Lenten Slices

Original
The Viandier of Taillevent, T. Scully (trans.)
64. Tailliz. Prenez figues, roisins et lait d’amendes boully, eschaudez, galettes et crouste de pain blanc couppé menu par petiz morceaulx quarrez et faictes boullir vostre lait, et saffren pour luy donner couleur, et succre, et puis mettez boullir tout ensemble tant qu’il soit bien lyant pour taillierl et mettre par escuelles.

64. Taillis. Take figs, grapes, boiled almond milk, cracknels, galettes and white bread crusts cut into small cubes and boil these last items in your milk, with saffron to give it colour, and sugar, and then set all of this to boil until it is thick enough to slice. Set it out in bowls.

The Viandier of Taillevent, T. Scully (trans.)
207. Tailliz de Karesne. Prenez amendez pellees et broyez tres bien en ung mortier, puis ayez eaue boullue et reffroidiee comme tiedde et deffaictes les amendes et coulez parmy l’estamine, et faictes boullir vostre lait sur ung petit de charbon; puis prenez des eschaudez cuitz de ung jour ou de deux et les tailliez en menuz morceaulx come gros dez; puis prenez figues, dates, et raysins de Daigne et trenchez lesdictes figues et dates comme les eschaudez et puis y gettez tout et le laissiez especir comme Frommentee; et mettre du succre boullir avecl et pour luy donner coulleur convient avoir du saffren pour le coulourer comme Fromentee; et qu’il soit doulx salé.

207. Tailliz de Karesne: Lenten Slices. Grind skinned almonds very well in a mortar, then take lukewarm boiled water, steep the almonds, strain them and boil this milk on a few coals; take one- or two-day-old cracknels anc cut them into small pieces the size of large dice; then take figs, dates and seedless grapes, cut up the figs and dates like the cracknels, and drop everything into the milk and let it become as thick as Frumenty, and add in sugar to boil with it; the almond milk should boil briefly. To give it colour you should use saffron to colour it the same as Frumenty. Salt it lightly

Wel ende edelike spijse (Good and noble food), C. Muusers (trans.)
.xvij. Inde vastenen mortroel Maect dicke amandelen melc ende doeter toe soffraen ende nemt Corsten van witte broode Cleene ghesneden ende doetser in zieden ende doeter gecapte vyghen in ende graen van rosijnen van ouerzee de steenen vutgedaen

1.17. Porridge of almonds and bread in Lent. Make thick almond milk and add saffron. Take the crusts of white bread, cut in small pieces, and let them boil in it, and add chopped figs and grains of stoned raisins from oversea.

My Recreation
5 cups almond milk
1 cup chopped figs
1 cup chopped dates
½ cup golden raisins
½ cup sugar
1 pinch saffron
1 lb french bread loaf, dried and cubed

  1. Heat almond milk and saffron to a boil then simmer for 5 minutes
  2. Add sugar and bread and fruit and simmer for about 10 minutes
    Spread in pan to cool.

 

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Sambocade

Original

Filling
179. Sambocade.
Take and make a crust in a trap & take cruddes and wryng out þe wheyze and drawe hem þurgh a straynour and put hit in þe crust. Do þerto sugar the þridde part, & somdel whyte of ayren, & shake þerin blomes of elren; & bake it vp with eurose, & messe it forth.

XCIX Elder flower flavored tart
Elderflower flavored tart for twelve people. Take a large pot of fresh milk curds and take two pounds of fresh loin (of pork?), twelve eggs, three ounces of sugar and mature elder flowers. Take the milk curds with the water strained out, the eggs that you have, the pork belly fat or lard and the elder flowers and mix these things together and put into a crust. And this tart should be fat and sweet and it is good.
*- where did the loin disappear to. We were asked for a loin and then the pork belly fat appeared. If you were to view this as a sweet cheesecake recipe the pork loin obviously has no place. It may be a transcription error in the original manuscript or the recipe did originally call for pork fat from the loin.
The “late apresso” which I originally translated just as milk, appears to be pressed milk, which would make sense given that later we are told to take it strained of water, in which case it is a form of cheese curd

Crust
A Proper New Booke of Cookery, A. Veale
To make short paest for tarte. Take fyne floure and a cursey of fayre water and a dysche of swete butter and a lyttel saffron, and the yolckes of two egges and make it thynne and as tender as ye maye.

My Recreation
3 lbs of Cottage Cheese
12 egg whites
⅓ cup sugar
3 tbsp dried elderflowers
1 tbsp rose water
Crust*

  1. Line pan with prepared crust (I only used half of the made crust)
  2. Wring the liquid from the cottage cheese leaving just the curds
  3. Beat together the remaining ingredients
  4. Pour into crust
  5. Bake for 45-55 minutes until golden

crust filled prior to baking
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final baked sambocade
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*Crust
2 ½ cups flour
12 Tbsp. butter
4 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. salt
pinch saffron
¼ cup water

Notes

  1. 3 lbs of commercial cottage cheese with all the liquid squeezed out yields a lot less curds than you might imagine. I didn’t weigh the resulting curd mass but it easily fit inside a quart sized ziptop bag.
  2. I didn’t have access to elderflowers when I decided to make this so I used dried elderflowers acquired at a brewing store

Torta de Cerase (Cherry Torte)

Original

The Neapolitan Recipe Collection, Terence Scully (trans.) Torta de Cerase. Tolle cesrase rosse ho piu negre che si possa trovare, he poi caverai fora quello suo osso he pista le cerase in uno mortaro; poi piglia rose rosse he batile – dico, solo le foglie – cum uno cultello molto bene tute; poi habi uno poco de caso fresco he veghio cum specie a discretione, he canella he bono zenzaro cum poco pipero he zucaro, he miscolarai tute queste cose insieme, agiongendoli .vi. ova; et farai una crosta de pasta sopra la padella he cum meza libra de butiro, he ponella ha a cocere, dandoli el foco temperato; he quando he cotta, pone del zucaro he aqua rosata.

Cherry Torte. Get red cherries of the darkest available, remove their pit and grind them in a mortar; then get red roses and crush them well – I mean, the petals alone – with a knife; get a little new and old cheese with a reasonable amount of spices, cinnamon and good ginger with a little pepper and sugar, and mix everything together, adding in six eggs; make a pastry crust for the pan with half a pound of butter and set it to cook giving it a moderate fire; when it is cooked, put on sugar and rosewater.

My recreation
3 cups cherries (ground)
8 oz fontina cheese grated
2 lbs ricotta cheese
1 cup sugar
¼ cups dried rose petals
1 tbsp cinnamon
1.5 tbsp ginger
A fat pinch of black pepper
6 eggs
Crust*

  1. Line pan with prepared crust
  2. Grind defrosted frozen cherries
  3. Mix together all ingredients except cherries and eggs
  4. Whisk eggs and add to mixture
  5. Stir in cherries
  6. Pour into crust
  7. Bake for 90 minutes or until done
  8. Paint with rose water and prinkle with sugar when freshly removed from the oven.

Filled crust prior to baking
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Finished torte after baking
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* Crust
6 oz butter
2 cups white flour
½ tsp salt
¾ cup water (I think I used a smidgen too much by a tbsp or two)

Notes and decisions

  1. My mortar and pestle are too small to contain the amount of cherries to grind, so I used our meat grinder using the largest die
  2. I used food grade dried rose petals because I did not have access to pesticide free food safe fresh rose petals, but I picked over the dried flowers to remove all pieces which were not the petals
  3. I decided to use ricotta for the fresh cheese, I used store bought and did not make my own
  4. I decided to use fontina cheese for my old cheese, it is an Italian cow’s milk cheese that is aged. I could have used Parmesan but elected to use a softer cheese.
  5. I did not use a food processor to bring it together, but my stand mixer with a paddle attachment because it best replicated hand mixing.
  6. A pound in Italy in the period of the recipe was 12 ounces. Since the recipe explicitly called out a half pound of butter, I used my all butter pie crust recipe, adjusted to 6 ounces of butter. It exactly fit my 10 cup crockery pie pan
  7. I probably should have used my 12 cup crockery pie pan because it would have spread the mixture thinner and it would have cooked it faster
  8. I want to try making them muffin sized to be fair I want to try to make all my pies muffin sized at least once

Chicken Pies for Edyth’s Vigil

These pies are in essence medieval coq au vin, grave of small birds, in single serving pie form.

Original
Enseignements, D. Myers (trans.)
For a gravé of small birds – If you want to make a gravé of small birds, put the birds to cook in a pot all covered with crisped bacon, and add wine and water and pepper and ginger, and keep well covered that steam doesn’t escape that all will be cooked.

Du fait de cuisine, E. Cook (trans.)
19. And again a gravy of small birds and poultry: to give understanding to him who makes it, let him take about a thousand small birds and let these small birds be well plucked and carefully cleaned so that there remains neither feathers nor refuse; and take a hundred large poultry which are fair and clean, and let them be cut in half and cut into pieces, and one should make four pieces from each quarter, and wash them very well and cleanly with the small birds; and, being washed, put them to dry on fair, white, and clean boards. And take a great deal of lard and melt it in fair, large, and clean frying pans; and arrange that you have a fair and clean cauldron and put your small birds and poultry therein and strain your melted lard well and cleanly, then put it into the said cauldron over the said small birds and poultry. And take a great deal of bread according to the quantity of your meat and slice it into rounds and put it to roast on the grill until it is well browned; and have beef and mutton broth – and let it not be too salty – put in a fair and clean small cask, and put therein a great deal of clear wine; and when your bread is roasted put it to soak in the said cask of broth and clear wine. And take your spices: cinnamon, ginger, grains of paradise, pepper; minor spices: nutmeg, cloves, mace, galingale, and all spices – and let the said master be advised not to put to much in of anything, but have a temperate and sure hand in putting in that which it seems to him is necessary. And while he is straining his bread and his spices, let him have his meat sautéd over a fair clear fire; and let him have a man who stirs it constantly with a big slotted spoon so that it does not stick to the bottom and that it does not burn; and the said master in straining his bread and his spices should put while straining either a third or a half or what he has strained with his meat, so that the said meat will neither be spoiled nor burn, until he has strained all of it and put it into the said broth. And, being strained and set to boil, the said master should check and taste if it needs spices, vinegar, salt or something else and that it has too much of nothing; and do not wait until your meat is overcooked but draw it back over a few coals, at least until it is time to take it to the sideboard, and there, at the sideboard, it should be arranged in serving dishes well and properly.

My recreation
7 lbs chicken thighs
1 lb bacon, diced
2 cups red wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp grains of paradise
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp mace
¼ tsp galangal
One loaf of bread, crust removed and cubed

  1. Render bacon in a skillet, removing the bacon pieces when they are desired doneness. Set aside.
  2. Brown chicken thighs in remaining bacon grease.
  3. Place the browned chicken in a pot with the wine, stock, and spices.
  4. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until done.  Approximately 20 minutes
  5. Remove chicken and discard skin and bones.
  6. Place bread in to the cooking liquid, when cool puree until smooth
  7. Chill bacon pieces, chicken, and gravy until ready to assemble

Once the chick and gravy are cool enough so that they don’t melt the pastry, it is time to assemble.

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Cut the pastry into circles that will fit your muffin tins
  3. Grease the muffin tins, then place the circle of pastry in the muffin cup.
  4. Use your fingers got form the crusts in the muffin pan (push the dough so the pastry so some creeps over onto the side and onto the flat part of the pan)
  5. Once all the muffin cups have been filled with pastry, refrigerate at least 10 minutes
  6. Use the chill time to cut the top crusts, then chill.
  7. When ready to assemble, remove the muffin pan fullplace the shredded chicken in the crust, sprinkle some bacon, then add some gravy.

    Filled chicken pies

    Pastry in muffin tins filled with chicken, bacon, and gravy. Ready to be covered.

  8. Cut a vent hole in the center of the top pastry, then cover. Press the pastry together with wet fingers (Crimping will make it look nice)

    Covered pies-chicken
  9. Place muffin tin into a 400 F oven for 15 minutes, then turn down to 350 F for another 15 minutes to complete bakingChicken pies - cooked

  10. Remove from pan when cool

Notes
I used commercial refrigerated pie crust. There is lard in the crust, but since there was bacon in the filling, I figured it was not impactful and it save me time.
I used the food processor to puree the gravy, the period method would have been pushing it through a sieve.

Een keesgheback (A cheese pie) for Eva’s Vigil

Original
The original text of the recipe, taken from Gheeraert Vorselman, Eenen nyeuwen coock boeck ( p.203).
Een keesgheback
Legget in coppen kese van Brij ende harde eyeren tsamen gestooten met peren ende hier toe neemt men suker ende heel doyeren van eyeren

English Translation from the Coquinaria site
A cheese pie.
Put in a pie crust some Brie cheese and hardboiled eggs, mashed together, with pears. And to this one takes sugar and whole egg yolks.

Dutch Cheese Pear Pie

My recreation
8 oz Brie cheese
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and diced
1 pear, peeled and diced (I used a Bosc pear, other varieties may require a different quantity of pear)
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 prepared pie crust

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Beat together Brie and hard boiled eggs
  3. Lay in pie crust, making sure to cover the whole bottom of the crust evenly
  4. Cover with diced pears
  5. Whisk together egg yolks and sugar
  6. Pour yolk sugar mixture evenly over the pears
  7. Bake at 400 F for 15 minutes
  8. Reduce oven to 350 F and bake an additional 35 minutes
  9. Cool until room temperature.

My Observations
The translator on the website added punctuation to the recipe. The translation is “Brie cheese and hardboiled eggs, mashed together, with pears” there are no commas in the Dutch. So my choice was either mash the cheese and eggs together or mash the cheese, eggs, and pears together. I elected to just mash the cheese and eggs together. One, the pears were not interested in being mashed. Two, I was concerned that the mixture would be too wet. I was please with the results. I also realize that the recipe calls for egg yolks, but if I were going to make this in the future and not mash cheese, eggs, and pears all together, I would just use a whole egg (or two depending on volume) to pour over the top of the pears.

Wafers for Eva’s Vigil

Original

The original text of the recipe, taken from Gent KANTL 15. Published by W.L. Braekman in 1986 as Een belangrijke middelnederlandse bron voor Vorselmans’ Nyeuwen Coock Boeck (1560)
Om ghode waffellen te backen.
Nempt gheraspt wijt broet. Nemt daer toe enen doijer van enen ey ende enen lepel pot sucars of melsucars, ende hier toe nempt half waters ende half wijns ende ghenbar ende canel.

The original text of the recipe, taken from Gent KANTL 15. Published by W.L. Braekman, in Een nieuw zuidnederlands kookboek uit de vijftiende eeuw.
Om eyer wafelen.
Neemt ende raspt witte broot, daer eyer in alsoe vele dat is al morw deech, ende tot eender dosijnen eyer omtrent een gelas wyns, ende een lutken zuycker om den wyn wel zoet te maeken, ende wat gesmelter booteren daer in. Men maeckse oeck wel alsoe van terwenbloemen. Vanden broot eest best.

English Translation from the Coquinaria site
To bake good wafers.
Take grated white bread. Take with that the yolk of an egg and a spoonful of pot sugar or powdered sugar. Take with that half water and half wine, and ginger and cinnamon.

To make egg wafers.
Grate white bread, [add] as many eggs that the dough is liquid (litt. “soft”). Take for a dozen eggs about one glass of wine and a little sugar to sweeten the wine well, and some melted butter in it. They are also made with wheat flour. [Made] with [grated] bread is the best.

wafers

My Recreation
Ingredients
3 1/2 cups breadcrumbs (dried baguette pulverized including crusts)
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups white wine (Moscato varietal)
1 cup butter, melted
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp salt

  1. Beat eggs, sugar, salt, and wine until well combined
  2. Mix in the breadcrumbs, cinnamon, and ginger until smooth.
  3. Add the melted butter, mixing until smooth.
  4. Heat pizzelle iron and grease with non-stick spray
  5. Place 1 tbsp of batter in the center of the cookie design, repeat until each is covered
  6. Close iron, and cook until the light goes off.
  7. Remove the pizzelle from the iron, and cool on a rack.

My observations
I have made pizzelle for years, and I have to agree with the note in the original recipe, making them with breadcrumbs is best.  I also have an electric pizzelle iron that makes four pizzelle at a time, so a larger pizzelle iron will take more than 1 tbsp of batter per wafer.  Also, if you want to roll the wafer into a tube, use an iron that makes a larger sized pizzelle, because the mini-pizzelle did not maintain structural integrity when rolled.

Solaet van pastinaken (Salad of Parsnips) for Eva’s Vigil

The original text of the recipe, taken from Gheeraert Vorselman, Eenen nyeuwen coock boeck (edition recipe I.17, p.109).
Solaet van pastinaken. Neemt pastinaken ende siet se wel, ende ghiet dat water uut; dan neemt versch water ende siet se in dat water weder met lactouwen; dan doet se in een schotel ende doet er op sout, azijn, corianden ende peperpoeder. Men mach se ooc frijten in boter oft oly na dat se eens ghesoden is ende binnen het hert uut ghedaen ende in die bloemen ghewentelt.

English Translation from the Coquinaria site
Salad of parsnips. Take parsnips and boil them well, and pour off the water. Then take fresh water and boil them in this water with lettuce. Then put them in a dish, and add salt, vinegar, coriander and ground pepper. You can also fry them in butter or oil once they have been cooked and core has been removed, and [the slices] have been covered with flour.

My recreation
3 parsnips
2 small heads of romaine (yields about 8 cups of shredded leaves)
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1 tbsp. coriander seeds
½ tsp black pepper
2 tsps salt

  1. Scrape skins from parsnips
  2. Cut into ½ inch rounds (they may have been thinner, it was an eyeball)
  3. Boil fresh water, when it comes to a boil put in 1 tsp of salt, then add parsnip pieces
  4. Boil for 10 minutes and drain
  5. Wash and shred 2 heads of romaine
  6. Boil fresh water, when it comes to a boil put in 1 tsp of salt, then add the precooked parsnips and the fresh romaine.
  7. Boil for 1 minutes
  8. Drain and shock in an ice bath*
  9. Grind the coriander and black pepper, and add to the vinegar.
  10. Mix vigorously
  11. Drain the parsnips/greens from the ice bath
  12. Coat with the vinegar mixture

*(this is not a medieval method, but blanched lettuce will retain its green this way)

Brussels Sprouts in Vinaigrette for Torquil’s Vigil

Transcription from page 143 from Le Ménagier de Paris (a medieval manuscript dated to circa 1393), edited by Jérome Pichon in 1846 for La Société Des Bibliophiles François.
Pommes de chou , sur la fin de vendenges. Et quant la pomme d’icelluy chou , laquelle est ou milieu, est ostée, l’en arrache et replante en terre nouvelle le tronc de ce chou, et en yssent larges feuilles qui s’espandent: et tient un chou grant place, et l’en appelle iceulx choulx nommés29 choulx Rommains, et sont mengiés en yver; et des troncs, se ils sont replantés, yssent de petits choulx que l’en appelle minces, que l’en mengue avec les herbes crues en vinaigre; et qui en a foison, ils sont bons esleus, lavés en eaue chaude, et tous entiers mis cuire avec un petit d’eaue: et puis quant ils sont cuis, mettre du sel et de l’uile, et dréciés bien espois sans eaue, et mettre de l’uille d’olive dessus en karesme. Puis y a autres choulx que l’en appelle choulx pasquerés pour ce que l’en les mengue en Pasquerez,30 mais ils sont semés dès Aoust; et quant après la semence ils sont percreus demy-pié de hault, l’en les arrache et plante-l’en ailleurs, et sont souvent arrousés.

English translation by Janet Hinson
Heads of cabbage, at the end of grape-harvest. And when the head of this cabbage, which is in the middle, is removed, pull and replant the cabbage stalk in new ground, and there will come out large spreading leaves: and a cabbage holds great place, and these are called Roman cabbages, and eaten in winter; and from the stalks, if they are replanted, come little cabbages called sprouts which are eaten with raw herbs and vinegar; and if you have plenty, they should be well cleaned, washed in hot water, and put to cook whole with a little water: and then when they are cooked, add salt and oil, and stir it up thick without water, and put olive oil on in Lent. Then there are other cabbages known as Easter cabbage because they are eaten at Easter, but they are sown in August; and when after sowing they are seen to be of half a foot in height, you pluck them and replant elsewhere, and they should be frequently watered.

My recreation
2 Lbs Brussels sprouts
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Sherry Vinegar
1/4 Cup Roasted Walnut Oil

  1. Preheat oven for 425 F
  2. Rinse sprouts and cut in half, removing any questionable looking leaves
  3. Toss in olive oil
  4. Spread them out into a single layer on a baking pan, cut side down.
  5. Roast for 20 minutes. Brussels should be browned in areas. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside.
  6. Combine the sherry vinegar and walnut oil
  7. Place sprouts in bowl and pour vinaigrette over them, toss to coat
  8. The sprouts can be served hot or cold.

    Notes

    • The original recipe calls for the sprouts to be boiled. My personal taste is that cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts taste better cooked with a dry heat instead of a wet heat, so I elected to roast them in the oven
    • I chose to use sherry vinegar because the first time I made this for Moira’s vigil for Pelican, most of the recipes I found had vinegar in them and I decided I needed to use a different vinegar for each dish so it would not get boring
    • Why roasted walnut oil? The first time I made this I added walnuts so it made sense to use walnut oil. I found that the walnuts soaked up bitterness from the sprouts (which I boiled the initial time) so I didn’t add them this time. I like how the sherry vinegar, roasted walnut oil, and the roasted sprouts work together.

Macerated Fruit from Torquil’s Vigil

As a surprise I was going to make a illusion haggis for the vigil, I mean what Scotsman doesn’t love a haggis, but not everyone is thrilled with the offal.  My plan was to combine the look and spicing of a haggis with the ingredients of a Christmas figgy pudding.  I don’t have the equipment for a steamed pudding so this project died on the vine.  However I had already set about macerating the fruit, so I decided to serve the fruit as it was.  I was also serving pork, I figured it would work with it.

Many people raved about the fruit and asked for the recipe.  I don’t have a period source this, it was instinct and I just threw it together.  I am sure if I went digging I could find something showing dried fruit rehydrated with alcohol, so here is what I did:

Approx 1 pound of dried figs diced
Approx 1 pound of golden raisins
Approx half a box of currants (a Sunmaid box)
Cover with Scotch (not the good stuff, something Dewar’s-ish)
Let macerate for three days

Sweet potatoes for Torquil’s Vigil

Original [Elinor Fettiplace’s Receipt Book (1604)]

Sweet potatoes in rose and orange syrup

‘Boile your roots in faire water until they bee somewhat tender then pill of the skinne, then make your syrupe, weying to every pound of roots a pound of sugar and a quarter of a pint of faire water, & as much of rose water, & the juice of three or fowre oranges, then boile the syrupe, & boile them till they bee throughlie soaked in the syrupe, before you take it from the fire, put in a little musk and amber greece.’

My recreation
3 lbs of sweet potatoes
1 lb of sugar
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 cups rose water
3 oranges

  1. Bake sweet potatoes at 350 F for 45 minutes
  2. Once the are cool enough to touch, peel the skin off, then cut into bite sized cubes
  3. Juice the oranges
  4. Add sugar, water, rose water, and orange juice to a pan and bring to a boil
  5. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for 15 minutes
  6. Add sweet potato pieces to syrup, bring back to the boil, then reduce to simmer
  7. Simmer for 10 minutes and move to a heat proof bowl

What I learned.

  • Late 16th/Early 17th Century cooks would have had oranges closer to Seville oranges. Bottled sour orange juice is not sour orange juice but doctor orange juice. I will try this again when Seville oranges are in season
  • The recipe called for a one to one ratio sweet potatoes to sugar. That seemed excessive. However if these were candied sweet potatoes, that might not be too bad. I will try this ratio in the version with the fresh Seville oranges.