[Sca-cooks] Honey Bacon War Siege Cooking review

lilinah at earthlink.net lilinah at earthlink.net
Fri Jun 22 20:16:16 PDT 2012

Raphaella DiContini wrote:

[much snippage - but i think this is an excellent method]

> Bonus (open to all contestants) 
> This is an excerpt from Le Menagier de Paris (France, 1393 - Janet Hinson, trans.)
> WALNUT PRESERVE. Take, before St. John's Day, fresh walnuts and peel them and pierce 
> them, and put to soak in cold water for nine days, and each day renew the water: then 
> let them dry, and fill the holes with cloves and ginger, and boil in honey, and thus 
> keep them preserved.

So, did they have 9 days to prepare this? Or did you find young walnuts and prep them first? IIRC, this dish is made with walnuts before the nut has actually solidified and the inside is still somewhat like jelly. I sometimes find jars of preserved young walnuts in halal and international markets. They often come from Mittl Europe and Turkey.

> I hope to continue using, and refining this format. I unfortunately was suffering from 
> both pneumonia and an ear infection the day of the contest, so I missed some valuable 
> points that I plan to incorporate in the future, like having discussion time for each 
> dish, having each team talk about the choices they made in their interpretation. 

Aa-iiiii! I hope you are taking care of yourself and getting better!

> Some of the contestants felt strongly that in addition to (or in replacement of) all of 
> the contestants judging that there should be a panel of judges, so I'm pondering how 
> that might work, and how it would impact or be impacted by the experience of everyone 
> having input on all the dishes. I don't think I want to discard contestant based judging 
> altogether so I've got to figure out if some hybrid will work, or if it just needs to be 
> one or the other. I also think more discussion time for each dish may possibly have 
> helped the issue.

I think it is important that they all get to taste each other's interpretations.

I suspect that at least some contestants wanted some "experts" there so they could tell which of the interpretations was "right", to give them a bit more certitude, perhaps, or at least a greater sense of certitude. It is likely that some were better interpretations or more successful than others. But given our lack of time machines to go back and actually experience preparing and eating these dishes, we are only using our (hopefully) good judgment. And i think having experienced cooks there among those tasting and commenting wouldn't be a bad thing. Just don't let them go first, because that might influence how some of the contestants judge each other.

Final comment, while i have heard some people argue that it is not creative to cook from a recipe, using medieval recipes forces us to be creative, since they rarely have all the quantities and steps specified, and sometimes even figuring out what the ingredients are can be a bit of a challenge.

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

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