The Cook-A-Long is a virtual kitchen for Medieval and Renaissance Cooking enthusiasts in the SCA. Each month a period recipe will be posted in the original language (when available) and a translation. All cooks are encouraged to try their hand at redacting and preparing the monthly dish and post his/ her results to the blog. If you are interested in becoming a participant in this cook a long, or would like to submit a dish for the month please send an e-mail to valkyr8 (at) yahoo (dot) com.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Queens of Compote

A trip to the local farmer's market yielded a quart of strawberries that, after a day or so in the fridge, showed some quick signs of wiltage. Hm. Well. What do my period cookbooks say about preserving strawberries? The berries got tossed in the pot with a little too much water and wine. Such is the trouble with period recipes... not so much with the guidance regarding amounts. A few stalks of rhubarb from my garden fixed the issue, but then my compote was not, to the best of my knowledge, period-like anymore. Nonetheless, it was delish.

Sarra also had the same bright idea. And she did a better job. Her description is here:

Yay Sarra!

Friday, June 13, 2008

On ye vse of a yeast.

This was my Joy of Period Cooking day last weekend, when the rains were moving in and my basement was flooding. There are several wonderful things there, as you can see, and not one of them is a thing I am displeased with, although there are lessons in learning not to fool one's self into expecting vegan, non-soy substitutes to taste like the things they are replacing. You have to expect tasty but different.

Anyway, what's up there is a Lenten feast: a loaf of sourdough bread, my final redaction of a period crepe that is sans eggs and sans baking soda/powder, a mushroom tart that is very vegan, and loverly Lentan apples royal.

Finding an adequate cheese and egg substitute for the mushroom tart was tough, and I'll talk about that some other time. What I really want to talk about are the crepes.

See, I love pancakes. And waffles. MMmmmMMMmmmmMMmmm. Period pancake or waffle-like dishes exist, but they are sooo egg dependent that I can't have them. After looking and looking, I finally found 2 recipes that, bashed together, would create a period like crepe that I could eat.

But it would take a while for me to figure it all out. Some of the wrong paths:

1. The best of the "Flour and Yeast Only" pancakes I tried, a la the Dutch "Pancakes in Lent" recipe. The period receipt suggests a kind of pan-baked bread, but that's not what I was looking for. This was plain old sourdough poured straight to the pan. It was not bad tasting, but kind of gummy.

2. A more traditional sourdough pancake, sans egg, with a commercial egg replacer. Kind of salty.

3. A modern vegan pancake spiced like a period crepe, a la Good Huswifes Jewell. Tasty but not what I am looking for.

4. The squished up mess that was almost what I wanted. Tasty but, eh, squished. And leavening agents were no help. But was good! Changed the proportions and got what I wanted. Yum!

The period like crepes I made combine the two recipes. It's plausibly period rather than a period redaction. It's the sourdough, almond milk, apples royal, the spices, and flour enough to make a thin crepe batter.

Yum. :-)


This is the cheesecake I made from the green cheese I'd made earlier in April. We ate about half of it for 35th Anniversary, and the rest I saved in the freezer for Border Skirmish.

Alas, since flooding has taken out the event, I won't be defrosting it. Maybe it will make a nice brekkie at WW. It's good but a little odd plain; with a small spread of the elderberry jam I made to go with it, it's unbelievably delicious and not odd to the modern palate at all.

I essentially followed the recipe over at gode cookery. It did not need any modification, since it used egg whites, but I think that the next time I try it, I'll see if it can be made without eggs at all.