Sunday, September 23, 2007

Farmer's Market Demo

Yesterday we did a cooking demo at the Beaverton Farmer's Market in Beaverton, Oregon. I was assisted by the Honorable Lady Eulalia de Ravenfeld and her family, who had fire and roasted things, Lady Havoise de Rohan who sent Shrewsbury Cakes, and Lady Fionnabhair who sent sweet bread and Marmalat of Peaches.
Eulalia has a webpage with links to her research, cooking, and other things. She's been specializing in sweets and her marchpane is to die for.
Here I present the recipes which were used for the demo. I served the sauces with roasted beef for dipping, a modern form (cubes on toothpicks) of a perfectly period method (slices held in fingers and dipped into communal bowls).

To Make Marmelet of Peaches
From: The Good Huswifes Jewel, Thomas Dawson, 1596

Original Recipe:
Take your peaches and pare them and cut them from the stones, and mince them very finely. Steep them in rose water, then strain them with rose water through a coarse cloth or strainer, into your pan that you will seethe it in. You must have to every pound of peaches half a pound of sugar, finely beaten, and put it in your pan that you do boil it in. You must reserve a good quantity to mould your cakes or prints withal that of sugar. Set your pan on the fire and stir it till it be thick or stiff, that your stick will stand upright in it of itself.
We have no modern version of this. Lady Fionnabhair inghean Donnchaidh Guthrie, who made it for the demo, presumably worked from the original, as do I frequently. You just get comfortable cooking like that. Lady Fionnabhair presented it as a 'wet sucket', meaning in a spreadable form rather than freestanding and molded or cut into cubes. Marmalades began as sliceable treats and were served in that form before becoming spreadable near the end of Elizabeth I's reign.

Shrewsbury Cakes
From: John Murrell, A Delightfull Daily Exercise for Ladies and Gentlewomen, 1621

Original Recipe:
Take a quart of very fine flower, eight ounces of fine sugar beaten and sersed, twelve ounces of sweete butter, a Nutmegge grated, two or three spoonefuls of damaske rose-water, worke all these together with your hands as hard as you can for the space of halfe an houre, then roule it in little round Cakes, about the thicknesse of three shillings one upon another, then take a silver Cup or glasse some foure or three inches over, and cut the cakes in them, then strowe some flower upon white papers & lay them upon them, and bake them in an Oven as hot as for Manchet, set up your lid till you may tell a hundreth, then you shall see them white, if any of them rise up clap them downe with some cleane thing, and if your Oven be not too hot set up your lid again, and in a quarter of an houre they will be baked enough, but in any case take heede your Oven be not too hot, for they must not looke browne but white, and so draw them foorth & lay them one upon another till they be could, and you may keep them halfe a yeare, the new baked are best.
Modern version:
¼ C sugar
½ C butter
1 C flour
1½ tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp. rosewater
Cream the sugar and butter together until fluffy. Sift the flour with the nutmeg. Add the rose water to the sugar-butter mixture and stir in the dry ingredients only until just blended; then chill the dough, for ten minutes. Sprinkle your work surface with flour and turn the dough out onto it. Pat the dough into a ball, then roll it out gently to 1/4 inch thick.
Cut out the cakes with a two- or three-inch round cookie cutter. Place them on an unbuttered cookie sheet and inch apart and bake at 350 degrees until slightly brown around the edges—from 12 - 15 minutes. Cool on a wire grille and store in an airtight tin.

Roast Onions
From: Libro della cucina del secolo XIV

Original recipe:
Take onions, cook them under the coals and then peel them, and slice them crosswise very long and very thin: add a fair amount of vinegar, salt, oil and spices, and serve.
Modern version:
2-3 medium sized onions, sweet or red
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
Peel the papery outer skin off the onions, place in a 350 degree oven directly on the bottom rack and roast for an hour to 90 minutes until soft to the touch. You may wrap them in foil to keep the juices in. Blend vinegar, oil and spices and let sit at room temperature while the onions cook to thoroughly blend flavors. Cool slightly, peel, and slice thin. Arrange on a large serving plate. Drizzle with spiced vinegar-oil blend and serve. Serves 4.

Black Pepper Sauce
From: The Viander de Taillevant, Edited by Terence Skully, recipe 227

Original Recipe:
Crush ginger and charred bread and pepper, moisten with vinegar and verjuice, and boil.
Modern version:
Dark-toast 2 slices of whole wheat bread, crumble finely (food processor crumbs are great) and mix with 1/2 tsp. ground ginger. Stir into 1/4 cup white wine vinegar and 2 Tbsp verjuice and then bring to a boil, stirring until thickened.

Tournai-style Cameline Sauce
From: Le Menagier de Paris

Original version:
Note that at Tournai to make cameline they bray ginger, cinnamon and saffron and half a nutmeg moistened with wine, then take it out of the mortar, then have white breadcrumbs, not toasted but moistened them with wine strain them, then boil all together and put brown sugar last of all and that is winter cameline. And in summer they do the same, but it is not boiled.

Modern version:
1 slice whole wheat white bread
2 cups good wine (I use whatever I have, red or white)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground saffron
4-6 tsp. raw or turbinado sugar
Let the bread soak in the wine until it falls apart and then blend in the spices. Bring to a boil and stir in the sugar. It'll be sweet, so you might wish to add the sugar in increments and taste. I called my version 'medieval barbecue sauce' and it went over very well indeed.

From: Du fait de cuisine, by Master Chiquart

Original recipe:
A jance: and to give understanding to him who will make the said jance let him take a great quantity of fair and good fine white bread according to what he wants to make and make it into crumbs well and properly on a fair cloth; then let him take a fair, clear, and clean pot and pour in fat broth of beef and mutton, and let him check that it is not too salty; and then let him take eggs and mix them with the said bread and then put this gently into the said broth while stirring constantly with a fair wooden spoon; and also let him put in his spices, that is white ginger, grains of paradise, and a little pepper, and saffron to give it color, and let him flavor it with verjuice; and let him put all this to boil together and then dress it for serving.
Modern version:
2 cups rich beef broth, unsalted if possible
3 slices whole wheat bread, made into crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/3 tsp grains of paradise
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground saffron
4 tablespoons verjuice
Put broth in heavy cooking pot. Beat egg, mix with bread crumbs, then stir into broth. Stir in spices and verjuice. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. This is alchemy, you can watch it change states as it cooks. This recipe makes a great deal of sauce, so you might wish to halve it, but it goes over well so perhaps not. As it cools it might form a skin, so watch it and stir frequently.

White Garlic Sauce
From: Libro de arte coquinaria, by Maestro Martino

Original recipe:
White garlic sauce. Take carefully skinned almonds and pound them, and when they are pounded halfway, add as much garlic as you like, and pound them very well together, adding a little cool water to prevent them from becoming oily. Then take crumb of white bread and soften it in lean meat or fish broth depending on the calendar; this garlic sauce can be served and adapted at will for meat days and days of abstinence.
Modern version:
I was very tired. I dumped a double handful of blanched almonds into the food processor and then dropped in seven peeled cloves of garlic and maybe a quarter cup of cold tap water and processed until small bits. I'd been soaking three slices of whole wheat bread in four cups of beef broth and dumped that into the food processor and ran it until it looked good.
That's about a cup and a half of almonds.
In retrospect I'd maybe cut everything back by three-quarters (my intended quantity was 'about a quart', which is an awful lot) for general serving. I recommend half a cup of almonds, two good-sized garlic cloves, a cup of broth and a slice or so of bread, pre-crumbed. It was fine as I made it, though.

I also prepped a Yellow Sauce, but never put it out. It's in the freezer.

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