27 Sep G…uest #22: Honey Glazed Carrots
Shey returned for another Guest Post. Please meet Shehanne @ shehanne moore Smexy Historical Romance
May I say how wonderful it is to be back here again on Esmé’s wonderful blog, just when you all probably thought it was safe to come back to it.
As you can see the little hamstah dudes who run my blog, are here anyway. As I said the last time Esmé asked me, I’m also a writer of historical romance. So I often research the foods of whatever era I’m working in and will occasionally let my characters share a favorite recipe—for them anyway, I don’t know the rest of us would like it.
Last post I handed you over to Gentle, a secondary character from one of my books, a time travel story called, The Viking and The Courtesan who very kindly—sort of anyway—shared a recipe for Cream Bastarde, no less and guided us through the culinary ‘delights’ beloved of the Vikings.
But the mead-loving, none too Gentle is actually a Saxon lady whose husband dumped her in a convent in order to get his mitts on her money, before she ever threw herself at the Viking raiders for reasons I cannot imagine.
Convents were self supporting and in addition to praying, nuns were expected to work in the fields or gardens. Gentle spied the kitchen mead and made a bee-line, becoming the convent cook. Whatever is said online, no actual written recipes survive from the Dark Age but who needs written when Gentle has one of her own, based on foodstuffs that were plentiful then…
‘Thank you Shehanne and thank you Esme for inviting me once again. All right, so I wasn’t asked as such, Shehanne just wanted to tear me away from my mead, though why when she said I couldn’t give you my soup recipe, seeing as it involved dropping a heated stone in the pot to start the water warming, I don’t know. I’d sooner have just sat snug. You’ve never heard of dropping heated stones in pots to warm the water? We Saxons do it all the time. Our foods were all made for their strengthening qualities. You can see why given the size of that there stone.
Now, deer, wild birds, wild boar were all hunted and eaten by Saxons, though us being genteel ladies’n that, whot we got was a load of old parsnips and pears, all grown in our very own orchard and fields. Leeks too and blackberries. Now these here carrots… Whot?
You don’t think they are cos they’re white? Well that’s just the colour they was in Saxon times. Them carrots is whot we are going to use today in my recipe whot I cooked for the convent ladies.
Trouble is with vegetables, everyone just sees them as that. But vegetables cooked with the herbs and spices us Saxons grew in our herb gardens, can be the food of kings. We don’t have sugar obviously so we use honey instead, made from our very own bees.
One carrot serves two ( folks not carrots that is ) so work out your amounts from there, for a side portion that is. You don’t have to be fussy about the amounts for the rest. That’s a matter of taste.
(Wasn’t around in my day but you could try adding a quarter of a vegetable stock cube, crushed.)
Dice the carrots and boil in a pan till they start to soften, then remove the pan from the heat and drain.
Put a good dad of butter in a saucepan and heat gently. That’s as in heat gently and not how I would burn…sorry… heat things. When it’s nicely bubbling, add the carrots, sprinkle with the ginger and gently fry them. If the pan starts to dry add a little water at this point. In fact it’s best to have a little water to hand just in case. You soon learnt the value of having quite a bucket of water to hand if ever you dealt with somebody like Shehanne’s hero’s fiancée, I tells you. So I always did. If it wasn’t herself she tried to set on fire, trying to turn a Viking funeral into a wedding, it was everyone else. ‘Course we never used water for drinking in Saxon times but funny that if you boiled it up in soup, or with vegetables, you was never sick. As the carrots start to soften properly, add a tablespoon of honey and stir carefully till it melts over the carrots, then add some more water and your crushed stock cube and let the carrots simmer for a few minutes.
Simple as pie. You can even have a nice glass of spiced, mulled mead as you’re waiting. I’m going to.