Authentic cooking

We do like to cook our own meals. Earthenware pots, open fires and lots of smoke quite add to the atmosphere of medieval re-enactment. We even dare to eat the food we prepare. All of this is done while authenticity is lurking over our shoulders. No plastic plates and cups, no modern ingredients, etc... Here are only a few examples of how we tackle this:

  • we don't use modern world ingredients:
    • we ban tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, some beans, orange carrots etc...
    • we stuff ourselves with leeks, turnips, peas, cabbage and all these other lovely vegetables
  • we stick to the seasons:
    • crisp apples in May? We don't think so! We're not importing Granny Smiths from New Zealand yet.
    • fresh strawberries in October? Seems rather difficult without consulting Columbus.
  • we use authentic techniques and also monitor medieval price levels:
    • sauces are thickened with either breadcrumbs or almonds in stead of flour
    • sugar is far too expensive for us commoners. Honey is ever so nice.
  • and there are a few more rules:
    • well, meat on Fridays is just not on. The medieval church forced our ancestors to stick to fish on numerous other days as well.
    • imported spices and condiments are rather expensive and do not really suit in a commoner's diet

Nettle Pottage

Nettle pottage is a dish we quite like. Here's our recipe. You need the following ingredients: five nice onions, two bay leaves, a few large carrots (parsnip), a couple of leeks, two good handfuls of fresh and young nettle leaves, two or three cloves of garlic, some beef, lard cubes, water, salt, milk and butter.

And you do it like this:

  • plunge the beef in cold water,
  • bring the water to the boil,
  • chop up your vegetables (keep one onion aside) and sprinkle these in the boiling water with a little salt, the garlic and the bay leaves,
  • boil until tender (takes about two hours),
  • fry up the last onion together with the lard cubes in some butter,
  • add to the pottage together with the nettle leaves,
  • bring to the boil again,
  • pour half a mug of milk in the soup. Serve and enjoy!

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Copyright on text, images and photos by Joris de Sutter, unless noted otherwise.
This information is provided by De Liebaart and was last updated on October 25th 2001.