Archive for November, 2016

This book, a translation of a 16th C cookbook by Timothy J. Tomaski & Ken Alabama (Prospect Books, 2014).  The book is representative of cookbooks published by Pierre Sergent beginning in the 1540s, and this particular one was chosen because it has the largest collection of recipes. It was originally sold in Lyon, France.

While there are many excellent recipes, this post is about sausages, again. The book contains references to Andouille and Milanese sausages, as well as Bologna, cervelat, Lombard (chicken breast), veal, white, and counterfeit (cucumber, apple, and pear shaped) as well as various puddings. I decided to try the Bologna because I wanted something smoked. However, I didn’t have any beef handy, so I ended up making something between bologna and cervelat.

Cervelat Sausages: To make cervelat take two pounds of lean flesh of young pig, a pound of fat and chop all very finely, then take pepper, nutmeg and salt just right, fill your casings and tie at the ends, and let them boil in a good broth and they keep a long time.

Bologna Sausages: Take the fleet of beef and young piglet, the same amount of one as the other, a pound of each, remove the skin, chop very fine with a pound of fat fresh lard, and to assemble take five ounces of ground spices, as much of pepper as ginger and about two ounces of whole pepper, fine salt about one ounce or thereabouts and mix everything well together. Then stuff the mixture into the beef casing that has been cleaned well and dried, and press, and tie separately a good half-foot long each one, and place them for two days in salt, then place them to dry in the chimney.

The editors note that these would have been made with beef middles, which has  diameter of about 2 1/4 inches, rather than the beef bung that would give the 4 1/2 inch bologna we recognize today. Also, modern bologna is poached before smoking.

I used about 3 1/2 lb of pork and 1/2 lb of lard, with 2 oz of white pepper, 1-1/2 oz dried ginger and 1 oz salt. The editors warned that this is a very spicy sausage, and that is certainly true! I am not resting it in salt, but I will allow it to rest in the refrigerator for a day or two before cold smoking it.





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Slyng (Whipcording)

Yesterday at Feast of the Hare, we had a special visitor – Rick Mercer, from The Rick Mercer Report, a popular Canadian television show. He spent hours joining in the dancing, music, fighting and outdoor cooking. But this post isn’t about him. You can watch all of that (and many awesome friends) when the segment is shown on TV.

This post is about a little bit of fun I had with Jane Caldwell. I had been asked to bring my slyng sticks in case there was time to teach Rick how it works. There wasn’t, of course, because there was so much else to see, but that didn’t stop us from experimenting with patterns. We switched up the pattern of colours, crosses and twists every few inches, then played with something else. Occasionally, we went back to something we particularly liked and tried to recreate it.

Simple slyng can be done by one person, but it is definitely more fun with at least two people. The rhythmic nature of the passes lead automatically to adding rhymes or song as we work. I had noticed this before when making slyng with a musician, so was pleasantly surprised when Jane spontaneously started doing it.


Note the huge grins. We really were having fun


Action shot


If you look closely, you can see how the pattern changes from spirals, to almost a herringbone, or a checky, and then different spirals

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