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almond milk And Its Many Powers


This is an excerpt from The Prince of Transylvania's Court Cookbook
(Hungary, 16th c.)
The original source can be found at MedievalCookery.com

Almond milk and its many powers. Add sweet almonds to one itze (old Hungarian measurement unit, which equals to 0,848 liter), there should be a quarter pound or half pound of almonds. Put it in hot water and after you've peeled it, put it in cold well water, let it stand for a while, wash it and crush it with a stone mortar. Don't use iron mortar, for the almonds will be bitter and black, use stone only. Add rose or regular water to it, but don't add too much; for if the almonds are very wet, they can't be crushed well, for it will be no good otherwise. If you want to cook it, pour some clean, cold well water or fresh milk, crush the almonds with it, take out the almonds into a cloth, then squeeze the cloth. If you're making this for a sick person, boil the water beforehand, then put a piece of bread roll into a cloth, soak it in water, you may use bread, add some barley with grapes if you'd like, cook them together. Once the water is boiling, add a fifth of a lot (European/Hungarian medieval measurement unit, which equals to 17.5 grams), you can add more or less depending on how strong do you want it to be, slice some cinnamon and put it in the water; once boiling, take it out, let it cool. If you'd like to heal a person's stomach suffering in dysentery, use lots of cinnamon, red rose water, quince, especially the crushed, dried quince is useful. Sometimes the water must be cooled with steel or gold, if suffering from chest pains, add aniseed, Italian dill, currants, fig, sweet roots and the likes. Mix the drink with violet electuary or syrup, rose or sugar. For a weak stomach, the broths of quince are great mixed with currants. For laxative effects, don't pour anything on the almonds while crushing them, for the oilier the milk, the better. In case of high fever, which is common with chills, the plague and in dehydration, it's good to crush the almonds with some melon, pumpkin, cucumber and salad seeds with white acorns, for this makes one relaxed and sleepy, sometimes it's good to add grated pearls and some gold, for this is effective against flatulence, especially in children. In case of pneumonia or dehydration, goat milk is an excellent drink and food at the same time. Once the almond milk is ready, pour it into a clean jug, store it in a cool place, keep pouring it into clean glasses, else it will become like curd. Don't pour back the remaining milk, for that will go bitter. If you keep these in mind, you shall know how to treat illnesses. After a woman gives birth and is weak, thirsty and can't eat or feed the children, or in case of irregular periods, almonds milk is a good cure. For children, these made with water and with a bit of added sugar is very good for fever. However, almond milk and thick soups made from almond milk are not always good for treating illnesses, it is good for constipation and for general weakness. I've made almond milk for myself a few times, this strengthens, cleans the heart and the head, and is good for tumors inside the body. The sick is sometimes disgusted by this, so you have to be resourceful and hide it in other food.

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