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Cooking Experiments: a period meal

I have decided to have small groups of people over for dinner parties.  I’d like to use these occasions to both keep my house clean, as well as experiment with different menus and ingredients.  This time, I decided to do entirely period food.  I decided on Sauce Madame (Roast chicken stuffed with pears and grapes), Diuers Sallets (Spiced cauliflower), Fried Gourd with Garlic Saunce, and ( Rice Lombard (Rice with saffron).  For dessert we had Emplumeus (Stewed apples with almonds).  Overall, I was very pleased with how everything came out.  The fried gourd with garlic sauce was a surprising hit.  I was pleased that I got everything done at about the same time, and had dinner on the table about when I had hoped.  I was also pleased that I was able to follow along with the period recipe, and found it helpful when trying to follow the modern recipe.  I was also pleased that I did not have to measure out every spice.  I was able to guess and add to taste, which is how I cook normally, do that made it much easier for me.

I also decided to do the meal kosher-esque.  I decided that I couldn’t afford kosher chickens (although I debated for a good long time), but I could do an entirely fleishig (non dairy) meal.  It was a lot harder to find a vegetable when I cut out the option for butter or cheese. I did cheat and use marjarine for the cauliflower, though.  I also learned that my local supermarket had Capons and Geese, and I really wish I had planned things out in advance so I could take advantage of that.  I’m not sure if they were only available because the Xmas push has already started in stores, or if they are often available, but I would love to try cooking with them.  On the topic of geese, if anyone gets a goose with the feathers still on, I would really like the flight feathers for arrow making.

I have never been passionate about medieval food, but I am passionate about cooking for my family and friends.  My first plan when I decided to have a few friends over, was to just cook what I know.  Then I decided that by having different groups of friends over for dinner will give me a great opportunity to try out new and different recipes and branch out of my comfort zone.  I’m pretty sure there was enough food, and from where I was sitting it looked like everyone enjoyed it and had fun.

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