cb-novices-msg - 10/14/98
Cookbooks for those new to period cooking. Cookbook reviews.
This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.
This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org
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Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous
Stefan at florilegium.org
Date: Sun, 14 Sep 1997 20:36:39 -0500
From: Maddie Teller-Kook <meadhbh at io.com>
Subject: Re: SC - Books for Beginners?
Wendy Trankle wrote:
> As a relative newcomer to the SCA I have decided that my interest in
> cooking could be about to take a very interesting turn indeed. Can
> anyone suggest good books for the beginner. All help will be much
> Gwen Seis
I think Pleyn Delit is a wonderful first cookbook. It has the original,
translated and redacted recipe so you can get a feel for the flavors of
some dishes from the 14th and 15th century. The second edition has come
out. It has expanded recipes but I have noticed it doesn't have as many
of the 'original' recipes with the redactions. BUT, It is fairly easy
to get, try ordering it at a Bookstop or Borders or Barnes and Nobles.
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 1997 07:57:28 -0600
From: morgan <morgan at in-tch.com>
Subject: Re: SC - Books for Beginners?
Greetings to all who recieve this message! and especially to you, Gwen
Another resource for the beggining cook is a pamphlet by Mistress
Siobhan Medhbh O'Roarke: Traveling Dysshes or, foods for wars, peace,
and potlucks. I think it is a wonderful booklte for beginning cooks,
and I have found the recipes I have used from it to be very well
recieved. All my friends in the SCA think I am now a wonderful cook.
Copies are available from the author by writing to : Pat McGregor, 3507
Santos Circle, Cameron Park, CA 95682-8247. Also can be contacted at
pat at lloyd.com.
Date: Mon, 15 Sep 1997 09:06:46 -0500
From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at ptd.net>
Subject: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #269
>As a relative newcomer to the SCA I have decided that my interest in
>cooking could be about to take a very interesting turn indeed. Can
>anyone suggest good books for the beginner. All help will be much
Hi There, and welcome!
For Beginners, it's easier to see the original recipes along side the
"redacted" ones, to help learn terminology.
I reccomend Take a Thousand Eggs or More, by Cindy Renfrow, and also Pleyn
Delit, Hieatt et al., second edition, for good, accurate jumping-off places,
and enough recipes that are well redacted that even if you can't read
middle-english, you can still cook a wonderful feast or just surprise and
astound your friends.
Please steer away from Fabulous Feasts. Some of the recipes, by admission of
the author, are "made up", the scholarship is sketchy at best, and the
author suggests substituting modern things for medieval ingredients that are
readily available now anyway. This book is probably the most readily
available in a modern bookstore, but it would be a mistake to use it like a
bible, although some of her information about serving and servants is quite
In addition, you can go to the Office of the Stock Clerk at the SCA web
page, where I believe there are other cookbooks available (How to Cook
Forsoothly and The Compleat Dagger Lickin' Good come to mind. Though the
original documentation is not always available for these, the cooking is
sound, and tasty, and tried-and-true).
Hope this is the beginning of a huge library of wonderful tomes.
Date: Mon, 15 Dec 1997 22:25:22 -0600
From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>
Subject: RE: SC - books for novice cooks--??
>Does anyone know of any books on period cooking? I feel sort of funny
>just trying to do a recipe without having read a thing about it. I have
>made shortbread and scones, but that's it. Merci beaucoup!
Currently in print, The Medieval Cookbook by Maggie Black, Pleyn Delight
Often available through the library, To the King's Taste and To the
Queen's Taste by Lorna Sass and Sallets, Humbles, and Shrewsbery Cakes
by Ruth Ann Beebe.
These are good selections for starting into period cooking.
Date: Mon, 22 Jun 1998 23:51:06 -0400
From: Bonne <oftraquair at hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: SC - Sourdough
A good beginning bakers book is "Breadtime Stories". Sorry, don't know the
author because I don't own a copy. All the whys and wherefores are covered on
the life of yeast beasties; a basic flour, yeast, water, salt recipe is given;
followed by advice on how to slow down or speed up the process so as to fit
the bread baking around other activities; and a wealth of variations with
different flours and other additions. The gist of the book is bread as main
componant of vegetarian meal, so each variation also has appropriate, and
often ethnic/traditional soups, stews, etc.
Date: Tue, 23 Jun 1998 14:24:29 +1000
From: Robyn Probert <robyn.probert at lawpoint.com.au>
Subject: Re: SC - Sourdough
At 11:51 PM 22/06/98 -0400, Bonne wrote:
>A good beginning bakers book is "Breadtime Stories". Sorry, don't know the
>author because I don't own a copy. All the whys and wherefores are covered on
>the life of yeast beasties; a basic flour, yeast, water, salt recipe is given;
Another good source of background info and detailed instructions is the Time
Life book "Bread" from their Good Cook series.
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 21:10:45 EDT
From: THLRenata at aol.com
Subject: Re: SC - SC Another newbie question
>> What books or steps should a newbie take to start getting the basics? I
have been to a few renassance (?) fairs and seen how a little of the cooking
is done but from what I hear on this list even the cooking preparation is
differnt. Am I right? Maybe I am trying to make this harder than it really is.
I hate being this stupid!!<<
I recommend Cindy Renfrow's "Take 1000 Eggs or More" volumes 1 & 2. Volume 1
has recipes translated into more understandable English, then redacted into
recipes a modern cook can understand. Volume 2 has more recipes translated,
but not redacted. It does contain helpful hints for redacting them on your
They are available from Acanthus Books (Acanthusbk at aol.com) or from the SCA
Stockclerk. Cindy is also on this list.
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 10:04:41 -0600 (MDT)
From: Mary Morman <memorman at oldcolo.com>
Subject: Re: SC - Cookbooks
On Wed, 23 Sep 1998, Nikki McGeary wrote:
> Greetings, all! I'm new to the list, though I've been cooking in the
> SCA for a long time. My question is this: what period cookbooks,
> SCAdian and otherwise, do you recommend to start a collection for
> preparing feasts and where may I obtain them? Thank you so much for any
> Lady Heloise Noailles-les-Brive of the Barony of Bhakail (Philadelphia)
The ones that I would most recommend for someone starting out are Hieatt's
Pleyn Delite (either first or second edition, although second is a little
better) and the new Odile Redon book The Medieval Kitchen. These books
include the original recipes, tell you quite a bit about Renaissance food
and cooking and dining, and have generally good redactions that you can
work from (note I said "work from" - I doubt I ever actually followed a
recipe exactly in my life, it was quite a trial for my home-ec teachers).
If you want to start working from originals, then The Two Fifteenth
Century Cookbooks and Forme of Curye are great starting places. And for
the best bang for your buck, you cannot possibly do better than Cariadoc's
But, again, if you are just starting out, I would suggest either the
Hieatt or the Redon - you probably need a little hand-holding until you
get your feet under you.