[Sca-cooks] Chawettys meatloaf

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sun Mar 30 16:57:23 PDT 2008

On Mar 30, 2008, at 4:51 PM, Amy Cooper wrote:
> Tonight is our shire's feast night. Anymore, I'm about the only person
> coming out regularly and doing period cooking. I decided to try  
> something
> different tonight, and found the translation of Chawettys in To Take a
> Thousand Eggs, Vol 2. I can't call this a true redaction, as I  
> messed with
> the recipe to turn it into meatloaf instead of a meat pie

Sounds like a redaction to me. Actually, chewettes seem usually to be  
presented in most recipes in the form of little round fist-sized pies,  
but since you've changed that, it's a redaction... I really am not a  
fan of the SCA's blanket usage of the word. It's at the top of my list  
after "period" ;-).

> hate working with pastry, of any sort).

What's the problem? Are you just one of those people with  a long  
streak of bad luck? You just gotta show it who's in charge, is all ...  
Does your dislike of pastry working extend to frozen puff paste or  
phyllo dough? Sounds like this would make a nice pate en croute... or  
even in brioche, if you can stand to work with yeast doughs better  
than the more traditional pastry.

> Plus, per usual, I didn't measure a
> darn thing this time around (maybe next time).
> Here's what I did:
> Last night - soak about a cup each of currants and pre-minced dates  
> in cheap
> but supposedly good (I don't drink it) red wine
> Mix approximately equal amounts of ground veal, beef, and pork,  
> probably
> about 1 lb each (I was breaking down Costco-size packs, and left  
> about 1/3
> each for the loaf)
> Add two eggs, a couple tablespoons or so of dried ground ginger,  
> quite a bit
> of ground cloves (done in my mortar/pestle), around 1/3 gram of  
> saffron,
> soaked briefly in a little hot water, and a couple teaspoons of  
> mace, and
> seasoned with salt and pepper. Then I added in the rest of the  
> currants and
> dates (I bought about 1 big bulk bin scoop of each), and more red  
> wine. It
> took a couple of tries, testing by frying small bits in the fry pan,  
> but I
> think I got it. Not sure what the saffron is supposed to do, but it  
> tastes
> nicely clove-y and a bit of ginger. I think it'd make a FANTASTIC  
> sausage,
> assuming I could get the right meat/fat ratio for texture. I formed  
> it into
> a long loaf on a foil lined cookie sheet, and am waiting for the  
> oven to
> heat up to 325. I'll report back tomorrow with how it turns out, and  
> what
> folks thought of it at Shire :)
> I'm quite tickled about working from just a translation for the  
> first time!!

Oh, that is very cool! I mean, these people faced war and plague and  
hunger, and the ones talking to us via these little recipes also  
cooked: they trusted themselves and others to decipher what they'd  
written and produce food, in some cases, literally fit for a king. We  
may be getting only part of their message, but they're talking to us  
from the past. To me, that's one of the surest and most amazing time  
travel experiences this game has to offer (I also especially love the  
first few pages of le Menagier's food section, where he tells us what  
to do with burnt and oversalted foods -- he knows we're all screw-ups  
at heart, and his message is, "Don't panic!" It doesn't get much more  
user-friendly than that.

It's also quite a thrill to be in the kitchen at an SCA event when  
someone _does_ burn the pottage, and you can honestly say, "No, no,  
don't stir it up from the bottom: le Menagier says never to do that!",  
and you actually do save the pottage. Then everyone says,  
"Ooooooooohhhh!!!", like you just performed some sort of miracle, and  
you can just say, hey, thank The Goodman Of Paris and his careful  


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,  
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's  
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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