Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Vigil Planning - Thyra

I'm pretty good at keeping secrets.  Keeping a secret from someone you see multiple times a week while also trying to prep for said secret...yeah  Now that's a challenge.

Disclaimer:  I met Thyra in college and have been lucky enough to have her put up with my terrible sense of humor and shenanigans for YEARS.  That includes Household, wedding, and general life shenanigans as well.  I am unashamed in how much I'm a fan of her and my ridiculous desire for her to have nice things.

For those of you who may not know, I spent 15 years working on and throwing LARP feasts, being kitchen help, and generally cooking for large groups of people.  I've been in only one SCA kitchen since I've been an active member.  When I was asked if I wanted to be "food boss" for the vigil, I was very excited.

Some food was farmed out to some amazing people whom I'm very grateful for.  The rest was either bought or made by myself and my husband Sergei.  I wanted to do a mix of medieval and modern food to appeal to more people.  I have a limited amount of medieval cook books so I flipped through and tried to pick out some favorites.  I'm going to talk about the medieval recipes below:

Elizabethan Lemon Cookies ( A Feast of Ice and Fire-, p166; adapted from Lucanyos Cookbook 1690)

Yes these are out of period.  Yes this is from a Game of Thrones cookbook.  No, I don't care since these are always delicious.  I have a tremendous respect for the ladies that worked on this book (who I hear rumor are local to Carolingia) and it's a personal favorite book.  It's enough of a favorite that I made an entire LARP feast using recipes from this book (including the rattlesnake recipe).

Another reason for using this recipe is it fits my idea of Thyra in a proper tea party.  Moire was already making scones so I thought this would fit.  Bonus, the naked lemons I had left over were used to make lemon curd for her scones.  Win-win!

This cookie is a weird one to work with as it doesn't really form a dough so much as a sugar lemon crumble,  Milk was added to the dough so it hold together a bit better.  They are light, lemony, and have just enough crisp at the edge to play nicely with the soft center.

Norwegian Pasties:(Pleyn Delit, 4)
Pre-made pie crust was used due to time constraints.  These hand pies were beef with pine nuts and Jack cheese.  I omitted the currant due to their use in the Ember Day Tarts and the ginger due to an allergy.  The pasties got an egg white wash on the crust to give them a more golden appearance.

My thoughts - the beef could have seen seasoned more and would have benefited from the homemade dough.  They were still tasty and I might have the leftovers for dinner on Monday. :)

Hirchones: (Pleyn Delit, 138)

Sausage hedgehogs!  The translation of this recipe went in a different direction than the original text in a variety of ways that I didn't feel bad throwing their seasoning "suggestion"  o just using ginger out the window.  Pork, especially ground pork, is very mild.  In the immortal words of my grandmother : "No one likes stingy cookies" (referring to underfilled/underspiced cookies).  Well the same goes for meat.  The spices should enhance and complement the flavor of the meat.  I used a bit of pepper, salt, more ginger than the recipe called for, a bit of garlic powder, and pinch of parsley mixed with the garlic powder.  The flavor of the meat was still mild, but you could tell there was some depth in there.

Sliced almonds were lightly toasted in a pan with sugar before being stuck into the oblong "hedgies".

Totally hedgehogs....

Tarts in Ymber Day: (Pleyn Delit, 3)

Also know as Ember Day Tarts.  This food is a bit of an inside joke.  I've made these tarts at least twice for LARPing for about 60-100 people each time.  Yes they are tasty, but they are pain to make.   Thyra made a huge grin right at me when I groaned when that got added to her "in Case of Peerage" letter.  *shakes fist in culinary rage*

Both Sergei and I leave out the saffron when making these because 1) we never have it in the house and 2) it's expensive for LARP food.  Due to time constraints, a pre-made pie crust was used.  I also substituted the individual spices listed her for my pre-mix stash of Pouder Douce that I had prepared from a variant of this recipe.  Just a pinch or two is more than enough.  In true Italian cooking fashion, the eyeball test was used to increase parsley and currants as necessary for the batches.  I also use sweet onions vs white onions as I think they play better with the savory aspects of the other ingredients.

As much as I might complain about these tarts, they're really delicious.

Ember Day Tarts:  my sworn nemesis.

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