Jan 072019
 

Today is the birthday (1502) of Ugo Boncompagni who became pope Gregory XIII in 1572. He is best known for commissioning his namesake Gregorian calendar, but his influence in his day was much more widespread. Remember, his lifespan covered the major upheaval in Europe of the Protestant Reformation.

Gregory was the son of Cristoforo Boncompagni (1470 – 1546) and Angela Marescalchi, born in Bologna, where he studied law, graduating in 1530. Later he taught jurisprudence for some years. He had an illegitimate son, Giacomo, after an affair with Maddalena Fulchini, before he took holy orders. At the age of 36 he was summoned to Rome by Pope Paul III (1534–1549), under whom he held successive appointments as first judge of the capital, abbreviator, and vice-chancellor of the Campagna. Pope Paul IV (1555–1559) attached him as datarius to the suite of cardinal Carlo Carafa, Pope Pius IV (1559–1565) made him cardinal-priest of San Sisto Vecchio basilica and sent him to the Council of Trent, which met from 1545 to 1563 to address the crisis in the Catholic church created by the Protestant Reformation and to launch the Counter Reformation.

He also served as a legate to Philip II of Spain (1556–1598), being sent by the Pope to investigate the cardinal of Toledo. It was there that he formed a lasting and close relationship with Philip, which was to become a key component of his foreign policy as Pope, especially in his dealings with England and Ireland.

Upon the death of Pius V (1566–1572), the conclave chose Boncompagni as pope, who assumed the name of Gregory XIII in homage to the great reforming Pope, Gregory I (590–604), surnamed the Great. It was a very brief conclave, lasting less than 24 hours. Many historians have attributed this to the influence and backing of the Spanish king. Gregory XIII’s character seemed to be perfect for the needs of the church at the time. Unlike some of his predecessors, he was to lead a faultless personal life, becoming a model of simplicity. Additionally, his legal brilliance and management abilities meant that he was able to respond and deal with major problems quickly and decisively, although not always successfully.

Once he came pope, Gregory XIII’s rather worldly concerns became secondary and he dedicated himself to reform of the Catholic Church. He committed himself to putting into practice the recommendations of the Council of Trent. He allowed no exceptions for cardinals to the rule that bishops must take up residence in their sees, and designated a committee to update the Index of Forbidden Books. He was the patron of a new and greatly improved edition of the Corpus juris canonici. In a time of considerable centralization of power, Gregory XIII abolished the consistories of cardinals, replacing them with colleges, and appointing specific tasks for these colleges to work on. He was renowned for having a fierce independence; some confidants noted that he neither welcomed interventions nor sought advice. The power of the papacy increased under him, whereas the influence and power of the cardinals substantially decreased.

A central part of the strategy of Gregory XIII’s reform was to apply the recommendations of Trent. He was a liberal patron of the recently formed Society of Jesus throughout Europe, for which he founded many new colleges. The Roman College of the Jesuits grew substantially under his patronage, and became the most important center of learning in Europe for a time. It is now named the Pontifical Gregorian University. Pope Gregory XIII also founded numerous seminaries for training priests, beginning with the German College at Rome, and put them in the charge of the Jesuits.

In 1575 he gave official status to the Congregation of the Oratory, a community of priests without vows, dedicated to prayer and preaching (founded by Saint Philip Neri). In 1580 he commissioned artists, including Ignazio Danti, to complete works to decorate the Vatican and commissioned The Gallery of Maps. Also noteworthy during his pontificate as a further means of putting into practice the recommendations of the Council of Trent is the transformation in 1580 of the Dominican studium founded in the 13th century in Rome into the College of St. Thomas, the precursor of the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum.

Pope Gregory XIII is best known for his commissioning of a new calendar started by the Calabrian doctor/astronomer Aloysius Lilius with the aid of Jesuit priest/astronomer Christopher Clavius who made the final modifications. The reason for the reform was that the average length of the year in the Julian calendar was too long. It treated each year as 365 days, 6 hours in length, whereas calculations showed that the actual mean length of a year is slightly less (365 days, 5 hours and 49 minutes). As a result, the date of the actual vernal equinox had slowly (over the course of 13 centuries) slipped to 10th March, while the computus (calculation) of the date of Easter still followed the traditional date of 21st March.

This was verified by the observations of Clavius, and the new calendar was instituted when Gregory decreed, by the papal bull Inter gravissimas of 24th February 1582, that the day after Thursday, 4th October 1582 would be not Friday, 5 October, but Friday, 15 October 1582. The new calendar duly replaced the Julian calendar, in use since 45 BCE, although it took centuries to come into universal use, particularly because of resistance in Protestant countries.

Though he expressed the conventional fears of the danger from the Turks, Gregory XIII’s attentions were more consistently directed to the dangers from the Protestants. He also encouraged the plans of Philip II to dethrone Elizabeth I of England, thus helping to develop an atmosphere of subversion and imminent danger among English Protestants, who looked on any Catholic as a potential traitor (right through the reigns of all the Stuart monarchs).

In 1578, to further the plans of exiled English and Irish Catholics such as Nicholas Sanders, William Allen, and James Fitzmaurice FitzGerald, Gregory outfitted adventurer Thomas Stukeley with a ship and an army of 800 men to land in Ireland to aid the Catholics against the Protestant colonies. To his dismay, Stukeley joined his forces with those of king Sebastian of Portugal against Emperor Abdul Malik of Morocco instead.

Another papal expedition sailed to Ireland in 1579 with only 50 soldiers under the command of Fitzmaurice, accompanied by Sanders as papal legate.[citation needed] All of the soldiers and sailors on board, as well as the women and children who accompanied them, were beheaded or hanged on landing in Kerry, in the Smerwick Massacre. Gregory’s greatest success came in his patronage of colleges and seminaries which he founded in continental Europe for expatriate Irish and English Catholics, among others. In 1580 he was persuaded by English Jesuits to moderate or suspend the Bull Regnans in Excelsis (1570) which had excommunicated Queen Elizabeth I of England. Catholics were advised to obey the queen outwardly in all civil matters, until such time as a suitable opportunity presented itself for her overthrow.

After the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacres of Huguenots in France in 1572, Gregory celebrated a Te Deum mass. However, some hold that he was ignorant of the nature of the plot at the time, having been told the Huguenots had tried to take over the government but failed. Three frescoes in the Sala Regia Palace of the Vatican depicting the events were painted by Giorgio Vasari, and a commemorative medal was issued with Gregory’s portrait and on the obverse a chastising angel, sword in hand and the legend UGONOTTORUM STRAGES (“Overthrow of the Huguenots”).

In Rome Gregory XIII built the magnificent Gregorian chapel in the Basilica of St. Peter, and extended the Quirinal Palace in 1580. He also turned the Baths of Diocletian into a granary in 1575. He appointed his illegitimate son Giacomo, castellan of Sant’Angelo and Gonfalonier of the Church, and Venice, anxious to please Gregory, enrolled him among its nobles. Philip II of Spain appointed him general in his army. Gregory also helped his son to become a powerful feudatary through the acquisition of the Duchy of Sora, on the border between the Papal States and the kingdom of Naples.

Gregory died on 10th April 1585.

Gregory was born, raised, and practiced law in Bologna before moving to Rome, so that a recipe for ragù alla bolognese is suitable even though the first documented recipe comes from the late 18th century – well after Gregory’s time. Can’t have everything. In Italian cuisine this sauce is customarily used to dress tagliatelle al ragù and to prepare lasagne alla bolognese. In the absence of tagliatelle, it can also be used with other broad, flat pasta shapes, such as pappardelle or fettuccine. Genuine ragù alla bolognese is a slowly cooked sauce, and its preparation involves several techniques, including sweating, sautéing and braising. Ingredients include a characteristic soffritto of onion, celery and carrot, different types of minced or finely chopped beef, often alongside small amounts of fatty pork or pancetta. White wine, milk, and a small amount of tomato concentrate or tomatoes are added, and the dish is then gently simmered at length to produce a thick sauce. What is called Bolognese sauce outside of Italy is usually more akin to southern Italian sauces that are heavy with tomatoes, whereas ragù from Bologna is not. Also, ragù is not served with spaghetti in Italy, where the ubiquitous US and UK “spag Bol” is unheard of and unthinkable (much the same as spaghetti and meatballs is an abomination).

The earliest documented recipe for a meat-based sauce (ragù) served with pasta comes from late 18th century Imola, near Bologna. Pellegrino Artusi published a recipe for a meat sauce characterized as being bolognese in his cookbook published in 1891. Artusi’s recipe, which he called maccheroni alla bolognese, is thought to derive from the mid-19th century when he spent considerable time in Bologna (maccheroni being a generic term for pasta, both dried and fresh). The recipe only partially resembles the ragù alla bolognese that is traditionally associated with tagliatelle. The sauce called for predominantly lean veal filet along with pancetta, butter, onion, and carrot. The meats and vegetables were to be finely minced, cooked with butter until the meats browned, then covered and cooked with broth. Artusi commented that the taste could be made even more pleasant by adding small pieces of dried mushroom, a few slices of truffle, or chicken liver cooked with the meat and diced. As a final touch, he also suggested adding half a glass of cream to the sauce when it was completely done to make it taste even smoother. Artusi recommended serving this sauce with a medium size pasta (“horse teeth”) made from durum wheat. The pasta was to be made fresh, cooked until it was firm, and then flavored with the sauce and Parmigiano cheese.

The trick to cooking ragù alla bolognese traditionally is to take your time. Let the meat and vegetables simmer in broth for hour upon hour until the sauce is thick, rich and flavorful. Then let it sit in the refrigerator overnight to let the taste mature. You can follow Artusi’s directions, or add a little tomato paste to the broth. But do not add too much. This is not a Neapolitan sauce. If you are in any doubt, hop a plane to Italy and head to any trattoria in Bologna. You will not find a bad ragù; you will have to wait, though. This is not fast food.

Apr 092018
 

On 9th April, 1557 Mikael Agricola (Michael Olaui), the “father of literary Finnish” died, and Elias Lönnrot, a collector of Finnish folklore was born on this date in 1802. Because of the coincidence, today is marked as Finnish Language Day. Michael Olaui or Mikkel Olofsson (Finnish: Mikael Olavinpoika) was born in Nyland (Uusimaa) in the village of Torsby in Pernå (Pernaja), Sweden (now Finland), around the year 1510. He was named after the patron saint of Pernå’s church. The exact date of his birth, like most details of his life, is unknown. His family was a quite wealthy peasant family according to the local bailiff’s accounting. He had three sisters, but their names are not known. His teachers apparently recognized his aptitude for languages and his rector, Bartholomeus, sent him to Viborg (Finnish: Viipuri; now Vyborg, Russia) for Latin school and some priestly training, where he attended the school of Erasmus. It is not known whether his first language was Finnish or Swedish. Pernå was mostly a Swedish-speaking district, but the language he used in his works indicates that he was a native speaker of Finnish. However, he mastered both languages like a native speaker and was possibly a bilingual child.

When Michael studied in Viborg he assumed the surname Agricola (“farmer”). Surnames based on one’s father’s status and occupation were common for first-generation scholars at the time. It was probably there that he first came in touch with the Reformation and Humanism. Viipuri castle was ruled by a German count, Johann, who had served the king of Sweden, Gustav Vasa. The count was a supporter of the Reformation, and they already held Lutheran services.

In 1528 Agricola followed his teacher to Turku (Åbo), then the center of the Finnish side of the Swedish realm and the capital of the bishopric. There Agricola became a scribe in bishop Martinus Skytte’s office. While in Turku Agricola met Martin Luther’s first Finnish student Petrus Särkilahti, who eagerly spread the idea of the Reformation. Särkilahti died in 1529, and it was up to Agricola to continue Särkilahti’s work. Agricola was ordained for the priesthood circa 1531. In 1536 the bishop of Turku sent Agricola to study in Wittenberg. He concentrated on the lectures of Philipp Melanchthon. He also studied under Luther. Agricola got recommendations to the Swedish king, Gustav Vasa, from both of the reformers. He sent two letters to Gustav, asking for a confirmation for a stipend. In 1537 he started translating the New Testament into Finnish, thus helping establish Finnish as a written language.

In 1539 Agricola returned to Turku and ended up as the rector of Turku Cathedral School. He did not like his job, calling his students “untamed animals.” At the time Gustav Vasa had confiscated the property of the church when he was consolidating his power, but he also drove the Reformation. In 1544 Agricola received an order from the crown to send several talented young men to Stockholm’s taxing offices. For some reason, Agricola did not obey until the order was sent again the next year, with a more menacing tone. This episode probably affected their relations negatively.

In 1546 Agricola lost his home and school in the Fire of Turku. On 22nd February 1548, Gustav Vasa ordered Agricola to retire from his position as rector. At this time Agricola was already married, but history knows his wife only by her name: Pirjo Olavintytär (Bridget, “daughter of Olavi”; Birgitta Olafsdotter, Brigida Olaui). His only son, Christian Agricola (Christianus Michaelis Agricola), was born 11th December 1550, and became the bishop of Tallinn in 1584.

When an old bishop died in 1554, Gustav Vasa had Agricola consecrated as the ordinarius of Turku parish – for all practical purposes Bishop of Turku and by extension the first Lutheran bishop for all Finland. Agricola was not a particularly strict or dedicated reformer, although he did remove the Canon of the Mass. In 1557 Agricola joined the delegation going to Russia and was in Moscow from 21st February to 24th March negotiating a peace treaty, the Treaty of Novgorod (1557). On 9th April he fell ill and died in Uusikirkko (now Polyane) village, part of the Kyrönniemi parish on the Karelian Isthmus. Agricola was buried inside Viipuri’s church, but the exact location of the grave is not known.

Elias Lönnrot (1802 – 1884) was a Finnish physician, philologist and collector of traditional Finnish oral poetry. He is best known for creating the Finnish national epic, Kalevala, (1835, enlarged 1849), from short ballads and lyric poems, gathered from the Finnish oral tradition during several expeditions in Finland, Russian Karelia, the Kola Peninsula and Baltic countries. Lönnrot was born in Sammatti, in the province of Uusimaa, Finland, which was then part of Sweden. He studied medicine at the Academy of Turku. The Great Fire of Turku (not to be confused with the 1548 Turku fire when Agricola lost his home !!), coincided with his first academic year. Because the university was destroyed in the fire, it was moved to Helsinki, the newly established administrative center of the Grand Duchy and the present capital city of Finland. Lönnrot followed and graduated in 1832.

Lönnrot got a job as district doctor of Kajaani in Eastern Finland during a time of famine and pestilence in the district. The famine had prompted the previous doctor to resign, making it possible for a very young doctor to get such a position. Several consecutive years of crop failure resulted in losses of population and livestock. In addition, lack of a hospital further complicated Lönnrot’s work. He was the sole doctor for 4,000 or so people, most of whom lived in small rural communities scattered across the district. As physicians and novel drugs were expensive at the time, most people relied on their village healers and locally available remedies. Lönnrot himself was keen on traditional remedies and also administered them. However, he believed strongly that preventive measures such as good hygiene, breastfeeding babies, and vaccines were the most effective measures for most of his patients.

His true passion lay in his native Finnish language. He began writing about the early Finnish language in 1827 and began collecting folk tales from rural people about that time. In 1831, the Finnish Literature Society was founded, and Lönnrot, being one of the founder members, received financial support from the society for his collecting efforts. Lönnrot went on extended leaves of absence from his doctor’s office; he toured the countryside of Finland, Sapmi (Lapland), and nearby portions of Russian Karelia. This led to a series of books: Kantele, 1829–1831 (the kantele is a Finnish traditional instrument); Kalevala, 1835–1836 (the “old” Kalevala); Kanteletar, 1840; Sananlaskuja, 1842 (Proverbs); an expanded second edition of Kalevala, 1849 (the “new” Kalevala). Lönnrot was recognized for his part in preserving Finland’s oral traditions by appointment to the Chair of Finnish Literature at the University of Helsinki in 1853.

He also undertook the task of compiling the first Finnish-Swedish dictionary (Finsk-Svenskt lexikon, 1866–1880). The result comprised over 200,000 entries, and many of the Finnish translations were coined by Lönnrot himself. His vast knowledge of traditional Finnish poetry made him an authority in Finland and many of his inventions have stuck. Finnish scientific terminology was particularly influenced by Lönnrot’s work and therefore many abstract terms that have a Latin or Greek etymology in mainstream European languages appear as native neologisms in Finnish. Examples from linguistics and medicine include kielioppi (grammar), kirjallisuus (literature), laskimo (vein) and valtimo (artery).

Botanists remember him for writing the first Finnish-language Flora Fennica – Suomen Kasvisto in 1860; in its day it was famed throughout Scandinavia, as it was among the very first common-language scientific texts. The second, expanded version was co-authored by Th. Saelan and published in 1866. The Flora Fennica was the first scientific work published in Finnish (rather than Latin). In addition, Lönnrot’s Flora Fennica includes many notes on plant uses in between his descriptions of flowers and leaves.

I have chosen the Finnish dish kalakukko for today’s celebratory recipe. I have given some Finnish dishes before, and they are all a bit basic. Get behind the inscrutable Finnish name, and you have something quite ordinary found across Europe: Kaalikääryleet (stuffed cabbage), Hernekeitto (split pea soup), Perunamuusi (mashed potatoes). Of course these dishes have local twists, and local ingredients make a difference. Kalakukko is sort of a pie, sort of a stuffed bread, sort of a pasty. It is fish, pork belly, and sometimes vegetables, wrapped in a rye bread dough and baked. Here’s a video (in Finnish) to give you the idea, and then I will give a recipe.

Kalakukko

Ingredients

Filling

2 lb small fish, cleaned and gutted (heads on or off as you choose)
1 ½ lbs belly pork, sliced like bacon
salt
1 tsp allspice

Dough

2 ½ cups tepid water (approx.)
3 ¼ cups rye flour
1 ¾ cups whole-wheat flour
4 tsp salt
½ oz active dry yeast

Instructions

Sift the flours and salt together into a mixing bowl.

Put the yeast in the water in a cup and stir.

When the yeast is fully dissolved, make a thick dough by pouring water into the dough and mixing well. The ratio of flour to water depends on the nature of the flours. This ratio of 1:2 by volume works well in Finland with Finnish flours. Where flours contain more gluten you should use slightly less water.

Set aside about 4 tablespoons of dough to be used later. Roll out the remaining dough into a circular shape about ¾ inch thick.

Assemble the meats on the dough. Use the video as a guide. Cover the inner half of the dough circle with half of the pork (the pork should cover a circle whose diameter is half the diameter of the rolled dough). Then put all of the fish over top of the pork, and add allspice and extra salt if you are using them. Finish with the second half of the pork.

Preheat the oven to 500˚F/260˚C.

Lift the edges of the dough all around the filling and glue together with a little water so that you have the filling surrounded from all directions with about ¾ inch-thick dough. Put upside down (the seam downwards) on a baking sheet and let it rise about half an hour at room temperature.

Put the kalakukko in a 500˚F oven for long enough to brown the dough, which will seal it against moisture. Then lower the temperature to about 250˚F/130˚C and let it bake for about 4 hours, or longer depending on the size of the fish (bigger fish need more cooking time). You can brush some melted butter over the top of the dough just after lowering the temperature. This will give it a prettier (browner) appearance. If it starts to leak while baking, fill holes with the dough which was set aside. In the video they wrap the kalakukko in foil for the second baking, which prevents leakage.

Cut a lid in the top to scoop out the filling, and serve accompanied by the bread casing. This dish may be eaten hot or cold.

 

Sep 072015
 

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Today is the birthday (1533) of Elizabeth I, queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death in 1603. She was sometimes called The Virgin Queen (for which Virginia was named), Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, and, because she was childless, was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty. Her reign, now known as the Elizabethan era, has been the subject of endless debate by historians, although I believe there is less to discuss than you might think. The main virtue of Elizabeth’s reign was that it was long (44 years). It was not a Golden Age in the way it is often discussed by focusing on such highlights as the defeat of the Spanish Armada or the dawning of great theater under Shakespeare and Marlowe. Elizabeth’s reign was plagued by court intrigue, domestic religious insurrections, foreign wars, debt, and royal indecisiveness. All of this was glossed over when James VI & I ascended the throne. The people had high hopes for him, which were quickly dashed, leading people to look back on Elizabeth’s reign with a sentimental reverence that was ill deserved.

One of Elizabeth’s primary achievements was the cementing of the Protestant Reformation in England. When I was an undergraduate I took a special schools paper on the Reformation, and a key essay my tutor asked me to write was “Why was the ‘Elizabethan Settlement’ Protestant?” At the time I thought “duh !!!” and still do. It’s a stupid question. It’s a simple matter of political expediency. Her father, Henry VIII, broke with the pope because he wanted a divorce. He was desperate for a legitimate son and heir, to sustain the stability established by his father, Henry VII, following the disastrous Wars of the Roses, which Katherine of Aragon, his wife, seemingly could not produce. She did indeed bear three sons, but all died in early infancy. Anne Boleyn, Elizabeth’s mother, seemed at the time to be a better option. The attempted divorce (or annulment) caused a rift with the pope, and Henry assumed the headship of the church which allowed him to grant himself the divorce (and in the process making his only surviving child, Mary, illegitimate). Having the pope as head of the church had been a thorn in the side of many European monarchs for whom the Reformation was a convenience. Henry was not in the least interested in actually reforming the church, but he did seize the opportunity to take over the church, and dissolve a large number of monasteries and religious foundations to fill his coffers, making it very difficult for his daughter, Mary, to reinstitute Catholicism. His young and frail son, Edward VI who succeeded him, and died young, was swayed by senior clerics to reform the Prayer Book to solidify the Reformation, and, thus, keep their heads on their shoulders – for the moment.

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When Mary, as eldest daughter, succeeded Henry she had to be Catholic to secure her right to inherit (by nullifying the divorce of her mother). In truth, she was actually a devout Catholic, following the teaching and tradition of her mother. She married the Catholic Philip of Spain, further entrenching Catholicism in England and guaranteeing his ire when Elizabeth became a Protestant queen. During Mary’s reign she executed 280 prominent Protestants, mostly by burning at the stake, but ruled for only 5 years before she died. Then Elizabeth enters the stage. Would she be Catholic or Protestant? An absurd and pointless question to my mind. To be queen she HAD to be Protestant. The pope had declared her illegitimate and, hence, could not be queen as a Catholic. Case closed.

Many Protestants had fled England to the continent under Mary where they were influenced by great reformers such as Luther and Calvin, and upon their return were intent on being much more radical than the tepid, almost-Catholic, reformers of Henry’s and Edward’s days. So Elizabeth had trouble on all fronts, from both old-school Catholics, and from Protestants who were divided between old (English) Episcopalians and new (European) Presbyterians. The Protestant battles lasted down to the time of Charles I and Cromwell, and Elizabeth had a difficult time of it keeping all these factions in check.

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Add to all of this the endless jockeying for power within the court which often led to people losing their heads, and the constant threat of invasion by Spain under Mary’s husband, Philip, who wanted his throne back. The defeat of the Spanish Armada was achieved by a combination of brilliant leadership by Francis Drake and the fortunes of weather (many Spanish ships were wrecked in storms off Scotland and Ireland). Nonetheless, war with Spain continued until after Elizabeth’s death, leading the queen to forge an alliance with Morocco in order to harass Spain on two fronts.

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So . . . in sum, I would not call Elizabeth’s reign a time of peace and stability: just the opposite. The queen kept a huge network of spies and secret agents so that she was always aware of trouble brewing. It was possible to be in favor one minute and in prison the next. As Elizabeth aged, the country became concerned about a successor since she was childless, and refused to name an heir. But, in keeping with the tenor of the times, no one wanted to be at risk of meeting the chopping block by speaking up. Consequently Shakespeare wrote Julius Caesar (1599) to point out that Caesar died without an heir and this prompted civil war. By setting the issue in ancient Rome, Shakespeare avoided an accusation of sedition and treason, but Elizabeth got the point.

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Cooking in Elizabethan times was undergoing changes because of the introduction of new cultigens, such as tomatoes, corn, and potatoes, from the New World. Too much can be made of this change. Tomatoes and potatoes, for example, were initially considered poisonous and did not come into regular usage for several generations despite initial enthusiasm. A BOOK OF COOKRYE by A. W. published in 1591 provides a wealth of choices.

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Here’s an assortment of stewed capon recipes:

To stue a Capon.

Take the best of the Broth of the pot, and put it in a pipkin, and put to it Corance and great raisins, Dates quartered and onions fine minced, strayned bread & time, and let them boile well togither: when they be well boyled, put in your prunes, season it with cloves, mace, pepper and very little Salte, a spoonfull or two of Vergious, and let it not be too thick. And your Capon being boyled in a pot by it selfe in fair water & salt to keepe it faire, and thus you may boyle a Chicken, vele, beef or mutton after this sort.

To stue a Capon in Lemmons.

Slice your Lemmons and put them in a platter, and put to them white Wine and Rosewater, and so boile them and Sugar til they be tender. Then take the best of the broth wherin your Capon is boyled, and put thereto whole Mace, whole pepper & red Corance, barberies, a little time, & good store of Marow. Let them boile well togither til the broth be almost boiled away that you have no more then will wette your Sops. Then poure your Lemmons upon your Capon, & season your broth with Vergious and Sugar, and put it upon your Capon also.

To boyle a Capon in white broth.

Boile your Capon in faire licour and cover it to keepe it white, but you must boile none other meat with it, take the best of the broth, and as much vergious as of the broth if your Vergious be not too sower, and put therto whole mace, whole pepper, and a good handfull of Endive, Letuce or borage, whether of them ye wil, small Raisins, Dates, Marow of marow bones a little stick of whole Sinamon, the peele of an orenge. Then put in a good peece of Sugar, and boile them well togither. Then take two or three yolkes of egges sodden, and strain them, and thick it withall, & boile your prunes by themselves and lay upon your Capon poure your broth upon your Capon.

Thus maye you boyle any thing in white broth.

An other to boyle a capon in white broth.

First take Marow bones, breake them and boyle them and take out the marrowe. Then seethe your Capon in the same licoure. Then take the best of the licoure in a small Potte to make your broth withall. Then take Corance, Dates and prunes, & boyle them in a pot by themselves till they be plum, then take them up and put them into your brothe, then put whole Mace to them and a good quantitie of beaten Ginger & some Salt. Then put the Marow that you did take from the bones, and strain the yolkes of Egges with Vinager, and put them into your broth with a good peece of Sugar but after this it must not boyle: then take bread and cut therof thin sippits, and lay them in the bottom of a dish. Then take sugar and scrape it about the sides of the dish and lay theron your Capon, and the fruit upon it and so serve it in.

To make Sops for a capon.

Take Tostes of Bread, Butter, Claret wine and slices of Orenges, and lay them upon the Tostes and Sinamon Sugar and Ginger.

You get the idea that you poach the capon (or large chicken)in broth with dried fruits and sweet spices, such as cloves, cinnamon, mace nutmeg, and ginger, then reduce some of the broth to serve as a sauce with the capon and fruits over a bed of sops (soaked bread or toast).