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Friday, December 29, 2017

RETAMA - BROOM

Broom
Photo from: Elaine Haworth
retama negra, retama de escobas, escoba negra, Bie. retrama, L. Cytisus scorpartius (street sweeper), Spartium scoparius or Sarothamnus vularis, Eng. broom, Scotch broom, woodwaxen, greenweed. Retama is Hispano-Arabic for the Ar. rátam. The word first appeared in the 14 C Libro de la Montería by Alfonso XI, which advises that broom and egg whites should be added to an electuary. “Retama” was applied to some broom species. Others continued to be called genista or inesta from which evolved into xinesta. Broom or Scotch broom is the commonest shrub of the broom family. It’s bright yellow and brownish-yellow flowers bloom from February to July, depending on the location. In general today brooms are planted to prevent erosion and for flood control in warm climates and to fertilize the soil. Grazing animals cannot eat it as the interlaced branches prevent them to penetrating into areas where it grows.

It is abundant in all the mountain ranges in Iberia from the Pyrenees to Portugal and most plentiful in Gredos (Avila) and the Sierra Nevada (Granada). It is found in nearly all of Europe and Western Asia. Broom does not grow on the Balearic Islands. It has been found growing at altitudes over 2,000 m. high.

broom
Photo from: Sulkhan Gogolasvili
In the Bible, this shrub was used as fuel for the fire, to make arrows and the roots were eaten as food. In the 15 C. the poor collected the shrub by the cartloads and sold it in London at four pence a bunch. Although principally it was used as kindling, the twigs and branches were tied together into brooms or to make cordage and sacking. The flowers were used to dye cloth and paper brownish-yellow.

Broom was used as a household remedy and as a medicine for dysentery. Since it has been found that it has diuretic effects and that its sparetine alkaloids indirectly act as a cardiotoxic by blocking nervous impulses at the level of the ganglions and impedes undesirable stimulants. Also, it is a stimulus for uterus fibers (oxytocic action). Before the introduction of hops, the buds were used to flavor beer. The flowers, pickled in vinegar, were served as an aperitif like capers in the 15 C. Young shoots are eaten like vegetables. Toasted seeds have been used in place of coffee when scarce. The fibers of the plant can be made into textiles. Although of minor importance, the pollen is gathered by bees. See ginestada, iniesta and piorno, piorno amarillo, and piorno serrano. [ES: Grieve. “Broom.” 1995; and García Rey. 1934:135]


Monday, December 25, 2017

RESCALDO - EMBERS WITH ANOTHER DELICIOUS 13TH C RICE PUDDING RECIPE

Embers
Photo from: Joe Scully
OCast. Bie rescaldo, Eng 1. in great quantity.  2. a large quantity of embers. 3. great misgivings. Seepan de rescoldo[García Rey. 1934: 135; and Ibn Razīn/Marín. 2007:9:135]

RICE PUDDING ADAPTED FROM MARÍNS TRANSLATION OF IBN RAZĪN AL-TAĞĪBĪ’S RELIEVES DE LAS MESAS, ACERCA DE LAS DELICIAS DE LA COMIDA Y LOS DIFERENTES PLATOS, SECCIÓN 1, CÁPTIULO 5, #9. CONFECCIÓN DE ARROZ CON LECHE FRESCA, pp 135-136
Ingredients[1]

1 c uncooked rice[2]
2 ewe’s milk[3]
salt to taste
½ c honey

Garnish (optional)
Sugar

Preparation

Pouring Honey on Rice Pudding
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Wash rice in warm water several times until the water is transparent. Put the rice in a dish and dry both sides until no water is left.

Strain ewer’s milk through a thick cloth[4]; for this recipe ewe’s milk is the best. Cow’s milk is second best and goat’s milk the third best.

Pour rice into a pot with a little warm water, ad milk if it fits in the pan.

Heat until the milk is warm; then remove from heat and let sit on the heath on simmer. Cover with a cloth. If heat diminishes add a few embers and if milk dries up in the pot, add more until rice is well cooked. Then add salt to taste and dissolve it with a little fresh milk or water to which a little salt can be added also.  Stir rice with the tip of a spoon taking cre for the salt and perfume to penetrate.

Pour this into a dish and put a cup of honey in the center. If desired sprinkle with sugar. It is eaten with clean box wood spoons; eat heartedly with God’s blessing.

RELIEVES DE LAS MESAS, ACERCA DE LAS DELICIAS DE LA COMIDA
Y LOS DIFERENTES PLATOS, SECCIÓN 1, CÁPTIULO 5, #9.
CONFECCIÓN DE ARROZ CON LECHE FRESCA, pp 135-136





[1] The original recipe calls for six ratl of rice each ratl of water.
[2] Te original recipe calls for six arreldes of water for each arrelde of rice. ( See arrelde published November 15th, 2011, 1 ratl equals 468.75 gr, a little over 1 lb. One cup is liquid 225 gr. 2 c) The recipe as been reduced to four servings.
[3] If not avaialbe use cow’s milk or goat milk.
[4] Rice is cleaned and dried and strained before packaging and milk is strained prior to bottling.


Friday, December 22, 2017

REQUESÓN WITH A SIMPLY DELICIOUS SNACK FOR RICOTTA CHEESE

whey cheese, ricotta. Curd cheeses and butter are made by curdling leftover whey.  [ES: Carroll-Mann. Guisados 2-art. Jun 6, 01:ftn 20 ES: Lord-Williams. "a una amno." Nov 10, 10; "cobijada." Jan 3, 13; "crujar." Sep 16, 13;  and Nola. 1989:xiiii-5:xlv-2]

Straining off liquid from ricotta cheese
Photo by: Lord-Williams
ANOTHER DISH MADE FROM RICOTTA CHESSE ADAPTED FROM MARÍN'S TRANSLATION OF IBN RAZĪN AL-TAĞĪBĪ’S RELIEVES DE LAS MESAS, ACERCA DE LAS DELICIAS DE LA COMIDA Y LOS DIFERENTES PLATOS SEC 6. CH 1, #1. OTRO PLATO QUE SE HACE CON REQUESÓN, p 258

Ingredients

½ lb ricotta cheese
salt to taste

Garnish

About 6 olives
About 12 capers
1 heaping tbsp. lime preserve[1]
black caraway
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped chives

A Uniquely Delicious Snack
Photo by: Lord-Williams
Preparation

Select ½ lb or more whey or ricotta as needed. Put it on bed of esparto grass and cover. Strain it to insure that as much liquid as possible is released. Remove the whey from the bed and rub it by hand over a horsehair strainer with a dish to catch the drippings underneath.[2] Put the ricotta cheese in a dry new earthern ware pot that has not been moistened with water and mix it with salt.[3]  Set aside until ready to use.

When ready to eat put it in a bowl and extend it over the surface with a spoon. Pick up small portions of the cheese and place them along the borders of the bowl. Garnish the borders with olive oil and capers and in the center place lime preserves and decorate with a little black caraway. Sprinkle with olive oil  and chives.

This recipe cannot be saved. It is most delicate and must be consumed immediately but it is a must as an extrememly simple and tasty appetizer served on slices of bread or crackers.


[1] As lime preserve was not available, orange marmalade was used.
[2] Nowadays it just mashed in a strainer if there is any liquid.
[3] Salt was not added as comercial ricota today has plenty.


MARÍN'S TRANSLATION OF IBN RAZĪN AL-TAĞĪBĪ’S
RELIEVES DE LAS MESAS, ACERCA DE LAS DELICIAS DE LA COMIDA 
Y LOS DIFERENTES PLATOS 
SEC 6. CH 1, #1. OTRO PLATO QUE SE HACE CON REQUESÓN, p 258


Wednesday, December 20, 2017

REPOSAR ADAPTED FROM IBN RAZIN'S RECIPE FROM MEAT AND CHiCKPEA POTTAGE

Browning Meat for Pottage
Photo by: Lord-Williams
to let sit, to settle, rest. Wine is left to settle before consumption. Birds are killed the day before consumption for the meat “to settle” during the night and become more tender. Raw meat is left to sit after seasoning. Dough is left to sit while it rises. Innumerous dishes are left to sit once cooked like pasta, rice and roasts. [Ares. “Comidas.” 1994:122-124; and ES: Lord-Williams. “rconocer.” Dec 11, 17; “rebozar.” Dec 4, 17; “Ramadán.” Nov 3, 17 etc]

MEAT AND CHICKPEA POTTAGE ADAPTED FROM MARÍNS TRANSLATION OF IBN RAZĪN AL-TAĞĪBĪ’S RELIEVES DE LAS MESAS, ACERCA DE LAS DELICIAS DE LA COMIDA Y LOS DIFERENTES PLATOS SEC  2, CÁP 1, #6. OTRO PLATO LLAMADO AL-ARNABĪ, p. 144-145 

Ingredients


1 lb meat[1]
salt ot taste
¼ c olive oil
½ tsp white pepper
1 tbsp dried cilantro
1 tsp cumin
1 large onion quartered
2 garlic cloves mashed
1 whole garlic cloves
1 tsp chopped oregano and mashed by hand
1 c chickpeas soaked overnight
½ c peeled and chopped almonds
6 lemon leaves
A Colorful Dish in Medieval Style
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1 fennel stalk
1 tsp murri
1 tsp mashed and dissolved saffron
½  c vinegar

Preparation

Select meat. Cut in small piecess, wash and clean. Heat olive oil in a  in a large glazed earthenware casserole and brown meat. 

Add water, salt, a lot of oil, white pepper, dried cilantro, cumin, a few onions quartered, mashed garlic and whole garlic cloves, oregano mashed by hand, chickpeas soaked i water, peeled almonds, cilanro leeves, a sprig of fennel and murri. Heat in a pot until it boils. Then color with mashed saffron. After this add vinegar and gently boil until the broth has almost evaportated and only the grease is left. 

Remove from heat and let sit until cooled. Pour the contents into serving bowls and eat if the almighty God so pleases.



[1] Lamb was used as the recipe is Hispano-Arabic.

MARÍNS TRANSLATION OF IBN RAZĪN AL-TAĞĪBĪ’S 
RELIEVES DE LAS MESAS, ACERCA DE LAS DELICIAS DE LA COMIDA 
Y LOS DIFERENTES PLATOS SEC SECCIÓN 2, CÁPITULO 1, 
6. OTRO PLATO LLAMADO AL-ARNABĪ, p. 144-145 




Monday, December 18, 2017

REMOLACHA - BEETS

beets
Photo from: Lara Ferroni
azucarera, MEng bete, Eng swiss chard, garden beets, stock beets, or mangel-wurzels, and sugar beets are all varieties of Beta vulgaris or rapa. For Swiss chard see acelga. It has been claimed that the white beet originated in the Mediterranean and was brought to northern Europe by the Arabs and known in Saxon England by 1000. It was used as a garden vegetable and for fodder in England and Spain until 19th C when the first sugar factory began as the method of extracting the sugar had been discovered in the 18th C.

Beet roots were not used until Roman times but later forgotten. There are a few 14th C English recipes mentioning the leaves used in salads with dandilions and parsley or boiled in broth with other greens. As beets grow better in cool climates they do not appear in the Spanish manuscripts.

In medieval times, the roots were not eaten but used in medicine. The juice from leaves and roots were used to purge the head and soften the stomach, which stopped the production of bad humors, i.e. they relieved constipation. They were thought to help the 'sifting' of blood in the liver, which favors sweet foods as honey. Beets were thought to have helped digestion in the liver. They were said to have relieved wounds and cured dandruff. Today beets are used to treat liver problems and some cancers.


 [Curye. 1985:I:47:53:IV:8:99; ES:Decker. Glos Medieval. Jun 16, 04; ES: First. Apr 14, 00]