For my housewarming party, I planned a lavish, medieval-themed banquet, complete with costumes, diy goblets, and of course, a cockentryce, a medieval combination of a pig and a fowl, designed to look like a chimerical species. Because hasn’t everyone always wanted to sew together two animals to form a chimera? I have. In addition to learning about all of the below foods which I served, I learned that savory and sweet were typically served together or even cooked together, pomegranates and almonds were thought to improve virility, people ate off of slabs of dry bread which absorbed the drippings and became food for the poor, and Medieval people loved making all kinds of surprising things, whether it was a “subtlety” (the least subtle ever food-based table decorations — I made a vegetable jelly ring as my subtlety) or utilizing the newest spices from the East: pepper, ginger, cinnamon, and lemons!
Humble Pies (innards!)
Nese Bekys (Salmon and Fig Pasties)
Cockentryce, depicted, a duck’s chest sewn to a pig’s butt at 2 pm followed by the pig’s head and forebody sewn to the duck’s rear at 5pm, both frankensteiny chimeras stuffed with bread, currants, apple and bacon. I boiled the pigge for 2 hours first, then let it cool, sewed everyone together, rubbed them with 5-spice and salt, and roasted them at 350 for 3 hours. Everything was surprisingly normal tasting and delicious. My first whole pig, sortof!
Frumenty (Rice porridge)
Tajine al Sikbah (Lamb and dried fruit stew)
Original recipes came directly from medievalcookery.com and tudorhistory.com, and indirectly from Gloning, 16th cent. A Proper Neue Book of Cokery, Curye on Inglish, Constance B. Hieatt & Sharon Butler, Forme of Cury, S. Pegge (ed.), The Good Housewife’s Jewell, T. Dawson, Kochbuch (Salzburg, UB: M I 128), D. Hart (trans.),Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books, T. Austin (ed.), and I took additional inspiration from thehistorictable.com and the Supersizers Go TV show.
Overall it was a great party and we consumed an amazing amount of vittles! Recipes are coming right up in subsequent posts.