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More Historic Food Images


Adam Balic
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From a recent dinner party:

A 17th century Lumber Pie. It would be more usual for the pie to have a carved pastry lid, but I ran out of time.

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Details of the ingredients: Meat balls, asparagus, chestnuts, mushrooms and grapes.

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"Banqueting Stuff". Various preserves, confits, kissing confits, gingerbread fish, mazipan bacon and fish, suckets, bean bread etc.

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Detail of the goodies and a three year olds hand reaching for a preseved [sweet] potato.

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Also served, but not shown, buttered veg, rice, orange cream with quinces and ypocras.

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The Pie (you don't eat the crust so it is like a ragout really) was great, basically balls of hot terrine with a savoury sabayon. The quince was one of the nicest that I have cooked. Much of the Banqueting stuff was a little medieval for modern tastes, but some of the less figurative things were good. The comfits went very well with the Hypocras and we haven't caught the Plague so it seems to have worked.

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Veal in the hot terrine? It sounds utterly delicious.

What are the little red diamonds with scalloped edges in the banqueting stuff?

What were your sources?

And I'd love more details on the quinces with orange cream and ypocras. I've a couple of quinces in the fruit bowl which need using...

Lucky, lucky, LUCKY guests. :biggrin:

clb

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The diamonds are called "Kissing Comfits". They are made from sugar plate (basically pastilage) and would have been flavoured with musk or ambergris etc. There name tells you their function, they were mouth-fresheners. Sharkespeare mentions them in the "Merry Wives of Windsor" along with other sexually exciting things like the [candied sweet] potato. Normally they would not be that red I think and they were often stuck up-right into tarts etc to make them look more sexy.

Sources for this were: Robert May, Hannah Woolley and William Rabisha.

Edited by Adam Balic (log)
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The diamonds are called "Kissing Comfits". They are made from sugar plate (basically pastilage) and would have been flavoured with musk or ambergris etc. There name tells you their function, they were mouth-fresheners.

Adam,

thanks for the great pictures. I look at Odile Redon's "The Medieveal kitchen" about once a year looking for a stimulus to have a go at those interesting Historic recipes and who knows, your post might just be the shove I needed.

Do you know if musk or amber can still be bought today? They pop up quite often in medieval dishes.

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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Adam, this is completely brilliant -- I hadn't done any Medieval cooking for almost ten years and I forgot how bizarre it all looked. Makes me want to crack out my old books and make some leche lumbarde (if THAT is even correct in my memory....)

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Adam,

thanks for the great pictures. I look at Odile Redon's "The Medieveal kitchen" about once a year looking for a stimulus to have a go at those interesting Historic recipes and who knows, your post might just be the shove I needed.

Do you know if musk or amber can still be bought today? They pop up quite often in medieval dishes.

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Adam, you always tempt me so much with your wonderful history-rich creations!!! I love being able to see a picture of things I've only read about, but have only pictured in my mind. This pie would be one of those described so often as coffins, wouldn't it?

The fish are fabulous!

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Adam, this is completely brilliant -- I hadn't done any Medieval cooking for almost ten years and I forgot how bizarre it all looked. Makes me want to crack out my old books and make some leche lumbarde (if THAT is even correct in my memory....)

Carolyn - thank you. Originally, I was very interested in the Medieval side of things, but as I read and cooked more have come to like this early-Modern period cooking more as non-food obsessed people tend to like it more. But it is fun to make historic food as it gives you a fresh idea of what it is like. The blamanger made from chicken meat, almond milk and sugar sounds terrible when read, but when made it tastes fine and I realised that it was very similar to some modern Turkish desserts. Ditto, when I was in Morocco I was constantly surprised how similar the food was to many early European recipes. Obviously, I shouldn't have been so surprised.

re: leche lumbarde, if you call it "panna cotta" people it goes down very well!

Edited by Adam Balic (log)
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Adam, you always tempt me so much with your wonderful history-rich creations!!! I love being able to see a picture of things I've only read about, but have only pictured in my mind. This pie would be one of those described so often as coffins, wouldn't it?

The fish are fabulous!

Mabelline thank you. It is fun to do this stuff, but is always good to get nice comments back. The pie shell is exactly what would be called a coffin. Although, the black marker lines are not 'historical'.

The fish where fun to make and it is a petty that the details don't show in the photographs. I made a salt-dough blank first, after this was dried I set it into plaster to make a mold, then I used this to mass produce gingerbread shapes.

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I want to add my kudos for your impressive presentation! The work is amazing. I love playing around with recreating some of the old dishes, keeping to just the things available at the time.

Years ago I was a member of the SCA and attended many of the tourneys and advised on accuracy of the foods, however most of the young people involved were not that interested in the truly historically accurate foods. The tastes were not to their liking. One brewer recreated an historically accurate ale and it did not go over well at all. The small beer was better but most thought it way too sweet.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Adam, really stupendous! Your marzipan work is beeyootiful -- those bacon slices are just adorable.

Not to slight the pie -- but the Consort is a marzipan eater and so those caught my eye especially.

The hypocras, if my cursory look-see is at all accurate, seems not far off the mulled wine I poured for parents of trick-or-treaters on Halloween night. How did you make it?

Priscilla

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Beautiful work, Adam!

It's discussions like this that make me miss Lisa's/balmagowry's presence. :sad: It's all right up her food alley, so to speak.

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Adam, that's very interesting.

I can't say I'd want to get so medieval but it's interesting. Thanks.

"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

Serving fine and fresh gratuitous comments since Oct 5 2001, 09:53 PM

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Adam, really stupendous!  Your marzipan work is beeyootiful -- those bacon slices are just adorable.

Not to slight the pie -- but the Consort is a marzipan eater and so those caught my eye especially.

The hypocras, if my cursory look-see is at all accurate, seems not far off the mulled wine I poured for parents of trick-or-treaters on Halloween night.  How did you make it?

Ypocras (various spellings) is a spiced wine that is named after the Hippocrate's Sleave that is used to filter the wine. It was considered medicinal. Mulled wine is another similar spiced wine, but Ypocras isn't heated and not fortified. My I used a good cheap sweet wine from the south of France (userly would have been a dry wine which was sweeten with sugar) I added, Long Pepper, grains of paradise, cardamon, ginger and mace. This was left over night then filtered. I really liked it.

Once you make the mazipan, the rest is the work of minutes. Split the batch in half colour one with cinnamon, ginger and mace, Slap together in layers, then slice. Dry out a little an that is it.

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Adam, that's very interesting.

I can't say I'd want to get so medieval but it's interesting. Thanks.

Thanx Jin :wink: .

I should point out that the 17th century isn't Medieval (The USA wasn't colonized in the Medieval period for instance), although some of the food at that time is. Basically it was a time of transition, the food I cooked here would have been 'old fashioned' even at the time. The pie/pastry that I would have made if I could have got the ingredients was a breast of veal splinkled with mace and lemon slices, basted in butter and wrapped in a butter short crust pastry. This is much more modern, but come from the same recipe collection.

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