Sunday, 15 July 2007

What's In Store For The Course Tomorrow?

Well, this is what I've planned for the two sessions to cook:

Morning session

¶For tarts owte of lente.

Take neshe chese and pare hit and grynd hit yn A morter and breke egges and do ther to and then put yn buttur and creme and mell all well to gethur put not to moche butter ther yn if the chese be fatte make A coffyn of dowe and close hit a bove with dowe and collor hit a bove with the yolkes of eggs and bake hit well and serue hit furth.
Harleian MS 4016

To make Rice Puddings.

Boyle halfe a pound of Rice with three pintes of Milke, a little beaten Mace, boyle it untill your Rice be drie, but never stirre it, then you must stirre it continually or else it will burne: powre your Rice into a Collinder, or else into a strainer, that the moisture may runne cleane from it: then put to it sixe Egges, and put away the whites of three, half a pound of Sugar, a quarter of a pinte of Rose-water, a pound of Currans, a pound of Beefe suet shred small, season it with Nutmeg, Sinamon, and a little Salt, stirre all this together with a spoone thinne, drie the smallest guts of a Hog in a faire cloth being watered and scoured fit for the Puddings, and fill them three quarteres full, and tie both ends together, let them boyle softly a quarter of an houre or scarce so much, and let the water boyle before you put them in, and doe as the other pudding last spoken of.
John Murrell ‘Two Books of Cookery and Carving’ 1638

A Trout Baked Or Minced

Take a Trout and seethe him. then take out all the bones. then mince it very fine with three or four Dates minced with it; seasoning it with Ginger, and Synamon, and a quantity of Sugar and Butter. Put all these together, working them fast. then take your fine paste and cut it in three corner ways in a small bigness, of four or five coffins in a dish. then lay your stuff in them, close them, and so bake them. And in the serving of them baste the covers with a little Butter, and then cast a little blanch powder on them, and so serve it forth.
Thomas Dawson ‘The Good Housewifes Jewel’ 1596

Afternoon session

To Make Jombils A Hundred

Take twenty Eggs and put them into a pot, both the yolks and the white; beat them well. then take a pound of beaten Sugar and put to them, and stir them well together. then put to it a quarter of a peck of Flour and make a hard paste thereof; and then with Aniseed mould it well and make it in little rolls, being long. Tie them in knots, and wet the ends in Rose Water. then put them into a pan of seething Water, but even in one waum. then take them out with a skimmer and lay them in a cloth to dry. this being done, lay them in a tart pan, the bottom beingOiled. then put them into a temperate oven for one hour, turning them often in the oven.
Thomas Dawson ‘The Good Housewifes Jewel’ 1596

To make a tarte of Bread.

Take grated bread, and put to it molten Butter, and a litle Rosewater and Sugar, and the yolkes of Egs.and put it into your paste, and bake, and when you serue it, cut it in foure quaters and cast sugar on it.
The Good Houswifes Handmaid for the Kitchen 1598

To Make Fritters Of Spinach

Take a good deal of Spinach and wash it clean. then boil it in fair Water. When it is boiled take it forth and let the Water run from it. then chop it with the back of a knife, and put in some Eggs & grated Bread. Season it with Sugar, Synamon, Ginger and Pepper, Dates minced fine, & Currants. Roll them like a ball and dip them in batter made of ale and Flour.
Thomas Dawson ‘The Good Housewifes Jewel’ 1596

Hopefully that should keep both them and us busy for the two sessions. This has been really quite tricky to sort out - especially after we (it's Robin and myself running the courses) were told that the sessions had been sold as all being different?!?!?!
It's remarkably difficult to pick recipes that are simple enough for the novice cook to try, last week we had one lady who didn't really cook, yet interesting and varied in technique. I felt it was pointless to do some of the wonderful stews or soups from history because in the main they are really only a series of ingredients put into a pan then left to their own devices to cook......what's there to pick up from that?
This also has to then balance with the space that is available within the modern kitchen that we use, there isn't room for instance for everyone to be at the stove at once, so at the moment it's easier to 'do' recipes that are all preparation and that one person can then cook. Hopefully in the future we'll be able to advance and improve on this......but who knows.

My last batch of images from the last weekend are now available for you to view over at Flikr, just follow the links in the right hand column or click on the little photo montage below them to take you there.

That's it for the moment, I'll let you know how we get on with the course and I'm sure that there will be more to say later in the week.


Cooks With Passion said... the moment it's easier to 'do' recipes that are all preparation and that one person can then cook.

I think you've hit the nail on the head here with one of the major difficulties we researchers/re-enactors have when we're trying to not only prepare foods for large groups of people but also train up a team of people or even make use of a complete team of volunteers. Sometimes I think the actual choosing of recipes is more difficult than any of the preparation or cooking.

Wish I could be there as an observer. Good luck!

Helen said...

Ages since you last posted. withdrawal symptoms happening again! How did the courses go?

What delights have you got planned for us next weekend, please?