. Music, song, wit, and poetry. The best of Festival after a good meal. All I could ask for now would be -- oh! My lord, welcome! I didn't see you arrive. Why yes, this seat next to me IS available. Please make yourself comfortable. Hmmn? Yes, I might be a little chilly;
Sharing your cloak would be most welcome. Yes, it's fine if you put your arm around my shoul mmmmmmmmm. All I could ask for./__/*
Copyright 2014 by Chris Robertson <yseult_de_lacy at optusnet.com.au>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited. Addresses change, but a reasonable attempt should be made to ensure that the author is notified of the publication and if possible receives a copy.
If this article is reprinted in a publication, please place a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.