Wednesday, August 2

A non-freaky-outy medieval lunch.

DON'T PANIC! IT'S OKAY! THIS IS ME AND MY BLOG! You know me, right? Ok? Calmed down a bit? Man, the things that scare you . . . simply the word "medieval" was enough to make you lose it that time.

Oh? Not you? You were fine?

Yeah, and I bet you'll go out and try a hand at cooking this later, too, right? Well, some of you might, when the windows are shut and the lights are dim so that the neighbors don't get any ideas, making sure your spouse or family isn't home so that you'll have time to make it look like nothing suspicious was going on while they were out.

But down to business. I haven't got all day, you know.

Right. So, normally a well-balanced meal might include one dish of meat and two vegetables. (For example! I'm not talking about pasta dishes or one-pot meals or things of that sort.) Generally, cookbooks tell you to have a balanced group of colors, flavors, and textures for a meal; some savory and some sweet, not to mash everything or have everything be fired to the same consistency on the grill, and not to let the entire meal be a single color. Also, ketchup does not go on everything.

This meal will include a meat dish and two types of vegetables, cooked in different ways and with different textures and different spices. And as a bonus and a personal favor to you, it is easy to make. It is also geared for a single person at a single meal. Example: I just made this for myself for lunch.

The meat that I used was a skinless boneless chicken breast I found in the freezer. I thawed it in the microwave and cut it into slices for faster cooking. On the same cutting board, I chopped up a half of an onion. On another cutting board (or you could just move the food from the cutting board to a dish), I sliced up some carrots (I cheated in the authenticity dept. here because they are modern carrots) into bite size pieces, and also chopped up a half of a slice of bacon into tiny pieces.

In pan 1 on the stove I put a drizzle of olive oil, turned on the heat to a medium temperature, and added the chicken and onion, which began to sizzle. I added salt, pepper, and a dash of nutmeg, stirring it around and then adding just enough water to cover the pieces of chicken.

In pan 2 I put a little bit of water (maybe a half of an inch?) and a drizzle of honey and put the heat on a low temperature underneath it until I could see it simmering a little bit--that's when I put in the carrots and covered the pan.

Pan 3 I used to cook the slice of bacon until it was browned and the grease was covering the bottom of the pan; then I took the bacon bits and the accompanying grease into a small container and put them aside for the moment. Then I added some frozen peas and a handful/mouthful/.2 cups of water and turned the heat to low so that the veg would simmer.

This is the part where you wait for a few minutes while things cook.

When pan 1 has lost all water in the pan due to it boiling away, add some oregano and thyme and brown the chicken a little. Chicken has compiled!

When the carrots in pan 2 are done, you'll know because it will be easy to stick a knife into the vegetables and it will come out of the veg without you having to argue too much with it. That is the point where you pour the extra water out of the pan and drizzle a long squeeze of honey on top of them and stir it around and turn the heat off. Congratulations! You have just steamed and glazed carrots.

Pan 3 will have soft peas in it that taste good. You'll probably need to drain them, too, unless you put just the right amount of water in. Add a tiny pinch of salt and then add the bacon and its grease. Put back on the heat for a second and stir it up until the whole thing is hot.

In medieval cookbooks, they'd say to "serve it forth", at which point we translate the idiom to approximately "pig in". Serve it on a pottery plate or wooden bowl, and use a spoon and a knife to eat it, if you want to be more authentic. That wasn't so hard . . . and it really isn't that different from a normal home-cooked meal, if you think about it.

All the recipes were taken and adapted from www.godecookery.com, a delicious website.

1 comment:

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