Caer Galen Midwinter Feast:
An Evening in Arabian Lands

December 9, 2000

On Table for Court:

White Sals (Walnut Dip)

(A Collection of Medieval and Renaissance Cookbooks, Vol. 2, pg. Misc-3. It is one of the three recipes translated from Kitab al-Tabikh (The Book of Dishes): Oriental 5000 (British Library) pp.70b, 71a, 74b.)
    Redaction by Maredudd

    White sals. Walnut meats, garlic, pepper, cinnamon, white mustard, Tahini and lemon juice.

    1 c. walnuts
    2 (or 1 very large) cloves garlic
    1/8 tsp. black pepper -- ground
    ½ tsp. cinnamon -- ground
    1/8 tsp. ground mustard
    3 Tbsp. tahini
    2-3 Tbsp. lemon juice

    In a food processor combine walnuts and garlic until they form a smooth paste. Add spices and the tahini. Process until the mixture is uniform. Add lemon juice until mixture forms a thick paste.

    Maredudd's Notes: This got really thick upon resting in the fridge for a couple of days.
    (See Picture)

Carrot Paste

(An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the 13th Century)
    Redaction by Maredudd

    Take a ratl of carrots, of which you have cleaned the interior. Cook it in a ratl of water, some two boilings, then take it off the fire and let it dry a little, over a sieve. Add it to three ratls of honey, cleaned of its foam, and cook all this until it takes the form of a paste. Then season it with ginger, galingale, cubeb and flowers [of clove?] , half an û qiya in all for each ratl. Eat it like a nut at meals. Its benefits: it fortifies coitus and increases desire beautifully; it is admirable.

    1 lb. Carrots
    ½ lb. (about 3/4 c.) honey
    1/8 tsp. ground cloves
    ¼ tsp. ground ginger
    1/8 tsp. ground cubebs

    Boil the carrots until done. Drain and cool them, and then puree them with the honey in a food processor. Transfer the puree to a non-stick skillet and cook again to remove some of the moisture and thicken the honey. Add the spices. Serve with pita bread. I did not use galingale, because it was not available.

    Maredudd's Notes: The original calls for three parts honey to one part carrots, but these proportions seemed to be too much honey. You lose the character of the carrots, so I changed the proportions to two parts carrots to one of honey. It is likely that modern carrots are sweeter than period ones; perhaps this accounts for the large amount of honey in the original.

    I believe that "flowers" refers to flowers of cinnamon, not clove as is indicated in the translation. Flowers of cinnamon were not available, so I went ahead and used ground cloves. The flavor is similar to pumpkin pie.
    (See Picture)

    By the way, I heard that the gentlemen really dived into the carrot paste after reading the last line in the original recipe.

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