Ahhhh, plump pork sausages sizzling in their own fat, eggs any way you like them, palacsinta, pumpernickel bread thick with lekvár, goulash topped with sour cream, fresh brewed coffee with cream so thick it stands up . . . Sound good? It is. After a night of playing music, the musicians are always hungry, quite hungry indeed. So Bela pleased the lot of them -- fussy that they be at the best of times -- by delivering a crate of spicy Kolbasz sausages packed in ice and sawdust along with another crate that contained Páter Sör, a most excellent Hungarian wheat beer. And yet a third crate loaded with other Hungarian goodies.
Meanwhile Kage Baker, author of The Children of The Company, the latest in her Company series, has been teaching the bakers in our kitchen to make a most excellent soul cake according to what she says is a traditional Scots recipe. Let's listen in as she tells them how she makes these nibblies . . .
Barm Brack is a soul cake -- traditional Scots recipe calls for a bean or silver coin or some other token to be baked into it and the person getting the winning slice gets fame or good luck or sacrificed or whatever, deciding on how much of The Wicker Man you take seriously. I leave the tokens out of mine, personally. Life is enough of a lottery as it is.
You add one tablespoon each of yeast and sugar to half cup lukewarm milk and let it become bubbly (that's the Barm). Then you sift into a bowl two cups of flour, three tablespoons sugar, half teaspoon each allspice and nutmeg. Cut in three tablespoons of butter. Then you make a well in the buttery flour mixture and pour in a beaten egg and the Barm. Stir together with a wooden spoon until you have a stiff elastic dough. Then you add a half-cup of currants or raisins or dried cherries or what have you that have sat overnight in wine, whiskey, rum or what have you. 'Brack' means 'Spotted' in Scots. Knead in the fruit and set the dough in a warm place to rise about an hour. Transfer the dough to a loaf pan and bake at three hundred and fifty until done-- half hour -- forty-five minutes maybe? Serve while watching The Uninvited, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Nightmare Before Christmas or some other Hallowe'en standard.
Ymmm! Now come join us in the Great Hall for this most scrumptious breakfast. Those musicians who are not eating and drinking are now playing a piece made famous by another Bela, Bartok to be precise -- 'Magyarbecei öreges csárdások'. Lovely in a November-ish sort of manner, isn't it?