[Sca-cooks] More Beginning Historic Cooking

Lilinah lilinah at earthlink.net
Wed Jan 3 22:30:47 PST 2007

OK, Joshua, thanks for the introduction and explanations.

Now, i would suggest that you take a look in the Florilegium (often 
affectionately referred to on this list as "The Flora thingy"), which 
is put together by our very own Stefan li Rous.

The information there is not always 100 per cent historically 
accurate, but it's a lovely place to browse, since Stefan collects 
messages from this and other lists on a variety of topics relevant to 
historic re-creation, and the SCA in particular. So it's like ongoing 
conversations on specific topics. Food isn't the only topic, but 
there is a vast amount of information, speculation, and debate on 
historical food.

There's lots of food stuff in there, from essays about individual 
food items, to descriptions of SCA feasts, to whole historic 
cookbooks translated by SCA members. There are also a few lists of 
cookbooks, generally with some description about each.

I confess i haven't read your explanatory message in detail, just 
skimmed it, as i'm trying to get back up to speed on my somewhat 
re-configured e-mail client, although i do intend to read the whole 
thing. I say this because, while i know you are new to historic 
cooking, i can't recall if you are new to cooking.

If you have cooking experience, both using modern cookbooks, and the 
sort where the cook experiments by making dishes out of whatever is 
in the kitchen, then, in my opinion anyway, learning to use 
historical recipes isn't that hard...

True, many recipes are not particularly specific, until one gets to 
the 16th century. But if you're willing to experiment by taking some 
"period" recipes and trying to work them out yourself, you may 
discover the pleasure and excitement of using historical recipes. I 
nearly flunked Home Economics, back in the early 1960s, because i 
couldn't cook oatmeal and prunes. But 5 years later i was cooking 15 
dish Indian feasts for friends.

I'm one of the older folks on the list (but not the oldest :-) so i 
have almost 1/2 century of cooking experience - mostly non-American 
food - i have a penchant for spicy food from hot climates :-) In 
fact, this has made working with historical recipes seem a lot like 
using the cookbooks i bought when i lived in Indonesia, which 
generally tell the cook to use "enough" of certain ingredients and to 
cook the dish "until it is done".

If you are new to cooking in general, let us know if there's a 
particular type of dish you'd like to make (you had a list, but it's 
best to start with one sort of thing) - by this i mean, a vegetable 
dish, or a meat dish, or something else...

Then we can go through the process of working out a recipe on list, 
starting with the historical original, explaining some of the unusual 
or unfamiliar terms, and showing how we come up with a modern style 
recipe (some of us just cook straight from the medieval recipes, but 
that might be less helpful to you, if you're new to cooking in 

So, would you like to try a chicken or pork dish? Got a favorite 
vegetable (not potatoes) you'd like to go Medieval on?

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

Dar Anahita
menus and recipes from at least 6 feasts
(which means the recipes are scaled for 60 to 150 people)
other recipes i've enjoyed (in a reasonable serving size)
and more...

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