June 2011


For this recipe you will need almond milk. I have written a basic almond milk recipe down and it can be found up there in green bar “Basic recipes/ perusohjeet”. Almond milk was essential in medieval kitchen. It was substitute for milk during Lent when animal products were forbidden. Also it is important to notice that milk wasn’t used that much because it didn’t stay fresh very long. And of course milk was made into butter and cheese too.

You can grind your almonds or use ready ground almonds if you want.

Bruet of Almaynne in lente (serves 2)

Harleian MS. 279, Volume II

Take fine thick Milk of Almonds; take dates, and mince them small thereon; take Sugar enough, & strew thereon & little flour of Rice; sprinkle & serve forth white & look that it is running.

3 dl thick almond milk

3 tablespoon sugar

½ dl minced dated

1 teaspoon rice flour

Put almond milk and sugar into a pot and bring it boil. When sugar has melted, add dates and sprinkle carefully rice flours into the pot. Boil briefly, stir carefully (it should be white) and serve. Remember that it should be somewhat running.

Comments:

It was white and it was sweet.. it was also runny. There was a recipe in the book before this called a potage colde. The almond milk used that pottage is made using wine. Um.. I want to try that one too!

I haven’t done much cheese or tried medieval cheese recipes before. This next one was something that Elzebeth and I did last time. I have a wooden cheese mold so I am sure that I will do more homemade cheese in future. This next one is kind of ale cheese and cottage cheese mixture. Very tasty and very interesting one.

Vyaund Leche (one cheese)

Harleian MS. 279, Volume I

Take Eggs, the white & the yolk and cast them in a mortar, and break them well; then take cow’s milk & cast thereto, & mix well together; then put all in a pan & let boil & with ale make it into a posset; then hang the curds on a pin & let it run over; mix curds with honey; then take the blades of Barley, or of Parsley & stamp them &wring through a cloth & so all the green, mix it among the curds; then take the curds that come from the dairymaid, mix them together, press them & serve them forth; and the colour will be then Motley.

3 big eggs

2,5 dl milk (fattiest as possible)

1,5 dl ale

1 tablespoon honey

0,5 dl fresh chopped parsley

200g cottage cheese

Ground the parsley in mortar. Put milk and eggs into a bowl and mix them well. Then put milk and eggs in a pot and bring it over to medium heat. Remember to stir all the time. When the mixture boil add ale at once. Remove from heat and pour the mixture to the strainer lined with cheesecloth and allow it to drip. Press out the remind liquids and pour the cheese to the bowl. Add parsley and honey and stir. Then add cottage cheese and carefully mix it together so the cheese looks parti-coloured. Pour the cheese into a cheese press and put a lid on the cheese press (or something that will continue pressing the cheese little bit). Put it into a fridge and serve next day.

Comments:

You can of course serve the cheese at the same day you have made it, but I bet it will be better if the cheese can rest one night

In the book Take a thousand eggs or more, there are interesting facts about medieval English cheese from the 15th century. The book says that each little farm or village that produced sufficient milk put up its own form of cheese. Excess cheese was of course sold etc. Most popular English cheese that have survived to our day are Cheddar, Gloucester, Cheshire and Wensleydale.

Next time when I go to grocery I will pay extra attention on cheese stand. I am not sure that I have tasted all of those cheeses and it would be very interesting to try!