The Hitchhiker's Guide to Ancient Cookery

with your host
Alexandre Lerot d'Avigné
Jeff Berry
(Number 22 in the Series, November 2003)

The Yule Menu

The yule menu is now all but finalized. I'll enclose the raw recipes first, with redactions to follow.

On the table as people are seated:

These will all be purchased as is. Followed immediately by: The salt beef recipe is in last article, #21. The mustard will be purchased prepared mustard. (The ingredients in prepared mustard as per Hugh Plat are vinegar and mustard seeds, which are basically the same ingredients as most prepared mustards. I'll avoid plain yellow "salad" mustard.)

The marinated mushrooms are my old recipe, from the Caer Galen Cooks' Corner, #7. They will be started first thing in the morning, but do not require cooking.

After that:

La Varenne, I.4 "Potage of Ducks with Turnips"
"Cleanse them, lard them with great lard, then pass them in the pan with fresh seam or melted lard; or else rost them on the spit three or four turns. Then put them in the pot and take your turnips, cut them as you will, whiten them, flour them and pass them in fresh seam or lard, until they be very brown. Put them in your Ducks, seeth all well, and stove or soak your bread well, to the end that your potage be thickned. If you have capers you shall mix some with it, or a little vinegar. Take up and garnish with Turnips, then serve."
I'll make this with at least one duck, but also chicken to flesh it out. I think it will be turnip heavy, too, since I've got roast pork coming.

Forme of Cury, xx.iii.xvi, Salat
"Take pfel, sawge, garlec, chiboll, oynons, leek, borage, mynt, porrect, fenel and ton tressis, rew, rosemarye, purslarye, lave and wassche hem clene, pike hem, pluk he smalle, with thyn honde and myng hem wel with rawe oile, lay on vyng and salt, and sue it forth."

Digbie, "To Rost Wild-Boar"
"At Franckfort, when they rost Wild-boar (or Robuck or other Venison) they lay it to soak, six or eight or ten days (according to the thickness and firmness of the piece and Penetrability of it) in good Vinegar, wherein is Salt and Juniper-berries bruised (if you will, you may add bruised Garlick or what other Haut-goust you like) the Vinegar coming up half way the flesh, and turn it twice a day. Then if you will, you may Lard it.
When it is rosted, it will be very mellow and tender. They do the like with a leg or other part of Fresh-pork.


For Pease Porrdige, I was torn between Lenten Sops from The Vivendier, and My Lord Lumley's Pease-Porage from Digbie. I finally decided on Lord Lumley's since it does not call for wine or vinegar. Several of the other recipes have used vinegar and I don't want to over do it.

Digbie, "My Lord Lumley's Pease-Porage"
"Take two quarts of Pease, and put them into an Ordinary quantity of Water, and when they are almost boiled, take out a pint of the Pease whole, and strain all the rest. A little before you take out the pint of Pease, when they are all boiling together, put in almost and Ounce of Coriander-seed beaten very small, one Onion, some Mint, Parsley, Winter-savoury, Sweet-Marjoram, all minced very small; when you have strained the Pease, put in the whole Pease and the strained again into the pot and let them boil again, and a little before you take them up, put in half a pound of Sweet-butter. You must season them in due time, and in the ordinary proportion with Pepper and Salt.
This is a proportion to make about a Gallon of Pease-porage. The quantities are set down by guess. The Coriander-seeds are as much as you can conveniently take in the hollow of your hand. You may put in a great good Onion or two. A pretty deal of Parsley, and if you will, and the season afford them, you may add what you like of other Porage herbs, such as they use for their Porages in France. But if you take the savoury herbs dry, you must crumble or beat them to small Powder (as you do the Coriander-seed) and if any part of them be too big to pass through the strainer, after they have given their taste to the quantity, in boiling a sufficient while therein, you put them away with the husks of the Pease. The Pint of Pease that you reserve whole, is only to show that it is a Pease-porage. For which these proportions will make about a Gallon."

La Varenne, 5.4 "Pasty of Gammon"
"Unsalt it well, and when it is unsalted enough, boile it a little, and take off the skin round about. Then put it in brown paste as Venison, and season it with pepper, clove and parsley. You may also lard it as venison. Bake it proportionally to its bigness; if it is thick five houres, if it less, less time will serve. After it is cold, serve it in slices."
I think I may make this for head table, and just do a round of meat pies or sausage for the rest. I've got an old meat pie recipe which is basically just sausage in a pie crust. I can serve it in wedges, cold. And finally:

We've decided to do pot-luck for desserts. So that's off my plate.

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Comments are welcome.
Alexandre Lerot d'Avigné, Jeff Berry,

Copyright Jeff Berry
Originally webbed 10 November 2003
Last modified 10 November 2003