House Capuchin Shield2Whole lotta cookin’ going on, this week! …and herbs, even if the harvest season is winding down. On the coast, we don’t usually get freezes this early, and sometimes not at all. We’ve had roses bloom in December and January, even, and greens start producing in January, even in odd years.

This is who is eating holes in the sorrel!

We used sorrel from the garden (minus the visitors!) for a dish for the potluck and have been eating greens all week. The yellow cherry tomatoes are still producing, but something got that awesome big, weird, black one, so it got buried in the bucket to make more next year.

The potluck was tasty and leftovers are going out as “care packages” to the folks who didn’t make it. We may actually have a full menu for the feast! Cookies and sweets are the last things that we

Krauts and Spenat

need trial runs on.

Meetings this week at the usual times. I’m hoping to agitate at Loren to bottle off some of the wines, so we can start a spiced mead/metheglin.

  • Herb Bunch – At Ancient Light, Saturdays, 11am-1pm
  • Sewing Time – At Ancient Light, Saturdays, 3-5pm
  • Project Day – At Ancient Light, Sundays, Noon to 6pm
  • Cheese and Wine happens irregularly, usually announced with little notice on our Facebook group.
  • Next Potluck – 11/17, 12/15, 1/19/20
  • Winter Feast Date is 2/23/20. Yes, we have the hall for this date! Theme German Renaissance
Parboiled and drained leeks

Here is the direct Portfolio link which has all the past Project Day reports and various projects, original here:  and new one here: and number three is here:

Early Week – We finished cleaning up from the weekend and then Anja went down sick. It wasn’t for very long, but it disrupted things.

Cookery – Since we got the sauerkrauts put away on Sunday the fridge is very full. There’s a

l-r Pear, Herb, Rumtopf

whole box of pickles, and another of the strawberries and other such things. Half of one shelf is our stuff for the feast, including the pickled grape leaves, although those might get used for potlucks for dolmas (Greek) instead. The liqueurs were being shaken all week.

Btw, as far as we can tell Rumtopf is *not* period, but it’s highly likely that something of the sort was being made as soon as distilled spirits showed up.

We made hippocras in Herbs on Saturday (pix below) and the rest of the cookery stuff is in Sunday’s section.

…and folks got us a little more on the onion pie documentation.

Sewing – Small projects get worked on when Anja is sick. …and no one was in on Saturday for that workshop, so Anja was finishing some mundane projects.

Sundials, etc. – More sanding on wood and antler pieces.

Herb Bunch –

This gallery is from last Saturday’s workshop and then pix from Monday and Tuesday.

Workshop – We started with one of the wax recovery projects being skimmed. After that we pulled out candle stuff and started heating both microwave and cans in water. We’re trying to use up or transfer all of the canned wax, because the microwave is a lot safer and easier. Most of the wax got used up in emergency candles, since we had people who had not made those.

2nd half we made the spices for hippocras from the Tallivent recipe, then set up one bottle with the mix and everyone got to take some home. We discussed the various spices involved and the history of those, and then talked about the history of spirits and liqueurs as well as the spiced wine predecessors of those.

Other Herb stuff

Project Day – The soup that was started Saturday night… something went wrong. We put a broth in that was in the fridge and realized on Sunday, after it had been cooking all night, that it must have been in there longer than we thought…. Argh…. so that go tossed and we pulled a bean pottage out of the freezer.

Rumtopf adds were next. Loren couldn’t find any soft fruits like peaches, so we just added an apple. Anja missed getting a pic….

Anja went out and harvested sorrel for the sorrel dish for the potluck. (pix above in Herbs) then started chopping the leeks for soup. Whoever said that one large (2″) leek was one serving of soup was smoking crack! 5, 1-2″ leeks filled 3, 1/2 gallon boxes….. Granted, that was before cooking, but one box made *8* potluck servings.

The rest of the time got eaten by cooking, except for Anja finishing a bookmark, James sanding another wooden animal and Loren working on his rune pieces. …and no pix….


A lot of prep happened in the morning and early afternoon, things like setting up the cacik and washing snails off the sorrel. 🙂 By 3pm the sorrel and leeks were ready to go, a bean pottage was thawing and the chicken was getting started.

Spenat (recipe below)

Leek soup (recipe below)

Chicken with Lemons (recipe in a previous post)

Right before 5pm the final cooking got going, first the leek soup, then the spenat and finally, once the chicken was up to temp getting the juice and zest on and giving it another couple of minutes to finish up. Then there was nothing but serve and eat!

During the afternoon we did a lot of discussing of how to put the menu together. James is going to donate a sizeable amount to the food purchasing. …and even though we didn’t bother with a 3rd course tonight, it looks like we’ll have something spectacular for the feast!

The hippocras was tasty. We finally have the proportions right and the hint about using white wine instead of something darker with more flavor worked perfectly. The interesting thing was the Loren said there was a hint of “bitters” in it. Maybe the clove? Hmmm.

James got to try all the sauerkrauts. He liked the full caraway version the best, the wimpier on caraway the least, and the one with turnip pretty well. The flavors have changed a little over the week. Anja thinks that the “plus turnip” version is almost as good as the full-on caraway. …and we’ll probably mix for the feast, anyway.

The spenat literally took 2 minutes right at the last of the cooking, as James was getting the chicken into the tripot crock. Everything was ready but for chopping the egg, and that was cold and pre-peeled from breakfast-time. The butter had been sitting, melting, from when the leeks came off the heat, but with the burner turned off. The burner was turned back on and within a minute we were ready to roll. When the sorrel hit the butter there was a hiss and Anja was frantically flipping the sorrel to keep it from over-cooking, and in maybe 50 seconds, she had the pan off the fire and was grabbing the serving bowl. Dump and the greens were in. A scoop and the ginger was in, and then the egg got chopped. That’s a quickie that she uses for hard-boiled eggs. Using an egg slicer, cut the egg across, the usual way, then turn the egg 1/2 turn, so you’re slicing longways and upside down and you have chopped egg that dumped right into the bowl. Very quick!

…and the lemon chicken worked right this time! We may want for the feast to cut the chicken breasts apart (1/3rds or 1/4rs) ahead of time, for ease of serving, but doing them in a covered flat in the roaster with the spices worked quite well. They were at temperature in 2 hours (30 minutes per pound) despite pulling the plug while the frying and leeking were happening. We’re thinking that adding the lemon zest and juice for the last 1/2 hour of cooking, instead of for 10 minutes after it hits temp, might be the hot tip and “fill” the flavor, but letting it sit in the steam pan overnight in the fridge after the cooking and adding, (iow, letting it cool *with* the lemon, and then re-heating) might do even better.

We were stuffed after the main course and sat there picking at pickles and cheese and “just a little more of that, please?” for awhile, then we started cleaning up and you can see in the “Aftermath” photo that we were setting up care packages. James brought a bunch of good divided dishes that we’re going to keep using for this purpose.

One box of the leeks got the rest of the broth added and went into the freezer. That one will probably land in soup, but maybe in the Madez Kraut. The rest of the leeks went into the fridge to be cooked up this week. …and everything else got put away. …and it looks like we’ll have sufficient sorrel and dandelion greens for the kraut, assuming no hard freezes over the winter.

Potluck Menu


  • Garbanzo bean pickle
  • Dilly bean pickle
  • Asparagus pickle
  • Tvarog
  • Rolls
  • Butter
  • Brie
  • Cheddar
  • Hippocras


  • Leek soup for a Fat Day
  • Bean pottage
  • Lemon Chicken
  • Sauerkrauts
  • spenat (sorrel, raisins, hard-boiled egg)
  • Cacik

Afters (…but we were too full!)

  • Comfits
  • marzipan shortbread


Medieval Leek Soup – Italian

Ingredients (for two plates)

  • 4 leeks
  • 1 cup ground almonds plus water (or use purchased)
  • brown sugar
  • olive oil
  • coarse sea salt
  • cinnamon

Grind the cinnamon and pound the sugar in the mortar. To prepare the almond milk, grind the almonds and dilute with water, then strain them with a cloth to collect the liquid.
Parboil the leeks for 2 or 3 minutes, then mince them.
Add in a pot the leeks, olive oil, almond milk, two pinches of sugar and one pinch of coarse sea salt. Cook for about ten minutes, then serve still hot sprinkling with ground cinnamon.

If you want to prepare the fat version, use a broth made with beef, chicken, or capons (the most common during the Middle Ages) and seasoned with spices (for example, black pepper, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon). In this case, we suggest substituting olive oil with lardo (cured pork fatback), melting it in the pot before adding the other ingredients.

Anja’s version of the Leek soup for a Fat Day

Ingredients (8 potluck servings)

  • 5 leeks (2 inch) or 8 1″ (too much!!! This many would have made 24 servings!)
  • beef broth 2 cups
  • clove pinch
  • nutmeg 3 grinds
  • cinnamon 1/2 tsp
  • Pepper (on the side)
  • bacon fat
  1. Using a 2 quart pyrex measure, boil 1 quart of water.
  2. While that’s going chop your leeks.
  3. Once it boils toss the leeks into the water and let stand 5 minutes, then drain.
  4. Melt bacon fat in the bottom of a deep frypan.
  5. Toss the drained leeks in the fat until they begin to change color.
  6. Add spices.
  7. Pour broth over until just covered and stir.
  8. Turn heat to low (you’re trying to simmer), cover and cook or 10 minutes until the leeks are soft.
  9. Can be kept warm in a crockpot for a couple of hours.

Spenat (Gogor found this recipe a long time ago) a 1 inch roll of large leaves is about 2 large feast servings (perfect for 4 “tastes”) and takes 1 egg.

  1. Harvest and wash your sorrel, making sure you get rid of the snails!
  2. Roll the leaves up and cut crossways (chiffonade).
  3. Melt butter in saucepan.
  4. Wilt the sorrel, just until it changes color, sprinkle with salt, stir and remove to serving dish.
  5. Sprinkle with currants or raisins and top with chopped hard-boiled egg. Serve warm.

Music – Glorious! The words are  from a responsorial chant that is part of the Christmas Mass, and this version of the music is anything but period, but… it’s too lovely to pass by!

Morten Lauridsen’s music… 20th century.

Latin text: O magnum mysterium, et admirabile sacramentum, ut animalia viderent Dominum natum, iacentem in praesepio! Beata Virgo, cujus viscera meruerunt portare Dominum Iesum Christum. Alleluia!

English translation: O great mystery, and wonderful sacrament, that animals should see the new-born Lord, lying in a manger! Blessed is the Virgin whose womb was worthy to bear our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Alleluia!

Vittoria’s version – Very, very late period. This is the one I’m most familiar with.

…and Palestrina’s, which is period, but starting to fall into the Baroque era as far as style. .



Loren, Anja, Sasha (v), Amor (v), Stella (v), Amy (v), Susanne, Herb Bunch (4), Gogor (v)

divider black grey greek key

Largesse Item Count – (includes gifts, prizes, auction items, etc.)

  • ASXLVII = 24
  • ASXLVIII = 88
  • ASXLIX = 794
  • ASL = 2138
  • ASLI = 731
  • ASLII = 304
  • ASLIII – 146
  • ASLIV – 166 plus 2 puppets, 20 powder fort packets, 4 snip sheathe w/snips, 13 tiny bobs, 1 emery,  lucet cords, 1 bamboo needlecase, 1 bone needle, 25 pouches for block-printing, 1 medium pouch, 4 small pouches, 12 bookmarkers, 18 unfinished pincushions, 1 sewing kit (except for small bone needle), varnished stuff (124)

Total as a Household = 3995 handed off

moving writing pen motifIn ministerio autem Somnium! Anja, graeca doctrina servus to House Capuchin
Page Created 11/14/19 & published ?/??/?? (C)M. Bartlett
Last updated 11/18/19