[Sca-cooks] Drizzle of Honey

Huette von Ahrens ahrenshav at yahoo.com
Thu Oct 29 10:38:24 PDT 2009

I have a copy of Drizzle of Honey and I have found it an interesting read.  But the recipes are not pre-1600.  They are modern.  That being said, I would say that if you were going to use these recipes in an SCA context, I would make sure to all who eat the food or read your recipes or participate in some way in the cooking of this food that recipes are speculative.  That is the term I like to use for doing food research for a culture that has not passed down in writing the common recipes they used and then coming up with food and recipes to simulate what they would have eaten.  

Many years ago, I did a viking banquet.  The king on the throne at that time had a viking persona.  It was a challenge to me to read the sagas and eddas for mentions of food; to read archeological papers and books on what has been found during digs in the middens.  So I did a speculative banquet based on what I found from this research.  I could have used modern recipes for this, but instead I limited myself to actual period recipes on the supposition that four or five hundred year old recipes would be closer to viking era food that modern food would be.  But either way was still speculative.  There is a huge chance that I could have been entirely wrong.

Using Drizzle of Honey within the SCA is not wrong, as long as you make absolutely clear to everyone that what you are making is not a period recipe, but rather speculative.  The reason that people twitch when you talk about this book is that there have been people who have accepted this book and its recipes as being gospel truth, and say that what they are making is authentic.  Then others believe the first person and start passing around the recipes as being authentic and so on.  You don't know how difficult it is to unconvince someone in a situation like this. 

You could also use the research from this book and find period Spanish recipes to approximate what a Sephardic Jew would have eaten in Spain during our time period.  Now that many of the historic Spanish cookbooks have been translated into English, it wouldn't be that difficult to do.  It would still be speculative in a way, but at least you could then claim that the recipes were pre-1600, even if you couldn't document that they were actually Jewish. 



--- On Thu, 10/29/09, Susan Lin <susanrlin at gmail.com> wrote:

> From: Susan Lin <susanrlin at gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Drizzle of Honey
> To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
> Date: Thursday, October 29, 2009, 8:48 AM
> While the recipes may not be
> documentable I do not think they are all
> modern.  I believe (and people will argue and yell at
> me but it my opinion
> and I will stick to it) that some may be based upon
> historical information.
> Everyone who wishes only to cook from documentable sources
> is entirely
> welcome to dismiss this book but I did find the history
> interesting.  There
> is a large section of footnotes and bibliography in the
> book.
> I have made several of the recipes including some of the
> harosets.  I have
> read other Jewish history regarding the Conversos and how
> families turned on
> one another and how the secret Jews had to be very
> careful.  It is an
> interesting part of history.
> I am a firm believer that the "creative" part of our name
> should not be
> discounted.  It is not easy to find period sources
> (many if not most of
> which have already been discovered) and much of the food
> history of the
> world was passed down without written
> memorialization.  I love finding
> period recipes or redactions from which to cook but not
> everything that was
> available or done will ever be found because as we all know
> many things were
> not written down they were just "known".
> Feel free to tell me I'm wrong and that only period sources
> that are
> memorialized in writing are proper to be used.  I will
> listen and thank you
> and take it all under advisement.
> In service to the dream and not wishing to cause
> controversy but knowing
> that I will.
> Shoshanna
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