Menu and Recipes for Wile the Winter Away, December 3, 1995

Menu (to be served throughout the day):

Food available at all times:
Ealisdh's bread
Cheese bread
Orange marmalade and apple butter

Beef soup in ginger beer base
Fried toste of Spinage
Savoury Toste of Chese
Farsed Eggs
Mushroom pastries
Slaw and Celery sticks
Roasted chestnuts
Spanish mushrooms

Mirause of Catelonia
Boar's head/pottage of pork and apple
Tarts for Ember Day
Chese Tarts (not actually served at the event)
Strawberry tarts
Pear tarts
Apple tarts

Ealishd's Bread
Based on a recipe described by Mistress Ealishd in the November AS XXX AEstel, and a Spanish peasant bread recipe

Makes 2 dense loafs

6 cups bread flour
2 cups ale with barm, or 3 cups warm water and 2 packets dry yeast
2 Tbsp milk
1 tsp salt

Note: I tried the ale barm method, but couldn't get the bread to rise. So, I used the 1st fermentation ale as liquid and dry yeast as a rising agent--this gave a very tasty bread.

Mix salt and flour. If using ale and barm, make a well in the flour, pour in some barm and milk, cover with flour and put in warm dry place for 10 to 20 minutes. Also, mix some flour with the rest of the barm. WIth yeast, mix yeast, water, and milk, sprinkle in some flour, and set mixture in warm dry place for 30 minutes. Knead barm/water yeast mixture into flour, adding a bit at a time, until all liquid is added and dough is a smooth firm mass. Place in container and put in warm place for 1 hour. Punch down, knead again, divide into two loafs and let rise. Bake at 400 for 30 to 40 minutes.

Beef Soup with Ginger Beer base
A poor thing, but mine own

For 20 servings
1 gallon water (at least 1/2 from parboiling mushrooms)
2.5 lb beef, cubed
4 to 6 small onions
4 to 6 carrots, chopped
1 handful parsley, chopped
36 oz beer
10 beef boullin cubes
1 bay leaf
20 peppercorns
ginger and balsamic vinegar to taste

Put all ingredients except beer, ginger and balsamic vinegar in pot, bring to boil. Lower heat, add beer. Simmer for 30 minutes, add ginger and balsamic vinegar. Simmer for 30 more minutes to 3 hours. Serve.

To Make Fried Toste of Spinage
from The Second Part of the Good Huswife's Jewell, redaction by me

Take Spinnage and seeth it in water and salt, and when it is tender, wring out the water between two Trenchers, then chop it smal and set it on a Chafing-dish of coles, and put thereto butter, small Raisons, Sinamon, Ginger, and Suger, and a little iuyce of an Orenge and two yolkes of rawe Egges, and let it boile till it be somewhat thicke, then toste your toste, soake them in a little Butter, and Suger, and spread thinne your spinnage upon them, and set them on a dish before the fire a litle while, & so serve them with a little suger upon them.

Orange Juice
2 Egges yolkes
Toast, buttered and sugared
If fresh spinach is available, boil fresh spinach in salt water until tender. Drain and press out excess water. Otherwise, substitute frozen spinach. Melt butter in frying pan, add spinach, raisins, cinnamon, ginger, sugar, orange juice, beaten egg yolks. Cook until thickened. Spread on buttered and sugared toast, put in hot oven for a few minutes, or under broiler for 30 seconds. Sprinkle with sugar and serve.

Savoury Tosted or Melted Cheese
From Sir Kenneth Digby's Closet Unlocked, this version is based on, but not identical to the version in The Miscellany by Cariadoc of the Bow and Elizabeth Dendermonde.

Cut pieces of quick, fat, rich, well tasted cheese, (as the best of Brye Cheshire, &c, or sharp thick Cream-Cheese) into a dish of thick beaten melted Butter, that hath served for Sparages or the like, or pease, or other boiled sallet, or ragour of meat, or gravy of Mutton: and if you will, chop some of the Asparages among it, or slices of Gambon of Bacon, or fresh=callops, or Onions, or Sibboulets, or Anchovis, and set all this to melt upon a Chafing-dish of Coals, and stire all well together, to Incorporate them; and when all is lf an equal consistence, strew some gross White_Pepper on it, and eat it with tosts or crusts of White-bread. You may scorch it at the top with a hot Fire-Shovel.

Makes 1 cup -- appoximately 8 servings 1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup cream cheese
1/4 lb Brie or other strongly flavored cheese (I use farmers)
2 Tbsp whole milk (though not in the original recipe, I find that a bit of milk helps gives this a better consistency, and helps the whole thing hang together better)
1/4 t white pepper

Melt butter. Melt cream cheese in butter. Add milk. Cut up the farmer's cheese and stir it into the mixture over low heat. You may want to use a whisk to blend the two together, though a spoon will do. Unlike the Cariadoc redaction, this one does not tend to separate. When you have a uniform, creamy sauce you are done. Serve over toast, put on toast and broil for 30 seconds-1 minute, mix in (or serve over) things like asparagus, bacon, sauted onions, etc.

To Farse Egges
From The Second Part of the Good Huswife's Jewell, redaction by me

Take eight or ten eggs and boyle them hard, pill of the shelles, and cute every eg in the middle then take out the yolkes and make your farsing stuf as you do for flesh, savign only you must put butter into it insteede of suet, and that a little so doon fill your Egges where the yolkes were, and then beinde them and seeth them a little, and so serve them to the table.

Makes 3 dozen eggs

3 dozen hard boiled eggs, peeled and halfed, with the yolks removed
farsing stuff
lightly salted water
string, or strips of cloth such as muslin or cheesecloth for tieing.

Put the stuffing into the eggs, tie the halfs together with tieing material, and boil for 5 to 10 minutes (this cooks the stuffing). Serve.

To Farse all Things
From The Second Part of the Good Huswife's Jewell, redaction by Filipka of the Debatable Lands

Take a good handful of tyme, Isope, Parselye, and three or foure yolkes of Egges hard rosted, and choppe them with hearbes small, then take white bread grated and raw egs with sweet butter, a few small Raisons, or Barberies, seasoning it with Pepper, cloves, Mace, Sinamon and Ginger, working it altogether as paste, and them may you stuffe with it what you will.

Makes stuffing for 3 dozen eggs

1/3 cup each fresh basil, parsley 1/2 tsp dry powdered thyme 1/2 tsp sage 12 hard-boiled egg yolks
2 2/3 cups fresh bread crumbs
3 raw eggs
1/3 cup butter
1/2 to 3/4 cup raisons
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp mace
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger

Chop together the herbs and egg yolkes into small pieces. Mix with all other ingredients until everything is a paste-like (in this case, a stuffing like) consistency. Stuff.

Originally from Two Fifteenth C Cookbooks, this version is from The Miscellany by Cariadoc of the Bow and Elizabeth Dendermonde.

Take white of eyroun,milk, and flour, and a little berme, and beat it together, and draw it through a strainer, so that it be running, and not too stiff, and cast suger thereto, and salt, then take a chafer full of fresh grease boiling, and put thine hand in the batter, and let thine batter run down by they fingers into the chager; and when it is run together on the chafer, and is enough, take and nym a skimmer, and take it up, and let all the grease run out, and put it on a fair dish, and cast thereon sugar enough, and serve forth.

Makes 7 to 9 servings -- I'm assuming 8 based on a 1/4 cup base per cryspe.

4 egg whites
2/3 c milk
1 c flour
1 T dried yeast
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 t salt
Take egg white, milk, and flour and a little yeast and beat it together, being careful not to let the flour make lumps. Add sugar and salt. Pour into a pan of hot oil, so that they puff up and brown, turn them, drain them, sprinkle on sugar and serve them. This can be done either as a pancake, or as something more like a funnel cake; the latter seems to fit the description more closely. To make it like a funnel cake, I use a slotted spoon; the batter runs through the slots into the hot greast. Of course, you could always let thine better run down by thine fingers instead--0but make sure no on is watching.

Mushroom Pastries
Originally from the Goodman of Paris, this version is from The Miscellany by Cariadoc of the Bow and Elizabeth Dendermonde.

Mushrooms of one night are the best, and are small and red inside, closed above; and they should be peeled, then washed in hot water and parboil; if you wish to put them in pastry add oil, cheese, and powdered spices.

Makes 1 large tart, or 8 tartlets--3 lbs mushrooms filled 24 tartlets enough stuffing left over for 2 or 3 more.

1 lb Mushrooms
9oz cheese (parmesan) (I prefer 1/2 this much--should coat shrooms without overpowering)
1 Tbsp olive oil (can be left out)

spice powder:
1 t ginger
1/4 t cinnamon
1/8t cloves
1/8 t grains of paradise
1/4 t sugar

Slice mushrooms and parboil (put into boiling water and cook two minutes); drain. Grate or chop cheese. Grind grains of paradise and mix up spices. Mix mushrooms, 2/3 of cheese, spices and oil. Put mixture into crust, put remaining cheese over. Makes scant 9" pie. Bake about 20-25 minutes at 350F.

Cabbage Salad and Celery Sticks
From The Fruit, Herbs and Vegetables of Italy, Giacomo Castelvertro, translator Gillian Riley. Redaction by me

"I once happened to be in France in the company of a group of ladies and gentlemen, and we came one afternoon to a large village with a good inn, where we proposed to dine. One of the ladies, sitting in the window-seat of the diningroom, which overlooked an orchard, said to me 'Let's go into the garden and pick a salad!' to which I replied, 'Yes, indeed!' When we got there we found nothing but cabbages, so the young lady picked one of these saying, 'Well, if there's nothing else, I'll make you all a nice salad out of tis.'

Having never seen or eaten anything like this before, I kept silent and waited fo rthe outcome. First she removed the green outer leaves until she came to the white part, which she proceeded to slice very finely with a razor-sharp knife. She then salted and dressed it in the usual way, and brought it to the table, where it was pronounced excellend, and her ingenuity was much admired by the entire company."

Makes 6 cups

1 small head cabbage, grated
3/4 cup cider or wine vinegar
1.5 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
2 Tbsp olive oil

(Note "the usual way" in almost all period salad recipes is 'with oil and vinegar', and sometimes with oil, vinegar, and sugar)

Removed the green outer leaves of the cabbage and grate. Oil and salt the cabbage, mix well. Mix the vinegar and sugar, and stir into salad. Serve.

Celery Sticks

"Celery is good at the beginning of this beautiful season [autumn]. Its seeds, which are extremely small, are sown in early spring in sifted ashes. When the stalks are a foot high, they need to be planted out about seven inches apart, for they grow quite large heads. They should be sown at sunset in good, rich soil, and watered often if teh weather is dry. In early autumn the celery plants are dug up and earthed up close together in a trench about a yard deep, with the tops showing about four fingers above the earth, and left for fifteen to twenty days. They will then have blanced anc become good to eat.

To eat celery, dig up the required amount and wash it well, and serve it raws with salt and pepper after meals. It is warm, and has great digestive and generative powers, and for the reason young wives often serve celery to their elderly or impotent husbands.

Remove stalks from the heart. Serve with salt and pepper.

Spanish Mushrooms
A recipe of my own devising, based on a recipe for Spanish Mushrooms

Makes approximately 5 lbs of mushrooms:

60oz of fresh mushrooms (I've used both button and Cremini)
1/4 cup olive oil
2/3 cups each red wine vinegar, cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup lemon juice
6 cloves garlic, sliced
3 Tbsp dried basil, or a handful of fresh basil
salt water Boil the mushrooms for about 10 minutes in salt water, drain and put in storage container. Mix all other ingredients, pour over mushrooms. Cover and store in cool place overnight (I use the fridge).

Translation of period recipe from Food in History by Reay Tannehill, redaction by Ian Damebryge, with alterations by myself

Take and boil a good piece of pork, and not too lean, as tender as you may' then take it up and chop it as small as you may, then take cloves and mace and chop forth withall, and also chop forth raisins of Corinth, then take it and roll it as round as you may, like to small pellets, a two inches about, then lay them on a dish by themselves, then make a good almond milk, and blend it with four of rice and let it boil well, but look that it be quite runny, and at the dressler, lay five pumpes in a dish, and pour the pottage thereon. And if you will, set on every pumpe a flower, over them strew on sugar enough and mace, and serve them forth. And some men make the pellets of veal or beef, but pork is best and fairest

(I've made these before, but I don't remember how many they serve)

1 1/2 lb ground meat (I used venison and beef, prompting the name 'deer balls in creamy white sauce ;-)))
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins, chopped
1/4 tsp each cloves and mace
Preheat oven to 375. Mix all ingredients thoroughly. Mold the mixture into balls about 2" in diameter, and lay on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until done. Chill. Before serving, pour hot sauce over them, sprinkle with sugar and mace, garnish and serve. (Note, the procedure given here is NOT the one described above, but it does make a tasty cold meatball thingy that'll feasters will love.)


Note, this bears only a passing resemblance to the sauce described above, mostly because almond milk for this is way too expensive. I'm not an almond fan anyhow, so I've substituted honey for almonds here.

1 1/4 cup whole milk or cream
4 Tbsp rice flour
Honey to taste (appox 1/4 cup)

Scald milk and honey. Mix some of the hot mixture into the rice flour, and add this mixture to the milk and honey. Stir until it thickens slightly.

Mirause of Catelonia
Original from Platine, this version is from The Miscellany by Cariadoc of the Bow and Elizabeth Dendermonde.

The Catelans are a refined people who in character and customs are hardly unlike the Italians and skillful with food; they have a dish which they call mirause and prepare it thus: Capons or pullets or pigeons well cleaned and washed they put together on a spit and turn over the hearth until they are half cooked. Then they remove them and cut them in pieces and put them in a pot. Then they chop almonds that have been toasted under warm ashes and cleaned with some cloth. To this they add some bread crumbs lightly toasted with vinegar and juice and pass all this through a strainer. This is all put in the same pot with cinnamon and ginger and a good amount of sugar and left to boil on the coals with a slow fire until it is done, all the time being stirred with a spool so that it does not stick to the pot.

A 3 1/4 lb chicken
3/4 C roasted almonds, chopped fine
1/4 c breadcrumbs
Juice from roasting + 10.5 oz can concentrated chicken broth
1 T vinegar
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 t ginger
1 T sugar

Preheat over to 450 F. Put in chicken, reduce temperatur to 350F, bake about 45 minutes. Mix chopped almonds, breadcrumbs, vinegar, and a little of the chicken broth and run through a food processor until smooth (or squish through a strainer, grind the residue with a mortar and pestle, and then put it through the strainer). Cut up chicken into large pieces, put in pot with sauce, spices, sugar, and the rest of the chicken broth and cook about 15 minutes, stirring almost contantly.

Note: We had some orange juice left over from the Spinage Toast, and so added a bit of that to the sauce. Yum!

Boar's head/Pottage of pork
Based on an idea in Chiquart's On Cookery; note, this is NOT a strict redaction.

Serves 8 to 16, depending on the other courses

2 lbs boneless pork roast
Appox 1 quart apple cider
4 whole cloves
20 peppercorns
1/2 tsp sage
1/4 to 12 cup raisins

Brown pork in pot. Pout in enough cider to cover, add spices, bring to boil, turn heat down to medium/simmer, cover, let simmer for 1 hr.

If this is a boar's head, after simmering, heat over to 450, remove boar's head from liquid, and place in over uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes to brown.

Tart on Ember day
From Ancient Cookery; this version is from The Miscellany by Cariadoc of the Bow and Elizabeth Dendermonde.

Parboil onions, and sage, and parsley and hew them small, then take good fat cheese, and bray it, and do thereto eggs, and temper it up therewith, and do thereto butter and sugar, and raisyngs of corince, and powder of ginger, and of canel, medel all this well together, and do ti in a coffin, and bake it uncoverred, and serve it forth.

7 oz cheese
4 medium onions (1 lb)
1/3 cup parsley
2 T fresh or 1.5 t dried sage
3 Tbsp butter
4 eggs
1 Tbsp sugar
1 t cinnamon
0.25 t ginger
4 Tbsp currants/raisans
9" pie crust

Chop the onions and boil 10 minutes, drain. Grate cheese, Mix everything and put in pie crust. We used Meunster, a more staongly flavoed cheese might be better.

Strawberry Tartes
From The English Huswife, Gervase Markham. Redaction by me

A cherry tart
Take the fairest cheeries you can get, and pick them clean from leaves and stalks; then spread out your coffin as for your pippin tart, and cover the bottom with sugar; then cover the sugar all over with cherries, then cover those cherries with sugar, some sticks of cinnamon, and her and there a clove; then lay in more cherries, and so more sugar, cinnamon and cloves till the coffin be filled up: then cover it, and back it in all points as the codling and pippin tart, and so serve it; and in the same manner you may make tarts of gooseberries, strawbverries, raspberries, bilberries, or any other berry whatsoever.

2 lbs strawberries (I used frozen, since that's what's available right now)
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves

Preheat over to 425F. Place bottom shell in pie. Sprinkle throughly with sugar. Cover bottom with strawberries. Sprinkle with about 1/2 the remaining sugar, cinnamon, cloves. Add another layer of strawberries, sprinkle with remaining sugar, cinnamon, and cloves. Put on lid, bake for 45 minutes. Warning: This pie generates lots of juice, if you want a more jelled interior, you might try more sugar and some pectin or gelatin.

Pear Tartes
From The English Huswife, Gervase Markham. Redaction by me

A warden pie, or quince pie
Take of the fairest and best wardens, and part them, and take out the hard cores on the top, and cut the sharp ends at the bottom glat; then boil them in white wine and sugar, until the syrup grow thick: then take the wardens from the syrup into a clean dish, and let them cool; then set them into the coffin, and prick cloves in the tops, with whole sticks of cinnamon, and great store of sugar, as for pippins; then cover it, and only reserve a vent hole, so set it in the oven and bake it: when it is baked, draw it forth, and take the first syrup in which the wardens were boiled, and taste it, and if it be not sweet enough, then put in more sugar and some rese-water, and boil it again a little, then pout it in at the vent hole, and shake the pie well; then take sweet butter and rose-water melted; and with it anoint the pie lid all over, and then strew upon it store of sugar, and so set it into the over again a little space, and then serve it up. And in this manner you may also bake quinces.

3 lbs small pears
3 cups white wine (I used chardonay, but a reisling would be good, too)
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves

Peel, core, and quarter pears and place in cooking pot. Mix sugar and wine, pour over pears. Cook pears in wine/sugar until mixture turns syrupy (about 30 minutes). Remove pears from liquid and cool. Heat over to 425F. Place pears in pie shell, sprinkle on cinnamon and cloves. Cover, making a hole in the middle of the cover. Back 35 minutes. Remove from oven, pour wine syrup in through the hole in the crust, shake gently to distributed syrup. Return to over for remaining 45 minutes. Serve warm.

Apple Tartes
A Last Minute production, i.e. I made this up at the event

This tart follows the basic process for the strawberry tarts, but substitutes honey for sugar--mostly because I really like the taste of apples cooked in honey.

For each pie, take
3 lbs apples, peeled, cored and quartered.
1 pie shell
Approximately 1/3 of a 1 lb jar of honey
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves

Preheat oven to 425F. Roll pie shell and place in pan, sprinkle bottom of shell with sugar. Put in a layer of apples (enough to cover), sprinkle on half of the cinnamon and cloves. Pour honey over layer (1/4 to 1/2 cup?). Repeat for second layer. Cover, bake for appoximately 45 minutes.