Athena's Thimble Symposium Dayboard,

November 4, 2000


Items marked NP are not documentedly period recipes; Items marked B are boughten commercial products.

Roast Meat

Cheeses: Sauces: Bread: Veggies: Fruit: Pickles/Preserves: Drinks: Cookies:


Roast Beef:

Start with Bottom Round Roast. Slice in a checkerboard pattern over the top and sides (about 1/2 inch).

At interstices of the pattern, tuck in slivers of garlic. Rub the roast with thyme and douse with cubeb vinegar. Roast at 350 degrees until done.

Black Pepper Sauce: (3 quantities)

Original: "Black poivre. Crush ginger and charred bread and pepper, moisten with vinegar and verjuice, and boil (The Viander of Taillevent,edited by Scully, 227, translated in The Medieval Kitchen, Redon et al.)"

Crush up the charred bread into bread crumbs, grind up the pepper (use fresh-ground) and mise with powdered ginger. Mix this with the vinegars and add salt. Bring to a boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat. Keeps at least a week refrigerated.

White Garlic Sauce: (2 quantities)

Original: "White garlic sauce. Take carefully skinned almonds and pound them, andwhen they are pounded halfway, add as much garlic as you like, and pound them very well together, adding a little cool water to prevent them from becoming oily. Then take crumb of white bread and soften it in lean meat or fish broth depending on the calendar; this garlic sauce can be served and adapted at will for meat days and days of abstinence. (Ma 157)."

Cut up the garlic cloves, and begin grinding the almonds in a mortar. As the almonds become pasty, add the garlic cloves. Blend into a paste, adding a few drops of water as necessary. Scrape into a bowl. Crush up the dry bread in the mortar, gathering the rest of the paste. Add to the bowl with the paste. Add chicken broth and salt to taste.

Green Sauce (3 quantities)

Original:"Here is how to make green sauce: take ginger, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, cloves, parsley, and sage. First grind the spices, then the herbs, and add a third of the sage and parsley, and, if you wish, three or two cloves of garlic. Moisten with vinegar or verjuice. Note that to every sauce and condiment salt is added, and crumb of bread to thicken it. (Tractatus de modo preparandi et condiendi omnia cibaria 394, translated in The Medieval Kitchen, Redon et al.)"

Grind together the pepper and cinnamon. Add ginger and cloves, and grate in the nutmeg. Then grind up the parsley and sage in a food processor or blender (add optional garlic at this time). Add spices. Mix.Then add ground-up crumbs of dry bread, vinegar and water and mix to make a smooth paste.

Tournai-style Cameline sauce (3 quantities)

Original: "Cameline. Note that at Tournai, to make cameline they pound ginger, cinnamon, saffron, and half a nutmeg, moistened with wine then removed from the mortar, then take crumb of white bread, without grilling it, soaked in cold water and pounded in the mortar, moisten with wine and strain; then boil everything, and finish with brown sugar; this is a winter cameline. (Le Menagier de Paris 230, translated in The Medieval Kitchen, Redon et al.)"

Grate your nutmeg into the mortar. Add cinnamon and saffron and grind together withginger. Add the white wine. Strain, then bring to a boil and add sugar. Cook until thin sauce consistency.

Yellow Sauce, or Poivre Jaunet or Aigret (3x)

"Yellow or Sour sauce. Take ginger and saffron, then take grilled bread soaked in meat broth (or even better, meatless cabbage water) and boil; when it boils, add vinegar. (Le Menagier de Paris 232, , translated in The Medieval Kitchen, Redon et al.).

Grilled the bread, grind it up and soak it in broth and wine (?), put in saucepan, add ginger and saffron and heat until boiling. Add vinegar and cool.

Black-Grape Sauce

Original: "Grape Sauce: Take good black grapes and crush them very well into abowl, breaking in a bread or half a bread depending on the quantity you wish to prepare; and add a little good verguice or vinegar so that the grapes will not be so sweet. And boil these things over the fire for half an hour, adding cinnamon and ginger and other good spices. (Maestro Martino, Libro de arte coquinaria, 155, translated in The Medieval Kitchen, Redon et al.)"

Buy seedless black grapes. Strip them from the bunches and wash them. In a food processor, process until you get a thick mash. Pour into a pot, add breadcrumbs and vinegar (depending on how sweet the grapes are, you may need more or less vinegar). Bring to a boil and add spices. Boil for half an hour: it will be thick and dark purple/magenta. Cool and serve. Keeps for at least a week refrigerated.

Green mustard sauce (NP)

In a mortar and pestle, grind together yellow and black mustard seed; mix with mustard flour. In a bowl combine mustard powder with vinegar, olive oil, honey, and grated pepper to taste.  Grind together. Grind cubebs and aniseed and add to mixture. Add more vinegar or water if needed to produce a runny paste, with a sharp smell as of horseradish. Macerate parsley leaves in the mortar and pestle, and mix in with the mustard to produce a green paste.


This is adapted from the re-created recipes by William Woys Weaver at the back of Food and Drink in Medieval Poland. The re-created recipe called for Dijon prepared mustard, but clearly that is cheating so I had to come up with a period approximation.

Niccolo's Red Mustard (based on a recipe from Platina)

Note: this was redacted by Niccolo from the Cook's List.

Red Mustard Sauce-- Sinapeum Rubeum

Combine the two liquids and stir; set aside. In mortar or food processor grind mustard flour, bread, raisins, dates and cinnamon until fine. You may need to add a little of the liquid to loosen it.  When ground, turn out into the mustard in large mixing bowl and add salt and add 3/4 of the liquid. Stir with a spoon or whisk until smooth. Pass this mixture entirely through a fine mesh sieve. This will make a very smooth paste and remove fibrous material left from raisins and dates. (Note: I skipped this step) Let stand covered overnight.Stir in more vinegar/juice liquid to desired consistency."

Pickled Mushrooms (NP)

Mix vinegars, water, and spices in a large, non-reactive pot. Add mushrooms until mushrooms reach above liquid line. Heat at medium-high until simmering. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove mushrooms from brine and pack into a jar or crock. Pour in brine mixture to cover. Note: Apicus mentions pickled mushrooms, the Slavs pickled everything, but these spices in pickled mushrooms come from a 1756 recipe in The Pantry Gourmet

Pickled Eggs

"Golden Eggs or Sweet Pickled Eggs -- A recipe from Lady Sarah from the Cook's List

Combine and bring to gentle boil all ingredients except eggs. Remove from  heat and pour over hard boiled eggs in glass jar. Cover with cheese cloth  and refrigerate for one day. Drain and add new liquid on second day,  usually ready to serve on third day. Will keep longer with no trouble but will continue to get darker and stronger. This is all variable according to  your tastes. I wanted the eggs sweeter and with more cinnamon and clove  flavor than regular pickled eggs.-- from Lady Sarah

Drink Syrups

Sekanjabin ( fromCariadoc's Miscellany)


Dissolve 4 cups sugar in 2 1/2 cups of water; when it comes to a boil add 1 cup wine vinegar. Simmer 1/2 hour. Add a handful of mint, remove from fire, let cool.

Dilute the resulting syrup to taste with ice water (5 to 10 parts water to 1 part syrup). The syrup stores without refrigeration.

Note: This is the only recipe in the Miscellany that is based on a modern source: A Book of Middle Eastern Food, by Claudia Roden. Sekanjabin is a period drink; it is mentioned in the Fihrist of al-Nadim, which was written in the tenth century. The only period recipe I have found for it (in the Andalusian cookbook) is called "Sekanjabin Simple" and omits the mint. It is one of a large variety of similar drinks described in that cookbook-flavored syrups intended to be diluted in either hot or cold water before drinking."

Syrup of Lemons (Cariadoc's Miscellany)

"Syrup of Lemon

Andalusian p. 279 (trans DF)

'Take lemon, after peeling its outer skin, press it and take a ratl of juice, and add as much of sugar. Cook it until it takes the form of a syrup. Its advantages are for the heat of bile; it cuts the thirst and binds the bowels.'

This we also serve as a strong, hot drink. Alternatively, dilute it in cold water and you have thirteenth century lemonade. All three of the original recipes include comments on medical uses of the syrups."

Ginger syrup (Digby gives a honey/ginger syrup, but this is from the Pantry Gourmet)

Chop 1/2 pound of ginger finely (makes about 1 and 2/3 c.).

Mix with 4 c. water and boil for 30 minutes

Cool overnight

Mix 1 c. honey with 1 c. water; boil for 5-10 minutes

Strain ginger and add liquid to honey syrup.

Boil for 5 minutes.

Add 1/3 c. lime juice. Boil 2 minutes.

Cool & bottle.

Dilute 1 part syrup in 6-8 parts water.


Excellent Small Cakes: Digby p. 221/175

Take three pound of very fine flower well dried by the fire, and put to it a pound and a half of loaf sugar sifted in a very fine sieve and dried; 3 pounds of currants well washed, and dried in a cloth and set by the fire; when your flour is well mixed with the sugar and currants, you must put in it a pound and a half of unmelted butter, ten spoonfuls of cream, with the yolks of three newlaid eggs beat with it, one nutmeg; and if you please, three spoonfuls of sack. When you have wrought your paste well, you must put it in a cloth, and set it in a dish before the fire, till it be through warm. Then make them up in little cakes, and prick them full of holes; you must bake them in a quick oven unclosed. Afterwards ice them over with sugar. The cakes should be about the bigness of a hand breadth and thin; of the size of the sugar cakes sold at Barnet.

Redaction by Cariadoc

Cut butter into the flour as one would for piecrust. Bake cakes about 20 minutes at 350deg. .

Icing: about 1/3 c sugar and enough water so you can spread it.

Apfeltaschen (NP) -- from Sarah bas Mordecai

Knead together well.Refrigerate in covered bowl for 1 night.Next day, roll out 1/8 inch thin.Cut into squares around 4, size of an apple slice.Place ½ thick slices of apple on one side.Pinch sides together.Place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake about 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until lightly browned.

Glaze: Mix about ¼ lb. powdered sugar and juice of 1 lemon to make a glaze.Dribble over Apfeltaschen while still warm.

Store uncovered. Makes about 60. Dough may be frozen. 

Special thanks to Sarah and Iuliana who helped cook, all those who helped out in the dayboard kitchen, and the Cook's list for ideas and encouragement.

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa (

All materials copyright Jennifer Heise or original authors as otherwise specified. Permission is granted for use as printed handouts and for cooking as long as you let me know ( and if you republish, get me a copy. My homepage: