Tag Archives: 17th Century Recipe

Rumpolt Salads for Summer

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Ein new Kochbuch (lit. “A New Cookbook”), written in 1581 by Marx Rumpolt, was the first textbook for professional chefs in training. He was head cook to Elector of Mainz, Daniel Brendel of Homburg. Currently this is being translated by Sharon Ann Palmer on her lovely blog over here.

I found a few easy salads that are perfect for the Summer.

Salat 20. Schel die Murcken/ vnd schneidt sie breit vnnd dünn/ mach sie an mit Oel/ Pfeffer vnd Saltz. Seind sie aber eyngesaltzen/ so seind sie auch nit böß/ seind besser als roh/ denn man kans eynsaltzen mit Fenchel vnd mit Kümel/ daß man sie vber ein Jar kan behalten. Vnnd am Rheinstrom nennet man es Cucummern.

20. Peel the Cucumbers/ and cut them wide and thin/ mix them with oil/ pepper and salt. If they are salted/ then they are also not bad/ they are better than raw/ for one can salt them down with fennel and with caraway/ that one can keep over a year. And on the Rhine river (in the Rhine valley) one calls it Cucummern.

Cucumber Salad

3 Medium Cucumbers, English or whatever you prefer
1 Small Bulb of Fennel
1 Tbs Kosher Salt
1/4 Tsp Pepper (adjust to taste)
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/8 Tsp Caraway Seeds

Take skin off and then thinly slice cucumbers. Clean and slice fennel as well. Place in bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Combine everything evenly. Serve.

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Salat 33. Nimm ein rot Häuptkraut/ schneidts fein klein/ vnd quells ein wenig in warmen Wasser/ küls darnach geschwindt auß/ machs mit Essig vnd Oel ab/ vnd wenn es ein weil im Essig ligt/ so wirt es schön rot.

33. Take a red cabbage/ cut it very small/ parboil it a little in warm water/ cool it rapidly/ mix with vinegar and oil/ and when it lays awhile in the vinegar/ then it will be beautiful red.

Red Cabbage Salad

1 large Red Cabbage
2 Tbs red wine vinegar
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 Tsp Salt

In a large pot fill with water, leaving at least 3″ from the rim. Boil water.

Get another large bowl and fill with an ice bath.

Shred cabbage.

Once water is boiling, take off heat and strain off liquid.

Drop hot cabbage carefully into ice bath. Let stand for a few minutes until cabbage is cool to touch.

Drain water. Squeeze cabbage loosely to get as much water off as you can.

Place in clean, dry bowl cabbage and add the rest of the ingredients. Toss cabbage to make sure everything is well mixed.

Drunken Pears

By Mercy Asakura

“Now, Sire,” quod she, “for aught that may bityde,
I moste haue of the peres that I see,
Or I moote dye, so soore longeth me
To eten of the smalle peres grene.”
Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales
(l. 14,669), The Merchant’s Tale

Homer considered the Pear God’s gift to humanity. In the 17th Century, the pear was the fruit of the nobility and European courts and in the 18th Century was the hayday of development of the fruit in France and Belgium.

Following along with my “romance” theme and since Pears are in season, I came across this recipe in “Dinning with William Shakespeare” that would make a terrific dessert to a romantic meal.

And when you mix wine with a pear, how can you lose?

TO STEW WARDENS OR PEARS

Pare them, put them into a Pipkin, with so much Red or Claret Wine and water… as will near reach to the top of the Pears.  Stew or boil gently, till they grow tender, which may be in two hours.  After a while, put in some sticks of Cinnamon bruised and a few cloves.  When they are almost done, put in Sugar enough to season them well and their Syrup, which you pour out upon them in a deep plate.

Sir Kenelme Digbie, The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Senelme Digbie, Kt., Opened

From “Dinning with William Shakespeare” page 372

Poaching Pears in red wine is not a new technique in history, nor to this English period, per Madge Lorwin.  She states that there was at least one other recipe dating back to the middle of the 15th century with the same sort of technique.

The Redaction:

2 Cups Red Wine or Claret
2 Cups Water
1 Pound of Pears, peeled & thinly sliced
1 three-inch cinnamon stick, bruise before using
10 Cloves
1 cup sugar

Find a Pipkin (a clay cooking pot) or a casserole dish and place the pears within.  Put in bruised cinnamon stick and cloves.  Pour in the wine and water.  Place in oven at 350 degrees, covered for 4 hours.  Dump in sugar. Mix, remove from heat and serve.


Peeling the pears in slow motion on a handmade peeler…

Options:

We left ours in for four hours and as you can see by the recipe, we put the cinnamon and cloves in with the wine and the water to stew and poach.  I thought this gave a really great flavor.  You can always do as the original recipe says and put the cinnamon and cloves in last.

I would think not covering would speed up the cooking/poaching process.  Since we had a pipkin, we thought we would slow cook it and really get it going in the best way possible.

It’s great by itself, but I can see this wonderful with ice cream (since there is a syrup that is created by the poaching liquid) or with Angel food cake.  Neither are historically correct ways of eating it, but it would be VERY yummy.


The final purple product.