[Sca-cooks] War Fare review

Johnna Holloway johnnae at mac.com
Sun Jun 5 11:47:23 PDT 2011

It's been suggested that I should share my review of this lovely work  
with this list.

Hope you enjoy it


Feinberg, Bonnie and Marian Walke. War Fare: A collection of recipes  
and remembrances from The Sated Tyger Inn and Battlefield Bakery, two  
famous food purveyors at the Pennsic Wars of the Society for Creative  
Anachronism. Redmond, WA: Layer Five Group, 2010. 172 pages. With  

  As the 40th anniversary of the Pennsic War rapidly approaches, there  
has appeared on the market, this marvelous compilation of recipes and  
anecdotes from the earlier days of Pennsic. Long ago two cookshops,  
namely The Sated Tyger Inn and Battlefield Bakery made it their  
business to feed people at the War. This is a true account of those  
endeavors written by the two ladies that made it all happen. The book  
also captures that elusive magic of the War, that magic of gathering,  
those two weeks in August, and of friends, and of the community. So  
much of what makes the war an experience that draws people back and  
back yet again can be found in the volume. It preserves and celebrates  
the War in a warm fashion in a volume with distinctive style. As such  
it would make a grand gift for those that once attended Pennsic but  
cannot now participate due to age or infirmity. It’s a wonderful  
volume for provoking memories.

And almost as a bonus, it includes the recipes for the foods once  
served through those cookshops. These tried and tested recipes have  
been reworked for the home cook and for amounts now suitable for  
families, rather than for armies! For the bakers among us, there’s a  
valuable chapter titled “Medieval Breads and How to Make Them With  
Some Degree of Authenticity.”

The co-author of this volume Marian Walke, known to her countless  
friends on many cookery lists and in person as Old Marian / Marion of  
Edwinstowe, sadly passed away shortly before the book was published in  
the fall of 2010. I am sure that she would have approved of the  
results. Co-author Bonnie Feinberg is to be commended for her work in  
bringing the volume to life. Marian’s passing sadly reminds us that  
many of older members are aging and taking their memories of the  
Society with them. It’s a reminder that the older generation and their  
insights (not to mention their recipes and accounts) are passing away  
with them. It’s past time to assemble more accounts and gather up more  
recipes before it is too late and our own culinary and Society history  
is lost forever. The past, after all, even the Society’s past should  
be celebrated by all.

As Food History News’ Sandy Oliver noted, “It is a fun read, full of  
terrific illustrations of field ovens, food in the past, dishes made,  
and baked goods, and full of accessible recipes for all kinds of  
medieval dishes for modern people.”

I can think of no better way to celebrate Pennsic XXXX than to acquire  
one’s own copy of War Fare. (Devra has copies, so contact her for  

Review by Johnnae llyn Lewis, CE


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