A Lofty Entrement
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This entry is a re-creation of a recipe from Du fait de cuisine (France, 1420 - Elizabeth Cook, trans.), entitled "A Lofty Entrement". [insert a brief description of dish here, possibly including any or all of the following: characteristics of the final dish, when or how it might have been served, and why you selected it]

The Source Recipe
The original text of the recipe is as follows:

10. For a lofty entremet, that is a castle, there should be made for its base a fair large litter to be carried by four men, and in the said litter must be four towers to be put in each quarter of the said litter, and each tower should be fortified and machicolated; and each tower has crossbowmen and archers to defend the said fortress, and also in each tower is a candle or wax torch to illuminate; and they bear branches of all trees bearing all manner of flowers and fruit, and on the said branches all manner of birds. And in the lower court will be at the foot of each tower: in one of the towers, a boar's head armed and endored spitting fire; elsewhere a great pike, and this pike is cooked in three ways: the part of the pike toward the tail is fried, the middle part is boiled, and the head part is roasted on the grill; and the said pike is sitting at the foot of the other tower looking out from the beast spitting fire. One should take note of the sauces of the said pike with which it should be eaten, that is: the fried with oranges, the boiled with a good green sauce which should be made sour with a little vinegar, and the roast of the said pike should be eaten with green verjuice made of sorrel. At the foot of the other tower an endored piglet looking out and spitting fire; and at the foot of the other tower a swan which has been skinned and reclothed, also spitting fire. And in the middle of the four towers in the lower court a fountain of Love, from which fountain there should flow by a spout rosewater and clear wine; and above the said fountain are cages with doves and all flying birds. And on the heights of the said castle are standards, banners, and pennons; and beside the said fountain is a peacock which has been skinned and reclothed. And for this, I Chiquart have said before, I would like to teach to the said master who is to make it the art of the said peacock, and this to do courtesy and honor to his lord and master, that is to take a large fat goose, and spit it well and put it to roast well and cleanly and gaily [quickly?], and to recloth it in the plumage of the peacock and put it in the place where the peacock should be set, next to the fountain of love, with the wings extended; and make the tail spread, and to hold the neck raised high, as if it were alive, put a stick of wood inside the said neck which will make it hold straight. And for this the said cook must not flay the said peacock, but take the pinions to put on the goose and take the skin of the rump of the peacock where the feathers are held all together; and when it goes onto the goose, to make good skewers to make the said goose spread its tail as properly as the peacock if it were alive.

And on the battlements of the lower court should be chickens skinned and reclothed and endored, and endored hedgehogs, and endored apples made of meat, Spanish pots made of meat all endored; molded figures, that is: hares, brachets, deer, boars, the hunters with their horns, partridge, crayfish, dolphin, peas all molded and beans made all of molded meat. The curtains of the said castle which go all around the castle, should be so large hanging to the ground that one cannot see the bearers of the said castle. And the said curtains from the ground to two feet up should be painted with waves of water and large sea flowers; and among the said waves should be painted all sorts of fish, and above the said waters and waves should be galleys and ships full of people armed in all ways so that it seems they come to attack the said fortress and castle of Love, which appears to be on a great rock in the sea, of which people some are archers, crossbowmen, others are furnished with lances, others with ladders to lean against the said fortress, these climbing and those descending and pushing the others off, these divided and other things, these hard pressed and those in retreat, these being killed by arrows and those by stones.

And within the curtains should be three or four young children playing very well, one a rebec, another a lute, psaltery, or harp, and others who have good voices to sing appropriate, sweet, and pleasant songs so that one is aware that these are sirens in the sea by their clear singing.

And the peacock which is mentioned above, which by the advice of me, Chyquart, is the result of artifice, take it and clean it very well and then dry it well and properly, and spit it and put it to roast; and when it is nearly roasted stud it with good whole cloves well and properly; and if the surface is spoiled put it to roast again. And then let your lord know about your trick with the peacock and he can then arrange for what he wants done.

Related Recipes
While interpreting this recipe, I also considered the following recipes that appear to be related:
[edit as appropriate - note that this section should be left out if no related recipes can be found]

[The Swan Knight.] If you wish to make the Swan Knight in his right, have 12 pieces of light wood, with the 4 uprights stronger than the others. Assemble everything and nail it very strongly. Have some lead sheets 3 feet in length and as much in width (you will need at least 2 or 3 sheets of lead). Make it in the shape of a little chest about a foot deep that can hold two or 3 buckets of water. Make a little skiff of glued parchment in which will be put the image of the Swan Knight.

You need the likeness of a little swan made of glued parchment covered with fine vair or white down. You need a little chain resembling gold hung from the swan's neck and attached to the skiff within the lead box. For the box attach 4 wheels to 4 [inverted] chevrons attached here and there. You need some linen dyed like waves of water. Nail it to the top of the box so that one does not see the men who will be underneath. [Le Viandier de Taillevent]

53 To make a fence out of butter. Take butter or May butter and sugar, knead it in, so that it becomes sweet, and then take an icing bag and fence it around. The fence posts that go with it, make from cinnamon sticks. Also there belongs inside the fence, roasted fish or whatever you have that is good. [Das Kuchbuch der Sabina Welserin]

A tower. If you wish to make a tower covered with linen dyed as if it were masonry, have 4 windows at the 4 corners of the tower. Have a likeness of Saracens and Moors seeming to fire at a wild man who would assail them. To make the wild man have a handsome man, tall and upright, clothed in a linen robe, hose and shoes all joined together, with the robe covered with [strands of] painted hemp. In the tower you need the figure of a young valet disguised as a wild boy. He should have some leather balls full of wadding or carded wool, dyed to resemble stones, for throwing at the wild man. [Le Viandier de Taillevent]

5. Again, for an entremet, heads of boars endored and armed and with banners and spitting fire, and for this it is necessary to give to understand to him and to those who have the charge of working on this matter; I would like to give him this understanding: when they have their boars' heads dressed, singed, and well washed and cleaned, let them open the mouths and put in each a stick to hold it open, and then put them in large fair and clean cauldrons to cook in water and wine and enough salt; and take the two front feet of the said boar and clean them well and properly and put them to cook with the said heads, and do not let them overcook. 6. And to begin the colorings a great many eggs are needed according to the quantity of heads which he has; and to give understanding to him who will make these things, there sholuld be a great quantity of best wheat flour, and a great deal of parsley which is well cleaned and prepared for braying; and the said eggs should be separated, and put the whites in one place, and the yolks in another, and let them be raw; and to make a green coloring take a great quantity of parsley, and let it be well cleaned, washed, and drained, and let it be well and strongly brayed and then mixed with the said egg whites and wheat flour together; and then when all of this is well mixed together, it should be cleanly and carefully strained into a large and fair bowl; and for the gold coloring mix the said wheat flour and the said egg yolks, and also eggs to thin the stuff; and powdered saffron in with, and this should be in measure so that it does not make it too reddish; and mix this well together and strain also as was said above of the other color into a fair and clean bowl. And then when the said boars' heads are cooked, and not so much that the meat comes off the bones, and the feet also, draw them from the said cauldrons and put them on fair boards to dry out; and, this done, take your heads and spit them carefully, and then take the two front feet of the boar and arm and endore each head in putting and attaching them well and adroitly to each side of the head at the base near the ears; and let be put and attached by good skewers and, this done, put them to roast until they are a little firm. And then take your green and yellow colorings, and put the green coloring on one part of each head and on the other part put the yellow coloring, and, this done, put them to dry well and carefully on each side so that they are thoroughly and properly dried; and take care that they are not given too much fire so that the colorings do not turn black. And then afterward remove and take them off the spit, and let them be put on good, white, and clean boards to dry out, and then afterward make sure that one has the painters to endore the heads with gold leaf.

And to give understanding to the master cook who has the charge concerning the said heads to make them give and cast out fire from the throat, take a double wicked candle and wrap it all around with cotton which should be soaked in fine ardent spirits and purified with a little camphor.

And so that things be done as honorably as can be done according to the honor of the lord and of the master workers, the master cook should ask for the heralds and ask them who is their lord who is at the said feast and what arms each one of them has, so that the said arms can be put on banners, to put on each head the banner of the lord before whom it will be set.

For the second course, all manner of roasts to serve honorably to the royal table as for kings, queens, dukes, duchesses, and such powerful, noble, and venerable lords as was said before.

And to serve more honorably there should be served large roasts put by themselves, that is: a whole kid, a whole piglet, a large loin of veal, a large loin of pork, and shoulders of mutton put on a great platter of gold.

And afterward, poultry put on a great platter of gold, that is: fat goslings, best capons, pheasants, partridges, conies, pigeons, and herons; and these are put one on another in such great abundance that the platter is well filled and heaped high. And one should pay attention to the sauce for the said roast: that is, for the goslings and the capon, jance; for the pheasants, partridges, piglets, and conies, cameline; and for the roast kid, green verjuice; for fat pork, sauce piquant; and for pigeons, crystallized salt.

Also, frumenty, venison, tarts, talmoses, cream flans, a cameline bruet, civet of hares, rosy bruet, a blancmange divided into four colors put in one serving dish; and for an entremet, a high castle wherein is in the middle the fountain of Love. [Du fait de cuisine]

Lighter subtleties. Make terraces of brown bread, with a damsel sitting on the terrace, and with the terrace covered with green tin leaf strewn with herbs in a likeness of green grass. You need a lion who has his 2 forefeet and head in the damsel's lap. For him you can make a brass mouth and a thin brass tongue, with paper teeth glued to the mouth. Add some camphor and a little cotton, and when you would like to present it before the lords, touch the fire to it.

If you wish to make the likeness of a wolf, bear, striped donkey [zebra], serpent or some other beast, tame or wild, make counterparts to the lion, each one in its own manner. [Le Viandier de Taillevent]

To make the image of saint George and his virgin. Make a large terrace of pastry or light wood (like that from which one makes pavises). Make the likeness of a saddled and bridled horse, with the image of saint George on the horse, a dragon under the feet of the horse, and the virgin holding the dragon tied by her girdle around its neck. [Le Viandier de Taillevent]

To make the image of saint Marthe. Make the image of saint Marthe, the dragon at full length beside her, with a gold chain tied to the dragon's neck by which this saint will hold it, since she conquered it. You can make this image using two persons if you wish, or with a work of painting of such height and size as you wish. [Le Viandier de Taillevent]

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The original recipe calls for the following ingredients: [edit this list as appropriate]


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Searchable index of "Du fait de cuisine". Medieval Cookery.
  <http://www.medievalcookery.com/search/display.html?dufai:9>. Accessed on June 2, 2020, 5:37 pm.

Searchable index of "Le Viandier de Taillevent". Medieval Cookery.
  <http://www.medievalcookery.com/search/display.html?viand:200>. Accessed on June 2, 2020, 5:37 pm.

Searchable index of "Das Kuchbuch der Sabina Welserin". Medieval Cookery.
  <http://www.medievalcookery.com/search/display.html?kuchb:53>. Accessed on June 2, 2020, 5:37 pm.

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