I love Summer Solstice. I love the longs hours of sunlight, the fresh scent of new leaves and mown grass after a spring rain. I also love dressing up. So, I look forward to this time of year because some neighbourhood friends host an annual medieval feast on Summer Solstice. We dress up, drink out of pewter goblets, eat with our hands and try to cook as authentically as we can. I’ve used this awesome site, A Boke of Gode Cookery, as my source. It’s put together by James Matterer which he has translated and adapted for the modern cook. According to his website, “James has been preparing medieval food since 1979 and has been working from period sources and creating his own contemporary redactions since 1989. Each recipe here is derived from his own personal experience in the recreation of that dish.”
Tonight, in honour of the approaching solstice, I’m making Mushroom Pasty (very tasty and very easy!) with venison stew (my own recipe). Here’s the original recipe for Mushroom Pasty from A Boke of Gode Cookery:
Mushrooms of one night be the best and they be little and red within and closed at the top; and they must be peeled and then washed in hot water and parboiled and if you wish to put them in a pasty add oil, cheese and spice powder.
– Power, Eileen. The Goodman of Paris (Le Ménagier de Paris). A Treatise on Moral and Domestic Economy by A Citizen of Paris (c. 1395). New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1928.
In the past I’ve also made Bryndons, small cakes simmered in a wine sauce with fruit and nuts (yum, yum!). Here’s the original recipe from A Boke of Gode Cookery:
.xlix. Bryndons. Take Wyn, & putte in a potte, an clarifyd hony, an Saunderys, pepir, Safroun, Clowes, Maces, & Quybibys, & mynced Datys, Pynys and Roysonys of Corauns, & a lytil Vynegre, & sethe it on þe fyre; an sethe fygys in Wyne, & grynde hem, & draw hem þorw a straynoure, & caste þer-to, an lete hem boyle alle to-gederys; þan take fayre flowre, Safroun, Sugre, & Fayre Water, and make þer-of cakys, and let hem be þinne Inow; þan kyte hem y lyke lechyngys, an caste hem in fayre Oyle, and fry hem a lytil whyle; þanne take hem owt of þe panne, an caste in-to a vesselle with þe Syrippe, & so serue hem forth, þe bryndonys an þe Sirippe, in a dysshe; & let þe Sirippe be rennyng, & not to styf.
– Austin, Thomas. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books. Harleian MS. 279 & Harl. MS. 4016, with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1429, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS 55. London: for The Early English Text Society by N. Trübner & Co., 1888.
Here are some pics from our solstice parties!