"This seyd by hem that ben nought worth two fecches" - Troilus and Criseyde

81 For to make a potage fene boiles, tak wite benes & seth hem in water, & bray the benys in a morter al to noyt; & lat them sethe in almande mylk & do therin wyn & honey. & seth reysouns in wyn & do ther to & after dresse yt forth.

- Diursa Servicia

Fecches are vetches, which are strictly defined as legumes. But a more loose translation is "beans," which is exactly what Chaucer means when he writes "nought worth two fecches." In other words, not worth two beans.

Bring to a boil the 2 cups of wine and the raisins; remove from heat and allow to steep until rasins are plump. Slowly heat 1/2 cup of the milk; when warm, carefully beat in the beans with a spoon or wire wisk. Add the 1/4 cup wine and the honey. Still slowly cooking, continue to beat in more milk until the mixture has reached a thick, smooth, pudding-like consistency. Drain the raisins; stir into pudding and cook for another minute, until the raisins have warmed. Serve.

You can substitute real almond milk with the modern Swedish method of flavoring whole milk with almond oil or extract.

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© James L. Matterer

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Book II. A Chaucerian Feast Part 1 | Part 2

Book I. A Chaucerian Cookery Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3