What will you eat on February 2nd?
The Roman feast that will be served at the Queen’s Meadhall (King’s and Queen’s Bardic Champions) in Carolingia has been posted by the cook, Baroness Aurelia Rufinia. If you’re considering going, you can get a feast reservation until January 15th online or by postal mail.
“There may be changes to it, due to availability of ingredients, or my whimsical nature, but I do promise that the ingredient list will be available in the kitchen for anyone who wants it,” wrote Baroness Rufinia. “The numbers after each dish correspond to the recipe listed in Sally Grainger and Christopher Grocock’s Apicius, a Critical Edition with an Introduction and English Translation.”
Her detailed description follows.
Salad with dressing 3.16
Rustic Greens: Serve with liquamen, oil and vinegar as a salad.
Melon with Mint sauce 3.7
Long and Round Sweet Melons: pepper, pennyroyal, honey or passum, liquamen, vinegar.
Likely the melon in question will be honeydew, and I’ll use mint instead of pennyroyal for cost and also pennyroyal can be used as an abortificant. So we won’t be serving that at all. I might also use passum instead of honey, because boy howdy, this feast is super honey-heavy.
Beef meatballs 2.1.7
Forcemeat balls: you pound chopped meat with fresh white breadcrumbs soaked in wine, with pepper and liquamen, if you wish, you pound crushed myrtle berries with them. you shape the balls with pine nuts, wrap them in caul fat, and roast them.
These will be beef, so as to limit the pork offerings. We have a number of people in Carolingia who do not eat pork. The myrtle berries are dependent on price. I can get them at the Harvest Coop, but we’ll see how the budget falls out.
Soft eggs in a pine nut sauce 7.17.3
Sauce for Soft Boiled Eggs: pepper, lovage, soaked pine nuts, pour on honey, vinegar, flavor with liquamen.
Soft boil eggs, cut ‘em in half, serve the sauce over them. That sounds seriously yummy.
bread and cheese
Ham boiled with figs in pastry (has a gluten free option) 7.9.1
Ham: Boil the ham with plenty of figs and 3 bay leaves, remove the skin, score the meat in a grid pattern and fill the cuts with honey. Coat it with a dough made with oil, and give it a covering, so that when the dough is cooked, you take it out of the oven and serve it as is.
This is the only dish that involves pork, and I can also bake one wrapped in parchment paper, so it’s gluten free.
chicken with honey dill sauce 6.8.1, 2
Put dill seed, dried mint and laser root into a mortar, pour on vinegar, add date, pour on liquamen, a little mustard and oil, flavor with defrutum, and use it as it is (6.8.1)
Flavor the above sauce with a little honey and liquamen, take the cooked (parboiled) chicken out of the pan and dry clean with a towel. Make cuts in the flesh and pour the sauce into the cuts so it absorbs it; and when it has absorbed it, roast and baste it in the sauce with the sauce using the feathers.
So the plan is to take chicken parts (not whole chickens- whole chickens at feasts are an exercise in waste) and parboil them before the event, then roast them in the sauce in huge roasting pans. I think it will be delicious.
Beef with sauce 7.6.3
Sauce for boiled meat: pound pepper, dired rue, fennel seed, onion, date, liquamen and oil.
Rue is also an aboritificant. I usually use parsley as a substitute.
Blanched Asparagus 3.3
Dry the asparagus, put it upright in hot water.
Beets with mustard 3.11.2
Another recipe for boiled beets: they are served nicely in a sauce of mustard, a little oil, and vinegar.
mushroom patina 7.13.6
Another Recipe for mushrooms: Put the chopped stems in a clean pan, add pepper, lovage, and a bit of honey, mix with garum, add a bit of oil.
Quince with leeks, Quince with honey 4.2.37
Patina of quince: cook quince with leeks, honey, liquamen, oil, defrutum, and serve, or boil them in some honey
I have made some of each of these. Trust me on the one with leeks. I never really understood umami until I tried. It’s so good.
Stuffed dates 7.11.1
A homemade sweet: Remove the pits from palmyra fruits or dates, and stuff them with walnuts or pine nuts or ground pepper. Roll them in sale, fry in cooked honey, and serve.
Peaches in cumin sauce 4.2.34
Patina of peach: clean fairly firm peaches and cut into pieces. boil them and arrange in a dish, dribble a little oil over the top and serve with a cumin sauce.
Fried porridge 7.11.6
Another sweet recipe: take course wheat flour, cook in hot water in such a way as to make a porridge, then spread it out in a dish. after it has cooled down, cut it up like sweets and fry in best quality oil. Take them out, pour on honey, sprinkle with pepper and serve.