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Sirius Lux Grammaticvs

Mit ganczem willen wünsch ich dir

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Illustrations from the Nuremberg Chronicles, 1493.

Mit Ganczem Willen wünsch ich dir – Conrad Paumann Música AntiguaEduardo Paniagua.

Mit ganczem willen wünsch ich dir
With all my heart I wish you

This so beautiful instrumental called “Mit Ganczem Willen” (With all my heart I wish you), was composed by Conrad Paumann (c. 1410 — 1473), born in Nuremberg, Germany. Although he was blind, it didn’t stop him becoming widely known as a master organist, composer and lutenist. In 1447 he became the official town organist of Nuremberg. This piece is taken his famous book about organ playing (1452), called “Fundamentum Organisandi”. Being as rebellious as he was talented, he left what was probably a stifling environment, and went secretly to Munich in 1450, where he was immediately employed by Duke Albrecht III as court organist, who also gave him a house. Munich was officially his home for the remainder of his life, although he began to travel extensively. Paumann, being blind, never wrote down his music, and may have been an improviser above all. He has been credited with inventing the system of tablature for the lute in Germany; while it cannot be proven, it seems reasonable both because of Paumann’s influence, and because of the ease with which music can be dictated using tablature. Unquestionably his influence had much to do with the subsequent development of a culture of organ-playing and composition in Germany, a tradition which culminated in the 18th century with the work of J.S. Bach.

St. Jude Thaddaeus

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Video: “Gabriel Cried Out” by Divna Ljubojevic

St. Jude Thaddaeus

Feastday: October 28
Patron of Desperate causes, desperate situations, lost causes

St. Jude, known as Thaddaeus, was a brother of St. James the Less, and a relative of Our Saviour. He was one of the 12 Apostles of Jesus and his attribute is a club. Images of St. Jude often include a flame around his head, which represent his presence at Pentecost, when he accepted the Holy Spirit alongside the other apostles. Another attribute is St. Jude holding an image of Christ, in the Image of Edessa. Sometimes he can also be seen holding a carpenter’s ruler or is depicted with a scroll or book, the Epistle of Jude. Biblical scholars agree St. Jude was a son of Clopas and his mother Mary was the Virgin Mary’s cousin. Ancient writers tell us that he preached the Gospel in Judea, Samaria, Idumaea, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Lybia. According to Eusebius, he returned to Jerusalem in the year 62, and assisted at the election of his brother, St. Simeon, as Bishop of Jerusalem. Saint Jude is not the same person as Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Our Lord and despaired because of his great sin and lack of trust in God’s mercy. Jude was the one who asked Jesus at the Last Supper why He would not manifest Himself to the whole world after His resurrection. Little else is known of his life. Legend claims that he visited Beirut and Edessa and could have been martyred with St. Simon in Persia.


Stuffed Piglet

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XII c. illustration: A peasent slaughtering a pig and singeing off his bristles

Video: Alterslied” composed by Walther von der Vogelweide performed by Eberhard Kummer

Stuffed Piglet – England, XIVc.

There are a large number of medieval recipes in which a pig, goat, or sheep is stuffed. This one is quite easy, especially if an 8 pound portion of pork loin is used instead of a whole piglet. Tie the pork loin closed with string, or wrap it in a netting of fat if you can get one from your local butcher.
Pass eggs through a strainer, discarding any “stringy bits”. Add ground bread and raisins. In a small bowl, mix spices well. Add the spices to the eggs and bread, and mix well. Stuff piglet and bake at 350°F until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 160°F (c.70°C).
This recipe is good on its own, but would also be excellent served with a sauce like yellow pepper sauce. This recipe is good on its own, but would also be excellent served with a sauce like yellow pepper sauce.

4 eggs, 8 slices bread, ground, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/2 tsp. ginger, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper, pinch saffron.

Sources: A Noble Boke off Cookry, Liber cure cocorum, Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books

Alfonso X “el Sabio” (1221 – 1284)

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Video: Cantiga(CSM) 156 – Musica Ficta & Ensemble Fontegara

Alfonso X “el Sabio” (1221 – 1284)

Alfonso X “el Sabio (the wise)” (1221-1284) was crowned King of Castile & León in 1252, and became one of the most significant leaders in Spanish history. Known for his learning, he fostered interaction between Christian, Jewish, and Islamic intellectuals, as well as accepted Provençal refugees. His was one of the significant reigns moving toward the reunification of Spain, and was so with an emphasis on tolerance and cultural achievement. Alfonso’s work touched nearly every area of human activity, from science to political reform. His only weakness may have been the impracticality of some of his nobler ideas. The extent of Alfonso’s role in the production of the Cantigas de Santa María is not entirely known. He conceived and supervised the compilation, and it appears that at least some texts are his. Whether he wrote any of the music is unknown, but many of the songs in the collection are certainly contrafacta. Some melodies have been identified as those of troubadour or trouvère songs, and even those of conducti or other scholastic compositions. It is also believed that many are folk tunes adopted for the occasion. The entire project seems to have had a moralistic intent, modifying the words of existing songs to describe instead the deeds & glory of the Virgin Mary.

Taken from

Hurdy Gurdy

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hurdy gurdy

Hurdy Gurdy players – Symphonia de Cantiga 160, Cantigas de Sta. María de Alfonso X El Sabio, Códice de El Escorial. (1221-1284)

Video: Scottish Medieval (Hurdy Gurdy / Drehleier & Tabla) – by Short Tailed Snails

Hurdy Gurdy

The Hurdy Gurdy, known in France as the Vielle a roue or vielle for short, is an ancient instrument which is undergoing a modern renaissance in Europe and America. First, to dispel a popular misconception: the hurdy gurdy was not played by the organ grinder or his monkey. They used a large music box operated by a crank. Today’s hurdy gurdy is roughly the same as those built in the Middle Ages. It has three to six strings which are caused to vibrate by a resined wheel turned by a crank. Melody notes are produced on one string, or two tuned in unison, by pressing keys which stop the string at the proper intervals for the scale. The other strings play a drone note. Some instruments have a “dog”, “trompette” or “buzzing bridge”. A string passes over a moveable bridge, which by a clever movement of the crank in the open hand, can produce a rasping rhythm to accompany the tune by causing the bridge to hammer on the sound board. The instrument is held in the lap with a strap to hold it steady. The case can be square, lute back, or flat back with a guitar or fiddle shape. Forms of the vielle a roue existed not only in France, but in Germany, Italy, Britain, Russia, Spain and Hungary.
An interesting related instrument is the Swedish nyckelharpa which was developed around the XVI century. It has keys and is played with a short bow. It is enjoying a revival of interest and new custom made instruments are now available. The origins of the hurdy gurdy are unknown but one theory says that when the Moors invaded Spain they brought with them many stringed and bowed instruments. There is no proof that the vielle a roue was one of them, but the possibility exists that something similar arrived in Spain at that time and dispersed throughout Europe along the pilgrim’s roads.

Collected notes by Graham Whyte

Barley Bread

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Illustration: Baker or miller with bread and pretzels, 1585. Die Hausbücher der Nürnberger Zwölfbrüderstiftungen.

Video: John Barleycorn, traditional English & Irish folk song

Barley Bread

This type of bread was popular amongst monks as they knew that barley was a good source of sustanance and because many monks brewed ale, a key ingredient in good bread making.

Instructions: Mix the flour and salt together, blend the yeast with a little of the ale to create a creamy paste, then mix into this the rest of the ale, honey and 1.5 cups of the warm water. Add this liquid mixture into the flour and salt until you have a firm dough. You may need to add a little extra water to get the right consistency. Shape the dough into a ball, leave in the bowl and cover with clingfilm. Place the bowl of dough in a warm area of the kitchen and wait until the dough has risen to about twice its original size. Remove the clingfilm, press the dough down firmly and split into 2 halves. Place each half of the dough in a bread or cake tin (depending upon the shape of loaf you want to bake). Cover each tin with a cloth and set to one side to allow the dough to rise further. Bake in a preheated oven (230 degrees Celcius) for about 20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and turn out the loaves onto a wire rack. Leave until cold before cutting and serving.
Ingredients: 8 ounces barley flour, 1 lb strong wholemeal flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 ounce fresh yeast, 2 teaspoons clear honey, 1/3 cup brown Ale, 2 cups warm water.

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Tarte Of Strawberyes 1557 A.D.

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Tarte Of Strawberyes 1557 A.D.

From Margaret Parker’s own cook book “A Proper newe Booke of Cokerye” 1557
To make a tarte of strawberyes take and strayne theym wyth the yolkes of foure egges, and a lyttle whyte breade grated, then season it up wyth suger and swete butter and so bake it.

Short paest for tarte: take fyne floure and a cursey of fayre water and a dysche of swete butter and a lyttel saffron, and the yolckes of two egges and make it thynne and as tender as ye maye. “the coffyn must be fyrste hardened in the oven”

1557 Strawberry Tart For The Modern Kitchen
For the fruit filling use 500g strawberries, 4 egg yolks, 2 slices of bread, grated to make breadcrumbs 150g brown sugar (demerara), 100g unsalted butter (melted)
For the pastry: 300g plain flour, 150g whole meal flour, 200g butter, softened, 2 egg yolks, 2 tbsp water (warm), 2 strands of saffron.

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Illustration on the Left: “The Banquet in the Pine Forest”by Sandro Botticelli (1445-1510).

On this Day 1399: King Richard II of England Abdicates

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Illustration: Richard II King of England (1367-1400) resigns his crown – 30th September 1399.

Abdication of Richard II, from the Froissart Chronicles

By the exile of Norfolk and Hereford in September 1398 he seemed to have removed the last persons he need fear. He was so confident that in May 1399 he paid a second visit to Ireland, taking with him all his most trusted adherents. Thus when Henry landed at Ravenspur in July he found only half-hearted opposition, and when Richard himself returned it was too late. Ultimately Richard surrendered to Henry at Flint on the 19th of August, promising to abdicate if his life was spared. He was taken to London riding behind his rival with indignity.

On the 30th of September he signed in the Tower a deed of abdication, wherein he owned himself insufficient and useless, reading it first aloud with a cheerful mien and ending with a request that his cousin would be good lord to him. The parliament ordered that Richard should be kept close prisoner, and he was sent secretly to Pontefract. There in February 1400 he died: no doubt of the rigour of his winter imprisonment, rather than by actual murder as alleged in the story adopted by Shakespeare. The mystery of Richard’s death led to rumours that he had escaped, and an impostor pretending to be Richard lived during many years under the protection of the Scottish government. But no doubt it was the real Richard who was buried without state in 1400 at King’s Langley, and honourably reinterred by Henry V at Westminster in 1413.

Taken from: Luminarium – Anthology of English literature

Pie with Chicken, Pork, Cheese, Herbs and Spices

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Illustration: Banquet Given By Charles V In Honour Of His Uncle Emperor Charles IV In 1378.

From Tourte parmesane, Modus (1380-1390)

Alchemy: Make the shortcrust pastry dough. Finely chop the pork and pork belly. Chop the chicken breasts into small cubes. Mix the chopped pork belly with spices, then herbs, eggs, salt, and finally cheese. Add the chopped pork and the chicken. Mix well. Roll out the dough and fill a pie mold with a portion of the shortcrust dough (1/2cm thick). Add the stuffing. Spread the stuffing then seal the pie crust. Score the top of the pie crust 2-3 times. Roll a small strip of parchment paper to obtain a cylinder of 2-3 mm in diameter and 1-2 cm high. Stick the “chimney” in the dough to let steam escape during cooking (ensure the hole does not close). Cook for about 1hr as such: 20min in a hot oven, 30-40min in a medium oven (according to the size of the pie dish), leave for 5min in the oven after turning off the heat. Let cool and unmold. Cut into slices just before serving.
Ingredients: 400 g chicken breasts, 400 g pork, 500 g pork belly (or jowl), 100 g grated Gruyère cheese, 3 eggs, 1 teaspoon ginger, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/8 teaspoon cloves, 20 g parsley, 10 g mint, 10 g fresh marjoram and 15 g salt.
Cooking Time: c. 1 hour

by – “Gastronomie médiévale & Histoire de la cuisine”

A Bake Mete Ryalle

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Illustration: Banquet given in Paris in 1378 by Charles V of France

Video: Cornucopia – Tant es Gaia – Trotto

A Bake Mete Ryalle

Period: England, XIV – XV century
A bake Mete Ryalle. Take and make litel cofyns, & take Chykonys y-soþe; oþer Porke y-soþe; oþer hem boþe: take Clowys, Maces, Quybibes, & hakke with-alle, & melle yt with cromyd marow, & lay on Sugre y-now; þan ley it on þe cofynne, & in þe myddel lay a gobet of marrow, & Sugre round a-bowte y-now, and lat bake; & þis is for soperys.

A Royal Pie. Take and make little pie shells, & take Chicken boiled; or Pork boiled; or them both: take Cloves, Mace, Cubeb, & hack all together, & mix it with crumbled marrow, & add just the right amount of Sugar; then place it a pie shell, & in the middle place a piece of marrow, & all over some Sugar, and let it bake; & this is for a supper.
1 or 2 nine-inch pie shells, Boiled chicken, diced, Boiled pork, diced, Cloves (powder), Mace, Cubeb-Marrow, diced or crumbled, Sugar -Marrow, one spoonful of diced or 1 med. sized chunk.
For this recipe use either pork or chicken, or a combination of both. Combine meat with spices and diced marrow; add sugar to taste. Place this mixture in the pie shell(s). Place the additional marrow on the top middle then sprinkle sugar over the entire pie. Bake until crust is golden and the top has browned. Serve for an evening meal.