The Hitchhiker's Guide to Ancient Cookery
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Alexandre Lerot d'Avigné
(Number 35 in the Series, July 2005)
Time to get serious about what gets done when.
Pre-cooking and Pre-paring
The date of Coronation is September 24th. Let's keep that in mind.
Everything else we can make on site. Much of what's left is just
chopping and saucing. The bits that aren't, and which therefore
require carefully planning as far as ovens and burners and such are:
- I always like to precook chicken when I can. In this situation, I can.
170 leg quarters need to be cooked and frozen before the event. That's
one leq quarter per person and a few spares. On the
day of the event, they just need to be thawed. The actual cooking will
be easy, just a little salt and a roasting - remember a sauce will go out.
I'll start cooking these on the 4th of September. As they get cooked,
they'll get frozen and distributed out to anyone I know with a freezer.
- Glires Falses
- A day or so before, the sausage should be made up. I need, let's say,
352 little micey. That's 22 pounds at 16 mice per pound. That works out
to two mice per person and a few spares.
They can be done on site or a day or two before and refrigerated. My mouse
wrangler may be able to do it ahead of time. We could probably do everything
except the eyes beforehand.
- Made a few days ahead and kept refrigerated. That's easy. So that's
probably starting the week before, say the 19th. It's pretty rich, so
a pound or so of ricotta per table should be plenty.
- Wouldn't hurt this to be made ahead a few days. In fact, it could
probably be frozen. It's mostly cheese and supposed to be served cold
anyway, so frozen and thawed wouldn't hurt it. A pound or so of cheese
here, I think mixed ricotta and either parmesan or romano, should
be adequate per table. This can be made whenever I get the time.
- This will be made ahead and frozen - but not by me!
Mistress Brighid ni Chiarain has volunteered to do it. So that's easy, too.
- Glires Falses (the cooking thereof)
- Agnus (the lamb)
- Patina di piris (eggy pear thing)
- The faseoli virides, which need to be cooked early to be
served cold later.
- Carotas (hot carrots in cumin sauce)
- The fish dish
The lamb takes the longest, about 20 minutes per pound for the size roasts
we're dealing with. Which means, in order to avoid grossing out the
squeamish with rare lamb (Mmm!) about an hour and half before serving.
Since I'm loaded the ovens pretty heavily, a little extra time wouldn't hurt.
I've got four ovens, so I can load each one with five or six roasts
which isn't too much of an overload, though.
The trick, of course, is that the lamb goes out after the glires falses.
Not a problem, though. When it's time to put in the mousies, about ten minutes
before they are to be served, the lamb can be combined in both trays and
ovens down to one if possible or two if not. Then the glires go into
As soon as the glires go out the ovens are free for the patina di piris,
and we'll have plenty of time for that.
The faseoili virides get done early in the day, probably before the
dayboard goes out. So that's not an issue at all.
I'm going to send out around 30 pounds of carrots which need to be boiled
and then sauteed with the sauce. The boiling is pretty easy and we'll just
use pre-peeled and washed baby carrots to keep prep time down. That
means we've got to saute them though. In fact, we'll probably cheat
and give them only a minimal saute. We'll lose a little bit of
carmelization, I'm afraid, but in exchange, we can send out the carrots
nice and hot. We should be able to cook carrots tender in not too long
a time - assuming we remember to get the water boiling early. So
that means a couple of pots and a couple of skillets for the carrots.
So I've got two long burners and two griddles for thawing surface and
for my fish dish. We should be able to cook them up on those without
too much difficulty. So it looks like we're in good shape.
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Comments are welcome.
Alexandre Lerot d'Avigné, Jeff Berry, email@example.com
Copyright Jeff Berry
Originally webbed 27 July 2005
Last modified :1 August 2005