[Sca-cooks] compost

lilinah at earthlink.net lilinah at earthlink.net
Mon Nov 9 17:10:56 PST 2009

Theadora wrote:
>I made some based on recipes posted on the net. Should it be sweeter or
>a bit sour?

Hard to say. My time machine isn't working :-(

I think it should be both sweet and sour, as well as a little hot and 
a little spicy, what with the Lombard mustard and all the added 

>I couldn't use all wine- too much $ so used half white wine
>vinegar and half sweet white wine, with honey.

When i made a couple gallons of the stuff, i used cheap sweet white 
wine. It was affordable. I was worried about quality, but cheap stuff 
was fine.

Susan Lin queried:
>Okay - I'm thoroughly confused - I saw compost and just assumed you were
>talking about fertilizer.
>Please explain, what is this "compost" of which you speak?

It is a pickle that is both sweet and sour made of a variety of 
fruits and vegetables (and sometimes young walnuts before the shell 
hardens, if one can find them). It was used as a condiment with meat, 
i believe. I think of it as a sort of Medieval chutney. Recipes 
appear in a number of cookbooks.

Le Menagier's recipe must be started about 6 months before it will be 
used with those baby walnuts picked around Summer Solstice.

I made the one from Forme of Curye for my first feast.
Recipe 103
Take rote of parsel, of pasternak, of rafens, scrape hem and waische 
hem clene. Take rapes & caboches, ypared and icorue. Take an erthen 
panne with clene water & set it on the fire; cast all (th)ise 
(th)erinne. When (th)ey buth boiled cast (th)erto peeres, & perboile 
hem wel. Take alle (th)ise thynges vp & lat it kele on a faire cloth. 
Do (th)erto salt; whan it is colde, do hit in a vessel; take vinegar 
& powdour & safroun & and do (th)erto, & lat alle (th)ise thynges lye 
(th)erin al ny(gh)t, o(th)er al day. Take wyne greke & honey, 
clarified togider; take lumbarde mustard & raisouns coraunce, al 
hoole, & grynde powdour of canel, powdour douce, anys hole, & fenell 
seed. Take alle (th)ise thynges & castt togyder in a pot of erthe, & 
take (th)erof whan (th)ou wilt & serue forth.

My Modern Transcription
Take root of parsley, of parsnip, of radishes, scrape them and wash 
them clean. Take white turnips & cabbages, pared and cored. Take a 
ceramic pan with clean water & set it on the fire; cast all these 
therein. When they have boiled cast thereto pears, & parboil them 
well. Take all these things up & let it cool on a clean cloth. Do 
thereto salt; when it is cold, put it in a vessel; take vinegar & 
[spice] powder & saffron & and do thereto, & let all these things lie 
therein all night, or all day. Take Greek wine [i.e., sweet white 
wine, NOT retsina] & honey, clarified together; take Lombard mustard 
& raisins of Corinth [i.e., dried currants, which are actually small 
raisins], all whole, & grind powder of cinnamon, sweet powder, whole 
anise, & fennel seed. Take all these things & cast together in a 
ceramic pot, & take thereof when thou wilt & serve forth.

My recipe for 2 gallons of compost is on my website :

I'm planning on making a bunch of quart jars of the stuff this year 
and canning them properly. I thought it was so tasty and i'm looking 
forward to having some throughout 2010, as well as gifting some.
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

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