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barley Porridge For Sick People


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

Barley porridge for sick people. Crush some barley grist, make some almond milk from water, goat or cow milk. And keep in mind that liquid milk is not good for curing illnesses, however, curd goat or sheep milk is good for lung pain and dehydration. Once the milk is ready, put it on the fire, keep some cold milk so that you can put the flour into it, and if the milk is strong, pour some boiled water, and since the almond milk is ready, put some barley flour into it so it will become like a porridge for children. If you've made the almond milk with water, warm some butter and wash it from the rose water, pour the milk into it, once it starts to boil, pour the barley flour onto it, stir it while it's boiling, cook it for as long as you'd cook lots of eggs, for every thick soup with almond milk or water doesn't require a lot of cooking, elsewise it will shrink. Once cooked, add sugar and rose water, these are optional, but if you made it with water, it will be tasteless without sugar. Sometimes the doctors tell us not to use sugar, but this should be good rose sugar, the one you can buy at a pharmacy, put some of it into the dish, or wash and boil some small currants until they're tender, crush it onto the almond milk or the rose water. This is useful for every kind of fever, chills, plague, chest pains, diarrhea or constipation, good for dysentery for children, but don't add too much salt.

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