Barbaerry Jam or To Make a Conserve of Barberies

Aside

I drove all over Ottawa to try to find on the bush barberries for my class on “winter foraging” for Practicum (local SCA event) and failed. Here is a recipe with dried barberries from a grocery store, like a normal person would do.

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To make conserue of Barberies. Take your Barberies and pick them clean, and set the over a soft fire, and put to them Rosewater as much as you think good, then when you think it be sodde enough, strain that, and then seethe it again, and to every pound of Barberies, one pound of sugar, and meat your conserve. The Second part of the good Hus-wiues Iewell (1597)

Ingredients:

1/4 cup of dried barberries
2 tbsp rose water
2 tbsp raw cane sugar

Directions:

  1. place barberries and rose water in a small sauce pan and simmer the fruit on medium until berries absorb some of the liquid and are quite soft (~5 minutes). Stir constantly.
  2. Drain fruit. If the liquid has turned black you’ve burnt it and start again. Weigh fruit.
  3. Add fruit back to pot with equal weight of sugar and a tbsp of water. Simmer this mixture on medium high for ~5 minutes. It will be a sauce that should last for some time in the fridge.

The berries actually tasted really good at step 2. Possibly better than after sugar was added, so it just proves you never can tell.

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Almond Milk Sauce or “Viii – broth With eggs In (sauce) For Good partridge”

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For thanksgiving I made 3 partridges instead of a turkey. Partridges are an extremely lean meat, and need a sauce. This sauce has the ‘fatty’ mouthfeel that these birds need.

I made my own almond milk because I find the almond milks commercially available to be really thin. I used 1 cup of sliced almonds and two cups of water. I soaked the almonds overnight in the blender (but an hour long soak should be fine). Then blend the soaked almonds for as long as you can stand the noise for (2-5 minutes) and then strain. It should yield ~2 cups of almond cream.

I also made my own verjuice (in the spring but now I’m just showing off). The verjuice is acidic, however almond milk won’t curdle like cows’ milk would.

If you just stir egg yolks into the mixture before heating everything you are likely to get clumping instead of a smooth sauce. In this recipe I heat all the ingredients and then add a bit of the hot liquid to the egg yolks before adding the egg yolk mixture to the hot liquid. This is not what it says to do in the original, please play with the recipe yourself and see what happens, or if you prefer the effect. When redacting a recipe you have to know some things about how the ingredients are going to interact so I stand by my egg-yolk handling.

Almond Sauce for Partridges

Sexy partridge legs waiting for a dip into the almond sauce.

VIII – Broth with eggs in (sauce) for good partridge. Broth of partridge, take milk of almonds and egg yolks and saffron and verjuice and sweet spices and allow to boil enough until it is cooked and it will be good. Libro di cucina  (Italy, 14th/15th c. – Louise Smithson, trans.)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups thick almond milk
  • 2 saffron threads
  • 1/2 cup verjuice ( I used crab-apple, but grape would work)
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 egg yolks, mixed with a  fork.*

Directions

  1. Stir almond milk, saffron, verjuice, ginger, and cinnamon together in a sauce pan. Put the pan to heat on medium-high until it comes to boil, stirring often.
  2. Put 1/2 cup of the hot mixture into the egg yolks and acting quickly stir really well. Slowly pour the yolk mixture into the main sauce pan while stirring really well.
  3. Let mixture simmer on low until guests are ready for the meal, stirring often.

* to use up the whites I recommend white torte.

Apple Filling or “The next dishes are made from apple.”

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Using up apples one blog post at a time!

This is my favourite sauce so far. Its very sweet, not savoury which I was expecting, but that probably reflect how sweet and juicy these apples are and the sweetness of the wine.

Although it is a stuffing all the recipes for donuts, cakes and strudels I used it as a pancake topping. I think it is a flexible sauce.

The next dishes are made from apple. Peel the apple, slice it into little pieces, put them into a clean pan, add some wine, then some black pepper and ginger, then cook it. Do what I told you before, you can use this for stuffing cakes or strudels. The Prince of Transylvania’s Court Cookbook  (Hungary, 16th c.)

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups of apples, peeled, cored, and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups wine
  • 1 tsp Black pepper fresh ground, (or more)
  • 1 slice of dried ginger

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients in sauce pan and bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat and simmer until apples fall apart.
  2. Remove ginger slice and then use a potato masher to smooth out sauce.
  3. Serve in donuts, strudels, or on cake.

 

Apple Picking

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A car load of of went to a friends farm to pick apples. The apple orchard we descended upon was semi-wild and not sprayed for pests and things. Organic!

When using organic(!) apples you should know several things. The bugs you might find are technically edible. I set the worms and apples free when I found wiggly things. I did cook the apples with bruising from the worms. Any spots and rust on the on the outside can be cut or peeled away. Its also technically edible.

 

 

If you pick up apples off the ground they can be contaminated with ecoli. Cooking apples, or pasteurizing drinks made with apples will kill this and other bacteria.

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Enjoy applesauce!

My basic sauce recipe: 16 cups of roughly chopped apples, 2 cups water, 1 cup sugar into instantpot on manual for 20 minutes, slow release. Makes 2.5 litres of sauce.

John’s recipe: 16 cups of roughly chopped apples, 2 cups water, 1 cinnamon stick, into instantpot on manual for 20 minutes, slow release.  Makes 2.5 litres of sauce.

Happy Thanksgiving or Sage Dressing

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Making sage dressing from my Big Buttes Book for Thanksgiving dinner with my family. Fresh sage mixed with olive oil, cider vinegar, pepper, salt, honey, and cinnamon (full recipe on page 191) with romaine lettuce and the cutest, medievalist looking, cabbage from Pam’s garden.

I’m thankful for friends who grow me cool stuff, my dog who will eat anything, and my family.

ps book is on sale at amazon.ca 

Pear Shaped Meatballs or “To make Peares to be boiled in meate.”

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This is another meatball in sauce recipe that I am trying out as an idea for Feast of the Hare in November.

Again the meat is paired with a ‘lemon’ flavour, but this time it will be barberries not salted lemons. The meatballs are shaped like pears, which is cute.

I also have fresh thyme and parsley and this recipe will be excellent use for them.

This recipe is fussy especially compared to the above linked meatball recipe but it is so much amazing. John, one of my stunt eaters, called the barberries taste explosions.

To make Peares to be boiled in meate. TAke a peece of a legge of Mutton or Veale raw, being mixed with a little Sheepe sewet, and halfe a manchet grated fine, taking foure raw egges yolkes and al. Then take a little Time, & parsely chopped smal, then take a few gooseberies or barberies, or greene grapes being whole. Put all these together, being seasoned with Salte, saffron and cloues, beaten and wrought altogether; then make Rowles or Balles like to a peare, and when you haue so done, take the stalke of the sage, and put it into the ends of your peares or balles, then take the freshe broth of beefe, Mutton or veale, being put into an earthen pot, putting the peares or balles in the same broth wyth Salt, cloues, mace and Saffron, and when you be ready to serue him, put two or three yolkes of egs into the broth. Let them boile no more after that but serue it forth vpon soppes. You may make balles after the same sorte. Thomas Dawson, The Second part of the good Huswives Jewell  (1597)

Ingreidents

  • Meatballs
    • .6 kg beef, veal or mutton ground
    • 100 g suite or lard
    • 150 g bread crumbs
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 branches of thyme, leaves minced
    • 2 branches of parsley, leaves minced
    • 100 g barberries
    • 1 tsp salt
    • pinch saffron
    • 1 tsp cloves, ground
  • Broth
    • 2 liter beef broth
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 8 cloves, whole
    • 1 flake mace
    • pinch saffron
    • 3 egg yolks, beaten

Directions

  1. Mix ground meat, and the ingredients for meatballs together. It should hold its shape when formed into “pears”. Make meat mixture into pears, 2 oz each.
  2. Put beef broth, 1 tsp salt, whole cloves, meat mace flake, and pinch of saffron into a large sauce pan and bring to boil. Drop “pears” gently into pot and then reduce heat. DO NOT stir for at least 10 minutes. Remove meatballs after 10 minutes and set into warm bowl.
  3. Remove large spices from broth if possible. Add a 1/4 cup of cooking liquid to egg yolks, blend well, then add egg mixture to pot. Simmer on medium for 10 minutes to thicken sauce.
  4. Serve “pears” with bread slices and sauce.

Meatballs in Broth or “Another Sort Of Dressed veal”

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So this recipe could be a meatball soup, given the amount of broth required to cover the meatballs is more than one would use as a sauce. It is strongly flavoured though, so I would serve it with sops (bread slices) if you were doing that. Otherwise it is a wonderful lemon bite around the delicately flavoured veal (*cough* bland *cough*).

My friend Diane would love this.

Veal was on sale so tomorrow I will be making a veal pie.

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Another sort of dressed veal.
Take the meat so as to have made ham all as trimmed, & make round balls or strips like little sausages, & put them to stew in good broth, & a salted lemon cut in strips, mint, marjoram therein, a little verjuice or wine, & put them to stew well, & serve as such. (France, 1604 – Daniel Myers, trans. Ouverture de Cuisine)

Ingredients

  • 1lb ground veal
  • salt
  • 1.5 liters of bone broth
  • 1 salted lemon
  • 1 branch each mint, marjoram
  • 1/3 cup verjuice (or wine)

Directions

  1. Salt the veal to taste and then form into balls ~1 oz, you should get 15-16 balls from 1 lb of veal.
  2. Pour broth into a sauce pan and add the rest of the ingredients then bring to boil on high.
  3. Drop meatballs into boiling broth and then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer balls for 7 minutes.
  4. Serve balls with broth (and sops). (My family added more salt)