On Wednesday, I braved the rain and the wind to go to Whisk, a delightful kitchen supply store in Brooklyn. I won a $25 gift certificate earlier this month, so I arrived with a list of small items I needed for my kitchen.
It warmed my heart to be able to pick out some tiny treasures. I got: A beautiful roll of brown parchment paper, which I think I may use to wrap my Christmas presents; a cookie cutter in the shape of an oak leaf and a jar of silver sanding sugar (also for Christmas presents); a candy thermometer, a tea ball, and (best of all) a nutmeg grater. I have wanted a nutmeg grater for years, and the one I got at Whisk is truly special. This nutmeg grater is the same make that I used in my other life in 1848. Hanging on a rack of completely modern and ordinary kitchen utensils, its punched-tin design seemed terribly out of place. I snatched it up and cradled it; I love it so.
When I returned home, a package had come for me in mail. A reader of this blog had mailed me some cookbooks: a two-volume set of 15th Century recipes called Take a Thousand Eggs or More by Cindy Renfrow. This reader had bought them several years ago at a renaissance festival, and never got around to using them. She decided they needed a new home.
I haven't done much work with Medieval or Renaissance cookery, but upon scanning the index, the heading "Spectacle Foods" caught my eye. The first entry: "Appraylere: a false pitcher made of pork, cheese and bread." What??? Meat Pitcher? Awwwwwesome!
Lastly, yesterday morning the Fed-Ex truck arrive with a box of free meat. How this free meat came to be is a long story, but it's from D'Artagnan, a local purveyor of elegant products. I got two tiny chickens, heritage breed bacon, buffalo steaks, duck foie gras, and two types of truffle butter. I've never even owned a truffle before!
I feel truly fortunate to have received all of these wonderful gifts; they are going to take me on some wonderful food adventures.