[Sca-cooks] *Sigh* That tomato thing - again

grizly grizly at mindspring.com
Mon Oct 2 09:04:06 PDT 2006

-----Original Message-----
> > > > ..... So loosen up it is Just a Game. The more you denigrate
someone the less likely they are to try next time. One could say
something like "Well yes Tomatoes were used in late period, but were not
commonly used until after our time period and in period times they were
using the green tomatoes not the ripe/red tomatoes as per sources XY&Z.
If you would like I could show you where I got my information and we
could discuss this", instead of the bash and Nazi effect of "Tomatoes
Aint period, Proove they are period, wait you proved they were period
now prove they were common place".  < < < < <

Actually, around here (when spleens are not in vent) folks often ask for
support of whatever assertion is being made.  If someone finds evidence of a
tomato useage and presents it in context of whatever was found, then game
on.  If there is a generalization made that whatever reference makes the
tomato use ubiquitous and cultrually spread across several time/location
chuncks on the spectrum, then the logic leading to that is needed.

My actual preference is to find a way to interest people in learning about
research, developing and testing hypotheses, reviewing available research
and documentation, and presenting completed assertions for scrutiny of one's
peers or colleagues in a givena rea of research.  Learning/teaching research
skills at the front end could possibly save lots of consternation along the
way for everyone.

My perosnal interpretation of the general approach of responsible scholars
is to avoid useage of such terms as "period" in the first place.  I ask
people to show me their evidence of use of X and the time/place of
contention.  "Period" ain't got any real traction for when and where smooth
tomato-based pasta sauces were in common use and by whom.  We have several
parameters for real knowledge and understanding in our little game of SCA.
Often times they are blurred for one or more reasons, like we are generally
covering 10 centuries of history, but have use when evaluating assertions.
I contend that they at least: TIME, PLACE, SOCIAL CLASS.  Your kilometerage
may vary (YKMV).

Knowing how an assertion or claim or document touches each of these elements
gives me a general idea how to evaluate its place in our current body of
knowledge.  I understand that there are persons want to be the person that
finds the definitive document that proves mashed potatoes, or tomatoes, or
country fried chicken, or modern pizza, or hershey's chocolate, or gilbey's
gin, or barbequed pork sandwiches are "period".  If those people are looking
for the one piece of evidence that allows everyone to free wheel and make
fried chicken, mashed potaotes, stewed tomatoes and chocolate merigue pie
for a "period" feast any time they want . . . . then I suspect there will be
some significant resistance from the "food people".  If those researchers
are looking to expand the general understanding of those food items and
their assimilation into the various foodways of time-place-economic group,
then the resistance will be much less.  I see these approaches as two (of
many) arms of the multi-faceted continuum of the research.

niccolo difrancesco
(who believes there is no "magic bullet" for these cusp food items that
become the hero-quest of new people every few months or so)

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