[Sca-cooks] Coloring Comfits Green

Elise Fleming alysk at ix.netcom.com
Mon Jun 11 06:13:23 PDT 2007

Greetings! I don't know if you have been reading the Tudor Cook blog
recently but they showed pictures of the parsley and sugar syrup that they
made in their experiment to make green comfits. There were visible clumps
of green in the clear syrup. My reaction was that they didn't strain out
the parsley sediment so this morning I decided to try some green comfits,
using my 55-charge caraway comfits as the base.
I "cheated" by not doing everything in Tudor style but I think that I've
done the equivalent of what the period cook would have. I used a blender to
liquify curly parsley (the kind the Hampton Court cooks were using) and
added enough water so that the mixture spun around. My mortar isn't the
size of theirs and to get the equivalent done in a mortar would have taken
several times in my small one. From the end results, I think that there
would be less tiny pulp pieces if it were done in a mortar, so I might have
made my job harder by using the blender. I then filtered out the
pulp/sediment through a damp coffee filter. Finely-woven cloth would have
been used in period which I didn't have this morning. After letting the
pulp drain for a bit, I mushed it around with a spoon and then gathered the
ends of the filter and gently squeezed the contents. This can be a no-no if
using cloth because you'll squeeze little bits of pulp through the fibers.
I think it started to happen here, but what did happen was that the filter
finally burst open. I was able to keep pulp from falling into the filtered
water, thankfully.
I used the green water to dissolve the sugar and bring it up to the proper
temperature. It boiled up much more quickly even on a lower heat and when I
let the furious bubbly foam subside I found that there was a green scum on
top. I skimmed off most of it. The scum was mostly parsley pulp that had
been in the water. The resultant syrup was a very pale green. It took 10
charges before the comfits began to actually look greenish rather than "not
white". Around 11 charges I decided to add some of that green glop which
was still in the pan. The greener glop seemed to break up and increased the
greenness of the comfits. There are a few comfits where I can see flecks or
a small line of the green glop which might not have been wanted in period,
but it isn't a lot. After 15 charges (now a total of 70 on those comfits),
they definitely are green but it is a pale green. Hooray! And, oh... There
is no parsley taste to those comfits.
Alys Katharine
Elise Fleming
alysk at ix.netcom.com

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