For the next few days I will be on the move, travelling from Norfolk to London to Singapore to Brisbane (including a tedious seven hours in the limbo-land of Singapore airport), so my mind will once again be pre-occupied with the pre-eminent travel question of “what shall I get to eat?” (I no longer travel in terror of running out of reading material, thanks to my wonderful e-reader).
To ensure that you still get your daily stories, they will be pre-posted to pop up at the usual time. Naturally, in view of my pre-occupation this week, they will be about travel food - as seen through the eyes of travellers and cookbook writers across the centuries and around the globe.
To start with, I take you back to the thirteenth century, to Andalusia. The recipe is from an anonymous cookbook translated by Charles Perry, and made freely available to us all (grateful thanks!) here. It is for a pasty, which “is very good on journeys”. I can only hope to get something as delicious over the next few days.
Recipe for Barmakiyya
It is made with a hen, pigeons, doves, small birds or lamb. Take what you have of them, after cleaning, and cut up and put in a pot with salt, an onion, pepper, coriander and lavender or cinnamon, some murri naqî', and oil. Put it on a gentle fire until it is nearly done and the sauce is dried. Take it out and fry it in fresh oil without overdoing it, and leave it aside. Then take fine flour and semolina, make a well-made dough with leaven, and if it has some oil it will be more flavorful. Then roll out from it a flatbread and put inside it the fried and cooked meat of these birds, cover it with another flatbread and stick the ends together. Put it in the oven, and when the bread is done, take it out. It is very good on journeys. You might make it with fish and that can be used for journeying too.
Quotation for the Day.
Here I am, safely returned over those peaks from a journey far more beautiful and strange than anything I had hoped for or imagined - how is it that this safe return brings such regret?