[Sca-cooks] Definition of "Period Cooking" was Substitute for Potatoes?

lilinah at earthlink.net lilinah at earthlink.net
Tue Aug 25 15:11:51 PDT 2009

Judith Epstein <judith at ipstenu.org>
>4. IF I ENTER A CONTEST, at that point I'll use a cook book. Sure.
>I'll resent the heck out of it, because there's the (entirely un-
>justified) perception that my cooking's not good enough, and I have to
>obey some cook who doesn't know me, my diners, my kitchen, or my
>tastes... but yes, I'll use a bloody book.

Good, frickin' grief. It has *nothing* to do with anyone not being 
"good enough".

The SCA in the USA, its country of origin, is recognized by the IRS 
as a 501(c)(3) educational organization - focused on the period 
basically between the Fall of Rome and 1600 and primarily on Europe 
(now stretching to cultures with which Europeans had contact). So it 
is a requirement for us to hold educational activities to maintain 
this status.

*You* may be just fine, *I* may be just fine, but neither of us is a 
medieval person. So in the interest of education and historical 
research, we who are interested in furthering our knowledge of 
SCA-period study what people did and how they did it then. Therefore, 
in the context of an SCA competition, using an historical cookbook 
from the period covered by the SCA is completely justified. It does 
not indicate a perception that anyone's cooking is not good enough - 
after all, anyone is welcome to enter. But if the competition is 
oriented to things historical and they don't do something historical, 
they will get low marks. There are sometimes competitions for 
non-historical, purely SCA-related things, which will have different 

If you resent having to do historical research, you don't have to. 
Just make it clear that you are not interested in learning about 
historical cooking. You can freely invent your own dishes as suit 
you. There is no requirement to do more than dress in a way that is a 
"reasonable attempt" at medieval in the SCA. You are free eat 
whatever you like.

However, there are, as you have no doubt noticed, quite a few of us 
on this list who actually ARE interested in foodstuffs and cuisine 
within the time period covered by the SCA. We really DO want to get 
some idea of what and how people cooked and ate. Making it up in our 
own heads just doesn't approach that knowledge.

Many of us are good cooks of modern foods as well, and we don't 
always resort to cookbooks. But if we are inventing our own recipes, 
regardless of ingredients, those will be 21st c. recipes, not 
SCA-period recipes.

someone sometimes called Urtatim

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