It was a coincidence - or a demonstration of how I really need to tidy up more - that just as I was reading The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England I moved the microwave to clean behind it and found a sheet of medieval recipes.
We'd picked them up on holiday during a visit to Beaumaris Castle when the whole castle had been taken over by medieval re-enactors. It was a lovely day (they're doing it again this year if you're in the area) when we sat in the sunshire watching the sword-swallowers, jugglers, dancers and firebreathers who entertained us between swordfights.
As we wandered around, a woman on a stall called The Unfound Door handed each of the Lattes a cup of plain cabbage soup, which they not only ate but actually claimed to enjoy.
Naturally we took a recipe sheet. Naturally it fell down the back of the microwave.
Caboches in Potage requires you shred one head of cabbage, 2-3 leeks, 2-4 cups of stock, two onions, and one-eighth of a teaspoon each of ground cardamom and coriander. You can add salt, but since I was using bought stock I had enough salt already. (I never use salt in cooking, except to bake bread.)
I used half a head of leftover white cabbage, and some assorted odd greens that had appeared in a bag from my mother's friend's allotment. I don't know what they were. I assume they were cabbage-ish.
And then you just shove it in a pot, bring it to the boil and simmer for 5-20 minutes, depending on quite how much help your eldest daughter needs with her homework before lunch. There's no faffing about with sweating your onions in the Middle Ages.
Did you think it was going to be horrible? It wasn't. It was very nice, and thankfully I had resisted my 21st-century temptation to chuck in just a bit more coriander, because an eighth of a teaspoon didn't seem like much. There was only one problem.
A note appeared on the chalkboard. It read 'mad soop' and was violently crossed out. Littlest pointed at it, frowning.
(When Littlest was small, I would pick her up from nursery and prattle brightly about the yummy soup or salad we would be eating for lunch. Solemn eyes would meet mine in the rear view mirror. "No sayad," the child would growl. "No soop.")
"I do not want to eat the mad evil soup," Littlest decided, and no amount of spelling 'medieval' on a bit of paper and talking about knights on horseback was going to convince her otherwise. The mad evil soup remained untouched. (Eldest ate two bowls.)
There are a couple more recipes I'd like to try - so it will be interesting to see if we get the same reaction to a Mad Evil Pudding. Watch this space.
(Winners of my Kung Fu Panda giveaway are magsmcc, David, Pennie and Blatherskite. Congratulations - but if I haven't contacted you by lunchtime that probably means I don't have a contact for you. Let me have one).