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Archive for October, 2013

Kitchen adventures

I have finally achieved some blue sediment from the two batches of woad I set out to extract 10 days ago. On the first batch, I heated the water with the woad leaves in, which was not according to directions. However, I got some nice sediment, though it may be more grey than It is supposed to be. On the second batch, I followed the instructions exactly, at least until I was almost to the pint where the leaves had been cooled enough to press out the sap and start aerating (55 C). At that moment, a friend stopped by the house and chatted until the leaves were completely cooled. Instead of reheating, I aerated. I had a lovely blue-green solution that didn’t drop its sediment, so after a couple of days I decided to reheat and see what would happen. It seems to have worked, and I have a little bit more sediment. I feel like a bit of a magician – not a very good magician, though.

Today’s kitchen adventure has been hare with leeks. I had a recollection of a delicious looking hare dish in An Early Meal, by Daniel Serra and Hanna Tunberg (a beautiful and well-researched book of plausible Viking age recipes, based on the archaeology of various sites). However, when I dug out the recipe, I discovered it was hare with pickled kale. Undeterred, I looked for A Culinary Journey Through Time by Sabine Karg, Regula Steinhauser-Zimmermann and Irmgarrd Bauer which I though also had a hare recipe, but couldn’t find it. Finally, I settled on Prehistoric Cooking, by Jaqui Wood. Jaqui’s book had a recipe for hare stew that called for bacon, chives and parsnip – none of which I had – in addition to butter, salt, water and a hare or rabbit. So, I have made a hare stew with leeks, thickened with a bit of steel cut oatmeal since I didn’t have parsnips to carmelize and thicken the broth. It’s quite tasty. Eventually, I did find the Karg book, which has Tasty Hare. It involves a fire pit, mugwort leaves, vegetables and fruit of choice, plus sorrel or coltsfoot leaves. That recipe will have to wait for a future camping event.

My next two tasks are to deal with the apples I picked earlier this week, and jar the pickles that have been fermenting for last three weeks.

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