header-image

Tomas de Courcy

A Baker's Peel Vert

Paston Letter

Letter Writing

I enjoy getting to write letters in period style, the formulaic method that was used makes it easy to transform an invitation to the Crown into something that adds to the game.

Here are three letters I’ve written in the past by taking letters from about the same time period and utilizing the same formula in an SCA context. The letters were then given to those with a much better hand than mine to write out.

An invitation to the King and Queen of An Tir to attend an event I was running:

To Ieuan Dei Gracia Rex An Tir et Viscomes Tir Righ et dominus Aquilon, and Gweneth Dei Gracia Regina An Tir et Viscomitessa Tir Righ.

Your faithful subjects of Lionsdale wishing to observe their oaths and the fidelity due to God and to you, wish health, and tender their lawful service with all respect and honour. To this we desire for you to attend our Winter’s Tourney the Saturday following the celebration of the Presentation of our Lord (February 4th AS XLVI) that we may render our thanks unto you for being our sovereigns.

At Lionsdale, on the 15 day of January in the XLVI Year of the Society.

Lord Tomas de Courcy

New World Foods in 16th Century England

“But they didn’t eat that” is a phrase that always makes me want to dig out my books and start researching. One of my favourites is turkey, which were easily obtainable in England by 1555, costing only slightly more than capons (Dugdale 135). Turkeys even showed up in cookery books written for the gentry and yeoman classes in the 1590s such as The Good Huswifes Jewell. But there are many plants that also came from the New World to England before 1600, including tomatoes, peppers, squash, potatoes, and corn.  Sadly it doesn’t seem to include the cocoa bean which, though it came to Europe by 1544, doesn’t get referenced in English until 1604 (Grivetti and Shapiro 926-7).
A great deal of knowledge is held in Gerarde’s Herball, first published in 1597. Gerarde was a member of the gentry class who was originally trained as a surgeon before becoming the superintendent of gardens for William Cecil, one of the Queen’s advisors (Rickman 1). The Herball incorporates information from various other herbals and medical texts of the time as well as his own commentary on the plants listed. It is not always accurate, such as in its entry on “stonie wood” (Gerarde 1390), likely petrified wood, but it does give a good overview of what plants were known of and used in England at the time. The Herball also allows us to debunk several myths we hold about the time, such as those regarding tomatoes.

Proper Roasted Turkey

Many years ago my wife and I started making turkey for SCA events, starting when someone told us that turkey wasn’t period. So of course we couldn’t let that stand and did the research. Now of course we were normally doing this for large events or for things where oven space was at a premium, or time at a minimum, so we’ve never been able to do it properly in a coffin. So I was very glad that the vote on my poll was for turkey, because this time I get to make it in a coffin.

Culinary Night spread

Stewed Camel

My wife, Her Ladyship Kayleigh de Leis, likes to suggest strange dishes for me to try making . At her recommendation we’re trying camel. Nope, that’s not a typo. Today’s recipe comes to us from Anissa’s Blog, and was originally translated by Charles Perry. Unfortunately I don’t have a copy of A Baghdad Cookery Book (aka Kitāb Al-ṭabīkh by Al Baghdadi), from which this comes, so I don’t have a page number for you.

The dishes from Culinary Night, they’re a bit brown as everyone did a protein dish this time

Medieval Candy

This was my first time doing a poll to determine what I was going to make for Culinary Night. Candy won out over Andalusian bread. I’m thinking I may continue to have polls to determine what I’m making.

First off, this one  isn’t my research or recipe, instead I’m basing it on the work of Jana of the Time Travel Kitchen. More specifically I’m taking this from the entry To make Penydes (I believe it’s pronounced pen-ids based on the Middle Eastern “panids” see here )

With that being said, this comes originally from Curye on Inglysch, specifically from Harley manuscript 2378. Here’s the original:

 

  • flex feature
  • flex feature
  • flex feature
  • flex feature
  • flex feature
  • flex feature
  • flex feature
  • flex feature
  • flex feature
  • flex feature

Suet

Just a quick post today.

This week the Montengarde Culinary Group is making meat balls. I’ve been meaning to render the suet I’ve had in the freezer for a few months now. This seemed like a good time so we can use some of it in the meatballs if needed.

I’ve done this the way where you need to be constantly standing near a stove as it renders, a slow cooker is just as effective but you can go do other things while it cooks. Basically you’re heating up the suet until all the fat has melted then you strain the bits of connective tissue and meat out of it and let it set. Once that’s done it’s basically shelf stable (probably want to use it within a year).