[Sca-cooks] Disagreeing Politely: Was: SCA 50th Anniversary Challenge

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Mon Jul 21 06:40:33 PDT 2008

On Jul 21, 2008, at 8:46 AM, Elise Fleming wrote:

> Stefan quoted:
>> Anise Confits
>> Caraway confits
>> Ginger confits
>> Cinnamon Confits
>> Almond Dragees (basically almond confits)
>> Hazelnut Dragees >>>
>> I don't think you should get to count these six as six different
>> items out of the fifty. These are really all variations on the same
>> item. The procedure doesn't differ that much between them. The whole
>> idea is to learn some new things.
> And Adamantius replied:
>> Well, with respect, unless you've done them, how would you know? For
>> example, what is it about the volatile flavors and moisture content  
>> of
>> each item that might require different treatment? They're  
>> applications
>> of some similar techniques to different items, but not the same item.
> As far as the anise and caraway comfits, they work exactly the  
> same.  (Yes,
> I've done them).  Ginger would work differently since it isn't a seed.
> Cinnamon might need to be treated slightly differently from seeds and
> ginger.  Sometimes the harder things (cubebs, peppercorns) needed to  
> be
> soaked in (vinegar? wine?) for a while before comfiting.  Almonds and
> hazelnut dragees should work the same.  I've done almonds and can't  
> see how
> treating a hazelnut would be any different.  So, there could be four
> different treatments, above, but still all would be sugar-coated which
> would be basically the same process.  The temperature and  
> concentration of
> the sugar syrup between seeds and nuts might vary.  I found that I  
> had to
> be more careful with coating the nuts than with the seeds and when I  
> erred,
> the sugar coating melted off the nuts, thus negating all the work I'd
> already put in!

Well, yes, that was exactly my point. You found out the similarities  
and differences by doing them, and you learned something about the  
process along the way. Which, when doing 50 of something, is not  

And then there's also more than one way to candy seeds, which would  
also provide areas of difference: for example, whether you use syrup  
or actual candying (temperature? concentration? what's that???). If  
you choose to do them all one way, yes, then the methods are, of  
course, similar. But if not...

So, I'm left unclear as to what it is you're politely disagreeing  
with. That these processes are, or can be, different, or that you  
won't know until you've tried them?


"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,  
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's  
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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