Sunday, January 13, 2008

Siekh Kebob

Fried Meatballs

Tart of Strawberries

White Bait

Spicy Mussels

Mich Michen

Cardimon and Rose Cordial

Sauce for Peiouns (Onion Parsley Salad)

Source: Two 15th Century Cookery Books

Take Psecely, oynouns, garleke and salt, and mynce smal the percely and the oynouns, and grynde the garleke and temper it with vynegre y-now and mynce the rostied peiouns and cast the sauce ther-on a-boute and serve it forth.

1 medium onion, minced
1 bunch parsley, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

After mincing everything very fine, Added vinegar and let it set for about an hour. Served beside meat dishes.

January 2008 - Cooks and Brewers Meeting

Attendees: Nicolette, Gwynfor, Gwir, Professor Adrian, Teffania, Thorfin, Isobel, Adrienne, Dizzy, Gunnar, Rudolf (Peregrin and Ashley)

Recipes cooked on the day:
Dizzy got stuff to do some Mead brewing and we wish her all the luck in her brewing.

As it was our beginning of the year meeting, we did a quick planning session. Here is what I wrote down:
  • Web Blog - seems to be working
  • Add label on blog for Good shopping places
  • 2 Soirees on the way, Gwirs is just about ready to find a date and Isobel needs a bit more time, but well underway
  • Would like to look at other venues for a couple of Guild meetings this year, Tiffania, Ava and Abbotsford will be approached.
NOTE: I will add links as the are put up, if I have the photo up, please just edit to add the recipe.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Knusperhäuschen (German Gingerbread House)

This is the recepie in it's original format, which can be found at


Klassisches Lebkuchen-Rezept

Dieses Rezept für Lebkuchen kann man zu den klassischen Lebkuchen-Rezepte zählen.

Zutaten für ca. 30 Lebkuchen:
  • 200g Zucker
  • 1 Päckchen Vanillezucker
  • 1Tl Zimt
  • je eine Messerspitze Nelken, Piment und Kardamom
  • 200g Mandeln (gerieben)
  • 50g Orangeat (gehackt)
  • 75g Zitronat (gehackt)
  • Schale von einer ½ Zitrone
  • 250g Mehl
  • 4 Eier
  • 1 gestrichener Tl Backpulver
  • 45 runde Backoblaten, ca. 7cm
  • Zuckerguß
  • Mandeln zum Verzieren (optional)
Zunächst geben wir die Eier mit dem Zucker und Vanillezucker in eine Schüssel und rühren sie schaumig.

Die Mandeln, das Orangeat und das Zitronat sowie die Gewürze geben wir ebenso dazu wie das mit Backpulver gemischte Mehl. Die Masse wird zu einem Teig verarbeitet.

Den Teig streichen wir etwa fingerdick auf rechtechtige Oblaten und backen diese auf einem ungefettetem Blech 15-20 Minuten bei 175-200 °C.


And by translating the above recepie, this is what I used.

200g Sugar

1 packet (8g) of Vanilla Sugar
1 flat teaspoon cinnamon
A pinch of ground cardamom
A pinch of ground cloves
A pinch of ground allspice
200g Almond Meal
50g candied orange peel
75g candied lemon peel
Zest of half a lemon
250g flour mixed with sufficient baking powder (or just use self-raising)
4 eggs.

(Note: The last three ingredients of the orginal recepie assume you don't have baking paper and want to glaze the lebkuchen into biscuts. Naturally, I didn't want to do that, so I've left them off. However, for the sake of completion, Zuckergu
ß is a mixture of beaten egg whites and icing sugar whipped into a paste. Mandeln zun verzieren means almonds for decoration. Backoblaten are kind of like those disks of communion bread. They're thin wafers of edible starch that you place the lebkuchen on top of when cooking. They stick to the bottom of the biscuts and remain there when served. They also remove the need for baking paper, or should I say, baking paper removed the need for them unless they were specifically desired.)

Take the eggs and the sugars and beat them up. Add the almonds, peel, spices and flour. Work to a dough.
Roll out finger-thick, cut to shape and bake for 15-20min at 175-200C.
Allow to cool and decorate.

I kind of forgot to put in the fruit peel, however lebkuchen is traditionally made both with and without peel, so this was no great loss. Also, as Australian flour is less absorbent than the brands of European flour available there (but not here), more flour was needed in order to make the dough workable.

A simple mixture of icing sugar and water with a knob of butter was used to make the icing used to decorate and hold the house together.
Documentation Time!


Gingerbread has been baked in Europe since the eleventh century. In some places, it was a soft, delicately spiced cake; in others, a crisp, flat cookie, and in others, warm, thick, dark squares of "bread," sometimes served with a pitcher of lemon sauce or whipped cream. It was sometimes light, sometimes dark, sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy, but it was almost always cut into shapes such as men, women, stars or animals, and colorfully decorated or stamped with a mold and dusted with white sugar.

Of all the countries in Europe, Germany is the one with the longest tradition of flat, shaped gingerbreads. At every autumn fair in Germany, and in the surrounding lands where the Germanic influence is strong, there are rows of stalls filled with hundreds of gingerbread hearts, decorated with white and colored icing and tied with ribbons.

During the nineteenth century, gingerbread was modernized. When the Grimm brothers collected volumes of German fairy tales they found one about Hansel and Gretel, two children who, abandoned in the woods by penniless parents, discovered a house made of bread, cake and candies.

At Christmas, gingerbread makes its most impressive appearance. The German practice of making lebkuchen houses never caught on in Britain in the same way as it did in North America, and it is here still that the most extraordinary creations are found.



Hansel and Gretel was first collected and recorded by the Grimm brothers in the early part of the nineteenth century. The tale is similar to many children and ogre tales that have been known throughout Europe for many centuries. The version the Grimms collected came from storyteller Dortchen Wild in the town of Cassel. Wild later became Wilhelm Grimm's wife.


The earlier literary tales which bear the closest resemblance to Hansel and Gretel are of French origin. First, Charles Perrault's "Le petit Poucet" (1697) closely resembles Hansel and Gretel in its first half since the parents abandon the children in the woods. A year later, Madame d'Aulnoy's "Finette Cendron" appeared in her Les Contes nouveaux, ou les fetes a la Mode. Her story tells of three princesses who are abandoned by their parents in the woods and find their way to a giant's house. Finetta, the heroine, leaves trails of items to find her way out of the forest, but is foiled on her third attempt when pigeons eat the peas she drops along her path. Later, she burns the giant in his giant oven.


The Gingerbread house certainly only took off in popularity when the Grim Brothers collated their fairy tales, including that of Hansel and Gretel. However, this does not exclude the gingerbread house from legitimately existing in Medieval Germany. As shown in the references above, Germany has a very long history of “Gingerbread” (better known as Lebkuchen and in fact contains no ginger) dating back to the 11th century and was almost always shaped and decorated. Furthermore, the story of Hansel and Gretel carries origins back into the 1600’s. Plus wherever the concept of the candied house came from, it would have likely existed well before its inclusion in Grimm Brother’s version.

Hence it is quite plausible that the Gingerbread House would have existed in Medieval Europe as simply one method of artistic decoration among many, probably more subdued in sugar with a greater emphasis on artistic decoration. Even modern Gingerbread houses tend to resemble traditional German houses with their highly slanted roof-tops and unless this was a traditional element, what other reason is there for that specific shape to have continued in modern usage?

This recepie was presented at the Summer Twilight Tourny Series 3 in December. In an attempt to keep in line with a more plausible format, jelly beans and chocolate based decorations were omitted with greater reliance upon the artistry of shape and icing. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture. I suppose I'll just have to make it again at some stage then...

To Make a White Tart

This is from the Sabrina Welserin cookbook, recipe no. 108. To make a white tart.

The text in English is: "Take egg whites and pour a pint of cream thereon, and let it cook in a pan until it thickens, and put rose water in it and spread it out, then it is good.


3 egg whites
2 and a bit cups cream (2 cups plus is a pint). I used milk, and the recipe didn't work - use cream.
6 TBS rose water (this was home made stuff, don't put that much commercial rose water in!)
2 TBS sugar


As I had leftover egg whites (and no more pie dough) I tried this as a pudding. With milk. Needless to say, it thickended but did not set, which it would have done had I used cream. Basically, mix the egg whites until fluffy, add the milk, and cook over a low heat, stirring constantly to ensure that it does not burn. I added some sugar although the original recipe did not. When it thickens, (the mixture will coat a spoon), add the rose water and and cook just a bit more. Pour into a pre-baked pie shell, and it should set if kept in a cool area (ie, refrigerate).

Sour Cherry Tart

This is recipe no. 123 from the Sabrina Welserin cookbook.

Orignal text in English: Take a pound of sour cherries and remove all of the pits. Afterwards take a half a pound of sugar and half an ounce of finely ground cinnamon sticks and mix the sugar with it. Next mix the cherries with it and put it after that in the pie shell made of good flour and let it bake in the tart pan.


Pie shell (dough as made in recipe 70)
1 tin (425 g) cherries
Scant 1/4 cup sugar
1 tps cinnamon


Make the tart dough. I used pitted, canned cherries (sweet not sour) and adjusted the sugar to make it not too sweet. I did put a top on the pie - the Welserin cookbook goes through a list of tarts from recipe 70 - and the instructions get briefer as the recipe goes on, so my assumption was that it is presumed that tarts are topped (where there is no topping this is explicitly stated). Bake in the hot oven 220 for about 15 minutes, I turned it down to 200 then. The pie came out a bit soupy, I didn't strain enough of the juice from the canned cherries. But nice anyway.

Pie Dough for a Tart

This is Recipe no. 70 from the Sabrina Welserin cookbook. Recipe 70 is for a tart with plums, but how to make a tart pastry is detailed as follows:

Bake the dough for the tart. That is made like so: take two eggs and beat them. Afterwards stir flour therein utnil it becomes a thick dough. Pour it on the table and work it well, until it is ready. After that take somewhat more than half the dough and roll it into a flat cake as wide as ou would have your tart. ... So one makes the dough for a tart." She describes adding hte filling and then putting a top on the tart.


2 eggs, whole
3/4 cup flour


Beat the eggs slightly, and add the flour. Work it until it is a dough that will roll, adding more flour as necessary. The dough will dry out quickly, I wrapped the half to top the tart in cling wrap until I was ready for it. It will roll out quite thin, which is nice.

An Apple Tart

This is from the Cookbook of Sabrina Welserin , Recipe no. 74.

Original text (as translated into English) Peel the apples and take the cores cleanly out and chop them small, put two or three yolks with them and let butter melt into a pan and pour iton the apples and put cinnamon, sugar and ginger thereon and let it bake. Roast them first in butter before you chop them.

8 Granny Smith apples
2 TBS butter
3 egg yolks
1 tsp cinnamon
.5 tsp ginger (or substitute galingal)
1/4 cup sugar (scant)
2 TBS butter, melted

Preheat oven to a fast oven, 425F or like 220 C. Peel, core and roughly slice apples. Melt 2TBS (approx) of butter in a pan, and add the apples. Cook the apples until they begin to soften. Remove the apples from the pan (removing as much liquid as possible), allow to cool slightly and chop in smaller bits. Add the egg yolks, spices, sugar and additional melted butter. Put the filling a in pie shell (I used the pastry recipe from Recipe 70). I covered the pie with just a single pastry, and cut in steam vents. Bake for half an hour or so until the pastry is brown and it looks right.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Rosewater Recipies links

Since a theme of rosewater tasting has been proposed for January Cook's guild, recipes using rosewater seem useful to have to hand. I'm just searching my way through this list here, from top of the century list to as 1700. Individual recipes haven't been searched, only collections. Oh how I wish for a search engine programmed to search all the sites listed on that links page.


from Libro di cucina/ Libro per cuoco
  • V. Blancmange.
  • VI. Chickens with broth
  • VII. Good relish for chickens.
  • LII Good pastry of kid
"First printed Nordic Cookbook" (1616) mentions "Rosenvand" several times. I'm guessing it's rosewater, but that still leaves the rest of the recipes to be translated.
Du fait de cuisine

  • 10. For a lofty entremet
  • [Latin] Note: for the sick. (a magic potion)
Manual de mugeres (16th century Spanish)

  • Recipe for making hojaldes
  • Recipe for making cakes of chicken breasts
  • Recipe for conserve of alojas
  • Recipe to dress a capon to the Florentine use
  • Recipe for making fritters
  • Recipe for royal paste
  • Recipe for marchpanes
A Book of Cookrye, 1591
  • To make sauce for a capon an other way.
  • To stue a Capon in Lemmons.
  • To stue Sparrowes or Larkes.
  • To still a cock for a weake body that is consumed.
  • To make a Chickin Pye.
  • To bake a Pig like a Fawne.
  • To make Florentines with Eeles for Fish dayes.
  • To make a Florentine.
  • How to make Chuets.
  • Another to bake Quinces.
  • To make a Tarte of Prunes.
  • Tarts of Damsons without a cover.
  • Tartes of Apples with covers.
  • Tarte of Strawberies.
  • How to make a good Marchpaine.
  • How to make Tostes.
  • To make an Apple Moise. To make a dish of Snow
  • To make white Ginger bread.
  • To make Almond Butter.
  • To make Conserve of Orenges.
  • To preserve Orenges.
  • To make sirup of Violets.
  • To make Cherries in confection.
  • Marmalade of Quinces or any other thing.
Das Kuchbuch der Sabrina Welserin (1553)
  • 22 If you would make good marzipan
  • 36 To make an English tart
  • 51 Almond chanterelles
  • 63 How one should prepare Zerena
  • 76 An almond tart
  • 78 An egg tart
  • 81 An almond tart
  • 94 To make a good almond pudding
  • 106 To make an herb tart
  • 108 If you would make a white tart
  • 111 If you would make almond cheese
  • 112 To make an almond pudding
  • 122 To make a cream tart
  • 129 An egg tart with beaten eggs
  • 131 To make a pear tart
  • 132 A cinnamon tart
  • 135 An egg tart
  • 137 An egg tart
  • 138 An almond tart
  • 143 An almond tart
  • 147 A good pastry
  • 163 To make Nürnberger Lebkuchen (they are period, yay!)
  • 180 Sugar holliplen[18]
  • 182 If you would make a white aspic
  • 183 If you would make blomenschir [ Blancmange]
  • 190 To fry small holliplen
Wel ende edelike spijse (Dutch, 1500)

A Book of Cookrye, 1591
  • How to make a Tart of Brier hips.

Rose petals:
(Forme of Cury)
Also Forme of Cury, but can't find it on Cunnan: (from here)
  • XLI. For to make Rosee [1]. See also a redaction.
[nb: see my redaction made after this]

Two fifteenth-century cookery-books
  • .C. Roseye.
  • .Cviij. Prymerose.
  • .Cxxvj. Rede Rose.
  • .Cxxvij. Prymerose.

perfumes, cosmetics, treatments, etc using roses:
Manual de mugeres (16th century Spanish)
  • For little rose-pillows
  • Scented burning-sticks (incense) for the teeth
  • Remedy for the molars
  • Remedy for the pain in the side (as a stitch in the side) (rose oil)
  • Recipe for Damascus violet
  • Recipe for Alexandrian perfumes
  • Recipes for scented waters
  • To make water that smells a lot
  • To make clover water that's very fragrant
  • Softeners for the face
  • Comforting tablets for perfume using Rose sugar -what's that?
  • Unction for the breasts of women who have recently given birth
  • Perfume to make pellets of rose perfume
  • Mouthwash for the gums
  • Scented pellets for perfume
  • Powders to line the eyes
  • Recipe to make sallow ointment
  • Fine scented powder of Cyprus
  • Recipe for common perfumes
  • Mouthwash
  • Fine scented powders
  • Powders to dry tears and clear vision

Also found were mentions of things in the shape of roses, (even called rose) or the colour rosy.

Note rosewater goes from uncommon to ubiquitous as the centuries turn. And the same recipies appear time and time again.