I recently attended the bread making class and it was fun, informative, and the finished products were great! Highly recommend both learning methods for Read More The Online Course is easy to follow and has a tasty and diverse menu. Highly recommend both learning methods for anyone who enjoys to cook, learn, and eat! This was my first class with Natalina and the experience was excellent. She took the time to talk about why we should be doing more home cooking and making it a fun time. The instructions were clear and easy to Read More This was my first class with Natalina and the experience was excellent.
The instructions were clear and easy to follow and explained in great detail the types of ingredients that we should be using to make authentic Italian dishes. I am looking forward to spending time in the kitchen with my family as we make our own fresh food. I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed Natalina's Online Cooking courses. So user friendly. You have your ingredients list to prep for and the videos with excellent tips to follow along to, print out the recipe and You have your ingredients list to prep for and the videos with excellent tips to follow along to, print out the recipe and follow along.
You can watch the video over and over to help you gain the confidence to create some wonderful meals. Such a great compliment to the cookbook. I have mastered the gnocchi's, a family favourite, the pizza and next will be pasta. To be able to duplicate family favourites in my own home with Natalina's Kitchen help is amazing.
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Can't recommend the online classes enough. This was a gift to me from my son, and its one of the best gifts I've received. My two sons were so pleased that they've asked to make them with me next time. I can't thank you enough for creating this wonderful opportunity to learn at home. The online classes are easy to follow, and provide lots of detail and helpful tips!
I like being able to complete courses at my own pace and go back to review recipes when I need to. Would highly recommend! My friends and I 10 of us thoroughly enjoyed a Saturday evening cooking class and meal, Calabria style with Natalina at the helm.. We prepared and made our own crusty bread, pasta, meat sauce and delicious dessert. Everyone had Read More My friends and I 10 of us thoroughly enjoyed a Saturday evening cooking class and meal, Calabria style with Natalina at the helm.. Everyone had lots of opportunities to participate in meal prepping, cooking and learning. The meal was absolutely delicious and filling with lots of fun and laughter!
It was a great experience and we would do it again for sure!!! Thank you Natalina - Well done , Cheers, Debbie read less. Attended taste of Puglia with hubby and pals. Fun group. Hands on. Good conversation. Taking the "Taste of Calabria" tour with host Natalina and guide Silvia proved to be one of my best travel decisions. With 13 other guests, we explored this part of southern Italy together, and by the end of the trip Read More Taking the "Taste of Calabria" tour with host Natalina and guide Silvia proved to be one of my best travel decisions.
With 13 other guests, we explored this part of southern Italy together, and by the end of the trip I felt I had gained 13 new friends. As a single traveller, the supplemental cost was remarkably reasonable, and yet I still enjoyed the exceptional quality of accommodation and service as those travelling together. We spent 3 nights at 3 different hotels Tropea, Reggio Calabria, and Crotone , all of which were clean, extremely comfortable, and well located. No packing and unpacking everyday for us! Our host Natalina planned an exciting and full agenda, always taking into consideration the wishes and needs of her guests.
She speaks Italian fluently and has visited the area many times, so was able to share with us her knowledge and love of the food, the wines, the people and the culture. Our local guide Silvia was also a gem! She is extremely well versed in regional history, geography, etc but also provided us with insight into today's Calabria and its people. I have fond memories of her leading us through exercises on the beach in Cortone No questions asked of her went unanswered Both ladies were lots of fun and both made a point of engaging with each and every one of us throughout our busy days.
Luciano, our humorous and very skilled bus driver, travelled with us everywhere, adding to our wonderful experience. The focus of the trip was fine food, and there was lots of this! We tasted regional delicacies like nduja, pecorino and caciocavallo cheeses, olive oils, stock fish, not my favourite , many cured meats, and many other anti pasta delights, just to name a few. We visited family owned and operated farms, olive groves, and vineyards, and were overwhelmed by the hospitality and pride of the owners.
We were shown how to make soap from olive oil, how to prepare bread and cook it in a wood burning stove, and how to make lasagna that included hard boiled eggs We even collected chestnuts one day! But not every activity related to food. We drove through lovely countryside which included highlands and beaches. We visited art and architecture museums. One of my most memorable stops was Scilla, a beautiful cliff side town. We ate lunch in a restaurant perched over the sea, and then climbed up to the top of the cliff to visit the remains of an ancient fortress. The view was spectacular! I would highly recommend this tour and look forward to travelling with Natalina and Silvia again.
Fantastic Experience What a great trip to Calabria that far exceeded our already very high expectations. We were treated to an expertly planned introduction to the history, beauty and culinary delights of this lesser travelled region of Italy under the Read More Fantastic Experience What a great trip to Calabria that far exceeded our already very high expectations. We were treated to an expertly planned introduction to the history, beauty and culinary delights of this lesser travelled region of Italy under the guidance of our hostess, Natalina, and very knowledgeable and fun loving local guide, Silvia.
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Thanks to the small group size of fourteen, we soon bonded with our fellow like minded travellers on our daily excursions Visits to local farms, vineyards and food producers, many of which were small scale but high in quality and flavour plus many opportunities to experience cooking demonstrations and some hands on preparation mixed so well with visits to hill towns, castles and museums.
The trip was well organized and active, hotel accomodations first class and our food experiences beyond words. Local ingredients of every kind along with local wines were emphasized at all of the fabulous meals we enjoyed family style at the selected restaurants, some of which were owned by relatives of Natalina where we were served meals that were above and beyond incredible. We were looking for an experience and we got it in spades so we are anxiously looking forward to our next trip with Natalina.
We went on the wonderful Taste of Calabria Tour, Natalina Bombino Campagnolo is a wonderful facilitator and planned an excellent, informative, and very tasty experience. She helped make our group a family as she introduced us to the Read More We went on the wonderful Taste of Calabria Tour, Natalina Bombino Campagnolo is a wonderful facilitator and planned an excellent, informative, and very tasty experience. She helped make our group a family as she introduced us to the flavours of her ancestral homeland.
Natalina's selection of Silvia as our knowledgeable, flexible tour guide highlights Natalina's understanding that good food and good company go hand in hand! Thanks for a great experience! We ate delicious foods and helped cook them , enjoyed award winning wines and visited the wineries that made them , We ate delicious foods and helped cook them , enjoyed award winning wines and visited the wineries that made them , saw mozzarella cheese being made and helped make it , and visited award winning olive oil producing groves and saw the process from start to finish!
We ate, drank, danced, laughed, and climbed our way through Calabria to the highest villages San Giorgio. We met amazing people along the way in our group our new Canadian friends and also the good people of the region, that we will never forget! We would like to thank Natalina Catalina Bombino, the trip planner and Sylvia, our guide. It was because of their careful planning, paying attention to every detail, and great knowledge of the area that made this the great trip it was!
And they also made it fun! What a great guy! He looked out for us as he took us off the beaten path! Luchiano told us that people cry three times when they visit Calabria, first when they get there and see the beauty, second when they have to leave, and third when they get home and get on their scale! And he was right! I attended my first cooking class at Natalina's Kitchen and had a fantastic time!
Cooking classes are kept small which allows for a lot of hands on learning. Read More I attended my first cooking class at Natalina's Kitchen and had a fantastic time! Natalina did a fantastic job at answering everyone's questions and even added her own personal experiences and stories. Very much looking forward to my next class.
Her classes fill up quickly so book early! Attended the pizza making class with my wife and it exceeded our expectations. Natalina was knowledgeable and very engaging. We learned a lot of great pizza making techniques and can't wait to start making our own. Would highly recommend taking Read More Attended the pizza making class with my wife and it exceeded our expectations. Would highly recommend taking her class. Thank you for a most enjoyable Saturday Natalina's Taste of Puglia tour over-exceeded our expectations. We thought we weren't 'tour people' but the small group, attention to detail, VIP experience was spectacular.
From cooking classes, to winery tours, exploring ancient cities, olive groves and ruins, the tour Read More Natalina's Taste of Puglia tour over-exceeded our expectations. From cooking classes, to winery tours, exploring ancient cities, olive groves and ruins, the tour was an immersive and authentic experience of culture and cuisine. Plus all the recipes to take home!
Five stars all round! What a wonderful experience! Sliceable foods comprised foods that had defined shapes, such as pastas, pancakes, fritters, blood puddings, haggis, forcemeats, and pressed-curd dishes. Baked foods were pies and tarts, whose tough crusts were considered mere baking containers for the filling and were often discarded or doled out to the poor after they were emptied.
Only a few of the complex dishes occupied prescribed courses in the medieval English dinner. However, as a group, the progression of these dishes mirrored that of the plain meats and fish, in that the more delicate, often sweeter ones, such as small fowl, shellfish, fruited forcemeats, pancakes, fritters, and little custard tarts, tended to cluster in the second and third courses. Following the two or three principal courses a little digestive course was served, consisting of the sweetened, spiced wine called hippocras and sweetened, spiced iron-baked wafers.
After the wafers had been nibbled, a prayer was said and plain spices and so-called comfits were brought out, the latter comprising sugared tidbits such as candy-coated spices or seeds or nuts , preserved ginger, candied citrus peel, and crystallized flower petals and herb leaves. In great households, the elite company retired to a specially designated room to consume the spices and comfits, where they enjoyed a voidee, so named because it voided, or cleared, the site of dinner usually the great hall of people.
Also, unlike most, this menu does not include any birds that we no longer regard as edible, such as swans a particular medieval English favorite , herons, cranes, sparrows, larks, plovers, and pewits.
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For various reasons, explained below, the menu that we actually served differed somewhat from the MS Cosin menu:. My source for the MS Cosin menu and many of the recipes I prepared was Curye on Inglisch , a collection of four medieval English recipe manuscripts, with extracts from several others, compiled and edited by Constance B. Hieatt and Sharon Butler Oxford, Both collections include extensive glossaries of terms, which are erudite, clearly written, and extremely helpful.
Although written a century apart, the two books agree on almost all major points. Here are the recipes for the dishes we served transcribed into contemporary English , with their sources and some brief notes. My interpretations of the recipes can be found here. Grind ginger or pepper, and cumin, and temper with good milk. Add the chickens and boil them, and serve it forth. Scully derives the name from Old French cretonnee , meaning fried, but frying is not involved in this or most other variants.
The dish is suggestive of a cumin-scented curry. Perhaps this is coincidental, for I find no eastern precedent for the dish in the Baghdadi or Andalusian cookbooks. In the regrettably dark photo, the little dots are pomegranate kernels, a favorite medieval English garnish. This dish, like many others in this menu, is golden in color.
Perhaps this has something to do with Easter, which is associated with the rising of the golden sun. Pygges in sawse sawge Forme of Cury; Hieatt : Scald and quarter suckling pigs and simmer them in water and salt. Drain them and let them cool. Grind parsley and sage with bread and the yolks of hard-boiled eggs. Add vinegar, leaving the mixture somewhat thick. Lay the suckling pigs in a vessel, cover with the sauce, and serve it forth. Raw green sauces, all fairly similar, are outlined in medieval English, French, Italian, and Catalan manuscript cookbooks.
There is also a recipe in the ancient Roman cookbook attributed to Apicius but none in the Baghdadi or Andalusian cookbooks, so perhaps the idea is western. This sage-intensive version is delicious and very much worth making. I substituted pork tenderloin for the pigs and decorated the dish with the whites of the eggs, a garnish suggested in several medieval English recipes. Drain it and let it cool. Put it in dishes with venison or fat fresh mutton. I find the smale felettes indorretes fried pork fillets in a golden batter listed in the first course of the MS Cosin menu a dull dish.
So, for our Morgan dinner, I replaced it with another dish listed in the first course of several medieval English menus: roasted venison or mutton served with a creamy wheat-berry pottage. My roast was lamb. The name of the pottage derives from Old French froument , or grain. The dish is pretty, if rather bland, or so I thought others liked it better. A recipe that I recently came across in a manuscript in the Folger collection supports my long-held suspicion that this pottage was the inspiration behind the dessert called barley cream, extant in England and America from the late seventeenth into the early nineteenth centuries.
Sawse camelyne Forme of Cury ; Hieatt : Take currants and shelled nuts [likely walnuts] and crusts of bread, and ground ginger, cloves, and cinnamon; bray it well in a mortar and add salt. Mix it with vinegar and serve it forth. This delicious sauce was beloved throughout medieval Europe. It some households, it was set out at all dinners as an all-purpose condiment. I intended it for the lamb roast. It is also lovely with any cold meat.
This sauce is similar to several outlined in the ancient Roman cookbook attributed to Apicius, though none of the Roman sauces contain cinnamon, which Apicius seems barely to know. In contrast, there are references to cinnamon in The Andalusian Cookbook. Black sauce for capouns y-rostyde Ashmole ; Austin : Take capon livers and roast them well.
Take anise, ground Paris ginger, and cinnamon, and a little bread crust [likely toasted] and grind them all together well. Temper it with verjuice and capon fat, and then boil it and serve it forth. Instead of serving plain baked partridges and chickens in the first course, as the MS Cosin menu seems to indicate, we served Cornish game hens likely similar in size to medieval chickens with this piquant liver sauce.
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The anise-cinnamon seasoning, as well as the texture, color, and general intensity of the sauce, are suggestive of certain Mexican moles, but I do not find a similar preparation in The Andalusian Cookbook. Perhaps the sauce is western, for some versions call for blood rather than liver, and blood was forbidden in Islamic cooking.
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For to make a bruet of sarcynesse MS Douce ; Hieatt : Cut fresh beef into pieces and fry it with bread in fresh grease. Take it out, dry it [drain the fat], and put it in a pot with wine, sugar, and ground cloves. Boil everything together until the beef has absorbed the liquid. Boil almond milk and [whole] cubebs, mace, and cloves together. Add the meat and put it in a serving dish.
In the making of both dishes, the braising medium is cooked down until the meat begins to fry in its own fat, whereupon almond milk or coconut milk is added to bloom a sauce. Both dishes have a similar flavor, despite the lemon grass and other Southeast Asian seasonings added to the Thai version. Gele of fyssh Forme of Cury; Hieatt : Cut tench, pike, eels, turbot, and plaice in pieces. Scald them, wash them clean, and dry them with a cloth. Place them in a pan and cook them in half vinegar and half wine. Strain the broth through a cloth into an earthen pan and add sufficient ground pepper and saffron.
Bring the broth to a simmer and skim it well. When it is boiled [reduced sufficiently to jell], remove the grease. Arrange the fish on platters, strain the broth over them through a cloth, and serve the dish cold. The gele listed in the second course of the MS Cosin menu could be either meat or fish in aspic. I chose fish for our Morgan dinner. Loosely following the recipe above, I poached salmon in white wine, white wine vinegar, and seasonings, and then stiffened the broth with packaged gelatin.
Meat and fish jellies appear in many medieval European menus. The Neapolitan Recipe Collection shows that the fifteenth-century Italians were already coloring and probably sweetening jellies and molding them in elaborate shapes, sometimes omitting the meat. The English soon enough followed suit. Put the mixture in the crust, bake it, and serve it forth. In medieval English cookbooks, lechefres , listed in the second course of the MS Cosin menu, is sometimes a tart of ground dried fruits and sometimes a tart of cheese, although, as Hieatt points out, neither makes sense, as the title implies a sliced food that is fried.
For our Morgan dinner I opted for a cheese tart and, for fun, used a recipe with the word Bry Brie in the title, which is virtually identical to the recipe for the cheese tart called lese fryes in Harleian MS in Austin. A well-ripened Brie or Camembert will also work. The tart is a bit like a puffy cheese omelet in a crust.
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I use a modern recipe. Similar cheese tarts survived in the Netherlands into the seventeenth century and are depicted in period Dutch paintings. Dutch-American culinary historian Peter Rose covers the Renaissance Dutch cheese tart with whole almonds, a very nice touch. Blank maunger Forme of Cury ; Hieatt : Simmer capons, and then drain them. Grind blanched almonds and mix them with the capon broth. Pour the almond milk into a pot [after straining out the almonds].
Add washed rice and let it simmer, then tear the breast meat of the capons in small pieces [strings] and add it, along with white grease, sugar, and salt. Let it simmer [until quite stiff]. Serve it forth, decorated with red or white anise comfits and almonds fried in oil. Since I inserted a roast in the first course of my Morgan menu I omitted the smal rost likely a pork or mutton leg, Hieatt speculates listed in the second course of the MS Cosin menu and served blank maunger instead.
This famous pottage or one of its variants appears in the second course of many other medieval English menus, and I thought that guests should have a chance to taste it. The dish is much like rice pudding, except not as sweet and with chicken in it. I adore it.
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Per the recipe, I garnished the dish with aniseed comfits, which are available from online Dutch import shops under the De Ruijter brand. Dariolles Harleian MS ; Austin : Take wine and fresh broth, whole cloves and mace, bone marrow, powdered ginger, and saffron, and let them boil together.
Take cream strained if clotted and egg yolks and mix them together, and then add the liquid in which the bone marrow was boiled. Then make crusts of fine paste, and put the marrow into them [apparently unmelted marrow skimmed from the spiced liquid], along with minced dates and strawberries, if they are in season. Set the crusts in the oven and let them bake a little while, and then take them out, pour in the cream mixture, and bake them enough [until the custard sets]. Medieval English dariols were small custard tartlets of varying composition. The word, according to Terrence Scully, is French and designates a large pastry crust in medieval French sources.
How it came to mean small custard tartlets in England is unknown. I had previously tried a very simple recipe for dariols outlined in Forme of Cury , which calls for a filling of cream, egg yolks, sugar, and a little saffron for color. The tartlets were perfectly nice but not terribly interesting, so for our Morgan dinner I followed the recipe above instead. The wine infusion imparted little flavor to the custard even though I used quite a bit of spice , and the marrow was nuisance as it always is.
But I learned something very useful. I cut supermarket strawberries in pieces the size of fraises de bois and put three pieces in each tart shell, along with a couple of teaspoons of minced dates and some crumbled marrow, and then baked the shells until firmed and browned, as the recipe intends. To my surprise, the strawberries desiccated rather than dissolving into a pulpy mush, becoming little pinpoints of intense strawberry flavor in the bland, rich custard. Also unanticipated, the strawberries and dates were a lovely match.
The lesson which I often have to force myself to follow is always to do what the old recipes say, no matter how weird or wrong it seems. Fretoure Harleian MS ; Austin : Take wheat flour, ale yeast , saffron, and salt and beat everything together as thick as batters should be made on days when meat is permitted. Then take good apples and cut them in the proper way for fritters, and thoroughly wet them in the batter.