LET EM EAT HAPPY MEALS!
by Ian Gourdon
(NOTE: The Royalty mentioned in this article is NOT Midrealm Royalty-LT)
Starting with the meat:
.C. 1420 Two Cookery Bks. 3 To make stekys of venysoun or Beef.
.1426 Lydg. De Guil. Pilgr. 12802 Now to ffrye, now steykės make, And many other soteltes;
.C. 1450 Douce MS. 55 xvij, Take feyre moton of the buttes & kutt it in maner of stekes;
"Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery Books in one recipe use the word "stekys" which are "gredyl it up broun"
Or if she prefer it as a sloppy Joe:
"For To Make a Bruet of Sarcynesse:
Take the flesh of the fresh beef and cut it all in pieces and bread and fry it in fresh grease take it up and dry it and do it in a vessel with wine and sugar and powder of cloves, boil it together till the flesh have drunk the liquor and take the almond milk and quibibs maces and cloves and boyl them together, take the flesh and do thereto and mix it forth. (Ancient Cookery, 1381)"
Platina pp. 13-14 (Book 1)
"... Therefore I recommend to anyone who is a baker that he use flour from wheat meal, well ground and then passed through a fine seive to sift it; then put it in a bread pan with warm water, to which has been added salt, after the manner of the people of Ferrari in Italy. After adding the right amount of leaven, keep it in a damp place if you can and let it rise. ... The bread should be well baked in an oven, and not on the same day; bread from fresh flour is most nourishing of all, and should be baked slowly."
and if you want to really get into it, for a proper Cheeseburger effect:
Cheddar Bread (4 servings)
2 1/2 c Unbleached Flour
1/2 c Sugar
2 ts Baking Powder
1 ts Salt
1/2 ts Cinnamon; Ground
3/4 c Milk
1/4 c Vegetable Oil
2 ea Eggs; Lg
1 1/2 c Apples; Cooking, *
2 c Cheddar; Sharp, Shredded
3/4 c Walnuts Or Pecans; Chopped
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and grease and flour a 9 X 5-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the milk, oil, and eggs. Stir
until thoroughly combined. Gently stir in the chopped apples, cheddar cheese, and nuts. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven until loaf is browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool to room temperature, on a wire rack, before slicing. (obviously not a period bread, as her majesty requested some more modern elements)
Gaspard Bauhin's 1596 _Phytopinax_:
"...The root if of an irregular round shape; it is either brown or reddish-black, and one digs them up in the winter lest they should rot, so full are they of sugar. ...
... We have further learnt that this plant is also known under the name of tartuffli, doubtless because of its tuberous root, seeing that this is the name by which one speaks of Truffles in Italy, where one eats these fruits in a similar fashion to truffles."
One might go out on a limb and do Armored Potatoes, a bit like those cheesy curly fries:
"THREE POTATO GRATIN (modern version)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 heads of garlic, split in half
1 quart of cream
1 pound peeled white potatoes, 1/4-inch slices
1 pound peeled sweet potatoes, 1/4- inch slices
1 pound red potatoes, 1/4-inch slices
2 cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
Salt and white pepper
Essence (notice this is from Emeril?)
2 tablespoons chopped chives
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease a porcelain souffle dish with the butter. In a sauce pot, bring the garlic and cream up to a simmer. Season with salt and white pepper. Simmer the cream for 15 minutes, or until the cream has reduce by 1/4 and has slightly thickened. Season the potatoes with salt and white pepper. Alternate layering the white potatoes, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, and cheese in the prepared dish. You should have a total of six layers. Remove the garlic from the cream and
pour over the potatoes.
Cover the souffle dish with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. Remove the foil and continue cooking for 10 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Cool the gratin for 10 minutes before serving. Place a piece of
the gratin on a plate and garnish with Essence, cheese, and chives. Yield: 9 servings" -
Though, if the queen be brave and like the odd turnip;
Armored Turnips - Platina, p. 147 (book 8) in one translation:
"Cut up turnips that have been either boiled or cooked under the ashes. Likewise do the same with rich cheese, not too ripe. These should be smaller morsels than the turnips, though. In a pan greased with butter or liquamen, make a layer of cheese
first, then a layer of turnips, and so on, all the while pouring in spice and some butter, from time to time. This dish is quickly cooked and should be eaten quickly, too."
And then of course, Tomatoes:
"Actually tomatoes were brought back from America by the Spanish and were seen on the tables of the Spanish court at the very end of the 1500's (1579 I believe is the earliest reference). Like most exotic food of the time only the nobility had access to it when it was first introduced and their method of preparing it was to slice it and roll it in bread crumbs and fry it like one would do to zuccinni. If your doing a Spanish feast from the late 1500's this would be an appropriate dish for head table. - Giovanna"
now after that love apple treat, add a little Mustard to that happy experience:
Gerard's Herball, 1633 edition, pages 345-347:
"Poma Amoris. Apples of Loue. ...In Spaine and those hot Regions they vse to eat the Apples prepared and boiled with pepper, salt, and oile: but they yeeld very little nourishment to the bodie, and the same nought and corrupt. Likewise they doe eat the Apples with oile, vineger and pepper mixed together for sauce to their meate, euen as we in these cold Countries doe Mustard."
Now, last but not least, for that refreshing soft drink:
...from _The 'Libre de Diversis Medicinis' in the Thornton Manuscript
(MS. Lincoln Cathedral, A.5.2)_. Edited by Margaret Sinclair Ogden.
Published for the Early English Text Society by Humphrey Milford, Oxford
University Press. Amen House, E.C. 4. England. 1938.
Text circa early 1400 CE. Page 60
Tak an vnce or twa of roses & sethe tham in water to the ij partis be sothen in. Than clene it thurgh clathe & do suger ther-to & sethe it to it be thikk as hony & vse as thu dose the tother."
Though if she prefer Hot Chocolate:
"When the Spanish conquistadores led by Hernan Cortes were in Mexico in1520, one of their officers, Bernal Diaz, observed that the emperor Montezuma was drinking chocolatl, a beverage consisting of powdered cocoa beans and ground corn, flavoured with tlilxochitl (ground black vanilla pods) and honey. For more than three centuries after this, Mexico was the leading vanilla-producing country in the world despite attempts to plant the vines elsewhere."
by Dr. Robert J. Lancashire, The Department of Chemistry, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Kingston 7, Jamaica. - Feb 1995
"Bernardino de Sehagun, a Franciscan friar, who arrived in Mexico in1529, wrote about vanilla, saying the the Aztecs used it in cocoa, sweetened with honey, and sold the spice in their markets, but his work, originally written in the Aztec language, was not published until 1829-1830. The Spaniards early imported vanilla beans into Spain, where factories were established in the second half of the sixteenth century for the manufacture of chocolate flavored with vanilla."
- Shank's Extracts 1-800-346-3135
VOILA: Happy Meals, fit for a Queen. And generally period, too.
Ian Gourdon of Glen Awe, OP
Known as a forester of the Greenwood, Midrealm