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I had gone to Pennsic last year and picked up a small booklet of recipes.  Spanish.  “A Brief Overview of Early Spanish Cuisine”  As a side note: The full book has the only recipe for cooked cat.  Not that I would ever eat a cat; however the idea someone was hungry enough to actually make a recipe of said animal speaks a lot of the times.

Bake to tastier cooking though.  Mushrooms!  This is a sauce, though the taste of this dish could be a stand alone side.

Which speaks of making saucer of Mushrooms

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If you want to make sauce of mushrooms, parboil them well, and when they are parboiled take them and sauté them with oil.  And then make the sauce this way: have onions and parsley and cilantro, and mince them and distemper them with spices and with vinegar and a little fat.  And then make pieces of mushrooms; and when they are sautéed put them in this sauce.  Or give them cooked  on the coals with salt and oil.


Translation copyright Eden Rain (Sent Sovi. Catalan transcription copyright Rudolph Grewe) From: A brief Overview of Early Spanish Cuisine. Pg. 20.



2 C Mushrooms

2 Tbs vinegar

1/2 onion chopped

1 handful ea. Parsley and cilantro

Salt to taste



Boil the mushrooms for 2 minutes.

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Drain and slice once cool enough to handle.

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Chop your cilantro and parsley (here I used flat leaf parsley).  Both Cilantro and Parsley came from my garden, store bought is good too!  I used roughly a half cup of olive oil though bacon fat/chicken fat/duck fat/beef lard etc. would work as well.

Sauté the onion, then the greens.

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Add the mushrooms with salt to taste.  Finally drizzle in your vinegar.

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January 28, 2017 | No comments

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For my birthday, I received a few books.  One of which was a cooking/court life book.  I was a little hesitant as cookbooks and court books are usually separated into different books.  I am pleasantly surprised, my first run through on recipes yielded at least 8 recipes I want to try this weekend!

The Nimatnuma Manuscript of the Sultans of Mandu

The Sultans Book of Delights

I enjoy this book quite a bit.  There are recipes for different meat dishes, soups, and birds.  There are also recipes for perfumes and what we would call body splashes (which have been rare as hens teeth to find information on).  There are recipes on drinks and sweets.

As for the hunting portions, I really enjoy these sections as well.  The details are not so much as stories but a list of what to bring and why.  Not only favorite dishes/drinks and perfumes are included for the Sultan but on ways to reward his generals with tokens of gold/silver as well as food and drink.  There is also an account on how to to cook at a camp site with skewers, meat and bread.

The book also contains quiet a few pictures of hunting scenes and camping scenes as well as pages and pages of manuscripts.  There is also a section on measurements and a section with period words and their English definition.  A real bonus!

The down side is that all the hunting and cooking scenes are in not in color.  The cooking section (and hunting portions) are roughly 1/4 of the entire text.  My feelings are that while the manuscripts in the original writings are pretty…the book could probably have benefited from a good pruning of pages.

This is not a beginners book.  The recipes have some measurements for spices.  Each “section” or paragraph can have 2-4 recipes so a weathered eye on which ingredients need to go with which recipes in these sections.  Overall I give the book an A for period recipes, definitions, pictures and calligraphy.  For cooking an B, for multiple recipes and some measurements.


Before heading out of town I’m going to do a quick review of four books I’ve purchased in the last 3 months.  All have their pluses and minuses for period cooking and research.  Each book is in a different category so there will be multiple posts incoming!

After coming home from Pennsic 2012 , a very wet year, I am all but bouncing to do MORE cooking.  I can not wait to break into two of the 3 books I bought.  (I had wanted to get one more but budget constraints are the pits!)

I have a few Roman dishes I’ll be posting this week and next, but for now I shall post the two classes from Pennsic.  I hope every one who could go had as much fun (or more) then I!!

I was once told “Cooking isn’t hard.  Period cooking isn’t that hard.”  I was…shocked.  The person who made this proclamation was missing the entire point of period cooking.  Period cooking is not about throwing a bunch of things into a pot or a bowl etc and saying  “Look!  I am a period cook!”.  A person who does period cooking doesn’t just “Cook”…this person researches a lot of things.  Ingredients for one.  Ever thought of where sugar originates from or why it was so expensive for so long?  Common table sugar is NOT from the new world.  Some books swear sugar was grown in Egypt, or India (Toussant-Samat, pp. 552 and Faas, pp. 149) while Wikipedia says New Guinea was the original site of the first domesticated sugar cane, or that apricots were from Armenia ( Giacosa, pp. 14) when doing Roman or Middle Eastern cooking in which both of these spices play varying roles.  Sugar has a prime spot while apricots do a lot of cameos.

Period cooking requires researching how foods were cooked i.e. served hot or at room temperature for easier handling by fingers and bread.  What types of foods were served in or on what types of platters.  Was silver ware ever used.  Middle Eastern dinners used their knives and fingers as well as bread.  For the Romans spoons were used to sup with and knives were only used to carve and serve meat. Many people do not know this and take for granted that forks, spoons and knives were always used since the cave man days.  /rolls eyes.

Another research tidbit was how dishes were served in what order.  Roman tables were very regulated to Gustum, Menas Pprima and Mensa Secunda.  (Giacosa) This was start, middle and end.  Light foods to the front for snacking on, while the 2nd course of prime meats  and richer dishes were served then the final portion served fruit and sweets.  Middle Eastern tables had everything at once.  Sweets, meats, olives breads and cheeses were laid out for the dinners choice.  (Rodinson)

Period cooking is not just looking at a recipe and guessing.  Period cooking encompasses the who (who the dish(s) being displayed were originally made for), when (referring not only to a time period but also to a seasonality or serving order), what (what made the dish special unusual or just caught the researcher’s eye), where (what region or regions did a dish come from then travel to or where on the table would a dish be seated for full enjoyment of those feasting), finally why (why a dish was special.  What part of the animal or animals made X dish the show stopper or THE dish to serve at a banquet).

Period cooking is NOT just cooking a dish and serving it for dinner.  Good food was not easy to come by.  We are dominated by adds on TV, Magazines or a click away on our computers for tasty easy to cook meals.  Meat was very expensive.  Vegetables grew in the garden or were bought in the market.  If there was a bad year for weather….food was scarce.  If traders came from far away lands, instead of being able to harvest cinnamon bark for flavoring from the local woods (and the noble they belong too was lenient), spices were expensive.  Food in history is a puzzle.  How was some thing made from local ingredients and far away spices or dried fruits.  There is not given “Gimme.” in period food.  Everything has to be researched, some times in the oddest places.


So this month has been working on recipes for the upcoming Kingdom A&S competition.  Yeah…well I have part of the recipes down but this year’s project isn’t going to happen in February.  The reason, I over extended my hand at cooking.  I found that turkey (yes a New World food) is in fact period.  These delectable birds were brought from the New Wold to grace the tables of the very rich.  Why the rich?  They were the only ones who could afford this new tasty juicy not highly gamey bird.  This bird was so good that Henry the VIII had a Christmas pie made from it called the Tudor Christmas Pie.  Basically it was a turducken in a LARGE pastry coffin with rabbit and quail around it.  I tried my hand at making this.  Unless you have a large kitchen with lots of sou chefs to prep the birds, the rabbit(s) and the pastry as well as the different types of stuffing, it’s a 3 day project.  I tried to do everything in one day.  The meat was tasty and wonderful (but not show case worthy on it’s own).  I will post pictures later but all I have to say is my hand is just NOW recovering from deboning all those damn birds!

This post was originally put into another post which is well buried now.  Almond milk is not a stable to all soups, broths or drinks but it’s not uncommon either.  I thought a quick re-posting as a separate post for those who were searching would be helpful.

So a quick run down on how to make.  Take ground almonds (here they are with a french press but you can use just a regular cup or glass you would normally pour water into).

Next add water.  I use the ratio of 1 cup of almond meal to two cups of water.

Then drain off the milk liquid, known as almond milk.

Nutritious and mildly decadent in period.  SAVE the wet ground almonds.  They are still very useful.

Out of town for the 4th of July.  New yummy postings will be incoming after that!  Have a great weekend.


(Buttered Triangles)


Take a pound of flour and knead it with water and milk.  You break two eggs in it, their yolks and whites, and knead it well.  Spread finely milled starch under it and roll it out with the rolling pin.  Splatter with clarified butter, fold it over two or three times and cut it into triangles and put them (aside).  Put the frying pan on the fire and fry them – le the fire be quiet – until done and not browned.  Throw them in honey and sprinkle them with sugar.

Rodinson, pp. 431


3 C. Flour                    2 eggs              1 stick of butter (salted)

½ cup of milk and ½ cup of water         Sesame oil


Mix the ingredients together,

buttered triangles

forming a stiff dough.

triangle dough

Roll out on a well floured board

rolled out dough

until very thin, roughly 1/8 inch if possible.

Brush the dough with butter.

buttered dough

The original said to splatter, which you can.  I just wanted a more even coating so I had a small cooking brush on hand and proceeded to smear butter over rolled out dough!

Once the dough is well buttered,  fold it over like so.

foulded dough

Brush once more and fold once again.

double folded dough

Cut the folded dough into triangles.

closer triangles

This batch of Qurmush is waaaay to thick.  The layers need to be about half this size.  The thicker the layers the harder to cook with out browning.

Take a frying pan, liberally coated in sesame oil, and place 2-3 triangles into the pan.  Turn the burner on low.

triangles in oil

Pay close attention to the cooking, as a golden color is acceptable but not a brown.

cooked triangles

The thinner the dough the quicker the cook time (and easier to burn).

Once the triangles have been cooked through, pour honey on top of and sprinkle with sugar.

tiangles with honey and sugarThese were tasty even though a bit thick and chewy.  If they were thinner they would be crispy and sweet.  Eat them fast before then honey makes them chewy or if you like chewy desserts let them stand for a little bit with the honey and sugar topping!

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