Pipefarces

Let’s talk pipefarces.

Earlier this year, I had been lazily researching for an idea I’d had for a class, which essentially was how to pad your medieval menu with food that’s easily relatable to the modern palate. Several years ago, I’d discovered that whipped cream was a medieval treat, but discovering pipefarces blew that out of the water.

Take egg yolks and flour and salt, and a little wine, and beat together strongly, and cheese chopped in thin slices, and then roll the slices of cheese in the batter, and then fry in an iron skillet with oil in it. This can also be made using beef marrow.

Mozzarella sticks? In a medieval cookbook? Yes. Yes, mozzarella sticks, as we know and love them today, in Le Menagier de Paris, 1393.

The recipe is easy enough — roll cheese slices in a simple batter and fry them. For this feast, I had my kitchen staff dip the cheese in egg, then breadcrumbs, repeat that, and then place them in the hot oil. Though not the precise same method, this one is tried and true, and resulted in perfect mozzarella sticks. (I also pre-made some gluten-free mozz sticks using gluten-free breadcrumbs!) I’ll take the steps to combine the flour and egg mixture the next time I make these for an event.

Lord Ulrich Eisenhand and Rohesia Whytemere, my fry cooks! Photo by Lord Sasson della Sancta Victoria.

 

German Pear Tarts

Sir Ian Kennovan was elevated to the Order of the Laurel this weekend, and I had the honor of contributing to his reception food. Instead of my go-to meatballs, I decided to play around with something I’ll be making for my 16th century German feast at Helvetia — poached pears.

Sabina Welserin has eight recipes for pear tarts in her 1553 cookbook: one “exotic” tart, one Italian tart, and six decidedly German tarts (one is specifically for quinces but mentions that pears can be cooked the same way). The last six all have two of the same ingredients in common: sugar and cinnamon. Three of those six use raisins, three use cloves, three use wine, and one uses ginger. These are all common ingredients found used together throughout the entire cookbook, so I decided to combine them all into one tart. I also chose to poach the pears per recipe 113 instead of letting them fully bake in the oven given the smaller serving size and shorter oven-time.

To start, I peeled and poached seven anjou pears in about a bottle of cabernet sauvignon with sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger, and I tossed in regular and golden raisins to rehydrate with them. After straining the fruit out of it, I let the wine reduce further and set it aside.

While the fruit cooled, I pre-heated the oven and made short paest loosely following the recipe found at Medieval Cookery. Saffron was omitted due to cost, but the rest of the recipe follows the same. Rub butter into all-purpose flour until it makes crumbs, then bind it with a bit of water and egg yolks. Don’t overwork it, and let it rest in the fridge. At this point I remembered that I don’t have a rolling pin, so I took the empty cabernet bottle and put it in the fridge to chill as well.

I then chopped the pears and tossed them (and the raisins) in more sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. I then floured my surface and my wine bottle/rolling pin, rolled out the crust, and pressed circles out for my tartlet pan. I then buttered the tartlet pan, pressed the crusts in, and sprinkled sugar over the bottoms of the crusts. I then spooned the fruit into the crusts, poured about a teaspoon of the mulled wine reduction over the fruit, and sprinkled with more sugar.

I baked these at 375* for about 15 minutes using 12-cavity non-stick tartlet pan. In between batches, I let the dough and the bottle chill in the fridge to keep the dough from getting too sticky. I also only made three dozen and had about 2 or 3 whole pears left over. I’ll probably make a large tart with the leftover fruit this week.

 

And here are Sabina Welserin’s (relevant) six pear tart recipes that I drew from:

73 A pear tart

Take pears and peel them and cut them into thin strips, take beef marrow, cinnamon, sugar and raisins and let it bake. If you do not have any marrow then use butter or another fat.

80 A pear tart

Cut out of each pear eight or twelve slices, according to how large the pear is, fry them in fat, take them after that and lay them nicely around the tart and sprinkle them under and over with sugar, cinnamon, cloves and raisins and let it bake.

87 To make a pear tart

Then take the pears and peel them and remove the cores and divide the pears into two parts and cut them into slices as wide as the pear is and turn them over in a little good flour. Then heat up some fat and roast them therein, until they are a little browned, afterwards prepare the pastry shell and lay them on top of it, close together. Take cinnamon, sugar and raisins mixed and sprinkle them on the crust and over the top of it, let it bake a while. After wards take Malavosia, put sugar into it and cinnamon, let it boil together, pour it over the tart and let it cook a short while.

107 To make a quince tart

Take quinces and cook them well and strain it and put sugar, cinnamon and strong wine thereon. Apple and pear tarts are made in the same way.

113 To make a good pear pudding

Cook the pears in good wine and strain them and put cinnamon, cloves and sugar therein and a toasted Semmel, then it is ready.

131 To make a pear tart

Take the pears and peel them, then fry them in fat, put them into a mortar and pound them well, put rose sugar and rose water in it, put ginger, cloves, cinnamon and sugar therein. Taste it, make a pastry shell as for other tarts, make no cover for the top and bake until crisp.

Leihen Helvetia! 2016 Feast Menu

For this year’s Helvetia, we’ve decided to tone down the menu, and which is a perfect excuse to get cheeky with a pub food-themed menu! I’ll be working with THL Cas this year, and I’m pretty excited about it! There will likely be some small additions, and I haven’t nailed down which sauces I want to serve yet, so those will come in time. But for now, here’s our offerings for this year’s Leihen Helvetia! Offerings are marked GF for gluten-free and V for ovo-lacto vegetarian.

Saturday breakfast:
Scrambled eggs – GF, V
Sausage
Toast (French & regular) – V
Waffles – V

Saturday lunch:
Ale & onion soup – V
Pork shoulder – GF
Bread – V

Saturday dinner/feast:
Chicken with sauces – GF
Red cabbage – GF, V
Fladen (flatbread pizza)
Pipefarces (breaded fried cheese sticks) – V
Veggie sticks – GF, V
Italian bread pudding – V
Pears stewed in wine – GF, V

Feastocrat 101 at Pennsic War

So, this is pretty late to the game, considering Pennsic is already in full swing, but I’ll be teaching a class called So You Want to Be a Feastocrat? or Feastocrat 101 at Pennsic War, Monday (Aug 08) at 5:00pm in AS14 and Wednesday (Aug 10) at 9:00am in AS2. It’s not published in the class offerings because I finished my class structure after the deadline, I’ll still be there! Edit: I was published after all! How exciting!

And here is the PDF of my handout for those who won’t be able to make it! Hope to see you at War!

The White Heart – Poetry by Darian

I forgot that there was one last post about Ice Dragon to make! Better late than never, right?

My fiance, THL Darian, entered his first ever A&S competition at The Tournament of the White Hart in early March, then took his entry, a poem, to the Ice Dragon Pent a month later. This was the second poem he’d written for me for a White Hart Tournament, and here are two of the three versions he submitted for judging — the modern English and the Chaucerian English version.

Foreword:

This piece is an alliterative poem, following the style of The Pearl Poets Sir Gawayne and the Green Knight, dated in the late 14th century. The two copies of the same poem are in modern English, and translated to Middle English, following the dialect of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, a contemporary piece to the Pearl Poet, written in the late 14th century as well.

The Pearl is an example of the alliterative verse revival known as the Alliterative Revival. The movement emerged in England in the mid-14th century, continuing through the 15th century. The typical characteristics of Alliterative style syllabic count, coupled with alliterative stresses. Each line would contain a separative pause, known as a caesurea, in essence splitting the line in two. The Pearl poet differentiated from some of these norms in that he allowed variable lengths to lines and groups, as well as including an end point on each stanza, known as a bob and wheel. This tradition would start with a short line, followed by a rhymed section.

Included with these works is an extra example highlighting the stresses and caesuras to better allow reading, for as many who have studied Middle English poetry will agree, it often seems meant to be read aloud.

 

The White Heart – Modern English
by THL Darian ValskiOh host please hear of humbleness true

Before thee Brought my brilliant joy

A Lord willed low by lovely might

To show thee shine I should employ

Like Paris saw Pale his paired soul

In Helens grip held the great heart fast

Come forth in form as forged in Troy

Astrid

May thee look to me,

For sadness be rid

Our hearts too, free

Look to here, I bid.

If would such words but Worthy plan

To grace the gift for my tongues relief

I should tell long tales of truest beauty

When should eyes be shift but by shy glory

I draw of her dreams as driven before

Her passion has paced the purest of chase

To home made her heart of my holy soul

The White Hart

Which Gawans hounds bayed

His travails would thwart

My hand though stayed

Wise by her Heart

As Pellinore would prove of aids plea true

Her voice made vital in verity sound

I learn fair lore from love to know

My flaw made fierce by mind fault free

To honor we hold as holy should be

Family by fortune did freely make she

For all good I gain her givith to me

I am here

And weak as a fool

Would cry voiced sheer

Upon the fates spool

Show her Glory clear

The White Heart – Middle English
by THL Darian ValskiOh host plees here of humblesse true

Bifore thee brought my Brighte joye

A Lord willed lowe by lovely might

To showe the shyne I should imploye

As Paris sawe pale his paired soule

In Helenes grip held the grate hart faste

Come forth in forme as forged in Troye

Astrid

May thee look to me

For sadnesse be rid

Our hart to free

Look here, I bid

If wold such words but worthy plan

To grace the gifte for my tonges relief

I sholde telle longe tales of truest beautee

When sholde tell eye shifte but by shy glory

I drawe of hir dreems as driven before

Hir passion has paced the purest of chase

To home made hir hart of my holy soule

The White Hart

Which Gawain houndes bayed

His travails wold thwart

My hand though stayed

Wyse by hir hart

As Pellinore wold prov of aids plee true

Hir vois made vital in verity sounde

I lern fair lore from love to know

My flaw made fiers by mind falt free

To honour we hold as holy shoulde be

Family by fortune dide freely make she

For alle good I gain she gaveth to me

I am here

And weke as a fool

Wold cry voised shere

Upon fates spool

She her glorie clere

Backlog AoA Scroll

I completed my first (backlog) AoA scroll and turned it in at Ice Dragon this past weekend. I was incredibly nervous about it, but after speaking to our lovely backlog signet, I’m going to proceed with confidence with scrolls at this level. (And because they’re fun.) Sometime in the future, I want to learn some basic woodworking and/or carving so I can start making real runestones and more tactile Viking-inspired art. The photo below is angled a bit oddly, but I rather liked this one.

image

Latin transliteration of Younger Futhark runes:
Timoþi * konongr * ok * Gabrili * drotningar * buþu * þorstin * vigdison * þisi * iþumaþr * huir * birþist * i * þira * turnimenti * koronom * ok * baþu * þir * honom * merkisbuþr * i * birthdai * batle * ok * bal * i * niþgard * i * sibtimbir * u * as * l

Old Norse/Icelandic:
Timothy konongr ok Gabrielle dróttningar buďu Thorstein Vigdisson, þessi iďjumaďr hverr berďist í þeira turnimenti kórónum, ok bàďu þeir honom merkisburďr i Birthday Battle ok Ball i Nithgaard i September V, AS L.

English:
King Timothy and Queen Gabrielle summoned Thorstein Vigdisson, this hardworking man who fought in their crown tournament, and bade they him the carrying of arms at Birthday Battle and Ball in Nithgaard, in September 5, AS 50.

Based on the U 346 Frösunda stone, which was located in Frösunda, Sweden, and dated to the first half of the 11th century.