Monday, June 18, 2012

Lundi: Recipes

I love really old recipes, like from Ancient Rome or China.  That's why I always jump on any cookbook that updates historical recipes for the modern kitchen.  So it goes without saying that Constance B. Hieatt and Sharon Butler's Pleyn Delit: Medieval Cookery for Modern Cooks is one of my all time favorites.  The book was published in Canada in 1976 and is available online here.

One of my go-to recipes from the book is for spiced wine.  It is a wonderfully tasty concoction that can be made ahead, kept chilled and then broken out for a backyard barbeque or a fancy sit down dinner.  It really is that versatile and it's also a great way to use cheap red wine (like that kind in a box).

3 bottles of red table wine
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup cinnamon
2 tbsp ginger and/or galingale
1 tsp each cardamom, mace and nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Heat the wine to a simmer (don't boil it) and stir in the sugar, honey, and spices over low heat.  Stir until thoroughly dissolved.  Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few moments.  Strain the wine through a fine strainer or cheesecloth and decant into an appropriate container (you can put it back into the bottles it came from if you like; something else will have to stand in if you did indeed go for that big box).

Hieatt and Butler recommend serving the wine at room temperature, which is nice for winter.  In the summer you can chill it a bit if you like.  Another wonderful summer variation is to use rose rather than red wine.  Include a few slices of lemon with the rose to really brighten it up.  Bon appetite ~

Header: A Monk in the Wine Cellar, Medieval illumination via this post at The Inspiratorium where you will find some interesting facts on Medieval food and drink


Timmy! said...

Hey, don't knock wine in a box, Pauline...


Pauline said...

I here ya; whatever gets it done and - in sailor speak - any port in a storm, I say.

Dave said...

Hi, I just saw this and will have to try it. I'm curious about the use of spices in medieval times, they must have been very expensive and rare, so this would be a drink only the nobility (secular and religious) would have enjoyed?

Pauline said...

Hi Dave; thanks for stopping by. I think your observation is probably correct in general but, for more in depth research (at least on line) I highly recommend The Inpiratorium (link at the end of this post). There's a lot of good info specific to the Medieval era there.