Random Renaissance Era Quotes (Well, mostly)
Renaissance and Medieval Food Recipes
Savoury Tosted or Melted Cheese
Digby p. 228/177
Cut pieces of quick, fat, rich, well tasted cheese, (as the best of Brye, Cheshire, &c. or sharp thick Cream-Cheese) into a dish of thick beaten melted Butter, that hath served for Sparages or the like, or pease, or other boiled Sallet, or ragout of meat, or gravy of Mutton: and, if you will, Chop some of the Asparages among it, or slices of Gambon of Bacon, or fresh-collops, or Onions, or Sibboulets, or Anchovis, and set all this to melt upon a Chafing-dish of Coals, and stir all well together, to Incorporate them; and when all is of an equal consistence, strew some gross White-Pepper on it, and eat it with tosts or crusts of White-bread. You may scorch it at the top with a hot Fire-Shovel.
1/2 lb butter
1/2 lb cream cheese
1/8 lb Brie or other strongly flavored cheese
1/4 t white pepper
Melt the butter. Cut up the cheese and stir it into the butter over low heat. You will probably want to use a whisk to blend the two together and keep the sauce from separating (which it is very much inclined to do). When you have a uniform, creamy sauce you are done. You may serve it over asparagus or other vegetables, or over toast; if you want to brown the top, put it under the broiling unit in your stove for a minute or so. Experiment with some of the variations suggested in the original.
Goodman p. 286/25
Note that at Tourney to make cameline they bray ginger, cinnamon and saffron and half a nutmeg moistened with wine, then take it out of the mortar; then have white bread crumbs, not toasted but moistened in cold water and brayed in the mortar, moisten them with wine and strain them, then boil all together and put in brown sugar last of all; and that is winter cameline. And in summer they do the same but it is not boiled.
|Sweet||Spicy||Sweet & Spicy|
|Saffron||Med. pinch||Med. pinch||Med. pinch|
|Nutmeg||1 whole||1/2 whole||1/2 whole|
|Wine||2T||1/2 cup||1/2 cup|
|Cold Water||2 cup||1 cup||1 cup|
Grind smoothly until well ground, add bread crumbs, grind smooth, add water and wine, bring it to a boil, simmer until thickened and add the brown sugar.
A Garlic Sauce with Walnuts or Almonds
Platina book 8
To almonds or walnuts that have been coarsely ground add as much cleaned garlic as you like and likewise, as need be, grind them up well, sprinkling them all the while so they do not make oil. When they are ground up put in white breadcrumbs softened in juice of meat or fish, and grind again. And if it seems too stiff it can be softened easily in the same juice. (See next recipe.)
A More Colored Garlic Sauce
Platina book 8
Prepare this in the same way as above. But do not moisten it in water or juice, but in must of dark grapes, squeezed by hand and cooked down for half an hour. The same can be done with juice of cherries.
1/8 c walnuts
1/2 T garlic
1/4 c bread crumbs
about 1 1/2 c grape juice, then boil it down.
about 4-6 t vinegar
1/4 c water
Du Fait du Cuisine no. 46
Now it remains to be known with what sauce one should eat the pilgrim capons: the pilgrim capons should be eaten with the jance, and to advise the sauce-maker who should make it take good almonds and blanch and clean them very well and bray them very well; and take the inside of white bread according to the quantity which he needs, and let him have the best white wine which he can get in which he should put his bread to soak, and with verjuice; and when his almonds are well brayed put in a little garlic to bray with them; and take white ginger and grains of paradise according to the quantity of sauce which he needs, and strain all this together and draw it up with the said white wine and a little verjuice and salt also, and put it to boil in a fair and clean pot.
6 oz blanched almonds
2 c loosely packed white bread
1 c white wine
1 t vinegar
3 cloves garlic
1/2 t grains of paradise, ground
1/2 t ginger
2 c more white wine
1/2 t salt
Crumble bread, soak with 1 c wine and vinegar; grind almonds, then grind garlic with them. Add spices, mix with bread, force through a strainer, put into a pot with additional wine, bring to a boil and cook over low heat about ten minutes. Makes about 3 cups.
Menagier p. M-36
If you wish to provide for keeping mustard a long time do it at wine-harvest in sweet must. And some say that the must should be boiled. Item, if you want to make mustard hastily in a village, grind some mustard-seed in a mortar and soak in vinegar, and strain; and if you want to make it ready the sooner, put it in a pot in front of the fire. Item, and if you wish to make it properly and at leisure, put the mustard-seed to soak overnight in good vinegar, then have it ground fine in a mill, and then little by little moisten it with good vinegar: and if you have some spices left over from making jelly, broth, hippocras or sauces, they may be ground up with it, and then leave it until it is ready.
4 t mustard seed
1/2 c vinegar total; about 5T of it to soak initially
spices: 1/4 t hippocras spices (see Menagier recipe for hippocras p. 87)
Soak the mustard seed overnight, then grind (we used a coffee mill) with the extra vinegar.
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:
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.
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.