“und versaltz nicht” *

 

A Feast with a German flavor by Signora Giovanna Theresa Battista di Firenze and Lady Margaret Fitzwilliam of Kent.

 

Schutzenfests were German Archery festivals held in the spring and hosted by various towns.  Nordskogen’s Schutzenfest is a German-themed archery event held every other May.  The menu for the feast was made up of dishes selected for their German flavor rather than absolute authenticity, so this is not a highly researched meal.

 

This is a feast of 4 removes, intended to serve approximately 150 people.  Initial financial outlay was approximately $850.

 

The Menu

 

On the tables/ First remove:

            Rye and wheat breads

            Pickled vegetables

            Butter

            Liptauer (herbed cheese spread)

            Salt

            Pickled herring

            Hard boiled eggs

 

Second remove:

            Sauerbraten

            Barley

            Red cabbage with apples

 

Third remove:

            Savory cheese blintzes

            Fruit dumplings

            Cucumber salad

 

Dessert:

            Bread and butter pudding

            Krumkake

 

 

Lunch

 

Bratwurst

 

We used the real thing for the casings, prepared pigs intestines that were dried and packaged in salt.  If you want to hear a funny story about Giovanna’s reaction to this product just ask her Laurel, Mistress Aramanthra the Viscious, she would love to share!

 

Recipe makes: 30-35 sausages

8 lbs. pork (pork butt or any relatively lean cut)

1-2 lbs. pork fat (depends on the fat content of the pork)

4 T salt (add half at first and taste)

4 t sage

4 ½ t pepper

4 t garlic

½ t nutmeg

½ t allspice

Pork casings

 

Grind the pork and pork fat with a course blade through a meat grinder.  Mix with the seasonings and fry up a small portion to see if you have the taste to your liking.  Grind the whole thing again with the fine blade.  Stuff into casings and boil.  We used a Kitchen Aid grinder and stuffer, which worked great!

 

Ginger Biscuits

 

The cookie, in its broadest sense, is a modern invention.  This recipe is from a modern cookbook and we used items such as baking soda and corn syrup in its production.  The closest approximate to a cookie that existed in period were thin biscuits. They were sometimes sweet, but mostly bland and similar in texture to crackers.  This recipe is the closest that I have found to period and I find it’s fairly agreeable to modern palates. - Giovanna

 

2 T golden syrup (we substituted light corn syrup for $$ consideration)

1 T black molasses

3/8 c sugar

1 T water

½ t galingale

½ t nutmeg

1 t cinnamon

1 ½ t ginger

Grated orange rind

3 oz butter

½ t baking soda (you can omit this, but the biscuits get pretty hard)

2 t orange juice

2 c flour

Whole cloves (for decoration)

 

Gently heat syrups, sugar, water and spices in a large pan.  Add the grated rind.  Bring to boil, stirring well.  Remove from heat, add butter, soda and orange juice.  Add enough sifted flour to produce a stiff dough.  Let cool.  Roll out to about 1/8 inch think and cut into shapes.  Decorate with whole cloves.  Bake on greased sheets at 350° F for 12 minutes.  Cool briefly on pans and remove to wire racks.

 

Feast

 

Liptauer Cheese

 

8 oz cream cheese

1 stick (8T) softened butter

1/4 t salt

2 t caraway seeds

1 t dry mustard

1 t chopped capers

1 T finely chopped onions

½ cup sour cream

3 T fresh minced chives (1 T dried)

 

Blend all ingredients together and chill covered.  Serves 8.

 

Refrigerator Pickle Pot

 

Pickling was a common way to preserve meats, fruits and vegetables for winter storage.  The sweet and sour flavors of vinegar and sugar were popular in the Middle Ages and remain so today.

 

1 lb. cucumbers

1 lb. carrots

1 large cauliflower head

1 lb. small white onions, peeled

2 cloves garlic

2 T dill

1 qt cider or white vinegar

4 c sugar

1/2 c pickling salt

 

Chop vegetables, separate cauliflower into florets.  Blanch cauliflower, carrots and onions in boiling water for 2 minutes.  Layer all vegetables in a 1-gallon container, placing garlic cloves in the center.  Dissolve sugar and salt in vinegar and pour over vegetables.  Refrigerate 1 week.

 

Sauerbraten (soured beef)

 

Marinating meat in vinegar and spices is a common treatment in German medieval cuisine.  There are MANY recipes for this dish, but this is one of our favorites.

 

4 lbs. lean beef (a tough cut works well with this dish, since you need something that will stand up to a long marinade and cooking time)

Marinade:

2 onions, quartered

½ lemon, sliced

1 ½ c red wine or cider vinegar

12 whole cloves

6 bay leaves

1 T sugar

1 T salt

¼ t ground ginger

 

Mix marinade ingredients together and pour over meat in a large bowl.  Cover and marinate for 4-5 days, turning meat twice a day.  If your marinade is completely covering the meat you can let it stay out on your counter during the marinade.  If you want to play it safe, keep it in the refrigerator.  Drain and reserve half of the marinade and discard the onions, lemon and spices.

 

2 T shortening

1/3 c broken ginger snaps

1 T cornstarch (or flour)

¼ c water

Beef broth

 

Melt shortening in an oven-safe pan.  Add the meat and the reserved marinade.  Cook at 400° F for one hour.  Turn meat, trying to keep as much of it covered by the marinade as possible.  Turn the oven down to 350° F and continue cooking, turning occasionally, for 1 ½ - 2 hours more, or until meat is tender and falls apart.  Remove meat to a platter.  Strain the cooking liquid and add enough beef broth to make four cups.  Place liquids into a saucepan and add the gingersnaps and cornstarch that had been dissolved in water.  Bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes, or until thickened.  Pour over meat and serve with noodles, barley or spatzle.

 

Cucumber Salad

 

1 c sour cream

2 T lemon juice

2 t sugar

1 t salt

Ground black pepper

Chopped dill (fresh or dry)

3 cucumbers peeled and sliced

 

Mix dairy and spices together and pour over cucumbers and sprinkle with dill.  Chill and serve.

 

Fruit Dumplings [Ein Buch von gute Spise #12 and 61] (For those of you who feel compelled to translate and redact, have fun!)

 

12: Ein gut fülle (A good filling)

Wiltu machen ein spise, besnide biern schoen und spalt in viere und lege sie in einem hafen und bedecke den hafen und beecleibe ez mit teyge daz der bradem iht uz müge.  Denne bestürtze den hafen mit einer witen stürtzen und lege dar umme glüende koln und laz ez lang sam backen. So nim denne die birn her uz und tu reines honiges dor zu.  Also vil als der birn ist und siude ez mit ein ander, daz ez dicke werde, und gibz hin.  Also mahtu auch von epfeln un von küten aber man sol pfeffers genau dar zu tun.

 

This is how you want to make a food. Trim fine pears and divide in four and lay them in a pot and cover the pot and coat it with dough, so that the vapor can not get out.  Then cover the pot with a broad cover and lay there about glowing coals and let it slowly bake.  So take then the pears out (of the fire?) and add clean honey therein, as much as the pear is, and boil it together so that it becomes thick and give it out.  So you can make also from apples and from quinces but one should add pepper enough thereto.

 

61: Einen krapfen (A krapfen)

So du wilteinen vasten krapfen machen von nüzzen mit ganzem kern und nim als vil epfele dor under. und snide sie würfeleht als der kern ist und roest sie mit ein wenig honiges und mengez mit würtzen und tu ez uf die bleter die do gemaht sin zu krapfen und loz ez backen und versaltz nicht.

 

How you want to make a fast day krapfen of nuts with whole kernels.  And take as many apples thereunder and cut them diced, as the kernel is, and roast them well with a little honey and mix with spices and put it on the leaves, which you made to krapfen, and let it bake and do not oversalt.

 

We combined and modified the two recipes to get the peach dumplings.  Since they didn’t feel it necessary to record a pastry recipe in period we chose to use a modern recipe for apple turnover dough.  We selected peaches for two reasons: they are considered more of a summer fruit, and since we were using canned fruit, they hold up better than pears.  We omitted the nuts for allergy reasons, not wanting to inadvertently kill any of our guests, and selected spices according to those that were commonly used in period in that region.  To get the combinations right we experimented, a lot! <yum>

 

Dough:

1¼ c flour

½ c butter chilled

½ t sugar

¼ t salt

2-3 T ice water

 

Mix dry ingredients and cut in butter.  Add water until a moist dough is formed.  Do not overwork. Chill.

 

Filling:

Canned peach halves, cut in half (quarters). 16 oz

1 c honey

½ t pepper

1 t galingale

2 t cinnamon

 

Garnish:

4 t cinnamon

4 t ginger

Beaten egg with cream

 

Drain peaches and mix with honey and spices.  Roll out dough to ¼ inch and cut into rounds 6 inches in diameter (we used the top of a #6 Rubbermaid container).  Brush the edges of the circle with the egg and place a peach quarter on one half and fold over.  Crimp edges and brush tops with egg and sprinkle with the cinnamon and ginger mixture.  Bake for 30 minutes at 350 - 400° F.

 

This is an example of using a primary source and justifying the changes made using existing evidence to come up with a plausibly period product, with some creative license, of course. Perfectly acceptable for a Single Dish entry in any Arts & Sciences competition.

 

Bread and Butter Pudding

 

Similar dishes utilizing bread, eggs, milk and dried fruits are common throughout most of Europe during the Middle Ages.

 

2 c milk

½ c sugar

4-5 slices day old white bread

3 eggs

2 oz Sultanas (golden raisins) soaked in warm water with the zest of 1 lemon.

Butter

 

Slice bread thinly, toast slightly and butter both sides while still hot.  Line the bottom of a casserole dish.  Drain the sultanas and spread them over the bread.  Beat the eggs well with sugar and add milk. Pour over the bread and sultanas.  Sprinkle top with cinnamon.

Bake at 350° F until firm (35-40 minutes).

 

 

 


Suggested Reading

 

If you are interested in period and period style cooking, there are a number of available sources to help you get started.

 

Ein Buch von guter Spise is a 14thcentury German cookery text, which is available online, translation and some redaction’s by Alia Atlas.

http://www.cs.bu.edu/students/grads/akatlas/Buch/buch.html

 

The Medieval and Renaissance Food Homepage -- links to medieval and Renaissance food sites on the on the Internet:

http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/food.html

 

Black, Maggie. The Medieval Cookbook. Thames & Hudson, 1992.  Original recipes and modern redaction’s.

 

Hieatt, Constance and Sharon Butler. Pleyn Delit. University of Toronto Press, Toronto, 1979.  Redacted and original recipes from a variety of period French and English sources.  This has been reprinted in a revised version.

 

Renfrow, Cindy. Take a Thousand Eggs or More. Redacted 15th century recipes taken from various manuscripts printed with the original text.

 

Sass, Lorna J. To the Queen’s Taste, To the King’s Taste, Christmas Feasts from History. Original recipes and modern redaction’s.

 

Scully, Terence, et. al. Early French cookery: Original recipes and redaction’s, a bit on the medieval philosophy of food and medicine.

 

Giovanna (Liz Pearson) valkyr8@yahoo.com

Margaret (Jennifer Getty) pixel@hundred-acre-wood.com

 

All proceeds from the sale of this book go to help fund the Principality of Northshield.

 

* “and do not oversalt”, a common instruction we found at the end

 of most of the recipes in Ein Buch von guter Spise.

 

Schutzenfest III, May 22, 1999 A.S. XXXIII