Galentine: cold, hot, sauce or jelly?

I have been writing chapter 5 of my book (working title: How to Cook in the Fourteenth Century) which is dedicated to the sauce and condiment recipes in Richard II’s Forme of Cury. One of these recipes, ‘Galentyne’ in the Middle English text, intrigues me. The main reason for the fascination is that this particularContinue reading “Galentine: cold, hot, sauce or jelly?”

More on Parsley

What do pre-Conquest documents show about the use of parsley in early medieval England? One of the things I didn’t go into much detail about in my recent post Wild about parsley? was the use of parsley in medicine in early medieval England (more familiarly, the ‘Anglo-Saxon’ period). So I thought I would just shareContinue reading “More on Parsley”

Wild about parsley?

What kind of parsley was used in medieval English cuisine? Today, parsley is nigh on ubiquitous. If we’re not growing it in our gardens, we’re growing it in squishy supermarket punnets on our kitchen windowsills. Or, may the culinary gods forgive us, we’ve got bunches of it languishing in our fridge salad draws! When beingContinue reading “Wild about parsley?”

Sugary comfort: making medieval comfits

I must own that I have a sweet tooth. And were I back in the fourteenth century, a VIP guest at Richard II’s table, I would be munching on his comfits with unbecoming gusto. Comfits are sugar-coated, or candied, seeds and spices. During King Richard’s time, they were often white but also coloured – redContinue reading “Sugary comfort: making medieval comfits”

Extra notes on ‘rowen’ cheese

Yesterday, I posted about the autumn-produced cheese known in the Middle English cookery book, Forme of Cury, as chese ruayne (‘rowen cheese’). I had some really interesting responses, both on the blog comments and on social media, about the meaning of this word ruayne, for which I thank everyone. It’s really good to get suchContinue reading “Extra notes on ‘rowen’ cheese”

Medieval autumn cheese: what you need to know

The very first medieval recipe I ever experimented with was Tart de Bry, an open pastry tart made with, yes, you’ve guessed it, Brie cheese. Well, at least Brie was probably the cheese in the original Normandy recipe. And for my very first experiment I was trying to be tres autentik, to fabricate some Anglo-NormanContinue reading “Medieval autumn cheese: what you need to know”

A saving hand (a nerdy drama)

Hello everyone. I thought today I would do something a little different and write a post about the manuscript I work on, the copy of Forme of Cury in the John Rylands Library, Manchester. Don’t worry, foodies, it’s not that dull. Well, it’s been said before, but it’s worth repeating, that this copy of theContinue reading “A saving hand (a nerdy drama)”

Experiment: blank desyre and mawmanye

Recreating Arabic-inspired dishes from Forme of Cury I’ve recently been on a book buying splurge. You know how it is: the allure is impossible to resist. I’m the moth to the bibliophilic flame, denying responsibility and excusing my excess with cries of “but it’s so beautiful”. I won’t bore you with the full list, butContinue reading “Experiment: blank desyre and mawmanye”

Language of cookery 5: What does Crutoun mean?

I find it so easy to get waylaid by curiosity when translating Forme of Cury, Richard II’s official cookery book. Give me a strange recipe name, and I’ll spend hours trying to work out what it might mean and where it’s from, instead of simply offering a modern English title that captures the essence ofContinue reading “Language of cookery 5: What does Crutoun mean?”

The anti-Basilisk plant

This year I’ve grown sweet basil from seed for the first time. I only wanted a few plants, so this morning, after thinning out my seedlings a couple of weeks ago, I potted up my six basil babes to grow them on to adulthood. I wasn’t sure if sweet basil was grown in medieval BritishContinue reading “The anti-Basilisk plant”