[Sca-cooks] Cookery Ideology was RE: on topic: Healthy Feasts - was OT: diet, was sugar problems

grizly grizly at mindspring.com
Wed Aug 9 20:43:06 PDT 2006

-----Original Message-----
> > > > > If I were entering the dish into competition, your objection would
certainly be applicable, but I chose the recipe precisely because it is
one of those rare period recipes with something approaching accurate

My recommendations are for feast preparation.  I like your suggestions, too.

Duriel  < < < < <

Yikes!  This reply went longer than I inteded.  I guess I had a personal
need to hear this from myself, so I beg your indulgences.

I often hear responses like that, and I genuinely do not understand the
whole "if it were a competition" thing.  I am understanding more and mor
enow that there is an ideological difference at play . . . not that one is
any better than another, but mine is different than a certain population out
there.  Our reasons for being in the kitchen with these obscure and
sometimes arcane texts describing foods we've never eaten before.  Joy of
cooking and serving good food to others who appreciate it is at the core of
nearly eveyone I speak with.

It's the detail of the historical application that seems to be the
divergence.  I very honestly and publically proclaim that my efforts in
historical cookery and preparing feasts is to try to emulate and recapture
the flavors and feels that were actually done before.  I know we are still
rather barbaric in our understanding and techniques, but as a group we are
progressing rather rapidly thanks to communication venues like this and
accelerated translation of texts into English.  I see my craft as my best
opportunity to add to the atmosphere of seeing and feeling what it was like
someplace in the Middle Ages through Early Modern Times.  There are soooooo
many texts to read, experiment with and understand in context of
socio-political settings that I can spend my entire life pushing my limits
of knowledge and understanding and never get through it all.  There is a
perpetual challenge and opportunity limited only by my time and hunger.

If I want to do variants for interest or for family and friends, I do it.  I
personally do not experience the need or enjoyment of whipping around a
recipe I have worked out at great emotional and time investment to make it
what it isn't.  I find a subtle, sublime satisfaction in perfecting the
recipe as some scribe wrote down hundreds of years ago to make it make as
much sense as I can understand about technology, food habits, food
availability & identification, economic cultures, religion and social
demands.  That's what I DO . . . competition, afternoon lunch, feast for
Coronation, Friday night fare for travelling guests.  It's all the same for
me in finding a way to plug into the experience they had <<insert time and
place here>> in the same sort of meal.  I don't have a different modus
opperendi for each situation.

I can appreciate and make room in the world for people who find a different
passion and enjoyment in taking a recipe and doing what it is that they do
to make it fit their vision and desire for the recipe.  I do that with other
venues and other groups of people with zeal and passion myself.  I can see
it.  I just don't do it in the SCA/Historical cookery venue.  I put my own
spiritual and personal imprint on the recipes that I develop or adapt for
myself while I make as much effort as I can  to take my personal
preconceptions and imprint OUT from the historical stuff to almost "commune"
with Maestro Martino or his cooks to feel what the feel and know what they
know whe they are preparing dishes for the Duke of Naples and his travelling

Others don't have the same goal, and my goals aren't exactly harmonious with
everyone.  That's part of the fun and fabric of our craft.  We can always
find somone who is travelling a similar road until we decide to find a
different road or a divergence.  Always a place at the table for those who
love cooking and who want to learn something, whatever that is, about the
craft of historical cookery.

amen.  pacem et bonum,
fra niccolo difrancesco

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