I learned at 6 pm tonight that Double Shot has to complete a cooking project for his Latin III class that is due tomorrow. The recipe has to be authentic to Ancient Rome. As I looked through the recipe book he brought home I began to panic. I had never even heard of some of the ingredients and many of the recipes would be very time consuming, not to mention expensive, to make for an entire class.
Check out the names for some of the recipes:
DATE SAUCE FOR BOILED OSTRICH
ASPARAGUS AND FIGPECKER PATINA
PATINA WITH BRAIN
STUFFED LEG OF BOAR 'A LA TERENTIUS
MARINATED VENISON SADDLE WITH PRUNE SAUCE
ROASTED RED MULLET
BOILED MORAY EELS
Nearly every recipe calls for GARUM. What the heck is Garum?!?!? It is fermented fish sauce. It is fermented fish sauce that is made by layering strong flavored aromatic herbs such as dill, coriander, fennel, celery, mint, or oregano with fatty fish and tons of salt (two fingers... what the heck does that mean? Two fingers vertical or horizontal?). You repeat the layers until the container you are using is full. Then you let it rest for seven days in the sun. Then you mix the sauce daily for twenty days. After that time it becomes a liquid.
Sooooo... I sat there perusing the book looking for something that I have most of the ingredients for already, that wouldn't take hours and that wouldn't be too expensive. I found an appetizer that is simply lettuce, albacore tuna and sliced hard boiled eggs served with olive oil and Garum on the side. UGH. Like anyone would even try that Garum stuff!!! Then I had a great idea. I thought we could layer the ingredients for Garum in a mason jar so the kids can see what it is made out of. I went to the store and that is what we did.
My house now smells like SARDINES. Gross. We did stuff like this all the time when we homeschooled. The thing with homeschooling though is that you never have stuff sprung on you at the last minute. When the girls were in high school we did this whole Medieval Feast where they and the three other girls in their co-op made period costumes and food and we had a big party for all of our families and they gave presentations of different things they learned about the Middle Ages. I made a beef dish that was cooked in gallons of vinegar and my house stunk for days.