Stuffed Cabbages

Next up is stuffed cabbages from Ouverture de Cuisine!

I initially went searching for this recipe when this year’s Scarlet Apron Cooking Challenge theme was announced — modern family dinners presented in a medieval fashion. The first thing that came to mind was a traditional Polish dinner: stuffed cabbage rolls, noodles or rice, and mushrooms of some sort. My research lead me to Ouverture de Cuisine and The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi, but I was struck with inspiration while reading. While Scappi’s cookbook did indeed have cabbage rolls, why in the world should I stop there when both cookbooks had recipes for whole stuffed cabbages?

To make a stuffed cabbage.

Take a red cabbage that is not too large, & put it to boil whole sweetly, & leave it so a long time that you can open the leaves the one behind the other, while the leaves of the cabbage are large like a fist, cut that out, & put chopped meat therein that it will be arrayed like the other meats with eggs & spices, & then layer the cabbage with the leaves all around, that it will be well bound, & put it to cook, sausages with, or that which you want.

Though Scappi is specific about boiling his stuffed cabbages in meat broth or water, de Casteau is more vague. I took the opportunity to boil it as I prefer: in beef broth, red wine, apple cider vinegar, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger. For the first boil, I let it go for about 20-30min at a full boil while I prepared a meat mixture of ground beef, garlic, and onions with sage, cinnamon, salt, and pepper, bound after cooling with egg. This meat mixture is the base of my meatballs, and I figured would be suitable for a trial run of this cabbage.

And then the fun began..

Peeling the outer layers was tricky at first, but the closer I got to the core, the cooler the cabbage became, and I was very surprised that it was still cold at the center. I carefully cut the heart of the cabbage out, then replaced it with a large handful of ground beef mixture.

After folding the first layer of leaves back over it, I put in another layer of meat, folded the next layer on, and put in the last layer of beef before folding the rest of the leaves back. I wrapped the whole cabbage in twine, then set it back to boiling for another 20-30 min in the wine and vinegar that I’d refreshed with a bit more of all ingredients.

The result was beautiful and tasty. It was a bit of a pain to cut and serve, so perhaps decorative pennants on skewers may be part of the serving plan next time.

White Roman Tart ala Ouverture de Cuisine

 

I found the rough translation of Ouverture de Cuisine (1604) over at Medieval Cookery as I was researching some late-medieval/Renaissance fare, and I kindof fell in love with this cookbook. One of the top reasons being this tart.

The transcription by Thomas Gloning et. al reads:

Pour faire tourte blanche a la Romaine.

Prennez vne liure de blanc fromage de creme, puis prennez le blanc de six oeufs, & le battez longuement qu’il le face escumer dessus comme vne neige, & laissez vn peu reposer sans battre, puis prennez l’escume de dessus, & le iettés dedans le fromage, puis rebattés encor le blanc de rechef qu’ilface [>qu’il_face] encor escumer comme le premier, & iettés sur le fromage, & faictes encor deux ou trois fois ainsi, puis prennés deux onces de beurre fondu, vn peu de gingembre, vn peu de basilicque hasché, & faictes tourte, & cuire comme les autres.

The translation at Medieval Cookery falls in line with what I would expect from the transcription, with what I remember of French:

To make a white Roman tart.

Take a pound of white cheese of cream, then take the whites of six eggs, & beat then well until a foam forms on the surface like snow, & let a little stay in without beating, then take the foam from thereon, & cast it into the cheese, then beat the whites at the top until again foam forms on the surface like the first time, & cast onto the cheese, & make again two or three times as such, then take two ounces of melted butter, a little ginger, a little chopped basil, & make the tart, & cook like the others.

This reads to me like beautiful, light, and fluffy cheesecake. So, I made it. The first time I made it was at home, with a gluten-free pie crust to serve to friends, and the second time was at the July Althing in Port Oasis, with the assistance of three awesome folks!

The recipe is fairly straight-forward, but I did make a few changes to accommodate what I wanted this to be (– adding sugar, omitting butter, using Philadelphia cream cheese). I also didn’t have a controlled test oven — the first time, our power went out after this had been in for about 10 minutes, but sustained plenty of heat to finish baking at 40 minutes. The second time was with a convection oven, which I’m not so familiar with using, and I had to actively monitor and adjust temperature.


White Roman Tart

16oz cream cheese (2 bricks)
6 large eggs
3/4 c sugar
Grated ginger
Fresh basil, finely chopped
Prepared deep dish pie crush

  1. Preheat oven to 350*F.
  2. Cream the cream cheese and sugar in a food processor, until smooth.
  3. Separate the eggs — yolks into the food processor and whites into a separate bowl. Pulse the cream cheese mixture until the yolks are fully incorporated, then pour into a bowl. Fold in about 3 or 4 large pinches each of ginger and basil, then set aside.
  4. Use electric mixer or whisk to beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold this into the cream cheese mixture, then pour into the prepared pie crust.
  5. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until firm in the middle.
  6. For a more dense consistency like modern cheesecake, serve chilled. For a more custard-like consistency, serve hot.

Sing of Her – Poetry by Darian

My darling partner, THL Darian, has written and read aloud a poem for me every time he’s fought for me in the Tournament of the White Hart. This year’s tournament was no different, though I’ve been remiss in getting the poem posted for him. This one has no accompanying documentation, but that’s okay. Someone once told him he needs to upload these so that he can share his work, so I’ll gladly help with that. (I also don’t mind reading them every now and then.)


Sing of Her

Darian Valski

 

Oh muses hear my solemn plea

Do gift my lips with quality

So I might speak of persons grand

And have it known throughout our land

The words that travel with her name

Have barely reached her by their claim

To this true cause and small effect

I will today stand and correct

My noble friends and good company

Listen close while truth is free

 

As mother Sol smiles on this day

With great acts of sword and play

To remind the Gods of ages past

And steal their gaze then hold it fast

Amidst the wonder they will find

A blinding beauty and clever mind

Her actions quiet and humbly done

But by her toils hearts are won

“What is this thing!” they ask on high

“A glorious woman” the world’s reply

 

See her now as I show you

See a worth held by the few

See the mother her child a love

See her hand make that terror a dove

See the lady worth my life to hold

See this rust she craft to gold

See the artist within the fumes

See her creation feeding rooms

See my love my heart takes wing

See Astridr Vigaskegg, her name I sing

My Millrind Scroll

Something else happened at Ice Dragon this year — I received my grant-level award for service, Æthelmearc’s Order of the Millrind. Not only was I floored by being inducted into this order, but the scroll itself absolutely blew me away. Scrolling through my blog, you’ll find that I’ve been studying Old Icelandic and Old Norse, and Master Fridrikr Tomasson has been gracious and patient with me as I’ve asked for his assistance with proofing my very basic works. Master Fridrikr studies and composes his own poetry and songs in Old Norse and Old Icelandic, and he did me the incredible honor of composing (because it can be called no less!) my scroll. THL Sophie Davenport calligraphed it, basing it on an early 14th century Icelandic manuscript, and I am so eager to get this framed properly and hung on my wall. So here is a photo of the scroll, and the notes and work from Master Fridrikr.

 

Dottir vigaskeggs – Littu! – Fríðr Ássir – Littu! Hon hveri skaldar kvæða —

Hvergætr at stömpum ·
sjóða mat Sölvas ·
góðarhöllum Hlín ·
heilsar steinnar svart! ·
Hungra eða þorstlátr ·
arins-Frigg þeim huggar ·
Jarðar elskað Ás iel ·
elli ormvangs Ullar!

Margar dagstundar hefa starfaði hon at sóðhusi góðar svertsteinnum. Margar dagstundar hefa spenna er armanna at góðarhöllum. Hon hafa fœrðir líta á riki grœna var.

Fyrar á hlutar þessa ok hlýja arinheilas hennar ok sólbros, Vér, Margerite, Drottning allr Aeðelmarks, ok Marcus, Konungr okkar, fremja Ástriðr Vigaskegg á Bróðerni Fjöttur Mylnar Okkar. Ok gáfu sköld hönn — Rauð, þryir höfuð ulfa ok aðilbandi silfri frettið rauð. Bjoðum þetta daginn átti Einnmanuðar vetr fyrstr sétta tigar landsbygðar at Rhydderich Hael goðorð um Blóts Drekar Ísi.

Behold the the Daughter of Battle-Bearded – Beloved of the gods! She of whom the poet spoke:

The cauldron keeper cooks
meat in Solvi’s s tub —
The Goddess of the hall
of the Black Stone chieftain hails!
Hungry or thirsty, them
the Hearth-goddess comforts —-
Gods’ beloved of the ancient ground
of the serpent field of Ullr’s storm!

She has toiled many hours in the kitchens of Blackstone Baron. She has spent many days as steward in the Baron’s halls. She has given in countless ways to make our Sylvan realm shine!

For these things, and for her heart-warmth and sun-smile, We, Marguerite, Queen of All Æthelmearc, and Marcus, Our King, advance Ástríðr Vigaskegg to our Most Noble Order of the Millrind. Also, we grant her arms: Gules, three wolf’s heads couped argent and a chief argent fretty gules. Done this 8th day of April, in the 51st year of the settlement, in Our Barony of the Rhydderich Hall, at the Feast of the Ice Dragon!

NOTES:

Astriðr´s name literally means “Beloved of the Gods, Battle Beard” – this leads to two verbal “tricks” I played here. The first is in the beginning of the scroll where I address her directly. The second is in the poem. So, to the poem.
This is an attempt at writing málahátr <http://www.trobar.org/prosody/pnort.php>, one of the older poetic forms. It has several kennings in it:

line 1-2: This is a kenning describing Ástriðr as a cook. “stömpum mat Solvas” [Solvi’s meat tub] comes from chapter 145 of Njals saga. Solvi is a meat-seller who winds up head first in his own boiling meat cauldron. Who says the Norse weren’t funny.

lines 3-4: “góðarhöllum Hlín” [Hlín of the chieftain’s hall] – the Goddess of the hall is the steward. Thus, Ástriðr.

lines 5-6: “arins-Frigg” [Frigg of the hearth] – Goddess of the hearth – again, the generous Ástriðr.

lines 7-8: Two kennings here. “elskað Ás” [beloved of the Gods] and “jarðar elli ormvangs” [the ancient ground of the serpent field] > BEARD + “Ullar iel” [Ullr’s storm] > BATTLE. This is a complex kenning for Ástriðr’s name.

The only other wording of note is the naming of the order. As the word “millrind” does not exist in Old Norse. So, I used “Bróðerni Fjöttur Mylnar” [Brotherhood of the Fetter of the Mill].

The scroll itself is by THL Sophie Davenport. It is modeled on the manuscript, AM 45, the Codex Frisianus, created between 1300-1324. You can find the images of the manuscript here <https://handrit.is/en/manuscript/imaging/da/AM02-045…>.

Sasson’s Keystone Scroll

At Ice Dragon this weekend, my dear friend Lord Sasson della Sancta Victoria received his Keystone (AoA-level service award) in Their Majesties’ evening court, and I had the distinct pleasure of being responsible for the scroll for this award. Sasson is one of my oldest friends, and I wanted to do something special for him, so I sneakily asked him in advance for a list of the individuals who inspire him most in the SCA. I was given a list of his Laurel, Mistress Ann Greye, the late Master Fiachra Bonesetter, myself!, Countess Kallista Morganova, and Baroness Chrestienne de Waterdene. Along with Their Majesties Marcus and Margerite and himself, I put worked all of these individuals into this scroll, then shipped it up to BMDL to the wonderful Master Kameshima Zentarou Umakai for wording and calligraphy. It’s based on the Reformatio Languentis Animae, Manuscript (MS Douce 373), c. 1538, found online at the Web Gallery of Art. For my part, I used India ink pens on Bristol paper.

 

Reformatio Languentis Animae, Manuscript (MS Douce 373), c. 1538

White Hart XX Menu

This year was the 20th Anniversary of the Tournament of the White Hart in the Shire of Port Oasis. I was honored to prepare the food for the day. I had the amazing THL Cas and my awesome friend Rick in the kitchen with me for the weekend, with my love THL Darian helping with prep and plating. I had a great time in the kitchen, learned some things, got a little silly, and am ultimately looking forward to my next venture. As always, offerings are marked GF for gluten-free and V for ovo-lacto vegetarian.

White Hart XX Menu

Breakfast
Waffles (V)
Flour, eggs, sugar, milk
Oatmeal (V, GF)
Oats, egg, milk, sugar, cinnamon, butter
Eggs (V, GF)
Fruit (V, GF)

Lunch
Ale & Onion Soup (V)
Onions, Guinness, vegetable stock, butter, salt
Beef & Barley Soup
Beef, barley, onions, beef stock, parsley, sage, salt
Bread (V)
Butter (V, GF)
Butter, parsley, sage

Dinner
First Course
Meatballs
Beef, pork, onion, egg, bread crumbs, garlic, ginger,
cinnamon, mint, parsley, salt, pepper
Quiche (V)
Egg, mushroom, leek, butter, cream, salt, pepper, flour
Salad (V, GF)
Lettuce, vegetables

Second Course
Roast (GF)
Beef, pears, raisins, onions, carrots, red wine, butter, thyme, salt
Cameline Sauce (GF)
Red wine, vinegar, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, sugar, salt, corn starch
Minted Peas (V, GF)
Peas, mint, sugar
Bread (V)
Butter (V, GF)
Butter, parsley, sage

Third Course
Cherry Pie (V)
Cherries, port, sugar, flour, butter
Whipped Cream (V, GF)
Cream, sugar, vanilla

Early 16th Century German Outfit

Warning: This is a bit of a quick-and-dirty post to get the beginnings of this project out!

Several months ago, I finally put scissors to fabric and began putting together an early 16th century German dress. I’d been researching for some time, but it took a lot of mental preparation to work myself up to the idea of constructing a late-period garment on my own. For this dress, I drew inspiration primarily from two Hans Holbein sketches of a Basel woman from 1523.

I began with my own measurements and looking at patterns from both Katafalk and Reconstructing History, but found that neither really worked for my body. So I ended up fitting myself and making my own, which was a long and infuriating process — next time I’m having a friend help me fit a new pattern.

When I finished my bodice pattern (which was slightly modified after these photos), I cut an interlining of heavy linen and the wool shell, then attached them mostly following Katafalk’s tutorial. I cut the guards out of black wool and attached them after the bodice was all put together, then moved onto the skirt.

Using Mistress Genoveva’s Rolled Pleat Calculator, I came up with the length needed for my skirt, which I think was about 6 yards. I had a whole bolt of red wool from JoAnn Fabrics, and I only used a half-width of the fabric for the top portion of the skirt. I spent several hours with a ruler and chalk, and by the end of it I had my skirt pleated.

I ended up piecing the bottom stripes together in three panels of stripes, then sewed them together and attached them. Next time, I’ll likely attach the stripes before I pleat the skirt, but it didn’t create any major inconveniences doing it the other way.

It was after I completed the skirt that I started running out of time leading up to Fall Coronation of Marcus and Margerite, so I decided to put my plans for the sleeves on the back burner — it would be easy enough to take the middle-class route and simply sew the exaggerated stitching at the joints over the chemise. The proper chemise also wasn’t going to happen in time, so I pulled a cheater shirt out for the event.

The last piece of the outfit that I could accomplish in time was the hemd and steuchlein, which I made following Katafalk’s tutorials. The hemd was even more difficult to fit by myself than the bodice pattern was, and I was extremely glad to cover it and all the mistakes I made on it with the steuchlein.

There weren’t a great deal of photos of the good-enough dress I took to the event, but I was pretty pleased with it. I’m currently working on the more-correct sleeves, a pleated chemise, and fixing some general mistakes on the dress. Ideally, there will also be a structured linen kirtle to go under this dress and over the chemise.