the documentation site is up here. all the old recipes are in and we are working on the new ones.
Preparations,: setting up the tent and the cooks in action
pretty soon curious people are coming in
More pictures from the event yesterday, more can be found here
This project reminds me of the first week presentation that Vincent and I were eluding to, in regard to the history of Gouda as a market place especially for trade of fish.
We wrote a fictional audio monologue, guided the audience to 2 discret locations and played it to the audience via a nokia N40 mobile phone.
A new public wireless interface: Street Radio by Hivenetworks
On Friday the 14th of March 2008 ten 'street radio' nodes went live in Southampton narrowcasting Hidden Histories -- stories from Southamptons Oral History Archive selected and arranged to correspond with the location of the 10 nodes.
Participants started to meet at around 11 am at the gallery cafe in Southampton's Civic Centre. There they received maps of the Hidden Histories trail and those who needed them could borrow little FM radio
We are very carnivaleque so far in our out put. I hope someone saves some lavender jam for me ;D
BLACKMARKET FOR USEFUL KNOWLEDGE AND NON-KNOWLEDGE - Nr. 10
mobile academy keeps on moving, I wonder if this is interesting to interface with this somehow ?
Fame and a changing Britain have dulled the effects, but, he says, suddenly furious, "I had a lot of racism last fucking week. I'm not used to it any more. I was in Germany. I was incandescent. All the journalists referred to me as an immigrant writer. They'd go, 'As an immigrant writer, are you beginning to feel a bit more settled now in England?' Stuff like that . . . And also - 'The children, are they between two cultures, how do they feel?' There are no more English boys than my sons."
Racism made him a frightened, hostile child, and it made him a writer; the incidents in Germany were "like a memory of a trauma. You remember what other people's words do to you. So if someone calls you an immigrant, you think, oh, it's like 1966. Other people's words define, exclude and generally demean you. It made me remember why I wanted to write - to put my side."
interview in the guardian
Thanks to Vergeten Eten, I made stock (bouillon) for the first time in my life! It's surprisingly easy (although it takes a lot of time and quite a bit of attention) and I'll certainly try it again. But let's speak about the Konijnensoep / Jachtsoep experiment specifically!
Here are all the ingredients lined up. I found two rabbit legs in the supermarket opposite the street and didn't bother to go to another shop to buy a whole rabbit. The two legs are 5,79 EUR so not very cheap, but I love rabbit and hey, it's Easter after all!
The recipe only mentions parsil (parsley?) / peterselie as spices but I couldn't resist and added a bay leaf. I love bay leaf (laurier), especially in soups and with carrots.
This time, after the Eiervla Disaster, I did the research FIRST. I consulted my Flemish Cooking Bible and read about how to make stock (bouillon).
Here's the meat. It's extremely lean and at this point, I'm doubting if it'll be appropriate for soup.
I put it in a pot together with hot water, some cabbage leaves, three carrots, one onion + salt, pepper, dried parsley (forgot to buy fresh one), a bay leaf and two cloves (kruidnagel) in the onion. I read about that in "Ons Kookboek" and that sounded really good.
Two hours later:
I must tell you, it smelled FANTASTIC.
I took all the meat off the bones (it was VERY tender at that point, really fell apart by itself) in order to add it to the bouillon later.
I let the bouillon cool on our balcony for a few hours and then filtered it through a sieve and a cotton cloth. It's not transparent/clear (it should be... I probably did something not 100% correctly, but the taste is OK and it's not really bothersome).
About the taste of the stock / bouillon: the rabbit flavor is not very strong or outspoken. That was to be expected: I only had 2 legs and rabbit is a very lean animal. The recipe also explicitly says that it's better to use wild rabbits, and I can totally believe that!
Finally, after putting everything (stock, meat, vegetables) back together, this is the end result:
A delicious lunch for Easter Monday. Rabbit soup that could as well be chicken soup. BUT: very good nevertheless.
I must say that I also had my doubts about the white cabbage (I used "spitskool"): strange to combine this with rabbit. But I really liked it.
This stuff is also known as watergruwel or krentjebrij. The internet is full of all sorts of versions of it.
Fokky explains on the wiki that: Parelgort is barley with outer skin removed (gerst in Dutch) and can be bought at some flour mills in the Netherlands (gotta love the flour mills, superb for home bread bakers!). My wild guess is that it can be substituted with rough oatmeal (havermout), but I'm not entirely sure.
My bastard version is based on Fokky's assumption that parelgort can be substituted with rolled oats. A traditional oatmeal porridge recipe is: 4 cups (1 litre) water, 1 cup (180 grams) steel-cut Irish Oatmeal, 1/4 teaspoon salt. So when using rolled oats I decided to follow that and use a lot less water than the one litre the recipe calls for. So here it goes:
In cast iron pan put 500 ml water, 2 dl rolled oats, 2 dl â€œrode bessensapâ€, 4 baby boxes of raisins (all I had in the house), 1 dl raw cane sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (again all I had in the house), 2 big chunks of lemon peel.
Leave it to boil for 10 min, dont forget to stir or it will burn. The leave it standing with the lid on for the night.
The result looking sort of hideous and pink in a not-good way.
Before eating I reheated it and the good news is that it is not nearly as disgusting as it looks.
It is not the best thing ever. It can be eaten with lots of sugar and cinnamon.
I was really eager to try out the Eiervla recipe. A vla/pudding without starch sounded really good; I'm a big fan of crÃ¨me brulÃ©e and this recipe seemed to go in the same direction, without the burnt sugar coat but with some lemon in the mix. Can't be bad!
All the ingredients are ready.
Beating the eggs with the sugar. I did use regular sugar, not powdered one. After a while I obtained a creamy mix ("ruban").
Grated lemon peel, yum yum.
Mixed with milk and cream. Quite foamy (I used my electric beater) and the batter is yummy (although a bit on the sweet side).
Au Bain Marie. This phase took me approx. 15 minutes, the recipe told me to keep stirring, which I did. Yawn...
And then something goes All Wrong and the Stuff goes All Lumpy.
Fluids and solids are separating. We are witnessing an interesting, but unwanted chemical reaction here.
The Stuff also tastes less good now. In fact, it's not very attractive and instead, it's very sweet and the lemon taste is too overpowering.
Is it the recipe? Is it my fault? Let's do some research.
(I know that doing research *before* acting is often the wise thing to do... let's blame my eagerness ;-)
My Belgian cookbook, "Ons Kookboek", has several similar recipes for "flan" and one for crÃ¨me brulÃ©e; they have similar ingredients (but often only cream and eggs, no milk) and all say that the substance needs to be cooked "au bain marie", but in the oven and very slowly (pour the mix in small dishes, put these in a larger dish with water and let this stiffen slowly in the oven).
If the temperature is too high, the flan will become lumpy. That's what happened to me.
Sooo... now I'm really eager to try it again!! Not with these ingredients though, just a nice vanilla flan or a crÃ¨me brulÃ©e. As I've run out of eggs, this will have to be something for after the market event though...
Because I have apparently lost my fragile mind and cannot stop, I also wanted to try the "deuse geertjes"... I did no research this time but instead I just followed the lead of Corinna.
We tore 6 slices of white bread into small pieces. (I wonder if they meant us to use actual bread crumbs)
We added 4 eggs, some cream, cinamon and sugar. There was no rose water in the house, so I used some "rodebessensap" (I know it is not the same at all)...
I put the melted butter into the mix, and then i did not have to add any butter for frying.
These are basically a cross between french toast and pancakes. Also it makes quite a difference to add the cinnamon and sugar to the mix instead to sprinkling on top. Not a bad breakfast on a lazy snowy sunday...
Edited to add: They are also nice cold!
First please welcome the grumpy assistant.
There is almost no actual recipe in the recipe, only:
Van beide kruiden neemt men de bloemen. Men wrijft ze fijn, en tot elk pond bloemen neemt men twee-en-een-half pond suiker, of ook wel drie pond, al naar gelang de sterkte. Dit wrijft men allemaal [de suiker en de gemalen bloemen] goed tesamen.
So i again consulted the internet. There are a number of lavender recipes online:
a hand full of organic, dried lavender blossoms
2 tablespoons of honey
150ml red port wine
100ml creme de cassis
3 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup dried lavender flowers
Juice of 1 lemon (approximately 1/4 cup)
1 (1 3/4-ounces) box powdered pectin or 1 pouch (3-ounces) liquid pectin
4 cups sugar
Lavender Jelly recipe
2 1/4 cups bottled apple juice
1 cup lavender flowers
3 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 (4 ounce) bottle liquid pectin
and more and more and there is even a yahoo group for making things with lavender.
I decided that the second version was the closest and simplest one to try.
Notes on ingredients: I could not find pectin, so I cheated and used "gelei suiker" from AH. I found food grade lavender at Jacob Hoy in Amsterdam [no pesticides - this is important as lavender as a crop does not have to pass food regulations].
My version went like this:
Sterilise the jar by filling it with boiling water and placing it upside down for a while.
Bring 3 1/2 cups of water to the boil.
Take the pan of the fire and add 1 cup of lavender, let it seep for 20 min and then strain away the flowers.
Add juice of 1 lemon and 3 cups of "gelei sugar". Heat up and boil for 2-4 min, depending on how stiff you want the jelly.
Fill the jelly into jars, leave them upside down for a minute, then turn them back the right way up. Leave to cool. This recipe makes two jars of lavendar jelly.
And then for the testing...
And its a hit :)
if you cannot post and you want to add your cooking experiences - just send them to me in an email and i will put them here... kristina at tiny thing dot com
Here a short report on my attempt to serve a 'historic diner' with 4 recipes, that I tried out today. My friends; Colette, Bernhard, Ivar and Kyra, were courageous enough to serve as a test panel. In the course of today the whole shopping process and haunting for ingredients brought to the surface interesting issues such as: which contemporary product is closest to the listed ingredients, whether or not to use a blender, to buy fillet of fish or stay as close as possible with the tradition by filleting the fish by yourself etc. etc. Most ingredients I used were ecological or biological as I figured this probably would come closest to the original taste. As the diner plan was only decided upon today, there was no time to consult the archive experts, so I decided to just go for it, and spent the afternoon in interesting spice and herb shops and on the market place.
Chervil soup / Kervelsopje
All ingredients were available however, the doses in the recipe were only vaguely mentioned so the cook's sense of 'historic' mixing came into play here. My test-panel friends were in agreement about the soup or 'sopje', it was ok, the slice of bread where the soup was poured over, to make a 'sopje' was received well. However, according to our 21st century testers, the dish could use some salt and pepper. Kyra decided for a 6 mark ('average') for the soup.
Spinach / Spinagie and salmon / Salm stoven
First the spinach: the Bramley apple is not cultivated in the Netherlands anymore, see http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bramley%27s_Seedling
I decided to use Goudreinettes, an old Dutch apple that originally comes from Boskoop, close to Gouda. http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afbeelding:Goudreinet.jpg
Further more I used rough leaved wild spinach, fresh ginger and dry white wine. The verjuys was missing and replaced with vinegar (ass suggested in one of the English recipes).
So let's go back to my testing friends again: they all appreciated the spinach with apple and ginger very much! The substance of this dish was a bit juicy or soup-like, next time I'll consider to follow the suggestion to make pies or cookies from it. The taste reminded my friends to the old-fashioned Dutch red cabbage with apples, a plate that is still served these days as winter food in the Netherlands. Very Nice !
On the salmon dish I made some compromises as I decided to buy the fillet and not the whole fish (I hate fish bones, I know I'm spoiled and yes I understood people used to be much easier on these kinds of things before). Never the less with this slight adjustment the salmon was also really appreciated, the bread crump porridge-like substance was less appreciated (see Kyra's facial expression on the right picture above). Interesting details about all different parts of the nutmeg, as I wanted to know what foelie actually is see for nutmeg details http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nootmuskaat
and 'foelie' and the Dutch VOC history http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foelie
Rum jelly / Rumgelij
ahum... I think the cook made a minor mistake here, as it was so thick of jelly that the calculations might be misunderstood ... the taste was a bit like wine gums but too little rum, lemon and sugar, it looked good but needs a secondary try! Furthermore I'm also not sure how much 'half a small bottle of rum' actually is I found myself in front of a shell with 3 sizes of small bottles ... so here is some more work ahead for my experiment with the recipes.
Aalbessen are red currant. They are quite hard to find at this time of year - but i got lucky in my local Albert Hein. Jan Willem was super helpful in explaining that rinsewijn could be a more modern-style white wine, I ended up using the "wit lightzoet huiswijn" from ah.
The recipe itself only mentions ingredients and does not provide very much detail on how much and how. After some looking around on the net i realised that this recipe is similar to the english dish: Summer Pudding. Here are some examples: delia online, becks posh nosh, nigel slater in the guardian and an article in the ny times. I decided to aim for a quite similar look.
In the recipe above Delia Smith says: Place the fruits with the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat and let them cook for about 3-5 minutes, only until the sugar has dissolved and the juices begin to run â€“ don't overcook and so spoil the fresh flavour. Now remove the fruit from the heat, and line the pudding basin with the slices of breadâ€¦ etc.
I assumed that a 17th century cook might have gone for a slightly more cooked version and I also guessed that it would be quite sweet...
So here is my interpretation for 4 servings:
Clean about 150 g of berries. It helps if you have a very serious young assistant.
Mix them with 1 dl white wine, 40g butter and 1 dl raw cane sugar (I guessed that their sugar would not have been white).
Heat the mixture up in a saucepan and let it simmer for 5-10 min.
Put 4 slices of white bread without edges in a bowl.
Pour the mixture over the bread and serve on plates with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on top.
Note: My first try was with 25g of butter and only 1/2 dl of sugar but i think the dish works better with the numbers above.
The result looks odd, wet, thick and pink. The assistant was very sceptical and decided not to taste it.
But this, this is seriously good. We finished it in minutes and I am seriously considering to serve it for my friend the chef tomorrow night. It tastes a bit like a light and fruity kind of spicy xmas wine. It is a fantastic desert, easy to make and it has already been added to the household favourites. If we can find enough berries it would be a great dish to serve in the tent!
Budget notes: 150g rode bessen = 2.99 huiswijn = 1.39 (I only used half the bottle)