Durmstrang Sausage-Fest and Harvest Party
by Susu, Dumbledwarf, Hagrid
Menu: Adriatic Blood Sausage | French Mustard Tomato Tart With or Without Sausage | Pastry Covered Roasted Lamb, Bulgarian Style | Vaguely Asian Piquant Radish Salad | Potato Filled Dumplings, German Style | Russian Black Bread | Bulgarian Rice Pudding
By the time the first task of the Tri-Wizard Tournament was over, Viktor Krumm knew he needed to talk to Hermione Granger. However, his headmaster Karkaroff did not approve of her, since she was not even a "mudblood" -- she had no wizard blood at all. Despite this, she was bright and one of the best students at Hogwart's, and he quite fancied her!
Durmstrang's ship is a "pocket universe," with many more rooms and spaces within it than initially apparent from the outside, much like Mad Eye Mooney's multi-chambered multi-lock trunk, or the never-full trunk of the Weasley's Ford Anglia (which now runs feral in the Forbidden Forest), and the tents pitched to house everyone during the Quidditch World Cup (quite a normal thing in the wizarding world, obviously!). Within was their own cafeteria and their own staff of house elves to cook and clean for them. Karkaroff felt it was a good idea to maintain the festivals and rituals the boys were used to, in order to prevent homesickness and to keep them segregated from the namby-pamby students of Hogwart's and Beauxbatons. One such autumnal festival was a pig slaughter, from which preserved meats, hams and sausages were made for the year. It would coincide with grape picking for wine and vinegar, as well.
The students -- recruited to Durmstrang from countries spanning eastern and northern Europe and even the northern reaches of Asia -- would clean out the barrels, crush grapes with their (clean!) feet, help hoist the pigs for processing, fill the sausage casings, look after the boiling vats, etc. Karkaroff was proud of this ritual and invited the older students from the other two schools to observe and participate -- if they dared. He let out a hearty laugh at the thought of the "weak" students swooning at the prospect of the gory, hard work.
Hermione Granger had noticed Viktor Krumm, star student and Quiddith seeker, staring at her every time she looked toward the Durmstrang ship on the school lake. She'd made the first move by sending him a basket of food to introduce herself to him. In reply, Viktor sent Hermione a note thanking her profusely, and basically begging her to come to the autumn festival. He'd have no other chance to talk with her otherwise. She had Professor McGonagall's permission to attend (every Hogwart's student needed to have a pass to be on another school's grounds), and asked if Harry and Ron could come with her. (Even though she and Ron were fighting most of the time, she still considered the three of them one unit.)
Viktor was overjoyed at receiving her answer, but wondered what to say to the Muggle? He knew Headmaster Karkaroff did not approve of her, but assumed -- correctly -- that even he would not move to prevent Hermione from coming. Now, if only he could figure out how to pronounce her name!
Adriatic Blood Sausage
Viktor was visibly dismayed that the object of his desire was accompanied by two boys, from whom she was essentially inseparable. He spent considerable effort asking them to do things that would separate her from them. Ron and Harry, being good English boys, did as they were requested, but were aghast at being asked to collect the dripping blood from the slaughtered pigs. When the Hogwart's boys were shown how to stir the blood to thicken it and prevent it from clotting, Draco Malfoy and Gregory Goyle did more than visibly blanche ... Vincent Crabbe ended up having to carry his friends away over his shoulders -- they had fainted! It's a very rough thing to be exposed to for English kids, but this is an authentic recipe, and very popular with the Durmstrang students. The Hogwart's students who hadn't participated in the slaughter enjoyed it, comparing it to the very similar British "blood pudding."
In a very large pot, boil the liver and pig's head in enough salted water to cover the meat. In a separate pot, do the same to the lung (do not cook with the liver and head). Pour off the water from the liver and head (save it!), discard the water in which the lung has cooked, and allow all the meat to cool. When cool enough to handle, chop or mince and mix the meats together. Boil the pearl barley with the millet (use the water from boiling the meat, if you wish). Allow to cool and add to the meat, adding more water or stock if its not "loose" enough. Boil the blood with a lot of stirring, let it cool, then add it and the herbs and salt to the meat mixture. Add the crackling and extra fat, to taste. Mix thoroughly.
Soak the intestines in water and clean them thoroughly. Cut into 5 to 10 inch pieces. Tie the tube closed on one end around a thin stick, and bunch/scrunch it (like a sock onto a foot) onto the end of a wide-nozzel funnel, then fill the skin with the meat and grain filling mixture. When full, skewer the open end shut (the classical way is to make the sausage U-shaped by tying the loose end around the thin stick securing the other end of the tube).
In the stock from boiling the pig head, cook sausages at a simmer. The sausages are done if clear liquid flows from them when they are removed from the water and pierced. Remove all sausages from the stock and rest on a wooden board and allow to cool to room temperature. At this point, the sausages can be saved in a cool place (like a refrigerator) for two days or so. You can freeze them for a longer period of time, also. When ready to eat, roast the sausages in a 350°F/170°C oven, or slice and fry with pork fat or butter. (If the oven is too hot, the skin will crack. to prevent this, you can cut slits into the skin.)
Makes about 10 to 20 lbs/5 to 8 kg of sausage.
French Mustard Tomato Tart Without or With Sausage
Ron and Harry happily joined the Durmstrang lower class boys in stomping on grapes to squeeze our their juice. Their feet were cleaned then "sterilized" with sodium metabisulfate, the same substance used to rinse out the bottles and barrels into which the wine would be stored. It stung a bit, but at least they knew that the resulting wine would be clean! They found out that the fermented "must" or solids would not be tossed away, but would be made into mustard in the French style. A favorite treat is a tomato tart with this mustard painted directly onto the crust before baking, featuring some of the bulk sausage from the slaughtered pig. Hermione tried not to declare how barbaric this all was, at least not too often. (Viktor asked Fleur Delacour of Beauxbatons to lend him a French house elf, who made this tart especially for Hermione. Alas, Fleur misunderstood Viktor's interest, and thought he was doing it all for HER ...)
Once you spread the mustard on the pie shell, bake in the oven for about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Lower the heat to 350°F/160°C. Crumble the cooked sausage onto the bottom of the shell, then layer the chopped tomato over that. Sprinkle the herbs over. Mix together the cheddar cheese with the mayonnaise. Spread over the pie. Place the pie back into the oven for 30 minutes.
Pastry Covered Roasted Lamb, Bulgarian Style
The Durmstrang boys were also taught to butcher sheep -- the oldest domesticated cattle in the world. The little beasts breed quickly, and also provide wool and leather -- essential for the cold northern climates -- as well as milk for cheese. Different from other styles of roast leg of lamb, Bulgarian style lamb is boned and has a pastry covering. Ron and Harry quickly ran into the galley when Viktor offered them a chance to make the pastry rather than to hang around for the slaughter. Unfortunately for him, Hermione ran inside with them!
Remove from the oven and let rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. Serve hot, sliced thin, with gravy or other sauce.
Vaguely Asian Piquant Radish Salad
Radishes grow quickly in the hot summers of northern Europe -- though the season is short, the days are very long, with some locations in eternal daylight for nearly the whole summer. When the long nights return in the autumn, the Durmstrang students eat as much fresh produce as they can, before all the plants die and they resort to preserved foods. Huge vats of this fresh, crisp salad are eaten with gusto. The sesame oil gives the dish a rather exotic flavoring, which Hermione described as "vaguely Asian." The Hogwart's and Beauxbatons students were pleasantly surprised at how good this spicy, crunchy salad was. Hermione ate seconds when Ron told him that his brothers reckoned they all had red hair from eating radishes -- she always secretly wanted red hair! (Viktor noted this down; women from his hometown dyed their hair red, and he wanted to get the spell for her.)
Potato Filled Dumplings, German Style
Hermione and her friends volunteered to peel potatoes -- it seemed to be less gross than handling the meat grinding or butchering. Viktor hated that job, but he joined her, simply to be in her company. Ron -- a big Quidditch fan -- greatly admired Viktor and wanted to impress him. He loudly declared that Harry was the best seeker ever, reckoning that Harry would win in a head to head contest against the Bulgarian national champion. Greatly embarassed, Harry tossed potatoes at Ron to shut him up, Ron chased Harry, there was a scuffle, and Ron fell into the salt water vat that was prepared for pickling fatty pieces of pig meat to be made into salt pork. There was a lot of laughter as he was pulled out and then had to be hosed down so that the salt didn't affect his skin too badly. While everyone's attention was on Ron, Viktor leaned forward and pressed his lips to Hermione's ... They finished peeling potatoes without further incident, and Viktor didn't have trouble keeping her with him for the rest of the evening!
When ready to fill, roll out the chilled pastry to about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 6 inch wide circles.
Russian Black Bread
In the colder climate around the Durmstrang school, wheat doesn't grow so well, but barley and rye do. However, these grains don't contain gluten, so the dough cannot rise like wheat flour does. Thus the local everyday bread is not only black in color (rather than milled wheat's pure white color), but very heavy, dense and extremely chewy. The boys of Durmstrang are used to it, and even prefer the stronger flavor and tougher texture. Viktor sliced the bread thinly and loaded on sweet (unsalted) butter for Hermione to taste. She enjoyed the sweeter flavor and asked for the recipe. Upon hearing it, she decided she'd rather visit Viktor when she wanted more. An unexpected result, but he was very happy!
In the bowl of a food processor, combine white flour, rye flour, bran cereal, caraway seeds, honey, salt, instant coffee and onion powder. Add the melted margarine and pulse till it's all combined. With the food processor running, slowly add the dissolved yeast mixture to the dough, then follow that with the vinegar, molasses, cocoa mixture. Keep processing till the mixture forms a pretty solid ball. Flour a surface and knead the dough with your hands till the surface is smooth. It won't be as elastic as white bread dough. Oil the surface of the dough and place in a bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm place till the volume doubles. This will take about 2 hours.
Punch down the dough and knead it again. Shape the dough into a ball and place it in a greased 8-inch round cake pan. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise for about an hour, till it doubles again. Heat the oven to 350°F/ 160°C and bake for 40 minutes. Toward the end of the cooking time, boil the cornstarch and water in a small pot. Stir for a minute while cooking, so the mixture thickens. Brush this over the crust of the bread, then bake for about 5 minutes till the glaze is set and shiny. Remove from the pan and cool on a rack.
Bulgarian Rice Pudding
Rice pudding is a boarding school staple -- an easy dessert making use of leftover rice and milk. As far as institutional fare goes, it's fairly reliable, usually much better than some other desserts (though of course, at Hogwart's the food was better than most places). The Bulgarians have a version that shows their Turkish heritage -- it's fragrant, tender and really a beautiful and romantic looking dish. Viktor, being the Durmstrang star, made sure that Hermione (and her friends -- he realized he couldn't ignore Harry or Ron if he was to win Hermione) got a nicely plated serving, strewn with pistachios and rose petals. She offered her serving to Harry because she didn't like pabulum-like rice pudding. Viktor panicked and claimed he had made the delicate creamy dish, and the least she could do was try it! Impressed, she did try it and liked it ... she couldn't stop telling him how much she admired that a big, buff athelete like him could make such a delicate and wonderful dessert. He'd have to figure out how to handle that lie later, but in the meantime he glowed in her attention!
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