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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in food

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Tasty Treats, Minoan Style

Food is such an important facet of human culture and a great way to connect with others. It's also a fabulous way to make a long-ago culture feel more real.

I've shared about Minoan food and cooking before, here and hereToday, I'm going to go all "ancient food blogger" on you with an actual recipe.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Calysta Rose
    Calysta Rose says #
    oh this sounds delicious! I'll have to try this soon ty!

 Whole Brown Lentils (per 50 pound bag) | Red Ginger Spices

February on the wane. Snow lies deep, but underneath, the rich earth waits.

It's a month yet until Equinox and calendar Spring: still plenty of time to stoke up the oven and savor the dark, warming foods of Winter.

Think of it as sympathetic magic. The lentils' pebbly texture and loamy, over-seasoned umami pair beautifully with the mashed potatoes' creamy blandness.

Beneath the snow, the rich, dark earth awaits.


Boss Warlock's 'Spring's a-Comin', But She Ain't Here Yet' Lentil Shepherd's Pie

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Minoan Herb Garden and Spice Cabinet

Last time, we looked at what kinds of vegetables the Minoans grew in their gardens. But they needed to season those veggies so they were especially tasty to eat, right? So what kinds of herbs and other seasonings did they use?

The first and most obvious one is salt. Like other island-dwelling people, the Minoans used sea salt. It's easy to make - just collect up some sea water and evaporate the liquid, using heat from the Sun or from fire. The Minoans were surely doing this all the way back in the Neolithic, though most of the evidence for it comes from later on.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Minoan Vegetable Garden

Some aspects of Minoan civilization feel very modern: big cities with paved roads, aqueducts, and enclosed sewer systems. But there were no supermarkets back in the Bronze Age, no international shipping of out-of-season produce.

I've written before about Minoan cooking methods and typical foods. I've even shared a grocery list of sorts, a compilation of all the foods we have evidence for - foods the Minoans cooked and ate.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    No doubt the Minoans also gathered a wide variety of wild greens, as the yiayias of Greece still do.
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    Yes, horta was apparently popular in Minoan times, as far as we can tell. I commented a bit about that in my post about the Minoan
  • Anthony Gresham
    Anthony Gresham says #
    Are you sure Eggplants are from the Americas? I thought they were from Southeast Asia.
  • Laura Perry
    Laura Perry says #
    You may be right. The Wikipedia entry for eggplant states "There is no consensus about the place of origin of eggplant" but the pl



If the witch-hunters are to be believed (!), when we're not eating babies at our Sabbats, we're busy relishing food that's half-rotten and stinks instead.

Just goes to show that even witch-hunters can get something right every now and then.

Even the part about the babies.


Boss Warlock's Really Stinky Half-Moon Baby Turnip Kimchi


1 lb. baby turnips

4½ teaspoons salt

2-3 teaspoons crushed red pepper

10-12 minced scallions

10-12 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon sugar

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The Minoan Flock: The shrine or the dinner table?

CW: Meat eating and animal slaughter/sacrifice

Animals show up a lot in Minoan art and in religious iconography from ancient Crete. In MMP we tend to pay special attention to the ones associated with deities - the Horned Ones, for instance, the deities connected with cattle, goats, and deer.

It's clear from the archaeological record that, in addition to revering these animals as earthly reflections of certain deities, the Minoans also slaughtered them and ate their meat on a regular basis. Animals that were ritually sacrificed were also eaten, probably by temple clergy.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs

 cabbagehead of white cabbage isolated on white photo by vvoennyy on Envato  Elements

Maybe I'm reverting to ancestral type.

Lately it seems as if I must be on the Cabbage Diet. Cabbage soup, cabbage strudel. Cabbage pancakes, cabbage rolls. Sauerkraut and peas in brown onion gravy. Last week I made a batch of cabbage with noodles and poppy seeds, which I hadn't tasted since I was a kid. Delicious.

Here in the frozen North, we eat lots of cabbage. Cabbage dependably grows when other vegetables have mostly given up the ghost. There's nothing showy about it, nothing pretentious. It's just good, dependable, affordable, staff-of-life food. All hail the humble cabbage!

Rightly prepared—but of course this is true of any vegetable—cabbage is delicious. (Badly prepared, it's not worth eating, but the same can likewise be said for any vegetable.) And when it comes to versatility, few can compare with it: my litany cited above only begins to scratch the surface.

And, of course, it's Yule, today being the third day thereof. Where I come from, Midwinter's Eve means cabbage rolls and poppy seed cake. Anyone that comes from Pittsburgh, regardless of ethnic derivation, knows that if you don't eat cabbage rolls at Yule, the Sun will literally not rise in the morning.

Of how many vegetables can you say that?

(And yes, that actually is a blown-glass cabbage ornament, hanging on the tree. Hey, I'm from Pittsburgh. There's a purple cabbage on there too, if you look.)

Jane Smiley's 1988 The Greenlanders is a remarkable novel. It reads like a family saga, telling the grim tale of the last generations of Greenland Norse, as the climate gets worse and the ships from Europe stop coming. Their ingrained Christianity makes it impossible for them to learn anything from the heathen skraelings who actually know how to survive in the worsening climate (but how can one remain Christian when you can't grow wheat and grapes for the eucharist?), and eventually it becomes clear to everyone that—just as the old myths said—the end is in sight, and there's no escape.

As things begin to fall apart, one old priest who, as a young man, was sent from Ghent to minister to the Greenlanders, and has lived for years, like everyone else, on milk, cheese, seaweed, and seal and reindeer meat—says to a colleague, the only other person on the island who has ever been anywhere but Greenland:

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