[Sca-cooks] 12th Night 2007 Stories

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sun Jan 7 06:40:05 PST 2007

On Jan 7, 2007, at 9:13 AM, ranvaig at columbus.rr.com wrote:

>> On Jan 7, 2007, at 7:12 AM, Celia des Archier wrote:
>>>  hmmmm...
>>>  any possibility of getting a recipe for the littiu?
> I have the recipe webbed here:
> http://www.geocities.com/ranvaig/medieval/kitchen.html

Some interesting stuff there. I notice there's a Brotchan Foltchep  
recipe there; I've seen it alleged in a cookbook by Malachi McCormick  
that brotchan foltchep was a favorite of St. Colmcille, but I can't  
find any reference to this in Adamnan's life of St. Columba, and I  
have no idea of any other place to look...

>> This is interesting. Oats have been eaten in semi-solidified form for
>> thousands of years, and I gather from looking at the stuff saved in
>> the Florilegium that this is just oats and milk, cooked as a thick
>> porridge and allowed to cool somewhat, so I'm not questioning this as
>> a dish, per se. But if our knowledge of what this is/consists of is
>> sorta sketchy, why use this obviously Celtic name? Is it just an
>> Irish word for oats? Why is it not just oatmeal or porridge, or
>> flummery, or what distinguishes it from them? Is it that the name has
>> emerged from Irish poetry and people have felt the need to come up
>> with a functional "recipe" to match it, and this is what it is?
>> Just trying to understand the reasoning process...
>> Adamantius
> I got the recipe from Tigernach. I'll pass the question on to him and
> report his answer.
> As I recall, the word is used in the Brehon laws, as the proper food
> for the sons of kings who are being fostered.  I'm not sure where he
> got the specific recipe, but he is very specific about the proper
> size of the oats and how it is cooked.
> Its not so much a porridge as a solid pudding.  You put equal amounts
> of hot milk and oats in a pan in the oven or near but not over a fire
> and cook slowly without stirring.

Well, there's a fairly limited number of possibilities, I imagine.  
The info on the site says it's described in monastic rules (the only  
one I've read is the Rule of Saint Benedict, which probably isn't  
very close), and mentioned in the Brehon Laws as being an appropriate  
food for fostered princes.

I figure either there's a description of the process, or a fairly  
detailed description of the end product, and maybe a sketchy one of  
the process, and possibly some reverse engineering going on.

  I wonder if it's something like those various ash cakes (i.e.  
cooked in the ashes), wrapped in something to protect it from ashes,  
soot, and smoke flavor. There are certainly enough references in  
later sources to wrapping foods to protect them to suggest that our  
modern love for nicely browned baked goods and smoky-tasting meats  
was perhaps not universal in period.


"S'ils n'ont pas de pain, vous fait-on dire, qu'ils  mangent de la  
brioche!" / "If there's no bread to be had, one has to say, let them  
eat cake!"
     -- attributed to an unnamed noblewoman by Jean-Jacques Rousseau,  
"Confessions", 1782

"Why don't they get new jobs if they're unhappy -- or go on Prozac?"
     -- Susan Sheybani, assistant to Bush campaign spokesman Terry  
Holt, 07/29/04

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