[Sca-cooks] Medieval Mix Market

Sharon Gordon gordonse at one.net
Tue Aug 15 06:52:32 PDT 2006

If you were an early ancestor of McCormick, Sauer, Knorr, or Dean and DeLuca, what would you have in your line of value added foods?  For example you could create a spice mix of herbs and spices that are commonly used together, a linen pouch with a bread mix, some pasties for your deli-like stall, flavored drinks, pickles, flavored vinegars, sauces for meats, dried soup mixes, etc.

Here's an example of how I might turn Bear's version of 
Brodo of red chickpeas into a mix.

Brodo of red chickpeas.  To make eight platefuls: take a libra and a half (1
libra = about 10 1/2 oz. (300 g.)) of chickpeas and wash them in hot water,
drain them, the put them in a pot in which they will be cooked.  Add half an
oncia (1 oncia = about 1 oz. (30 g.)) of flower (of wheat), a little good
oil, a little salt and about 20 crushed peppercorns and a little ground
cinnamon, then thoroughly mix all these things together with your hands.
Then add three measures of water, a little sage, rosemary and parsley roots.
Boil until it is reduced to the quantity of eight platefuls.  And when they
are nearly cooked pour in a little oil.  And if you prepare this soup for
invalids, add neither oil nor spices.

 I didn't have red chickpeas, so I substituted dried yellow.  The soup was
feed 24, so I cleaned and soaked 4 cups of chickpeas overnight.  Should I
prepare this again, I'll use 5 cups of chickpeas per 24 people.

I crushed about 25 peppercorns and stirred them, about 4 tablespoons of
flour, and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon into a 1/4 cup of olive oil.  I
drained the chickpeas and mixed them and the spiced oil in a large pot.  I
covered the chickpeas with water and brought it to a boil. A gray-brown
scum formed on the surface and was skimmed off.  I had to add more pepper in
the cooking, so if I make this quatity again, I'll start with about 40
peppercorns.  The heat was set set to low and the soup simmered for about
two hours.

I added a teaspoon of rubbed sage, a teaspoon of rosemary needles crushed
into the pot and 3 tablespoons of fresh parsley (no root available).  Toward
the end of the cooking I added about a teaspoon and a half of salt for

The soup is rich and flavorful.  Everyone at the dinner tried it and the
majority found it to be excellent.  It reheats well.  I would be tempted to
use this recipe at a feast.  As I prepared it, the recipe makes just under a
gallon or one cup of soup per person.  Using 5 cups of chickpeas per 24
people insures that everyone will get fed without having to scrape the
bottom of the pot.


For the gift you could have a glass jar with chickpeas in the bottom.  For
visual interest you might even mix red and yellow chickpeas if you can find
some of the same size.  Very different sizes are likely to result in the
smaller ones being overcooked.  In tightly woven small fiber foodsafe
unbleached cloth pouches:
Pouch 1: peppercorns
Pouch 2: flour, cinnamon, sage, reosemary, chopped dried parsley root

Instructions on an illuminated recipe sheet in an easy to read calligraphy
hand (color photocopied) that tell how to make it and how much olive oil,
water, and salt to add.  Sheet folded, and tied to jar with string.

gordonse at one.net

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