[Sca-cooks] Substitute for Potatoes?

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Mon Aug 24 13:58:42 PDT 2009

On Aug 24, 2009, at 4:47 PM, Judith Epstein wrote:

> On Aug 24, 2009, at 3:37 PM, Saint Phlip wrote:
>> You're thinking yourself into a box, again, Judith. The reason that  
>> Medieval people didn't need books to cook from is because they had  
>> traditions handed down to them from the cooks who taught them.
> After all the discussion of "something isn't traditional just  
> because your grandmother taught it to you," this statement needs a  
> wee bit more detail to make it really, strictly correct.

And yet it is essentially correct. Medieval cooks didn't learn to cook  
from books. Many of them couldn't read. The books were there as much  
as a record of what was eaten so the dishes could be replicated upon  
demend, and for purchasing and planning purposes, as for any teaching  

We, in turn, are not so much bound by rules established by long-dead  
cooks on how we can cook, as we are learning what people did in the  
past, since that is what the SCA is about.

When I'm cooking for an event, or a competition (which I generally  
hate to do, BTW), or some A&S venue, it's all the same thing. I'm  
trying to show how well I can cook while simultaneously producing  
something that would be immediately recognized by a 15th-century  
English nobleman (or whomever) as appropriate for the occasion.

The only restraint I feel is entirely self-imposed, and I don't  
consider it cramping my style in the least.


"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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