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

Elise Fleming alysk at ix.netcom.com
Mon Jul 21 09:24:10 PDT 2008

At the risk of being fussed at for quoting too much, I'm going to leave the
original stuff intact, below, because I can't figure out where to shorten
it!  I think, Good Master A, that I am disagreeing with you - sort of - and
agreeing with Stefan - sort of - when he said that those items weren't all
separate things.  I probably would class all the comfits as one, and the
dragees as another.  It's something like chocolate pudding, vanilla
pudding, coconut pudding, etc. Shoud they be classes as three separate
items or all one type (puddings)?  For the purpose of the 50th Anniversary
Challenge, I'd say that someone would be fudging the idea of the challenge
if they classed these as three separate projects.  So, counting caraway,
anise (and possibly cinnamon) comfits as three separate projects would be
missing the concept of the challenge.  They, in my fussy opinion, would be
one item done three ways.  The almond and hazelnut dragees could
conceivably be a second project.

Ah, well.  It wasn't a serious fuss - just a minor, no-coffee-yet, early
morning fuss because I haven't fussed for a few weeks and I'm panicking
about getting ready for Pennsic.

Alys, quoting the whole thing below

Elise Fleming
alysk at ix.netcom.com

> [Original Message]
> From: Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius <adamantius1 at verizon.net>
> To: <alysk at ix.netcom.com>; Cooks within the SCA
<sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
> Date: 7/21/2008 9:40:35 AM
> Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Disagreeing Politely: Was: SCA 50th
> 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  
> insignificant.
> 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?
> Adamantius
> "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  
> bellies."
> 			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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