Medieval and Tudor Winter Holiday Cooking, Part 1

I have been participating in Paul Couchman’s The history of Christmas customs, feasting and food from the Middles Ages to 20th-century wartime. I just love his courses.  So I started out with the Medieval and Tudor winter holiday cooking recipes yesterday. First there was the Syrian Chicken.  It involved steaming a chicken with some flavors and then combining it with a sauce made of the chicken stock and ground almonds with some spices.

Then there was Plum Pottage which invoked making beef stock and combining it with dried fruits and seasonings.

Then I made their gingerbread which was boiled honey with breadcrumbs and spices.  Unfortunately this did not turn out.  I must have used the wrong breadcrumbs as it never set up.

Then there was a Shakespeare Warden Pie  I used puff pastry underneath and added the honey and saffron soaked pears with some soaked currants and golden raisins on top.

More puff pastry with egg yolk and Demerara sugar on the top and baked.

Here is our dinmer last night, the Syrian Chicken with Pomegranate seed and the Plum Pottage  The chicken was fairly boring other than the pomegranate seeds were fun.  I loved the pottage though. It was spice, warm and wonderful.  Tom was not a huge fan though.

Here was the dessert.  The pie was not well cooked, and the pears were raw.  The gingerbread was basically a syrup.  So pretty much a failure.

But this morning I had the bright idea of using the “ginger bread” as a coffee additive as it is mostly honey and spices, and it is really good.   So it will be my coffee seasoning until it runs out.  The pigs liked the Warden pie.  And I will eat the Syrian Chicken and Plum Pottage the next time I work  Now I am working on procuring pheasant, venison and mutton (or lamb) for the remaining recipes of this era before moving on to the next one.  Wish me luck!

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4 Responses to Medieval and Tudor Winter Holiday Cooking, Part 1

  1. Jeanne says:

    Oh, boy! That was really quite an experience, wasn’t it! I’m sorry it didn’t all turn out well. I would not have thought of using the failed gingerbread in coffee! I guess you have a better imagination than I do! Let me know how that goes. I hope you can find the meats you need for the next part.

    • Donna says:

      It was quite an experience and lots of dirty dishes. The ginger bread in coffee is working out except some soggy crumbs on the bottom of the cup.

  2. Jeanne says:

    I hadn’t even thought of the amount of dirty dishes that much cooking would make.
    I can’t imagine the gingerbread in coffee. However i don’t drink coffee, since it doesn’t agree with my tummy. Oh, well. I’ll survive!

    • Donna says:

      The dishes are incredible. This didn’t really turn out to be gingerbread, more like a paste. So it mostly dissolved in the coffee quite nicely. One thing about me is I hate wasting food.

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