Archives

Outlanderday Cooking: A bit of Rarebit!

Ahhhh Well, here we are on the final episode of this first half the season of Outlander… feeling a wee bit sad about that and the fact that it will be a verra long wait till spring when they return to us! I have gotten used to this little routine of Outlanderday cooking, and apparently so have some others in my home? There was a rather disappointed question from one of them recently…”So, does this mean you won’t be cooking on Saturdays, we were just getting used to it!” Well, not wanting to disappoint my family, and also not wanting to give up this new routine… I want to reassure all that I will still do some form of Outlander Cooking on Saturdays! There are, after all, quite a few books and Novellas that cover a wide variety of cooking styles! Theresa over at Outlanderkitchen.com  has so many recipes and ideas that I am quite sure I can keep us well fed until Spring.  When I mentioned this there was a sigh of relief… I’m thinking it was more because they were worried that I might try the more ancient medieval cooking of the Vikings with their return in January! Rest easy, I am not going to force those meals upon us, well not right now anyway? I may explore some of the more ancient styles and methods of cooking but am really not sure I’m up to actually eating them! For one thing, I do not have the required cooking utensils?

Viking food supplies

Viking food supplies

Viking cooking utensils

Viking cooking utensils

Viking cooking utensils

Viking cooking utensils

 

So, I do believe that I shall leave the Viking cooking to these more qualified women!

vikings_episode8_gallery_3-P

I think I will join Lagertha on her quest instead!

http://www.history.com/shows/Vikings

104,_Lagertha_et_al

Ummmm and just in case anyone is wondering… I will follow Rollo (Clive Standen) where he chooses to go? Hopefully he will take me to France this year? Before Scottish Highlanders, there were Viking Warriors!

Clive Standen as Rollo Clive Stanton as Rollo

 

Ohhhh ummmm ahhhh where was I? So sorry for that minor lapse and digression from our  topic, I just got carried away with daydreams of Rollo! Now, back to our current subject, Outlanderday Cooking!

 

Since tonight is the finale and of course this also a marathon to watch, I really do not want to be stuck in the kitchen all day? Because of that, I am going as usual with Theresa’s most excellent suggestion for tonight’s meal. She suggests Scottish Rarebit   http://outlanderkitchen.com/2014/09/24/scottish-rarebit-outlander-starz-episode-108/ and I agree with her choice!  As a child, we often ate a version of this, though we referred to it as Whelsh Rarebit? I remember once asking my Father why it was called Rarebit and his response was “Well, because back in the old days, if you were lucky there might be a rare bit of meat but probably not?” He did explain too that it was also called Whelsh Rabbit and this was what you eat when you didn’t snare the rabbit!

welshrarebit

Alright, Dad’s explanations and jokes aside, here is a definition of Whelsh Rarebit:

Welsh rarebit (spelling based on folk etymology) or Welsh rabbit  is a dish made with a savoury sauce of melted cheese and various other ingredients and served hot, after being poured over slices (or other pieces) of toasted bread, or the hot cheese sauce may be served in a chafing dish like a fondue, accompanied by sliced, toasted bread.  The names of the dish originate from 18th-century Great Britain.  Welsh rarebit is typically made with Cheddar cheese, in contrast to the Continental European fondue, which classically depends on Swiss cheeses.   Various recipes for Welsh rarebit include the addition of ale, mustard, ground cayenne pepper or ground paprika  and Worcestershire sauce. The sauce may also be made by blending cheese and mustard into a Béchamel sauce[ or Mornay sauce. Some recipes for Welsh rarebit have become textbook savoury dishes listed by culinary authorities including Escoffier, Saulnier  and others, who tend to use the form Welsh rarebit, emphasising that it is not a meat dish.

 

I like Theresa’s reasoning for this type of meal in some tribute to Frank Randall, who is now a bachelor busy trying to find his lost wife and too busy or frustrated to put a lot of focus or attention into meal preparation?

Outlander_Cast_Frank_420x560 claire and frank8 Frank Randall OUT_108-20140518-EM_0812.jpg

I am in somewhat the same circumstances tonight… my usual dinner and viewing partners have deserted me and it will be just me at a table for one tonight. It’s also my Dad’s Birthday.  Though he’s been gone now for 20 years, there are so many times,  like yesterday when I read the Rarebit suggestion at Outlanderkitchen.com, that he shows up looking over my shoulder and I have to smile with him at his jokes! So, it felt somewhat fitting to make the Rarebit for him tonight.

 

Here are a few old versions of the simple recipe!

Recipes for rarebit

 

The version we used to eat was more like this?

welshrarebit2 welsh rarebit

 

Besides the recipe posted on Outlanderkitchen.com, I have found a few others that are similar to what I grew up eating.

The Pioneer Woman website has a great explanation and recipe: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/09/welsh-rarebit/

Foodnetwork’s Alton Brown also has an excellent version! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/welsh-rarebit-recipe.html

 

From Traditional Scottish Recipes:

http://www.rampantscotland.com/recipes/blrecipe_toasted.htm

Traditional Scottish Recipes

 – Toasted Cheese

More usually associated with the Welsh than the Scots, Toasted Cheese is also called Welsh Rarebit.

Before the days of grills and modern cookers, the cheese was melted in front of the fire and bread was toasted on both sides with butter spread on one side and the melted cheese poured on top. Sometimes beer, pepper and salt were mixed with the cheese.

In 1747 a cookery book gave a recipe for “Scots Rabbit” or Rare Bit as bread toasted on both sides and a slice of cheese, the same size as the bread, also toasted on both sides and laid on the buttered bread. The same book had “Welsh Rabbit” made in the same way but with mustard rubbed on the cheese. “English Rabbit” on the other hand had a glass of red wine poured over the toast before the cheese was added. Take your pick!

 

 

 

I purchased some Artisan Cheddar Cheese Garlic bread, which I will use for the toast, and I also have added some meat to my menu! In honor of my Dad, because he loved his bacon so much, I got some bacon ends and pieces to fry up along with it! Now, it will be a table for two in front of the television tonight… Dad and I will enjoy the dinner and the show together. I know he would actually like the show because he was a huge fan of history!

Previous Outlander post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/26/outlander-both-sides-preview/

Previous Outlanderday cooking: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/outlanderday-cooking-wine-and-wedding-feasts/

 

 

 

Advertisements

Outlanderday Cooking: Wine and Wedding feasts!

First of all, before we discuss any other cooking or dining plans for this evening’s episode, I want to try to answer a question one of my followers left me. She wanted to know whether Colum’s wine goblets were available for purchase anywhere? Well, I had to go in search of them after that! Alas, I was not able to find the exact goblets- I am quite certain that Colum probably had his specially crafted just for his table! I did however find a number of other beautiful goblets and glasses on my search and will share them with you!

 

Outlander wine goblets

Why is their Rhenish wine not white post:  https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/outlander-why-is-their-rhenish-wine-not-white/

Colum and Claire enjoying the Rhenish wine

 

Now, unfortunately for Claire, she will be celebrating her Wedding feast at a local tavern/Inn and not at Colum’s fine table… or at a well set Sassenach one either.

OUT_106-20140414-ND_0524.jpg

 

If she were celebrating her Wedding feast under more suitable and appropriate circumstances, she would of course enjoy some of the treasured Rhenish Wine and perhaps she might have received some of her own exquisite goblets to set a future table with?  Here are just a few examples of such elegant Wine ware that I found!

 

 

claret-jug-plinth

Pitcher/Decanter to serve the Rhenish Wine from!

Jacobite wine goblets

Jacobite Wine Goblets, found on my search… unfortunately no link to their maker or other information was available.

Celtic wine goblet

Celtic Wine Goblet, one of many available at http://graemeanthonypewter.com.au/pages/products.asp?ID=2

 

 

Celtic Wedding Hock Wine Goblets

Celtic Wedding Hock Wine Goblets from: http://www.basil-ltd.com/page/137256204

 

These next three were all found on Amazon!

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dgarden&field-keywords=medieval+wine+goblets&rh=n%3A1055398%2Ck%3Amedieval+wine+goblets

pewter wine goblet at amazon gold wine goblets from amazon etched wine glasses

 

Update! If you still can’t find that perfect glass or goblet, I suggest you try searching here!

https://www.google.com/search?q=BALUSTER+GOBLET&rlz=1C1JPGB_enUS603US603&espv=2&biw=1327&bih=771&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=DCUvVJ3_HoGuyASZi4GwCg&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAg

 

Ahhhhh and now that such dreaming is out of the way, Claire will have to just be happy that she has been found a clean dress to wear! And, tis a truly pretty one at that! Thank Heavens for Ned Gowen!

Outlander wedding dress first look

 

As to her Wedding feast, well it most likely be what ever the Inn is serving tonight, which we understand is roast beef, fresh bread and plenty of Ale to wash it all down! I’ve heard that Jamie might possibly be able to procure some better tasting wine for them to celebrate with privately? We’ll have to see if he has any luck on that!

 

We will be joining in the celebration and will feast on the same fare everyone else at the Inn tonight!  Theresa at Outlanderkitchen.com has provided us with an excellent recipe for roast beef so we shall attempt that!

http://outlanderkitchen.com/2012/03/11/roast-beef-for-a-wedding-feast-from-outlander/

sliced-beef-copy rubbed-roast-copy

 

I am going to experiment a bit with the roast though. I have a very small beef roast and am going to try something with it? I’ve done this in the past and it turned out delicious so I am going to try it again and combine it with the rest of Theresa’s recipe?  What I will do is very carefully open the roast so it is a flat piece of meat, then spread an herbed goat cheese mixture over it and roll it back up, tying it once I am finished. After that process, I will go on with Theresa’s recipe! I will provide pictures and results in an update post later tonight… hopefully? If I am not too teary eyed and wine sloshed from the whole Wedding event!

 

Other posts related to the upcoming Wedding!

Thousand kisses poem: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/outlander-poetry-out-of-catallus-by-richard-Crashaw/

Dunvegan Castle is included in the Wedding plans and invitations! https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/dunvegan-castle-recieves-an-odd-correspondance-and-invitation/

Preview of tonight’s episode: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/16/outlander-marriage-of-convenience-and-other-things/

Outlanderday Cooking: Comfort food!

Previous Outlander post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/outlander-musings-and-preview-of-episode-6/

 

OUT_106-20140414-ND_0187.jpg

Tonight’s episode, The Garrison Commander, brings us the evil that lurks within men’s souls and the darkness of Black Jack Randall’s heart and mind. In order to get through this episode, you will most likely need much strong spirits and some soothing comfort food to ease your own heart and soul!

 

The British feast on fine dining fare while others would have no appetite while wondering what their personal fates might be?

OUT_106-20140414-ND_0524.jpg

 

Because I am anxiously awaiting this episode with much trepidation and some fear, I am going with some food that I am sure will comfort me.  I have not planned some awesome or elegant feast for this evening but rather have decided on a simple dish of comfort food that gives me a fond memory of home and childhood. I grew up in Minnesota, which some consider the original home of the Hotdish and potluck… Green bean casserole and Tater Tot Hot dish!  Well, fortunately for us, the Scots and the Sassenachs did have a form of this comfort food.  Sheperd’s Pie or Cottage Pie was it.  Of course, during early years, while the Sassenachs may have had potatoes, many of the Highlanders might not have had them. They might have used the usual replacement fare of mashed turnips instead, or put a pastry crust atop of it?  For our purposes, we do have access to potatoes so we will use them!  The difference between Sheperd’s Pie and Cottage Pie is the meat used for the dish. Sheperd’s pie uses minced lamb while Cottage Pie uses beef for the filling. 

 

 

shepard-pie shepherds-pie-2

I am trying to keep note of what they may or may not have had available during this early time period when researching recipes. I have found a number of recipes for the Sheperd’s or Cottage Pie and need to note here that these recipes all use a few items that probably would not have been used during the 1740’s. They most likely would have had some form of this dish but one ingredient listed in the recipes would not have been used by the majority of common folk.

History of the tomato in Britain

Tomatoes were not grown in England until the 1590s.  One of the earliest cultivators was John Gerard, a barber-surgeon.   Gerard’s Herbal, published in 1597, and largely plagiarized from continental sources,  is also one of the earliest discussions of the tomato in England. Gerard knew the tomato was eaten in Spain and Italy.  Nonetheless, he believed it was poisonous (in fact, the plant and raw fruit do have low levels of tomatine, but are not generally dangerous). Gerard’s views were influential, and the tomato was considered unfit for eating (though not necessarily poisonous) for many years in Britain and its North American colonies.   By the mid-18th century, tomatoes were widely eaten in Britain, and before the end of that century, the Encyclopædia Britannica stated the tomato was “in daily use” in soups, broths, and as a garnish. They were not part of the average person’s diet, however, and though by 1820 they were described as “to be seen in great abundance in all our vegetable markets” and to be “used by all our best cooks”, reference was made to their cultivation in gardens still “for the singularity of their appearance”, while their use in cooking was associated with Italian or Jewish cuisine.

 

With that little fact of the tomato noted, I will still use the bit of tomato paste called for in the recipes. If you wanted to omit the tomato, you could leave it out and go with more of a meat gravy option instead?  I am providing you with two versions of the recipe that I’ve found. The first, of course, is the one from Outlanderkitchen.com! Sheperd’s Pie from Echo in the Bone: http://outlanderkitchen.com/2012/04/16/shepherds-pie-from-an-echo-in-the-bone/. 

 

The other recipe is from Traditional  Scottish Recipes: http://www.rampantscotland.com/recipes/blrecipe_shepherd.htm

Shepherd’s Pie

In a land where sheep were a main food supply, it is not surprising that mutton and lamb form the basis of many Scottish dishes. Here is the traditional “Shepherd’s Pie” – the variant based on beef is usually called “Cottage Pie”.


Ingredients:
Minced lamb – 450g (1 lb)
Potatoes – 700g (1½ lb)
Large onion
Mushrooms – 50g (2 oz)
Bay leaf
2 Carrots
Plain flour – 25g (1 oz)
Tomato puree – 1 tbsp
Butter – 25g (1 oz)
Milk – 4 tbsp
Lamb or beef stock – 300ml (½ pint)
Cheese – 50g (2 oz)

Method:
Dry fry the lamb with the chopped onion, bay leaf, sliced mushrooms and diced carrots for 8-10 minutes. Add the flour and stir for a minute. Slowly blend in the stock and tomato puree. Cook, stirring, until the mixture thickens and boils. Cover and simmer gently for 25 minutes. Remove the bayleaf and place in a 1.7 litre (3 pint) ovenproof serving dish.

At the same time, cook the potatoes in boiling water for 20 minutes until tender. Drain well, mash with the butter and milk and mix well. Spread on top of the mince mixture and sprinkle over with the grated cheese.

Bake for 15-20 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 200C/400F (Gas Mark 6). Serve hot with green vegetables.

 

I am going to use the ground beef as lamb is far too expensive for my limited budget!  As I already mentioned, I will use the tomato paste, and I am going to use the parmesan cheese  potato topping that Theresa suggests, courtesy of Chef Gordon Ramsay… I will just cross my fingers and be glad that he won’t be inspecting my version and evicting me from his kitchen! No, they would not have used parmesan cheese either, but it sounds delicious and I do love Parmesan cheese so we will splurge on this luxury! One slight change to the recipe is that I will add some peas to the filling because that is the way we are used to having our Cottage Pie! Hmmmm is Gordon already cringing at my hotdish?!  Acchhh Gordon, just be happy that I’ve not chosen to top it with Tater Tots!

gordon-ramsay2

 

Ahhhh Now, our main meal is set, an all in one easy to accomplish hearty dish that will make us feel warm and full of love in contrast to the cold hatred of Black Jack Randall! One other thing that is a true comfort food for many is the traditional Apple pie. Theresa at Outlanderkitchen.com has an excellent recipe for it here, Governor Tryon’s Humble Crumble Pie:  http://outlanderkitchen.com/2012/08/29/governor-tryons-humble-crumble-apple-pie/

Dutch apple pie Dutch Apple Pie2

 

I am in agreement with Theresa on preferring  crumble topping rather than the two crust pie. I am going to make a slight variation on her recipe though as I am not really fond of the nuts in the topping. So, I will leave those out and replace them with some toasted oatmeal sprinkles instead.  I am going to top it with some fresh whipped cream instead of Ice Cream.

 

Since our dinner for tonight is fairly simple and does not require a great deal of advance preparation, I had time this morning to make a trip to my favorite place to shop.  Normally, grocery stores and grocery shopping are pretty low on my list of enjoyable activities… but one exception is a visit to my favorite market, Berkeley Bowl! 

http://www.berkeleybowl.com/

Berkeley Bowl Market Berkeley Bowl

 

This is one market place that I truly find enjoyable, even if I have little cash or don’t really need much!  I love just wandering through there and seeing the glorious wide variety of food stuffs that they offer, at fairly reasonable prices too. It’s one of those places that you can find just about anything you might need from any culture or region of the world… the only down side is of course, you always seem to find something that you realize you must have or try once seeing it there! It has a homey, comfortable feel to it and the staff is always helpful and friendly.  The majority of their fresh produce, meats and dairy products are all local so it makes you feel good about your purchases too.  They offer everything from fresh organic produce, an on site Butcher- though the ground lamb was still a bit too expensive for me to consider it this time, a great dairy section where I can find such things as the fresh cream… or even simpler, a jar of Clotted Cream. For those who are not quite so adventurous in their cooking skills or their time limits, they have a fantastic Deli with wide selections of pre-packaged meals and foods. What I love the most about them is the fact that their selections of food items are wide enough to enable one to do all of their shopping there even on a limited budget. This is in contrast to say, Whole Foods, or Trader Joe’s where it ends up extremely expensive for a family on any sort tight budget do all of their shopping at that store.

 

I always find a few extra splurges to try on my trips there and today was no exception to that! Today’s splurges were:

Organic butter with sea salt in a nice ceramic crock for future uses! McClelland’s Dairy is a local dairy here.

wpid-20140913_132451.jpg

 

Some fresh made scones from a local Bakery, SconeHenge. Yes, I could have baked my own… but sometimes it’s just a treat to get the pre-made ones and these are soooo good! Along with these, I also picked up an Artisan flat load of herb bread which tastes wonderful with the fresh butter and a little spread of herbed goat cheese which I also picked up today!

wpid-20140913_132517.jpg

 

The scones taste delightful with these two additions!  The clotted cream is a British import but the fruit spread is from a local grower!

wpid-20140913_132725.jpg

 

wpid-20140913_132817.jpg

The last splurge for the day was my daughter’s idea.  She and my son enjoyed the Cider I bought a while ago so much that she decided to try another one!

wpid-20140913_132605.jpg

 

Now, it’s time to go enjoy the afternoon and get ready for the evening’s viewing. We’re all prepared now for what ever depravity and darkness Black Jack Randall throws at us tonight. We will survive and console ourselves with the comfort food!  I hope you’ve enjoyed the kitchen today and the shopping excursion!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outlander: Rent and cheese!

OUT_105-20140403-EM_0449.jpg

Achhhhh It’s time to pay the rent in the highlands of  Scotland and ye best have your payment ready when Dougal arrives to collect it this week! He has a war to fund and will not be lookin kindly upon ye if ye can not pay your share! Dinna fash though, because he does understand how difficult cold hard coin is to come by in these days so he will accept other things in payment? Do ye have a spare goat around? He’ll take the goat, or perhaps some chickens, some eggs… if ye have a pig, you’d best be slaughtering it ahead of time though and offering him the meat instead because he’ll not be taking any live pigs! Now, do not be thinking you can play on his emotions and makin him feel sorry for your poor circumstances either. Rent is rent and it needs to be paid in some form or another. If your baby is in need of the goat’s milk, ye best not be trading the goat because a deal is a deal and he’ll not be giving it back even if the Sassenach, Claire does her share of pleading for you!

 

 

Hmmmm… You could probably pay your rent with some wool that you’ve made as well? But, it’s a verra hard and sort of nasty process, that wool making, it is… and if ye haven’t made it yet, ye will na have time to get it done before Dougal arrives tomorrow for the rent money?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wool

OUT_105-20140401-EM_0649.jpg Outlander 2014

 

Now, since ye don’t have time for the wool making, and ye’re thinking twice about trading the goat what with the baby crying for milk and all… I have a solution?  It’s a well known fact that Dougal will accept cheese as part of the rent payment! What, cheese, ye say- We don’t have time to tryin that, that must surely be takin much longer to do than even the wool?  Achhhh, that’s where you’re wrong! We can whip up some fine Crowdie Cheese in less time than it takes to catch and slaughter the pig… and a bit less mess to it all as well!

Crowdie is a Scottish  cheese, or the term less often refers to a type of brose (an uncooked porridge).

The cheese is often eaten with oatcakes and recommended before a ceilidh as it is said to alleviate the effects of whisky drinking. The texture is soft and crumbly, the taste slightly sour. Like cottage cheese it is very low in fat, being made from skimmed milk.

A version of crowdie known as “Black Crowdie” or “Gruth Dhu” is made by rolling crowdie in a mixture of pinhead oatmeal and crushed black peppercorns.

                              A céilidh or ceilidh /ˈkli/ is a traditional Gaelic social gathering, which usually involves playing Gaelic folk music and dancing. It originated from Ireland and Scotland, but is now common throughout the Scottish and Irish diasporas. In Scottish Gaelic it is spelt cèilidh (Scottish Gaelic pronunciation: [ˈkʲʰeːli]), and in Irish it is spelt céilí (Irish pronunciation: [ˈkeːlʲiː]).

 

Well, then, that is we’ll do… we’ll make some fine Crowdie Cheese for the rent payment! We’ll toss in some Scotch eggs as well as long as we’re cooking and maybe we’ll be offering him and his traveling group some nice warm scones as well? We’ll most likely have to give up a few chickens and possibly some of the pig that we butchered to cover the rest of the rent payment, but at least this way, we’ll manage to hold on to our prized and precious goat!

Crowdie-Cheese-Copy

 

crowdie cheese cheese cake

Crowdie Cheese Cheesecake!

crowdie cheese

Pre-packaged Crowdie Cheese

We’ll be using the recipe that Theresa has provided for us at Outlanderkitchen.com: http://outlanderkitchen.com/2014/09/03/homemade-crowdie-cheese-outlander-starz-episode-105/  Ahhhh Bless her soul, isn’t she the life saver for us as usual! She also has recipes for the Scotch eggs: http://outlanderkitchen.com/2012/09/24/scotch-eggs-from-an-echo-in-the-bone/, and a recipe for the scones as well! http://outlanderkitchen.com/2014/03/03/mrs-grahams-oatmeal-scones-with-clotted-cream/.  An added note here, I really wanted to try the clotted cream recipe but can not find the right cream for it. It must be the not ultra-pasteurized type and I was not able to find this on my shopping trip!  I am a bit disappointed because I did so want to try it!
caboc_grande

Now, we being the poorer folk who have to  scrape together our meager resources for that rent payment, we canna afford the luxury taste of a somewhat better quality of cheese offering? Crowdie Cheese is considered the poor folk’s cheese. There is a far better one that the much finer folk might consume? That would be Caboc Cheese.

Caboc is a Scottish cream cheese, made with double cream or cream-enriched milk. This rennet-free cheese is formed into a log shape and rolled in toasted pinhead, to be served with oatcakes or dry ttoast.

The texture is smooth, slightly thicker and grainier than clotted cream, while the colour is a pale primrose yellow. The fat content is typically 67-69%, which is comparable with rich continental cream cheeses such as mascarpone. Historically, it was a cheese for the wealthy, unlike the similarly-aged Crowdie, which is made from the by-products of skimming cream from milk and thus is considered a poor man’s cheese.

Caboc is Scotland’s oldest cheese, dating from the 15th century in the Scottish Highlands. The cheese was first made by Mariota de Ile, the daughter of the chieftain of the Clan MacDonald of the Isles. At 12 years old, Mariota was in danger of being abducted by the Clan Cambell, who planned to marry her to one of their own and seize her lands. Mariota escaped to Ireland, where she learned how to make cheese. On her return, she passed the recipe to her daughter, who in turn passed it onto her daughter. The recipe is still a secret and has been handed down from mother to daughter ever since. The  present maker is Mrs Suzannah Stone of Tain, who works with a team of eight local women and her cheese is sold under the seal of Highland Fine Cheeses Ltd.

According to legend, the tradition of coating Caboc in oatmeal started as an accident. A cattle herder stored the day’s cheese in a box which he had used to carry his oatcakes earlier that day. Apparently, the oatmeal-coated cheese was enjoyed so much that from that day, Caboc has been made with an oaten coating.

 

Scotch Eggs:

A Scotch egg consists of a hard boiled egg wrapped in sausage  meat, coated in bread crumbs and baked or deep-fried The London department store, Fortnum & Mason  claims to have invented Scotch eggs in 1738,  but they may have been inspired by the Moghul dish nargisi kofta (“Narcissus meatballs”).  The earliest printed recipe appears in the 1809 edition of Mrs. Rundell’s A New System of Domestic Cookery. Mrs. Rundell—and later 19th-century authors—served them hot, with gravy.

Scotch Eggs

 

 

I surely do hope that Dougal is satisfied with our rent payments… I would hate for to be on the bad side of him!

OUT_105-20140405-EM_0051.jpg

Previous Outlander post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/09/01/outlander-mystery-man-at-the-gathering/

 

Ahhhh So excited! Crowdie Cheese is a success! Thanks so much to Theresa at Outlanderkitchen.com! http://outlanderkitchen.com/2014/09/03/homemade-crowdie-cheese-outlander-starz-episode-105/

I followed her recipe exactly right down to the time increments and had no problems with any of it. It even yielded a bit more than I expected it would,  but  probably not nearly enough to pay all of the rent payment? Hmmm ummm perhaps Dougal and I could come to some sort of personal and private agreement on making up the difference?  While that young lad, Jamie is a sight to behold, he’s bit young for me… and besides, he is obviously smitten with that white witch Sassenach woman. I think I would be tryin my luck with Dougal?  I’ve heard rumors though about that other witch, Geillis Duncan havin her eyes on him, and that woman be putting a mighty fear in me?

Outlander 2014

 

Ohhhh ummm yes, so sorry for that bit of frightful dreaming! Now, where was I? Ahhh yes, back to the Crowdie Cheese and comin up with the rent payment?

 

As I said, I followed the recipe and instructions exactly, but did use some of her added suggestions and tips. I used fresh lemon juice rather than vinegar. There was a comment on Theresa’s site where someone had a bit of difficulty with the amount of curd. This poster mentioned that she returned drained whey to heat and added a touch more of the vinegar. So, using that information, I made sure to heat the milk to called for temperature. I used thermometer for the process even though Theresa mentioned it was not absolutely necessary.  It worked perfect!

This is the consistency when I turned off heat at specified heating time.

 

Curds and whey

Curds and whey

Straining into the cheese cloth

 

Straining mixture into cheese cloth

Straining mixture into cheese cloth

 

 

Strained cheese

Strained cheese

Hanging cheese for 30 minutes

wpid-20140906_125652.jpg

Removing the cheese from cheese cloth

wpid-20140906_134859.jpg

 

Adding salt and cream, finished product! Just a note here- I used the 1/2 tsp of salt as called for but it was just bit too much? I added more cream at this point, and will probably add just a touch more cream before adding some additional herb seasonings for serving later tonight with some Cheddar Scones!

wpid-20140906_135538.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outlanderday Cooking: Atholl Brose Experiment!

Previous Outlander Post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/30/outlander-the-gathering-and-some-shinty/

 

Earlier this morning, my daughter peered into a bowl of oats soaking in water,  gave me a very skeptical look and commented, “What do you plan on doing with this mess?” This look was much the same sort she gave me last night when she spied the bottle of Whisky on the counter! We are not normally Whisky drinkers so this was a highly unusual purchase on my part. I told her I needed it for a recipe and she gave me an even more suspicious look. I am pretty sure she might be very concerned about our dinner menu for tonight? While she is a devoted Outlander fan, she is not so sure we should delve quite so deeply into the food offerings… though, she was reasonably impressed with the Bannocks. Her response to the Bannocks was, “Well, those aren’t nearly so bad as I thought they might be” as she helped herself to another one!

oats in water

 

As suspicious as she is with the Atholl Brose and the Whisky, I think I will keep the turnips a secret until after she’s eaten the Clapshot Rosti later this evening…

 

For now, we’ll just focus on the Atholl Brose experiment!  I found the inspirational recipe for this drink at Outlanderkitchen.com: http://outlanderkitchen.com/2014/08/20/atholl-brose-outlander-starz-episode-103/

 

Atholl Brose (or Athol Brose, Athole Brose) is a Scottish drink obtained by mixing oatmeal brose, honey, whisky, and sometimes cream (particularly on festive occasions). When made with cream the drink is rather like Baileys Irish Cream. Atholl Brose has also become an alternative name for the dessert Cranachan, which uses similar ingredients.

According to legend, the drink is named after the 1st Earl of Atholl, who quashed a Highland rebellion in 1475 by filling the rebel leader’s well with the mixture, making him easily captured.

 

I was a bit leery of trying this recipe mainly because as I’ve mentioned, none of us are Whisky drinkers. When I read the comparison to Bailey’s though, I was interested in trying it.  Initially, I did even debate on using something other than Whisky in it. While out shopping, I found some Dewar’s Highland Honey Whisky, and decided to give the Whisky a try.

wpid-20140829_162753.jpg

 

I did follow Theresa’s recipe for the most part and only made a few minor changes to it.  The first step is soaking the rolled oats in water overnight to make Oat Milk.  I used a suggestion for creamier milk mixture by putting the oats and water in the blender and pulsing it for about 10 seconds. After that process, strain the oats out by squeezing the mixture through cheese cloth or muslin.  Throw out the leftover oat pulp, unless you can find some other use for it? You will add your whisky and honey to the saved milk, blend it together with whisk.  I only used 1/2 cup of Whisky rather than full cup as I wasn’t sure about the whisky taste yet.  I used a Cinnamon Vanilla Creamer instead of regular cream, and added a bit more of it to make up for the lesser amount of Whisky. 

I used cheese cloth to line my strainer and then just squeezed out the rest of the milk/water from with my hands.

atholl_brose_5

 

Once you’ve mixed everything together, put it in the fridge to chill before drinking. I did taste test it before putting it in the fridge for later and it was quite good! My only thoughts on my experiment with this is that by using the Creamer, it is a little thin? I think I will add a bit of heavy cream to it before serving… and maybe a splash more of the Whisky! After tasting it, I am kind of wishing I would have made a double recipe of it!

 

You can serve it with or without the cream added. This picture shows both options!

Atholl Brose with and without creme

 

Outlander: The Gathering and some Shinty!

 

 

Preparing for tomorrow’s episode of Outlander: The Gathering!

 

The men of Castle Leoch enjoy a game of Shinty! I love this video, waited all afternoon to find a link to it for you! It kind of reminds me of  my youth watching friends play their own battle field version of Rugby! But, then I was raised on Hockey, so I do enjoy a good bit of bloodsport every now and then!  I wonder if they played the Shinty before or after the Boar hunting?! What a day, I hope Mrs. Fitz is well prepared with food and drink for everyone!

 

Shinty (Scottish Gaelic: camanachd, iomain) is a team game  played with sticks and a ball. Shinty is now played mainly in the Scottish Highlands, and amongst Highland migrants to the big cities of Scotland, but it was formerly more widespread, being once competitively played on a widespread basis in England  and other areas in the world where Scottish Highlanders migrated.

While comparisons are often made with field hockey,, the two games have several important differences. In shinty, a player is allowed to play the ball in the air and is allowed to use both sides of the stick, called a caman, which is wooden and slanted on both sides. The stick may also be used to block and to tackle, although a player may not come down on an opponent’s stick, a practice called hacking. Players may also tackle using the body as long as it is shoulder-to-shoulder.

 

Shinty is older than the recorded history of Scotland. It is thought to predate Christianity, having come to Scotland with the Gaels from Ireland.   Hurling, which is a similar game to shinty, is derived from the historic game common to both peoples which has been a distinct Irish pastime for at least 2,000 years.   Shinty/Hurling appears prominently in the legend of Cúchulainn, the Celtic mythology hero.   A similar game was played on the Isle of Man known as cammag, a name cognate with camanachd. The old form of hurling played in the northern half of Ireland, called “commons”, resembled shinty more closely than the standardised form of hurling of today. Like shinty, it was commonly known as camánacht and was traditionally played in winter.

The origins of the name shinty are uncertain. There is a theory that the name was derived from the cries used in the game; shin ye, shin you and shin t’ye, other dialect names were shinnins, shinnack and shinnup,[8] or as Hugh Dan MacLennan proposes from the Scottish Gaelic sìnteag.   However, there was never one all encompassing name for the game, as it held different names from glen to glen, including cluich-bhall (play-ball in English) and in the Scottish Lowlands, where it was formerly referred to as Hailes, common/cammon (caman), cammock (from Scottish Gaelic  camag), knotty and various other names, as well as the terms still used to refer to it in modern Gaelic, camanachd or iomain.

The game was traditionally played through the winter months, with New Year’s Day being the day when whole villages would gather together to play games featuring teams of up to several hundred a side, players often using any piece of wood with a hook as a caman. In Uist, stalks of seaweed were put to use due to a lack of trees. Modern camans are made from several laminates of ash or hickory, which are glued and cut into shape, although one-piece camans were still commonplace until the early 1980s. The ball was traditionally a round piece of wood or bone, sometimes called a cnapag, but soon developed into the worsted leather balls used today.

 

Besides the Shinty and the Boar hunting, one should not forget just how important the Clan Gathering was in other respects. This was the time for all of the Clan’s members to meet, discuss and make decisions for the entire Clan.  I previously did some research on the Scottish Clan system for my own story and I will share it again here as it might help you to understand a bit better just how their Clan system worked.  The following link will take you to my post on the history of Scottish Clans. Some of the information is general, and the other part of it is an explanation of the clan history relating to my work on Dunvegan Castle and Clan MacCleod.

https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/from-the-creator-some-history-of-clans-in-Scotland/

 

The upcoming Clan gathering for the MacKenzie is a crucial turning point for Jamie because he will be forced to make a decision regarding his membership and allegiance to the Clan MacKenzie. I am not going to say anything else on this point out of consideration to  those who have not read the books! There are a number of viewers who have not read the books and I don’t want to add too many spoilers here for them!

 

Now, as to my own preparations for the upcoming Gathering, I am taking it all quite seriously… as well we should!  I spent much of last night and today working on the Feasting menu. Much thanks of course, to Theresa and her Outlanderkitchen.com!  Her menu suggestion for this week’s episode can be found here: http://outlanderkitchen.com/2014/08/27/roasted-pork-tenderloin-cider-pan-gravy-neeps-tatties/ .  I have made a few slight adjustments to it in regards to my own menu. She suggested roast pork tenderloin, but I will be substituting some of our favorite pork bellies from Trader Joe’s!  I do still plan to glaze them with the Cider sauce though.

 

Haaaaa, For some one who seldom drinks anymore, this cooking adventure is causing me to once again stock my shelves with Alcohol… Today’s purchases in preparation for Tomorrow’s feasting! The Cider is for the Cider sauce, the Whisky is for the Atholl Brose- which can also be found at Outlanderkitchen.com  http://outlanderkitchen.com/2014/08/20/atholl-brose-outlander-starz-episode-103/  and the wine is the Rhenish Red that I plan to taste test!

wpid-20140829_162657.jpg

 

Along with the porkbellies and Cider sauce, we will be trying some Clapshot Rosti  (clapshot is what you get when you mix potatoes and turnips together! Our family is not so fond of the neeps alone) and some Parsnip Crisps.  I could not resist the parsnip crisps as they reminded me of my childhood.  Those recipes can be found here at BBC Food Recipes:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/loinofvenisonwithabl_87331

 

As I mentioned, I will also be attempting the Atholl Brose recipe even though I am not a fan of Whisky… I know, I know, I should probably be banished from the Castle for that!  I did find the Dewar’s Highlander Honey and am hoping that this will improve upon the whisky taste?  One other thing I am going to try is, a version Cranachan, a Scottish dessert.

You can find information and a recipe for it here:  http://www.scottishrecipes.co.uk/cranachanrecipe.htm

 

Now, after a busy day of shopping and researching, I am ready to go taste test the Rhenish Red Wine!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outlander: After the Rhenish Wine… Some Chocolate and other historical recipes!

 

Previous outlander post: https://timeslipsblog.wordpress.com/2014/08/25/outlander-why-is-their-rhenish-wine-not-white/

 

In my previous Outlander post, I discussed the Rhenish Wine, it’s history, and possible reasons for it’s higher alcohol content? One reader did suggest that it could very likely have been laced with Poppy juice, which would account for it’s coloring, and for it’s pain numbing qualities. I do agree with this possibility for Colum’s private stock but I am somewhat doubtful whether he would have offered this strongest brew at the dining table to everyone… unless of course, he wanted them all quite highly numb and beyond clear thinking? I would not put this ploy past Dougal though!  Tonight, I am going to touch on a rather odd and yet interesting remedy I ran across for the after affects of the Rhenish Wine?

I can’t help but imagine that owing to Claire’s fondness for alcohol in general, and her highly stressed state in those earliest days… This picture could easily represent what she, and many others might have  woke up like on more than one morning after imbibing in too much of the strong spirits!

Claire a mess2

Then there would have been Mrs. Fitz slaving away down in the kitchens, brewing up some sort of concoction to revive all of those who had over indulged the night before!

Mrs Fitz

 

Now, please keep in mind that the following remedy was never mentioned in the books and  we would assume that this particular ingredient was not available to them up in the Highlands of Scotland. In fact, in some later books Claire’s daughter Bree mourned the fact that it was not available to her? Well, it may not have been available to her, but it was available and was coming into it’s own throughout Europe in finer homes as well as many middle class homes.  That odd ingredient and remedy for a hangover just happened to be none other than Chocolate!

 

Chocolate was first consumed as a beverage during the 1650’s in the highest class of nobility. By the 1700’s it was no longer just the Royals and Nobles consuming it, it was quickly becoming readily available to the more middle class masses and acceptable as an option other than tea or coffee.   Chocolate was first understood not only as a literally outlandish beverage, but as a medicinal wonder-drink.

 

In January 1697, John Houghton, apothecary and publisher of the weekly Collection for Improvement of Husbandry and Trade, was offering his own chocolate ‘nuts’ for sale, both plain and spiced, recommending them as “a great helper of bad stomachs, and restorative”. This was certainly what Pepys used it for, attempting to soothe his very sore head after Charles II’s coronation on 23 April 1661.

 

The earliest dated recipe, “To dresse Chocolatte”, in the manuscript recipe book of Lady Ann Fanshawe (1625–80), held by the Wellcome Library, is clearly dated ‘Madrid 10 August 1665’. Accompanied by a contemporary sketch of a chocolate pot and molinillo [wood whisk], the recipe appears to have come into her collection when she accompanied her husband, Sir Richard, on his embassy to Madrid between 1664–6.

The Fanshawe recipe is a variant on the Hispanic adaptations of indigenous central American chocolate preparations, but the only two recipes in English printed recipe books published prior to 1700 already show how chocolate was being absorbed into English dishes, and made palatable to English tastes.

 

Serving Chocolate

Serving Chocolate

 

This early painting depicts a small Chocolate pot in use as well as the Tea pot.

An English Family at Tea by Joseph van Aken

An English Family at Tea by Joseph van Aken

 

I was happy to read of this next recipe… I do enjoy a bit of Chocolate Wine on occasion!   Hannah Woolley’s 1670 recipe for “Chaculato” simply adds chocolate to claret, and thickens it with egg yolk. The anonymous author of the 1695 The True Way of Preserving and Candying, and Making Several Sorts of Sweetmeat, provides a recipe for “Chocolet-Puffs”, which adds grated chocolate to an otherwise very familiar pastrywork recipe.

 

As to it’s availability and use in the Highlands of Scotland during the 1700s,  We can probably assume that it was not widely consumed due to the cost, and the fact that it might have been looked at as one of those  outlandish and peculiar Sassenach concoctions? Jamie was well educated and well travelled, having spent a length of time in France, so he would have been quite familiar with it. Colum most likely would have looked at it as a wasteful indulgence as it would have done nothing to relieve his pains! Mrs. Fitz probably would have been skeptical and highly critical of such a frivolous and decadent  waste? I am reasonably sure though that there were probably some homes and establishments in the Highlands serving and enjoying it at the time?

Chocolate was not cheap (Houghton was selling it at between 4 and 10 shillings a pound in 1697), but it was not beyond the pockets of middling householder by the mid-18th century, who consumed it not only as a beverage, but also to flavour a repertoire of sweet dishes, familiar on genteel Georgian tables and sideboards. 

By 1737, The Whole Duty of a Woman: or, an Infallible Guide to the Fair Sex listed chocolate amongst those items absolutely necessary to take from the city to the country in the summer, just in case one’s local grocer did not sell it. Chocolate was certainly easily obtainable in the Somerset town of Wells in the 1720s, when the physician Claver Morris recorded drinking and prescribing it as part of his own dietary regime.

The equipment initially intended for the preparation of drinking chocolate also appears to have been absorbed into the kitchen drawer. In her 1747 text, The Art of Cookery, Made Plain and Easy, Hannah Glasse writes of the ‘chocolate mill’ or molenillo as “the best way to whip sillibubs” and to be kept “for that purpose”: evidence that the utensil once unusual enough for Ann Fanshawe to sketch it, had become a multifunctional tool in the Georgian kitchen.

Chocolate%20pic%202_0 Chocolate%201

 

17th Century Chocolate recipe… We shall forward this on to Mrs. Fitz and suggest that she try it out!

Chocolate recipe

Chocolate recipe

 

To make Chocolate

Take your Choco Nutts and put them over the fire either
In earthern pott, or kettle or frying pan keeping them
stirring with a brass spoone till they be very hott and of black
browne, then take them and pull of[f] the shells with your fingers.
They must look of a black colour though not to[o] much burnt.

Then you must pound them in a great iron or brass mortar
and seeth [sieve] them through a fine lawne [linen] seeth [sieve], and  soe pound
them againe and soe seeth it till all
getts through, then take two pound of the powder and
three quarters of a pound of good white sugar about
5d or 6d per pound being seethed [sieved] all one as the
Choco Nutts, then put a Nuttmeg and half and ounce of
Cinnamon and pound it well together and seeth it as
herein before mentioned and to each pound of Choco
Nutt the like quantity. 

When you have mixt it altogether, take your mortar and putt it on the fire and
make it pretty hott and take the pestle also, then putt
the stuff in it and beat it till it comes to a smooth
past[e], then take it out and weigh it into Quarters of pounds
then Roll it round in your hands and putt it on a Quarter
of sheet of paper and take the paper into your two hands and
chafe it up and down till it comes to a short Roll.

English medical notebook, 1575-1663 (Wellcome Library MS.6812, p.137)

 

For a more recent and up to date Chocolate recipe, you should probably just use the Outlanderkitchen.com recipe, Hot Chocolate with La Dame Blanche!  http://outlanderkitchen.com/2013/01/17/hot-chocolate-with-la-dame-blanche/   Haa… I love the suggestion and reference to Crème de Menthe! Be sure your cask of Crème de Menthe is free of any dead body!

 

Now, besides the verra interesting information on Chocolate,  I found a few other recipes that you might enjoy? All of the information and recipes pre-date the 1740’s time period that Claire arrived to in Scotland, so while they might not have been readily available or accessible to her or Mrs. Fitz at the time, they were in use in other areas such as England and France.  We can not go just by Claire’s observations because as many of us know well, unless it involved concocting something for medicinal purposes or experiments, Claire was not the one to be asking for cooking advice! Jamie probably knew more about the food choices and the kitchen than she did!

 

Lady Ann Fanshawe’s sugar cakes, 1651-1707  These would go well with the chocolate!

Lady Anne Fanshawe's sugar cakes 1651-1707

To make Sugar Cakes

Take 2 pound of Butter, one pound of fine Sugar, the yolkes of nine
Egs, a full Spoonfull of Mace beat & searsed [sifted], as much Flower as this
will well wett making them so stiffe as you may rowle it out, then
with the Cup of a glasse of what Size you please cutt them into
round Cakes & pricke them and bake them.

 

Or perhaps you could serve these puff pastries?

Hannah Bisaker's puff pastries

Hannah Bisaker’s puff pastries

To make puff paist

“Take halfe a quortorh of The Finest Flower then mix yo Flower and water and
Four white of Eggs together, mould up yo paste but not too stiff,
Then role yo Past out into a Sheete. Then lay some Butter in litle Pecies
Till you have Filled yo sheete but doe not lay it Towards The ends to neare, 
Then Dust a little Flower with yo Drudging Box then Fould it up
Twice before you put any more Then doe soe Till yo have put in
a pound keeping it a little dusted very Fine yo put it to yo Butter,
handle it a little Then cut it to yo own Fancie.

 

Once you have become adept at these recipes, you might want to try this next one?

How to cook a husband 1710-1725

How to cook a husband 1710-1725

 

How to Cook a Husband

As Mr Glass said of the hare, you must first catch him. Having done so,
the mode of cooking him, so as to make a good dish of him, is as follows.
Many good husbands are spoiled in the cooking; some women go about
it as if their husbands were bladders, and blow them up. Others keep them
constantly in hot water, while others freeze them by conjugal coldness.
Some smother them with hatred, contention and variance, and some keep
them in pickle all their lives. These women always serve them up with tongue
sauce. Now it cannot be supposed that husbands will be tender and good if
managed in that way. But they are, on the contrary, very delicious when
managed as follows: Get a large jar called the jar of carefulness, (which all
good wives have on hand), place your husband in it, and set him near the
fire of conjugal love; let the fire be pretty hot, but especially let it be clear – above
all, let the heat be constant. Cover him over with affection, kindness and 
subjection. Garnish with modest, becoming familiarity, and the spice of 
pleasantry; and if you had kisses and other confectionaries let them be 
accompanied with a sufficient portion of secrecy, mixed with prudence and
moderation. We would advise all good wives to try this receipt and realise
how admirable a dish a husband is when properly cooked.

 

Ohhhh, Ummmm  just in case you have failed to include enough fibre and vegetables in your more ancient diet… And, Claire will warn you firmly of the perils of neglecting these all important dietary needs… You would most likely be needing this additional recipe?

Soothing Remedy for Piles…

Soothing remedy for piles

Soothing remedy for piles

 

A Medicine ffor the piles in the ffundament being red soare akinge bleedinge especially when they goe to the stoole and that with greate paine

Take Chicken weede, mallowes, the herbe mercury, otherwise called benne[t],
of each toe or three handfulls boyle all these together in a gallon of runinge
water untill halfe be boyled away, then take a basin full thereof
and sett it in a close stoole and lett the patient sitt over it and receive the
steame thereof into his fundament, bathing the place therewithall
a Quarter of an houre or soe Long as hee can endure it then
lett him take a good handfull of the herbes and bind it to his fundament
and soe keepe it there all the day and lett him use this morninge
and Eveninge

 

 

Ahhhh…. and one last bit of  information concerning historical foods that you might not have thought were available so long ago? I found these following items quite interesting as so many time travelers pine away for some variety of these foods never realizing that yes, indeed there was already some form of it available? They were just not in the right kitchen!  Or maybe some desperate time traveler did come up with these variations in their attempts to create some close version of their favorite and much missed food?

 

For those travelers craving some form of the Chinese takeout such as sweet and sour…

Sweet and sour rabbit is one of the more curious dishes included in Maggie Black’s The Medieval Cookbook. Found in a collection of 14th-century manuscripts called the Curye on Inglish, it includes sugar, red wine vinegar, currants, onions, ginger and cinnamon (along with plenty of “powdour of peper”) to produce a sticky sauce with more than a hint of the modern Chinese takeaway.  The recipe probably dates as far back as the Norman Conquest, when the most surprising ingredient for Saxons would have been rabbit, only recently introduced to England from continental Europe.

 
While tomatoes and tomato sauce was not widely available to most time travelers, pasta was! 

In the same manuscript we find instructions for pasta production, with fine flour used to “make therof thynne foyles as paper with a roller, drye it hard and seeth it in broth”. This was known as ‘losyns’, and a typical dish involved layering the pasta with cheese sauce to make another English favourite: lasagne.

Sadly the lack of tomatoes meant there was no rich bolognese to go along with the béchamel, but it was still a much-loved dish, and was served at the end of meals to help soak up the large amount of alcohol you were expected to imbibe – much as an oily kebab might today.

In Thomas Austin’s edition of Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books, you can find several other pasta recipes, including ravioli and Lesenge Fries – a sugar and saffron doughnut, similar to the modern Italian feast day treats such as frappe or castagnole. The full edition, including hundreds of medieval recipes, can be found online through the University of Michigan database.

 

This last item came as a bigger surprise to me? I was not aware that it was so widely used or available throughout Europe so far back in time! 

Rice dishes

Rice was grown in Europe as early as the 8th century by Spanish Moors. By the 15th century it was produced across Spain and Italy, and exported to all corners of Europe in vast quantities. The brilliant recipe resource www.medievalcookery.com shows the wide variety of ways in which rice was used, including three separate medieval references to a dish called blancmager.

Rather than the pudding you might expect, blancmager was actually a soft rice dish, combining chicken or fish with sugar and spices. Due to its bland nature, it was possibly served to invalids as a restorative.

There were also sweet rice dishes, including rice drinks and a dish called prymerose, which combined honey, almonds, primroses and rice flour to make a thick rice pudding.

 

So, now we know that for those time travelers craving the much desired chocolate, It was available and apparently it did much to cure hangovers… Who Knew?!

You can find all of this information and much more on the official BBC History website:  http://www.historyextra.com/

 

You can also find out much more about historical and medieval cooking here at Medieval Cookery:  http://www.medievalcookery.com/