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!