More medieval cooking on a snowy winter’s eve

This week has become one snow event after another, and we are starting to actually run out of places to put the snow when we shovel.  There are really only two piles: the big one on the other side of our trash and recycling bins, between them and the neighbor’s fence; and the small one in this little corner between the steps and the house, where there is a stump I want dead anyway.  So the little pile is getting close to its maximum practical size, and the other one has reached the height of the bushes.  And trying to chip away all the melted, compacted snow that had refrozen as ice all over the walk and steps took almost an hour of hard work.  Thirty degrees outside and I was sweating.

Wanting something warm to drink that wasn’t coffee or mulled wine, I thought I might try something from one of my medieval cookbooks.  So I made this spicy pomegranate drink from Madeleine Cosman’s book Fabulous Feasts: Medieval Cookery and Ceremony.  To be honest, I have never even had plain pomegranate juice before, but I picked some up from Trader Joe’s recently just so I could eventually make this recipe.  It was fairly simple, but man it came out great.  Plus this is something my teetotaling wife could enjoy.  I hope she likes it.

I also enjoyed a bowl of this mutton stew (using lamb) from The Medieval Cookbook by Maggie Black.  I would have taken a picture of it but it didn’t occur to me to do it at the time.  My bad.  There’s leftovers, so maybe when I reheat some I can take an appropriate picture.  Anyway, the dish was just fantastic, an interesting combination of herbs and spices plus wine, and I made it in a crock pot so I could let it cook for a while as I was doing other things.

Next medieval beverage project: a mulled perry.  Will use alcoholic pear cider, I think, as I have actually been able to find a variety of those.  Next medieval food project: no idea, but I have read so many interesting sauce recipes in the past couple of weeks I may just have to try some of those.  And Chelsea always has some interesting new stuff over at Inn at the Crossroads, too  (Honeycake with Blackberries!?! Seven hells!).   And if I can ever get my hands on a copy of Scheherazade’s Feasts, I am dying to see what sort of stuff is in there.

-Geoff

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2 thoughts on “More medieval cooking on a snowy winter’s eve”

    1. Honestly, I am not sure, as Madeleine Cosman does not say specifically, but from my reading of her bibliography the recipe must be English, from the 14th or early 15th century. Certainly pomegranates would have been available, as would lemons, oranges, figs, olives, and other Mediterranean fruits and foods. At least, if you had the money, then they were available. But it seems to be from one of those notebooks from the London Guildhall, I think. Not sure of the origin aside from that.

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