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just got an email from Grimfrost, and thought it it looked pretty neat:

Exploring the Cuisine of the Viking Age

An-Early-Meal-cover.jpg
 
Of all the books I’ve read about cooking, An Early Meal: A Viking Age Cookbook and Culinary Odysseyremains a favorite of mine. A combination of history book, archaeological study, and treasure trove of interesting recipes, An Early Meal covers the cooking techniques of the Viking Age alongside evidence found in the ancient sagas and stories of the time. The first portion of the book is dedicated to exploring seasonal foods and regional styles, as well as customs and recommendations for replicating the recipes. Culinary history has always been a fascinating topic for me, but this book reaches the top of the list because of its meticulous detail. If you’re a writer and your thing is historical fiction, this would be the book to use.

 
Much of what has been learned has come from grave offerings. The types of cooking pots and types of bread have shown not only the social class of the person who had been buried, but they’ve also indicated the beloved traditions of this culture. We know what grew naturally in the area, and can help build the cookbook from there.

 
An Early Meal offers a range of interesting facts about everyday cooking. Salt was not widely available, so curing was common. Vessels were typically made out of pottery, wood, or leather. Beer was flavored with meadowsweet, gale, rose hips, yarrow, or juniper. Sugar was sourced from fruit, honey, and malt. Hops came on the scene around the 14th century. In addition to curing, pickling was also common.

 
As the hearth was the heart of the home, the cauldron was the central feature. They were usually made of pottery or soapstone, and richer households used iron or copper. Pithouses (or firehouses in Iceland) were built next to longhouses, and were used for baking, smoking, and curing. Some things, like turnips, were cooked directly in the ash.

 
While the below feast is based on some of the recipes in the book, I took some liberties with them. Years of cooking and watching shows like Chef’s Table (Netflix) got me beyond following recipes to the letter, in favor of a bit of experimentation, depending on what’s seasonally available, and frankly, what simply inspires as I go along. What I made was sirloin tips with a drizzle of the berry sauce found on page 100, with my take on a combination of two other recipes—boar stew and frumenty—and making sautéed kale and leeks with farro, and a loaf of Danish rye berry bread. It didn’t take much for me to convince my Renn-fest-loving husband to play the part, complete with a drinking horn from Grimfrost. 


 
The first step was to make the berry sauce. This turned out to be the most finicky aspect of the meal, but well worth the effort! Using a sturdy sauce pan that has been in the family for generations, I began by combining the fruit and heating it until it soften, then it was time to add the mead. The rest of the mead wound up in the drinking horn, as it should.

 you can find it at the Grimfrost website if anyone is interested...

 

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I actually have that book...  

And many others...  

 

Today's delikacy is pickled onions. 

 

I grew a few Shallot onions in the flower pots on my verandah this summer, and to preserve them I decided to be 'fancy'...  

 

Slice the onions very thinly. 

 

Mix 1 part vinegar (I used clear 7% 'pickling vinegar) with 2 parts of sugar and 3 parts water, and whatever herbs or spices you want. Bring to a boil.

 

Clean and heat glass jars, stuff with onion slices, fill with boiling hot liquid mix and close the lid.

 

Leave to sit for a week or two.  

 

Tastes GREAT on top of roastbeef... 

 

 

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Meat Loaf

 

Mix together (using your hands) roughly equal parts ground beef and Italian sausage. Add in one egg per pound of meat (round down), a fistful of bread crumbs (somebody else's fists please ::P:), and 1/4-1/3 cup of beef broth per pound of meat (round down). Salt, pepper, herbs to taste.

 

Cook at 350F for one hour. Make sure the juices are boiling and the top is nice and browned.

 

Consider changing the recipe a bit by adding in some onion chopped fine or by changing the spice levels of the sausage. I tend to use sweet sausage or mild sausage but I've had this with a pound each of hot and mild in a 4 pound meat loaf.

 

Do not cover the meatloaf with tomato sauce and/or ketchup during cooking, it doesn't need it. It's moist enough without pre-tomatoing and this meatloaf can develop a decently tasty crust on its own. If you want a less substantial (more crumbly) meatloaf consider reducing one egg or increasing the amount of beef broth.

 

There will be an inch thick (minimum) layer of liquid at the bottom of the pan. Someone dare me to make ramen with it ::P:

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9 minutes ago, NebulousMissy said:

Someone dare me to make ramen with it ::P:

I dare you to make ramen with it. ^.^

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I have been known to take a food processor to a carrot and an onion to add to meatloaf; for larger batches, you may wish to go with more than one carrot. Garlic is also a functional addition; I hadn't thought of adding sausage, though. I /have/ sausage. Perhaps, an experiment of my own is in order......

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14 hours ago, Sylverthorne said:

I have been known to take a food processor to a carrot and an onion to add to meatloaf; for larger batches, you may wish to go with more than one carrot. Garlic is also a functional addition; I hadn't thought of adding sausage, though. I /have/ sausage. Perhaps, an experiment of my own is in order......

 

Carrot, onion and celery in the food processor is a great way to get a little more veg into meatloaf and meatballs. As for ketchup, to each his own.  We make ours topped with bacon and ketchup, served with mashed potatoes. 

 

 

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I don't cook (much). There have been attempts. I have survived them?

 

 

But I will share a small LifeHack. Only useful to anyone who likes commercially made pot pies but hates the way they stick to the pie tin you are supposed to cook them in. These:

chili-pot-pie-63809.png

...or other (lesser) brands. 

 

The hack is to add one step to the hearing heating instructions on the box:

Cut a square piece of parchment paper big enough to fit the pie tin. Lift the frozen pie out of the tin. Put the parchment paper between the tin and the pie, mash back together...

 

...then bake or

...microwave per box instructions. 

 

With the parchment paper it is possible to lift the pie out and achieve a result similar to the box art above.

 

(I hate when the crust sticks to the pie pan.  I only bought parchment paper because I was considering constructing a wet palette for painting. This is a moment when I don't know whether to feel like a genius for employing parchment paper for its on-label use OR an idiot for not having figured this out ages ago.) :mellow: 

Edited by TGP
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Great tip!  I like their chicken pot pies.  I keep a few in the freezer in case of emergency. Too much sodium to eat them too often. 

 

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