Sunday, September 27, 2009

Getting Medieval

Every year in late September, our Farmer Market has a medieval day, when they invite the local SCA chapter, (the medieval re-enactment people), to present demonstrations of Medieval life, including cooking, fighting, arts & crafts, fashion, etc. My daughters and I have been participating in the food demo for a number of years.

This year we made all the food at home the night before. We made:
Oatcakes (unsweetened oat flour flatbread, served with honey).
Apple muse (applesauce made with almond milk and honey).
Hedgehogs (meatballs shaped like little hedgehogs with almond spines and currant noses).
Shrewsbury Cakes (shortbread cookies scented with rosewater and nutmeg).
Greens Tart (a pie made with greens, eggs, cheeses, and nutmeg).
Onion Salad (roasted onions dressed with wine vinegar, cinnamon, olive oil, S & P).
Spiced Cider.

The people who stopped by the food demo were so interested and polite! One englishman came by several times to taste the Shrewsbury Cakes, which he pronounced "Shrawsbry"- -EEEEE!I heart all things British.

A sweet older woman with the most beautiful light green eyes was very interested in the oatcakes and talked to me for some time about them. They were very familiar to her. Her husband was Scottish and she always tried to make his nostalgic foods for him.

She asked if I ever heard of gypsy creams, which she said is an old British favourite cookie. She couldn't find recipe for them. She described them as having flour, oats, golden syrup, and a little bit of cocoa in them, and two cookies sandwiched with chocolate butter cream. I told her I woul look it up. This recipe sounds just like what she described:
Recipe Name Gypsy Creams
Difficulty Level Easy
Traditional food from United Kingdom
Ingredients 3oz margarine
4 level tsp. golden syrup
6oz self raising or plain flour
2oz sugar
1/2 oz cocoa
2oz rolled oats
Preparation Melt the margarine and syrup in a pan, stir in the sifted dry ingredients and the rolled oats.
Place walnut sized pieces on greased baking trays, flattening them with a fork dipped in hot water.
Bake for 20-25 minutes in a gas mark 3 oven, 325 F / 160 C.
Allow to cool before removing from trays and when cold serve plain or sandwiched together with chocolate butter cream.
Makes 16-18.

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