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Random Renaissance Era Quotes (Well, mostly)
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Icelandic Chicken

Icelandic p. 218/D1 (GOOD) >

One shall cut a young chicken in two and wrap about it whole leaves of salvia, and cut up in it bacon and add salt to suit the taste. Then cover that with dough and bake like bread in the oven.

5 c flour>

1/2 lb bacon>

3 T dried sage (or sufficient fresh sage leaves to cover) >

about 1 3/4 c water>

3 lb chicken, cut in half>

Make a stiff dough by kneading together flour and water. Roll it out. Cover the dough with sage leaves and the sage leaves with strips of bacon. Wrap each half chicken in the dough, sealing it. You now have two packages which contain, starting at the outside, dough, sage, bacon, chicken. Put them in the oven and bake like bread (325deg. for 2 hours). We find the bacon adds salt enough. >

The part of the bread at the bottom is particularly good, because of the bacon fat and chicken fat. You may want to turn the loaves once or twice or baste the top with the drippings.

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Roast Chicken

Platina book 6>

You will roast a chicken after it has been well plucked, cleaned and washed; and after roasting it, put it into a dish before it cools off and pour over it either orange juice or verjuice with rosewater, sugar and well-ground cinnamon, and serve it to your guests.

large chicken

1/3 c orange juice

1 T rosewater

2 T sugar plus 1 t cinnamon

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Chykens in Hocchee

Curye on Inglysch p. 105 (Forme of Cury no. 36) >

Take chykens and scald hem. Take persel and sawge, with o+ er erbes; take garlec & grapes, and stoppe the chikenus ful, and see+ hem in gode broth, so + at + ey may esely be boyled + erinne. Messe hem & cast + erto powdour dowce. >

3 1/2 lb chicken>

4 T parsley

1 1/2 t sage

1 t marjoram

1 3/4 t thyme

3/4 oz = ~10 cloves garlic

1/2 lb red grapes

2 10.5 oz cans conc. chicken broth + 2 cans water

powder douce: 1 t sugar, 1/4 t mace, 1/4 t cinnamon

Note that all herbs are fresh.

Clean the chicken, chop parsley and sage fine then mix with herbs in a bowl. Herbs are fresh, measured chopped and packed down. Take leaves off the fresh marjoram and thyme and throw out the stems, remove as much stem from parsley as practical. Add garlic cloves whole, if very large halve. Add grapes, and thoroughly but gently mix with the herbs. Stuff the chicken with the herbs, garlic and grapes. Close the bird with a few toothpicks. Place chicken in pot with broth and cook on stove top over moderate heat 1/2 hour, turn over, another 1/4 hour (in covered pot). Serve on platter with powder douce sprinkled over.

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Capons Stewed

Two Fifteenth Century p. 72/68 (GOOD)
Take parcelly, Sauge, Isoppe, Rose Mary, and tyme, and breke hit bitwen thi hondes, and stoppe the Capon there-with; colour hym with Safferon, and couche him in a erthen potte, or of brasse, and ley splentes underneth and al about the sides, that the Capon touche no thinge of the potte; strawe good herbes in the potte, and put thereto a pottel of the best wyn that thou may gete, and none other licour; hele the potte with a close led, and stoppe hit aboute with dogh or bater, that no eier come oute; And set hit on the faire charcole, and lete it seeth easly and longe till hit be ynowe. And if hit be an erthen potte, then set hit on the fire whan thou takest hit downe, and lete hit not touche the grounde for breking; And whan the hete is ouer past, take oute the Capon with a prik; then make a sirippe of wyne, Reysons of corance, sugur and safferon, And boile hit a litull; medel pouder of Ginger with a litul of the same wyn, and do thereto; then do awey the fatte of the sewe of the Capon, And do the Siryppe to the sewe, and powre hit on the capon, and serue it forth. >

1 chicken, about 3 lb

First batch of herbs: 1/3 c fresh parsley, 1 T dried sage, 1 t dried rosemary, 1 t thyme, ground, 2 T hyssop, dried

1 1/2 c wine

6 threads saffron + 1 t water

Second batch of herbs: 1/2 t tarragon, 1/2 t sage, 1/2 t rosemary, 1/2 t thyme

about 1/2 c flou>

enough water to make a stiff dough

Sauce: 1/2 c wine, 1/2 c sugar, 1/2 c currants, small pinch saffron, 1/4 c wine, 1 t powdered ginger

Mix first batch of herbs and stuff chicken with them. Put chicken and wine in a pot with a top; if you are using a stove top rather than an oven, you may want to put wood pieces or something under the chicken to keep it from sticking. Paint the chicken with water with saffron crushed into it. Sprinkle on second batch of herbs. Mix flour and water into a stiff dough, roll it out into a string, and use it between pot and lid as a seal. Bake at 350deg. or simmer on stove top about 1 1/2 hours. Take out, drain, separate out some of the liquid without the fat. Make a thick syrup of wine, sugar, currants, and a pinch of saffron. Boil briefly. Mix another 1/4 c wine with powdered ginger. Combine. Add 1/2 c of the liquid from the chicken to this, heat, pour over capon, serve. >

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Veal, Kid, or Hen in Bokenade

Two Fifteenth Century p. 13/53

Take Vele, Kyde, or Henne, an boyle hem in fayre Water, or ellys in fresshe brothe, an smyte hem in pecys, an pyke hem clene; an than draw the same brothe thorwe a straynoure, an caste ther-to Percely, Sawge, Ysope, Maces, Clowys, an let boyle tyl the flesshe be y-now; than sette it from the fyre, and a-lye it vp with raw yolkys of eyroun, and caste ther-to pouder Gyngere, Verjows, Safroun, and Salt, and thanne serue it forth for a gode mete. >

meat (1/2 chicken)

2 T fresh parsley

3 leaves of sage

1/2 T hyssop

1/8 t mace

3 T vinegar

1/8 t cloves

5 threads saffron

8 egg yolks

1/2 t salt

1 t powdered ginger

The chicken was boiled 20 minutes before the “smiting in pieces” and another 20 minutes after the parsley, etc. were added.>

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Cold Sage Chicken

Goodman p. 277/23

Take your chicken and quarter it and set to cook in salt and water, then set it to get cold. Then bray ginger, cinnamon powder, grain of Paradise, and cloves and bray them well without straining; then bray bread dipped in chicken broth, parsley (the most), sage, and a little saffron in the leaf and color it green and run it through a strainer (and some there be that run therewith yolk of egg) and moisten with good vinegar, and when it is moistened set it on your chicken and with and on the top of the aforesaid chicken set hard boiled eggs cut into quarters and pour your sauce over it all.

1/2 chicken, quartered

3 slices of bread dipped in chicken broth

4 T parsley

3 leaves sage

4 threads saffron

2 egg yolks

1/4 t ginger

1/2 t cinnamon

1/4 t grains of paradise

less than 1/8 t cloves

4 hard boiled eggs

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Fricassee of Whatever Meat You Wish

Platina book 6
You make a fricassee from fowl or whatever meat you choose in this way: in a pot with lard, close to the fire, put meat or birds well cleaned and washed, whether cut up finely or in slices. Stir this often with a spoon so that it does not stick to the side of the pot; when it is nearly cooked, take out most of the lard and put in two egg yolks beaten with verjuice and pour in juice and spices mixed into the pot. To this dish add some saffron so that it is more colorful. Likewise, it will not detract from the enjoyment of it to sprinkle finely chopped parsley over the dish. Then serve it immediately to your guests.

1/4-1/3 c lard

fowl or meat: chicken, 1 lb boneless or about 2 1/2 lb with bone

2 egg yolks

2 T verjuice (or 1 T vinegar)>

“juice”: 3 T chicken broth>

“spices”: 1/4 t pepper, 1/8 t cloves, 1/4 t cinnamon, 1/4 t salt

3 threads saffron

1 T parsley

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Conyng, Hen, or Mallard

Two Fifteenth Century p. 80/70

Take conyng, hen or mallard, and roast him almost enough; or else chop him, and fry him in fresh grease; and fry onions minced, and cast altogether into a pot, and cast thereto fresh broth and half wine; cast thereto cloves, maces, powder of pepper, canel; then stepe fair bread with the same broth and draw it through a strainer with vinegre. And when it hath well boiled, cast the liquor thereto, and powder ginger, and vinegre, and season it up, and then thou shall serve it forth.

4 1/2 lb duckling, or 3 lbs of chicken or rabbit

about 2 1/2 medium small onions

2 c chicken broth (dilute if you are using the> double strength kind.)

1 c wine

1/4 t cloves

1/4 t mace

1/4 t pepper

1 t cinnamon

6 slices bread

4 T red wine vinegar

1/4 t ginger

1/2 t salt

Meat should be boned or at least broken into small pieces after roasting.

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Mirause of Catelonia

Platina book 6
The Catelans are a refined people who in character and customs are hardly unlike the Italians and skillful wit>

h food; they have a dish which they call mirause and prepare it thus: capons or pullets or pigeons well cleaned and washed they put together on a spit and turn over the hearth until they are half cooked. Then they remove them and cut them in pieces and put them in a pot. Then they chop almonds that have been toasted under warm ashes and cleaned with some cloth. To this they add some bread crumbs lightly toasted with vinegar and juice and pass all this through a strainer. This is all put in the same pot with cinnamon and ginger and a good amount of sugar and left to boil on the coals with a slow fir>

e until it is done, all the time being stirred with a spoon so that it does not stick to the pot.

3 1/4 lb chicken

3/4 c roasted almonds, chopped fine

1/4 c breadcrumbs

“Juice”: juice from roasting + 10.5 oz can concentrated chicken broth

1 T vinegar

1/2 t cinnamon

1/2 t ginger

1 T sugar

Preheat oven to 450deg. . Put in chicken, reduce temperature to 350deg. , bake about 45 minutes. Mix chopped almonds, breadcrumbs, vinegar, and a little of the chicken broth and run through a food processor until smooth (or squish through a strainer, grind the residue with a mortar and pestle, and then put it through the strainer). Cut up chicken into large pieces, put in pot with sauce, spices, sugar, and the rest of the chicken broth and cook about 15 minutes, stirring almost constantly.

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Moorish Chicken

Portuguese p. P-3

Cut up a fat hen and cook on a mild flame, with 2 spoons of fat, some bacon slices, lots of coriander, a pinch of parsley, some mint leaves, salt and a large onion.

Cover and let it get golden brown, stirring once in a while. Then cover hen with water and let boil, and season with salt, vinegar, cloves, saffron, black pepper and ginger. When chicken is cooked, pour in 4 beaten yolks. Then take a deep dish, lined with slices of bread, and pour chicken on top. >

4 lbs chicken

2 T lard

5 strips bacon (3 1/2 oz)>

1/3 c green coriander

1 t parsley

1/2 T mint

1/2 t salt

10 oz onion

2 1/2 c water

2 T vinegar

1/4 t cloves

8 threads saffron

1/2 t pepper

1/2 t ginger

4 egg yolks

6 slices bread (toasted)

Dismember chicken (thighs, legs, wings in two pieces, etc.), slice onion, wash and coarsely chop parsley, mint, and coriander. Melt fat, fry bacon a couple of minutes, put chicken, herbs, salt, and onion into pot and fry uncovered about 10 minutes, cover and cook covered another 20 minutes. Add water, vinegar, additional spices, bring to a boil and cook 45 minutes. Toast bread, arrange toast in bowl. Break egg yolks, stir them in and remove pot from heat, and pour into bowl with toast.

Note that this is a 15th-century Portuguese idea of an Islamic dish: a real Islamic dish would not have the bacon!

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Maumenye Ryalle

Two Fifteenth Century p. 22 (closely related recipe on p. 88) Take Vernage, o+ er strong Wyne of + e beste + at a man may fynde, an putte it on a potte, and caste + er-to a gode quantyte of pouder Canelle, and sette it on + e fyre, an gif it an hete; and + anne wrynge it soft + orw a straynour, + at + e draf go nowt owte, and put on a fayre potte, and pyke fayre newe pynys, and wasshe hem clene in Wyn, and caste a gode quantyte + er-to, and take whyte Sugre + er-to, as moche as + e lycoure is, and caste + er-to; and draw a few Sawnderys wyth strong wyne + orwe a straynoure, an caste + er-to, and put alle on one potte, and caste + er-to Clowes, a gode quantyte, and sette it on + e fyre, and gif it a boyle; + en take Almaundys, and draw them with mythty Wyne; and at + e firste boyle ly it vppe with Ale, and gif it a boyle, and sette it on + e fyre, and caste + er-to tesyd brawn, (of defaute of Pertrich or Capoun) a gode quantyte of tryid Gyngere perase, and sesyn it vppe with pouder Gyngere, and Salt and Safroun; and if it is to stonding, a-ly it with Vernage or swete Wyne, and dresse it Flat with + e backe of a Sawcere in + e Vernage or mygthty Wyne, and loke + at + ou haue Sugre y-nowe, and serue forth hote. >

1 c vernage (sweet white wine)

1 T cinnamon

1/4 c pine nuts

1 c sugar

1/2 t saunders

1/2 c more wine

1/2 t cloves>

10 T ground almonds

1/2 c ale

3 lb chicken

4 grams fresh ginger (~1 T chopped)

1/4 t powdered ginger

1/4 t salt

6 strands saffron

Microwave (or boil in very little water) chicken 6 minutes initially to make it easier to bone. Chicken should be boned, skinned, and cut into bite-sized pieces. Put wine and cinnamon into pot and boil; mix saunders with extra wine and add that and pine nuts, cloves, and sugar to pot; add almonds, let cook while chopping ginger, and add everything else. Boiled about 30 minutes uncovered with the chicken.

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Almond Fricatellae

Platina book 9

Pass almonds that have been well cleaned and ground through a strainer with milk and rosewater. And to these add the breast of a chicken, boiled and ground separately, and blend in well some meal, two or three egg whites, and sugar. When this has been prepared, as you wish, fry them either in oil or liquamen.

2 oz almonds

3/8 c milk

1 1/2 t rosewater

2 chicken breasts = 1 lb

1/2 t salt

1/2 c meal

5 egg whites

1 T sugar

oil or lard: 1/2″ high in pan

Blanch and grind almonds. Mix with rosewater and some milk. Boil chicken breasts about 10 minutes. Cut up chicken breasts and run them through a blender or food processor, using egg whites and remaining milk if necessary to make them sufficiently liquid to blend. Combine egg whites, almonds, and remaining ingredients. Make into patties or spoon into oil and flatten with a pancake turner. Fry about 1 minute a side until brown. They are good served with salt sprinkled over them.

For the meal, I take whole wheat (the kind you get in a health food store that looks like hard brown rice) and grind it in an electric coffee grinder (a sort of miniature food processor, also useful for grinding almonds and spices). You can use flour instead, but it does not come out the same.

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Bruette Saake

Two Fifteenth Century p. 27

Take Capoun, skalde hem, draw hem, smyte hem to gobettys, Waysshe hem, do hem in a potte; + enne caste owt + e potte, waysshe hem a-gen on + e potte, and caste + er-to half wyne half Bro+ e; take Percely, Isope, Waysshe hem, and hew hem smal, and putte on + e potte + er + e Fleysshe is; caste + er-to Clowys, quybibes, Maces, Datys y-tallyd, hol Safroune; do it ouer + e fyre; take Canelle, Gyngere, tempere + in powajes with wyne; caste in-to + e potte Salt + er-to, hele it, and whan it is y-now, serue it forth.

about 3 lbs frying chicken

2 c wine

2 c broth

4 T fresh parsley

1 1/2 T fresh hyssop

1/8 t cloves

1/4 t cubebs measured whole then ground

1/2 t mace

1/4 c = 3 oz dates

15 threads saffron

1/2 t cinnamon

1/2 t ginger

2 t more wine

1/2 t salt

Cut chicken into separate joints, add broth and wine and set to boil. Chop herbs and grind cubebs in a mortar; add herbs, dates, cloves, cubebs, and mace and cook about 35 minutes uncovered. Mix cinnamon and ginger with remaining wine, add them and salt to chicken, cover and let simmer another 30 minutes. Should be served with bread (or rice, although that is less appropriate for 15th-century England) to sop up the sauce.

Notes: One could also interpret “smyting to gobbetys” as taking the meat off the bones and cutting up; my gobbets are the size of the thigh or half the breast. I assume the parsley and hyssop are intended to be fresh since they are being washed. Fresh hyssop tastes somewhat like parsley but rather more bitter and spicier, and I would suggest, if you can’t get it, substituting more fresh parsley rather than dried hyssop, which is pretty tasteless..

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Douce Ame

Form of Cury p. 35/A20

Take good cowmilk and do it in a pot. Take psel., sage, Hissop, savory, and other good herbs. Hew them and do them in the milk and seethe them. Take capons half y-roasted and smite them on pieces and do thereto pine and honey clarified. Salt it and color it with saffron and serve it forth.

2 1/4 c milk

1/4 c fresh parsley

1 t dried sage

1 t hyssop

1 t dried savory

other herbs: up to you

2 lb chicken

1 T pinon nuts

1/2 T honey

1/4 t salt

a pinch saffron

Bake chicken about 40 minutes at 350deg. . Simmer in milk about 45 minutes.

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A touch of “Swan Song” and a dash of “The Stand”…Very good post-apocalyptic tale in the mode and mood of R. McCammon’s “Swan Song” and S. King’s “The Stand”. ★★★★★

Excerpt from Troop of Shadows:

Colleyville, Texas

Dani cursed the weight of her backpack. The final two items from the ransacked Walgreens, crammed in as an afterthought ten minutes ago, might cost her everything. After surviving the last twelve months of hell only to be thwarted now by a can of Similac and a twelve-pack of Zest soap, would be sadly anticlimactic. Despite running at a full sprint down a dark suburban street, dodging overflowing garbage cans while eluding three men who would steal her hard-won tubes of Neosporin and likely rape and kill her in the process, she snorted at the thought of a fictional headline: Young Woman’s Life Ends Tragically but Zestfully Clean.

Damn it, she would ditch the backpack. She could come back tomorrow night for it, but right now staying alive outweighed any future benefit its contents might provide. As her pursuers rounded the corner behind her, she darted across the front lawn of a house and leaped over a cluster of dead juniper shrubs. A year ago, those shrubs had been green, manicured, and providing curb appeal to the upscale neighborhood; they functioned now as a hurdle component in the obstacle course Dani navigated on most nights.

She angled toward the side of the house and around the corner, only to come to an abrupt stop next to a six-foot barricade. Residents of these sprawling bedroom communities situated between Dallas and Fort Worth clung to their privacy fences as fiercely as their rural counterparts did to their firearms. Why all those day-trading dads and cheerleader moms required such secrecy was beyond Dani. She didn’t care. All that mattered was how difficult they made her nightly forages. Only idiots or people with a death wish traveled alone on the streets anymore. The clever ones navigated through backyards and drainage ditches, shadowed easements and alleyway, avoiding open spaces and other humans.

Especially humans traveling in groups.

Stealth and caution were second nature to her now, and she was pissed at herself for loading up the backpack with more weight than she could easily carry at a full run.

Rookie mistake.

She flung the pack into the undergrowth of a once meticulous garden, making a mental note of the enormous red tip photinia which camouflaged the bundle in a leafy shroud. She hoped to be alive the next day to retrieve it.

She clambered up the fence, finding a toehold on a warped plank, and squirmed over the top. A silver fingernail of a moon did little to illuminate the backyard. Weak starlight reflected off the inky surface of a half-empty, kidney-shaped swimming pool. Her Nikes gripped the concrete deck as she skirted the murky water and made a beeline for the back of the yard that was, of course, separated from its neighbor by a privacy fence. It was a tall one too — a full ten feet. There were no bushes or trees to use for leverage either. She scanned the area for anything that might serve as a step ladder.

Of all the yards she could have chosen for her escape, she’d picked one with a damn ten-foot fence.

Her heart raced from the sprint, but not from panic. Gone was the young woman from a year ago, the full-time floundering college dropout and part-time surly Starbucks barista who spent too much time reading books and not enough time looking for a job that would allow her to move out of her parents’ house. She was too smart for her own good, everyone had told her. She should have taken that secretarial position in North Dallas, but she would have lost her sanity in that environment. The tedious filing, the ringing phones, the office politics — in other words, hell on earth for a girl with an IQ over a hundred and fifty.

Despite the recent horrors, she’d come into her own at last, after twenty-one years of meandering through life unfocused and unchallenged. The extra twenty pounds she’d been carrying courtesy of Freddy’s cheeseburgers and Taco Bell burritos were gone, thanks to her newfound self-discipline and endless hours of Krav Maga training with Sam. Not only had she transformed her body, she’d elevated and strengthened her mind as well. Before the power had gone out, she’d watched countless tutorials on T’ai Chi, Qigong, and Buddhist meditation. During that same window — when people were beginning to get sick, but before most of them had died — she’d combed book stores and libraries within a fifteen-mile radius. When the country went dark and people realized that life-saving information was no longer available with a few keystrokes, Dani had amassed reference material on subjects as diverse as hydroponics and combat first aid, ancient meat drying techniques and bomb making. Between martial arts lessons with Sam, she spent every spare minute absorbing the printed esoteric knowledge like a greedy lizard on a sun-drenched rock.

Knowledge was survival.

When the first of the men slithered over the fence into the backyard, she hadn’t found anything to use as a foothold. Another figure followed behind him. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and released it from her lungs, slow and measured, then took off at a full run toward them. While she ran, fingers slid down to a leather sheath secured to her belt. Two seconds before she reached the first of her would-be assailants, a Ka-Bar — the grandaddy of tactical knives — was in her hand.

Dani used momentum and every ounce of her one-hundred-twenty pound frame to slam the first man into the second, knocking both assailants off-balance and unprepared for her next move: a vicious stab to the groin of the first. He collapsed to his knees. She followed with a backhand movement, opening up the throat of his companion. A similar gesture to the man with the injured groin silenced his moaning.

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