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German culinary texts 1350-1800/Recipes

A castle made of peas: From the Middle Low German cookbook (15th c.)

For the complete electronic text of the Middle Low German cookbook: click here.

39. Item wiltu maken van densulven erweten, dat dar sy ghestalt also eyne borch, io lengher dat du se stotest, io bether dat se werden. Make se eyn weynich sothe myt drogheme sucker. Make van den erweten eyn salser, dat dar sy eyne hande hoch unde eyne hande wyt. Sette dat in eyne deghelike schottelen. Make darumme eyn twevoldich cruce, dat islick sy eyner korten spenne langk unde eyner hande hoch. So make dar ummeher ok van densulven erweten eyne mure, de dar ock sy eyner hande hoch. Make keghelken ok van densulven erweten. Dat scholen syn de thorne, wo vele du wilt. Sette de uppe de muren al umme unde umme hen. Hebbe eynen guden bedorven [...], den gut in dat salser. Dar giff se mede hen by den braden heringk.

(From: Hans Wiswe (Hg.): Ein mittelniederdeutsches Kochbuch des 15. Jahrhunderts. In: Braunschweigisches Jahrbuch 37 (1956) 19-55.)

A rough translation

Furthermore: if you want to make something from the mentioned peas, that looks like a castle, the longer you pound the peas, the better they will be (for that purpose). Sweeten it slightly with dry sugar. Make from the (paste of) peas (something that looks like) a sauce-dish, so that it is a hand's breadth/length high and a hand's breadth/length wide. Put it into an adequate dish. Put two crosses at the outside, such that every cross is a short span long (for the cross-beam) and one hand's breadth/length high. And surround it -- from the same paste of peas too -- with a wall, that shall be also one hand's breadth/lenght high. Then make small cones from the said peas. They shall be the towers, how much of them you like. Put them onto the wall all around. Take a good and adequate <...> and pour it into the sauce-dish. And serve it forth together with fried/baked/roasted herring.

Some Notes:

-- The preparation of the peas is described in recipes #35 and (possibly) #38. The peas must be given into a boiling ash-lye and then washed in fresh water untill they loose their shells/husks. Then they are boiled, dried and pounded in a mortar. In #38 they are also mixed
with honey and strained through. Here is the text of these recipes:

35. Item wyltu maken mennygherleyge van erwiten, so make van asschen eyne scharpe loghe. So henghe de loghe over dat vur unde lat se seden. Nym erwiten unde do se yn de loghe. Wen du volest, dat de hulsen affgan, so nym se wedder daruth unde wassche se in reyneme water so lange, dat se reyne werden van den sloen. Sette se tho vur in reyneme water, dat des waters sy wel tomathe. Lathe se seden gar unde droghe se, dat se nicht aneynbernen. Do se uth, dat se vorslan. Stot se in eyneme moser io droghest du kanst unde io clener jo lever. So machstu daraff maken, wat du wilt.
38. Item wyltu maken mer gherichte van stotten erweten yn den moser, so temperer se wol myt honnighe. Strick se dorch eyn dorchslach in eyn reyne ghevethe. Richte se an unde giff se hen by den braden herinck. Van densulven erweten machstu maken eyn weghe, dy dar sy ghestalt, also eyn mandelwegge. Dy gifstu ok hen by den brathering myt sennepe.

-- deghelik, in Wiswe's glossary 'tiegelartig' (like a stew-pan), but here rather in the sense of 'adequate' (thanks K.W. Sörensen, Hamburg).

-- The two crosses should probably be prepared from the peas too, though this is not stated explicitly (thanks K.W. Sörensen, Hamburg).

-- According to Wiswe, there seems to be a lacuna at the end of the recipe, so we do not know what to give into the sauce-dish.

-- There is another recipe that mentions a "borch", a castle (#77).