Tuesday, December 30, 2014

It is officially a menu! (edited)

I have been prepping for Known World Dance Symposium and have now completed the menu.

          A pie of colworts
          Green Salad
          Chicken crowned with eggs
          Tarts of eggs
          Mushrooms and leeks
          Pears in confection

          Meat Pasties
          Mushroom pie
          Another compost
          Green salad

          Douce Anne (chicken with milk and honey)
          Lasagne layered with cheese
          Perry of pesoun
          Cherry pottage

          Assorted cold roasted meats
          Tart de bry
          Green salad

          1st course:
               Stuffed leg of mutton  (Vegetarian substitution, Layered omelets)
               Fried common squash
          2nd course:
               Breseola                       (Vegetarian substitution, Gilded bread fried in butter)
               Thick soup of asparagus in meat broth (Vegetarian version available)

          3rd course:
               Goose with rice or noodles ( Vegetarian option, Genovese onion gattafura)
               Stuffed kohlrabi
          4th course:
               Milk pies

This menu does not contain the "side items" that will be served at coffee time and on the sideboard, something has to be a surprise :)


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Why the radio silence?

Greetings readers!

It sure has been quiet around here lately, and there are a few reasons why. One is I am working on a big project (that should mean more posts right?) and two life has been kicking me while I am down (but whining about that is not what this blog is for).

I have a HUGE project coming up, cooking for Known World Dance Symposium in April www.kwds.org/ . This should mean more traffic but alas, no. I have sooooo much going on with it that it is hard to write about any of it, but that will change and soon. We have the lunch menu (Thur, Fri, Sat)  and the supper menu (Thur, Fri) under control and mostly set, These ( at the very least) will be announced in December, at that point redactions will begin to follow. Though some things will be kept til after the event. the redactions of feast and the sideboard for the Masque and ball will follow after the event with the sideboard not even being announced until the event. I have to keep some things a surprise!

So, what I am saying is fear not, there will be posts about food forth coming.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Revision of a recipe and more notes

I love fresh food, when I plan a feast I do not make my dishes ahead and freeze, I do not pre cook and reheat, I make it fresh! This has in the past included fritters which frankly are a pain in the but to do that way. So, while revising my recipe for the chicken fritters I am also experimenting with keeping them on the fridge and re heating them in the oven. This would make it so much easier when cooking for a large crowd. I am not a fan of this way of cooking as I believe it changes the texture and the flavor of the food but I also want to be able to serve some pretty cool things!

My recipe today
3 breasts of chicken boiled (these are 1/2 breast not pairs)
2 (125 gm balls) of Mozzarella (total of 250 gm)
1/2 cup of fresh grated Parmesan (and I am thinking of upping it)
1 Tbsp of ground cinnamon
1/4 cup of Turbinado sugar
2 large eggs (might cold have gotten away with one)

I was able to better blend the ingredients together by using my kitchen aid mixer with the paddle attachment.

For the coating I used 4 large eggs and 2 oz of flour.

The original calls for 6 eggs and 2 oz. I know the oz was not the same but have not yet found a conversion that I find accurate to the time, also the eggs might have been smaller as well, especially depending on time of year and type of hens.

I found that my mixture worked quite well even though to me it was a little on the thin side.

They have been fried (I had to shallow fry them which meant turning them over, I do not recommend this, I recommend deep oil!) and now are cooling on paper towels, I will place them in the fridge and try heating them in the oven at various times and temps later this evening as well as some tomorrow to try and gauge how it affects the texture and taste as well as appearance of the fritters. Stay tuned!

Edit: Re heat at 220 for 15 min, Hot through and crispy enough. Still tasty even though fresh is best.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Back to the grindstone

After a nice vacation and some time in the US with my family I am ready to get back to work on the task at hand, food for KWDS. So far, lunch is now done. Not final redactions but the skeleton of what we have. Now all I have left is coffee time, suppers, feast and side board. I have recipes on a list but need to narrow it down. I also have a few questions out there that need answers before i can truly commit to what is being served. I have one dish that is a "for sure" for feast, and hopefully it is my only repeat dish Though I am toying with repeating another dish (no it isn't the turkeys).  I know i am being vague here but I don't want to commit to anything until I am 100%. So it is back to the books and the lists and the narrowing down. My personal deadline is December. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

To prepare sops with various dried fruits

Scappi: page 369 book 3 recipe 257

Get prunes and let them soak in warm water. After that cook them in white wine with sugar, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon ground together. When they are done, have slices of toast ready in dishes, and put the prunes on them with the decoction. Serve them hot with sugar on top.

You can also do dried visciola cherries or halved dates or dried figs the same way.

I have no amounts written down, mostly it was a test and see as we go. I used only enough liquid to cover the dried fruit. In my case I used figs. Cooked and boiled down in my pot. I served it with a dense bread instead of toast and it seemed to be fine. Though re reading this as I am typing it out I think I will use more liquid next time to make it less of a mash and more of a "soup".

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fresh Cheese

I have been experimenting with fresh cheese. No rennet, just an acid. No heat, just reaction. So simple a 7 year old can do it, and he has been assisting. I wanted at Double Wars to make a simple fresh cheese recipe to serve at the Laurel's lunch. My failure on that was detailed earlier, even though the Kefir like milk stuff made great cheese it just took longer.

So my recent experiments have been, a batch with lemon juice, a batch with balsamic vinegar and a batch with Brantwein vinegar. The last has sort of an apple vinegar taste but it is not from apples. In each I used 1 liter of mild and in everyone added a bit of cream. In the lemon I added 100 ml of cream, the balsamic had only 50 ml cream and the Brantwein had 200 ml. When I made it at DW I too added cream to the Kefir, I believe it was 200 ml or there about. In each one The initial mixture sat for a minimum of 12 hrs some longer.
The DW mixture never really got heavy and initially when put in the cheesecloth drained a bit white then moved to clear. The lemon in my kitchen fully separated, became heavy and drained clear. The balsamic didn't get heavy but drained clear and the Brantwein, never separated, never got heavy and has not run clear. In fact I needed to change cloths as the curds had not pulled together enough and has blocked the holes in the cheesecloth so it would not drain at all. Currently it is hanging in a new cloth. It is possible that with heat the barntwein would do better.

Taste: All but the brantwein has been tasted and they are all good, even my 7 year old like it. With added herbs it has been great. I think the vinegar base would be best with herbs and the lemon could be sweetened with honey or fruits. A simple but elegant addition to any table.

I will continue to experiment with non rennet and simple methods of making cheese. When I have gotten comfortable with them I shall endeavor to move on.

 Cheese update: The white balsamic worked fine, lovely cheese. The Brantweinessig, not a complete failure but super super soft still. No longer runny though. No hint of vinegar taste at all, super creamy.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Chicken fritters (aka medieval chicken nuggets)

 Scappi: page 498 recipe 141 To prepare fritters with chicken flesh
     When in a mortar you have ground up the breast meat of two chickens that have first been boiled, add in two pounds of bazzatto cheese*, half a pound of grated Parmesan cheese, three ounces of sugar, six eggs and half an ounce of cinnamon. Of that mixture make balls the size of a hard boiled egg yolk. Have pot on hand containing six beaten eggs with two ounces of flour and coat the balls in that one by one: just as soon as they are coated drop them into hot rendered fat and fry them. When they are done, serve them hot with sugar over them. You can do calf's and goat-kid's brains, boiled, in the same way.

What I did:

3 chicken breasts boiled
2 balls of mozzarella
1 small package of grated Parmesan cheese (forgot to look how much but roughly 3 Tbsp)
3 eggs ? they had double yolks so I am not sure how you would count that, and yes all 3!
1 Tbsp cinnamon (approximately)
1/4 cup sugar (Turbinado)

Not having my mortar and pestle with me I improvised. I had a large ceramic bowl and a wooden spatula. I first "chopped" up the chicken with the "blade" of the spatula getting it as small as I could and then began pressing and squishing it with the flat of it against the bowl. This was quite effective and I was surprised at just how very much so. I opened and drained the mozzarella and broke it up and approached it the same way I did the chicken. Add the Parmesan, cinnamon and sugar. Continue to mix by beating against the side of the bowl. When you have a mushy consistency and the cheese is fully incorporated add the eggs until it holds together. Roll into small balls the size of egg yolks. Dip and completely coat in a simple coating of eggs and flour the consistency of thick pancake mix. Deep fry until golden. I use olive oil as I had it on hand.

Notes: this was an experiment over an open fire, very tasty hot, warm and even cold. In terms of making it for a feast I can see where they would be able to easily made ahead and then reheated in an oven.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

1 day on an open fire

This year I attended Double Wars in Sweden as part of a "girls trip" trio :) It was a blast but meant that I did much less real cooking than I normally do. I did get creative with cous cous and roasting chickens but nothing too out of the box. I saved that for my 1 day.

I was asked by my laurel to cook lunch for the laurels that would be in attendance at the event, I gladly accepted the task and started searching for my inspiration. What I came up with was to roast a chicken in the manner that Scappi uses to roast turkey, Breseaola finished 2 ways, chicken fritters  and a dried fruit compost. I had pasta boiled in milk and a fresh cheese on the list as well but made an error in the grocery store (Swedish is not a language I speak) and was unable to complete those dishes, so I didn't.

My day was an early one, I was up at 8 am to prep some things and get the coals going, once they were hot I started wood on the side but knew the chicken would take longer so use charcoal to get it started.

My trouble with the fresh cheese and pasta started the night before when I opened the container to find I had purchased something that was closer to Keifir and not regular milk. I decided to try it anyway having read several things on line about using buttermilk and yogurt to make cheese. This simply took too long to drain and was ready on Thursday so I divided it and set chives to half and dill with thyme to the other half. A few people were able to try it on Friday at Hovdala and everyone who tried it responded well. This being the case though I could not see making the pasta as it would have been boiled in milk and this was not milk. So without stress or much ado I dropped the idea of making the pasta and began work on everything else.

The turkey process is described elsewhere on my blog as is the breseaola which was finished 2 ways, over the fire on the grill and in a pot with broth, grape must syrup and vinegar. The new dishes were the fig compost and the chicken fritters (which I will detail in further posts). The lunch was filled out with sliced bread and a platter with cut cucumber, grapes and sliced apple on it.

When collecting the leftovers I was asked if I would like to put them in the Laurels Prize Display and so I did. It was fun sitting with the food and having people taste it and getting to talk about it for a few hours :) I even got a few picky kids to try the "medieval chicken nuggets" and 1 came and got a second piece! My biggest surprise though was in the end when Mistress Helwig came to me to give me her prize for my display. She was impressed with my explanations and tastes. I was truly both shocked and honored to have been chosen by her.

I think I surprised another one of the laurels who remarked that they were impressed that I had taken on such an intimidating task when I said I didn't find the task intimidating at all. In fact I was quite relaxed. I didn't stress about the missing milk I just carried on with all the other dishes. The dish that caused me the most stress or worry was the whole roasted chicken and my biggest worries were that it would be dry, or over cooked on the outside and uncooked in the middle but as it cooked along the worry faded and I became very relaxed with it. I was proudest of the chicken fritters I did not expect them to be as wonderful as they were. Fresh and hot was the best, cooling down but still warm they were still tasty and even cold they were still palatable. A huge success in my book despite having only glanced through the recipe and mostly just winging the measurements.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Arts in April 2

So, I have just completed another event. It was great fun, low stress and tasty. At least that is what I keep being told. From my end everything was fine with only one minor snag that was easily and quickly rectified. Thank you Agilmar and Nicole! I will post more on this and recipes later. Right now I will just post the menu.

Friday night:
     Lentils : made with ground turkey and turkey kielbasa

Saturday Breakfast
     Brotchen, butter, salami, ham, cheese, nutella, jam and oatmeal made overnight in a crock pot :)

Saturday Lunch
     Mushroom pie, cheese pie, kale pie, soup of chickpeas, waffers and salad.

Saturday Coffee
     Peascods (medieval fig newtons), Tart of cream (with 2 flavored sugars ginger and cinnamon), and Elizabethan ginger bread.

Saturday Supper
     Pears of meat, sop of onions,beans yfried, tart of rice, and Asparagus.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Another random redaction day

Though our day did not turn out as we had hoped we did get one random redaction done.

We were looking at cookbooks discussing the up coming events we are cooking for, bouncing between the 2 of them as we just thought out loud when we stumbled on a recipe that sounded intriguing. Shelly says to me, have ya got rice? I said yes, and some oranges right here. Sugar, cinnamon and ginger, check. Lets get started! :) and random redaction began, during the initial boiling of the rice we found 2 more recipes to redact and got the ingredients together. Then... ice cream happened and we came home to find the beans for the second redaction burning on the stove and the house so filled with smoke making the third redaction was impossible. So with only 1 redaction done we called it a day and ordered pizza for everyone!

To Make a Tart of Rice, The Good Housewife's Jewel page 73
Boil your rice and put in the yolks of two or three eggs into the rice. When it is boiled, put it into a dish and season it with sugar, cinnamon and ginger, and butter, and the juice of two or three oranges, and set it on the fire again.

What we did:
1.5 c water   1/2 c white rice
2/3 c Orange juice (juice of 2 oranges)
1Tbsp + 1 tsp sugar
1tsp ginger   1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg yolk    1Tbsp butter

We boiled the rice until all the water was absorbed
added the butter, egg yolk, and juice
added 1/2 tsp of each spice
tasted and added another tsp of each spice
turned heat to low, covered and let cook for about 1/2 hr more

Results were yummy. My husband said it reminded him of the apple and brown sugar oatmeal but he liked it! My 6 year old LOVED it. Though it was great! Shelly and I both liked it as well.

Thoughts: I think it should be a bit mushier is texture and will increase the water for the initial cooking, It sets well, like a custard. I would also like to use less cinnamon. Possibly more butter as well, but it was tasty even after it got cold.

And I even have a picture!

I am hoping this weekend to get to the other 2 redactions, this time without setting my kitchen on fire.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Humble beginnings

Most recently I have started thinking back not on the feasts that I have cooked but on the ones I have attended, and while a lot of them have been superb there have been a large portion that have not. Some of that portion have been adequate and the rest have been downright horrid. This is not a post to run those feasts down but it is a post that maybe those cooks could find inspiration in. This is a post about my humble beginnings and the feast from hell.

I took on the job to cook for a crown tournament event, this in and of itself was a big task as it would be my first time cooking for over 100 people in a kitchen that was not a professional one. Having cooked for groups of up to 80 before I was confident this task could be handled. I had planned a banquet that was glorious! Full of foods, flavors and textures for everyone. I had not 1 back up cook but 2! I arrived on site on Thursday to get a head start on everything. It seemed perfect, boy was I wrong! The first of the problems started Thursday when we got moving later than expected but this in and of itself would be OK we had plenty of time in which to make up the time that was lost. The schedule was not tight, actually there was no schedule. Later on I would realize that this was the first of my problems that i would need to fix. We arrived on site to find that a box of stuff was left at home, sigh, this meant a trip back to get it and another 1.5 hr delay. That is OK we have all day on Friday to get prepping. I should add right now that my son was only 11 months at the time and still nursing. So in amongst the prep and breaks to eat and all that was things like diaper changes, feedings and nursing to get him to nap, all of this eating time from the "schedule". Thursday night my son doesn't sleep for poop. He is constantly waking up and of course what does he want? me, or more specifically my boobs, so i get less than a perfect nights sleep, but that is OK right? I mean I have all day and suddenly it is Friday night and people are arriving. Saturday It's wake up get things going and oh ya, did I mention I was a consort for the tourney? First lesson learned make a schedule, second lesson learned do not be head cook and a consort. Throughout the day on Saturday little things kept adding up, the soup turned into a solid block of rice, the beef purses were taking way too long to make and cook and we could not keep up, The tourney started an hour early and therefore the schedule for when the fighters lunch we had prepped got stepped up, racks were missing from the ovens and I didn't know so I think I am baking 4 pies at a time and it is really only 2 and intending to serve 2 pies this was a hell of a slow way to do it. When this is discovered we stop and re arrange the menu, dropping dishes all the way. My large beautiful menu gets chopped to bits and substitutions made on the fly and extra leftover filling served as a side, the kitchen gets crazy! Among all of this coming and going I am still nursing my son when he needs it and it has become apparent he is not feeling well. Service has started and we are salvaging what we can, trying to keep our heads despite another setback, this time a hand mixer that is electrocuting me while using it. At this time my husband peeks in and asks where the thermometer is. I give him a quick answer while trying to get things into bowls and figure out what is going out next. a few moments later as the second service is being set up he comes in and asks where our son's insurance card is. At this point I fold, I no longer care what is going on and I abandon ship. There is only one more service to go and I am sure those in the kitchen can handle it. Nothing is yet done for the desert course which was intended to be a sideboard but at this point nothing else matters. I retire to our room and quiet space with my son to care for him and his dangerously high fever while my husband consults a doctor. We are .5 degrees centigrade from having to go to a hospital. I give him all my attention and all my energy, at some point he falls asleep, fever down a little and stays that way. I return to the hall and the mess to face the crowd that I am sure is ready to lynch me. I walk in the building and I am told to stay put! The new Prince and Princess want to see me. This is it I think. I'm done. I will never cook again. As it turns out they wanted to talk to me about something completely different and not a single person mentioned the food, well not up until that point anyway. I tried to relax a little, spoke with a few people including a very kind woman who sat me down and fed me "medicine", and talked to me gently not about what I had done wrong, but about what I could do better and what I had done well. The most negative comments ever spoken to me came from the king himself who said "Can I ask a question?" I said of course and he asked "What was up with that grey shit?". All I could do was giggle. I had survived and even if people went home unhappy with the food time has helped them forget that and my determination to do better next time and not make those mistakes again.

Nobody's first time is perfect, especially if they are going it alone. Hopefully, we live and we learn.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Side Notes #1

Side notes, ya know, those things you don't think of until after you have already made your post or find out later and don't feel like editing to add. That is what this is and I am likely to have many of them so I have decided to number them.

This one in particular is about the mustard experiment. What I had intended to start that post off with was by sharing my deep and profound respect for professions in period who hand ground things. I tried to grind mustard seeds with a mortar and pestle and wow! I have neither the strength nor the callouses needed to be as effective as I need to be. My hat is off to them, or it would be if I wore a hat. With this in mind I was talking to my husband about it and he offered an Idea i had not thought about until then, they likely "milled" their spices. I know a simple thought but for some reason it just did not occur to me to be a logical one. They had small mills at home, hand held ones for grinding small amount of flour, why would they not have used them for spices or other things of a dry nature that they wanted "powdered".  I began to think about Scappi and his reference to fennel flour and the hard time I had  trying to grind dry fennel by hand. Why wouldn't a mill have been used, one of the hand size ones would be easy to use as well as easy to clean. It seems like such a simple solution.

Now do I have any proof, no, or maybe I should say not yet. While I am not going to run right out and hunt  I will now have an ear open to the information if I happen to stumble across it.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Mustard take 1

XLII Mustard and good mustard
If you want to make mustard, take the hot fat which has fallen from a roasted capon or other meat.  Take mustard seeds and grind them well, when they are well (finely) ground put them to soak in well boiled water.  Then take vin cotto* and mix everything (including the fat) and let it boil a little together, etc.
For another way to make a delicate mustard.  Take split (chopped) mustard seeds and wash them well with boiling water and temper (mix) them with vin cotto and add sugar, and powder with (ground) cloves, etc.

* Vin cotto – this reduced grape must syrup can be found in speciality gourmet stores, sold as mosto cotto, saba or cooked wine.  It has a sweet, tangy grape flavor.
*This translation is not my own

Experiment part 1

We ground by hand 37 grams of mustard seed
Added that to 1c of boiling water
1/2 c vin cotto^
2Tbsp chicken fat^

^I started with 2 ltr of 100% grape juice, no sugar added, reduce on a low simmer to 1 1/2 c
^ I roasted legs lightly covered in olive oil with salt and pepper on a broiler pan to catch the fat. The fat was put in the fridge over night to separate it from the Fond (the part that jellies). Use the fat only none of the jelly

Placed on a low simmer to reduce down.

Added 16gm more of lightly crushed seed to the mix.

After the addition the mustard began to thicken up. A finer grind of the seed would create a smoother texture. The taste is nice and comparable to a good German sweet mustard.

Taste is nice, texture is grainy.

The second simmer took between 1.5 - 2 hours.

Next investigations should include a mix of pre-ground mustard, hand ground and whole kernel. Another thing to try will be the addition of spices (cloves, pepper, ginger cinnamon etc...)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

What goes into creating a feast?

This is a post for my student, sort of a recap post of my 4 part "so you want to be a cook" I did. This condensed version. I will try to be much more specific on what I do , how long it takes (approximately), and how I view / judge my results.

Step one! Find an audience to cook for. This can be easy, it can also be hard. If a group has 1 or 2 cooks it is pretty easy, if the group has 8 it might be harder and you might have to look outside your group. I have an "in" in this area, if my Mistress is the event steward then more than likely I am cooking :) I have also been asked to cook in other groups who are without the manpower as well as volunteered outside my group and region. Note that while I have volunteered I have only actually cooked outside my region once.

Step 2: Know your budget!!! Make sure you get a firm number. Usually it is a set of numbers. X per adult and Y per child between age and age. There may be more categories to track and there may be a fixed price of Z per paying person. This is up to the autocrat, for the most part. The exception is to present a budget.

Step 3: Make a budget: This does not need to be fancy or detailed but it should contain some basic information. My "usual" budget is 12 euro per adult and 6 euro per child for a "full weekend" event. Full weekend is defined as Friday night until Sunday Morning. I have a generic breakdown of the budget but really it is more fluid than that for me. I may pinch a little off feast to have a bigger lunch or I might save a few pennies on breakfast and have a nicer Friday night supper. It depends sometimes on what is on sale the week I do my shopping. I have decided an entire menu twice based on what was in the sale papers that week. This approach is not advisable but maybe when planning leave a few things "open" or have a few alternatives that could do in case there is a sale.

All of the things above take little time, now. They took a few hours the first few times I was cooking but now that I have a working model it takes me no time at all to plug in numbers or to shift things around.

Step 4: What type of food are you cooking? Is there a theme? Is there an era? Simple foods? Complex? Decide what your goal is, then start the research. This is where the bulk of your outside the event time is going to be spent. I can spend days, even months and yes years researching for a feast. I am researching and planning a feast that I may never get to cook but if I have the opportunity I will. For the most part I spend a few hours a day for at least a month pouring over my books and making lists. I list all the recipes that fit my concept and goal. From that list I narrow down recipes to try. Redacting is a process that takes time as well. Rarely will you get exactly what you want on the first try.

Redacting is a tough process, not only is it helpful to already know how to cook but it requires an understanding of medieval cooking methods as well in order to understand what you will need to do differently in a modern kitchen. As not everyone will have medieval equipment nor manpower available to them accommodations need to be made when testing the recipes. How close can we get is a tricky subject that I have tackled in a previous post and will not expand on here. The actual time it takes to redact something will vary person to person and recipe to recipe. Some recipes provide you with measurements to go on, others do not and you must try and discover the proportions yourself. Even if you are given measurements do you know what the modern equivalent is? Can you find it? Do you need to guess?  While there has been much progress made we do not yet know everything about everything and not everything is easily findable even in this modern computer age.

Step 5: Menu decided, redactions done, it is time to make lists! Make a list for everything! I like to make several lists, the first is by dish, listing ingredients and quantities. The second is an over all grocery list and the third is an equipment list. My grocery list is then split into what I need from the store, what I need to bring from home, and any equipment that may need to be purchased. It takes a bit of time to get all this together, plus checking and re checking.

Step 6:Time plan: A step by step not quite moment by moment of what I need to be doing when. Mostly this is a simple list of times I need to have something ready and in the oven by or started on the stove or served by/at. It can read simply or very complex depending on how large and involved the feast is. This is helpful in many ways. I can see whan I am behind, and I have prioritized at my finger tip what needs to be done if someone comes to the kitchen asking to help. I look at what is set to be accomplished next and set them a task that accomplishes this. I also make a list of what I want to accomplish Friday night and schedule in things like sleep :) My day on Friday starts at 6:30 am to get my son and daughter ready for school and kindergarten. As soon as I drop off my daughter (by 8:30) I am off to do the shopping for the event. I really like to buy as much fresh stuff as possible especially produce. When possible I am at site between 2pm and 3pm in order to have Fridays supper done for 6-7 pm and then I try to work only until midnight on Friday and be in bed no later than 2 even if I don't have to wake up and do breakfast. If I am making Breakfast my day starts between 630 and 7 am in order for everything to be done by 8 am to go out. If someone else has volunteered to make breakfast my day starts as late as 8:30 am to make sure I eat before starting the prep for lunch and feast/dinner.

Step 7: Wake up Friday and execute plan.

Step 8:Post event review: Yes folks, It isn't oven when you get home. Now it is time to review what you did. Not just celebrate what went well but also to anylize what went wrong and despite seeming like nothing went wrong there is always something that went wrong or that could be done better, even if it a dish that was not well recieved. Later, in another post I will post my "post mortem" form  that I use to analyze myself, It is a form given to me by my Mistress and worked on and added to together.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Random acts of redaction

So today was A&S and despite only being Elizabeth and myself we had a good time. I picked her up early to talk about Arts in April as well as her studentship with me. We are working on details but the long and short is I will be teaching her all I know and have learned in my cooking experiences, in and out of the SCA. This of course lead to looking through cookbooks and a random redaction.

For Tarts of Cream, The Good Housewifes Jewel, Thomas Dawson page 74
     Take a pint of cream with six raw eggs, and boil them together, Stir well that it burn not and let it boil till it be thick. Then take it out of the pot and put to two dishes of butter, melted. When it is somewhat cold, then strain it and season it with sugar. Then put it into your paste. When your paste is hardened, and when it is enough, then serve it with sugar cast upon it. If you will have a tart of two colours, then take half of it, when it is in cream, and clour the other half with sffron or yolks of eggs.

what we did:
     200 ml cream
     3 large eggs

Boil until thick while stirring put it in a bowl stir in 1.5 - 2 Tbsp melted butter

We added the sugar 1 heaping Tbsp at this point

cooled to room/body temp

strained the mixture through a fine sieve into the paste

cook until the paste is hard (we took it out a little too early at about 30 min)

serve covered with sugar

It was a nice egg custard, Shelly thinks we should put more sugar into it, I think it was ok as is. We tried it too by sprinling cinnamon sugar on it as well as ginger, the first was alright but the ginger gave it an awesome kick that was great! It held it's shape well.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Not so new news

Greetings :)

I will be back to recipes soon! My intention had been to make mustard over Christmas but... well... we just didn't get there so it is a project that will have to wait.

Last year for Arts in April I had an assistant, this year I will formally take my assistant as a student! We both aren't sure what that will fully mean yet but we will work out the details soon! I am very excited though! We work well together and the last year has been fun, now on to bigger and better things together!