[Sca-cooks] Biersuppen

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Tue Jan 30 08:11:06 PST 2007

On Jan 30, 2007, at 10:49 AM, Nick Sasso wrote:

> I believe your classic technique is pretty spot on . . . but I am  
> thinking
> it less likely that it would have been done just so in Rumpolt's  
> time, from
> what I've read.  The progression seems okay, but the use of a whip  
> would
> seem more a modern convenience than period tool.

I agree. Although there are period recipes that call for wooden  
sticks to be split four ways from one end, as I recall, and Rumpolt  
is pretty late in the chronology. If he didn't use a whip  of some  
sort, regularly, I'm fairly sure he wouldn't be shocked at the sight  
of one.

>   My dates may be off, but I
> thought we pretty much concluded that whisks were a still later  
> development
> (barring the tree branch and 'snow' and herb branches in a couple  
> places).
> Your description could be done with a wooden spoon, if with more  
> effort and
> care.  I've made do when my wisk fell apart on me.  You can  
> certainly make a
> passable imulsion sauce/soup with a flat/curved implement; it takes  
> a good
> bit more wrist and arm, but it can be done.  Same with the butter  
> mounting
> at the end.  Spoon can work.

No argument there. I was just knocking together an experimental  
version, and my fault for translating it into a modern process in my  
head, but I don't think the end result is far off.
> I also am curious if this could be made simply with a custard  
> technique of
> blending everything together and bringing to heat to thicken.

Yes, it could, I'm sure. It could also be done in a double boiler.  
It's just that it would have a greater tendency to curdle if an  
inexperienced cook just throws it all in a pot and puts it over a  
flame. I was figuring, get it right so you know what to look for,  
then see how to get that level of quality in a more period manner.

>   That would
> seem a simpler technique we use in other stuff in later  
> period . . . like
> Martino's zabalione.  Would be doable without the whick if you  
> manage your
> heat well and pay attention.

Martino even gives quantities ;-). Sure, you could do it that way. In  
fact, if you had some kind of raised hearth with embers covered with  
ashes, you could do a really fine, gentle decoction in a heavy- 
bottomed pot with a wooden spoon. I just figured, again, most people  
do quick experiments over a gas flame in their kitchen, and take it  
from there...

>   Possible we could do it both ways??

Of course! Then you get twice as much! Duh! ;-)


"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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