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)

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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.

Mostaccioli for Torquil’s Vigil

Transcription of original recipe taken from Opera dell’arte di cucinare by Bartolomeo Scappi (1570)
Per fare morselletti, cioè mostaccioli alla Milanese.
Cap CXLII. Sesto libro folio 420.
Piglinosi quindeci uove fresche, & battanosi in una cazzuola, & passnosi per lo setaccio con due libre & mezza di zuccaro fino fatto in polvere, & mezza oncia di anici crudi, overo pitartamo pesto, & un grano o due di muschio fino, & mettanosi con ese libre due & mezza di farina, & battasi ogni cosa per tre quarti d’hora, di modo che venga la pasta come quella delle frittelle, & lascisi riposare per un quarto d’hora, & ribbattasi un’altra volta, poi si habbiano apparecchiati fogli di carta fatti a lucerne onti, overo tortiere altre di sponde con cialde sotto senza essere bagnate di cosa alcuna, & dapoi mettasi essa pasta dentro le lucerne, o tortiere, & non sia d’altezza piu che la grossezza d’un dito, & subito si spolverizzino di zuccaro, & ponganosi nel forno che sia caldo, overo quelle delle tortiere, cuocanosi come le torte, & come tal pasta sarà sgonfiata, & haverà in tutto persa l’humidità, & sarà alquanto sodetta, cioè sia come una focaccia tenera, cavisi della tortiera o lucerna, & subito si taglino con un coltello largo & sottile, a fette larghe due dita, & lunghe a beneplacito, & rimettanosi nel forno con fogli di carta sotto a biscottarsi, rivoltandoli spesso, però il forno non sia tanto caldo come di sopra, & come saranno bene asciutte, cavinosi, & conservinosi perche sono sempre migliori il secondo giorno che il primo, & durrano un mese nella lor perfettione.

Translated recipe by Louise Smithson (known in the SCA as Mistess Helewyse de Birkestad, OL)
To make little morsels, that is “mostaccioli” in the Milan style
Take fifteen fresh eggs and beat them in a casserole and pass through the sieve with two and a half pounds of sugar fine and powdered, and half an ounce of raw aniseed or partly crushed (aniseed) and a grain or two of fine musk, and put with this two pounds and a half of flour and beat everything for three quarters of an hour, so that it becomes like the pasta for fritters and let it rest for a quarter hour and rebeat it another time. Then one takes a sheet of paper put into a “lucerne” and greased, or a ‘tortiere’ with wafers beneath that have not been bathed in such a way (not greased) and then put this paste into the ‘lucerne’ or ‘tortiere’ (specific pan types) until it is not higher than the thickness of a finger and immediately powder with sugar and put it into the oven that is hot, or the tart pan, and cook it like a tart and when this pasta is cooked (not wet) and will in all lose the humidity and it will be enough cooked, that is like a tender focaccia, pull out the ‘lucerne’ or ‘tortiere’ and immediately cut with a large thin knife, cut in slices as large as two fingers, and as long as one pleases, and put them in the oven with pieces of paper beneath the biscuits, turn them enough, ensure that the oven is not as hot as the one above (second baking is at a lower temp than first), and when they are well dried, pull them out and save them because they are always better the second day than the first and they will keep for a month in their perfection.

N.B. A pound is not a pound the world around during the 16th Century. In Rome, the pound is 12 ounces not 16. So this recipe is 15 eggs, 30 ounces sugar, 30 ounces flour, 1/2 ounce aniseed.

My recreation

I made these for Petrona’s Vigil and I have applied what I have learned

8 large eggs (14 1/4 oz by weight)
14 1/4 oz sugar
14 1/4 oz AP flour
1 Tbsp aniseed

  1. Whisked eggs and added to stand mixer
  2. Grind the aniseed in a spice grinder
  3. Added sugar and aniseed to blender and pulsed until superfine
  4. Added sugar/anise mixture to the stand mixer and stirred to combine
  5. Slowly added flour until incorporated
  6. Mixed for 15 minutes in the stand mixer (not the 45 minutes by hand indicated in Scappi) and it looked like smooth and like fritter batter
  7. Let it sit for 15 minutes
  8. Mixed for another 15 minutes
  9. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan (I used a non-stick spray)
  10. Bake at 350 F for 30 minutes
  11. Cool bar for 15 minutes
  12. Cut into 1 inch strips
  13. Return to oven at 300 F for 30 minutes on each side

I elected to keep the second bake at 300 for 30 per side because they did dry out overnight

Knitted Three Finger Glove/Mitten

I have not been able to find any evidence that the three finger glove was knitted, but I wanted to see how they would turn out.

The historical evidence in images

from-the-cathedral-of-saint-jean-de-maurienne-southern-france-15th-century

Carving from the Cathedral of Saint Jean de Maurienne

The above carving looks like leather lined with fur. In the images below, I would guess the first three  are also leather.  The Luttrell Psalter image is hard to guess materials, but the colors make me think they are cloth.

Detail from The Crucifixion from the altarpiece at St. Florian in Austria, c. 1475-1500
Shepherds, Detail from Nativity by Nikolaus Stürhofer, c. 1505-1515
Shepherds, Detail from Nativity (c. 1420. Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon), Robert Campin
Two shepherds (Fol. 87v) in the Luttrell Psalter (British Library MS Add. 42130), c. 1325-1335

20170113_185001_medium2

The knitted prototype.  I am not in love with the wool I used because it is superwash, but I am please with how the pattern turned out.

My pattern

CO 28 stitches on size 7 needles
Spread evenly over three DPNs. Join to work in the round

Cuff
K2 P2 for 20 rows or until cuff reaches desired length

Hand
At the beginning of the next round, switch to size 9 needles and ST stitch, adding one stitch on third needle.

Begin Thumb Gusset
Next round, knit 14 stitches, pm, M1R, K1, M1L, pm, knit around
Increase between stitch markers in this manner every third round until you have total of nine gusset stitches.
Next round, K to stitch marker, place stitches between marker on stitch holder, CO 2 st on right hand needle, K to end.
K 8 rows.

The Split
First Finger
Round 1: K8, CO 5 sts, slip 15 sts to stitch holder, k7. (20 sts)
K 10 rounds
Decreases
K3, K2tog repeat until the end of round. (16 sts)
K around
K2, K2tog, repeat until the end of round. (12 sts)
K around
K1, k2tog repeat until the end of round. (8 sts)
K around
K2tog around, pull yarn through sts, and weave in securely.

Second Finger
Transfer remaining 15 stitches from stitch holder onto needles.
Round 1: K15, pick up and knit 5 sts from 5 CO sts of other finger, join to work in the round. (20 sts)
K 10 rounds
Decreases
K3, K2tog repeat until the end of round. (16 sts)
K around
K2, K2tog, repeat until the end of round. (12 sts)
K around
K1, k2tog repeat until the end of round. (8 sts)
K around
K2tog around, pull yarn through sts, and weave in securely.

Thumb
Place held stitches back on needle, pick up five stitches from around thumb hole, 14 st. Distribute evenly over double pointed needles. K for 1 ½ inches (about 10 rows)
(K2, K2tog) 3 times, K2
(K1, K2tog) 3 times, K2
K2tog around. Break yarn and pull through remaining 4 sts. Pull tightly and weave in securely.
Weave in all ends.
Block.

Knit Two.

Salat for Sir Bran’s Vigil

Original [Forme of Cury, S. Pegge (ed.)]

SALAT. XX.III. XVI.

Take persel, sawge, garlec, chibolles, oynouns, leek, borage, myntes, porrectes, fenel and ton tressis, rew, rosemarye, purslarye, laue and waische hem clene, pike hem, pluk hem small wiþ þyn honde and myng hem wel with rawe oile. lay on vynegur and salt, and serue it forth.

My recreation
2 bunches parsley
1 handful of sage
2 bunches of scallions
1 onion
3 leeks (white part only)
1 bunch mint
2 fennel bulbs
2 bunches watercress
1 sprig of rosemary
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt

  1. Chop onion, fennel, and leeks into bite sized pieces
  2. Combine vinegar, oil, and salt
  3. Add the chopped roots to the vinaigrette along with the rosemary leaves stripped from the sprig.
  4. Wash the remaining herbs, strip from stems and hand tear the leaves
  5. Add prepared herbs to the mixture in the vinaigrette, tossing to coat
  6. This dish travels well, if you do the following:
    Do not introduce the greens to the vinaigrette until you are ready to serve. As this was going to be for an event the next day. I put the mixed roots in the vinaigrette and let it set overnight. I washed and stripped the herbs, and took them on a spin in my salad spinner then put them in a gallon zip-top bag. When I put the salat on the vigil table, I dumped the roots in vinaigrette into the serving bowl, poured the herbs on top, then tossed to coat the herbs and distribute the roots evenly throughout.

    My salad green modern equivalents

    • persel = parsley
    • sawge = sage
    • garlec = garlic
    • chibolles = scallions
    • oynouns = onions
    • leek = leek
    • borage = borage
    • myntes = mint
    • porrectes = leeks, scallions, and/or green onions
    • fenel = fennel
    • ton tressis = cress (I used watercress)
    • rew = rue
    • rosemarye= rosemary
    • purslarye = purslane

    I could not get borage or purslane, and I totally forgot the garlic. There is a different version of this recipe which calls for “grene garlec” which would be ramps which are out of season in September
    N.B. The recipe explicitly calls for rue, but rue is a traditional abortifacient. I do not use rue in any cooking application.

Compost for Bran’s Vigil

Original [Forme of Cury, S. Pegge (ed.)]

COMPOST C.

Take rote of parsel. pasternak of rasenns. scrape hem waisthe hem
clene. take rapes & caboches ypared and icorne. take an erthen
panne with clene water & set it on the fire. cast all þise þerinne.
whan þey buth boiled cast þerto peeres & parboile hem wel. take þise
thynges up & lat it kele on a fair cloth, do þerto salt whan it is
colde in a vessel take vineger & powdour & safroun & do þerto. & lat
alle þise thinges lye þerin al nyzt oþer al day, take wyne greke and
hony clarified togider lumbarde mustard & raisouns corance al hool.
& grynde powdour of canel powdour douce. & aneys hole. & fenell seed.
take alle þise thynges & cast togyder in a pot of erthe. and take
þerof whan þou wilt & serue forth.

My recreation
Vegetables and Fruit
2 Celery roots
3 Parsnips
4 Turnips
1/2 Medium Cabbage
2 Handfuls of Baby Carrots You could use 2 whole carrots, but I have baby carrots on hand and they are already peeled
3 Pears
1 tsp salt

Pickling solutions
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Powder Douce
1 pinch saffron

Dressing
2 cups Moscato
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbsp Lumbard Mustard
1/2 cup currants
1 tsp Ceylon Cinnamon
1 tsp aniseed
1 tsp fennel seed

    1. Decore the Cabbage and cut into chunks
    2. Peel the celery root, parsnips, and turnips. Cut them and the baby carrots into bite sized chunks
    3. Put in a large stock pot and cover with water
    4. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes
    5. While the vegetables are cooking, peel and core the pears and cut into bite sized chunks
    6. Add to the stock pot at the 10 minute mark
    7. Cook and additional 10 minutes
    8. Strain and spread out into a single layer on a towel and sprinkle with salt
    9. Allow to cool
    10. While the vegetables cool, combine the pickling mixture
    11. Combine the cooled vegetables and the pickling mixture in a non-reactive container, cover and let sit for at least 8 hours, shaking occasionally to blend

    Making the Dressing

    1. Mix the wine and honey in a sauce pan and bring to a boil
    2. Stir to combine ht and remove from the heat
    3. Add the wine mix to the rest of the ingredients in a non-reactive container, and stir to combine
    4. Add to the pickling vegetables and mix well

Lumbard Mustard

Original [Forme of Cury, S. Pegge (ed.)]

LUMBARD MUSTARD. XX.VII. V.

Take Mustard seed and waishe it & drye it in an ovene, grynde it drye.
farse it thurgh a farse. clarifie hony with wyne & vynegur & stere it
wel togedrer and make it thikke ynowz. & whan þou wilt spende þerof
make it tnynne with wyne.

My recreation
1/2 cup whole yellow mustard seeds
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup honey

  1. Grind the mustard seeds
  2. Combine the wine, vinegar, and honey in a sauce pan
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly
  4. Combine the ground mustard with the liquid in a heat resistant container

This looks very loose but it thickens over time.

Pigeons Stewed for Bran Atte Rowan’s Vigil

Original [Forme of Cury, S. Pegge (ed.)]

PEIOUNS YSTEWED. XX.II. VIII.

Take peions and stop hem with garlec ypylled and with gode erbes
ihewe. and do hem in an erthen pot. cast þerto gode broth and whyte
grece. Powdour fort. safroun verious & salt.

My recreation

Squab is hard to acquire, is expensive, and dark meat chicken is close enough in taste and texture for this application

8 lbs(ish) dark meat chicken 10 leg quarters
1 quart stock
6 cloves garlic, chopped
4 springs fresh thyme
1 spring fresh tarragon
1 tsp powder forte
1 pinch saffron
1 cup verjuice
1 pinch salt I didn’t add much salt since I was using commercial stock which is plenty salty

The original calls for white grease, but I cooking the quarters with the skin on which has a decent amount of fat, it is too dry I will add a fat next time

  1. Place chicken legs in a large stock pot
  2. Add all other ingredients to the pot and bring to a boil.
  3. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until done internal temp 165 F – about 30 minutes.

This is for Bran’s vigil table, so I am serving as pulled chicken style