This evening for dinner, I tried one of the recipes from A Culinary Journey Through Time--what the book calls "mushroom omelette."
The book indicates that the ingredients and techniques for this one would have been available in Europe in the Stone Age. Since the book also says that "poultry" (presumably meaning domesticated birds) first came to Northern Europe early in its Iron Age, I assume that the eggs referenced in the recipe would, in the Stone Age, have been eggs stolen from the nests of wild birds. Not having any of those, I used chicken eggs.
The other two ingredients specified in the recipe are "a handful of mushrooms" and fresh thyme. I figure both would have been found growing wild, in the Stone Age, and I suspect that the white morels they farm in the county where I live are not much like the wild mushrooms of northern Europe, but they are what I have available. The thyme I used came from Colombia, by way of my local supermarket.
The recipe calls for chopping the mushrooms and frying them first, on a "greased, heated stone slab." The only stone slab I have is a pizza stone, and I suspect it would not survive being placed directly on the burner of my gas range. So I substituted a no-stick skillet. At least the range emits a flame, which is how a Stone Age cook would have heated a stone slab.
The recipe does not specify what type of fat to use to grease the slab. I suspect animal fat would have been used in the Stone Age. But butter is what I have on hand, so that's what I used.
Next, the thyme was to be whisked into the eggs, and the eggs poured over the mushrooms on the hot stone. Thyme has little tiny leaves on somewhat woody stalks, so chopping it really wasn't necessary. I simply pulled leaves off and threw them in the eggs until I felt there were enough thyme leaves in there, and whisked the eggs into a yellow mass. When the mushrooms in my pan smelled as though they were done, I poured the eggs over them.
Then I turned the stove off, and left the eggs alone until they were no longer runny or translucent. At that point, I slid the cooked eggy mass onto a plate.
The result was very, very tasty. It was very good even though I added no flavorings other than thyme--no salt, no black pepper (except whatever salt was in the butter itself). Next time, I'll use animal fat, or at least unsalted butter, to try to get a taste closer to what my ancestors might have enjoyed in the Stone Age.
Another variation I'd like to try is wild onion. I do have wild onions growing on my property, and it would be interesting to find out how mincing one--leaves, bulb, and all--and adding it to the eggs would taste.
But my next experiment will likely involve leeks, since the book has two recipes featuring leeks that I'd like to try, and my husband really likes them.