As I was envisioning this series on foods of the Middle Ages, I was told of a renaissance happening here in our city: we have been chosen as one of eight finalists in a national competition called America’s Best Communities. Its goal is community revival in America. This makes me aspire towards Tualatin leading the United States in the regeneration of its local people.
The best is always saved for last-dessert! This medieval recipe, rosee, reproduces more of the excellent flavors of King Richard II’s court. However there is a greater value in this post; here I share my vision for revival along with this delicious dish.
Some historians say the Renaissance, or birth of humanism, had its heritage in the beliefs and customs of the Middle Ages. I discovered this truth in The Encyclopedia of the Renaissance. This movement’s inheritance is defined there: its patrons were often the medieval church and the papacy, the lives of the saints, along with the Bible, its artistic themes. The questions of the Christian faith and morals were its issues, while the prayers and canons of the Mass constituted the texts for its music. Indeed the burgeoning of the Renaissance is founded in the spiritual and intellectual traditions of the medieval church. 1
A number of historians made this connection. Likewise my series on 14th century, medieval foods gave me impetus for a proclamation: I see an awakening happening here in Tualatin (which began with prayer in my Abundant Life Family Church). We will lead our country with renewal, a renaissance.
Our town has already received $100,000, as a finalist in the above competition, to establish this vision. Mobile Makerspaces, a well-equipped trailer, presently reaches certain schools. It establishes a powerful birthright in our children, who are our future. This happens with a bounty of traveling technical equipment, such as creative electronics and 3-D pens. These ingenious tools give tomorrow’s citizens hands-on experience with big concepts in STEAM (an acronym for science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics). Mobile Makerspaces is igniting our youth with passion for these disciplines.
Our city’s Mayor Lou Ogden, the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce, Mirror & Mask Community Theatre, Tualatin Public Library, and Tigard-Tualatin Public School District are all partnered together to implement our winning project. Tualatin will grow as a result of this promotion of ‘on-fire learning’. These powerful activities draw our excited youth into careers in these areas. Much will be accomplished as a result of this. Our own underemployed and unemployed will get jobs, while our local industries’ deep need for skilled workers will be met.
I clearly see us as winners. We will lead the nation in community revival. Tualatin’s future is rosy, so is America’s!
- Paul F. Grendler, ed., Encyclopedia of the Renaissance, 6 volumes (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1999), Vol. 1, p.431-436.
Rosee, a Dish Flavored with Rose Petals is adapted from a historical recipe in Lorna Sass’ To the King’s Taste (New York: Metropolitan Art Museum, 1975). Yields: 4 servings.
5/8 cup whole raw almonds
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 1/2 tbsp honey
dash salt, plus more for garnishing (Real salt is best, available in health section of local supermarket.)
1/4 cup dried, crushed rose petals (You may use the 1/2 cup fresh petals that haven’t been sprayed; tear these into small pieces.)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp dried ginger
1 tsp rice flour (Rice flour is available in bulk at certain supermarkets, such as New Seasons.)
1/2 cup dates, chopped fine
1 1/2 tbsp pine nuts
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
Fresh rose petals for garnish (These are optional.)
- Chill a medium/large bowl and beaters for an electric mixer in the freezer. This facilitates the whipping of the cream.
- Prepare almond milk. (May be done up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated.) Place almonds in a food processor and repeatedly press the pulse button, until nuts are finely ground. May also use a Vitamix or blender. You will need to add 3 tbsp ice water, during the grinding process, if using either of these last two appliances.
- Boil water in a medium saucepan. Dissolve honey and dash of salt in boiling water. Stir in ground nuts. Take off heat, let sit for 10 minutes, stir several times.
- Add rose petals to almond milk and let soak for 10 minutes more.
- Add cinnamon and ginger. Cook for 5 minutes over low heat; stir occasionally.
- Sprinkle flour over milk mixture; continue cooking, while beating with a wire whisk until thickened.
- Add dates and pine nuts. Mix well with a spoon. Remove from heat, set aside, and cool to room temperature. Do not cool in refrigerator.
- After custard is cool, beat the cream in the frozen bowl, until it forms soft peaks.
- Fold whipped cream into cooled custard. Chill.
- Place in individual serving dishes. Lightly salt each serving and garnish with 2 fresh rose petals, if desired.