Creator of Circumstance

Posts Tagged ‘recipes

  • I have a bushel of apples that I need to figure out what to do with. We went apple picking at Nashoba Valley Winery yesterday. If anyone has any great, easy apple recipes, send them my way.
  • Sad because I thought I would be able to write all day but there is a party I forgot about that will take up the whole of my afternoon. I was so geared up too. :(
  • I have plans to further outline my novel. I already have the chronological outline and the historical outline but I need a bit more detail when it comes to chapters and scenes. I want more license to skip around on my writing if I get stuck and having that detailed outline will help. How apropos that Lynn Viehl posted her tips this week on Novel Outlining 101.
  • I’m reading Seutonius’ Lives of the Caesars. Fascinating accounts of well, twelve of the caesars.
  • Frustrated that I’m all done watching season two of Rome, one of the best TV dramas ever, and they never made a third season.
  • The Guardian has an excellent article on why do we end up hating books we read in school? I read “The Old Man and the Sea” so many times in high school and college that I ended up with an intense adversity to reading anything else by Hemingway, an attitude that is still irrationally pervasive even now, nearly 15 years after I graduated from college.
  • Via Kimbuktoo, the Guardian also gives us a peek into other writer’s rooms.
  • NANOWRIMO signup starts on October 1. They just revealed that one of this year’s pep talkers will be none other than one of my faves, Neil Gaiman. Woohoo!
  • My first attempt at Ham in Pastry, a recipe found in Apicius’ De Re Coquinaria, failed miserably. I had the proportions in the crust all wrong and it turned out to be the worst meal I have ever made in my life. I had way too much oil so the crust never hardened up. Nasty stuff. Not sure I’ll retry the ancient recipe again but I would like to try and better modernize, either by creating a more modern pastry with butter instead of olive oil or by using phyllo dough. We’ll see.

Ian asked about honey cakes (and as I write this, I realize that I’m terribly hungry as well). Here are some ancient Roman honey cake recipes if anyone wants to give them a go–and please report back if you do!

Sally Grainger is one of the most well-known food historians, especially when it comes to the recipe book that bears Apicius name. She is also the co-author of The Classical Cookbook, and in that book she has a recipe for Libum, which is a classic ancient sacrificial cake, first mentioned in Cato’s On Agriculture (see my blog two posts ago for Cato’s unusual uses of cabbage).

Libum – Serves 2
  • 10 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • oz plain flour
  • 1/2 c. runny honey

Beat the cheese with the egg and add the sieved flour very slowly and gently. Flour your hands and pat mixture into a ball and place it on a bay leaf on a baking tray. Place in moderate oven (400ºF) until set and slightly risen. Place cake on serving plate and score the top with a cross. our plenty of runny honey over the cross and serve immediately.

More recipes after the break… Read the rest of this entry »


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