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.

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

Hearts Honor

 Hearts Honor

By Lady Finnech inghean Labhrainn (aka fennic du Blayz )


In the summers heat of tourney

A young fighter’s called to war

He’s sword’s for king and country

But his heart it longs for more

Then across the field he spies a maid

Sunlight dancing in her hair

So by moonlight at the castle keep

He woes this maiden fair




Kiss my lips my bonnie one

Your beauty how it shines

For you I would met any foe

Your joy my heart entwined

Your kindness is a gift my love

that’s lends me strength upon the field

Till I’ve placed a crown upon your head

My sword shall never yield


Well season pasted as seasons do

And their love grew ever strong

The fighter now a squire

And in his heart a song

For now at his homes hearth there played

Little ones by fire light.

But Battle knows no comfort

And once more he joined the fight

And he said




Winter winds brought accolades

Of battles fought and won

The king called the squire before him

His journeys path was done

Chain, white belt and spurs were donned

By royal hand a knight was made

As his lady placed the belt upon him

These words to her he bade

He said:




Years passed on like moments

And his love for her remained

A cry for tourney sounded

New heirs would be proclaimed

His sword was strong his honor true

No foe could best his skill

As he placed the crown upon her head

His heart with love did fill

And he said


Kiss my lips my bonnie one

Your beauty how it shines

For you I did met every foe

Your joy my heart entwined

Your kindness is a gift my love

that’s lends me strength upon the field

now I’ve placed a crown upon your head

My heart to you I yield

This song was inspired by a story I was told about Kari Kyst and Sinclair Hawkins.