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New with Questions

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  • lilinah@earthlink.net
    Greetings to the good members of this list: I am in the SCA, as are others i see here, and i will be cooking a feast for about 80 in September. I was between a
    Message 1 of 4 , May 24, 2003
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      Greetings to the good members of this list:

      I am in the SCA, as are others i see here, and i will be cooking a
      feast for about 80 in September. I was between a Mongolian feast and
      a Roman feast. I decided to do Roman this time. I will continue my
      research and hope to do a Mongolian feast next year.

      I have a tentative menu for the Roman feast, which will follow. And i
      have some questions.

      First, does anyone know of sources for fresh lovage herb? I live in
      Northern California, in a city apartment. Growing it does not seem to
      me to be an option, and i have a black thumb.

      Second, fresh rue? reasonable substitute?

      Third, in reading Dalby and Grainger's "The Classical Cookbook" i
      noticed mention of chickpeas with a safflower sauce in a Greek food
      chapter. However, i haven't been able to track down a recipe or even
      an ingredients list. Does anyone have any ideas for this? The recipes
      in Apicius for chickpeas just are not exciting me - and the
      flavorings are similar to so many other dishes. I don't like serving
      things that taste too much alike.

      I am currently using these books:
      Flower and Rosenbaum, Apicius: The Roman Cookery Book
      Ilaria Gozzini Giacosa, A Taste of Ancient Rome
      Andrew Dalby and Sally Grainger, The Classical Cookbook

      Thanks for any help,
      al-Sayyida Anahita al-Qurtubiyya bint 'abd al-Karim al-hakim al-Fassi

      Tentative Menu

      NOTES:

      The First: The Autocrat, i.e., event organizer, asked for six
      courses, so i'm doubling each one of the standard Roman three

      The Second: The Princess is deathly allergic to all tree nuts except
      pine. So i want to keep their use to a minimum to avoid cross
      contamination

      The Third: The Prince is somewhat Kosher, so i am substituting lamb
      for pork in the sausages and making him a vinaigrette dressing for
      the salad

      The Fourth: The event is a Bardic competition. Between courses will
      be the various competitions, involving songs, music, story telling,
      etc.

      The Fifth: The event site is likely to be in an church hall which has
      no air conditioning, and September is generally the hottest month of
      the year, so we may serve fresh fruit ices to refresh the attendees.
      I want to have most of the food prepared ahead of time, both so it's
      relatively quiet in the hall while the Bards are competing, and so
      that the kitchen doesn't become an oven itself.

      The Menu


      GUSTUM - Set One - on the tables
      -- Bread - possibly "homemade"
      -- Moretum - a puree of garlic, green herbs, and Parmesan
      -- Epityrum - chopped seasoned black and green olives
      -- Fresh Cheese - homemade

      GUSTUM - Set Two
      -- Hard cooked Eggs served with Pine Nut Sauce
      -- Tuna, grilled and served with Date Sauce
      -- Artichoke Bottoms cooked in Herb Sauce

      INTERMEZZO - Lemon Granita

      PRIMERA MENSA - Set One
      -- Chicken cooked in Plum Sauce
      -- Chickpeas served with Safflower Sauce
      -- Peaches, boiled and served with Cumin Sauce
      -- Green Salad with Ricotta Sauce

      PRIMERA MENSA - Set Two
      -- Ham with Figs in Pastry
      -- Lucanicae - Sausages (made with lamb, not pork)
      -- Cabbage -or- Mushrooms
      -- Barley Polenta, with coriander seeds and flax seeds

      INTERMEZZO - Pomegranate Granita

      SECUNDA MENSA - Set One
      -- "Peach Pits" served in Sugar Plate Chariots (not Roman - for show)
      [peach pits are a Renaissance period dish of almond paste molded into
      the shape of peach pits and dusted with cinnamon and red saunders]
      -- Pine Nut Patina
      -- Sweet Wine Cakes

      SECUNDA MENSA - Set Two
      -- Sesame Cheese Balls with Honey
      -- Fresh Fruit
      -- Spiced White Wine/White Grape Juice
    • Susan Laing
      Greetings! Chickpeas in saffron (Erebinthoi Knakosymmigeis) is one of the recipes listed in Mark Grant s Roman Cookery ISBN 1-897959-39-7 I have a copy of
      Message 2 of 4 , May 25, 2003
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        Greetings!

        Chickpeas in saffron (Erebinthoi Knakosymmigeis) is one of the recipes
        listed in Mark Grant's "Roman Cookery" ISBN 1-897959-39-7

        I have a copy of the recipe in Word format if you'd like it (it's very easy
        and quite tasty)

        E me privately if you would like it

        Mari de Paxford (also of the SCA - Kingdom of Lochac)
        (aka Sue Laing)
        paxford@...
        http://www.livejournal.com/users/paxford/
      • jdm314@aol.com
        In a message dated 5/25/03 3:11:20 AM, lilinah@earthlink.net writes:
        Message 3 of 4 , May 25, 2003
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          In a message dated 5/25/03 3:11:20 AM, lilinah@... writes:

          <<
          First, does anyone know of sources for fresh lovage herb? I live in
          Northern California, in a city apartment. Growing it does not seem to
          me to be an option, and i have a black thumb. >>

          It's not generally availible except from the plant. The plant is usually
          availible in small quantitites from plant stores this time of year, at least where
          I live, so California should be no problem. I would recommend trying to keep
          them alive (in pots) despite your black thumb, but really you only need to
          keep them long enough for your banquet.

          << Second, fresh rue? reasonable substitute? >>

          Dry rue might be acceptable, but it doesn't taste nearly as good. That is
          sometimes availible from herbalists. Other than that, I sometimes use raddish
          leaf, but this is far from perfect.


          <<
          The Third: The Prince is somewhat Kosher, so i am substituting lamb
          for pork in the sausages and making him a vinaigrette dressing for
          the salad >>

          "Somewhat Kosher," I like that. The Orthodox will insist there's no such
          thing, but it describes me pretty well.


          << The Fifth: The event site is likely to be in an church hall which has
          no air conditioning, and September is generally the hottest month of
          the year, so we may serve fresh fruit ices to refresh the attendees.
          I want to have most of the food prepared ahead of time, both so it's
          relatively quiet in the hall while the Bards are competing, and so
          that the kitchen doesn't become an oven itself. >>

          Well, that will be fairly accurate then ;)

          << The Menu >>

          Sounds great!

          I do recommend using pecorino romano rather than parmesan in your moretum,
          but for a large feast that might not be cost-effective.

          JDM
        • Sheila Michaels
          ... I doubt it would be commercially available in any quantity. But you should be able to get individual plants in small containers: though you say that is
          Message 4 of 4 , May 25, 2003
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            At 06:23 PM 5/24/2003 , you wrote:

            >First, does anyone know of sources for fresh lovage herb?

            I doubt it would be commercially available in any quantity. But you should
            be able to get individual plants in small containers: though you say that
            is not an option. Your local botanical garden should be able to direct you
            to a grower, if they do not have it in their plant-sale area. I saw some
            recently at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden shop, so it is definitely
            around. It's not a plant with an assertive flavor. You might look it up
            in an on-line herbal. If memory serves, you might get much the same flavor
            by pureeing kirby cucumber skins.

            >I live in
            >Northern California, in a city apartment. Growing it does not seem to
            >me to be an option, and i have a black thumb.
            >
            >Second, fresh rue? reasonable substitute?

            Same answer. I love rue & neither my pets nor I have ever been able to
            kill the plant. You really won't need very much of it: it is very strong &
            sharp. The smell fills the room when a cat walks through the window
            box. Also, after a certain point I think it may be toxic to some.

            Pine nuts can be very costly. Best to get them from Chinese grocers,
            rather than Italian. A bit less flavor, but much cheaper.
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