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Hi there. First post, first banquet. - Ancient Medieval and Renaissance cooking, in the Southern Hemisphere. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Ancient Medieval and Renaissance cooking

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Hi there. First post, first banquet. [Jul. 28th, 2007|12:46 pm]
Ancient Medieval and Renaissance cooking

medievalcooking

[mdu_ntr]
[mood |thankfulthankful]

Hi, my name is Chrystle and I like cooking (obviously). I am planning a medieval banquet based on recipies from www.medievalcooking.com is this a reliable source? Also would anyone here like to critique my dinner plan? Don't worry, I do plan to be a regular on this community and not just a once-post person.
This is what I have for the meal:

First remove
Cinnamon Soup: Chicken soup
Cormarye: Spiced roast pork
Compost: baked veges in vinegrette
Rysschews of Fruit: little pastries stuffed with fruit mince

Hyssop Sorbet: mint sorbet

Second remove
Custarde: lamb or venison pie
Diuers Sallets: sweet cauliflower
Peeres in Confyt: pears in wine sauce

Hyssop Sorbet: mint sorbet

Issue
Friut, nuts, cheese

Subtlety
Gyngerbrede house

Drinks
Spiced wine

The banquet is for 7 or 8 people and I thought that because there are so many dishes I would make smaller portions for each. The sorbet is my own, what I am planning to do is boil mint, water and honey or sugar, freese it then shave it; would this be appropriate? Does anyone have any suggestions?

Drinks are another thing, does anyone have a nice repipe for hot, spiced red wine? What type of red wine do I use and what type for cooking? What other drinks should I serve for people who do not want wine?

The other thing I am having a little bit of trouble with the order of bowls and cups. From left to right it is organised as: wooden goblet for wine, bowl for pears, bead plate then bowl for sorbet. The goblet and bread plate will be used first, then the sorbet bowl will be placed out later and the pear bowl will be there from the start but used last. I have no idea where to put the soup bowl. It will be used fisrt then taken away before the sorbet bowl is placed down. Should it go in the same place as the sorbet bowl? Do I need another goblet for other drinks? Is my order correct? I'm probably worrying about little things a bit much but at the moment all I can do is plan, until Thursday when I get paid and can get ingredients and start cooking. I will need a lot of wine, LOL. This was a lot longer than I thought so I'll have to do a LJ-cut.
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: mdu_ntr
2007-07-28 03:21 am (UTC)
Um, hi again. I found a recipe for spiced wine on gode cookery and spiced apple cider too.
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[User Picture]From: wootduosmaster
2007-07-28 03:22 am (UTC)
The composition of the meal looks OK to me, but you may want to put something starchy in the second course - a rice or pasta maybe.

I'm pretty sure you should be OK for the mint, it sounds yummy.

For the wine, take a look here - http://www.godecookery.com/chaucer/chfeas13.htm But you can play around with the spice mix. Personally I do similar but generally just lots of cinnamon and ginger, and a little of cloves.

As for eating gear, if they are medieval geeks, they probably have their own and would be happy to bring it - if not, a large bowl, spoon, knife and any old drinking vessel should suffice.
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[User Picture]From: gafferbear
2007-07-28 04:52 am (UTC)

"Proper" Removes

The difference between a "remove" and a "course" is the setting, not the food. In "removes", you will find tables with specific depressions and holes for various dishes, and these usually include (as in the menu above) individual elements of what we would call a "course": in "courses", you have a meat course, a soup course, a salad course, etc. In each "remove", you might have several types of dishes represented: Soup and pork roast and veggies and fruit in the first, then all the dishes are removed (!) and each replaced with a new of the same size, but not necessarily the same content. The second remove, above, would serve something in the same size dish (and therefor in same place setting) as the soup was in the first remove, but perhaps it would be the pears, or the salad.

In these terms, each plate, dish, and bowl is served individually before presentation to the table, and all are removed at the break, to be replaced with a new "mini-meal". In a "course" meal, it's appropriate for folks to bring their own gear. If you are planning "removes" (and I'd not do it for large groups), you can't count on each bringing everything right. Removes were, traditionally, a lot more formal than any other form of meal.
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[User Picture]From: pepperbeast
2007-07-28 06:47 am (UTC)

Re: "Proper" Removes

Actually, "remove" is a term found in the 17th century and later. It doesn't mean a dish or a course, but one dish that replaces another partway through a course of several dishes.

Consider this course:
bread sticks
green salad removed by grilled cheese sandwiches
carrot sticks removed by sliced ham
tomato soup

That is a course of two removes-- the sandwiches "remove" the salad and the ham "removes" the carrots. So the bread sticks, salad, carrots, and soup all appear at the beginning of the course and then, partway throug, the salad and carrots are taken away and the sandwiches and ham appear in their places.

The serving of some number of courses each consisting of several dishes (service a la Francaise) was pretty much the norm throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Serving sequential courses of one dish each (service a la Russe) didn't come into vogue until the 19th century and isn't a universal norm, even now.

As far as SCA use goes, using the word remove to describe a course is is something I'd really like to see disappear. Always remember "remove remove-- it's course, of course :-)."
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[User Picture]From: gafferbear
2007-07-29 02:26 am (UTC)

Re: "Proper" Removes

The quote is from here.

Yup.
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[User Picture]From: mdu_ntr
2007-07-28 10:58 am (UTC)
Ya, that is the one I was thinking of only I was going to leave the dregs in and just ladle it out on the day. I have seen it cooked over a campfire before so I was thinking of making it on the day or the day before and just leaving it over a low heat until ready to serve.
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[User Picture]From: aeddie
2007-07-28 03:51 am (UTC)
I see in a couple of the dishes you are calling it one thing then describing it as something else. Is it cinnamon soup or chicken soup? Is it a mint sorbet or a hyssop sorbet? Call a dish what it is. I would recommend mint over hyssop due to some of the reactions it can cause (hyssop is sometimes used as an expectorant).

As said in another comment. Most medieval foodies will have their own dishes and eating utensils, my wife and I have multiple sets for different situations. If you let the diners know the menu, they can bring the appropriate dishes.

Above all, relax have fun, drink some of the wine.
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[User Picture]From: mdu_ntr
2007-07-28 04:41 am (UTC)
I thought hyssop and mint were the same thing only hyssop was what they called it back then. Cinnamon soup is what it is called but it appears to be a type of chicken soup so I put chicken soup for clarity.
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[User Picture]From: pepperbeast
2007-07-28 06:48 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: mdu_ntr
2007-07-28 10:54 am (UTC)
Wow, thanks for that. So hyssop and mint are completely different. How come they use it in absynth then? Does it just taste like mint?
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[User Picture]From: pepperbeast
2007-07-28 08:54 pm (UTC)
I don't think so. Absinthe isn't mint-flavoured, though-- it's primarily wormwood-flavoured.
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[User Picture]From: pelethetart
2007-07-28 11:25 pm (UTC)
I've never concidered Absinthe wormwood flavoured, as I've never had wormwood that tastes like Anisse.

Anisse-Hyssop is a primary ingredient in many of the home brewed and the professionally made Absynthes I have had. I even grow Anisse-Hyssop.

But no, hyssop tastes nothing like mint.
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[User Picture]From: mdu_ntr
2007-07-29 01:54 am (UTC)
Wow, I feel like the biggest dork. I was told this but never actually had it.
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[User Picture]From: iasmin
2007-07-28 04:24 am (UTC)
As a quick note before i pop off to bed tonight....the website is an excellent one, if sparse. It's run by Edourd "Doc" Hallidai, Master of the Order of the Laurel in the Middle Kingdom, and a compatriot of mine. He'd be happy to answer questions, I'm certain.
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[User Picture]From: mdu_ntr
2007-07-28 04:42 am (UTC)
How would i get in touch with him?
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[User Picture]From: iasmin
2007-07-28 02:34 pm (UTC)
Two ways that I can think of:

mcook42@medievalcookery.com
edoard@medievalcookery.com

If you're going to Pennsic you might see him though I'm not sure if he's going, but here's what he looks like if you need to ask for him:

http://laurel.midrealm.org/peer_new.php?input=353
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[User Picture]From: gafferbear
2007-07-28 05:10 am (UTC)

Sounds wonderful!

First, let me thank you for your correct interpretation of removes. This was a pet peeve of my teacher, and has become a pet peeve of mine. Congratulations - sounds wonderful!

From my understanding, removes were generally limited to the construction of a special table (see comment to wootduosmaster, above), variable from place to place, depending on the preferences of the diners, on regular formal occasions. There may be a more "common" placement, but I have never found the equivalent of Miss Manners on the particular topic of remove dish placement.

The only documentation I have for sorbets is Arabic, rather than European, but does exist of shaved ice flavored with syrups (this is mentioned numerous times by Shahrzad), and mint syrup is more common there than any other. Freezing it after the flavoring process is not documented in period *so far as I know* but there's nothing wrong with it in my book - you'll get a more consistent flavor than the period product would have, but is that a PROBLEM?

You may use additional goblets for additional beverages, if you choose. I've certainly never found a proscription about that, at any rate.

Is my order correct? Looks beautiful to me. You have the proper "mini-meals" which mark removes. If there were ONE thing I would do differently, it would be to find an additional flavoring for the sorbet, and vary them. How about galangale, or ginger?

The conundrum with the sorbet bowl does not have an easy answer UNLESS you serve it individually, as its own palate cleanser, as a "remove" of its own. Often enough done with comfits and other such things.

If you DO go slightly Arabic for parts of this, an alternative beverage (especially for summer) is Sekanjabin (reference on Duke Cariadoc's Drinks Page).
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[User Picture]From: mdu_ntr
2007-07-28 10:50 am (UTC)

Re: Sounds wonderful!

Ginger sounds nice. Would ginger and honey go well?
I'm afraid I have little experience in this field (as you probably noticed) but I do know a lot about cooking.
The custarde will remove the soup, diuers sallets the compost and the peeres the fruit. I make very heavy, spiced bread that could be eaten as a meal itself and is cooked in the same size pan as the cormarye. Would the bread be a good remove? I was originally going to have bread on the sideplate of each individual before the meal but I could have both I suppose, white bread on the side and spiced bread as part of a remove.
If I shaved some ice and poured rose-water or some other tpe of fruit syrup/cordial over the top would that be more authentic? I know I don't really have to make it authentic but I would rather it be that way.
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[User Picture]From: pelethetart
2007-07-28 11:29 pm (UTC)

Re: Sounds wonderful!

Ginger and honey are wonderful together. It is a flavour combination I use in my meade all the time, as well in other dishes and drinks. The heat of the ginger is delightfully offset by the sweetness of the honey.

Hmmmm...I make my own ginger syrup for ginger beer. Now I think I must try it mixed with clover honey over shaved ice! Yummy!
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[User Picture]From: mdu_ntr
2007-07-29 02:07 am (UTC)

Re: Sounds wonderful!

Clover honey? Here we mainly have eucalyptus honeys.

Edit: I found a site for cordia;s if you are interested: http://www.dragonbear.com/cordrec2.html
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[User Picture]From: gafferbear
2007-07-29 02:29 am (UTC)

Re: Sounds wonderful!

Freezing it after the flavoring process is not documented in period *so far as I know* but there's nothing wrong with it in my book - you'll get a more consistent flavor than the period product would have, but is that a PROBLEM?

Indeed, flavoring shaved ice (or, in fact, snow) can be documented in Arabic cuisine (don't know about them northerners), and rose-water is one of the common flavorings mentioned (again, I refer to Shahrzad).
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[User Picture]From: mdu_ntr
2007-07-29 02:42 am (UTC)

Re: Sounds wonderful!

I think I'll do it the shaved ice way. I know it isn't really authentic but the others wont know. I'm the only one who has any interest in history that will be there. Alas, I will know it is not.

When did shaved ice become a part of English quisine? Many functions now use sorbet, the idea must have come over some time. We really owe a lot to the Middle East (like forks). Shame most people don't see it.
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[User Picture]From: pepperbeast
2007-07-29 01:03 am (UTC)

Re: Sounds wonderful!

Do you have some documentation for this "special table". I've never heard this interpretation before, and I'm fascinated to say the very least.
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[User Picture]From: pepperbeast
2007-07-29 01:06 am (UTC)
Here's a good article on the use of the words "course" and "remove".

http://dialup.pcisys.net/~mem/course.html
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