For those of you who don’t know, the Trayn’d Bandes of Bristol march on their stomachs. We love food. We love to make food. We love to research food. More importantly, we love to eat food. We are like our very own America’s Test Kitchen, recreating period dishes and testing out the things we create on each other. Whether it is a main dish, a way to cook meat, a vegetable side or even different types of drinks.
With the American holiday of THANKSGIVING right around the corner, a holiday filled with food, family and comfort, it seems only appropriate that we should share and discuss a delicious and filling meal that the Trayn’d Bandes of Bristol when we are on progress or in the encampment at Bristol. This one comes to us from Gode Cookery and has been modified (and in my opinion…perfected) by our director and his amazing wife, Chris and Heather Last.
Blawmanger. Tak þe two del of rys, þe thridde pert of almoundes; wash clene þe rys in leuk water & turne & seth hem til þay breke & lat it kele, & tak þe melk & do it to þe rys & boyle hem togedere. & do þerto whit gres & braun of hennes grounde smale, & stere it wel, & salte it & dresch it in disches. & frye almaundes in fresch gres til þey be browne, & set hem in þe dissches, & strawe þeron sugre & serue it forth.
– Hieatt, Constance B. and Sharon Butler. Curye on Inglish: English Culinary Manuscripts of the Fourteenth-Century (Including the Forme of Cury). London: For the Early English Text Society by the Oxford University Press, 1985.
In all seriousness, above is the original recipe. However the Booke of Good Cookery, it is translated to this….
GODE COOKERY TRANSLATION:
Blancmange. Take two parts of rice, the third part of almonds; wash the rice clean in lukewarm water & turn & boil them til they break and let cool, & take milk and add to the rice and boil together. Add white grease & ground dark chicken meat, & stir well, & salt it and place it in dishes. Fry almonds in fresh grease until brown, & set them in the dishes, and strew on sugar & serve it.
- 1 cup rice
- 3 cups Almond Milk
- 1 cup ground cooked chicken, dark meat only
- dash salt
- 1/4 cup fried slivered almonds
- sugar to garnish
Bring to a boil the rice, milk, & salt. Reduce heat, stir in chicken, & cover; allow to cook, stirring occasionally, until liquid is absorbed and rice is fluffy. Garnish with almonds and a sprinkle of sugar.
Judging by the many versions of this recipe that appear in period cookbooks, it is certain that most (if not all) medieval cooks were at least familiar with this dish. By the strictest definition, Blawmanger (also known as blankmanger) is any bland, white pottage based on almond milk, and (except for a few fish-day versions) contains ground poultry, thickened with rice flour; the standard English flesh-day version was ground capon (or chicken) with rice and almond milk. In some recipes the poultry is in chunks, rather than ground up. Today’s modern blancmange is a type of rice-pudding dessert, much beloved by the English, and only bears a slight resemblance to its medieval forerunner.
Now while the above recipe sounds SUPER tasty. I did say that Chris and Heather perfected it. And here is how..
“What I did different: Did not sugar to garnish to keep it a savory dish. Used shredded white and dark meat chicken Added a portion of homemade chicken stock and split the almond milk so it was 2/3’s almond milk (unsweetened) to 1/3 chicken stock.” – Chris Last
It is a tried and true Trayn’d Bandes recipe, and it’s historically accurate to boot!
So go forth, test it out, enjoy the food and let us know of any modifications you made to it! We would love to hear what you created!
And stay tuned, we may just have another recipe coming your way soon.
– Cheers –