Archive for July, 2015

A kind soul contacted me and shared this document, a collaborative piece of research by people interested in historical charcuterie. I am so excited!



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A few posts ago, I mentioned that I had found a reference to hagges of Almayne but couldn’t find a recipe anywhere. Apparently “anywhere” did not include “on my own bookshelf, where a narrow cookbook had gotten stuck between some lace books I rarely use”. I actually own a reduced facsimile of the 1882 London edition of “A Noble Boke off Cookry”, believed to be from about 1476, and “A Proper Newe Booke of Cokerye” from about 1576 (1913 edition).

To make hagges of Almayne

To mak an hagges of Almayne tak and draw eggs through a strener and parboile parcely in fat brothe then hew it and hew yoks of eggs to gedure put ther to pouder of guinger sugur and salt, and put mary in a strene and let it honge in the pot boilling and parboille it and tak it upe and let it kele then cutt it smalle and tak egg drawen throughe a strener and put them into a pan and let the pan be moist of grece let the batter run abrod into a soile then couche there in iij hard yolks of eggs and mary and parsly and turn the iiij sides to gedur that they close to gedur aboue that they lie square then tak of the same bater and wit of egge that it hold stanche(?) and close it and serue yt.

To make a haggis of Almayne, put eggs through a strainer (I am assuming they are uncooked); parboil parsley in broth, then chop the parsley and cooked egg yolks together. Add powdered ginger, sugar and salt. Put marrow in a strainer and hang it in pot; parboil the marrow then take it out and let it cool. Cut the marrow small. Pour the strained eggs into a well greased (and presumably hot) pan until it is coated, then over it with the hard-cooked eggs, marrow and parsley (which presumably have been mixed together, though similar recipes have the egg and parsley mixture topped with the marrow), then fold up the sides so that the filling is enclosed in a square. Then pour on more of the liquid egg mix and egg white and close it and serve it. Other recipes turn the squares and let them sit a bit before serving.

This does not sound like a haggis to me. It sounds more like an omelette filled with marrow and parsley.

Comparable recipes (hagas de almondes and hagas de Almaynne) can be found in Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery Books (Kraus Reprint, 1988). A somewhat different version (meatier and spicier, and including bread), called Haggas of Almain, can be found in the 1592 Book of Cookrye, found here: http://jducoeur.org/Cookbook/Cookrye.html.

While the hagges of almayne may have been a failure, I did find a haggis recipe from 1420 in Harleian MS 279, the first of the two cookbooks in Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery Books, while checking my references. I don’t know how I missed it when looking for sausage recipes earlier:

XXV Hagws of a schepe. – Take the Roppis with the talour & parboyle hem; than hakke hem smal; grynd pepir, & Safroun, & brede, & yolkys of Eyroun, & Raw kreme or swete Mylke: do al to-gederys, & do in the grete wombe of the Schepe, that is, the maw; & than sethe hym an seue forth ynne.

Sheep haggis – take guts and tallow/fat and parboil them, then chop them finely. Grind pepper, saffron, bread; mix all together with egg yolks and cream or milk. Fill the stomach of the sheep, then boil (or possibly simmer in a pan with water or broth) and serve.

haggis(image comes from shrineodreams.wordpress.com)

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A year or so ago, I dug out my tablets and swore that this time I was going to master tablet weaving. I had previously done a bit, then promptly forgot everything I learned in the class. Once everything was warped up, I decided my yarn was too fat, so the project has sat forlornly across my elliptical machine ever since (I use the elliptical machine even less than I finish craft projects!).

Last month, I decided I needed to use up some rather nice wool that was left over from the panova I made as part of a medieval Rus outfit. With careful cutting, I had just enough to make an apron dress using the reconstruction of fragments from Hedeby (http://sca.uwaterloo.ca/mjc/sca/aprond.html). I didn’t cut carefully, but that’s another problem and I did manage to patch it into a credible dress. Now that I am almost done hand finishing all the seam edges, the original plan of using up some machine-made trim just isn’t working for me. Therefore, tonight’s project is to figure out a very simple tablet woven pattern and see if I can get myself started on it. Having looked through all my tablet weaving books, I have decided that my best option is to play with the simple patterns on Phiala’s string page for now (http://www.stringpage.com/tw/basictw.html).

And that project in the basement? I think I’ll just take it apart and use the wool to make myself a pair of mittens.

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Byzantine Sausages

Byzantine dietary texts say little about sausages, beyond noting that pork produces an excess of moisture and phlegm in the body and that moisture is neutralized if eaten with mustard, though they do show up in saints’ lives and popular literature. In the life of St. Simeon Salos, the there is a story of the saint “taking a string of sausages (salsikion in Greek) around his neck, and holding mustard in his left hand, and so dipping them and eating them.” (flavours of Byzantium by Andrew Dalby, Prospect Books, 2003, p. 70).

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when searching for medieval pancake and waffle recipes with my friend Jane. We came across a recipe for pancakes in a book from 1585 called The Good Huswifes Jewell. This book is not the same as my book by Thomas Dawson from 1596, though elsewhere the British Library states that Thomas Dawson was the author and that my version may have been a later edition. The key for me, though, was that the pages include three recipes for puddings:


To make good white puddings

See that your livers bee not too much parboyled. Then take of the livers and lights, ty, let them be picked and chopped with knives and champ them in a morter, and straine them through a collender, and put some milk to it, to help to get it threugh, then put foure or five egs and but five whites, and put in crums of bread, Cloves, Mace, Saffron Salt, and some Pepper, and sweet suet small minced, and let there be enough of it, and so still fill them up, and to black puddings, otemeale, milk and salt.

To make Puddings

Take grated bread, the yolks of five egs, a litle Synamon and Salt, Corrans, one minced Date, and the suet of mutton minced smal, knead all these together, and make them up in litle balles, boyle them on a chafing dish with a little Butter and Vinigar, cast Synamon and sugar thereon, and so serve them in.

To make Ising puddings

Take a platter full of otemeale grotes clean picked, and put thereto of the best Creame sodden that ye can get, blood warme, as much as shall cover the grotes, and so let them lye and soake three houres, or some what more, till they have drunke up the cream, and the grotes swollen and soft withall. Then take five egges whites and yolkes, and straine them faire into your grotes: then take on platterful and a half of beef suet, the skin cleane pulled from it, and as small minced as is possible So the when yee have minced it, you must largelie have

The rest of the recipe is not available, so I will have to guess at the ending. Presumably, it needs some spices and then to be stuffed into casing. Ising pudding is basically blood pudding, so spices used in other blood pudding recipes would do, or I could simply go with salt and pepper. The recipe in the Second Part of the Good Huswives Jewell (Thomas Dawson, 1597) has an ising pudding recipe that also uses eggs, groats and cream, plus pepper; though salt is not mentioned, it is essential.

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I can’t believe I missed some of these in the first go-round!


Bone combs and cases.

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The French Cook (Francis de la Varenne, 1653, edited by Susan j. Evans, Falconwood Press, 1991) has several sausage recipes. De la Varenne was a French cook who worked in England for a noble family.

chapter 3, 8. White puddings (p 13): Take the guts of mutton, and scrape them so that they be very Cleese,  take four pounds of fresh pork suet, and mince it very small; take also the brawne of two Capone, mince them as dust, and mixe them with your suet, next put to it fifteen raw Egs, one pint of Milk, the crum of half a white loaf, season all well with the spice of Saucidges, and a little Aniseed; the spice for Saucidges is prepared thus; take Peper, Cloves, Salt, and Ginger, beat them well together, then powre all into the guts with a brasse or white Latin instrument made for that purpose, and whiten them in milk & rost them on the Gridiron with a fat paper under them, then serve.

9. Saucidges with the brain of Partridges. After you Partridges are roasted, take the brain out of them, and mince it very small, take some fresh porcke suet, four times as much as of minced meat, mix all together, well seasoned as the white pudding, put also some milk to it proportionably, and powre all into some mutton guts, as the white pudding, which you shall also whiten in milk, and shall tie them at the ends; rost them leisurely upon some fat paper. It you will, you may powre it into the guts of a suckling Pig, or Turkie, then serve.

10. Andovilles, Chitterlings. Take Chaldrons of Veal, and mince them (or cut them small) with some Pork suet, some Lard, and some Porks flesh, stove them all together in a pot; it being sodden and cold, you shall mix with it a little Milk, and some raw Egs, then you shall powre it into the great gut of a Hog, with the same seasoning as the white pudding: Make some with half milk and half water; when it is made, rost it on the gridiron with a fat paper, and serve.

11. Servelats. Take a Beefs gut, and scrape it well, take some lard, some port, or mutton flesh, or any other you will, and after you have minced it well, stamp it with  with Peper, salt, white wine, clove, fine herbs, onion, and a little of fresh Porks suet, Then powre your implements into this gut, cut into pieces according to the length of a Servelat, which you shall the at the end, and shall hang it on the chimney. When you shall use them, seeth them in water, and about the latter end, put into it a little wine, and some fine herbs; when they are sodden, you may keep them one month. Serve.


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