[Sca-cooks] Last Minute Genovese Feast

Karen Lyons-McGann karenthechef at gmail.com
Mon Oct 29 17:52:30 PDT 2012

Thanks for the leads so far.   I've studied Helewyse pages, very late
period, and the page on roman Cooking in the Florilegium.  Trying to steer
a course between the two is hard.  (and so much of Helewyse's advice
regarding serving a course of cold dishes from a credenza, then a single
course at table with hot dishes, followed by a third course from the
credenza very nicely solves a request for a cold feast next summer.
 Mustn't  get distracted.

I'm was following links from the Florilegium to gain an understanding of
Roman service.  Hm, also 3 courses?  Mixed light dish, then meats, then
fruits and sweets.  These are almost too conveniently similar.

trying to find referrences for chickpeas and chestnuts, which surprisingly
aren't in the Apicius (Grocock & Grainger) index.

On Sunday, October 28, 2012, Karen Lyons-McGann wrote:

> Soooo, my baronial yule autocrat modified the theme so as to make my
> casual reading of Spanish and German sources over the course of the year
> unusable.    We aren't just an inn on the road to/from a pilgrammage
> destination, (im sure we could have found a Spanish or German Shrine to
> some saint or artifact.) No.  We are on the road returning from the 1st
> crusade.  He suggested since 'they went by boat from Italy' I could do an
> Italian Feast.  Except, they went overland, mostly from areas that are now
> France.  I already told the 12th Night cook i wouldnt do French.   (our
> barony is hosting, same guild is cooking)
> After a month of War, and family stuff (hello, I'm a grandma!) I finally
> started wrestling with it.     I considered Byzantine/ Greek but it just
> didn't seem Yule-ish.   I tried to make German work using Duke Godfrey of
> Lorraine.  (he didn't return so a feast celebrating returning, well.  It
> bothers me!).  I finally settled on traveling with Guglielmo Embracio
> (William the Drunk) back to Genoa.  (autocrat will get Italian afterall) He
> was a merchant who aided the Seige of Jerusalem by breaking up his ships to
> make Seige towers.  He returned to Genoa in December 1099 to get beg for
> some cash for the cause and then returned to the east.
> Genoa, December 1099
> I've begun with Apicius and Martino and the Neoolitan cookbook because
> that's what I have.  So that's one earlier than and two later than sources.
>  Not great.
> I've gotten some modern books that tell me that Genoa/Liguria
> traditionally uses more herbs than spices because the sailors and
> merchants, after asking with the strong smelling spices don't care to eat
> them. that they used chickpea and chestnut flours because the narrow bit of
> land between coast and mountains was no good for growing grain. Ditto few
> grazing animals, a preference for rabbits and chickens and not much cheese
> made locally.    I've noted the requisite plausibly period modern recipes
> that back documentation would be oh so pleasant to find. (chickpea crepes?
>  Walnut and ricotta pesto? Easy to make stamped pasta disks?  Fennel,
> raisin  and candied citron bread?).  I've confirmed what I thought I knew:
> basil pesto is 19thC.  Although herby blend of wild herbs and greens has
> been around.   (and is currently used to stuff ravioli which is topped with
> mushroom sauce). Also: egg frittata with green herbs.
> So, I've got about a week to sort this out.   Then a week to test things
> out before presenting to the guild on Nov 13.  The feast is Dec 8 and will
> involve a lot of pre cooking as we can't afford to be on site as early as a
> cook would wish.  (this is the 4th or 5th year so farming out dishes in
> advance has been done.  ).
> I'm so very, very willing to take advice.   At the moment, it seems I may
> do Alician with a bit of later period and a bit of plausibly period.
> Oh, and there will be ham with mustard.  There always has been and so
> there always must be.  I'm OK with this.
> Bonne

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