Had a crazy plumbing issue at the house tonight! I’ll double up on the Saturnalia postings tomorrow.
Plumbing in Roman houses was so much simpler….
I used 2 15-ounce (425g) cans of apricots light syrup, drained and rinsed off, because I couldn’t find fresh apricots, because, to be honest, I didn’t look very hard. But to find the canned apricots, I had to excavate through to the back of a bottom shelf behind a cart and many cans of peaches, so I feel like I worked hard to harvest these.
1 tsp white pepper
3 tsp cumin
4 tsp mint
2 tsp aniseed
Combine and crush the seasonings in mortar and pestle
honey wine (should have been honey and wine, but I was out of honey)—an indeterminate amount, as I spilled it while measuring out 1/3 cup
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
olive oil: 1 dollop
garum: less than a dollop—add more to taste, if that’s your sort of taste
3 medium-size shallots, diced
I added 1/4 pound cubed ham. I’m not sure how I feel about it.
Thicken with a small amount of spelt flour. Stew until the apricots are tender, and/or until all the flavours have had a chance to blend. Serve hot. Serves 2 to 3 people.
I think the ham made the stew too salty, without contributing much to the taste. Maybe this stew is better as a side to a meat dish!
On the menu: an early evening Roman-style nosh of apricot stew with a salad with raisin-and-date dressing. Easy on the stomach and recommended for what ails you. I’ll pick up some festive Greek pastries for that Saturnalia sparkle, but later in the week I’ll make ancient-style desserts from scratch.
When I tweeted the recipes, I condensed them to:
Oxyporium: cleansing digestive aid. Take a spoonful of the following concoction after a meal or mix w/vinegar & garum for salad dressing…
2TB cumin; 1TB each of ginger, rosemary, white pepper; finely minced date; pound in mortar; mix w/5oz honey, then w/5tsp white wine vinegar.
Minutal ex praecoquis (Apricot stew): original calls for cubed ham. I make it as vegetarian side dish. It’s sweet & goes well w/savoury meat
Apricot Stew: oil, garum, shallot, pepper, cumin, mint, aniseed, honey, wine, vinegar, apricots; stew til tender. Thicken w/flour. Serve hot
My Greek white-wine vinegar has acquired a strange waxy sediment, so I’ll switch that bottle over to the “household cleaning supplies” cabinet and trundle off to the market for more vinegar, apricots, and—because the original recipe does call for it—some manner of meat to cube.
If you’re on Goodreads and a member of the M/M Romance group, you can sign up to read and review the complete edition of The Knife of Narcissus (if it says “parts 1 & 2,” don’t worry, that’s just a temporary typo). Up to fifteen readers can get a copy. If you aren’t a member of M/M Romance, come over and join us—there are lots of interesting discussions and giveaways.
And I’ll be starting Saturnalia fun and recipes here on the blog on Tuesday!
It’s the release day for the Knife of Narcissus omnibus!
Come for a visit every day next week for some free stories, more chapters from upcoming books, more ancient recipes, and general Saturnalia hijinks. There may very well be gladiators—it could happen! I won’t rule out gladiators.
After such a long time living every moment with the serial, I have all sorts of feels about putting it out there now as an all-in-one version. A fellow author asked me a few questions about the process (and I’ll be talking about her books next week too—great ones for Romanophiles, and contemporary stories also). Now that I’ve had time to reflect soberly, drunkenly, and under the influence of very sweet and highly caffeinated beverages, I have a few thoughts to share about it all here, too.
But mostly, December is a great excuse to experiment with a lot more Roman recipes and to share the results!
It’s been a while since I’ve updated–November was a crazy month! Now December has rolled in and we’re at the one week—well, 6-day—countdown to the release of the all-in-one version of The Knife of Narcissus. I hope the collected edition will entice a few new readers to try the story!