Sunday, February 19, 2012

Huzzah! Food and Drink!

Our family stepped back through the portals of time tonight to...The Middle Ages.

Sort of.

Spencer has just finished his 12-week study on the medieval time period, and one of his final projects was to plan and help prepare an era-appropriate "feast".  A few days' of research produced recipes for a soup/stew dish called 'pottage' and Caraway Rye bread (courtesy of www.medievalplus.com and www.allrecipes.com)

A simple repast for a family of peasants.

Pottage is a soup that containing mostly vegetables (and whatever other substantial foodstuffs were available.)  Spencer and I chucked twelve cups of water, powdered chicken broth and a bag of dried split peas in with chopped carrots, onion, celery, and potatoes (the last two weren't on the recipe, but they were shriveling in my crisper, so...into the pot they went).  The pottage then boiled down for a hour and a half before I took out (and added back in) six cups for puree, for thickness.  In the end, here's what we got:

Looks a lot like split-pea soup, yes?
The cooking down turns everything in a homogeneous slop...but then again, presentation and taste weren't exactly the headliners for medieval fare.

While the pottage is more of a Western European food, Caraway Rye bread is more Eastern Europe.  I was surprised by how simple it is: rye flour, all-purpose flour, olive oil, brown sugar, water, yeast.  Mix, knead for ten minutes, let it rise for 90 minutes, punch and roll it out.  Shape it into two round dough balls and let rise another 30 minutes before baking for 25 minutes at 375.

And what you get is:

After this meal, Spencer explained the rules to two popular games called Fox and Geese and Nine Men's Morris.

Medieval food?  Medieval games?  Win-win situation tonight!

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