[Sca-cooks] Too Healthy to Post?

lilinah@earthlink.net lilinah at earthlink.net
Tue Aug 15 22:50:46 PDT 2006

I get this list as a digest, and i find it odd that i haven't 
received a Digest since 8:20 PDT this morning (Vol. 4, Issue 97)...

Are we all doing such healthy things that no one is posting?

What i've been doing...

I'm still working on Stage Three of my "At the Table of the Sultan" 
project (still in Beta Test :-)

Stage One was rapid almost automatic translation (pen in notebook), 
leaving uncertain and ambiguous words in French and some French word 

Stage Two was resolving uncertain and ambiguous words and refining 
the translation a fair bit.

Stage Three is more head butting with refining the language, and now 
i'm translating Yerasimos's modern recipes, which i had initially 
skipped, since i'm not really all that interested in them.

In my translation, i want to retain some of the archaic sound of the 
original recipes, without having it sound too stilted or hard to 
understand. Also, there are places in the essays that quote directly 
from some 15th and 16th century Europeans visiting the Ottoman court 
and i'm wrestling with two issues there - one, making sure i really 
understand the archaic French, and two, translating so as to maintain 
its more formal character without making it awkward.

Additionally, i've got 2/3 of the recipes and 1/2 the essay typed 
into the computer. Still plugging away.

I've even picked up a Turkish grammar book, but couldn't find a 
Turkish-to-English dictionary at the local used book stores near 
UC-Berkeley, just a bunch of little Turkish-German/German-Turkish 
dictionaries. Sigh. I'll have to ask a source what's a good one and 
go hit bookfinder.com

Anyone on the list know for certain how much yogurt is in a standard 
Parisian "pot de yogourt" (we're talkin' plain yogurt here, not 
fruity)? Yerasimos is not more specific than that in several of his 
modern versions of the 15th c. recipes. He has at least standardized 
his versions to some extent - if they contain sheep meat, it's always 
500 grams, and most of the time he specifies "gigot d'agneau", 
regardless of what the Ottomans might have used. A web search in 
French turned up several different sizes. Heck, a container of yogurt 
is certainly not standardized here in the US (here the most common 
sizes are 6 oz and 8 oz). But i'm thinking maybe there is one size 
that is the most common in Paris where Yerasimos was teaching for 25 

Today i was comparing my translations into English of Yerasimos's 
translations into French of Shirvani's translations into Turkish of 
al-Baghdadi's Arabic with Charles Perry's brand new translations of 
al-Baghdadi. There are some differences which are obviously due to 
(1) the fact that the Arabic doesn't have things like commas or 
semi-colons, and (2) the translation-of-a-translation factor. But 
Shirvani clearly altered some of Baghdadi's recipes a bit. I made 
notes in my translation, and i'm going to go back and analyze them 
more carefully tomorrow or the next day. I want to see if it looks 
like some of the differences may reflect particular Ottoman 

BTW, tomorrow i'll post the working versions of the two recipes we 
ended up cooking at our Kingdom A&S in 112 degree F heat (with the 
Heat Index adding about 10 degrees to that). One was Merserem - lamb 
with herbs and yogurt - and the other was Rashidiyya - chicken with 

I had a very early day today, so i'm going to bed early.
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

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