[Smashy the Hammer] [An Aspiring Luddite]
I carry no phone
An aspiring Luddite
In a wired world.
[Jeff Berry]
Jeff Berry is an early adopter of the Internet and the Web, a late adopter of Twitter, and declines to adopt Facebook or Livejournal. (Although he did succumb to the lure of Google+.) He hates cell-phones.

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Flaming Arrow Menu Planning, cont'd

I took a browse through Forme of Cury to see what caught my eye this time around. I'm already zeroing in on a few guiding principles. Firstly, I think two courses should be plenty. I'll do the Mylats/Malaches of pork previously discussed as the main protein in one course, and venison (assuming I can get it) as the protein in the second. If the venison is unavailable, I'll do something else - beef or poultry or lamb. What I need then is at least one vegetable and one starch for each course, and ideally some extra bits and bobs. Most if not all of those things need to be one or more of these: pre-cooked, served cold, made on the hob, and raw.

So, the references below are all page number and recipe number in Hieatt and Butler, Curye on Inglysch.

Iusshell (107, #44) - Take brede ygrated and ayren and swyng it togydre. Do þerto safroun, sawge, and salt, & cast broth þerto, and boile it & messe it forth.
- From this it's difficult to tell exactly what the result would be. The recipe appears with some variations in other sources. Notably in Austin's Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery Books - a scan of which is available on the Internet Archive. (For cross-referencing, by the way, Hieatt's Concordance of English Recipes is great, and the medievalcookery.com website has a nice hyperlinked cross-reference for some recipes.) Austin has a recipe for 'Guisell' on pg. 87, from BL Harleian 4016, which notes to stir it till it comes together in curds. Excellent. Another recipe for Iusshell is on pg. 95, and is far more complicated, but also suggests that the material should come together - 'lete hit wax stiff be his owne accorde.' My first thought on looking at the recipe was that it could be made as sort of poached eggy dumplings, with the broth almost as a sauce. The other two recipes suggest that this interpretation is within the realm of possibility. If I use vegetarian broth, then it might work for some vegetarians. So, I need to check with my vegetarians to see if they are ovo, ovo-lacto, and so on. (I did a fuller work-up of this recipe here.)

Chyches (114, #73) - Take chiches and wrye hem in askes al nyȝt oþer al a day, oþer lay hem in hoot aymers. At morowe waische hem in clene water, and do hem ouere the fire with clene water. Seeþe hem vp and do þerto oyle, garlek hole, safroun, powdour fort and salt; seeþe it and messe it forth.
- Hardly a gloss needed here. For feast purposes, canned chickpeas might be the best option since cooking them from dry would take a long time and occupy much-needed stove space. The garlic can be omitted (with a sigh) for the allium allergic.

Salat (115, #78) - Take persel, sawge, grene garlec, chibolles, oynouns, leek, borage, myntes, porrettes, fenel, and toun cressis, rew, rosemarye, purslarye; laue and wasiche hem clene. Pike hem. Pluk hem small wiþ þyn honde, and myng hem wel with rawe oile; lay on vyneger and salt, and serue it forth.
- An old standby of greens and herbs with an oil and vinegar dressing. Served cold, requires no cooking.

Fenkel in soppes (115, #79) - Take blades of fenkel; shrede hem not to smale. Do hem to seeþe in water and oile, and oynouns mynced þerwith; do þerto safroun and salt and powdour douce. Serue it forth. Take brede ytosted and lay the sewe onoward.
- Again pretty straightforward, but could be served with toast as recommended. Onions optional as well, if need be.

Letelorye (116, #83) - Take ayren and wryng hem thurgh a straynour, and do þerto cowe mylke, with butter and safroun and salt. Seeþ it well; leshe it, and loke þat it be stondyng, and serue it forth.
- I've done this before, and it comes out as a sliceable ('leshe'-able) savoury thing which goes well on bread. It could be made the night before. I usually cheat and do it in a bain-marie in the oven.

Makerouns (119, #95) - Take and make a thynne foyle of dowh, and kerue it on peces, and cast hym on boillyng water & seeþ it wele. Take chese and grate it, and butter imelte, cast bynethen and aoboven as loysns; and serve forth.
- Pasta in cheese and butter.

Loseyns in fyssh day (128, #132) - Take almaundes vnblaunched and waische hem clene & grynde hem; drawe hem vp with water. Seeþ þe mylke & alye it vp with loseyns. Cast þerto safroun, sugar, & salt, & messe it forth with colyaundre in confyt rede, & serue it forth.
- A vegetarian version of loseyns. The first bit is 'make almond milk.' Might be an option if the menu start to look dairy heavy.

Peruorat for veel and venysoun (129, #139) - Take brede & fry it in grece; draw it vp with broth and vyneger. Take þerto powdour of peper & salt, and sette in on the fyre. Boile it and messe it forth.
- A vinegar-based sauce, thickened with bread, for venison.

Farsur to make pomme dorryse and oþere þynges (139, #182), Potte wys (140, #185), Sac wis (140, #186)
A pork liver paté of sorts, suitable for making mock eggs, or cooking in a pot which you break, or in a bag. Might be fun, if nothing else.

Spynoches yfryed (140, #188) - Take spynoches; perboile hem in seþyng water. Take hem vp and presse out þe water and hew hem in two. Frye hem in oile & do þerto powdour douce, & serue forth.
- Another veg that can be done stovetop and which can be cheated upon with frozen spinach.

Benes yfryed (141, #189) - Take benes and seeþ hem almost til þey bersten. Take and wryng out þe water clene. Do þerto oynouns ysode and ymynced, and garlec þerwith; frye hem in oile oþer in grece, & do þerto powdour douce, & serue it forth.
- Medieval English refritos. Excellent.

Casting an eye over this and thinking about courses, a first pass might be something like this: On the table:
  • bread
  • maybe letelorye
  • some butter
First course:
  • mylats of pork - cold
  • spynoches yfryed - hot
  • iusshell - hot
Second course:
  • venison (or something) - hot
  • salat - cold
  • chyches - hot
That leaves the following unallocated from my initial pass through the books: fenkel in soppes, makerouns, loseyns, the farsur, and the benes yfryed. (And any sauces.)

As a baseline, that actually doesn't look too bad. The oven is full of roasting meat this whole time, and I'm guessing that I'll only be able to get two hot dishes going stove top and at any given time. However, there are the steam table trays. So some things could be cooked in the afternoon and put in the steam tables. That would probably work better with things seethed than fried. The iusshel, chyches, benes yfryed, and fenkel in soppes could all survive quite a while in a steam table if need be. Braised meat would also do well, which might open up some options for oven use. That gives me this: On the table:

  • bread
  • maybe letelorye (made the night before)
  • some butter
First course:
  • mylats of pork - cold (made the night before) - not free of anything
  • spynoches yfryed - hot - vegetarian, lactose, gluten, and allium free
  • iusshell - hot in steam table - vegetarian (with eggs), lactose and allium free
  • benes yfryed - hot in steam table - vegetarian, lactose and gluten free
Second course:
  • venison (or something) - hot - probably lactose, gluten, and allium free
  • salat - cold - vegetarian, lactose and gluten free, could be made allium free
  • chyches - hot in steam table - vegetarian, lactose, and gluten free, could be made allium free
  • fenkel in soppes - hot in steam table - vegetarian and lactose free. Could be made allium free. If soppes are served on the side, also gluten free
This is starting to look like a menu.

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© 2017 Jeff Berry
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