WoW Hospitality Table

 Eleanor’s Journey

Hospitality table by

Lady Finnech inghean Labhrainn 

The idea behind this table is Elenor of Aquitaine traveling on 2nd crusade. Most dishes are richer as befits a royal . It ends in poor cuisine for the return.
Starting in France.

The celebration of leaving

Mushroom pasties

Pork rolls

Fig and raisen cream with fruits

The Arabic lands
Baridah : chic lime and cucumber 

Dajaj Mudaqqaqah: Meatballs with pistachios and honey

Shushbarak: dumplings

The none triumphant penniless return
Griddle bread

Khall wa khardal: mustard

Cold meat in oil

Fig and raisin ‘cream’

Taken from Curye on Inglysch IV.85

. Take half fyges and half raisouns; pike hem and waishe hem in water. Skalde hem in wyne bray hem in a morter and drawe hem thurgh a straynour. Cast hem in a pot and therwith powdur of peper and oother good powdours; Alan it vp with flour of rys and color it with saundres. Salt it; Seeth it & messe it forth.

4 ounces figs well soaked

4 ounces raisins

10 ounces red wine not to dry

Good pinch of black pepper

1/3 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon nut Meg

Soft brown sugar to taste

3 teaspoons rice flour

Drop or two of red food coloring

Salt to taste
Reserve the soaking liquid of the figs for later use. At the figs, raisins, and spices to the saucepan along with the wine and sugar. Bring to a boil then let cool. Put into a mixer and blend until smooth. Add in the soaking water as needed to make the mixture less firm. Cream in the rice flour with a little more of the soaking water and Brighton with a hint of food coloring. Put everything back in a sauce pan to thicken slightly. Season with a little salt and extra sugar if you wish.

Fried fig pastries

Taken from Curye on Inglysh,IV 187

Tourteletes in frytour. Take figus & grynde hem smal; do therin saffron & powdur fort. Close hem in foyles of dowe, & frye hem in oyle. Clarifye hony & flame hem therwyst; ete hem hote or colde.

1 pound dried figs soaked ,drained and minced

( reserve the soaking liquid)

Powder fort mixture: 1/8 teaspoon each ground ginger and cloves and a pinch of black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried saffron ( strands moistened with fig soaking liquid )

1/4 teaspoon salt

One egg separated and one egg white

6 to 7 sheets filo or strudel pastry

Oil for frying

One cup honey
For the filling combine the mixed figs, spices, salt, and egg yolk in a food processor. Use the egg whites, once beaten, to brush the dough. Then fill the dough with fig mixture, seal and fry in either deep or shallow oil as you prefer. Finish off with honey and serve hot or cold

Mushroom Pasties
Mushrooms of one night are the best , if they are small , red inside , and closed at the top and they should be peeled and then washed in hot water and parboiled and if you wish put them in a pastry and add oil cheese and spice powder.

Taken from The Goodman of Paris translation E. Powder

1 pound store-bought or homemade thoughPastry dough

1 pound button mushrooms


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 ounces cheddar cheese grated

1/4 teaspoon dried mustard 

1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

One egg beaten
To make the mushroom mixture parboil the mushrooms then drain off excess water.Chop them up and combined them with the oil cheese and seasonings. Taking spoonfuls of the mixture place in the center of the dough and seal the dough edge to the other. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes at 375. And serve.

Pork Rolls
Tartlettes.Take pork ysode and grynde it with small amount of saffron, medley it with ayren and raisons of coraunce and powder fort,and salt; and make a /bile of dowhg and close the fears thereinne. Cast the tartlettes in a pan with faire water boiling and salt, take of the clene flesh without ayren, and boile it in gode broth. Cast thereto powdor douse and salt,and messe the tartletes in disches and helde the sewe theronne.

Taken from: Antiquitates Culinariae

1 pound cooked pork without Bone or skin

One and a half ounces currents

Powder fort : 1/3 teaspoon ground cumin 1/8 teaspoon black pepper and ground ginger

One egg separated and one egg white

6 to 8 sheets filo or strudel pastry
Sauce: One quart and 2 1/2 cups strong chicken stock 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander a pinch each of ground cinnamon and brown sugar to taste
Cook the pork. Then mince the pork.In a bowl add salt currents and powdered fort mixture and stir in the pork. Beat the egg yolk and use it to bind in the mixture. Cut the dough into strips. Place a teaspoon of the pork mixture on one end of the strip and roll up like a Swiss roll. Repeat this process until the mixture is gone. You can either cook the go by dropping it in salted water and cooking for 45 minutes or by placing on a baking sheet at 400 for 10 to 12 minutes.
To make the sauce mix the stock and the powder mixture together and heat on the stove until well mixed.

Almond Mustard

Khall wa kardal 

Take sweet almonds peel and finally pound. Then let them marinate in sharp tasting vinegar until they become soft. Finally pound mustard and mix the amount desired with it and a little mixed spices and use it.

Taken From : -al Baghdadi, Kitah al-Tabika

2 cups blanched almonds finally ground

1/4 cup vinegar

2 tablespoons ground mustard seed

Mix almonds and vinegar cover and place in the fridge for an hour. At the mustard a mix well.

Cold roasted chicken with lime and cucumber

Baridah li-Abi Ja’ far al-Barmaki:A Baridah of Abu Ja’ far al-Barmaki

Take pullets and grill them. Disjoint them and place them in a platter throw in it coriander black pepper cumin and cassia. Add in the juice of unripened sour grapes. Chop over it mint tarragon and fresh thyme. Drizzle over it good tasting olive oil and chopped fresh herbs. Decorate by putting chopped small cucumbers around it God willing.

Taken from: al-Warraq Abu Muhammad ibn Nasr ibn Sayyar Kitah

                    Al-Tabikh wa Isiah al-Ma kulat wa Tayyibah Al-Arimah

                    Al-Masnu at

3 pounds roast chicken disjointed

1/4 cup finally chopped coriander

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup lime juice

1 teaspoon fresh mint

1 teaspoon chopped tarragon

 1 teaspoon chopped thyme

1/4 cup sesame oil

 3/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary

 1 teaspoon finally chopped basil 

1/2 teaspoon grated ginger

Two cucumbers

Mix in a bowl all the spices and lime juice then add mint, tarragon, thyme and oil. Mix well and pour over chicken. Add chopped cucumbers and serve

Stuffed dumplings and yogurt

You take minced meat and stuff into dough rolled out like cut out noodles. Cook it in the water until done then take it off the fire and put yogurt garlic and mint with it.

Taken from : -Ibn al-Mabrad , The Book of Cookery ( Kitah al-tabakhah ) pg 473 translated by Charles Perry

1 pound fresh or frozen bread dough thawed 

1 pound ground beef or lamb

2 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3 cups plain yogurt

Five cloves garlic crushed

3 teaspoons dried mint

Fry meat until light brown then add 1 teaspoon salt, black pepper, coriander, and cinnamon. Roll out dough into 1/8 thick circles and place a teaspoon of filling on each circle. Fold over dough and pinch closed.

Place dumplings and sauce pan and cover with water. Bring it to a boil cover and cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes then uncover and cook for 15 more minutes. Remove from heat and gently remove the dumplings. Add the remaining salt yogurt garlic and meant to the leftover water in a sauce pan and cook on low for two minutes stirring constantly.

Dajaj Mudaqqaqah
Make meatballs in the size of hazelnuts from chicken breasts and baby lamb meat adding the proper spaces. Then sizzle and fry and sheep tail fat. Throw over them bees honey sugar a lot of boiled and softened pistachios saffron and lemon juice in the amount needed making enough broth. Cook and add a sprig of mint to it sprinkle rose water over them and allow to settle then serve

Ibn al-Adim, Kitab al-Wuslah ila al-Habib fi Wasf al-Tayyibat wa al-Tib

In eastern Arabic cookbooks small balls of ground or pounded meat were known as mudaqqaqah. This recipe calls for the meat to be put into the size of the hazelnut or al-bunduq. Albondigas which is Spanish for meatball is derived from the Arabic al-bunduq referring to the small size of the meatball.

1/2 pound ground chicken breast

1/2 pound ground lamb

1 1/2 tablespoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

1/4 Cup olive oil

3 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon sugar

1 Cup unsalted pistachios boiled for 15 minutes over medium heat and drained

Pinch of saffron dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water

1 tablespoon lemon juice

10 fresh mint leaves

1 teaspoon rosewater
Mix chicken lamb and spices in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Shape into hazelnut size balls and fry in oil over medium heat. Cover and cook over medium heat for 35 minutes. Simmer in honey, sugar, pistachios, saffron and lemon juice. Cover and cook an additional 20 minutes then stir in the mint and sprinkle with rosewater.


Crusaders path Hospitality table

This was such a fun table to do. Many of the recipes I had never made before but will be added to the permanent cookbook. 

The recipes presented here are a cultural culinary journey starting in Spain and ending in the holy land. 

The Crusaders Path 

Hospitality  Table

By Lady Finnech inghean Labhrainn 


Bruenas Gallina

Almori Chicken stuffed with fruit 

The stuffing:
1 1/2 cups chopped Pears

1 1/2 cups chopped apples

2 cups mushrooms ( optional )

2 large cloves of garlic finely minced

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger

 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs 

 1 tablespoon sea salt

 1 tablespoon cinnamon

 1 tablespoon fennel

 1 teaspoon thyme

 1 teaspoon coriander seeds

 1 teaspoon caraway seed’s

 1 teaspoon anise
Mix dry Almori with : 1 tablespoon cumin 1 teaspoon thyme 8 tablespoons of honey and 1 tablespoon water over med heat. Then set to the side to cool.
Take the chicken and remove the innards. Pull off and discard the fatty parts. Wash the chicken inside and out. And place it breast side up in a large pan for baking. Stuff the cavity with the fruit and herb mixture. With a sturdy spoon coat the chicken with the Almori mixture. Making sure to coat well the legs and wings. Cook until done. The Almori will turn a golden brown and form a crust.

Cut in the serving pieces and place them on a warm platter. Spoon the stuffing around the pieces and use the juices to drizzle over the meat.

* This dish is generally served as a entrée. In order to put it on a tasting table I diced it small and served with rosemary bread.

Cold Meat with Oil

 2 teaspoons fresh tarragon

 salt and pepper to taste

 2 tablespoons olive oil

 1 pound sliced beef

Cook beef in anyway it please you. Combine tarragon salt pepper and olive oil and let marinate. Slice the beef and Lay on platters sprinkle oil and herbs over the meat and serve.

The Jews of the Iberian peninsula would cook their meals before hand in preparation for the sabbath. Meat dishes would be served cold with some kind of sauce. These kind of customs and traditions were passed down for generations but recorded in trial records of a later time. Ironically it is the testimony of the accusers in these trials that kept the history of such a culinary culture alive.

Date Compote

And the father of Israel set until them, if it must be so now do this; take of the best fruits in the land in your vessels, and carry the man a present, A little balm, A little honey, spices,myrrh,nuts, and almonds…..

Genesis 43:11

Arab and Phoenician traders imported goods to the holy land from an island today known as Sri Lanka. They also exported many goods along the Mediterranean. Many herbal and culinary influences can be seen in Spain from the Holy land. Since antiquity dates have been one of the principal foods of the peoples of the holy land and thus a wonderful export. The following recipe for date compote is an extraction of a larger recipe for dried fruit pastries. A harvest time favorite in ancient times. The date compote is the filling of the pastries but can stand alone.

1 Cup finely chopped dates

4 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons Madeira wine

Place all ingredients in a pot over medium heat. Let cook until the honey boils and froths. Remove from heat and chill. Then serve with fruits and cheeses or breads.

Dajaj Mudaqqaqah

Make meatballs in the size of hazelnuts from chicken breasts and baby lamb meat adding the proper spaces. Then sizzle and fry and sheep tail fat. Throw over them bees honey sugar a lot of boiled and softened pistachios saffron and lemon juice in the amount needed making enough broth. Cook and add a sprig of mint to it sprinkle rose water over them and allow to settle then serve

From the Recipes of: Ibn al-Adim, Kitab al-Wuslah ila al-Habib fi Wasf al-Tayyibat wa al-Tib

In eastern Arabic cookbooks small balls of ground or pounded meat were known as mudaqqaqah. This recipe calls for the meat to be put into the size of the hazelnut or al-bunduq. Albondigas which is Spanish for meatball is derived from the Arabic al-bunduq referring to the small size of the meatball.

1/2 pound ground chicken breast

1/2 pound ground lamb

1 1/2 tablespoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds

1/4 Cup olive oil

3 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon sugar

1 Cup unsalted pistachios boiled for 15 minutes over medium heat and drained

Pinch of saffron dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water

1 tablespoon lemon juice

10 fresh mint leaves

1 teaspoon rosewater

Mix chicken lamb and spices in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Shape into hazelnut size balls and fry in oil over medium heat. Cover and cook over medium heat for 35 minutes. Simmer in honey, sugar, pistachios, saffron and lemon juice. Cover and cook an additional 20 minutes then stir in the mint and sprinkle with rosewater.

* These were a huge success. As a side note I served these with a dip of Honey , Lemon juice and pounded pistachios.

Badhinjan Mashi li-Ibn al Mahdi

Take eggplant, boil and chop into small pieces. Take walnuts pound them and put them in a vessel with the eggplant. Throw salt on them. Knead with vinegar and press into a large deep bowl. To smoke it for oil over a fire until it smokes. Pull it out from the bulls like a Patty and flip it Siri it until both sides are smoked. Add to it some vinegar and Caraway. If you would like to put onion on it then do so. Drizzle olive oil over it and presented God willing!

From the recipes of:

al-Warraq Abu Muhammad al-Muzaffar ibn Nasr ibn Sayyar Kitab

al-Tabikh wa Islah al-Ma’kulat wa Tayyibah al-At’imah


Eggplants took a drastic rise in station in the Arabic world. At one time they were considered inedible. Until the courtly class made them popular. This dish is attributed to Ibrahim , son of the caliph al-Mahdi and is thought to be the predecessor of the modern dish Baba Ghannuj.

1 large egg plant about 2 pounds peeled

2 teaspoon salt

1 cup finally ground walnuts

3 tablespoons vinegar

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds

1 large onion finally chopped fried in oil ( optional)

Cook the egg plants for 10 minutes over medium heat in water. Chop into small pieces and place in strainer. Mix in walnuts remaining salt and 2 tablespoons of vinegar. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium high heat until it begins to smoke. Add the egg plant wall nut mixture to the pan flattening it with a wide spatula to form a patty. Sear on both sides then remove and chop it into small pieces. Sprinkle remaining vinegar olive oil and caraway over the egg plant mixture. If desired spread onions over the dish and serve.

Lawn min al-Baysar

Pick out fava beans and wash in hot water a number of times. Then coat with oil and place in a pot coated with oil. Then throw fresh water over them to cover them, a chopped onion, a whole head of garlic, cumin, coriander and fennel. Cook over the fire and stir with a spoon until it becomes like marrow. After removing the garlic and onion from the pot and seasoning it with salt, then empty it into a dish and sprinkle cumin and oil over it. Whoever wants to eat it with small radishes and onions or with olives do so.

From the recipes of:

-al-Tujibi Fadalah al-khiwan fi Tayyibat al-Ta’am wa al-Alwan                    

( al-Tujibi’s cookbook has this recipe listed as a dish for fresh or dried fava beans.)

1 1/2 cup dried fava beans soaked overnight and drained

6 tbsp olive oil

1 large onion chopped

1 tsp ground coriander 

1 1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp ground fennel seeds

1 tsp salt

Place beans in pan with oil stir till beans are coated. Tie onion and garlic in a bag and place with beans. Add water to cover beans plus 4 inches. Add all spices to water except salt. Cook for 2 hrs or until beans were soft. Remove the bag and remove pan from heat . Take beans and remaining liquid and mash. Stir in salt and serve.

* A note on presentation . Fennel seeds cooked for this long turn white and look unappealing. I would suggest either grinding them or placing them in the cheese cloth with the onion and garlic.

Zaytun Akhdar Marsus 

Remove the pits. Pound for them peeled,roasted walnuts and dissolve in lemon juice. Add to it atraf al-tib, tahini, salted lemon pieces chopped small, parsley leaves stripped from their stem, mint and rue. Knead together in order that it can be removed to be put on bread. Add to it dried coriander caraway and a little pepper.

From the recipes of:

Ibn al-‘Adim , Kitab al-Wuslash ila al – Habib fi Wasf al-Tayyibat wa al-tib

1/2 pound green olives ground

4 tbsp ground walnuts

1 tbsp lemon juice

1/8 tsp atraf al-tib 

2 tbsp tahini dissolved in water

1/4 lemon with peel, finely chopped and sprinkled with 1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp finely chopped parsley

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint

1 tbsp finely chopped rue (optional )

1/4 tps ground coriander seeds

1/4 tps ground caraway seeds

1/4 tps black pepper
Thoroughly combine all the ingredients and serve.

In ancient times rue was considered a powerful healing agent for women’s problems. It is called a sad dark herb. In southern Europe it was used in many wedding traditions such as sewing it to the four corners of the newlyweds bed for luck with children. 

Almond and Honey for Dates

And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries and to be cooks and to be Bakers……

Genesis 40:2

Dates of been a staple in the diet of the peoples of the holy land. Ancient Hebrews ate this sweet fruit in its natural state or used it in different confections.

1/4 Cup sesame seeds toasted

1 cup whole almonds coarsely ground

1 cup honey

15 dates halved lengthwise and pitted
Cook honey until it becomes foamy. Stir and almonds and let the mixture cool. Scoop up a heaping teaspoon of the almond honey mixture. Roll it in the sesame seed’s until well coated, then gently stuff the sesame seed coated mixture into the date half.

Honey and Goat Cheese
6 oz goat cheese

1/2 cup Honey

2 tbs vinegar 

Lemon Zest to taste
Mix all ingredients together and serve with sweet fruits.

* A note on presentation. Both of these recipes are meant to be stuffed inside the dates. I choose to use them both as dips for the dates.

Abigail’s Fig Cakes

Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses.

1 Samuel 25:18

20 dried figs

6 ounces walnuts or almonds lightly toasted and coarsely ground

1 teaspoon cinnamon
Soak the figs in warm water then drain and finally chop. Mix the figs with the crushed nuts and cinnamon. Shape in the heaping tablespoons. Place on greased cookie sheet. Cook until cakes become moderately dry and let cool completely before serving.

Dilled Cucumbers

And the daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in the vineyard, as a lodge in the garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city.

Isaiah 1:8

The lodge mentioned in this passage is a shelter offered to watch men whose job it was to guard the precious crop of cucumbers. This green fruit is still as widely popular in middle eastern cooking as it was in ancient times.

1 cucumber

12 olives pitted and coarsely chopped

1 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Two sprigs fresh dill finally chopped

4 ounces goat cheese crumbled

Peel and seed the cucumbers then cut into cubes. Gently mix the cucumbers with olives vinegar and dill. Sprinkle with goat cheese.


A Biblical Feasts

 Foods from the holy land

By Kitty Morse

Copyright 1998
A Drizzle of Honey

By David M. Gitlitz & Linda Kay Davidson

Copyright 1999
Essential Herbal Wisdom

By Nancy Arrowsmith

Copyright 2009
Scheherazade’s Feasts

Habeeb Salloum

Muna Salloum

Leila Salloum Elias

Copyright 2013

New German fancy hat!

So I am in the process of translating picture to pattern. I started with the hat. Cause let’s face it I am a hat girl.

 I used buckram for the base. 10in high by 22 in wide sewed it up the back and cut the top 1in down at 1in intervals. I then over lapped the top cuts and stitched down. I cut the outer fabric 11in high by 24in wide . Then sewed the seam and pull stitched the top. The circle to cover the top is a 6in circle.After pining the circle down I straight stitched it to the top fabric.I cut the lining fabric 10in height by 22 in long and the brim fabric 6 in wide by 22 in long. I sewed up the lining fabric seam and joined it to the brim fabric. I then stuffed the black brim fabric.I then hand stitched the brim and lining fabric to the top fabric. And there you have it one fancy German hat. Just needs a few feathers and it will be good to go.

New CD

The wonders of technology. I can record and produce a cd right in my living room. Sounds great right. Sure…. 

A few months back I decided I had written enough of my own original work that I could and should record it. The last project I did was with a fellow bard. All the equipment and knowledge “how to” were hers I just showed up and sang.

So with this new pursuit in my mind I set off to obtain the equipment and knowledge I needed to do it on my own. The equipment was easy enough and for the last month I have been playing with program becoming familiar with it. So why has it taken me two hours of agonizing stress to produce one song. Two words….. perfectionism and fear.

This is my work. Songs I sing all the time at events for others to enjoy. I put heart and emotion in them. But when I hear it played back I only hear the imperfections the missed beats the slightly off holds.

I know every artist has their moments of doubt that what the created isn’t good enough. It what makes us strive to be better artists. Then the fear sets in what if no one wants to hear it? What if it’s to plain? What if …..

In the end I know it will be fine. But the worry is in the details and that’s where I am at right now.

Hospitality tables 

So over the past year one of the things I have been truly enjoying doing is themed Hospitality tables. It first starts with a idea what time/ place did this food come from?Is it for a specific event or person’s Persona? Once that is decided the research begins. After pouring through medieval recipes that fit what ever theme I have picked and compiling a list of favorites I then select which recipes to use. This is based on 3 things :Is it going to translate to finger food? Is it going to transport well ? ( …i.e. Can it be served cold or left on a table without going bad) And finally Will it be tasty to the eye and pallet? That last one is the most important because putting so much time and effort into something no wants to eat no matter how historically accurate can be disheartening to the most tenured cook.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. Before doing a table I often try out recipes I think will work on my friends. Sometimes recipes stay in my permanent cookbook other times they get nixed and sometimes I only use them that one time for the table. But you never know till you try.

Know your food. People like to know what they are eating so be on hand to explain the dishes  what’s in them and warn of any allergens. It also is great if you can explain the history of the dish they are trying.

Cooking historically accurate dishes is a art. So treat it as such. Make it a pretty display. Sure you could lay the food out on plastic trays and Tupperware but how much more enticing would it be in wooden dishes and silver trays. I have found the thrift store to be a wonderful asset to find such things. And using such tools only adds to the ambience of your table.

At the end of the day it’s all about feeding the masses. And maybe learning a thing or two.

A duo of dishes documentation

A Duo of Dishes

Exploring the palettes of Italy 
and the 
Holy Lands in side by side comparison

By Lady Finnech inghean Labhrainn

Tredura :

This recipe is from a cookbook written in the fifteenth century in a dialect belonging to northeastern Italy. (Even though it is not exclusively from that region.) There is a note that this dish known as Tredura or Tridura was part of a Florentine tradition. In the manuscript Archivio Arcives-covalent at Florence the notary Ser Lorenzo Tani describes the St John’s day ceremonies for 1356 where this dish was made as a offering to the people as it was in Florence for so many of the Holy days.

Take whites of leeks and boil them whole then chop them well with a knife then fry them with the fat of the meat you have cooked take bread and grate it and soak it in hot water take a piece of meat and chop the bread and the meat with a knife then take the beat egg and plenty of saffron beat together and pour over the fried leeks with plenty of spices and it will be good. 
2 1/4 pounds of leeks 7 ounces salt pork belly or pancetta 4 ounces dry country bread three eggs a good pinch of saffron and salt.

For the spice mixture1/4 tablespoon ground ginger 1/4 tablespoon ground cinnamon 1/4 tablespoon ground Nut Meg

A ffare tredura toy lo bianco delli porri e miltilo a lessare intriego e pot li batte con coltello ben trito; poy lo frizi con lo grasso della carne che tu coxi; toy pan e gratillo e mitilo a moglo in acqua calda; toy una peza de carne e bait lo pan e la carne con coltello, pot ove batute e zafarano assay el bait in sema e miti su quelli porri grittier cum specie assay e sera bon. 

From Ludovico Frati ed/ Libro di cucina del decolonization XIV Livorno 1899 / reprinted Bologna Forni 1970

Leek dip

We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers and the melons, and the leeks, and the onion and the garlick 
Numbers 11:5

The ancient Hebrews were fond of onion, garlic, and leeks. They served them a number of ways: Raw with vinegar, cooked in oil, or in broth. Leeks are still as popular today in the near east as they were in biblical times

Trim and thoroughly rinse the leeks under running water. Finally chop the light bulb ends and tender green parts of the stem. Heat the olive oil and add the leeks. Cook until they are lightly caramelized transfer to a serving bowl and mash.

Winter Squash Tart : 

Take squash and peel them carefully and grate them as you would grate cheese, and boil them in good broth or in good milk. And take as much fresh cheese and mixing in a little good aged cheese and take a libra of good pork tripe or calf head boiled very well and chop fine with a knife. If you like it to replace these two things using butter or lard if you prefer. Add a half libra of sugar a little ginger and cinnamon with a glass of milk and six eggs when the squash appears to be cooked to remove them from the water and put them through a sieve. And put it in a pan with only one thing bottom crust on the top crust and when it seems to have cooked top with a very fine lasagne in place of a crust when it is fully cooked top it with a layer of good sugar and Rosewater

For the filling : 1 3/4 pound of winter squash 1 cup milk 11 ounces whole milk farmers cheese drained at room temperature 14 tablespoons of butter softened 1/2 cup of sugar 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 4 eggs beaten 1/4 tablespoon ground ginger 1/4 tablespoon ground cinnamon and salt 
For the topping: 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons rosewater.

For the pastry : 1 3/4 cup flour 9 tablespoons butter 1/3 cup water one scant tablespoon salt

Mondale como voliono essere, et poi cocile con brodo li carne, overo con acqua et mettevi un pocha de cipolla secunda la quantita Che tu vorrai fare. Et quando parera cotta cacciala fore et passa ongi cosa per le cocchiara straforata overo pistoles molto been, et metteli accocere in una pignatta con brodo grasso, et con in pocho d’agresto. Et siano un pocho goalless di zafrano; et quando sono cotte toglile dal focho et lasciale un pocho refredare. Dapoi togli di rossi d’ova secundo la quantita et sbattili con un pocho di Cason vecchio et gittagli in ditte zucche menando continuamente col cocchiaro accio che non si prendano : et fa le menestre et mectevi sopra spetie dolci. 
Taken from : Maestro Martino , Libro de arte coquinaria edited by Emilio Faccioli, in Arte Della cucino, Libro di riveted: Testi sopra lo scalco, il trinciante e i vini dal XIV al XIX secolo. Milan I’ll Polifilo,1966, 115-204

Squash and mint dip

And the Lord God prepared a gourd and made it come up over Jonah that it might be a shadow over his head, to deliver him from grief. So Jonah was exceedingly glad of the gourd. 
Jonah 4:6

As with many things from long ago there is some debate among biblical botanists as to what species of gourd this biblical passage is referring to. Most however agree that it is referring to a squash that is native to Abyssinia. The following recipe also calls for capers which ancient Hebrews used as a condiment by pickling the young buds of the plant.

1 pound squash 1 cup water 1 clove garlic minced 1 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper 15 mint leaves finally dropped 1 tablespoon of pickled caper juice 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon drained capers and whole mint leaves

Combine squash and water and cook till a boil and squash is tender. Then place squash in a bowl and mash. Add salt pepper mint caper juice vinegar and olive oil and mix well. Garnish with whole mint leaves and whole capers and serve.

Tiered dry fruit pie 

Medieval doctors considered dried fruit the healthiest kind of fruit, noting its great strengthening qualities. This recipe is good for winter festivals when dried fruits are at their peak and are best to serve.

Take the whitest flower you can get, three libra in quantity and take 2 ounces of sugar and take a libra of almonds and 36 good walnuts and a half libra raisins and 25 dates and half of quarto of cloves and take a good quantity of almond milk take the flower moistened with water to make it very slick, and take the pan and grease it well with oil, make a crust from the flower with crush sugar and the aforementioned spices take the walnuts the chopped dates and well washed raisins, and the red cloves and put a crust between each layer and put a crust on top of all things to make a torta.

Torts in balconata per dodeze persona: Toy farina piu Bianca che tu poy avere in quantita de uva passa e XXV datali e mezo quarto de garofali e mezo quarto de garofali e toy bona quantita de late de mandole toy la farina che tu ay destruta con aqua si che sia ben spesso e toy la paddella e onzella ben de alio e de questa farina fassi crosta ad una polverizata de zucaro e delve dite specie e toy la noce possa li datali minuzati e I’uva passa ben lavata e garofali russi e tute queste croste su chaschauna la suva parte e poni crosta sopra tute queste cose e si che said torta
Taken from : Ludovico Frati editor Libro di cucina del decolonization XIV . Livorno 1899 reprinted Bologna Fori 1970 TestiAntichi di Gastronomia

Dried fruit pastries

You caused the grass to grow for the cattle, and plans for the people to use, to bring forth food from the earth and wine to gladden the human heart oil to make the face shine and bread to strengthen the human heart.
 Psalms 104:14-15

There were two large harvest celebrations in the mediterranean world of Jesus. The festival of Weeks and the festival of Booths. The festival of Weeks was also a large annual religious festival enjoyed in the spring. It was a completion of the wheat harvest. Grains were eaten and prepared in a variety of ways to celebrate as well as fresh fruits. It gave way in the fall to the festival of Booths which was again a celebration of the harvest, but also a very communal holiday. Both holidays celebrated with food and dance. However; the fresh fruit of the celebration of Weeks, in the spring, would be replaced in the fall with dried fruit at the celebration of Booths

Crust 2 1/2 cups flour 1 cup butter 1 teaspoon salt 5 tablespoons water one egg 1 teaspoon white vinegar
Filling 1 cup dried apricots one cup dates for teaspoons honey 2 tablespoons Madeira wine

Mix all ingredients for the crust together roll out and cut in small rounds. Mix the filling together and place in the center of the rounds. Fold rounds and cook until golden brown.

Cheesecake is a Roman invention. They made several types of cheese to serve plain or to cook with. Ricotta was a cooking cheese. Early Romans served cheesecake two ways. An unsweetened variety that was called libum. The original recipe is the essence of simplicity. Knead a pound of flour with 2 pounds of crushed fresh cheese and an egg, bake and serve. Savillum was a dessert cheese cake: you mix half a pound of flour 2 1/2 pounds of cheese 1/4 pound of honey and egg. Cook in a greased earthenware mold tightly covered. After it is done pour honey over it, and sprinkle with poppy seed. These recipes are the origins of what today we know as cheesecake.

The cheese cakes presented today are from two different centuries so you can see their evolution.

The first is from early Rome – a wedding cake described by Cato. Cato lived about a Century before Jesus and wrote about farming and wine making. He also included examples of how food was prepared. The second cake, ricotta torta, is an example of a late century recipe and is a variation on one of many recipes of the time for cheesecake.

Wedding Cake

1cup flour 1 cup ricotta cheese 1 egg beaten 1 tablespoon olive oil 1/2 cup and 1 tablespoon honey and fresh Bay leaves

Mix flour, cheese, egg and oil and 1 tablespoon honey combined till soft. Divide the dough into four and shape into cakes. Place Bayleaf under the cakes cover, cook till brown. Pour remaining honey on cakes once they are finished baking.

Ricotta Torta

1 cup flour 1 cup sugar 2 cups ricotta 1/4 cup lemon zest 1/4 cup honey 1/2 cup slivered almonds

 6 eggs

Mix flour sugar ricotta lemon zest and eggs together. Cook till cakes have risen and are slightly brown. Garnish with honey and slivered almonds and serve. Other variations on this dish include using orange zest instead of lemon or the addition of brandy into the dish. The one I am presenting however is the base form of this cake.

Roast rib of beef: 

You will find little to no reference of roast beef in medieval cookery. Many authors, as well as physicians of the day viewed it as a gross or unhealthy meat, and even the author of this particular recipe made his notes ” that all the meat that should be boiled in water as are the flesh of the pork beef and Mutton”. As was often true of spices the sauce of boiled pepper was undoubtedly intended as a corrective, to make it easier for the diner to digest this unhealthy meat.

Roast of beef taken from the ribs near the spine is simply spit roasted and served with boiled pepper.

Assatura bouina, cum costis iuxta dorsum acceptum, simplicer in ueru assatur et cum bullito pipere administratur. Take from Tractatus de modo preparandi et condiendi omnia cibaria edited by Marianne Mulan, in “Deux traites inedits d’ art culinaire medieval,” Bulletin philologique et historique 1 1971

Pomegranate marinade

Let us get up early to the vineyards let us see if the vine flourishes whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth, there will I give thee my loves.
Song of Solomon 7:12

The pomegranate shrub grew throughout the holy land. It’s fruit symbolic of fertility was well known to the Hebrews. Its image decorated the columns at the entrance to King Solomon’s palace. It also adorned the robes worn by temple priests. The Hebrews ate the raw seeds as well as making the juice into a concentrated syrup of molasses and honey to be eaten with a variety of items including unleavened bread and fish. For this tasting however we are pairing it with the roasted beef in pepper.


1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses 2 teaspoons honey one clove garlic minced

 Mix all ingredients together in pot let simmer on low until thick.


A Biblical feast
Foods from the holy land

by Kitty Morris copyright 1998

The foods and feasts of Jesus

By Douglas E Neel &Joel A Pugh copyright 2012

The cooking of Italy

By Waverley Root copyright 1968

The medieval kitchen
 Recipes from France and Italy

Dilemma Redon, Francoise Sabban,& Silvano Serventi
Copyright 1998 

German Traditional songs 1500-1600

As a bard in the sca I love finding cool period pieces. My area of study for both sewing and song is Germany 1470’s through the reformation. Because of the rich traditional culture in current Germany many of these songs have been both past down generationaly and still sung. Thus preserving a rich culture of the past. The following songs are examples of this. Two I am still working on learning. The other I have both learned and documented.

Wee Zogen in das Feld

Written some time around 1509. Most sources indicate this song is of the German Landsknechte. However German speaking Swiss mercenaries are also said to have had a hand in its creation. The Swiss mercenaries like the Lansknechte were hired as feared warriors they won many battles until improved artillery ended their invincibility in 1515 at Marignano. The word “strampelen” ( “to march in the Swiss-German dialect) becomes “ Stempede mi” in the corrupted Italian chorus which translates to “ We’re marching. We’re at your service sires.” In the corrupted chorus.

According to Lilieencron “ German Life in folksong around 1530 “ the uncorrupted Italian version of the chorus would probably read : Strom-betta mi-a-la-mi, presenti alla mostra, signori . English translation: Trumpet appear for inspection gentlemen.

Background of the song the German mercenaries known as Landsknechte were hired as fighters by various forces. They would travel from conflict to conflict based on who would pay them the most. This life style was not just traveling warriors but wives craftsmens and others who helped maintain this nomadic life this was known as a Tross.

Landsknechte were fierce warriors with their chief weapons as the long pike and halberd. In the early 16th century the Peasant Revolt broke out in many German Speaking areas of Europe between the upper and lower classes . Although it was fueled by the reformation which was starting to gain momentum the Peasant revolt had several contributing factors. There was also a conspiracy by Emperor Maximillian I to carve up a disunited Italy with Louis XII of France, Ferdinand of Spain and Pope Julius . Maximilian wished to take Friuli ( Friaul in the song) He used Landsknechte who true to form were paid to be in the middle of the fray their loyalties lying with the highest bidders.

They marched through Italy waging battles in various towns. In the end the fighting decided nothing permanent except that a devastated Italy would remain a International battle ground for years to come. 

German Folk songs compiled and edited by Arther Kevess oak publications 1968

Frische teutsche Liedlien (1539-1556 )authors: Geogre Foster Kurt Gudewell Horst Brunner: Wolfenbuttel Moser 1986