Feeling the heat? Getting ready to store the re-enactment clothes
until Autumn rolls around once more? Wondering how on earth
you can wash away the accumulated fragrance from a dozen or
more events out of your woollens, silks and linens?
Pickling is a very important part of medieval life. Preserving food to last the winter when one doesn’t have access to greenhouses or to aeroplanes capable of tranporting goods from the other side of the world.
Pickles need a dark consistent temperature during the pickling process. Pickling in medieval times would have been done in stoneware or in ceramics, with oil, or waxed linen covers to seal the tops.
Kept in a dark cool cupboard or cellar, it would have been safe until ready to eat.
Here’s a good redaction of one of the earliest written down picking sources – Compost from Forme of Cury
I’d post more links about the history and written sources, but someone has already done it, so I’ll link to them instead.
Medieval chickens don’t lay every day like modern chickens and they don’t lay in winter. So keeping eggs becomes important as a good source of protein during winter and as a way to save any excess eggs.
So here’s a simple and easy way to pickle eggs.
Things you will need
Steralised sealing jar (about 1 L)
600ml of apple cider vinegar
Pickling spices (You can buy a combination of spices called, surprising, “pickling spices” in most supermarkets. It’s dill, whole mustard, peppercorn….)
Firstly, hard boil those eggs. You want a long hard boil, about an hour to get them nice and hard. Make sure there’s plenty of water in the pot and the eggs are covered or they will explode.
Let the eggs cool and then peel them. An easy way to do this is to gently roll the eggs between your hand and the bench until it peels.
If there are any eggs where the yellow yolk breaks the surface of the white or is very close to the surface, put those aside to be eaten. If the yellow is too close to the surface, it won’t work well for the pickling.
Put the rest of the eggs into the jar.
Take a small saucepan and put the vinegar and the pickling spices in it. Let these boil together for about half an hour. Then pour the mix over the eggs and seal the jar.
If there is any left over liquid, you can use this as the base for a new pickling solution.
The eggs want about a month for pickling and are then good to eat within 6 months.
Alex the Potter of Flaming Gargoyles says “It’s great!”
This handy little book is a stroke of genius on the publishers part. A collection
of recipes from Apicius as researched and trialled by the author – who just
happens to be the same as co-authored Apicius – A Critical Review. No
wading through pages of discourse, reviews and examinations of potential
influences – just straight to the recipes.
Greetings Gentle Readers,
Spring has arrived! Our thanks to everyone following our blog and facebook – we love sharing bits of quirky research and interesting links with everyone.
A number of changes have also been implemented to the website, such as the stock lines being offered, along with a bundle of new stock and titles.
Of our home grown suppliers, the Medieval Still Room have increased their offerings of products including a Sleep salve, honey amber, and the 2016 release of the Queen of Hungary Water, and the 2016 Yule tide incense in cone form. Further, the popular clear lip balm is being released in modern lip balm twist tubes as well as the normal containers; so now you can take this gentle medieval lip balm with you everywhere.
Regards older stock lines; unfortunately, we have had to remove belt mounts from our catalogue due to difficulty with supply. Rest assured, we’re doing our best to ensure that orders already made are being completed. Once we can secure a reliable supply we will bring back a range of belt mounts.
Our next upcoming event is St Ives Medieval faire on the 24th and 25th of September. If you are near St Ives or travelling close by it’s well worth a visit, and we will be showcasing our latest products as well as the classics. Please note; for those wanting to collect orders at the Fair, your orders need to be in the by the 10th of September.
Until next time, we bid you good reading!
Loreena, Roxy, Paul and Elden
Want to make the snacks for your average roman barfly at the local Taverna?
Or impress the neighbours with a bang up dinner on a week night but you’re
not really into the larks tongues and dormice? Well neither was the average
Roman citizen – even if they could afford it.
Of all the many translations of Apicius, this is the one I’d save if a fire broke
out. The kernel of this book was Sally’s PhD thesis with judicial editing and
input from Christopher Grogock to make it more readable. It is a beautiful – if
hardcore academic – consolidated translation of the various fragments of
Apicius de re Coquinaria around the world.