For the demo at June Faire this weekend I tried a couple of new pottages that worked out pretty well, with some reservations…
For the first I put some pearl barley, whole oat groats, and whole dried green peas into a pottery vessel with some water and mustard seeds. I then spent quite a few hours trying in vain to get it to boil. I did finally achieve a nice rolling bubble after many hours of fussing with the fire, and it pretty much cooked the whole rest of the day. Sometime 2-3 hours before dinner I through in some pieces of roast pork and stirred them in. The whole peas never got quite done. They weren’t crunchy, but definitely firmer than I would have liked. Perhaps split peas are more sensible over the fire. Nonetheless, it was tasty, and very filling.
For the second I started much later in the day with a diced red onion, a chopped bunch of chard, and a couple of chopped up smoked pork sausages. Once that all cooked down (which didn’t take too long because I’d finally gotten the fire management under control) I added about a cup or a cup and a half of dried fava beans. The fava beans cooked much better than the peas did, and were pleasantly done by dinner time. Due to a slight miscommunication the smoked pork sausages turned out to be andouille, which obviously include non-Viking appropriate spices, so next time I’d try it with something more along the lines of a smoked brat. The andouille sure were tasty though, and the finished dish was quite spicy. I’ll definitely be using the dried favas again.
To round out the demo I also made some flat bread using barley flour, salt, and buttermilk, and cooked them on a dish iron. Plus, mostly just for kicks, I spitted some eggs on a new spit that the neighboring black smith whipped up for me. Probably not the way the Vikings did it, but we do know that it was at least done in 16th C Italy, and it sure makes an impression at demos. I only had one explode, too. For Sunday’s flatbread I added a bit of the talkkuna I made, which gave it a bit more flavor.