Arts & Sciences Research Paper #15: On the Preservation of Lemons

https://eastkingdomgazette.org/2016/12/01/arts-sciences-research-paper-15-on-the-preservation-of-lemons/

http://eastkingdomgazette.org/?p=11499

Our fifteenth A&S Research Paper comes to us from Edmund Beneyt of the Barony of Endewearde, who demonstrates that the delicious preserved lemons of the Middle East have a very long history indeed! (Prospective future contributors, please check out our original Call for Papers.)

On the Preservation of Lemons

Lemons, preserving. Photo by Aildreda de Tamwurthe.

Lemons, preserving. Photo by Aildreda de Tamwurthe.

The preservation of food has been an ongoing struggle against Nature since man first started storing food for later use. There is evidence of the most basic form of preservation being used 14,000 years ago in the Middle East[1], and many different strategies have been discovered.

Pickling, the process of preserving food by either anaerobic fermentation in brine or immersion in a liquid of pH 4.6 or lower, is in use by most cultures across the globe. The range of pickled foods is astounding, from meats and fish to grains. The only limit on what can be pickled seems to be what is available to pickle.

Contents

A Little History
Preparing the Lemons
Bibliography

A Little History
Preserved lemons are an ingredient in North African stews and tagines, especially prevalent in Moroccan and Libyan cooking where they are known as “leems”[2]. Preserved lemon can be used as a flavour intensifier in stews, pot roasts and slow cooked dishes. Within North African cooking, chicken and lamb benefit from having preserved lemon added. Grated or fine chopped it can be added to salads or dressings, julienned it can be served as a snack or as part of an appetizer platter.

Some of the earliest references to the use of preserved lemons point towards a medicinal value. The Indian Ayurvedic cuisine uses the consumption of lemon pickle to remedy stomach disorders[3]; in East African folk medicine lemon pickle is given for excessive growth of the spleen[4].

One of the very earliest proponents of preserved lemons, Abū al-Makārim Hibat Allāh ibn Zayn al-Dīn Ibn Jumay‘ [ Ibn Jumai/Jumay] (b ???? d 1198), was a Egyptian-born Jew who went on to serve as physician to An-Nasir Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub (Saladin the Sultan)[5].

Ibn Jumay is infamous for bringing the dead back to life. While watching a passing funerary procession he saw that the feet of the corpse were upright rather than flat, a sign that life had not left the body. He stepped in and treated the man, reviving him and preventing his being buried alive. The man had suffered a cataleptic fit, a condition that causes muscle seizures and non responsiveness, which could be mistaken for death[6].

He also wrote a minor treatise; On Lemon, it’s Drinking and Use. A medical cookbook, it is the earliest written source that I could find that details the preservation of lemons. Sadly none of the original documents survived past the 12th Century, but thanks to the work of other scholars (Ibn al-Baitar, Compendium) and the great Islamic translation projects the details are available to us[7]. It has been said that the process Ibn Jumay documented has been universally copied since[8].

Take lemons that are fully ripe and of bright yellow color; cut them open without severing the two halves and introduce plenty of fine salt into the split; place the fruits thus prepared in a glass vessel having a wide opening and pour over them more lemon juice until they are completely submerged; now close the vessel and seal it with wax and let it stand for a fortnight in the sun, after which store it away for at least forty days; but if you wait still longer than this before eating them their taste and fragrance will be still more delicious and their action in stimulating the appetite will be stronger.

– Translated into English by Samuel Tolkowsky, “Hesperides: A History of the Culture and Use of Citrus Fruits” 1938 from the original, “On Lemon, it’s Drinking and Use”; Abū al-Makārim Hibat Allāh ibn Zayn al-Dīn Ibn Jumay‘, 12th century .

If we take this as a true translation, the process as described here is virtually unchanged in modern cooking. The process of opening the soft inner pulp to salt and then covering them in an acidic liquid forces a process known as fermentation. The outer rinds soften as the inner pulp desiccates leaving a vibrant lemon flavour. For use, they are rinsed, the pulp removed and discarded and the rinds used as required.

The climate in Egypt has daytime temperatures are around the 90-100F levels, so my first thought of oven warming would be impossible due to most modern ovens minimum temperature being in the 160-170F range. The only other option that could provide the required temperature range would be a hot water bath, but that would be prohibitive in terms of cost. I reluctantly decided to update my recipe to a more modern room temperature (70F) processing,

This change would also mean adjusting the fermentation time. The original also has a 54 day timeline, 14 days exposure to high temperatures plus 40 days “store away” (by which I would suggest was in a cold store or pantry). After consulting more modern recipes, it appears that between 30 and 45 days at room temperature will suffice to recreate the same quality of product.

The earliest reference to lemons in a European context would be as decorative trees in Southern Italy circa the first century CE. From there the plant was taken to North Africa, appearing in the 10th C. CE in an Arabic treatise on farming, spreading throughout the Arabic sphere of influence. Christopher Columbus transported lemon seeds to the New World in 1493.[9]

While preserved lemons have a wide usage in period North African and Middle East cooking (it is not unreasonable to expect those who went on Crusade to have encountered dishes that contained preserved lemon), lemons were not much used by Northern Europeans for cooking until post Renaissance.[9][10]

Lemons would have been rare and expensive during the medieval period, available to the influential and rich.[11] England imported much of their lemons from the Azores after cultivation began there in 1494. (A more esoteric use was to rub lemon slices on your lips to deepen the colour, something that apparently does work. There is the apocryphal tale of the basket of lemons given to Anne Boleyn by Henry VIII as a courting gift, the last of which she used to deepen her lips colour just before she went to the Headsman’s block.)

There are recipes that use preserved lemons in late Tudor cooking;

To boyle a Capon larded with lemons:

Take a fair capon and truss him, boyl him by himselfe in faire water with a little small Oat-meal, then take mutton broath and half a pint of white-wine, a bundle of herbs, whole mace, season it with Verjuyce, put marrow, dates, season it with sugar, then take preserved lemons and cut them like lard, and with a larding pin, lard in it, then put the capon in a deep dish, thicken your broth with Almonds and poure it on the capon.”

 – Taken from “A New Book of Cookeire…..”; John Murrell, Printed London 1617.

This recipe repeats through later works including the Compleat Cook with almost no deviation in wording.[12]

Preserved lemons are a versatile and simple condiment that can be produced easily.
What follows is the process I used to recreat Ibn Jumay’s recipe.

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Preparing the Lemons
To prepare 1 Quart Mason Jar of Preserved Lemons

6 Medium sized lemons
2 Tablespoon of natural sea salt per lemon
2 Cups of lemon juice

1 Quart Mason preserving jar with sealing lid
Dish to collect juice while working with the lemons
Boil the Mason jar for 10 minutes, fully immersed, to sterilize it. Allow to cool and air dry.

Modern lemons are sprayed with a layer of protective wax-like material for transportation. Gently scrub lemons under warm running water to remove wax from the surface of the lemon. Use only scrubbing pads/foams that have not been used for cleaning or exposed to any soap as the lemon’s skin will absorb detergents very easily. Once the waxy looks has gone, hand dry with paper towel.

Make two opposite cuts into the lemons over the dish, using the tops and bottom stems as guides. Collect any juice.

Remove the top and bottom stems from the lemons.

Taking one lemon at a time, pinch the fruit from top and bottom to open cuts. Shake and press the salt into the cuts. Once all the cuts are well salted, reform the fruit into it original shape and place to one side. Repeat and collect any excess salt and juice.

Fill the Mason jar with the fruit. Leave a ¼ inch gap between the top of the fruit and the start of the jar neck. In the dish that was used for collecting excess juice and salt, mix in one cup of lemon juice. Pour mixture into the jar up to the neck. Use additional lemon juice if necessary to fill jar to ½ inch below the neck.

Seal the Mason jar, shaking gently to distribute the juice evenly and upending the jar to check for a proper seal.

Store at room temperature for 30-45 days.

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Bibliography

Primary source: 

Ibn Jumay (Abū al-Makārim Hibat Allāh ibn Zayn al-Dīn Ibn Jumay‘) d. 1198, “On Lemon, its Drinking and Use” undated (No copy of the original document has survived.)

Secondary source:

Ibn al-Baitar (Ibn al-Bayṭār al-Mālaqī, Ḍiyāʾ Al-Dīn Abū Muḥammad ʿAbdllāh Ibn
Aḥmad) b. 1197 d. 1248, “Compendium on Simple Medicaments and Foods”, 1240.

References

1. Nummer, PhD., Brian A. “Historical Origins of Food Preservation”, National Center for
Home Food Preservation, 2002.

2. Herbst, Sharon. Food Lover’s Companion (3rd ed). Hauppage, NY: Barron’s Educational Series Inc, 2001. p. 492.

3. Johari, Harish. Ayurvedic Healing Cuisine: 200 Vegetarian Recipes for Health, Balance, and Longevity. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions / Bear & Company, 2000. p. 29-30.

4. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Traditional food plants: A resource book for promoting the exploitation and consumption of food plants in arid, semi-arid and sub-humid lands of Eastern Africa. New York: Food & Agriculture Organization, 1988. p. 199.

5. Selin, Helaine, ed. Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures. Springer: Dordrecht, 1997. pp. 421–2

6. Ibn Abi Usaybi‘ah. Uyun al-Anba’ fi Tabaqat al-Atibba, tr A. Müller, 2 vols.
Königsberg, 1884.

7. Sonnerman, Toby. Lemon: A Global History. London: Reaktion Books, 2012. p. 36.

8. Kraemer, Joel L. Maimonides: The Life and World of One of Civilization’s Greatest Minds. New York: Penguin Random House, 2010.

9. Morton, Julia F. Lemon in Fruits of Warm Climates. Miami, FL: Julia F. Morton, 1987. pp. 160–168

10. Lind, James. A treatise on the scurvy. Second edition. London: A. Millar, 1757.

11. Davidson, Alan, and Tom Jaine. The Oxford Companion to Food. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014.

12. Anonymous. The Compleat Cook. N Brook at the Angel, 1658.

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Filed under: A&S Research Papers, Arts and Sciences Tagged: a&s, Arts and Sciences

Eastern Results from the September 2016 LoAR

https://eastkingdomgazette.org/2016/11/25/eastern-results-from-the-september-2016-loar/

http://eastkingdomgazette.org/?p=11513

The Society College of Heralds runs on monthly cycles and letters. Each month, the College processes name and armory submissions from all of the Kingdoms. Final decisions on submissions are made at the monthly meetings of the Pelican Queen of Arms (names) and the Wreath Queen of Arms (armory). Pelican and Wreath then write up their decisions in a Letter of Acceptances and Return (LoAR). After review and proofreading, LoARs generally are released two months after the meeting where the decisions are made.

An “acceptance” indicates that the item(s) listed are now registered with the Society. A “return” indicates that the item is returned to the submitter for additional work. Most items are registered without comments. Sometimes, the LoAR will address specific issues about the name or armory or will praise the submitter/herald on putting together a very nice historically accurate item.

The following results are from the September 2016 Wreath and Pelican meetings.

EAST acceptances

Alric the Younger. Name.

The byname the younger is found in the Oxford English Dictionary, dated to the 15th century.

Astriðr Sægeirsdottir. Name and device. Azure, two musical notes and a spool of thread Or.

Submitted as Astriðr Sægeirrsdottir, the genitive (possessive) form of Sægeirr is Sægeirs, so we have changed the byname to Sægeirsdottir to register this name.

Beatrice della Rocca. Name.

Nice 15th century Italian name!

Bella di Sicilia. Name.

Both elements are found in “Names of Jews in Rome In the 1550’s” by Yehoshua ben Haim haYerushalmi (http://heraldry.sca.org/names/Jewish/rome_article), making this a nice 16th century name for a Jewish woman living in Rome!

Brennan MacFergus. Badge. (Fieldless) On a wolf’s pawprint sable a ducal coronet Or.

There is a step from period practice for the use of a pawprint.

Bryniarr Ísólfsson. Name.

Nice 13th century Norse name!

Conn mac Branáin. Name and device. Ermine, six acorns azure.

Nice 12th century Irish Gaelic name!

The submitter has permission to conflict with the badge of Stephan of Silverforge: Quarterly per fess indented azure and argent, six acorns azure.

Nice device!

Endewearde, Barony of. Branch name change from Endeweard, Barony of.

The Old English wearde is only found prior to 1200, but is unattested in Old English place names. Ende was documented in the Letter of Intent as an Old English word, but all of the examples provided were as a Middle English deuterotheme (second element). Examples of “End” as a prototheme (first element) include Thendmoore (1586) and Endmoore (17th century), found in Watts, s.n. Endmoor, and Endegat (1201) and Endegate (1208) found in Ekwall, s.n. Ingate. The Old English -wearde cannot be combined with the Middle English Ende- in the same name phrase.

However, we can construct the barony’s preferred spelling entirely in Middle English. A place named le Wearde is found in the 13th century (‘Inquisitions Post Mortem, Edward I, File 98’, in Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem: Volume 3, Edward I; http://www.british-history.ac.uk/inquis-post-mortem/vol3/pp489-508). The family name Ende (derived from the toponym atte Ende) is found in the late 14th century (An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk; http://www.british-history.ac.uk/topographical-hist-norfolk/vol1/pp345-359). Compound place names formed from the pattern family name + place name are found in Juliana de Luna’s “Compound Placenames in English” (http://medievalscotland.org/jes/EnglishCompoundPlacenames/). Therefore, we are able to register the barony’s preferred form.

The barony’s previous name, Barony of Endeweard, is released.

Endewearde, Barony of. Order name change to Order of the Beacon of Endewearde from Order of the Beacon of Endeweard.

The previous order name, Order of the Beacon of Endeweard, is released.

Endewearde, Barony of. Order name change to Order of the Keystone of Endewearde from Order of the Keystone of Endeweard.

The previous order name, Order of the Keystone of Endeweard, is released.

Endewearde, Barony of. Order name change to Order of the Portcullis of Endewearde from Order of the Portcullis of Endeweard.

The previous order name, Order of the Portcullis of Endeweard, is released.

Eowyn Eilonwy of Alewife Brook. Heraldic will.

Upon her demise, Eowyn grants blanket permission to conflict for any names and armory that are not identical to her own.

Erich Guter Muth. Name and device. Azure, a serpent in annulo vorant of its own tail and a chief rayonny argent.

Submitted as Erich Gutermuth, the byname was an undated header form found in Bahlow/Gentry. As commenters were unable to date this element, we have changed the byname to Guter Muth with the submitter’s permission in order to register this name.

Erich Guter Muth. Badge. (Fieldless) A goose volant to sinister gules.

Gyða Úlfsdóttir. Device. Per pale purpure and argent, a sword between two wolves combattant counterchanged.

Please advise the submitter to draw the sword wider so it is easier to identify.

Hedda Bonesetter. Device. Azure, a comet bendwise sinister inverted Or between in bend two bones fracted argent, on the head of the comet a mullet of six points gules.

Ile du Dragon Dormant, Baronnie de l’. Order name Award of Dragons Scale.

In commentary, Siren noted that escama (“scale”, as in scale mail) is used in a 15th century Spanish order name, named after its badge of a circle of scales.

Jean Michel le Vaud. Name and device. Per saltire sable and gules, a wolf rampant argent and in chief a crescent Or.

Leo MacCullan. Name and device. Sable, a lion’s head erased and on a chief argent a mullet of four points in dexter sable.

Leonora of Østgarðr. Holding name and device (see PENDS for name). Per chevron gules and Or, three lions couchant counterchanged.

Submitted under the name Leonora da Ferrara.

Mærhild æt Anestige. Name and device. Lozengy sable and argent, three fig leaves in pall stems conjoined vert, a bordure Or.

Submitted as Mærhild of Anestig, a timely correction to the Letter of Intent noted that the submitter preferred the byname æt Anestige. We are happy to make this change.

Nishi’o Kageme. Name and device. Or, three hexagons gules each charged with a daisy argent and in chief a increscent azure.

Submitted as Nishi’o Kageme, the name inadvertently appeared in the Letter of Intent as Kagame. We have restored it to the submitted form.

There is a step from period practice for the use of hexagons.

Ragnarr bláskegg. Name.

Nice Old Icelandic name!

Simon Talbot. Name and device. Azure, a chevron Or mullety azure betwen three talbots passant Or.

The submitter requested authenticity for Elizabethan England. Both elements are found in London in 1582, so this name meets the submitter’s request.

Nice cant!

Ulf Jagenteufel. Name and device. Gules, a bend per bend nebuly argent and sable between five open books Or.

Ulf is the submitter’s legal given name.

Ulfgeirr Ragnarsson. Badge. (Fieldless) Within and conjoined to the attires of a stag’s head caboshed sable a mullet of four points elongated to base argent.

There is a step from period practice for the use of a mullet elongated to base.

Violet Hughes. Device change. Purpure, a punner argent.

Nice device!

 

EAST pends

Leonora da Ferrara. Name.

Following the Pelican decision meeting, the question was raised whether this name presumes upon that of Eleanor of Naples, also known as Leonora of Aragon, who was the first Duchess of Ferrara. Therefore, we are pending this name to allow a discussion on this issue.

Ferrara was documented in the Letter of Intent from Florentine Renaissance Resources: Online Tratte of Office Holders 1282-1532, which normalized the place names. The submitted spelling is also found in “Some Names From Giovanni Boccaccio’s Il Decameron” by Giata Magdalena Alberti (2013 KWHSS Proceedings).

Her device is registered under the holding name Leonora of Østgarðr.

This was item 20 on the East letter of June 30, 2016.


Filed under: Heraldry Tagged: heraldric submissions, LoAR

An Announcement From TRH Regarding Pennsic

https://eastkingdomgazette.org/2016/11/23/an-announcement-from-trh-regarding-pennsic/

http://eastkingdomgazette.org/?p=11509

Pennsic groupGreetings unto Our family of the East
We Prince Ioannes and Princess Honig Von Summerfeldt send our warm regards and our love to all of you. As winter turns, the days shorten, steel rusts, chills turn to ice, and the hearth and home call Us. Rest up my legions. Repair your armor; make strong your family. Care for your loved ones, for We shall call on you for the service and honor of war when the seasons change again.
Yet even now we have taken a few into our service and wish that you hear and know them.

The Pennsic Warlord of the mighty Eastern warriors will be Sir Culann Mac Cianain and his staff will include THL Ryouko’jin Ironskies as Executive Officer and Baron Rory McClellan as Praefectus Fabrum.

The Captain of your Unbelted Champions will be THL Ryouko’jin Ironskies. His regional lieutenants to be announced at Birka

The Rapier General will be announced with staff soon

Thank you everyone for your letters of love and hope for the future
Yours in service,
Princess Honig and Prince Ioannes


Filed under: Announcements, Pennsic Tagged: pennsic 46

Arts & Sciences and Bardic Championships

https://eastkingdomgazette.org/2016/11/22/arts-sciences-and-bardic-championships/

http://eastkingdomgazette.org/?p=11500

Photograph courtesy of The Honorable Lord Hugh Tauerner

Photograph courtesy of The Honorable Lord Hugh Tauerner

Unto Our beloved populace,

As many of you are aware, this year’s Arts & Sciences and Bardic Championships will be a combined event this year. We write this day to clear up a couple of misconceptions about the combining of these two important events.

  1. We received some extremely good ideas from our Peers and members of our High Orders of Merit during the order meetings at this past year’s Pennsic. During our discussion regarding challenges with bids & the increasing number of Kingdom sponsored events, a suggestion was made to consider at times combining events that complement one another.
  2. While this is something new to Arts and Sciences and Bardic Champions it is not a new concept for the kingdom. In several past years, Equestrian, Thrown Weapons, and Archery have all shared the stage with each other. All of these events have gone smoothly and excellent champions have come out of the combined championships. In Our own Crown Principality of Tir Mara, we recently attended the principality championships which combined Heavy, A&S, and Archery championships. We were able to watch and support each of the champions as they competed and were chosen.
  3. Also please, keep in mind that the breadth of our Kingdom and our Society is growing to include many more various activities both Arts and Martial. This means that number of championships is growing in the kingdom, which We greatly enjoy and are honored to support. Unfortunately, the number of weekends on the calendar are not growing, which has greatly decreased the number of non-Kingdom level events that the King and Queen are able to attend to support the local groups.
  4. We absolutely do not feel that the Bardic nor the A&S champions are any less important than any other champion activity: being Laurels ourselves we know and understand the time, effort, and heart that each and everyone of you put into your entries.

We are working with our current champions on a plan to make this work as smoothly as possible, and we ask for your support on what we know will be a fabulous day. It’s a new idea, but we ask you all to give it a chance. We know that We will have to be flexible and We are asking you to please be ready to do the same. Change is not always a bad thing, many wonderful things have come from change. Among other things, we are excited to enable the people who would have only been able to attend one of these Championships the opportunity to see both.

We are looking forward to the Art & Sciences & Bardic Championships, and seeing and hearing all of the amazing art that you display that day.

We remain,
Yours In Service
Brion Rex Anna Regina


Filed under: Announcements, Arts and Sciences Tagged: a&s, Bardic, champions

Queen Anna’s Birka Garb Challenge

https://eastkingdomgazette.org/2016/11/18/queen-annas-birka-garb-challenge/

http://eastkingdomgazette.org/?p=11494

dama_z_gronostajemUnto my beloved populace of the East,

I have thought long and hard about the fashion show challenge for Birka this year. I have received many wonderful suggestions and it has been a very tough decision, but I keep coming back to something I teach all of my apprentices. “Anna’s Rule #1” is:

Accessorize, Accessorize, Accessorize!

Accessories are what makes a piece of garb into an outfit and every time and place has its own accessories. Shoes, hats, jewelry, bags, belts – leather, pearls, floors, yarn – early period to Elizabethan and everything in between.

So pull out your needles, hammers, thread, beads, wire, metals, leather, whatever you wish to use and get ready to accessorize your favorite garb. Or make something
completely new!

–Anna Regina


Filed under: Announcements, Arts and Sciences Tagged: Arts and Sciences, Birka Garb Challenge, fashion, garb, garb challenge