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"Bordermarch Silver Anniversary Feast" by Countess Tess of the Gardens MP.


NOTE: See also the files: feast-menus-msg, feast-serving-msg, headcooks-msg, soup-msg, illusion-fds-msg, pasta-msg, compost-msg, tarts-msg, cheesecake-msg, cookng-guilds-msg.





This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.


These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author.


While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.


Thank you,

Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous

stefan at florilegium.org



Bordermarch Silver Anniversary Feast

on the grounds of the BorderKeep

Anno Domini April 20, 2002

Anno Sociatus XXXVI



Barony Bordermarch’s Silver Anniversary Feast is prepared for you by our Cooks Guild.  Foods presented will be in a variety of textures, tastes, and serving temperatures.  Feasters will be served at table.  If an announcement is made that more servers are still needed, the kitchen will appreciate a volunteer of one person per ten to periodically parade the prepared serving vessels to the tables.  Each Course will be presented by a heralded introduction.  Please enjoy each other’s company, the ambiance, the food, and  --whether you give it or receive it-- the service.  


Countess Tessa of the Gardens MP, the Founding Baroness Bordermarch

Cooks Guild Principal



Feasters, please do not immediately light the candles at your feast table until children have had the opportunity to approach the high table in the Bordermarch traditional “Sharing of Light” to catch flame to candles from Their Excellencies’ candle and bring the glow to your table.  For Anniversary, this is called “SILVER ILLUMNATION.” An adult may accompany a child to the high table where a foil gauntlet will be given to protect a little hand, and a candle may be lit for the child to carry light to your table.  Age appropriate as deemed by the adult.



The following is an actual recipe as found in a manscript:

Fifteenth Century. A simple cabbage dish.

The original recipe from Harleian MS 4016, A Boke of Kokery:

(Cabbages)  Cabochis. ¶ Take faire Cabochis, pike hem and wassh hem, and parboyle hem; then presse oute the water on a faire borde, choppe hem, and cast hem in a faire potte with goode fressh broth and with Mary-bones, And lette hem boyle; then take faire grate brede, and cast there-to, saferon, salt, and lete boyle ynogh, And then serue hit forth.

- Austin, Thomas. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books. Harleian MS. 279 & Harl. MS. 4016, with extracts from Ashmole MS.

1429, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS 55. London: for The Early English Text Society by N. Trübner & Co., 1888.

*[For your pleasure, further redaction notes in this article shown by an asterisk are an attempt at period-style wording by the Cooks Guild.]



Historically, rather than teaching a novice cook any preparation measures or basic procedures, many manuscript recipes seemed to only “list” the ingredients.  Measurements were seldom recorded.  The preparation process was not always explained.   Certain basics were assumed as known.  To present this evening’s meal, Bordermarch Cooks Guild has used guesswork in measures, used taste testers in finding palatable results, and used the good stand-by, “creativity.”  The Cooks Guild is presenting what might have been.  For weeks, we have been preparing foods over a fire pit, in a smoke pit, and with an electric stove and oven, then preserving  it cold in deep freeze. We are warming much of tonight’s feast at Lord Vaclav’s wonderful portable hearth, to whom we give thanks.  I wish to acknowledge labors of Lady Krystal of the Wood, Lord Joseph MacCrimmon, Lady Kathileen Hamilton, M’lord George, Lady Maise MacCrimmon, Lord John the Sterling, Lady Quendolyn of the Silent Lake, Lady Vyvian of Sherwood, Lady Genivieve the Widow Fingraws, Lordd Cornelius,  M’lady Christiana Ni Richard, M’lady Nicolette of Echols Isle, M’lord Chris, M’lord Erik the Clawhand called Dragonslayer, M’lord Morgan Lucktane the Pirate, M’lord Richard Redscale, Lord Zane Amber-Gate, and especially, Lord Antoine Picard, M’lord Elrique, Their Elegant Excellencies of Bordermarch Armand and Caitrin de Lacy; and my life’s love, His Excellency Count Simonn of Amber Isle, without whom the feast could not have been made and presented.    



~ Raspberry Tea is available at the sideboard from a spigot, if you wish.

~ Warm Breads w/ Flavored Honey Butters and Herbal Butters

~ Rich Mediterranean Soup of Vegetable, Herbs, Olives, White grape wine

*[Into a bowl of cowsmilk buttered, caste sweet honey; into another caste herbs mynced small.]   Honey, known as a medicinal, could have been used as a sweetener.  Dated 1460, a source by John Russell mentions spreading butter on bread.  Hugh Platt, dated 1594, records butter and sugar. Although documentation from medieval times is lacking for actual “honey butter,” the sweet spread dates from Anno Sociatus I, and it is a tasty tradition at SCA feasts.  Many herbs were also medicinal.   One of the earliest Anglo-Saxon herbal manuscripts found is Leech Book of Bald, compiled 900-950, by Bald, a friend of King Alfred of England.  Also, Constantine the African, 1020-1087,  an Arabic-speaking Christian, at the end of the Dark Ages translated Arabic medicinal records into Latin. It stands to reason that sweet butters and herb butters might have been served.  Tonight’s purchased butters are flavored with purchased bee honey, and herbs which are both purchased and fresh from Countess Tessa’s garden.

*[Cast no oynion into the pot from which Ansteorra’s King Aaron MacGreggor will be served.   In a brothe, seep the meete of gourds with slyced roots into which hath been caste oynion in olive oille. Thereto bring orzo to a fayre boyle with white wine; boyle ynough and mess it forth with crumble of cheeze.] This Vegetable Soup is made with herbs (things grown green were called “herbs” rather than called “vegetables”), begun to simmer in olive oil.  Onion, zuccini, black olives, spinach, thyme, oregano, basil, bay leaves, red sweet peppers, yellow sweet peppers, and carrot roots, similar to period parsnips which were esteemed at table.  Parsnips were filling, nutritious, and today we know, rich in potassium, calcium and Vitamin A.  This soup, Her Excellency Caitrin’s choice, is prepared at the site kitchen over a portable fire.



~ Boar’s Head (pastry; illusion Pork), Pork Pie, Sausage Wheels, Links, and sliced Meat of Boar

~ Cabbage Leaves, loose, or rolled around herbed Rice & Pork, under a Mushroom Cream

               *[In a fayre pastry shell bake fflesh boyled, fallen from the bone, of boar.] Tonight’s visual Boar’s Head will return at meal’s end as a subtlety: buttered cinnamon pastry, to be broken apart.  Pork pies are seasoned with salt, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, and apple shavings. The pies’ upper crusts depict (by cut-outs) either the baronial arms or the BorderKeep castle.  Butcher’s Sausage Wheels, seasoned with fennel seed, are reheated by steaming.  Links are smoked.  Pork loins, smoked. A pre-smoked ham is sliced, cool.

*[Cast no oynoins into a portion for Ansteorra’s King.   From a large pott of blanched Caboge leaves, take hem to styuff with rice and herbs and flesh of boar, rollt, securt with a skewer, and serve them forth.]  Steamed cabbage leaves are stuffed with a chunk of ham and a Middle Eastern staple, rice, lightly seasoned with parsley, basil, garlic, onions, and ham base. Thought to be brave among hunts, bringing home the boar meant that you speared him rather than he speared you.  An old verse proclaims, “The Boar's Head, you understand, is the finest dish in all the land!"  When the boar is served at your table tonight, you will have the chance to “spear” the portion you like with a small skewer.



~ Salat of Leafy Greens, Spinache, Citrus and Mission Figs

~ Sweet cider vinegar, oil and citrus Dressing

               *[Into Garden greens and spinache, toss small mynced sweet figgies and  fine orange segments.  Drip overall of vinegar and oille.]  The Salad could ease digestion and cleanse the palate for the next course.



~ Meat of Boar

~ Meat of Beefe

~ Pasta Florentine

~ Minted Green Beans w/ Almonds in Broth of Fowl

               *[For a day, roast a spitted boar, and let him hang near smoking coals. Cleave hem and serve hem forth.  All the day, roast butchered calve till tender meat doth from the bones fall.]  Cooks Guild smoked the pork loins at 250-300 degrees from early morning to evening, till done.  Also the beef brisket was smoked for many hours, then finished cooking by an electric convenience till done.  Cooked pork and beef are warmed on site today at the hearth.

*[Into a great pot of boiling waters cast pasta strips till they be limp. Wring out he water clene. Take hem up to serve forth.]  Cooks Guild used boxed linguini, strip-sliced spinahe, and white cheese sauce.

*[Fyrst  remember the Ansteorran Queen Britta by a fayre pot of beens with no almonds.  Into another pot of brothe, cast green beens, mint & almonds.  When they be steamed, serve them forth.]   Modern Fava beans are a broad bean similar to period European legumes.  Green beans, served tonight, were a new world food taken back to Europe by 15th & 16th century Spaniards who noticed the beauty of the flowering green bean plant.   Mint and almonds were common in traders’ marketplaces.



~ Return of the Boar’s Head  -subtlety- (see Second Course, above)

~ Cheese Tartlets with Berries

~ Fruit Compote over Sweet Cake of apple and walnut

               *[“Secrete of mi’ancestors,” sayeth M’lord Elrique, of his chilled cheese tartlets.]

               *[From the oven take fresh cakes to portion; overall pour warm compote of fruit and surv it forth.]

And finally, you have a chilled cheesecake morsel or a warm sweet cake. We hope, however, your evening is not finished… that you will linger in the candle lit feast hall for continued revelry.



               At the pleasure and labors of Their Excellencies of Bordermarch, Armand and Caitrin deLacy, and members of the Cooks Guild, a cookery book is being produced as a fundraiser for the BorderKeep site improvement and upkeep. Former visitor Geraldine Duncan, author and European food enthusiast, has sent permission for the reprinting of some of her articles.   Famed author and expert Cindy Renfrow of Take A Thousand Eggs or More has already sent us some of her words to include.  If you would like to contribute recipes to this cookbook project, or if you would like to contribute directly to the BorderKeep site improvement and upkeep, please contact,  409-835-0152 or  409-898-4582.



Titles in Bold  are in Countess Tessa’s library and may be borrowed.


A COLLECTION OF MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE COOKBOOKS, Third Edition, Compiled by Their Graces Cariadoc of the Bow and Diana Alena, Cambridge, Mass. 1978.  Including  the following:

A Baghdad Cookery Book (AD 1226 / 623 AH)

The Closet of Sir KenelmDigby, Opened (published later by his son in 1669)

Delight for Ladies (1609)

The Forme of Cury- A Roll of Ancient English Cookery (c 1390)

Le Menagier de Paris (Goodman of Paris c 1395)

Manuscrito Anonimo (13th C. Andalusian);

A Noble Boke of Cookery Ffor a Prynce Houssolde (c 1470)

A Proper Newe Booke of Cookery (16th Cent.);

Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books


A New Book of Cookerie; John Murrell 1615; Falconwood Press; Albany NY 1988


Apicius, Cookery and Dining in Imperial Rome; translated by Joseph Dommers, Vehling; Dover Books;  NY; ISBN 0-486-23563-7


Athenaeus. The Deipnosophists, or The Sophists at Dinner. Tr. by Charles Burton Gulick. Wm. Heinemann, Ltd. London. G.P. Putnam's Sons. New York, 1927. (A set of seven volumes dated circa A.D. 228 contains information on foods of ancient Greece, Rome, and Egypt.)


Barony of Caerthe

The Caerthen Book of Cookery, Caerthen Cooks Guild Society for Creative Anachronism (Denver 1979)


Duncann, Geraldine.  The Enthusiast. and A is for CODA-WADA, Mother Goose Enterprises,  Lafayete, CA 94549, 1977.   (No ISBN or Lib Cong)

English 18th Century Cookery; Royden Publishing Co. Ltd.; Romania; 1985; ISBN 0-946674-25-6


The French Cook, by Francis de La Varenne, 1653, Englished by I.D.G., 1653.


Garden Digest      


Gode Cookery      


The Good Huswifes Jewell; Thomas Dawson 1596; Falconwood Press; Albany NY; 1988


The Second Part of the Good Hus-wives Jewell; Thomas Dawson; Falconwood Press; Albany NY; 1988




Hess, Karen ed. A Booke of Sweetmeats, Martha Washington's Booke of Cookery (17th century)  Note:  Shows illustrations of the tools in Diderot's Pictorial Encyclopedia of Trades & Industry, 18th c., Vol. 2, plates 480-483. Dover Publ, ISBN 0-486-27429-2


How To Cook Forsoothly, by Mistress Katrine de Baille du Chat OL, Raymond’s Quiet Press, Albuquerque NM 871091979


Inn of the Three Balkans being a compendium of recipes and kitchen lore by Lord Pietar Beograd, G.P.Stojcevic, Austin, 1980.


McKendry, Maxine. Edited by Arabella Baxer. Seven Hundred Years ofEnglish Cooking,  Exeter Books, Simon and Schuster, New York.  

ISBN 0-671-05973-4

McKibbin, Jean and Frank. Cookbook of Food From Bible Days, WhitakerHouse, Springdale, PA 15144, 1971.  ISBN 0-88368-319-9


Petits Propos Cullinaires     


Power, Eileen, ed. The Goodman of Paris (LE MÉNAGIER DE PARIS), George Routledge & Sons, Ltd., London, 1928. A partial webbed version of Le Ménagier de Paris, in French, can be found at The Medieval & Renaissance Food Homepage.


Renfrow, Cindy.  Take a Thousand Eggs or More, a Collection of 15th Century Recipes_ Volumes I and II; ISBN: 0-962-85980-x


Sabina Welserin's Cookbook, 1553, tr. by Valoise Armstrong


Sarah Jane English Newsletter: Sixth Edition



The Sausage Making CookBook; Jerry Predika; Stackpole Books; Harrisburg, PA; 1983; ISBN 0-8117-1693-7  


Searchable Online Archive of Recipes:



Viking foods        



Above is the text of the souvenir booklet presented with token glass tankards etched with “BORDERMARCH XXV” for Bordermarch’s 25th Anniversary Feast at which attendees found educational tidbits, delicacies, humor, and opportunities to serve or be served.  Countess Tessa of the Gardens, Mistress of the Pelican, the Founding Baroness Bordermarch, has been researching and teaching cooking and food presentations for over 25 years since the earlier eras of Ansteorra through Regional, Principality, and Kingdom years. She is known for teaching courtly graces and autocratting.  Some of her assorted articles have been published in Ansteorra, Atenveldt and Calontir, “Stefan’s Florilegium” and Tournaments Illuminated.  She is also a Viscountess, holds companionship in the Order of Queen’s Grace of Atenveldt, the Light of Atenveldt, the Star of Merit of Ansteorra and holds companionship in the baronial service orders of Bjornsborg, Bryn Gwlad and Bordermarch. She gardens and cooks with fresh herbs and has beautified the BorderKeep castle site and the Gulf Wars site by planting flowers or herb gardens. Tessa has been awarded the Sable Thistle of Ansteorra for Culinary Arts.  Always learning, in her later-50’s she has lately taken up the crossbow.


Copyright 2003 by Liz Lee, Beaumont, TX. <benliz at ev1.net>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited and receives a copy.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org