[Sca-cooks] Gunthar's A&S entry

Jennifer Carlson talana1 at hotmail.com
Sun Feb 10 15:15:11 PST 2008

I had the privilege of being one of the judges of Gunthar’s display.  He presented me with the dinner of a military captain on campaign in the springtime of 1560: small mead, egredouce, manchet bread, a dish of peas, a boiled sallat, slip-coat cheese, stewed capon, makke (fried beans with carmelized onions), and, of course Zervelat sausages with mustard.
The meal was perfectly balanced between sweet and savory, the vegetables proper to the season, and cooked whenever possible with period equipment.  He was able to time the service so that the egredouce, peas, and capon were placed before me still warm, which made a difference in the impact of the egredouce in particular.
His experiment with mincing the sausage was a success.  The minced version looked somewhat like mortadella, while the ground version had a homogenous color and texture.  The ground version had a very good but singular flavor, like an orchestra all playing the same note, while the minced version was a multi-part harmony, with the bacon, pork, and spices each having a say without competing with each other.  Then I tried it with the mustard, and nearly ran off with the whole plate right then and there.
The cheese was something I found myself nibbling at all the while I was writing my notes.  It’s a bit addictive, and pairs exceptionally well with the boiled spinach salad.  
The peas had a richer flavor for being mixed with sewe instead of broth, as Gunthar had postulated.  It made a pot liquor that allowed the peas’ flavor shine, and was more satisfying than the versions of this recipe I’ve had that were made with broth.
The makka was, a filling, less assertive dish beside the others, and gave a good balance to the meal.  
I was surprised at how light the small mead came out.  It really was more like a soda than an alcoholic beverage, and didn’t fight with the food.  Curiously, it did not set off this diabetic’s insulin reaction.  I didn’t risk drinking more that a few swallows, but was able to enjoy enough of it to say that it was a good choice for washing down this particular menu.
Gunthar and I had a lengthy discussion later in the day.  We exchanged opinions, and offered each other suggestions regarding technique and problem-solving.  We weren’t in perfect agreement on every point we discussed (what two artisans are?), but I enjoyed the conversation.  There is no question that he earned his score and a place as a Gulf War Arts and Sciences Champion for our kingdom. 
It was a unique pleasure to have followed the development of his entry on this list, reading along as he postulated, experimented, corrected, and tweaked his entries, and then to judge the final result.  
Welcoming him to the circle was the dessert.
In servicio,
Mistress Dunstana Talana the Violet
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