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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

LANDES ESSENTIAL IN TIMES OF FAMINE

yummy delicious acorn bread
Photo from: Lisa Jordan

landes, L glans, glandis, Eng acorns. See bellota with 13th c gluten free acorn bread recipe published February 29, 2012

Acorns are fundamental in times of famine. As late as the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), many families were saved from famine by collecting acorns and making bread from mashed acorns made into flour. Colonists from Britian who arrived late in fall to North America were forced to scratch the earth for food. They too made acorn flour which they used to make bread.

Acorns are the main substance for pigs in southwestern Spain where the holm oak trees thrive. The pigs’ smell can distinguish between sweet and bitter acorns. If one examines the area on the ground below a holm oak, he will find acorn shells and whole acorns left by the pigs if bitter.

Holm oak acorns are credited with giving the unique taste to serrano ham as that is what the pigs eats while being raised to produce such a delicious leg. 


[Berceo. Libro. 1983:272:2565]  

Serrano Ham
Photo from: Martin Langford


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

JUNCAL, A THREAT TO FARM LANDS AND MACHINERY

29/7/15

Flowers of East Crete
Photo from: Steve Lenton
ajonjera, achicoria dulce, L. Chondrilla juncea, Eng. rush skeletonweed, gum succory. It is a member of the chicory tribe of the sunflower family and a close relative of chicory and the dandelion as it too has a spindly habit of growth.

It thrives on sandy dry soils in France, Italy and Spain. The plant lives two years and grows from one to four feet high. Its taproot may grow to seven feet or more in length. When cut, the stems and root exude white latex sap. The yellow flower heads, appearing in summer, are ½” in diameter. They grow at branch tips, leaf axils and along the stem in clusters of two to five or individually. One plant can produce 1,500 flowers and 20,000 seeds.

Sheep particularly like to graze on the rosettes and early flowers, while cattle munch on the stems of early flowers. In the Spain during the Middle Ages, the whole plant was taken to the kitchen. Although a little bitter, the greens were eaten like salads dressed with oil. The rosettes were added for color. The sweet roots were cleaned and fried a little.

hauling out and burning rush skeletonweed
Photo from: myshell
Medicinally the stems and roots were ground with myrrh and administered to women in the form of oil to bring on menstruation. The roots were mashed and mixed with honey and made into round pills, which were dissolved in water and mixed with nitre to remove scales on skin. Hair was treated with the juice extracted from the tender roots. A needle was dipped into the juice and that was dropped on the roots of the hair to prevent lose.

Avenzoar directs that moderately heated, it has drying powers that act as a stomach and liver tonic, at the same time it improves the strength in both viscera and is useful to alleviate dropsy. Drunk like wine, it was useful for snakebites. Boiled juice was drunk alone or with wine to constipate the bowls. 

Today, it is considered a threat to farm lands as it reduces forage production, lowers the productivity of land and reduces crop production 50-70% and the entwined plant and latex sap gum up farm machinery.


[Ency Brit. 1998:6:Holderness:652:1d:10:Reti:244:3b-246:1a; and Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:103]

Monday, July 27, 2015

JUNGLADA WITH RABBIT POTTAGE FROM THE 15TH CENTURY


Washing the Rabbit
Photo by: Lord-Williams
lebrada, a dish made with rabbit or hare, the name of a dish synonymous with fricas of hare. See jerricote. [Nola. 1989:xxv-1; and Nola/Pérez. 1994:200]

RABBIT POTTAGE ADAPTED FROM NOLA xxv-1 POTAJE DE JUNGLADA O LEBRADA
For 4 servings

Ingredients

1 hare 
Half Roasted Rabbit
Photo by: Lord-Williams
3 ½ tbsp lard
1 qt chicken or meat broth
5 oz  bacon
¼ c toasted almonds
2 chicken or kid livers
2 eggs
2 slices bread
¼ c vinegar
¼ c honey

Garnish
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ginger


Preparation

PREHEAT OVEN TO 325º F/160ºC

Clean the rabbit well and scald it for a few minutes in boiling water then cut into pieces and salt it. Grease it with lard and put it in the oven with the lard and roast it slowly for about 30 minutes until half done.

A Dish for Kings!
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Remove it from the oven and chop into large pieces. Gently fry the bacon cut into large pieces and the half of the onions well chopped. Add the rabbit and fry it also.

Peel the almonds. Toast them. Chop them. Slice the bread and soak it in white vinegar. Mash this with the almonds, the rest of the onions chopped and the livers (roasted a little beforehand). Beat eggs and add them to the mixture, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens.


When the rabbit is almost done. Strain the broth and add this mixture to the meat. At the end of cooking add the honey or sugar if a sweet and sour flavor is desired. Serve in soup bowls. Sprinkle with ginger shavings and cinnamon. It is truly delicious!



LIBRO DE COCINA DE RUPERTO NOLA
AÑO MDXXV