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Monday, July 30, 2012


Close-up of Hemp-Tow Sack for Dry Goods in Bulk
 Photo by: Lord-Williams
tow-hemp, tow cloth, a course fabric made from hemp. Nola rubbed it on almonds to peel off the skins. It is the cloth used for embroidering and has been used from time immemorial to store dry goods in bulk such as nuts, grains, coffee etc. The plant was cultivated in medieval Spain to make the ropes and fabric. Gázquez maintains that after stuffing animals for roasting the cavities were sewn closed with hemp cord (bramante). The Archpriest of Hita relates that bird catchers required fertile land (vicioso ero) to grow hemp. With this, they made cords and subsequently nets to catch their prey.  [ES: Carroll-Mann. Guisados 2-art. Jun 6, 01: ftn 73:glos; Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:199:224;  Nola. 1989: xxxv-3:xxxix-1:xl-2 etc; and Ruíz/Buey.1965:746a-c:752a:131]

For 4 persons

Rubbing Off Almond Skins with a Scrap of Hemp-Two
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1 c almonds
1 meat bullion cube
2 c meat broth
1 lb veal
1 onion
1 slice toast
¼ c vinegar
¼ lb bacon (not sliced if possible)
½ tsp ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cloves
1 c Malmsey or Port wine

1 tbsp ea of parsley, mint and marjoram



Put almonds in water to soak overnight. The following day rub them with a scrap of hemp-tow to remove  skins.

Dobladura of Veal
with Sweet Wine Giving it a Heavenly Taste
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Make a broth by heat 2 c water with the meat bullion cube and set aside.

Roast veal on a spit, if available, if not in the oven, for about ½ hr or until half-roasted. Remove the meat and cut pieces into 1” squares. Peel an onion and cut it in quarters. Place the meat and onion in the broth. Bring it to a boil and simmer uncovered for ½ hr or until done. Strain the onion and meat reserving the broth.

Soak bread in 2 tbsp vinegar. Make almond milk bt grinding the almonds in a food processor and add 1-1½  c broth and bread and continue grinding until all is well mixed and has the consistency of a thick sauce.

Coarsely chop the onion. Cut the bacon into cubes or squares if already sliced. Heat a frying pan. Add the bacon. When the fat begins to melt add the meat and onion. Fry until all is browned. Put this in the pot used to boil the meat and onion. Heat it adding the spices well ground. Stir them into the mixture. Pour in the wine, the remaining vinegar and the almond milk. Bring to a boil stirring until all is warm and well mixed. Taste for sweet and sourness. Rectify if necessary.

Serve in soup bowls and garnish with parsley, mint and marjoram.

[1] Double system of half roasting, half boiling to make the meat tender, which is served in a sauce. See blog titled asador, published December 1, 2011 for a variation of the same recipe.

1 comment:

  1. On hemp: the seeds are a usual food for domestic birds, and toasted they can be eaten by humans, too (cañamones). Some years ago, I observed an unknown plant growing in my balcony. I took it to my job and showed it to a person very familiar with gardening: "it is hemp" he instantly said. Hemp? you mean Marijuana? oh dear!!! The police could see the plants from the street, come up and arrest me! The explanation is that the man who lived above me used to feed the birds with "cañamones". Some of these had fallen into my balcony and had germinated. My friend explained me that in his village everyone cultiveted hemp for making cloth, ropes, alpargatas (espadrilles, that kind of slipper with jute soil), cañamones ecc., and they never thought about smoking it. But now they must take care with the Guardia Civil!