I’m back from Tir Righ A&S. My shortened research will be posted here later this week. Suffice to say my coffins went over very well. I’m not planning on any major competitions for a while now, but I have some minor things I’m trying out, including trying to make bread from mead yeast. We’ll see how that goes.
Anyway, I was asked a number of times this past weekend if I do much research on cooking in countries not England. The answer is no. Not that I don’t do cooking from other cookery books, but I prefer not to do projects on them. I did one on Roman cookery, but that was a special occasion. I prefer English Cookery. Why? For the same reason that someone who’s expertice is Turkish Ottoman Clothing probably won’t be a master of English 14th century clothing. There are some major differences in the cookery between countries. As to why I picked England, well there are two reasons. First I can read Middle English, I can not read French. I would prefer to be able to make my own translations and adaptations rather than to trust someone else’s. Second, although there is significant spread of continental cooking to England, there doesn’t seem to be as much spread the other way. So I can document a French recipe in England, but it’s harder to go the other way.
There are English Cookery manuscripts for the last two centuries of the SCA time period, that is more than enough for me, thank you. I have no intention on learning a completely different style of cooking. I tried Roman Cookery, and it was such a change of mindset from English Cookery that I spent a good portion of my time just learning the basics of their cooking assumptions and concepts, whereas I already know those for English cooking.