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Renstore.comfaces and product images                       10/23//2014 

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NEWSLETTER
October Edition


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Halloween is almost here!

And Christmas is close behind. I you would like your order to arrive before Halloween, please call and check stock levels with us and get advice on the best shipping method for your location. 1-520-721-8346. 

 

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Dragon Art 16-month Calendar
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How to plan a Medieval feast, revel, party, 
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Brocade hat of the type worn in
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Wool Cloak with Hood

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Laura

The fall leaves are a blaze of color and all around there is a flurry of activity to get ready for winter. Go to Renstore.com to see all our selections. The weather is nice now but soon we will only be able to hold indoor events, and Dickens Fairs. This is a great time to buy a cloak in wool or twill.  We have a load of new items and special clothing purchases all at great prices. See them all in the New section of our website and in the On Sale Now section.

Newest Article

The article in this issue is about three recipes for desserts from a famous 16th century cookbook by Bartolomeo Scappi. I think that you will find them easy to make and a great addition to your next celebration. The cheese pie is similar to cheesecake but less sweet and is very good served with ripe pears. 


Three Recipes from The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi (1570)

By Gael Stirler

(October 2014)

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Feast-day Cheese Tour

Bartolomeo Scappi (1500 to 1577 A.D.) was a famous Renaissance chef. He served as master cook in the kitchens of two popes and several powerful cardinals. Toward the end of his illustrious career Scappi wrote a major cookbook on meat, fish, poultry, pastries, vegetables, food for the sick, food presentation, how to choose the best foodstuffs, and how to manage the workers in a large kitchen of a royal or papal household. It was called The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi. The word opera means "great work" in Italian and can apply to any art, not just music. This six-volume cookbook was an international best seller in its day. It's first printing in 1570 was so successful that it was reprinted 4 years later by the same publisher, and was reprinted by other printers a total of 6 more times between 1590 and 1649.

On feast days the Catholic religion allowed everyone to indulge in eating foods rich in butter, eggs, cheese, meat, and fat. The Feast-day Cheese Tourte below is made from four different kinds of cheese in a rich buttery crust. But on lean days when meat, eggs, and dairy were prohibited by the Church, the cooks had to make substitutions like nut milk for cow milk, oil for butter, etc. However, Scappi still managed to create wonderful treats, tasty enough for a pope. Scappi's Apple Tourte recipe makes wonderful bar cookies topped with nuts and apples. The Marzipanned Tourte below can be made with leftover ingredients from the other recipes and adapted for either Feast or Lean days.

Feast-day Cheese Tourte Scappi V 81

Scappi calls this a "white dish" but it isn't white at all. It looks and smells like a pumpkin pie but the flavor is cheesier like a quiche or a cheesecake. Scappi's version calls for a heavy amount of spices, 1/2 ounce cinnamon and 1/4 ounce ginger to be specific, which I reduced for modern taste. Scappi also suggests decorating the tourte with sheets of real gold or silver leaf! This pie is very rich, so cut thin slices.

Pie crust

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, chilled
  • ½ to ¾ cup cold water

Mix the flour and salt in large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender, mixing until it takes on a pebbly appearance. Lightly mix in the water until the dough forms a ball but is not sticky. Chill for 20 minutes. Roll out the dough and line three 8" pie pans or two deep-dish pans, or one spring form pan. For hors d'oeuvre size, fill tiny muffin pans with small balls of dough and press into the shape of a pie shell with an inverted beer bottle, wooden dowel, or a tart-shaping tool.

Filling

  • 1 pound (pint) ricotta cheese or cottage cheese drained
  • 1 pound fresh mozerella (or more ricotta and cream cheese)
  • 8 ounces (1 package) cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese
  • 3 ounces of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 egg whites or 4 whole eggs
  • 3 ounces raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar mixed with a tablespoon of water

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Pulse the cottage cheese in a food processor until smooth or ....Continued on Renstore





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