[Sca-cooks] Recipe Choices (was Historical Apples)

Stanza693 at wmconnect.com Stanza693 at wmconnect.com
Sat Nov 1 09:28:07 PDT 2008

In a message dated 10/31/2008 2:10:27 PM Mountain Daylight Time, 
sca-cooks-request at lists.ansteorra.org writes:

> Most 
> competitions are "Spoons" - Kingdom: Wooden Spoon; Mists 
> Principality: Silver Spoon; Cynagua Principality: Copper Spoon 
> (although the Principality of Oertha has the Silver Ulu, a curved 
> skinning/chopping tool). The new one is the Linen Spoon - all 
> entrants get a piece of cloth with a picture of a spoon on it (i 
> don't recall if it's embroidered or printed). I have to say i have 
> not been happy with the recipe choices - they seem to be chosen for 
> brevity rather than suitability for beginners. That often means that 
> some ingredients are quite vague ("good herbs") and, well, i'll admit 
> i don't have full confidence in the person running them, having seen 
> his cooking documentation.

That raises an interesting question:  How should beginners choose a recipe 
for redaction?  What criteria should a wanna-be cook use when (s)he starts 
learning to "cook medieval"?  Is it number of ingredients?  Is it ease of described 
process?  Is it availability of ingredients?  

For example:  The first entry I did, in 2006, was "Mirrauste of Apples".  It 
had a total of 5 ingredients (6 if you count the water to boil the apples) 
that were very straightforward.  However, the last entry I did in September, 
"Bun~uelos en forma de pez" included a statement just like you mention above:  
"with good spices" -- con buenas especias.  It also instructs the cook to prepare 
a "fine or thin dough" -- una pasta fina.

By spending even a little time looking at other fish recipes in the cookbooks 
of the same region, it is easy enough to determine what "good spices" might 
be a good approximation.  (De Nola has all those lovely fish recipes where he 
says take X fish and its spices A, B, & C.)  I don't think that recipe was 
beyond a beginner.  The hardest part was making pasta by hand.  Even that, I 
learned wasn't difficult.

Constanza Marina de Huelva

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