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.


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