Here’s just a quickie to let you all know that I did a little bit of historical cookery on TV on Saturday. I was hired to cook some mediaeval food as part of the Channel 4 documentary series Britain’s Most Historic Towns, and I thought you might be interested in watching as I don’t appear on the blog very often. My episode was in the beautiful city of Winchester and I cooked up an eel pie for the presenter Alice Roberts. The recipe I used was from Britain’s earliest extant cook book The Forme of Cury, written in the time of Richard II, sometime in the late 14th Century.
Here’s a clip of myself and Alice eating the pie.
If you are in the UK, you can catch the episode on Channel 4 on demand here. The series is very good, so I suggest you binge-watch the whole thing so far!
I also made some hippocras – a type of spiced wine – but that bit was cut out for time (it was a jam-packed episode!). Next post I’ll give you the recipes so that you can have a go yourself. It might be a while because I am in the process of moving house…
Hello there readers, sorry I’ve been a bit tardy with posts but I’ve gotten somewhat bogged with a post on the history of vegetarianism that currently looks to be about four posts long! I’m ignoring the writers’ block by writing this little easy post instead…
I was having a sort out of the kitchen cupboards and happened upon the bag of pea flour I had bought to write a post on peasebread a while ago. Researching for the post, I found that in the very north of Scotland, people ate a lot of peasemeal until recently, because very little in the way of cereals could be grown up there. These Scottish islanders would make pease pancakes amongst other things, so I thought I might have a go at them myself. Having no recipe, I just adapted my own recipe for American pancakes. They turned out pretty good – much better than the peasebread – and were delicious with some fried mushrooms and black pudding. They had a distinctive fresh pea and roast peanut flavour to them, and were slightly rubbery, but not in an unpleasant way.
Makes 10 to 12 pancakes:
½ cup pea flour
½ cup self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 tbs sunflower oil or 25 g melted butter
1 beaten egg
¾ cup milk, or half-milk half-water
sunflower oil for frying
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, make a well in the centre and add the oil or butter, egg and around half of the milk. Beat in with a wire whisk until the thick batter is lump-free, then carefully mix in the rest of the liquid.
Put a griddlepan or non-stick pan on a medium heat and allow it to get hot. Add a little oil and spoon in small ladles into the pan. You should be able to fit 3 or 4 pancakes in each pan.
Allow to fry for a couple of minutes before checking that they are golden brown. Once they are, flip and fry the other side.
Pile up and keep warm in a very cool oven. Add a little more oil to the pan if needed and continue to fry in batches.
Serve with typical breakfast things: bacon, sausage, poached egg, mushrooms etc.