Right dudes, Enough. Today, we are indeed going to sound it for a secondary character and welcome Gentle, from The Viking and The Courtesan. Gentle is a Saxon lady whose husband dumped her in a convent in order to get his mitts on her money and she is a sort of cook. She and the heroine Malice, initially loathe one another on sight and cross swords on several occasions but do forge a friendship. So, without further ado, let’s welcome her and hear a bit about…..
Ccooking up a feast in Viking Norway.
Hello Shehanne, it’s so nice of you really to ask me here. I’m a very plain cook.
In fact, so plain, I don’t mind what I throw in the pot.
See, from what I see round here, the Vikings ain’t fussy either. Lady Poshluggs- that’s Malice by the way, just don’t tell her I still call her that–turned up her nose at reindeer stew, when it was a delicacy it took me all day to burn..sorry prepare.
The amount of cabbage and turnip I gets asked to boil is no-one’s business. And nuts, if I eats another nut, I will go just that. Though at least they do like their ale and mead. And so do I.
Now, where was I? Oh yes. Having another tankard. I gets to do a lot of filling of them in the book. And not just other peoples’ neither when the occasional back is turned, although that Snotra has got eyes in the back of her head as well as the front I can tell you. She’s got a tongue like a whip too which is why I can’t linger.
Now, you didn’t seem to like my Reindeer Stew recipe. Or my eels. So here’s my Viking soup recipe.
½ kg of trout, salmon, cod or another fish.
- 10-12 cups of water
- One cup of milk
- 3-5 cups of herb such as the top shoots of stinging nettles, young dandelion leaves, ashweed, wild chervil, cress, wild marjorum, dill, plantain, angelica, wild onions, caraway greenery, parsley, thyme, … or whatever the season has to offer.
Clean the fish, wash and cut into small pieces.
The slices of fish must be cooked until they are tender. This takes 20-30 minutes.
Put the cooked fish slices on a dish and bone them.
Put the fish back in the soup. Add the milk and chopped herbs.
The soup should now cook for about 20-30 minutes adding salt as desired. Then it is ready to be served. Fish soup can be served with flatbread.
A little dab of butter in the soup tastes good!
Although, with a little MEAT in it now…..
And now, my Creme Bastarde recipe.
4 hamster ….sorry, forgive me my transgressions, that should have read, egg whites, beaten as much as Snotra likes to beat everyone in sight.
2 cups cream
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp sugar
Beat the egg whites until just frothy. Mix into cream and bring to a boil slowly, stirring continuously. Simmer for about five more minutes, stirring continuously. Add the honey, the salt. Keep stirring. Then pour through a strainer. Add the rest of the milk and the sugar and then beat it for a couple of minutes. Allow to cool. You know something you would be better buying a tin of custard, a tin opener. I’m sure Creme Custarde is what it should have said and it gives you more time with the mead you see…..
“Gentle.” His voice rumbled so close to Malice’s spine, it stiffened. “I thought I told you to go indoors?”
“But you also told me she’s got a handmaiden, Drottin. She won’t want me. Isn’t there something else I can do? Plough the fields? Build walls? Or cook…”
The huffed breath didn’t just say no. It said if she didn’t shut up she wouldn’t be anything. How was that? The man was made of ice. And it was hardening?
“And take Mother Bede with you, till I decide what to do with her.”
“Sir, I can plough.” Malice couldn’t. Only think what it would do to her hands. Only think what it would do to her back. Only think of that moment when he held her on the Raven more. What if she liked it? Being his bed slave? What if she didn’t want to go home? What if Snotra set about her with the meat mallet?