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sotelties-msg - 3/29/05

Sotelties and Warners - decorated food.Medieval food presented in an ornamental way. Disguised food. Food sculptures.

NOTE: See also these files: sugar-paste-msg, Warners-art, gingerbread-msg, sugar-msg, Sugarplums-art, Roses-a-Sugar-art, marzipan-msg, pig-heads-msg, Chastlete-art, endoring-msg, Sugar-Icing-art, molded-foods-msg.

(Warners are disguised food. Sotelties are sculptures made from edible ingredients but not always intended to be eaten or even safe to eat)


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

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

Thank you,
    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous
                                          Stefan at florilegium.org

From: caradoc at enet.net (John Groseclose)
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Subject: Re: Edible stained glass
Date: Sun, 13 Nov 1994 20:43:53 -0700

mscholte at nyx10.cs.du.EDU (marion scholten) wrote:
>         A member of my Shire remembers a recipe for edible stained
glass. If anyone has it could you please email it to me. Thanks
>         M'Lord Marion Lang Boogschutter - Seneshal
>         Shire of Border Vale Keep
>         Kingdom of Atlantia

If you've any experience making hard candies, it's easy. All you need to
do is melt a lot of sugar with a little corn syrup and boil it until it
reaches "hard crack" (IE: when you drip it into cold water, it IMMEDIATELY
gets hard and brittle.

I make a Scottish candy called "gundy" from molasses and honey, flavoring
it with aniseed or horehound, depending on my taste at the time.

As soon as I can find my recipe, I'll post it for you.

To make the "stained glass" effect, simply mix coloring into the candy
before pouring it into a buttered pan, or carefully fold it into the candy
immediately after pouring.

In the local Barony (Sundragon, K. of Atenveldt) my lady has become
reknowned for her baklava (middle Eastern pastry of thin dough, nuts, and
honey.) Between the two of us, several households seem to be needing
longer belts. :) She also makes *astounding* cheesecakes.
John D. Groseclose <caradoc at enet.net>

From: mchance at crl.com (Michael A. Chance)
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Subject: Re: Edible stained glass
Date: 13 Nov 1994 20:15:25 -0800

caradoc at enet.net (John Groseclose) writes:
>If you've any experience making hard candies, it's easy. All you need to
>do is melt a lot of sugar with a little corn syrup and boil it until it
>reaches "hard crack" (IE: when you drip it into cold water, it IMMEDIATELY
>gets hard and brittle.

>To make the "stained glass" effect, simply mix coloring into the candy
>before pouring it into a buttered pan, or carefully fold it into the candy
>immediately after pouring.

John is essentially correct, and this is the basic recipe that my lady
has used for many years.  I would only add a very important warning:

boiling sugar is extremely high, and will cause serious burns if it
comes in contact with skin.  Worse, it will stick to your skin worse
than napalm, causing even more severe burning until removed or it

Even with extra precautions, my lady inevitably gets at least a couple
of spot burns from the candy boiling and spitting every time she makes
it.  She puts up with it because it gets such rave reviews every time
she creates subtleties that make use of glass candy.  Of course, she not
only colors the candy, she flavors it as well.

By all means, make glass candy.  Just be careful when you do.

Mikjal Annarbjorn
Michael A. Chance          St. Louis, Missouri, USA    "At play in the fields
Work: mc307a at sw1stc.sbc.com                             of St. Vidicon"
Play: mchance at crl.com

From: meadhbhni at aol.com (Meadhbhni)
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Subject: Re: Edible stained glass
Date: 14 Nov 1994 09:40:08 -0500

I remember that the meridian A & S newsletter had an article about edible
stained glass a few years ago.  you might see if they have that article on
file.  unfortunately, i don't remember which issue of seasons it was in.

meadhbh ni ruaidh o chonnemara OL, Stargate, Ansteorra

From: mugjf at uxa.ecn.bgu.edu (Gwyndlyn J Ferguson)
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Subject: Re: Edible stained glass
Date: 14 Nov 1994 15:22:47 GMT

Question about edible stained glass in previous posting:

A non-period (or is it?) method that I have used for Christmas
cookies is to get hard candies in various colors (sour balls work well)
and smash them up.  The I use them with sugar cookies or gingerbread.  
You cut holes in the rolled cookie dough where you want the "glass" to
go.  Then you sprinkle in the color of candy that you want and bake as
usual.  **It is important to use foil under the cookies, and watch the
cookies closely to avoid burning the "glass".  Stained glass cookies have
been one of my favorites for a long time. :)

Gwyndlyn (ne: Rhiannon) Caer Vyrddin

Gwyn Ferguson
Western Illinois University
mugjf at bgu.edu

From: ddfr at aol.com (DDFr)
Newsgroups: rec.org.sca
Subject: Re: Gingerbread Castle Help
Date: 25 Dec 1995 01:02:32 -0500

1. Elaborate food sculptures, called subtleties, are in period, including
ones that are castles.

2. What we call gingerbread is, I believe, period but not medieval. I
think it comes in in the sixteenth century, although I do not know
sixteenth century cooking well enough to be sure of that.

3. The 14th and 15th century English cookbooks have something called
gingerbread. It is easy to make, tasty, and could be used to construct a
castle. But it is utterly unlike what we call gingerbread--the texture is
more like a fudge. It is made of honey, breadcrumbs, ginger, pepper, and
saunders (at least, those are the ingredients in the recipe I use).

Hope this helps. If you can find my Miscellany on the Web (I don't know
the URL--someone else webbed it) it has a recipe for medieval gingerbread.


From: alysk at ix.netcom.com(Elise Fleming )
Newsgroups: rec.food.historic,rec.org.sca
Subject: Re: Pickled Lemons
Date: 21 Jan 1997 01:14:34 GMT

L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at postoffice.ptd.net> writes:
>I am searching for a source (unredacted) that will have directions for
>making Pickled Lemons and the other sorts of things that might be
>strewn upon a grand Elizabethan Salad.

Robert May, _The Accomplisht Cook, 4th edition, 1678, has "To pickle
Lemons" and says simply "Boil them in water and salt, and put them up
with white-wine."

May also includes a number of things for "sallats" which would include
the grand sallat.  You may want to search out a copy.  Ditto for
Gervase Markham's _The English Housewife_, 1615, as edited by Michael
Best.  This you might find in a library.  He includes a number of salad
ideas including carving carrots into fantastic shapes and making
"strange sallats" with flowers composed of parts of vegetables.  May
would be an excellent resource.


From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>
To: sca-cooks at eden.com
Subject: sca-cooks Re: New member to the list
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 1997 09:01:30 -0400 (EDT)

What's a solteltie?

Food that is decorated, or which is made to resemble that which it is not.

For example: a castle made of sugar paste: or a gilded pig.  A model of a
deer with an arrow in it's side, which pours wine out of the hole when the
arrow is removed.  Stuff like that.

Brigdet Henisch wrote "Fast and Feast" (which I reviewed for
_Serve_It_Forth_) and which has a whole wonderful chapter on sotelties.

In fact, let me quote the first paragraph of my review...

    So, should a Society cook read a book that doesn't have recipes?
    Yes, it seems we should.  "Fast and Feast" is well researched and
    indexed book covering everything about food and foodways customs
    from late period, except the details of redactions.  It is also fun
    to read (I laughed out loud several times), well indexed and
    copiously footnoted, and reasonably priced (I paid $14.95)

My wife has made a number of sotelties, including figurines especially:
models of the Crown of the East granting a Laurel to our friend Master
Aquel, the Baron and Baroness of our group leading a dance procession of
three other couples, and so forth.  She has also made someone's arms in
colored sugar plate in the form of stained glass, a marzipan scroll, and so

I particularly treasure the sugar paste box she made to celebrate one award
that I received.


From: Beth Morris <bmorris at access.digex.net>
To: sca-cooks at eden.com
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 1997 13:19:28 -0400
Subject: Re: sca-cooks - subtleties

Angelina Capozello wrote:
> I would love to see some recipes for subtilities!  I've seen them
> mentioned in novels, and know they often involve marzipan, but i've never
> actually seen one.  Any help or recipes you have would be great!

There are descriptions of many of them in the front "menu" sections of
many of the surviving cookbooks.

They aren't so much things that require "recipes" as creations that
require 'design'.  Many (although not all by a long shot) of them are
sweets, precursors (in a bizarre way) of the interestingly shaped
novelty cakes of the modern era.

Most subtleties (there are at least ten spellings of the word too) are
simply food presented in an ornamental way.  Once for a feast I was
cooking, a friend made a reasonably accurate replica of the Crac' de Chevalier
(the crusader castle) out of shortbread.  It was fantastic.  Many of the
ones described in period are of famous people or religious scenes:  the
Spirit of God Descending as A Dove or whatever.  There's a great one
that's easy to do with a small roast (pig is good) with a chicken
"riding" on it with little armor (usually a helm and shield) on and a
lance.  You can make it into a local figure or use an allegorical
historical figure through heraldry, etc.  A subcategory of this idea is
that of illusion foods: foods designed to look like other foods.
Another friend makes great illusion eggs by blowing out the real egg,
rinsing the shell thoroughly, waxing over the hole in the bottom and
filling the shell with an almond milk concoction that sets up a la Jello
into a translucent jiggly texture just like hard boiled egg white.  Only
sweet and almond flavored.  They're great!

Marzipan is often associated with subtletie construction because it is
the "play doh" of desserts and can be molded into anything (and will
even go through a Play Doh pumper!).  Another regular one is the candy
glass Tibor mentioned, and the sugar paste that can be made into
glasses, dishes, boxes, etc.


From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>
To: sca-cooks at eden.com
Subject: Re: sca-cooks Subtlety
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997 11:06:54 -0400 (EDT)

Please don't add to the impression many folk have that subtleties are
  *only* desserts!  One of the most impressive subtleties I ever was
  served was boneless chicken wrapped in pastry strips (with scalloped
  edges to look like scales) and baked.

Then there is the period recipe, where you remove the skin whole, and stuff
the thing with ground meat, and bake.  Make for a very easy to carve dinner.
And it's a lot of fun to "inflate" the chicken to get the skin off.
  Subtleties can be made of anything, and served in any course!
Yup!  One of my favorites was by Mistress Peridot and Baroness Johanna,
where they made a salad, and arranged it as a very long "tail" to a peacock,
and carved the body of the peacock from some vegetable or another.  It was
beautiful, impressive, and snazzy.  And, tasty.


From: Annejke at prodigy.com (MS MARTHA L WALLENHORST)
Date: Fri, 25 Apr 1997 10:40:31, -0500
Subject: SC - subtilties

Someone a while back ask me to post some of the subtilites I have
done to give people some ideas.  I am sorry I haven't gotten to it
before but I had a CA to get out and have been very sick this last
week.  So here goes, this is not all of them, just the one I remember
because i either have pictures or I won something or I thought it was
really memorable.  If you want more info on any of these just ask.  I
also want to make sure that people understand that some of these were
co-projects with my Laurel, but I'm the one that talked her into them
(I'm the crazy one of the two).

1977 Crapes with frogs (plastic wind up frogs and one sparking
Godzilla monster in the middle of the tray - not period but fun, and
the king kept the Godzila windup).

1978 Winter Sleigh (Fantasy Snow Queen Style for a Jan. event in
Mich), Made from Short Bread Cookie and icing. about 12" x 4"

1980 Peacock in full Pride (real bird) The serving tray we used was
4' x 3.5' and the tail didn't quiet fit.
        Pie of frogs (lift the lid and the the little plastic baggers
took off across the table)
        Candied Flower bouquets for the head table so the queen could
award them as favors.

1981 Sugar Cube Castle w/ marzipane people (castle form and
ingredients were not period but it was served with a sour current pie
and meant for people to take a piece and hand grind over the pie if
it was too sour for them - it was a great hit!)  2'x 2' x 8"

1982 A Yule log made of Marzipane and Nuget. 14" long

1983 1st Norse church (cake and Icing confection)
        Birthday Cake done as a piece of music parchment for our
Madrigal Directors birthday.
        Swan (Cake body, cookie wings and tale, marzipane neck with a
candied rose in it's gilded beak  1' x 1.5'

1984 Peacock in full pride
        Dragon (Sweet bread body, neck breast and forelegs were
marzipan, decorated with period icing and small hard candies 2' x 1'
x         3' tall
        Doll of Eilzabeth I (body of Marzipane, dress cake, decorated
with period icing  12" tall
        Doll of Mary Queen of Scots (body of Marzipan, dress cake,
decorated with period icing 12" tall
        Cathederal with stainglass windows (Gingerbread with hard
crack candy in the windows and a candle inside to light the windows)  
       2' x 1' x 3'
        Knight Effigy of the Black Prince (carved Marzipane with
period ediable food colorings) 18" long

1985 Lion (carved marzipan on a large tart) 8" long

1986 Spanish flower pots (red clay pots filled with chicken and
stuffing with real candied flowers and fruit peel)
        Stave church (ginger bread) 4' x 3' x 5'

1987 Sugar plate cupes and plates (dinner size)

1988 Sugar plate paltes and clear hard crack goblets
        Joust (marzipan action figures) 12" tall
        Dragon (similar as the other but with a pastry body filled
with candy for the children)

1989 Norweign Windmill holding the Twelve days of Christmas
(gingerbread with marzipan figures and sugar plate cupplings for the
rotating stages and gum balls for ball bearings)  4.5' x 3' with each
of five blades 18" long

1993 Winged Helmet (Cake and sugar plate) life size

1994 Doll seated in chair (Marzipan body, sugar plate dress, gilded
baked marzipan for the chair with hard crack candies set as jewels) 23" tall

1995 Bulls in the castle (Marzipan bulls building a castle out of carmel blocks)

1996 Rialto Bridge (scots fruit cake, carmel blocks, Marzipan) 12" x 2'

I hope this helps.

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>
Date: Fri, 06 Jun 1997 09:43:04 -0400
Subject: Re: SC - SC--Forget the Philosophy and COOK, Dammit :)

Aoife, busy getting ready for Aethelmarc Crown (cooking, that is, not
fighting), wrote:

> I once read an MS that gave instuctions to "carve a radish in manner of a
> rose" or some wording remarkably similar. I can't find it now, but seem to
> remember it was French. Anyone remember this? Anyone else come across
> directions to  carve vegetables to look like other things? I'm wondering how
> old the garnishing art is. I'm not talking about sweets and sotelties here,
> just veggies and fruits.

The specific reference you mention is one I haven't run across in
period. I do know that the idea of a sallet as a showpiece, with the
ingredients kept separate and arranged by color, in specific cuts and
shapes, goes at least as far back as 16th century England. You'll find
such references in Dawson (e.g. Hippes in five partes like an Oken
leafe, sliced carrots laid out as a fleur-de-lys), and though 17th
century, Markham as well, I believe.

The edible garnish goes considerably further back than those sources,
with the various sugared seed, fried onion/almond, pomegranite kernel,
and flower garnishes for pottages. Then, of course, you have your
ubiquitous Saracen's Head done in pistacchio nuts ;  ).

Then you have actual subtleties, which often contained, or consisted of,
an edible garnish.

I SUSPECT that the carved veg idea, at least in the West, may date from
somebody like Careme (c. 1800). He had been  an architecture student
before apprenticing to a pastry cook, and used to spend his copious
(ha!) free time at the library where the architecture books were kept,
and used to bring back sketches for the boss to translate into cakes.
When he eventually became a chef de cuisine, he carried the art form
into his new medium.


From: alysk at ix.netcom.com (Elise Fleming )
Date: Sun, 8 Jun 1997 15:52:54 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: SC - Carved Vegetables

Greetings!  Someone asked about documentation for carved vegetables.  
Gervase Markham, _The English Housewife_, 1615 has "Sallats for show
only."  It says, "Now for sallats for show only, and the adorning and
setting out of a table with numbers of dishes, they be those which are
made of carrot roots of sundry colours wel boiled, and cut out into
many shapes and proportions, as some into knots, some in the manner of
scutcheons and arms, some like birds, and some like wild beasts,
according to the art and cunning of the workman; and these for the most
part are seasoned with vinegar, oil, and a little pepper..."  Hope this

Alys Katharine

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>
Date: Sun, 08 Jun 1997 19:14:02 -0400
Subject: Re: SC - Carved Vegetables

Elise Fleming wrote:
> Greetings!  Someone asked about documentation for carved vegetables.
> Gervase Markham, _The English Housewife_, 1615 has "Sallats for show
> only."  It says, "Now for sallats for show only, and the adorning and
> setting out of a table with numbers of dishes, they be those which are
> made of carrot roots of sundry colours wel boiled, and cut out into
> many shapes and proportions, as some into knots, some in the manner of
> scutcheons and arms, some like birds, and some like wild beasts,
> according to the art and cunning of the workman; and these for the most
> part are seasoned with vinegar, oil, and a little pepper..."  Hope this
> helps!
> Alys Katharine

Hey! That's interesting...Why, if they are "for show only", are they
seasoned with the things that are used for salads meant to be eaten?

Is there another possible interpretation of the expression, "for show
only" that I'm not considering? I suppose some sharp-eyed types might be
able to look at a "show" sallat and say, "Yo! There's no vinegar and
pepper on this puppy! What kind of a banquet is this, anyway?" Display
foods through the centuries have often been of an inedible nature, which
is why they were for show only. These could include the lacquered
leftovers sometimes used to pad the menu at Imperial Chinese banquets
(and kept well out of reach of the guests), wax fruit, wax or plastic
tempura in the windows of some Japanese restaurants, and the modern
repertoire of the food stylist (e.g. instant mashed potatoes and Elmer's
glue for vanilla ice cream).

Does the expression mean they are only for special, "showy" occasions?

What do people think about this?


From: "Sharon L. Harrett" <afn24101 at afn.org>
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 1997 15:07:49 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: SC - Carved Vegetables

       On Tue, 10 Jun 1997, Mark Schuldenfrei wrote:
>   Hey! That's interesting...Why, if they are "for show only", are they
>   seasoned with the things that are used for salads meant to be eaten?
> So they look like food...
> You must have seen the many loaves of bread in restaurants, carved and
> baked into fantastic shapes, that are not for consumption... so that the
> next person can see them....  Or, how cruise ships take some of their
> chocolate sculptures for the midnight buffets, and keep them in the freezer
> for re-use each week?
> Surely, if cared for well, those carved carrots could be reused for several
> days in a row, of maybe longer.  Maybe he meant just what he said: make it
> look like food, but don't eat it: because you could use it for the next
> batch of guests, tomorrow.
> Tibor

Hi folks!
Found a bit more on the garnisher's art....the Book of Kerving
(Wynken de Worde, 1509) is the earliest I've been able to discover,, but
unfortunately, have only quotes in recent books from it, so I don't know if
it included fruits and veggies. In L'Escole Parfaites des Officiers de
Bouche (1662there were pages of designs for whittling fruits into fanciful
designs, as well as explicit diagrams for carving and serving meats and
other dishes at the table. I have been able to find two illustrations from
this book, detailing 12 designs for pears and two for oranges.
If anyone knows where I might be able to find copies of either of
these books, I'd love to know.


From: Emily Epstein <epsteine at spot.Colorado.EDU>
Date: Wed, 11 Jun 1997 09:38:34 -0600 (MDT)
Subject: Re: SC - Carved Vegetables

Greetings from Alix Mont de fer.

I can't help with L'ecole Parfait at the moment, but both the 1508
and 1513 editions of the Boke of Kervynge are on reel I-4 (reel 4 of the
first shipment) of UMI's Early English Books, discussed in this forum
earlier. Reel numbering at the beginning of the series is a little odd, so
you might get the wrong reel 4 the first time you try.

I believe UMI also published a series of early French imprints, but I'm
not really familiar with it.

Alix Mont de fer, m.k.a. Emily Epstein
epsteine at spot.colorado.edu

From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>
Date: Tue, 17 Jun 1997 13:22:03 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: SC - Feast Themes

   I am wondering if anyone has done a feast where the sotelties are edible
  and made to look like games or period toys (for xmas or 12th nite!).
If I recall correctly, Lady Emilia Mazzo di Novella made chess boards and
pieces out of shortbread for "Ein Festag en Nurenberg", and many strange
chess games were played, feature an excessive taking and consuming of
pieces...  (:-)


From: brighid at sojourn.com (Tina Carney)
Date: Tue, 17 Jun 1997 13:37:18 -0400
Subject: Re: SC - Feast Themes

> I am wondering if anyone has done a feast where the sotelties are   >edible
>and made to look like games or period toys (for xmas or >12th nite!).

A few years ago I won a dessert competition with a gingerbread chess board
with chocolate pieces.  Great fun!

Brighid the Ageless
occasional saint
living in the canton of Rimsholt
in the glorious Middle Kingdom

From: kathe1 at juno.com (Kathleen M Everitt)
Date: Thu, 19 Jun 1997 23:04:51 EDT
Subject: Re: SC - Feast Themes-Feast of Illusion

On Tue, 17 Jun 1997 08:47:54 -0500 (CDT) L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt
<liontamr at postoffice.ptd.net> writes:
>I'd like to hear more about Mistress Sincgiefu's (sorry if I mangled
>that) Feast of Illusion. That sounds lovely.

I hope Mistress Sincgiefu answers this and gives you more details, but
just in case she's busy I'll tell you what I remember. My younger son was
10 days old when I attended the feast she did in Hartshorn-dale, so sleep
deprevation blurred the evening! :-)

Some of the high points that I remember (I hope I'm remembering them
correctly!): They had acorns, hollowed out then filled with salt and
pepper, and put holes in the tops for salt and pepper shakers. I think
the chicken skins were stuffed with a pork mixture and cooked to resemble
chickens. The chicken meat was then put into hollowed out bread loaves.
They blew eggs from the shells then filled the shells with custard. There
were "oysters with pearls" but I can't remember what they were made from.
Anyway, nothing was what it looked like. Luckily, we had a squire with
us, so he tasted everything and let us know what it was really. If he
could figure it out. He at least let us know if there were any allergens
(onions or garlic) in it for several of us who couldn't eat those. There
were several dishes he never did figure out.

Great event! That feast is probably the highlight of any that I have
attended in over 19 years in the SCA! Not only was the food period and
delicious, it was so entertaining! We had a great time speculating on the
dishes as they came out and marvelling at the work that went into the
feast. And I understand that it was a lot of work.


From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 1997 10:01:57 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: SC - Feast Themes-Feast of Illusion

  Great event! That feast is probably the highlight of any that I have
  attended in over 19 years in the SCA! Not only was the food period and
  delicious, it was so entertaining! We had a great time speculating on the
  dishes as they came out and marvelling at the work that went into the
  feast. And I understand that it was a lot of work.

It probably was.  Our local cooks guild tried the "skin removal" trick for
the farcd chickens as it was written (using a straw to inflate the skin off
the bird).  It was difficult, and almost painful.  I found it easier to use
a knife to remove the carcass from the bird and leave the skin whole. (Next
time I try it, I may use a bicycle pump with a basketball needle, instead.)

Tibor (So there we were, me and my Baroness, blowing up chickens...)

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>
Date: Mon, 07 Jul 1997 13:15:07 -0400
Subject: Re: SC - Re: Shaped Bread

Elise Fleming wrote:
> It was unclear if this meant "period sources" or modern sources.  I'm
> not certain of period references, and they are unlikely to be in
> cookery books but rather in discussions of what was presented at a
> feast.
> Alys Katharine

If I remember correctly, Taillevent speaks of some of the subtleties in
the Viandier as being made, at least in part, of dough. Precisely what
type of dough that would be, it's hard to say...


Date: Fri, 1 Aug 1997 07:08:16 -0500
From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at ptd.net>
Subject: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #224

>Margaret writes:
>I'm teaching a class at Pennsic called Heraldry at the Dinnertable,
>which is a survey of where you might find heraldic type things displayed
>at dinner in period.
>I'd like to include an "SCA use" section in the class, so I've got three
>1. How have you used/seen heraldry used in serving dinners at an SCA feast?
>2. If you were the cook/planner, how did you choose the display you did?
>3. If you documented it, can you give me the rundown/citations?
>toodles, margaret

Things I've done with heraldry:

1. All desserts were to be Principality colors (red and white)
2. All desserts were to have an Escarbuncle (8-pointed star)
3. Cookies in the shape of the device.
4. Cake with device (NOT medieval, I'm afraid, at all).
5. Meat pies (coffin type) whose decorations included heraldic type stuff.
6. Meat pies in the shape of towers, flying the flags of the nobles present
(Taillevant---he's got some other good things in there!).
7. Gingerbread in the shape of  a critter.
7a. Gingerbread shield, with the device painted on it.  
8. Sugar-paste helm (in red and white), with marzipan Torse, filled with red
and white peppermint candy.
9. Tree (really a honeysuckle branch in a pot) scattered with paper
Escarbuncles in red or white, and the "fruits" laying under the tree:
desserts (the above mentioned red and white and escarbuncle desserts),
marzipan, etc....
10. Ham, in crust (Apecius) with fig sauce. The crust decorations included
heraldic stuff....dough is like clay that way!
12. Garnishing in colors. Therefore, Red and White can take the form of
radishes carved in various ways, Red Apple Swans, Red-leaf lettuce (bib),
red sauce with cream poured in a pattern......

Will look for your class. Sounds interesting!

Aoife--in too big a hurry to trot out recipes. See you there!

Date: Sat, 13 Sep 1997 08:16:49 -0400
From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>
Subject: Re: SC - A Mixed Bag (So to Speak)

Kathleen M Everitt wrote:
> So, why don't you start one?
> Okay, I will. I saw a science program for kids called Beakman's World and
> he gave a recipe for making sugar "glass" like they use in movies. It
> used Karo syrup. How did they make it in period? I saw a documentary on
> Lorenzo Medici and they said that he had a lot of things made from candy
> glass at his wedding. I've always wondered how it was done.
> Julleran

Any sugar cooked to the hard crack stage can be worked like glass. I
even have a gizmo that is for "glass-blowing" sugar syrups, but I
haven't developed any skill with it yet. Check out the "Goud Kokery"
volume of "Curye on Inglysche" for fifteenth-century sugar plate recipes
resembling sugar glass, as opposed to the later ones which call for
making a paste with gum tragacanth, etc.


Date: Sat, 13 Sep 1997 07:34:42 -0500 (CDT)
From: alysk at ix.netcom.com (Elise Fleming )
Subject: SC - Julleran's Sugar/Candy Glass

Julleran wrote:
> I saw a science program for kids called Beakman's World and he gave a
>recipe for making sugar "glass" like they use in movies. It used Karo
>syrup. How did they make it in period? I saw a documentary on Lorenzo
>Medici and they said that he had a lot of things made from candy glass
>at his wedding. I've always wondered how it was done.

The Manuscrito Anonimo in Cariadoc's Collection tells about melting
sugar and making all things with which to furnish a castle (also made
of sugar).  I can print out the reference if it's wanted.

Curye on Inglysch, Book V: Goud Kokery, #13, has "To make suger plate."
Sugar is melted to a specific temperature and removed from the fire
and stirred until it turns from its brown color to yellow. (The sugar
must not have been pure white to start with...probably "cooking" sugar
would have been of a less-fine quality than what would have been served
"upstairs".  It is then turned out onto a marble stone with rice flour
shaken on it.  You pour the sugar out as thin as you want, the thinner
the better for plates.  In traditional after-the-fact style it is noted
that you can add any kinds of leaves (petals) cut small when you first
remove the syrup from the fire and begin to stir it.  Presumably this
will color the syrup somewhat and may also add a slight flavor.  It is
also noted that you can add rosewater.  If you want it red you can use
clean, washed turnsole at the first boiling.

I have discovered that working with sugar syrup takes a lot of
practice.  One might "luck out" the first time trying this but
subsequent repetitions might lead to "failures."  I would be extremely
supportive of anyone who would like to go into sugar sculpture and
cookery as a specialty!  FYI, recipe 15 tells about making "images in
sugar" and gives colors to _paint_ on.

A good place to start playing with melted sugar is to get a good candy
book from the library.  I found an excellent one in a used book store,
put out by Time-Life books.  It has detailed instructions, step-by-step
pictures, and information on why or how something might go wrong.  (I
can't tell you how many batches of fruit pastes have refused to set
until I "messed" with them!)

Someone from Ansteorra taught a class at Pennsic around Pennsic 17, 18,
or 19 on making stained glass from melted sugar.  While a stained glass
window wouldn't be "period", the melting of the sugar, pouring it into
a mold to make an image, or pouring it into a square shape to make a
trencher, would.

I saw a reference to one of the English coronations (Henry V or VI? The
child one, I believe) where there were crowns with jewels that shone
like enamels.  My guess is that these might have been poured from
melted sugar (the jewels, at least).  Can we get some tinsmiths to make
some simple molds that sugarworkers can use for flat forms??

Alys Katharine

Date: Sun, 14 Sep 1997 20:40:56 -0700 (PDT)
From: rousseau at scn.org (Anne-Marie Rousseau)
Subject: RE: SC - gum arabic

We are asked:>
>Where would one find gum tragacanth?  (I've just come across it in a =
>materials list for an enameling project, so having it come up here is =
>quite a coincidence.)  I've seen gum arabic in art supply stores, but =
>since I now hear you say they are different things...

You can find gum tragacanth (food grade) as well as food grade edible
gold, about six different wafer irons, cake pans of every shape and size,
frosting pens, etc etc etc from Maid of Scandanavia. I posted the address
for their catalog on this list a few months back.

Great catelog!!

- --Anne-Marie
Anne-Marie Rousseau
rousseau at scn.org
Seattle, Washington

Date: Tue, 16 Sep 1997 10:32:01 -0400 (EDT)
From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>
Subject: Re: SC - Julleran's Sugar/Candy Glass

Alys Katherine wrote:
  I have discovered that working with sugar syrup takes a lot of
  practice.  One might "luck out" the first time trying this but
  subsequent repetitions might lead to "failures."  I would be extremely
  supportive of anyone who would like to go into sugar sculpture and
  cookery as a specialty!  FYI, recipe 15 tells about making "images in
  sugar" and gives colors to _paint_ on.

Hmmm.  Would my lady wife's Laurel for soteltie making be a good start?
(Well, she also cooks first rate feasts.)  Alys, I know you've seen pictures
of her work.

She and I, together, have made stained glass renditions of arms.  We made
marzipan for the "lead", and poured colored hard crack (technical term in
candymaking) sugar into the various pockets to form the arms.  It's messy,
but it seems to work adequately well.  Humidity can play hell with hazing,

You can use food paste to make "food paint" with.  We mix it, or powder
colors with vodka for paint.

Julleran wrote:
  Would candy molds that you can buy at art stores work, or are they just
  for chocolates which I imagine would have lower temperatures than melted

Sugar does have a higher temperature than melted chocolate.  I don't think
those molds could withstand it: but I'd ask at the store.

Date: Tue, 16 Sep 1997 14:26:07 -0400 (EDT)
From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>
Subject: Re: SC - Stained Glass Questions

  1.  I have made Christmas candy in this way many of times, but the
  problem I always had was that I needed to pour it out onto powdered
  sugar so that it would not stick.  is there a good substitute that
  will allow it to harden and not stick?

We grease a marble board, with PAM.

  2.  What flavors would have been period, if any?  I usually use
  wintergreen, anise, cinnamon and peppermint oils for my candies.

I know rosewater is one.  Violets another.  I will leave good answers to
Alys Katherine.


Date: Tue, 16 Sep 1997 16:43:57 -0400
From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>
Subject: Re: SC - Stained Glass Questions

Christi Redeker wrote:
> I have been researching sotelties and read through the stained glass articles on the Rialto. I now have a couple of questions.
> 1.  I have made Christmas candy in this way many of times, but the problem I always had was that I needed to pour it out onto powdered sugar so that it would not stick.  is there a good substitute that will allow it to harden and not stick?

Oiling a marble stone with almond oil is one period solution. Another is
a bag of rice flour, made like a baseball pitcher's rosin bag, which is
used to dust surfaces with the flour.

> 2.  What flavors would have been period, if any?  I usually use wintergreen, anise, cinnamon and peppermint oils for my candies.

Apart from the odd flower petal, there are generally no additional
flavorings used in the recipes I've seen.


Date: Tue, 16 Sep 1997 22:19:54 -0400 (EDT)
From: Uduido at aol.com
Subject: Re: SC - Stained Glass Questions-not period

<< s there a good substitute that will allow it to harden and not stick?  >>

Although it is not period, cornstarch works great.

Lord Ras

Date: Wed, 17 Sep 1997 17:26:17 -0500 (CDT)
From: alysk at ix.netcom.com (Elise Fleming )
Subject: SC - Re: Stained Glass Questions

Murkial af Maun asked:
>2.  What flavors would have been period, if any?  I usually use
>wintergreen, anise, cinnamon and peppermint oils for my candies.

I haven't seen any refereence to flavors for a hardened sugar syrup.  I
would wonder if those oils had come into existence.  Sugar _was_
flavored with rose and violet, the two most popular flavors, this was
not in a melted sugar state.  I would seriously doubt that the English
flavored the "stained glass".  Keep in mind that re-creating a stained
glass object may well be an anachronism.  Reference is to re-creating
objects such as fruits, statues, flowers, plates, etc.  While a castle
is referred to, and I think that the jewels in the coronation subtlety
might be melted sugar, I have seen no reference to recreating a stained
glass window.

Alys Katharine

Date: Thu, 18 Sep 1997 10:54:36 -0500
From: "Jack Hubbard" <jack at configdotsys.com>
Subject: SC - Re: Stained Glass Questions

> Murkial af Maun asked:
> >2.  What flavors would have been period, if any?  I usually use
> >wintergreen, anise, cinnamon and peppermint oils for my candies.

While not seen in hard sugar candies, these flavors I have for Sirrup's:
Violets,  Gilleflowers, Cowslip, Rose, Damask Roses, Barberries,
Mulberries,Rasps (rasberies), Leamons, Poumcitrons, Pippins (that is
apples), Purslane, Liquorish, Wood Sorrell, and Hyssope.  I suspect that
Saunders( red sandlewood) wood work well too.  As for coloring agents the
rose and sandlewood would make red, liquorish for black?, blackberries for

Eoian (who thinks he may go home and destroy the kitchen tonight with all
these ideas)

Date: Sat, 20 Sep 1997 01:52:56 -0400
From: marilyn traber <margali at 99main.com>
Subject: Re: SC - thanks

Russell Gilman-Hunt wrote:
> Thanks to everyone for the recipes!
> Because I just re-read the event copy, and found that they want
> *finger* food (for samhain?  Interesting choice of words), the
> shortbread and the Jusselle Dates are what I am thinking about...

How about jordan almonds-sugar coated almonds
                  small marzipan tidbits made into discs and pressed
with a tandy leather picture stamp and painted with food coloring[did it
once with household device in color as decoration around a
sotltie-looked great, less filling lol]


Date: Wed, 8 Oct 1997 15:46:45 -700 MST
From: "Jeanne Stapleton" <jstaplet at adm.law.du.edu>
Subject: SC - Subtlety Quest

Okay, cooks, it occurred to me today that I might be able to finally
get a question answered that has occasionally surfaced in my mind
for a couple of years now:

At the Eastern royalty dinner at Pennsic in 1994, a subtlety was
brought in that I found absolutely staggering:  it was a kneeling
stag, about 1/2 life size (maybe 3/4--that sucker was *big*).  It was
carried to the table on a litter on the shoulders of bearers. The
exterior's key ingredient, I was told, was cream cheese.  When
pierced to the heart with an arrow, it "bled" warm mulled wine.

This thing was awesome.  I've wanted to attempt it myself ever
since.  Now that I live in the Outlands...:-)

Anybody know who the creator was?


Date: Sat, 11 Oct 1997 12:19:27 EDT
From: melc2newton at juno.com (Michael P Newton)
Subject: SC - Re: below the salt)

On Fri, 10 Oct 1997 14:13:54 -0700 kat <kat at kagan.com> writes:
>Basically, I'm looking for dishes with major "OOOHHH!" factor...  any
>and all suggestions would be welcome.

If you don't mind illusion food, I have a doozy which I been keeping back
for just such an occasion. Looking through my church cookbooks, I
actually found a jello recipe that did not contain pineapple {which I am
allergic to}! You peel a melon, a cantaloupe or one of it's cousins,
slice off about 2 inches one of the ends, and scope out the seeds. fill
the cavity with jello [before it gels] and replace the lid. Let the jello
set. Frost the melon with a combination of cream cheese and powdered
sugar[beated together first]Roc's Eggs, anyone?

Lady Beatrix of Tanet

Date: Sun, 12 Oct 1997 10:01:38 -0500 (CDT)
From: alysk at ix.netcom.com (Elise Fleming )
Subject: SC - Illusion Foods Challenge (Was: Below the Salt)

Greetings!  Lady Beatrix of Tanet suggested:

>If you don't mind illusion food, I have a doozy which I been keeping
>back for just such an occasion. (snip...)  You peel a melon, a
>cantaloupe or one of it's cousins, slice off about 2 inches one of the
>ends, and scope out the seeds. fill the cavity with jello [before it
>gels] and replace the lid. Let the jello set. Frost the melon with a
>combination of cream cheese and powdered sugar[beated together
>first]Roc's Eggs, anyone?

Might I suggest transposing this into something more medieval or
Renaissance?  From what I have seen, illusion foods recreated real
foods with a surprise.  You really _might_ stuff an egg shell with
custard and cook it to set.  You could take marzipan or sugar paste and
make it look like a hard-boiled egg or even bacon.  But, I haven't seen
any evidence that something mythological such as a roc's egg would have
been mimicked.  Statues of gods and goddesses, yes; made of sugar, or
marzipan, or sugar paste, yes.  To me, roc's eggs would belong to our
modern version of what was done in the Middle Ages.  Now, if one wanted
to do a roc's egg then one should look at what foodstuffs were
available to make it from.  I would think that cantalopes, jello, and
cream cheese would be "right out."  But... the concept is interesting.  
What illusion foods can you "invent" that would fit into the medieval
or Renaissance world and would avoid modern ingredients or forays into
our modern fantasy world?

You already probably know of "apples" made from meatballs; hollow
walnuts made of sugar paste with trinkets inside; and the
above-mentioned bacon and hard-boiled eggs of marzipan or sugar paste.
Can we invent something similar?

Alys Katharine

Date: Sun, 12 Oct 1997 11:24:36 -0400
From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>
Subject: Re: SC - Illusion Foods Challenge (Was: Below the Salt)

Elise Fleming wrote:
> Might I suggest transposing this into something more medieval or
> Renaissance?  From what I have seen, illusion foods recreated real
> foods with a surprise.  You really _might_ stuff an egg shell with
> custard and cook it to set.  You could take marzipan or sugar paste and
> make it look like a hard-boiled egg or even bacon.  But, I haven't seen
> any evidence that something mythological such as a roc's egg would have
> been mimicked.  Statues of gods and goddesses, yes; made of sugar, or
> marzipan, or sugar paste, yes.  To me, roc's eggs would belong to our
> modern version of what was done in the Middle Ages.
> Alys Katharine

There actually is a late-period source with a recipe for a gargantuan
egg, made from about a dozen hen's eggs. I will try to locate the
source; it's one of the ones about three feet away from me as I thump da
keyboard. Essentially it calls for the raw eggs to be separated, and the
yolks to be boiled inside a clean bladder, with the boiling water being
constantly stirred in one direction until there is a little whirlpool
depression in the surface. This is intended to keep the yolks round as
they cook and set. This is then unwrapped and put inside another,
larger, bladder, with the raw whites, and boiled in the same way. This
time the stirring is not only supposed to make the egg roundish, but
also supposedly causes the yolk to settle in the center of the mass.
This is supposed to be peeled and eaten in slices, presumably so that
any minor imperfections, like wrinkles in the surface, won't be
immediately visible.


Date: Sun, 12 Oct 1997 17:02:39 -0500
From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at ptd.net>
Subject: SC - Re: Illusion food

>You already probably know of "apples" made from meatballs; hollow
>walnuts made of sugar paste with trinkets inside; and the
>above-mentioned bacon and hard-boiled eggs of marzipan or sugar paste.
>Can we invent something similar?
>Alys Katharine

Wasn't it Taillevant who suggested filling a pre-baked pie shell with live
frogs? The idea is that you get a pretty volunteer maiden or three to "open"
the pie, and then clap out the lights and watch the panic ensue.

Sigh. Those were the good old days.

Today, you'd have to answer to animal welfare. But wind-up toys are cheap
and they work. Try the leaping variety (the kind that do somersaults, etc....).

Another Taillevant suggestion is to have a warship complete with working
cannon, which are fired from a distance at another warship. That's a little

I have a friend (the mysterious Master Dyfan) who made a stained-glass
cathedral from gingerbread and melted hard candy. It was lovely. He used the
same recipe to make a carved wedding chest which was astounding. It had
leaping stags, IIRC, and foliage. The only reason I think I beat him out at
Ice Dragon in that catagory was that the chest was so amazing the judges
probably assumed that it was a wooden chest, and thus in the wrong room :^(
. I made preserved oranges (which had been preserved quite a while), a
rather compicated almond butter, and period flaky pastry. It was yummy, but
I didn't do the work he did, and mine wasn't as complicated.  

My brother once made a dragon from loaves of french bread artfully cut. It
was more of a crocodile, but effective none the less. He filled the bread
with bread pudding.

I used to make (back when Dawnfield in the East Kingdom existed) bread swans
to hold butter or soft cheeses. They are similar to the puff pastry swans,
less elegant but more durable (more inportantly, freezable), and they get
completely eaten, so there's no dishes to wash! That's so much nicer than
putting out a stick or blob of butter on a plate.

I've also been known to mold butter into another form, harden, unmold, and
press fresh herbs, edible flowers,  and thinly sliced pieces of vegetables
cut to fancy shapes onto the surface of the butter. You wrap it up, chill it
again, and simply unwrap to serve. Letting it stand a while will make it
soft enough spread.

I want to do a gaming theme: Cheeses arranged in a checkerboard and picks of
vegetables for chessmen. Or a feast where Every dish served looks like
something it isn't. Sounds really fun! I read an account of a feast where
the cook made an army of drumsticks. Each had a red grape helmet, carried a
breadstick spear and had a shield of sliced turnip. They were mounted on a
covered board with rows of non-galvanized nails. That's an army that really
was chicken! <<groan>>

Just a few ideas off the top of my head.


Date: Mon, 13 Oct 1997 06:31:55 -0500
From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at ptd.net>
Subject: SC - Re:Bread swans

>I like that idea. How does one make bread swans? Does it take artistic
>ability? Does it involve using a sharp object? Maybe I ought to get my
>Laurel husband to do something like that while I just cook. Lots safer,
>I'll bet.

You need an oval shaped piece of bread dough, and a thin S shaped piece of
bread dough. Bake them.

Slice the top of the oval loaf. Slice that in half to form wings. Scoop out
the innards of the loaf. Fill with butter or soft cheese. Insert your
s-shaped neck. Put the wings in at an angle. Voila, a swan!


Date: Mon, 13 Oct 1997 10:26:26 SAST-2
From: "Ian van Tets" <IVANTETS at botzoo.uct.ac.za>
Subject: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #355

Wasn't the giant egg recipe in Hannah Glasse?  If it features earlier
than that, I'd like to know.  Had a feeling that the ship and frog
and deer subtelties mentioned came from May, but my book with both
May and Taillevent stuff is in storage, so will trust your judgement.
At a Tewlfth-Night about 4 years ago saw a wonderful marzipan
subtelty which was the boar's head.  Meant the vegetarians could have
some too.  

Dr. Ian van Tets
Dept. of Zoology
University of Cape Town
Rondebosch 7701 RSA

Date: Tue, 14 Oct 1997 10:28:35 -0400 (EDT)
From: LrdRas at aol.com
Subject: SC - piping bag

<<   I saw a late-period or mid-1600s reference to paper tube
with a hole in one end.  Of course, I have no idea now where I saw it.

Alys Katharine >>

Simply take a clean sheet of paper or baker's parchment, form into a cone,
fill and fold down the long edge. Snip the pointed end off and use as any
other piping bag. Works great and it's throwaway. :-)


Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 11:22:31 -0400 (EDT)
From: Tyrca at aol.com
Subject: Re: Freaking them out (was: SC - Re- Illusion food))

All these people dreaming of large subtleties in Marzipan . . . (sigh)
That's a lot of almonds!! I have seen subtleties in bread, covered with
icing, and with detailed features in Marzipan.  I also was privileged to
witness a particularly spectacular subtlety in Drachenwald.  At Visby week in
1989, Master Confecticus came out with a Dragon and presented it to the
Baron, with an elaborate story of its hunt and capture, but sadly, the dragon
was not quite dead.  He asked the Baron to humanely kill it as it was
suffering.  The Baron immediately pulled out his sword, and severed the head,
at which point "blood" flowed from its veins.  The dragon was 12 layers of
cake with coffee buttercreme frosting, and the "blood" was grape jelly,
melted.  It was delicious.  We do not always have to rely on marzipan!


Date: Mon, 20 Oct 1997 14:36:43 -0400 (EDT)
From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>
Subject: Re: SC - Subtlety Quest

  At the Eastern royalty dinner at Pennsic in 1994, a subtlety was
  brought in that I found absolutely staggering:  it was a kneeling
  stag, about 1/2 life size (maybe 3/4--that sucker was *big*).  It was
  carried to the table on a litter on the shoulders of bearers. The
  exterior's key ingredient, I was told, was cream cheese.  When
  pierced to the heart with an arrow, it "bled" warm mulled wine.

Dyffen ap Iago, member of the Laurel, and a damned fine cook. (IIRC... I can
check with my wife, who is a soteltie expert, and who would recall

It was not, however, made of food.  It was made of plastic, and inside it
was a sack of wine taken from "box wine".  If I recall, it is based upon a
surviving description of a period sotelty.
  This thing was awesome.  I've wanted to attempt it myself ever
  since.  Now that Ilive in the Outlands...:-)

It travelled around to a number of events after that, and was always very
popular.  I first saw it "in the flesh" at a Coronation some years later.


Date: Wed, 22 Oct 1997 07:33:36 -0500
From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at ptd.net>
Subject: SC - Stag that Bleeds Red  Wine Soteltie

Hello folks! I just talked to Master Dyfan ap Iago last night, and got the
"scoop" about the bleeding stag soteltie. Here it is:

He did a paper mache casting of a life-sized deer target (his father had one
to practice archery on). He built an internal framework with the help of his
friend Seppo. This held the bag from a "red wine in a box". There was a
metal tube in the breast (internally) which guided the arrow. The arrow was
implanted in the breast in the mid-region of the plastic bag of wine, and
left there. When it was pulled out, gravity kicked in and the wine flowed
out the tube.

The paper mache was covered in candy (sugar)paste, which was rather more
liquid than usual due to a shortage of gum tragacanth, so that it was
essentially the consistency of cream cheese. He had a real set of antlers
attached, and attached to those was a crown, since this was the Prince of
the Forest, come to offer himself so that the Kings of the East and Middle
would stop fighting. Since The Prince was a magical being, the wound was not
fatal. It appears that he managed to survive three such attacks before his
swan song at pennsic, after which he mysteriously went up in a puff of flame
at a campfire. Apparently, burned sugar paste smells like roasting marshmallows.

And that's the story, true, unembelished, and devillishly clever. Dyfan will
be online soon, and we hope he will join us in this religous community. He
must be somewhere in the hierarchy of the Church. He probably ranks around
Arch Bishop!


Date: Mon, 3 Nov 1997 12:21:16 -0600
From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at ptd.net>
Subject: SC - Sotelties

I vaguely remeber seeing an independant reference (in Taillevant, perhaps?) of
a radish carved in the manner of a rose. So, here is my version of a
peacock, which we determined yesterday does indeed work well as an
individual table-pretty:

Tip five short skewers with gum paste (sugar paste) colored either green or
blue, to look like a hat-pin. Splay out the gum paste to resemble the tip of
a peacock's feather (drop-shaped, thin and flat). Let dry.

Carve a large red apple to resemble a swan, minus the tail: Stand the apple
on it's side and slice off an inch thick slice of the side of the apple. Sit
the apple down with the sliced side down, giving you a stable object to
carve. Make a small wedge shaped slit in the stem end, vertically, to put
the neck into. Carve the head/neck from the one-inch slice. Use  a piece of
the stem to poke through the head for eyes. Reserve in a bowl of lemon-juice
and water.

On each side make the wings:

Cut off center to the left straight down to form a vertical cut on the outer
left edge of the apple, cutting only halfway. Make a perpendicular cut so
that you have a small neat horizontal wedge.Dip the wedge in the
lemon-water. Replace the wedge. Right next to, but closer to the center,
make ANOTHER horizontal cut and vertical cut to make another wedge, which
contains the first, smaller wedge. Repeat this until you feel you have as
many wedges as you need (you don't want any core--3 to 4 wedges max.). Do
the same operation to the right side of the apple. Put the whole thing into
the lemon water (Note: To make a swan, you repeat the wedge process in the
tail area).

When ready to present, put three or four grapes of various colors, and
cranberries at the end for stability (yes, we know they didn't eat them in
period, but they knew what they were), on to the skewers to make the tail
feathers. I assume berries (blue-, small straw-, boysen-) would work well,
too, or small melon balls. Insert the neck into the neckhole with the aid of
a toothpick. Fan out the wings towards the back (the wedges make a
three-dimensional feather effect). Insert one Skewer with fruit in the
center back. Fan out the remaining four skewers on each side to make a
"Displayed" tail. Or, if desired, insert the skewers so that the tail is
dragging behind (not displayed). There you have it. A peacock. Serve

If you have very large apples, you could use more skewers.


Date: Mon, 19 Jan 1998 17:57:08 -0600
From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at ptd.net>
Subject: SC - Aoife's Bull

> Gee... Sugar paste makes great "concrete" and pillars!  Roll out some
> slabs, let them dry, fasten together and paint on it with food paste
> colors so it looks just the way the columns would have...  And you can
> break them after serving them!

ARGH! Too late! I only have 4 days, during which I have to go to work, and
also care for 3 unruly young'uns with colds (and one grumpy old man but
that's another story...). No time left for major construction. Drat! Can I
count on some personal instruction some time in the future?  I seem to be
getting insane with this soteltie thing lately. Somebody stop me!

If anyone cares to, they may view the originals, which I modelled the Bull
after, at:


As the original bulls from the 100-columned Persepolis Throne Hall were most
likely painted, I am choosing to interpret the looped bead-work on the
statues as colorful types of (?????what is that word?) that horses wear, in
mid-east style, and am making a felt table-runner type thingy to cover from
the center forehead to below the tail (which will handily disguise the trap
door on it's way). I wish I had time to embroider it, but I'm awful at that,
so I am relying on gaudy gems, etc. on black felt. Read on to find out why I
needed a trap door:

The bull, wearing his last coat of paint, is now finished and looking quite
spiffy. I used glass globules for eyes and put a scrap of gold cloth
underneath. I made him out of paper mache', modelled on a chicken-wire form,
and molded eye-sockets with heavy brows around the 'eyes'. The frame was
made from 12" chicken wire: 2 pieces side-by-side for the body, about 3'
around (not closed on the bottom since he is laying down). These were tied
together with twine. The head was a 4 or so foot piece, rolled into a U
shape and the top third bent down upon itself to make the neck and head.
This was also attached with baling twine. A piece of twine running from the
back of the head to the center of the back held it steady until the paper
mache dried enough to give it independent strength. A piece of wire mesh was
used down the front and back. The legs were molded out of tubes of mesh,
folded upon themselves, and the join where they attached to the body clipped
open and attached to the body to form the thighs. The whole frame was twined
together for stability and then pressed into a more natural shape. I then
clipped the trap door and twined the top of it to the body. Last, a small
piece of mesh formed the tail, twined to the body. i know none of this is
really edible, but a great many Sotelties weren't edible, being made of
linnen, paper, brass, lead, wood, glass, wire, etc.....

To add the mache: boil a very thin paste of flour and water (a thick,
unboiled paste works but spoils quickly). You can add glue or oil of
wintergreen (preservative) but I did not. I attached large sheets of
newsprint at first, to cover. This took two weeks to dry in the garage, so I
brought him inside, where he dried in a few hours. I then applied 2 more
coats of paper mache in strips. Next came a good coat of spackle (2 cans of
ready mix)applied with the fingers, which was left fairly rough for texture.
A coat of black spray paint was put on for primer. My husband preferred this
look, but I put on a coat of faux "granite" paint, and I really like the way
it's shaping up.

Now, about the tricky bits, which I have yet to complete:
Borrowing from Master Dyfan's Stag that Bled red wine, I am making a similar
contraption myself, based on his instructions---it's a gravity feed through
a small piece of siphon hose, blocked by the arrow stump acting as a cork at
the chest. A wine bag from wine-in-a-box on a pedestal (yes, bleck! but it's
a sturdy bag, and red) is the blood, attached to the other end of the siphon
hose. It resides inside the chest area. Are you grossed out yet? There's
more. My bull has a trap door. I have made 5 dozen crinkle-surfaced,
center-moist, lumpy chocolate cookies to simulate Bull-Dookey. They will be
delivered as soon as someone lifts up of the tail, because i installed a
slanted tray inside the rear of the bull----gravity feed again. And before
anyone cringes at the symbolism, I am trying to demostrate that even with
the most horrible of political stuff going on in the group, even the worst
BS we can produce is, well, worth it. Besides, I want to see my brother the
Baron-elect's face when I offer him a plate of bull-pucks!

You're all sworn to secrecy, tho. I can't keep a secret to save my life, so
you folks are in charge of my secret now. I don't care who knows.....just
nobody tell Tigranes!

Aoife---wishing she'd thought of incorporating a pillar in the design now,
like one of the originals has.

Date: Sun, 25 Jan 1998 09:31:13 -0600
From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at ptd.net>
Subject: SC - Aoife's Bull---Update

Hallo! I am recovering from the First Endless Hills Baronial Investiture,
and would like to re-hash it here for you.


About the Sotelties:
First let me prepare the way with two statements:
1: The feast had a bird theme, which some of the sotelties carried through.
2: The event had a Bull theme, due to our Baron's device and persona's
religeon. When invested,  we all donned felt horns among the kitchen crew
(except for Valerie, who made a huge set of real steer horn affixed to a
head band that looked hysterical), and Moo'd our new Baron into office!

There were five. First was my Persian Miniature, made on a square slab of
shortbread, executed in fruit leathers gummmed down and sealed with simple
syrup. It was really cute, and I enjoyed doing it. All in all, about an
hour's work and about $5.00 in materials. Not bad, and my kids ate the
scraps of fruit leathers, keeping them busy while I worked. I bought three
different kinds, and had enough color variations in them to do some neat

Second to be served was the lantern. Ragnar and Rowan made this, and it was
from gingerbread (cookie type), cut-work held together with royal icing. The
damaged side was held towards the presentor, and I don't think anyone
noticed. It was quite dramatic when paraded around the hall, with a lit
candle inside. Simply beautiful!

Third was a set of gold keys on a gold key-ring to honor the new Chatelaine,
dear friend of all the cooks. Again, Rowan made this from gingerbread
pressed into molds and baked. She found some sort of gold powder which, when
mixed with orange extract, made a paint. This was brushed on, and some
greenery painted with food colors. The keys were attached to the ring with
golden threads. Again, simply beautiful.

Fourth was an enormous egg. We had a sort of bird theme to the feast
(phoenix tail salad, apricot chicken, apple peacocks, etc.) so Ragnar and
Rowan made an enormous, perfectly smooth  white egg, presented in a
nest-like basket, symbol of the birth of our barony, from cake. When sliced,
it looked like a real egg inside. I have no idea how it was done, but it
knocked them cold. They gasped when it was broken open. I am hoping Ragnar
will read this and enlighten us about the process. It was devoured, and
folks were asking for more.

Last came the bull, at the end of the feast. I was unaware of a fortuitous
legend from the Zaroestrian religion, wherein the God Mithras wounds a
celestial bull, and the blood spilled became all of creation. This made the
soteltie more appropriate than I could have hoped, given that our new
Baron's (my brother) device was a Bull. Two stalwort fellows carried out the
table bearing the bull. Khasar announced the last soteltie which "wasn't
subtle at all. In fact, it could be downright offensive". Naturally that got
them all crowding around. I explained the originals the bull was based on,
and had the good Baron Tigranes recieve the first cup of wine when the
corking arrowhead was removed. And then I began to explain about how we had,
like all groups going barony, gone through some rough times, with a lot of
BS. I was leading up to opening the trap door in the rear so that the
chocolate cookies could fall out. But my 8-year old (who had been keeping
the secret for 2 weeks) joyously shouted "And he POOPS cookies". So I simply
explained that even the BS in Endless Hills was delightful and let the
cookies fly. Gratifyingly, the first cookie went flying out and rolled
across the floor. I had to "help" the rest, a substantial paylod, but no one
seemed to mind. It was a big hit, got lots of laughs, and folks really
enjoyed their "bulls blood and BS for dessert." I had to donate the wine,
since the SCA money cannot buy alcohol for drinking purposes, which I was
happy to do.

So all in all, that's it. I got home at midnight, and now the next day I'm
still exhausted. I think I'll take a breather for a few months before I do
this again. We have lots of cooks in our group now, so a temporary
retirement is perfectly feasible.

My crew were troopers, and I hope they realize how wonderfully well they
did. I was told the feast was excellent. A cook can't wish for better than


Date: Tue, 20 Jan 1998 16:05:43 -0600 (CST)
From: alysk at ix.netcom.com (Elise Fleming)
Subject: SC - Re: Brandy

Greetings!  Crystal of the Westermark wrote:
>There are instructions for distilling in Curye on Inglysch, I think
>some cooks would have made brandy to produce the famous fire breathing

I haven't seen brandy listed as needed for making things flame.
Camphor is what the period cookery books call for.  Cotton or other
flammable things are soaked in camphor and then set alight to produce a
dragon's flame (St. George's dragon, not SCA fantasy), etc.

Alys Katharine

Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 19:15:58 -0400
From: Ceridwen <ceridwen at commnections.com>
Subject: SC - Carving books?

In my 10 years in the SCA I have occasionally seen references to
books on carving and garnishing. I am preparing to do a Feast for a
small collegium, and would love to be able to include some examples of
those methods taught in these books. The list of books` :

    1. 1423 Arte de Cisoria by the Marquess of Villena
    2.  1508 Book of Kervynge - Wynken de Worde (sp?)
    3.  1604  Il Trinciante - Vincenzo Cervio
    4. 1676  L'Escole Parfait des Officiers de Bouche  (author?)

At least two of these are much more than carving manuals. If anyone on
the list has a clue where to find any of these (in any form) please let
me know (public or private). I am reasonably sure I cannot afford
anything like originals, but if I can copy from microfilm, etc?


Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 11:36:34 -0400
From: renfrow at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)
Subject: Re: SC - Carving books?

>    In my 10 years in the SCA I have occasionally seen references to
>books on carving and garnishing. I am preparing to do a Feast for a
>small collegium, and would love to be able to include some examples of
>those methods taught in these books. The list of books :
>    1. 1423 Arte de Cisoria by the Marquess of Villena
>    2.  1508 Book of Kervynge - Wynken de Worde (sp?)
>    3.  1604  Il Trinciante - Vincenzo Cervio
>    4. 1676  L'Escole Parfait des Officiers de Bouche  (author?)
>At least two of these are much more than carving manuals. If anyone on
>the list has a clue where to find any of these (in any form) please let
>me know (public or private). I am reasonably sure I cannot afford
>anything like originals, but if I can copy from microfilm, etc?

Hello!  Visit
http://www.library.upenn.edu/special/gallery/aresty/aresty1.html An
Exhibition from the Esther B. Aresty Collection of Rare Books in the
Culinary Arts.  I know Esther Aresty had a copy of Il Trinciante in her

>1676  L'Escole Parfait des Officiers de Bouche  (author?)
This may be " A Perfect School of Instructions for the Officers of the
Mouth" by Giles Rose, one of the Master Cooks to Charles II.  1682.

Cindy Renfrow
renfrow at skylands.net

Date: Wed, 15 Apr 1998 18:17:55 -0500
From: vjarmstrong at aristotle.net (Valoise Armstrong)
Subject: Re: SC - Carving books?

>    In my 10 years in the SCA I have occasionally seen references to
>books on carving and garnishing. I am preparing to do a Feast for a
>small collegium, and would love to be able to include some examples of
>those methods taught in these books.

Several years ago I got a great German book on carving through interlibrary
loan. The title says that it's about table customs to the end of the Middle
Ages, but as I recall there was quite a lot about carvers and  the art of
carving. It's a good secondary source and if you can handle the German
worth looking up. There are also some great photographs of dishes and
eating utensils.

Schiedlausky, Gunther. Essen und trinken: Tafelsitten bis zum Ausgang des
        Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1956.


Date: Thu, 16 Apr 1998 09:52:55 +0100
From: "Yeldham, Caroline S" <csy20688 at GlaxoWellcome.co.uk>
Subject: RE: SC - Carving books?

I don't know about the others, but Wynken de Worde's book was republished in

FURNIVAL, Frederick J. (Editor). Manners and Meals in Olden Time. The Babees
Book, The Bokes of
Nurture of Hugh Rhodes and John Russell, Wykyn de Worde's Boke of Keruynge,
The Booke of Demeanor, etc. etc.
1973. Reprint of the 1868 edition.

ie originally in 1868, and the whole book was republished in 1973.  You
might have better luck searching under this title in a decent library.  BTW
from memory its more about serving than carving, although it does include
the terminology, its rather short on techniques!


Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 10:02:04 -0400
From: renfrow at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)
Subject: Re: SC - SC sotelties - cockatrice

>Does anybody know of documentation for the practice of sewing different
>bits of animals together, or is it just folklore?
>Charles Ragnar

Hello!  Harleian MS 279, Leche Vyaundez, recipe #28 for Cokyntryce, and
Douce Ms.55, #3 Cokentrice.  Both sew the fore part of a capon to the hind
part of a pig, & vice versa, to produce 2 beasties.  (Recipes can be found
on pages 573-4 of V.2, Take 1000 Eggs or More.)

Cindy Renfrow
renfrow at skylands.net

Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 11:00:55 -0500
From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>
Subject: SC - RE:  SC sotelties - cockatrice

> Does anybody know of documentation for the practice of sewing different
> bits of animals together, or is it just folklore?
> Charles Ragnar

See "Cokagrys" in The Forme of Cury, #183 or thereabouts, and "For to
make two pecys of flessh to fasten togyder.", #198, q.v. Actual recipe
numbers may vary from edition to edition, but they're there. I'd say the
practice is pretty well documented.


Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 11:18:40 -0400
From: mermayde at juno.com (Christine A Seelye-King)
Subject: Re: SC - SC sotelties - cockatrice

>Does anybody know of documentation for the practice of sewing different
>bits of animals together, or is it just folklore?
>Charles Ragnar

There is also a kid's book called "A Medieval Feast" by Aliki, that I got
at Pennsic many years ago.  It is all about a manor house that is
expecting the King and Queen for a visit.  They go into detail as to the
animals hunted, the preparations for the feast, and the service of the
feast as well.  There is a couple of pages in there where they are sewing
the back and front half of a suckling pig and a chicken together to make
two cockentrices.

        Way back when I was just a lowly apprentice chef, I was entered
in a student's food show.  I did a competant hors d'oerve platter, and I
also did a cockentrice.  The pig we got was larger than a suckling pig,
so I ended up having to use a turkey instead of a chicken.  I cut out a'loaf' from the center of the forcemeat stuffing the body, and sliced it,
layed it back into the hole it came out of, decorated it with choid-froid
and truffles, covered the whole thing with aspic, and displayed it with
carved vegetables.  I thought (and still do think) that it looked
wonderful.  Unfortunately, by the time I got everything to the hall, I
had been up working on it for 36 hours straight, and neglected to put
anything down on the form except "Cockyntrice" and left.  Needless to
say, the judges had no idea what to make of my entry, and made absolutely
no comments on it at all!  (My other platter got an honorable mention.)
Since then, I have learned the value of good documentation (especially
when dealing with judges who may not know what you are going for)  and
look back and sigh for what could have been.

        We also did some cockyntrices at an event once, where we tookrabbits and chickens and did the Frankenstein thing to them.  We also
endored them, boy, were those some weird looking critters!  Unlike my
food show entry however, these were edible. (For displaying an entry on a
mirror for three days, the forcemeat had about 4 pounds of cornstarch
mixed into it, and then the whole thing was aspic'd to within an inch of
it's life).

        I took lots of pictures of both processes, and have used them to
show folks what is entailed.  Lots of fun, I might even do it again some
day, for an appreciative audience!

Mistress Christianna MacGrain, OP, Meridies

Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 15:44:06 -0500 (CDT)
From: alysk at ix.netcom.com (Elise Fleming)
Subject: SC - Re: sotelties - cockatrice

Charles wrote:
>Does anybody know of documentation for the practice of sewing
>different bits of animals together, or is it just folklore?

It it is written up in, I believe, Chiquart's book.

Alys K.

Date: Wed, 13 May 1998 11:22:59 -0700
From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>
Subject: SC - Re: SC  sotelties - cockatrice

Charles Ragnar asked:
>> Does anybody know of documentation for the practice of sewing different
>> bits of animals together, or is it just folklore?

and Adamantius answered:
>See "Cokagrys" in The Forme of Cury, #183 or thereabouts, and "For to
>make two pecys of flessh to fasten togyder.", #198, q.v. Actual recipe
>numbers may vary from edition to edition, but they're there. I'd say the
>practice is pretty well documented.

Cokagrys.  Take and make (th)e self fars, but do (th)erto pynes and sugar.Take an hold rostr cok; pulle hym and hylde hym al togyder saue (th)elegges.  Take a pigg and hilde hym fro (th)e myddes dounward; fulle him fulof (th)e fars, & sowe hym fast togeder.  Do hym in a panne & see(th) hymwel, and whan (th)ei bene isode: do hem on a spyt & rost it wele.  Colourit with yolkes of ayren and safroun.  Lay (th)eron foyles of gold and ofsilver, and serue hit forth.Translation/spelling modernization: Cockatrice.  Take and make the samestuffing [this is the preceeding recipe: ground raw pork, eggs, powderfort, saffron, salt, currents], but do thereto pine nuts and sugar.  Take awhole roast cock; pull him and skin him altogether except for the legs.Take a pig and skin him from the middle downward; fill him full of thestuffing, & sew him fast together.  Do him in a pan & boil him well, andwhen they be boiled: do him on a spit & roast it well.  Colour it withyolkes of eggs and saffron.  Lay thereon gold and silver leaf, and serve itforth.

Madeleine des Milles Roses did pair of cocketrices for a Middle Kingdom
Coronation several years back; one of them had colored shortbread armor
resembling the new king's, and the other wore a ruff of the general stylethe new queen was accustomed to wear. All tables but high table got stuffed
roast pork that course.

Elizabeth/Betty Cook

Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 19:14:01 +1000
From: Robyn Probert <robyn.probert at lawpoint.com.au>
Subject: SC - Marchpane Revisited

There are certainly references to 14th centure recipies for marchpanes, but
I just cannot find the example I know I have (somewhere). By way of cross
reference, the Time Life Good Cooks series (wonderful books) gives a range
of recipies in the Confectionary volume. It is remarkable how similar the
recipies from Persia, Germany, France, Italy, etc really are and how little
they have changed over the centuries!

Elinor Fettiplace gives A Receit to Make a Marchpane (1604):

Take a pound & a half of almonds, blanch them & bruise them in a martar by
themselves, then take a pound & a half of sugar & pound it smal, search out
as much of it as you think will servie to ice your marchpanee, & to mould it
up in, Take the rest of your sugar & mingle it with your almonds, & beat
them in a morter till they come to paste, not putting too much at once in
your morter for fear of oyling, you must have gum dragon steep it in rose
water all night, & in your pownding put some of your gumdragon upon your
pestills end, when you have pounded it all mould it upon a bottome made with
marchpane bread, make your conceits as you think fit, set your marchpane in
the oven not being too hot, & when it is reasonable well hardened take it
out & ice it, & set on your conceits, then put it in the oven againe, untill
yor iceing bee hardned, then take it out, & stick on your comfits, & when it
is cold gild it, your iceing is made with nothing but rosewater & sugar
beaten together, it must bee somewhat thick, I think some 3 greate
spoonfulls of sugar will serve for the iceing of it.

I hope I can find my earlier recipie and will post it if I do.


Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 08:47:56 PDT
From: "Michael Clifford" <guytalbot at hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: SC - SC sotelties - cockatrice

A few years ago Master Ian did a cockentrice he has a page on it at
http://www.labs.net/dmccormick/cocken.htm it has the sources along with
some pictures.

Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 01:06:53 -0700
From: "James L. Matterer" <jlmatterer at labyrinth.net>
Subject: SC - Cockentrice

In regards to recent questions about cockentrice, I prepared one for the
Pennsic A & S Competition at Pennsic 24 and have detailed instructions
and recipe, along with photographs at

Master Huen

Date: Fri, 5 Jun 1998 10:49:21 -0400
From: "marilyn traber" <mtraber at email.msn.com>
Subject: Fw: SC - Pine-nut Confection

Here's a blast from the past, not a hazlenut recipe, but one still sort of
close to the discussion at hand...

- -----Original Message-----
From: Elise Fleming <alysk at ix.netcom.com>
To: sca-cooks at Ansteorra.ORG <sca-cooks at Ansteorra.ORG>
Date: Monday, December 29, 1997 10:50
Subject: SC - Pine-nut Confection

>Greetings.  Here is the recipe from the Nostradamus book.  I will be
>sojourning in the snowy climes of Minnesota until next Sunday.  While I
>may be able to access my e-mail I probably won't be able to respond.
>Alys Katharine - Recipe follows
>"How to Make a Confection from Pine-Nut Kernels".
>"Take as many well-cleaned and carefully shelled pine-nut kernels as
>you will, dry them or toast them a little.  Or take them whole with
>their skins and shells and put them in a basket.  Hang this over the
>hearth near the fire and leave it there for three days.  Tus the heat
>from the fire will slowly penetrate them and dry them.  Then take them
>out and clean them thoroughly.  Next take two and a half pounds of
>nuts, being careful to keep them close at hand.  Then take some of the
>most beautiful and best Madeira sugar, dissolve sufficient of it in
>rose-water and boil it until it attains the consistency of a jelly.  If
>it is winter or a time when there is a lot of moisture in the air, boil
>it a bit longer, but if it is summer, then let it just simmer.  this is
>when it does not boil over or bubble when it boils, which is a sign
>that the moisture had been evaporated; but to be brief, when it has
>boiled to the consistency of a jelly, as I have said, thake the
>preserving pan off th efire and put it somewhere where th eliquid can
>dry off and become firm.  Then give it a good stir with a piece of wood
>and beat it continuously until it turns white.  When it begins to cool
>down a little, add the white of a whole or half an egg and beat it well
>again.  Next place it over the coals, in order to allow the moisture
>from the egg-white to stiffen, and when you see that it is properly
>white and like the first lot you boiled, take the dried, well-cleaned
>pine-nut kernels and put them into the sugar.  Stir them with the wood
>so that they are thoroughly mixed with the sugar - this should still be
>done over the coal fire, so that the mixture does not cool too quickly.
> Then take a wide wooden knife, like the ones used by the shoemakers,
>and cut the mixture into pieces, each weighing about ana ounce and a
>half, but not more than two, which would not be good, and spread them
>carefully on to some paper until they have properly cooked, at which
>stage put a little gold leaf on to them and your confection is ready.
>If, however, it is not possible to obtain pine-nut kernels anywhere,
>use peeled almonds instead, dividing them either into two parts or
>three and mixing them with the sugar to make this confection.  And if
>there are too few pine-nut kernels, you can replace them with pieces of
>almonds, for the latter are not dissimilar to the former in taste and
>potency.  You can also use fennel which is flowering or in seed, which
>is kept in houses and used during the wine harvest.  When your sugar
>has almost completely boiled and is hot and white with everything mixed
>in it or scattered over it, it looks like manna or or snow and is so
>beautiful and lovely."

Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 18:30:41 -0700
From: Susan Fox-Davis <selene at earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: SC - What to do with the head

This reminds me of a cook's jape I committed upon a royal personage some years
past.  The concept was not original with me, I heard of a similar incident long
ago and far away, and decided to commit it anew.

Knowing the timid tastes of our populace, instead of an actual Boar's Head we
served pies of mincemeat to the populace and a paste replica of a Boar's Head
to the High Table with mincemeat inside.  The head was capped with a gilded
Crown, so I bore the Boar to the King Guy, exhorting him to de-crown the
pretender and begin the sweet course.  The king graciously did so.  Being a
good little herald-cook, I announced it to the crowd.

"The King has the brains of a Pig!"

King Guy looks at me.  I look at him.

"I have an amendment to the previous announcement.  The King does NOT have the
brains of a Pig!"

King Guy looks at me.  I look at him.

"I'm leaving while I still have MY head," quoth I, and did so with all speed.

cook, herald and unemployed jester

Date: Sun, 30 Aug 1998 08:22:45 -0700
From: "Anne-Marie Rousseau" <acrouss at gte.net>
Subject: Re: SC - The British Museum Cookbook

Hey all from Anne-Marie

> Also, we are hosting Crown Tourney in Oct. and I have someone who wants to
> do an edible castle for the head table.  I would LOVE to hear
> suggestions/comments on this.  I would appreciate any alternative ideas to
> present to this lady.  She really wants to make a special contribution
> food-wise to Their Majesties feast but she is new at this and I would like
> to give her more than one option to try before hand.

Theres a recipe in Taillevent (14th century French) for something called a
"parma tart". There's one in Chiquart too, but where Chiquart focuses on
the filling, Taillevent says "you can put in chopped spice meat, or boiled
or roasted meat or...". The neat part of the recipe is how he describes
creating a pastry casing for the food, with high sides and crennallations.
Then, you make little banners for the lords present, and stick them in the
food in the dish.

when we did "parma tarts" for a banquet, what we did was use a very sturdy
pie dough and shape crennellated walls around regular pie pans. We baked
them and decorated them with little banners showing the heraldry of various
notables there present. Then we filled the pie dish with a dish of chicken
quarters and sauce. To do it "right", we should have put a layer of spiced
meatballs or patties, and then the chicken.

Few people ate the "castle" part (though they could have), but it was
flashy, not too hard, and oh-so-period. If you decide to use real pie
dough, be careful as it tends to slump in the oven.

here's the primary source quote...
Parma Tarts (Taillevent #180):
Take mutton, veal or pork meat, cook it, chop it appropriately, spice it
extremely reasonably with fine powder, and fry it in lard. Afterwards, have
large uncovered pies the size of little platters, with pastry sides higher
than for other pies, and made in the manner of crenellations. The pastry
should be strong so that it can hold the meat. If you wish, mix some pine
nut paste and currants with the meat, and crumble some sugar on top. Take
some boiled and quartered chicken, and in each pie put three or four
chicken quarters in which to fix the banners of France and of the lords who
will be in the [royal] presence. Gild them with sprinkled saffron to be
more attractive.

If you do not want to depend so much on chicken, you need only make some
flat pieces of roasted or boiled pork or mutton. When the pies are full of
their meat, glaze the top of the meat with a little egg yolk and egg white
beaten together, so that the meat will more hold together more firmly for
inserting the banners. Have some gold, silver, or tin leaf for gilding the
pies in front of the banners.

- --AM

Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 10:22:00 -0500
From: mfgunter at fnc.fujitsu.com (Michael F. Gunter)
Subject: SC - Crown feast

> Also, we are hosting Crown Tourney in Oct. and I have someone who wants to
> do an edible castle for the head table.  I would LOVE to hear
> suggestions/comments on this.
> Gwenyth

As for the castle. Have you thought of making it from cakes? You can bake a
cake in coffee cans for the towers and make sheet cakes, slice them and stack
the slices for the walls. Make sugarcube crenallations and gingerbread or
cardboard turrets. You can fill the cake with candies, flowers or make a
donjon from more cake.

You could also try hard salt pastry. It is inedible but you could build walls
and towers and then fill the towers with a course and place something in the
center. I did this once and fille the towers with fettuccini in one, rice in
another and eggs in another. The center had rice topped with beef stew and
covered with an edible pastry looking like the center house.


Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 12:39:59 -0500
From: maddie teller-kook <meadhbh at io.com>
Subject: Re: SC - Crown feast

Clarissa and I did a castle for the high table at Bryn Gwlad Baronial last year.
We used the recipe from "Savoring the Past".  It looked pretty good!  The only
thing I would recommend is to add more seasoning to the meat filling and make
sure you get some of the broth into the pie.... otherwise the meat is a little
dry.  All in all a fun project!


Date: Tue, 1 Sep 1998 13:37:53 -0600 (MDT)
From: Linda Peterson <mirhaxa at swcp.com>
Subject: Re: SC - Crown feast

On Tue, 1 Sep 1998 Seton1355 at aol.com wrote:
> > melted life saver technique.>
> Huh?

If you take the 5 Fruit flavors (or any of the clear candy types) of
Lifesavers, crush them a bit and put inside cutout parts of sugar cookies,
or in the castle's case gingerbread, then bake the cookies, the candy will
melt leaving when cooled a resolidified candy sheet inside the frame of
the cookie. When backlit, it looks just like stained glass.

Date: Wed, 2 Sep 1998 14:00:09 +1000 (EST)
From: The Cheshire Cat <sianan at geocities.com>
Subject: SC - castles of cake and other such stuff.

   Other memorable illusion foods were for Hrolf's last feast as Baron of
Ynys Fawr there was a man lying on his face made out of cake, iced to look
like it was wearing the barons gamberson and a knife sticking out of the
back with a note.  "He who pulls this sword from the bone shall be the true
Baron of Ynys Fawr", and for an Assasin's feast a severed head made from
sugar plate was presented to the Head table complete on the ceremonial
spiked board (One of my wooden sashimi boards with a long nail driven
through the middle.  The things we do for our art...*sigh*).  The top of
the head was removed and the 'brains' were made of turkish delight.
Grotesque, but very well done.  It recieved the screams of horror that we
were hoping for at any rate. =>

- -Sianan

Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 16:02:43 +0100
From: Robyn Probert <robyn.probert at lawpoint.com.au>
Subject: SC - Lebkuchen recipie

Here is the lebkuchen recipie. I used it as the covers for a
subteltie I made of a book - it had 50 pages made of phyllo, glued together
at the spine with eggwhite, then with sugar, cinnamon, ground almond and
lemon zest sprinkled between each page, then I illuminated the open pages
with edible colouring and gold leaf and baked the lot.  I also used
lebkuchen as the basis for another subteltie, where I made it into shields,
baked on a curved surface, then covered in moulded marzipan and painted on
the devices. I made the straps from fruit leather and real buckles, rivetted
through the shields (I put in holes before I baked the shields). Both looked
and tasted great! It makes great castles too...

On with the recipie (this makes a LOT - about 200 or so biscuits)

4 eggs
400 g brown sugar
450 g white flour
450 g whole wheat flour
150 g honey
1 pkt Oetker baking powder (or 10 g bicarb and 1/4 tsp baking powder)
125 g mixed peel (ie preserved orange and lemon peel), very finely minced
125 g walnuts, ground
1 tsp each cinnamon, cloves, cardamom
grated rind of 1/2 lemon

Mix the eggs, sugar and honey and sit overnight. Add everything else and mix
to a firm dough. Rest 2 hours in a cool place. Roll out thinly (2-3 mm) and
cut out shapes (we use a bunch of trad animal shapes). Cook at 350 F/180 C
for 10 mins. Cool on racks, then ice.

White - Beat 3 egg whites to soft peak, then beat in about 400 g icing sugar
and a good squeeze of lemon juice.
Yellow - Beat 3 yolks, then beat in enough icing sugar to form a smooth icing.
We also make pink from the white (add red colour) and brown from the yellow
(add melted chocolate - not period I know!).

Apply one thin coat of icing (using a butter knife), dry, then pipe features
in a contrasting colour. Each shape we use has trad colours and patterns,
but I don't know how old these are.

Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 00:48:25 -0800
From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>
Subject: Re: SC - Lebkuchen recipie

At 4:02 PM +0100 9/18/98, Robyn Probert wrote:
Anyway, here is the lebkuchen recipie. I

>On with the recipie (this makes a LOT - about 200 or so biscuits)
>4 eggs
>400 g brown sugar
>450 g white flour
>450 g whole wheat flour
>150 g honey
>1 pkt Oetker baking powder (or 10 g bicarb and 1/4 tsp baking powder)
>125 g mixed peel (ie preserved orange and lemon peel), very finely minced
>125 g walnuts, ground
>1 tsp each cinnamon, cloves, cardamom
>grated rind of 1/2 lemon
>Mix the eggs, sugar and honey and sit overnight. Add everything else and mix
>to a firm dough. Rest 2 hours in a cool place. Roll out thinly (2-3 mm) and
>cut out shapes (we use a bunch of trad animal shapes). Cook at 350 F/180 C
>for 10 mins. Cool on racks, then ice.

this has very little similarity to the period lebkuchen recipe that Valoise
posted earlier. Are you basing it on a different period recipe, or is it
simply a modern recipe (as the use of baking powder suggests) for something
with the same name as something that existed in period? In my experience,
it is risky to assume that the names of dishes keep their meaning over long
periods of time--consider syllabub, for example, or harisa, or blancmange.


Date: Wed, 23 Sep 1998 15:42:51 -0400
From: "Gedney, Jeff" <gedje01 at mail.cai.com>
Subject: Re: SC - Subtlety Question

Idea 1
How about making a two sided wooden cookie die with the coin design cut into
the die in reverse on the striking surfaces?
Then take the marzipan, roll it into small balls and press them into rough
circles. Lay a leaf of edible gold on the lower die, and place  a flattened
ball in the center of the lower die. Lay another sheet on top of that and
press it firmly together. A sharp tap should be sufficient. That should make
a gold marzipan coin.

Idea 2
Take the dies from Idea 1 and oil them lightly. Make a batch of drawn or
plate sugar, and press it into the dies, and press the dies together. After
the sugar cools completely (that will be quick, but you'll want to keep the
candy stock in a pot set in very warm water, to keep it flexible), remove
the candy coin, and set aside. After the coins are made, you can get edible
silver and gold foil, and coat the coins thusly: First take a coin and
LIGHTLY coat with egg white, lay the foil on top of the coin, and using a
dry sable brush, push the leaf into the surfaces of the coin.

Just some thoughts...


Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 01:15:51 -0800
From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>
Subject: Re: SC - marzipan coins

At 1:03 PM -0400 9/23/98, Marilyn Traber wrote:
>Why not make your own marzipan coins?

There is actually a pasta recipe in Ibn al Mubarrad which tells you to
strike the individual bits of pasta between your fingers like coins. Not
gold--but period. It's in the _Miscellany_.


Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 09:23:57 -0400
From: Phil & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>
Subject: Re: SC - Pastry Castles!

Jessica Tiffin wrote:
> There was a discussion a couple of weeks back about recipes in Taillevent
> and Form of Curye for a subtlety with a pasty castle filled with various
> fillings.  I had a go at an extrapolation from this idea
> - the effect was rather fun.
> The major problem I had, though, was in the texture of the pastry.  It was
> basically just a paste of flour and water, but there was no way I could get
> it into a cylinder while it was still raw - it was too soft, and would not
> stand up at all.  I didn't have anything of the right size to use as a
> "roller", as the Form of Curye recipe specified; I ended up parcooking the
> pastry  flat on a baking tray, and then bending it into shape when it had
> hardened slightly - not ideal, as it then tended to crack, and it was very
> difficult to join the cylinder (more toothpicks...)
> Does anyone have any ideas on making a more robust pastry, or cunning plans
> for shaping the stuff raw?  I'd like to try this again, it was fun to do and
> went down well with the Shire

Well, the recipe, if I remember it correctly, does tell us to make it stiff!
The simplest solution might be to make a really really really stiff
flour-and-water dough, or flour-and-egg-yolk dough. Draft the nearest 300-lb
fighter for kneading! This appears likely to have been the period solution to
this problem. Another might be to rethink the proportions of a castle as seen
through the eyes of people who actually lived in, or spent time in them. Most
aren't in the proportions of the castle in Disneyland. Is there any chance you
were a bit too ambitious on your proportions? (No need to answer this, it was
just a point I thought might need addressing.) The recipe also says to dry it
in the sun or bake it, so maybe a really low oven might be effective at
stiffening the dough without causing it to lose structural integrity. I'm
talking about a temperature of 100 degrees Celsius or less.

As for modernish alternatives, one might be a hot water and lard pastry, such
as is used for various meat pies in the U.K. I generally use Hillary
Spurling's recipe found in her edition of "Elinor Fettiplace's Receipt Book",
my copy of which seems to have mysteriously vanished. I vaguely recall it
calls for a pound of plain or AP flour, five ounces of lard, nine ounces of
water, and some salt, I forget how much. Bear, Aoife, how far off am I here?
You bring the lard and the water to a boil in a saucepan, pour it into a well
in your flour, in a mixing bowl, and stir until mixed. As soon as it's cool
enough to handle you knead it until it's a smooth, homogeneous pastry dough.
While it's still warm, it is pliable, but when it cools, it stiffens up
somewhat, so it's good for free-standing pies, baked outside of pie pans.
However, it also works best when it has some added support, such as a filling
inside, when it bakes. Some might even go far enough to wrap a belly-band of
foil or parchment around it while it bakes.

Finally, the other thing you can do is use any pastry you want, just about,
baked "blind" in something like a coffee can with the top and bottom removed,
on a cookie sheet, with the can lined with pastry, the pastry lined with foil
or parchment, and filled with something like rice, dried beans, or metal "pie
beans". Bake, allow it to cool, remove the beans, whatever you've used, the
foil or parchment liner, and very carefully lift the can off the pastry.
Ridges in the can shouldn't be a problem; your pastry is likely to shrink
somewhat in baking. Flat walls can be baked on another cookie sheet, and
everything can be attached together with something like Royal Icing (which,
BTW, occurs at least as far back as the 17th century) for sweet pies, and
something like softened meat glaze for savory ones. Not to mention the
occasonal toothpick... .

Østgardr, East

Date: Fri, 16 Oct 1998 12:59:01 -0400 (EDT)
From: Gretchen M Beck <grm+ at andrew.cmu.edu>
Subject: Re: SC - Feline Suprise {Tasteless Idea?} (OOP)

Excerpts from internet.listserv.sca-cooks: 16-Oct-98 SC - Feline Suprise
{Tastel.. by Ann & Les Shelton at conter
> This discussion lead to a split over whether one person's idea for a
> suprise at feast was incredibly humorous or the most tasteless thing
> we'd ever heard of {this coming from someone who had a large "pig
> cooker" set up on site with a plastic arm dangling out of it}.  His idea
> is to carry a big pot of soup/stew to a table, reach in with a ladle and
> plunk down a cat collar into someone's bowl!  Personally, I can see how
> under the right circumstances this could be funny as a personal joke;
> however, at an event you'd most likely offend/gross out more people than
> you'd amuse.

Speaking of feline surprises, I had a friend once serve a Blatancy
(cause you couldn't call it subtle) at a potluck:

Mix together equal parts of brown and white sugar, add such spices as
you will.  Mix together chopped dates, raisins, figs (you know, the kind
of stuff that goes into peascods), roll into "logs" about 1/4 inch
around ad 2-5 inches long.  Place sugar in a long flat pan with 2 inch
sides (a new cat litter box works well, as does a lasagna pan), mix
"logs" with your sugar, place slotted spoon (or litter pan scooper) in
the pan so folks can server themselves, and serve hit forth.

He had people running up to him all day, munching on these things saying
"you know, that looks like...." to which he replied "yes, I know.  It's
a blatancy." ;-)

toodles, margaret

Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 18:15:50 EST
From: kathleen.hogan at juno.com (Kathleen M Hogan)
Subject: Re: SC - Soteltie???

<AlettaS at seaharvest.co.za> writes:
>What is a soteltie? A dish showing off your skill? Any examples?

A soteltie (or subtlety)is a dish that creates a pictoral scene.  It can
be a sweet or a savoury. They are often decorated with herbs, candied
flowers, bits of dried fruit, etc. Some examples that I have read

1.  a wedding feast,  England (IIRC about 1400's).  A sculpture of sweet
bread in the shape of the wedding party before the door of the church.
Specific details include the bride's blonde hair and dress done in
candied flower petals.  Pieces baked separately and then assembled with
marchpane and something that sounds like spun sugar.

2.  a wedding feast (German)(no date given).  A savoury bread sculpture
of a rampant goat (one of the figures on the groom's arms) and a doe
dormant (the bride's family). Specific details include the eyes of the
goat and doe made of dried fruit.

Both books were borrowed from a library in California years ago.  I think
one of them was by a Rodney? MacKinnon.  The other one was something
unpronounceable in German.  One of these days I will start taking notes
when I find a good book and keep them!

Caitlin Nicfhionghuin
House Oak and Thistle
Shire of Bordervale Keep, Atlantia
Augusta, GA

Date: Wed, 21 Oct 1998 09:11:22 +0100
From: Robyn Probert <robyn.probert at lawpoint.com.au>
Subject: Re: SC - marchpane holly leaves

At 15:09 20/10/1998 -0500, Helen wrote:
>I am sorry, but what are marchpane holly leaves?

Make marchpane and colour it green with spinach juice (blanch the spinach,
crush it in a mortar and pestle and squeeze out through cheesecloth), roll
and cut out holly leave shapes, draw on the veins and let them dry. If you
have more time, make little red berry balls and stick them on with eggwhite.

These, with the gilded walnuts (spray gold is quick) and red cherries in
flat baskets with pine sprigs looks great and shelling the walnuts gives
people something to occupy themselves with until the real food starts...


Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 11:51:07 +0000
From: Robyn Probert <robyn.probert at lawpoint.com.au>
Subject: Re: SC - Sotelty question-Pirates!

At 16:16 19/11/1998 -0800, Kat wrote:
>Someone here was telling about the making of an edible "book" made with
leaves of phyllo... is that person still on the list, and if so would he or
she be so kind as to outline the procedure?  I'd love to try something like
that... maybe as a ship's log?

That was me! I made the boards (covers) out of sweet biscout (cookie) dough
(sweet shortcrust would work too), then partially baked them and gilded the
edges using an eggwhite glair. The pages were 1/2 sheets of phyllo - a whole
box worth - 'bound' with eggwhite and separated with a dusting of ground
almond, cinnamon, sugar and lemon zest. The top pages were strengthened by
sticking 2 pages together with eggwhite, then I calligraphed and illuminated
them using professional food colouring (fabulous vivid colours!) and gold
leaf, assembled the pages into the boards (more eggwhite) and baked the lot
until golden. It looked great and tasted good too.

Certainly adaptable to a ships log... You could even illuminate a nice map
showing compass bearings, the four winds and 'here be dragons'...


Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 07:14:19 -0500
From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>
Subject: Re: SC - Hedgehogs

We're asked for hedgehog recipes; there's one in the Forme of Cury,
which is part of a long series of several recipes using the same meat
mixture, shaped and cooked variously:

"182    Farsur to make pomme dorryse and o(th)ere (th)ynges. Take (th)e
lire of pork rawe, and grynde it smale. Medle it vp wi(th) eyren &
powdre fort, safroun and salt; and do (th)erto raisouns of courance.
Make balles (th)erof, and wete it wele in white of ayren, & do it to
see(th) in boillyng water. Take hem vp and put hem on a spyt. Rost hem
wel, and take persel ygrounde and wryng it vp with ayren & a perty of
flour, and let erne aboute (th)e spyt. And if (th)ou wilt, take for
persel, safroun; and serue it forth."

Later, we get:

"184    Hirchones. Take (th)e mawe of (th)e grete swyne, and fyfe o(th)er
sex of pigges mawes. Fyll hem full of (th) self fars, & sowe hem fast.
Perboile hem; take hem vp, & make smale prikkes of gode past, and frye
hem. Take (th)ese prickes yfryed & set hem (th)icke in (th)e mawes on
(th) fars, made after an vrchoun withoute legges. Put hem on a spyt &
roost hem, & colour hem with safroun, & messe hem forth."

The Harleian MS 279 recipe (found in the Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery
Books) used in "Pleyn Delit" calls for spicery, and, specifically,
ginger. I'd go a bit closer to the earlier FoC notion of powder forte,
probably a mixture of pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and maybe galingale. I'd
go with 1/2 teaspoon of the first three for Pleyn Delit's recommended
two pounds of ground pork, plus 1/4 teaspoon galingale. I think I'd go
with 1 teaspoon salt. I like the idea of the almond spines or prikkes
over the fried pastry ones, although that's a cool idea too. The
Harleian MS 279 / Pleyn Delit recipe also omits the currants.

I think a really essential point is to use the right cut of pork,
especially if you're doing little ones without the natural organ
casings. You need to have a sufficiently fatty cut to ensure moistness
of the finished product. Probably shoulder (blade or "Boston" rather
than picnic) is marbled enough without going overboard. If you just buy
generic "ground pork" you might be okay, unless the supermarket butcher
is on a health kick. Bulk sausage meat might not be such a bad idea --
it's usually seasoned with pepper and salt only, and is plenty moist enough.


Date: Tue, 15 Dec 1998 07:36:59 -0800
From: Anne-Marie Rousseau <acrouss at gte.net>
Subject: Re: SC - Hedgehogs

Hi all from Anne-Marie

Here's my version. Adamantius is right...your generic UNSEASONED ground pork
works great and has enough fat that they stick together nicely. I like mine
pretty spicey and slightly sweet, so tend to at least double the spices. Mix it
up and fry a bit then taste test. Adjust the seasonings as you like. Also,
please note that the originals do indeed call for sausage casings. In SCA
tradition, we often will omit this and just do them like little sausage
meatballs. I've done it with the sausage casings, and they were very good
(Though getting the almonds to stay was a pain).

These are a big hit at demos and with kids, being cute as all get out. Its
also a good illustration of the concept of a sobteltie.

enjoy! as always, all rights reserved, blah blah blah.

- --AM

YRCHOUNS: Take Piggis mayws and skalde them wel; take groundyn Pork and knede it
with Spicerye, with pouder Gyngere, and Salt and Sugre; do it on the mawe, but
fille it nowt to fulle, then sewe them with a fayre threde and putte them in a
Spete and men don piggys. Take blaunchid Almoundys and kerf them long, smal and
scharpe, and frye them in grece and sugre. Take a ltytle prycke and pryckke the
yrchons. An putte in the holes the Almoundys, every hole half, and lech fro
sometimes. Ley them then to the fryre; when they be rostid, dore them, sum with
Whete Flowre and mylke of Almoundys, sum grene, sume blake with Blode, and lat
them nowt browne to moche; and serve forth. (Harleian MS 279, c. 1420)

a handful slivered almonds, lightly fried in butter and sprinkled with sugar
2 lbs ground pork
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp each salt and sugar
1/2 tsp  cinnamon
1/4 tsp clove
currants for eyes and nose

Fry the almonds in melted butter over gentle heat. Don't over cook! They like
to burn, even after you take them off the stove. Just before they're done,
sprinkle them with a bit of sugar. Try not to eat them all before you use
them for the hedgehogs...

Mix the pork and spices; form into balls about 2" in diameter, and squish into
a vaguely hedgehog shape (kinda ovalesque). Stick them with the slivered
almonds, at least 6-8 per hedgehog, angled backwards, like quills.  Place a
snippet of current for each eye and a nose. Bake on a cookie sheet in a 350o
oven for 30 min, taking care not to burn them, until medium brown. Drain on
paper towels for a couple of minutes before serving.

Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 15:37:39 EST
From: RuddR at aol.com
Subject: SC - Re: Hedgehog

Diana asks:
<<Also, would anyone have a hedgehog recipe? the one that starts with
forced meat and uses lovely period spices (cubeb, pepper, ginger,
cinnamon)? I seem to have misplaced mine in a flurry of wrapping paper,
ornaments, gifts.....*sigh*>>

Pork Loaf Hedgehog

Take Piggis mawys, & skalde hem wel:  take groundyn Porke, & knede it with
Spicerye, with pouder Gyngre, & Salt & Sugre;  do it on (th)e mawe, but fille
it nowt to fulle;  (th)en sewe hem with a fayre (th)rede & putte hem in a
Spete as men don piggys; take blaunchid Almaundys, & kerf hem long, smal, &
scharpe, & frye hem in grece & sugre;  take a litel prycke, & prykke (th)e
yrchons, An putte in (th)e holes (th)e Almaundys, every hole half, & eche fro
o(th)er;  ley hem (th)en to (th)e fyre;  when (th)ey ben rostid, dore hem sum
wyth Whete Flowre, & mylke of Almaundys, sum grene, sum blake with Blode, &
lat hem nowt browne to moche, & serue forth.
Harleian MS 279

(In the original recipe the purpose of the pig's maw, apart from holding the
meat loaf in shape, seems to be to roast it in a bag of fat.  Modern tender,
fatty pork makes this unnecessary.  Also, roasted pig's maw is inedible, and
must be peeled from the yrchoun, and scraped of the almond spines and
"frosting" before being discarded.  I also have not colored the frosting
green or black.)

2 pounds ground pork or other meat
1 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp pepper or other strong spice
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
1/8 tsp cloves
Butter for sautéing
1 C blanched, slivered almonds

1/4 C almond milk
1 T flour

1.  Preheat oven to 350°.

2.  In a bowl, mix spices, salt, and half a teaspoon of sugar thoroughly into
the ground pork.  Mound the meat into a hemisphere and place in a greased
roasting pan.  Cover it with foil, and bake at 350º for forty-five minutes.

3.  In a frying pan, over low heat, melt butter and add remaining sugar. Add
almonds and brown them, stirring frequently.  Take care not to brown them
too much, or they will burn later on.

4.  When meat is done, drain fat from pan, and let it cool.  Remove foil, and
stick the fried almonds into the yrchoun, about half-way, about half an inch
apart, over the entire surface, like hedgehog quills.

5.  In a bowl, combine flour and almond milk, and stir it into a "batter".
Carefully and slowly pour this directly over the top of the yrchoun.  It
should run down evenly over the sides, leaving the almond quills exposed.
Carefully spoon run-off onto any areas left uncovered.

6.  Return the yrchoun to a 300º oven for about five minutes until the batter
frosting browns slightly.  Be careful not to let the almond tips burn. Remove
from the oven and allow to cool for a while.  Then, with a large spatula,
transfer it to a serving plate.  Garnish the plate with leafy greens to
simulate "natural habitat".

Serves six to eight.

Rudd Rayfield

Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 17:21:40 EST
From: LrdRas at aol.com
Subject: Re: SC - Hedgehogs

mfgunter at fnc.fujitsu.com writes:
<< I do have a question. I understand that "mawe" is the intestine casing
but am I mistaken in the use of the term "lire" in meaning liver? >>

Yes, liver is meant. While it is standard practice to leave these organ meats
out of this mixture, their addition improves the flavor of the final product
greatly. In my venison sausage I made recently I ground up the liver and heart
in the meat mixture and a person who swore they would never eat liver
scarfed down a half dozen sausages before asking me why I was so amused. :-)

I would suspect that many SCA redactors avoid the organ meats simply because
of a misguided notion that 'people' don't like them. The fact that organ
meats disappear quickly from the store shelves shows this to be untrue.


Date: Thu, 07 Jan 1999 00:26:20 -0500
From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>
Subject: Re: SC - Visions of Sugar Plums?

snowfire at mail.snet.net wrote:
> I just received a late Christmas gift of a small basket of Marzipan
> Fruits.  Miniature oranges, apples, lemons, strawberries, plums,
> pears...  (Made by "Past Times, Oxford, England). :-)
> On the bottom of the label is written,
> "Wealth was often flaunted at Renaissance Courts in the form of
> splendid sugar and Marzipan sculptures".
> This sparked my curiosity.  Was this a big thing in Period then?

Yep. Not necessarily marzipan fruits per se, but sculpted illusion foods
in a variety of shapes and sizes. The first period instructions that
come to mind (although far from the earliest that exist, I'm sure) are
the sixteenth-century recipes compiled from various manuscript sources
in Book V of "Curye On Inglysch" (Oxford University Press, 1985), a.k.a.
'Goud Kokery', specifically the recipes for "ymages in sugar" in which
various shapes are cast, molded, or cut from warm sugar candy. Almost
period is Sir Hugh Plat's "Delites for Ladies and Gentlewomen", 1609,
which tells how to make a compound for casting fruits, nuts, and other
stuff into molds, which can then be half-filled with hot sugar candy and
rolled around until the mold is lined with the stuff, giving you a
hollow sugar fruit, walnut, etc. The hollowness is emphasized as
something you might want, but no mention is made of filling it up with
anything, if I remember correctly. Since the recipes date from a time
when sugar is beginning to become _fairly_ commonplace, I'm not sure if
being cheaper than solid sugar fruits might be an issue or not.

BTW, when you go and make the compound as Plat instructs, what you end
up with is chemically identical to Plaster of Paris ;  ), or so I'm
assured by a chemist friend.


Date: Thu, 21 Jan 1999 17:31:08 -0600 (CST)
From: alysk at ix.netcom.com (Elise Fleming)
Subject: SC - Re: Vegetable Warners

Meliora wrote:
>Alys Katherine, Thanks for the pointer to the salads with boiled
>veges.  We will definately be trying to track down some "recipes"
>regarding this. Can you remember which source you found this in?  I
>have Markham but not May ....

It's in Markham's _The English Housewife_.  If you have Best's edition
it is on p. 66.  It's in the cookery section, #18 "The making of
strange sallats" and #19, "Sallats for show only".  #18 describes
making flowers from vegetables and flower parts.  #19 includes "carrot
roots of sundry colours well boiled, and cut out into many shapes and
proportions, as some into knots, some in the manner of scutcheons and
arms, some like birds, and some like wild beasts, according to the art
and cunning of the workman..."  These are seasoned with "vinegar, oil,
and a little pepper."

Alys Katharine

Date: Tue, 2 Mar 1999 17:19:58 -0500
From: renfrow at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)
Subject: SC - four and twenty blackbirds

Hello!  I'm in the middle of attempting Epulario's "To make Pies that the
Birds may be alive in them, and flie out when it is cut up", viz:

"Make the coffin of a great pie or pastry, in the bottome thereof make a
hole as big as your fist, or bigger if you will, let the sides of the
coffin bee somewhat higher then ordinary pies, which done put it full of
flower and bake it, and being baked, open the hole in the bottome, and take
out the flower.  Then having a pie of the bigness of the hole in the
bottome of the coffin aforesaid, you shal put it into the coffin, withall
put into the said coffin round about the aforesaid pie as many small live
birds as the empty coffin will hold, besides the pie aforesaid.  And this
is to be done at such time as you send the pie to the table, and set before
the guests:  where uncovering or cutting up the lid of the great pie, all
the birds will flie out, which is to delight and pleasure shew to the
company.  And because they shall not bee altogether mocked, you shall cut
open the small pie, and in this sort you may make many others, the like you
may do with a tart."

I took it out of the oven (50 min.  at  400F, 30 min  at  350), let it cool for
about 10 minutes, & tried to get it out of the mold (a large foil-lined
cookie tin).  The top came off in one piece.  But that's not a problem, it
can be easily re-attached with toothpicks, & will actually make service
easier.  The problem is that the flour used to fill the coffin hardened
into a chalky mass.  I've chipped away at it, & finally managed to remove
it all without breaking the bottom crust. (The bottom crust was not stiff
enough, so I've popped it back in the oven at 400F.)  My question is, can
my 6 lbs. of baked flour be re-used for another recipe?

(now to convince the neighbor to let me borrow her birds... ;-)  )

Date: Tue, 02 Mar 1999 17:10:11 -0600
From: Heitman <fiondel at fastrans.net>
Subject: Re: SC - four and twenty blackbirds

> My question is, can my 6 lbs. of baked flour be re-used for another recipe?

That would depend on what you plan on using it for.

The same thing? why not?

A roux?  Possibly, depending on how hot the flour got during the baking.
try a little of it and see what you get. If it forms a decent roux blanc,
then you should be able to use it for almost anything you wish.

suggestion- next time, try using rice instead of flour.


Date: Wed, 3 Mar 1999 08:36:42 -0600
From: "Decker, Terry D." <TerryD at Health.State.OK.US>
Subject: RE: SC - four and twenty blackbirds

> My question is, can
> my 6 lbs. of baked flour be re-used for another recipe?
> Cindy

The baking has probably coagulated the gluten, so your flour is no good for
leavened bread.  If the flour isn't schorched, it can be used in a number of
other things.

There is an Elizabethean recipe for Fine Cakes, which uses roasted flour.
The recipe and commentary should be in Stefan's Florilegium by now.

You might try Apicius' Fried Wheat Polenta with Honey.  Roasting the flour
should improve the flavor.

The flour may work in unleavened breads (this is one I keep thinking about
trying, but never seem to do).  It will certainly work as a thickener and to
dust cake tins and surfaces.


Date: Mon, 08 Mar 1999 07:22:07 -0500
From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>
Subject: Re: SC - need a wow! dish

Nanna Rögnvaldardóttir wrote:
> >Also, does anyone remember the source for a recipe that makes one huge egg
> >out of a bunch of small eggs?  It involves swirling the water...
> Other than the one in the Basel manuscript that involves pig bladders?
> Nanna

"The Second Part of The Good Hus-Wives Jewell" (1597?) has a recipe
called 'A made dish of the proportion of an Egge, for flesh daies'. It
also calls for bladders as a shaping medium, and uses a prepared
stuffing instead of yolks (although I believe yolks are in the
stuffing), which then gets encased in the whites. No mention is made in
that text about swirling water, but I recall seeing that somewhere else.
Just not sure where. I also recall seeing such a recipe wherein the yolk
of the giant egg is simply made from egg yolks. I'll look for it. It may
also be the one with the swirling water, although I may be confused with
something else: I know there's a recipe somewhere that produces a
spherical fried egg, made by stirring the deep-frying fat into a
whirlpool of sorts and dropping the egg in the middle.


Date: Mon, 08 Mar 1999 18:13:54 +0100
From: Thomas Gloning <Thomas.Gloning at germanistik.uni-giessen.de>
Subject: SC - huge egg -- oblats -- germ. _gar_

I have a recipe for a huge egg from a 15th century Basel Mscr. on my

http://www.uni-giessen.de/~g909 (chose ALTE KOCHBUECHER)

There are two parallel recipes, one in a Salzburg manuscript (ed. in
Jourdan/ Mueller, I believe), the other one in the "Mittelniederdt.
Kochbuch", published by Wiswe.


Date: Tue, 9 Mar 1999 19:32:02 +0100 (CET)
From: mefistofeles at DeathsDoor.com
Subject: Re: SC - need a wow! dish-What about a castle?

Towards the very end on the 2nd millenium a being known as Tollhase1 at aol.com
> I have a dish I usually put on the head table.  Its a pastry in the shape of a
> castle.  One fills each tower with different type of dish.  Such as chicken in
> one, pork in another, perhaps almond milk in the moat.  Become even fancier
> and add a pump for the moat.  Saw a wonderful Period fountain for feast in the
> Cleveland museum of art.  With our shire being 3 towers, I like to use three
> towers.
> Have fun with it.  I will send the recipe, etc., if you wish.

In the Calendarium Oeconomicum (early 16th c) there is a manu
describing castles, tree and animals, baked. That would be quite a


Date: Mon, 5 Apr 1999 19:00:54 -0700
From: kat <kat at kagan.com>
Subject: SC - re:  gilded food

Isabella/Dee asks about edible goldleaf.  I got mine from an art supply
store, who had to special-order it for me.  The cashier was on the phone
for ten minutes with the company (can't remember which one), insisting that
she wanted the 24-karat gold leaf in the catalog and them telling her they
didn't have it in stock, couldn't she accept the lesser-quality stuff.
Finally she says, in kind of a shocked whisper, "It has to be 24-karat
because, well, they say they're going to, um... EAT it."  And the guy on
the phone says, "Oh, CULINARY gold leafing, why didn't you say so?" and I
had it 24 hours later.

It comes in a book of 25 extreeeeeeemely fragile sheets about 4 in. to a
side, and costs about 80 bucks.  Exhaling while manipulating a sheet can
cause it to shatter into tiny tiny pieces.  Practice a little with it;
don't ever touch it with your hands, and try using static to get it to
adhere to your food.  Work in a room with all the doors and windows shut,
and lock them so nobody "drops in."  Turn off all the fans, heat and air
vents, and think of Margaret Hamilton in the Wizard of Oz:  "These things
must be handled deeeeelicately....."  :-)

- kat

Date: Tue, 15 Jun 1999 06:23:14 GMT
From: kerric at pobox.alaska.net (Kerri Canepa)
Subject: Re: SC - mock eggs (Lenten)

>I've been reading, although rathr randomly, "Fast and Feast" by
>Bridget Ann Henisch.
>In there, on page 45, is a description of the Lenten egg soteltie
>which I believe has been discussed here before.


>Has anyone made these?

Yes, and they're kind of fun. Messy, but fun.

>This sounds interesting. My question is what keeps these two colored
>egg mixtures from mixing? I would think you would get a swirl of
>yellow and white, not something that looked like a hardboiled egg.

The resulting almond something like paste is actually rather stiff. The hard part is actually trying to insert any of
the paste back in the shell without creating a really big hole. It's stiff but not enough to build a recessed area to
put the yellow colored part in. I think the best we were able to do was to make a yellow layer. However, if the paste is
ground fine enough and you have some sort of syringe like thing, you might be able to create a roundish "yolk" by
injection. I haven't the faintest idea if there was a medieval kitchen tool like a syringe for such a task and we didn't
try to do it that way ourselves.

>Also, I assume in a modern kitchen you would bake these. Any guess at
>what a good temperature and time would be? 125 degrees? 350 degrees?
>You want the almond paste to solidify, but not so fast you burst the
>egg shell.

We used a 350 degree oven. We started with cooking for 15 minutes but eventually allowed it to cook for 30 minutes
before the project got sidelined. There wasn't much expansion during cooking although it did bubble in the shell. The
high sugar content is what causes it to solidify. Given that, consider using a candy thermometer to check the
consistency at the various stages (soft ball, hard ball, etc). My guess is that there's a point where it reaches a semi
solid state to resemble a hard boiled egg. However, the paste is a dark tan so it's a bit of stretch to say it looks
like a hard boiled egg but it is a soteltie and the fact that you had to break an egg shell to get to it might be enough
of a resemblance.

One of these days we'll try it again using a more scientific approach <g>.

Cedrin Etainnighean, OL
Principality of Oertha
Kingdom of the West
Kerri Canepa -- Anchorage, AK

Date: Sat, 31 Jul 1999 16:51:07 -0500
From: Rayne and Richard <PRIDEelectric at centuryinter.net>
Subject: Re: SC - Real feasts?

Stefan li Rous wrote:
> Rayne said:
> >   or  "for the High Table we are serving the traditional live birds in a
> > crust, everyone take care when the pie is opened and they begin flying
> > about", etc.
> Have you actually served such a dish? Or is this simply an example. :-(
> --
> Lord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
> Mark S. Harris             Austin, Texas           stefan at texas.net

This was merely an example in a humorous "period" or OPP context, BUT I have served such a dish at a private dinner party many years ago in Germany.

To clarify:  As a birthday party "surprise" we baked an empty pie shell (filled with beans to keep shape) and a separate "lid".  The owner of the home (where the party was held) had two white "lovebirds" who's wings were NOT clipped.  We allowed the crust to cool completely.  Then, right before we brought in the Pie, we gently placed the birds inside the crust.  We had previously cut four large "airhole" X's in the lid.  We set lid on the pie and carried it in.  While singing "...blackbirds baked in a pie" we pretended to cut the lid around the pie (knife never entered the pie!).   We then lifted the lid, the birds flew out to their regular roost (top of the curtains) and we all exclaimed that the birds were a few 20 short and had changed color.  Everyone loved it.  As the birds were regular taken to the Vet for check ups in a shoe box (filled with holes) they did not seem to mind the closed area for the whole 1 minute they were in it.  Now luckily the birds were very well trained and the owner did magic tricks with them all the time at children shows.

I would probably NOT try this at an event.  The birds could be upset at a great deal of noise, an unfamiliar place, being confined for any length of time, etc.  Plus the crowd might not like birds flying about while they try to eat.


Date: Sun, 1 Aug 1999 12:15:01 EDT
From: DianaFiona at aol.com
Subject: Re: SC - Real feasts?

PRIDEelectric at centuryinter.net writes:
I would probably NOT try this at an event.  The birds could be upset at a
great deal of noise, an unfamiliar place, being confined for any length of time, etc. Plus the crowd might not like birds flying about while they try to eat.

Rayne >>

    True---but the "Ferret Pie" served to the Baroness at a Thor's Mountain
(Meridies) event a few years back was quite a hit! The ferret in question
ended up spending the rest of the meal being petted and fed by the Baroness
and her tablemates, I was told........ ;-)

                Ldy Diana

Date: Tue, 3 Aug 1999 01:11:24 EDT
From: DianaFiona at aol.com
Subject: Re: SC - live animal sotelties

stefan at texas.net writes:
<< How do you keep a ferret, of all things, from eating his way out of the pie?
I guess this is a concern with any live creature. >>

    I didn't actually see this occur, since my table was too far away,
but--if memory serves--the shell was baked with the lid attached (Filled with
beans or such, I presume), and then a hole was cut in the bottom. The filler
was removed and the beastie inserted, along with a suitable tidbit to keep
him busy. They managed to get the timing about right, so that the ferret
didn't finish until the presentation was done, at which time he broke through
the crust and ran about the table with great glee, to the vast amusement of
the feasters. ;-) I did see him in the Baroness' arms later, and I'm not sure
who was enjoying the situation more, her or the ferret!

                Ldy Diana

Date: Mon, 16 Aug 1999 18:55:57 -0400
From: renfrow at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)
Subject: Re: SC - Questions about Archives and Carrots

>Cindy Renfrow wrote:
>> Gervase Markham mentions carrots of "sundry colours"
>True, but in the context of "sallats for show only"; I assumed they were
>dyed somehow. Perhaps not, but I somehow managed to convince myself that
>"for show only" meant "inedible", and the other ingredients mentioned
>don't seem to fall into that category, while some tincture dyed foods
>might be considered inedible.
>Not so much a major point as one that shouldn't be ignored... ;  )

No, I don't think the carrots were dyed.  The recipe says "carrot roots of
sundry colours well boiled", which to me means the carrots themselves are
of different colors.

"Sallats for show only.  Now for sallats for show only, and the adorning
and setting out of a table with numbers of dishes, they be those which are
made of carrot roots of sundry colours well boiled, and cut out into many
shapes and proportions, as some into knots, some in the manner of
scutcheons and arms, some like birds, and some like wild beasts, according
to the art and cunning of the workman; and these for the most part are
seasoned with vinegar, oil, and a little pepper."

This recipe seems contradictory in that it's called "for show only", & yet
it is seasoned with vinegar, oil, & pepper. Why bother seasoning it if
you're not intending to eat it?   Do you think the oil & vinegar & pepper
would help preserve the sallat (like lemon juice on cut apples), so that it
could sit on the table looking nice longer?  To me, "for show only"
reflects the time & trouble involved in carving the carrots into sundry
shapes.  You'd have to hire a special workman to do the carving, so
naturally you'd want the sallat to last as long as possible.

Cindy Renfrow/Sincgiefu
renfrow at skylands.net

Date: Mon, 16 Aug 1999 19:40:14 -0400
From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>
Subject: Re: SC - Questions about Archives and Carrots

Cindy Renfrow wrote:
>>  "Sallats for show only.  Now for sallats for show only, and the adorning
> and setting out of a table with numbers of dishes, they be those which are
> made of carrot roots of sundry colours well boiled, and cut out into many
> shapes and proportions, as some into knots, some in the manner of
> scutcheons and arms, some like birds, and some like wild beasts, according
> to the art and cunning of the workman; and these for the most part are
> seasoned with vinegar, oil, and a little pepper."
> This recipe seems contradictory in that it's called "for show only", & yet
> it is seasoned with vinegar, oil, & pepper. Why bother seasoning it if
> you're not intending to eat it?   Do you think the oil & vinegar & pepper
> would help preserve the sallat (like lemon juice on cut apples), so that it
> could sit on the table looking nice longer?  To me, "for show only"
> reflects the time & trouble involved in carving the carrots into sundry
> shapes.  You'd have to hire a special workman to do the carving, so
> naturally you'd want the sallat to last as long as possible.

Hmmm. In the case of greens like spinach or lettuce, not to mention
other stuff like purslane, etc., vinegar is the death knell, more or
less. I'm also curious as to why the carrots have to be so well boiled,
and what exactly the term means. I can see the possibility of setting
the color against enzymatic action by cooking, but a brief blanching
should take care of that.

We might also need to rethink the meaning of "for show only". One
possibility might be that they are placed in a separate dish as a
centerpiece in the middle of a larger platter of salad, less ornate, and
that such garnishes are only used on state occasions. This might be akin
to an exceptionally ornate or decorative wedding cake that is designed
as it is for the look of it, but is still considered edible.

You're probably right about the special workman; the brief evidence I've
seen suggests the truly ornate garnishes and platter designs don't seem
to occur until the mid-to-late eighteenth century. Careme, for example,
was originally apprenticed to an architect, and had an "in" in the
library where blueprints were stored. When he became first a pastrycook
and later a chef de cuisine, he could stroll into the library when he
wanted to look for new ideas.


Date: Mon, 23 Aug 1999 10:19:50 EDT
From: LrdRas at aol.com
Subject: Re: SC - gilding the goose?

kmagnew at hotmail.com writes:
<< Is there a something with which you can
"gild" or make golden looking a cooked goose? >>

Another technique not involving gold or silver sheets or dust, which I used
for a boar's head at my first SCA Twelfth Night 16 years ago, is simply to
use beaten egg yolk. Beat the yolk thoroughly with a little water and brush
over the bird or whatever. Return to heated oven for a couple of minutes
until set being careful not to brown the yolk. Sometimes you may have to put
several coats on to get the look you seek. Use a soft bristled brush so you
don't tear the previous covering when applying fresh material. Better yet use
a feather to apply the egg yolk. Sometimes the heat from the meat cooks the
coating nicely without it having to be returned to the ovens.


Date: Thu, 9 Sep 1999 00:14:31 -0500
From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>
Subject: Re: SC - OT - stuffed camel

At 6:12 PM -0700 9/8/99, lilinah at grin.net wrote:
>I have not verified the existence of the purported book, just passing on
>the gossip. It looks completely apocryphal to me, but, hey, i've never
>boiled a whole camel...

and posted a recipe for eggs inside chickens inside a lamb inside a camel
(modern). Here is the closest period thing I could come up with offhand,
from the big Andalusion cookbook:

Stuffed and Roast Mutton; Called "The Complete" [or "The Inclusive"]

Take a plump skinned ram; make a narrow opening in the belly between the
thighs and take out what is inside it and clean. Then take as many plump
chickens, pigeons, doves and small birds as you can; take out their
entrails and clean them; split the breasts and cook them, each part by
itself; then fry them with plenty of oil and set them aside. Then take what
remains of their broth and add grated wheat breadcrumbs and break over them
sufficient of eggs, pepper, ginger, split and pounded almonds and plenty of
oil; beat all this and stuff inside the fried birds and put them inside the
ram, one after another, and pour upon it the rest of the stuffing of cooked
meatballs, fried mirkâs and whole egg yolks. When it is stuffed, sew up the
cut place and sprinkle the ram inside and out with a sauce made of murri
naqî', oil and thyme, and put it, as it is, in a heated tannur [clay oven]
and leave it a while; then take it out and sprinkle again with the sauce,
return to the oven and leave it until it is completely done and browned.
The take it out and present it.

Elizabeth/Betty Cook

Date: Thu, 9 Sep 1999 19:19:26 -0000
From: "=?iso-8859-1?Q?Nanna_R=F6gnvaldard=F3ttir?=" <nannar at isholf.is>
Subject: Re: SC - OT - stuffed camel

Anahita wrote:
>Has anyone verified that actual possibility of that underseasoned camel
>recipe actually being real? It sure looked fake to me... Is there a pot big
>enough to hold a whole cleaned camel?

I´ve seen several versions of the stuffed camel recipe but it was usually
cooked in an earth pit or special clay oven. When it was a recipe, it was
usually presented as a sort of joke or urban legend. But I´ve also seen
mention of it in serious books dealing with the cooking of the Gulf region -
no one seems to have been able to find out if this was really done or not.
>From Traditional Arabic Cooking by Miriam Al Hashimi:

"We have heard of a whole young camel being stuffed with a whole roasted
lamb, which had been filled with a whole chicken. The empty cavities were
filled with rice, nuts, raisins and spices." Then she gives a recipe for
Quozi mahshi - a whole lamb stuffed with spiced rice, onions, almonds, pine
nuts, pistachios and garlic - and says: "In Saudi Arabia and some of the
other Gulf countries the lamb is stuffed with spiced rice, a whole chicken
and eggs."

She also says: "In preparation for a wedding or other feast in the Gulf
countries a jointed camel may occasionally be found simmering slowly in a
huge aluminium pot over an open fire. Chopped onions, saffron threads,
cardamom pods, cinnamon bark, cloves, pierced loomi and peppercorns are
added to the pot, which is occasionally stirred with a long-handled,
oversized ladle."


Date: Thu, 14 Oct 1999 22:26:15 EDT
From: LrdRas at aol.com
Subject: Re: SC - fylettys in Galentine and endored?

lcm at efn.org writes:
<< The word 'endored' frequently means gilded >>

Endoring can mean brushing with a flour paste not containing egg yolks or
saffron also. Le Manegier's recipe for Boar's Head has you endoring one half
of the head with the yolk, flour, saffron mixture and the other half with the
whites, parsley, flour mixture making the finished product half green and
half gold. It then says to have the painters apply gold leaf which I assume
means to highlight it much as gold leaf is used in illumination.


Date: Sat, 16 Oct 1999 21:47:59 -0400
From: renfrow at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)
Subject: Re: SC - A Castle made of peas (From MndK; 15th C.)

>If anybody knows of similar recipes from other collections, please, let
>me know.

From Sabina Welserin's CB, #40:

(from Valoise Armstrong's translation)
To make a dish of peas
Cook peas so that they become mushy, put them in a colander and strain as
for almond milk. Strain saffron, ginger and cinnamon with it. Then it looks
like a worm. Sprinkle sugar over it and serve it cold.

(from Hansen's unpublished translation)
To make a dish of peas
Seethe peas that they become mushy. Do in a strainer. Drive through like
almond milk. Drive through with it saffron, ginger, cinnamon, so it looks
like worms and strew sugar thereon and give it forth cold.

Sabina Welserin also has a whole roast lamb with butter 'hair', surrounded
by a butter 'fence'.

Cindy Renfrow/Sincgiefu
cindy at thousandeggs.com

Date: Sun, 7 Nov 1999 13:19:11 -0500 (EST)
From: alysk at ix.netcom.com
Subject: SC - Chocolate, Etc.

Lorix wrote:
>Now there is going to be an Heraldic theme
>for the event and lots of dishes are being
>served representing various group's devices,
>so making the chocolate some kind of subtlie
>in that regard would tone in with the feast.

Why not make the appropriate heraldic devices out of chocolate?  For Pennsic
18 I made all the kingdom devices out of the appropriately-colored "chocolate" (MKA "summer coating") and set them on a base of semi-sweet dark chocolate.  Draw the device on a piece of paper; set a sheet of waxed paper on top and tape both down securely.  If you tape this to a small tray, cookie sheet, or cutting board, it will make a later step easier.  Melt the summer coating chocolate (this the is the "colored" chocolate you can get in cake decorating/candy supply shops).  You can keep it melted on a hot tray, if you have one. Put an amount of the melted, colored chocolate in a parchment bag or a decorator's bag. Use it outline parts of the device.  When it cools and hardens, it will form a barrier
for adding larger amounts of colored chocolate.  You can then carefully pour the colored chocolate within the lines or use a decorator's bag with a larger opening.  I have found that if you carefully bounce and jounce the tray/cookie sheet/cutting board, you can spread the chocolate around and make it smoother.  Otherwise you can try using a knife to help smooth it.

You could also, if you were an artist, do something similar to do a portrait of the royalty in chocolate.  Details can be added on using melted chocolate and a toothpick or a stiff brush.  (Brush problems include chocolate build-up and bristles detaching.)

Depending on how thickly you lay on the chocolate, it may serve by itself.  Because mine had been made "by sections", I thought that perhaps it might break apart at the "color joins", so I made a base of the darker chocolate, slightly larger than the original, and set the original on it.  Again, I ran a border of chocolate around, let it set, and then poured more chocolate inside, jouncing it to smooth it.  When you go to attach the two, spread a few thin areas of more melted chocolate and add the top layer before that new area hardens.

Alys Katharine

Date: Sun, 05 Dec 1999 09:40:42 -0700
From: Joan Nicholson <gryphon at carlsbadnm.com>
Subject: Re: SC - structural gingerbread

You said:
>[also any hints on making stained glass windows? I was thinking of using
>a sheet of buttered parchement and piping the 'leading' of royal icing
>and then pouring melted candies in the areas made by the royal icing,
>and then fitting it into cutouts in the castle walls...]

I make a foil outline mold about 1/4" larger than my window cutout, than
use "Jolly Rancher" candies for the actual window.  Once, I used parchment
inside the foil as a stiffener and made three color windows.  You can add a
little black Wilton food coloring and get a very authentic looking "lead."
Good luck.


Date: Tue, 7 Dec 1999 19:38:01 -0500 (EST)
From: alysk at ix.netcom.com
Subject: SC - Re: Stained Glass

Christianna wrote:
>I have heard (from folks on this list) but have never tried myself,
>melting Life Savers candies and pouring them makes a good "glass".
>You might give it a try.  I imaging the period version would be the
>"sugar plate" that Mistress Alys is famed for.

Well, there's "sugar plate" and there's "sugar plate".  What I've worked with
is _not_ the boiled sugar/melted Life Savers stuff.  However, there is a period
version of this "stained glass" in Form of Curye and it is called "sugar plate".
The boiled sugar syrup is poured out to form plates of sugar, probably square.
The instructions detail how to color it, mostly (IIRC) by painting on the colors.

I do wonder about a subtlety for the coronation of one of the Henrys.  It was a
child (IV??) and the description includes something like a crown with jewels that look like enamel.  The boiled, and painted, sugar would yield an enamel-like jewel.

Alys Katharine

Date: Wed, 05 Jan 2000 17:24:26 -0600
From: Magdalena <magdlena at earthlink.net>
Subject: Re: SC - Cuskynoles?

"Michael F. Gunter" wrote:
> Nice suggestions. I'll have to look up Snow again. Solteties
> would be a bit difficult since the vigil is this weekend and I have a
> lot to do.

Snow is basically whipped cream, usually served on an upright rosemary bush to
resemble snow on an evergreen.

_The Ladies Cabinet_  Lord Ruthven 1655

116 - To Make Snow

    Take a quart of thick Cream, and 5 or 6 whites of Egs, a Sawcer full of
sugar finely beaten and as much Rosewater, beat them together and alwaies as it
riseth take it out with a spoone: then take a loafe of bread, cut away the
crust, set it in a platter, and a great Rosemary bush in the middest of it: then
lay your Snow with a spoone upon the Rosemary, and so serve it.

Somewhere I have another earlier recipe that calls for nutmeg as well.  Looks
cool, tastes great.

- -Magdalena

Date: 25 Feb 2000 14:32:46 -0800
From: campcook at uswestmail.net
Subject: SC - Distress in Trimaris

[This is in response to a report that the incoming Princess of
Trimaris did not want a feast of only period foods during her
upcoming reign - Stefan]

I am back from Estrella War where everything we ate was either
period or perioid.  So pardon me for being a bit late and perhaps
out of place.

<inject humor, sarcasm...>
The herald enters, "My lords and ladies, gentles all! -- the
feast is about to begin.  Before the first, remove their royal
majesties.  For the rest the meal will begin with..."
<end humor, sarcasm...>

I had the experience of the Queen removing herself from the high
table as we presented the third remove of a feast.  This remove
consisted of, among other things, a platter, born on the
shoulders of 2 knights.  On the platter was a nicely roasted pig,
upon which sat the duck that was cooked in the belly of
the pig.  Upon the duck sat a helm, in its wing a lance, on its
other wing a shield.  Around its neck a chain and around its
waist a white belt.  Around the pig were sprigs of fresh parsley.

Now the symbol of Tir Ysgithr is a boar (an important fact to
remember as we go on.) As we elegantly paraded this beauty around
the hall, it was announced that it was "a duck on a pigs back" or
"a boared knight". This of course received all of the groans and
cheers expected and was a wonderful success.

What perturbed me the most was that the queen left the hall and
I was told to hurry and dismantle the presentation so that she
could return.  Seems that this particular queen was "sensitive"
to seeing food served in its natural form.  Even to this day, I
still get upset about it when I think about it.  For me, it
ruined the entire spectacle that I had worked so hard to prepare.

The only reason that I bring this up, is that just because the
King and Queen don't like it, doesn't mean its wrong to do.  I
as head cook was in my full right to present the feast in a way
that was both pleasing to the eye as well as the pallet.  Would
I do it again were the same queen on the throne?  In a heartbeat,
if it fit within the theme.  The one mentioned was the argent
anniversary of our barony and an investiture to boot.

So I say, "King and Queen be damned, on with the Feasting!!!"

<large smile of content/contempt?>
- --
Ld. Steffan of the Close (The Camp Cook) Tir Ysgithr, Atenveldt
(Steven Cowley -- Tucson, Arizona)

Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 20:45:24 -0500
From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>
Subject: Re: SC - Re: needing help

Karen O wrote:
>     I am at a loss and need some quick intervention.  I  am looking for an
> "almond jello" recipe.  About a year or so ago I was fiddling around with
> something for an A&S subtelty entry, and  the written down recipe  went
> somewhere.   I can't even find the medieval source.  I know we have talked
> about isenglass on this list before.    can anyone help??  One modern recipe
> I had  (which is also  lost) was almond islands floating in a mandrin orange
> sauce. (supposedly chinese).

I don't know if this helps, but it sounds like what you need is a
late-period, as in 16th-17th century recipe for a white leach of
almonds. Time to check Digby, and the other Usual Suspects. I'll post if
I find.


Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2000 19:18:41 -0500
From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>
Subject: Re: SC - White Leach Recipe?

Sue Clemenger wrote:
> I'm not her, but would like it anyway, as it sounds very interesting, esp. for
> Spring Feast subtleties.  Would you consider sending me a copy privately, or
> posting it?
> --Maire

From Gervase Markham's "The English Housewife", 1615. I've got the
Michael Best edition...

To make the best leach, take isinglass and lay it two hours in water,
and shift it and boil it in fair water and let it cool: then take
almonds  and lay them in cold water till they blanch: and then stamp
them and put to new milk, and strain them and put in whole mace and
ginger sliced, and boil them till it taste well of the spice; then put
in your isinglass and sugar, and a little rosewater: and then let them
all run through a strainer."

The editor of the roll of "Ancient Cookery" in Cariadoc's Collection of
Medieval and Renaissance Cookbooks has a note concerning leches and
various permutations of the word. In this note he mentions an author
named Rand. Holme who defines "leach" as having been as described above.
There's really nothing (at least among the evidence I have) to place the
white leach made with isinglass, etc., as being late-fourteenth-century,
but as I say, I looked in several sources and this is where I found it:
square in the beginning of the seventeenth. YMMV.

Oh, well.


Date: Fri, 5 May 2000 11:29:54 +1000
From: "Glenda Robinson" <glendar at compassnet.com.au>
Subject: Re: SC - marchpane for use with clotted cream

Here's a recipe that goes REALLY well with clotted cream.

The only major substitution we had to make was using more Rose-water instead
of Damaske water - figuring (after a bit of research) that Damaske water was
probably from damask roses.


Marchpane Conceits
To make a Marchpane  (The Treasurie of Hidden Secrets, 1600)
Take halfe a pound of blanched Almonds, and of white Suger a quarter of a
pound, af Rose-water halfe an ounce, & of Damaske water as much: beat the
Almonds with a little of the same water, and grind them small; set them on
a few coales of fire till they waxe thick, then beate them againe with
suger, fine: then mixe the sweet waters and them together, and so gather
them, and fashion your Marchpane; then take wafer cakes of the broadest
making, cut them square, past them together with a little liquor, and when
you have made them as broad as will serve your purpose, have ready a hoop
of a greene hazel wand, of ye thicknesse of halfe an inch, on the inner
side smooth, without any knags: lay this hoope upon your Wafer cakes
aforesaid and then fill your hoope with the geare above named, ye same
driven smooth above with the back of a silver spoon, as ye doo a Tarte, and
cut away all parts of the cakes, even close by the outside of the hoop,
with a sharpe knife, that it may be round: then having white paper
underneath it, set it upon a warme hearth, or upon an instrument of yron or
brasse, made for the same purpose, or into an Oven, after the bread is
taken out, so it be not stopped: it may not bake, but only be hard and
thorow dryed, and ye may while it is moyst stick it full of Comfets of
sundry colours, in a comely order, yee must moist it over with Rose-water
and suger together: make it smooth, and set it into the oven or other
instrument, the cleerer it is like a Lantern horne, so much the more
commended. If it be thorough dried, and kept in a dry and warme ayr, a
Marchpane will last many yeeres. It is a comfortable maete meet for weake
folks, such as have lost the taste of meates by much and long sicknes. The
greatest secret that is in making this cleere, it with a little fine flower
of Rice, Rosewater and suger beaten together, and layd thin over the
Marchpane ere it goe to drying. This will make it shine, like Ice, as
Ladies report.

Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 13:16:07 -0400
From: Richard Keith <keith.78 at osu.edu>
Subject: RE: SC - OT  OOP  Dragon cake special effects cookbook

>BTW watch the theatrical type fogs.  They have a smell to them and I don't
>know how well it would work with food.

Rosco fog juice is pleasant to smell and breeze.  Theatre Magic (forget new
name) is also very pleasant.  Both are considered non toxic.  Neither leave
a residue.  So I would not be afraid to use either.

Mka Richard Keith,  Mansfield Osu  Theatre dept.

Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 08:27:38 -0500
From: "Mary Lawson" <maryl at SaintMail.net>
Subject: SC - Recipe calling for use of pig's bladder

Giant Egg

A German recipe from a Basel manuscript (15th century).
A dish made of 30 to 40 eggs

     For to make a dish of 30 eggs or 40 into one (big) egg, you must
take two pig's bladders, such that one of them is smaller than the
other.  Wash them out carefully inside.  Then take the eggs, remove the
shell, and separate the white from the yolk.  Take the small pig's
bladder, mix the yolks and put them into the smaller bladder, so that
the bladder is full.  Tie the bladder up carefully and give it into  a
pot.  Let boil, until the yolks get firm.  Them put of the bladder from
the yolks.

     Take the bigger bladder and cut the little hole in it, so that one
can put in the big yolk.  Then you must sew up this hole of the bigger
bladder with the (big) yolk within.  Then you have to mix up the white
of the eggs.  Take a funnel, put it into the opening hole of the bigger
bladder and put the white of the eggs upon the yolk within the bigger
bladder, so that the bigger bladder gets full.  Tie it up, put it into
the pot and let boil once more.  The white of the eggs will boil around
the yolk, and there will be one big egg.  You can serve it with a sauce
of vinegar.


Date: Mon, 22 May 2000 03:41:27 +0200
From: Thomas Gloning <gloning at Mailer.Uni-Marburg.DE>
Subject: SC - Recipe calling for use of pig's bladder


this version of the giant egg recipe -- where ever you have it from --
is an earlier translation I made. A slightly revised version together
with the 15th century German text and a few comments are at:



Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2000 13:54:07 +1000
From: "Drake & Meliora" <meliora at macquarie.matra.com.au>
Subject: SC - Rubber stamping food

> Wow! Lightbulbs going off in all directions! I love this idea. Please, can
> you tell me details on just how you do this? (Any tips on food color paste
> brands? a regular rubber stamp? before baking?) Oh boy, a new way to decorate
> my food. Happy dance.
> Aelfwyn the easily amused

Glad to please <g>.  Actually to the best of my knowledge this is a really
OOP method of decorating food. And not just the use of rubber - I have not
seen devices or animals painted onto food items in any period texts.

However, it is a fun up-oneship to do to your neighbouring Barony. We
originally arranged these for an illusion feast I ran (and Mari - the now
Clerk of the Lochac Cooks Guild ran the kitchen at the last minute for me).

A good friend of mine (who alas is not in the Society anymore) took a copy
of the Griffin rampant from our Baronial device into a rubber stamp store.
The produced two stamps. One about an inch square and one about 2 inches
square.  When she went to collect them from the store the clerk opened a pad
of ink and was about to push the stamp into it when she screamed at him.  He
just wanted to test it so she could see the design <lol>.

Anyway we use red food paste (as our device is red and white) which is
diluted slightly with water until it has a creamy consistency - kinda like
the thickness of gouache pain that illuminators use.  And simply stamp into
the paste and them onto the food. The brand of colour paste I use is: Bakers
Preferred, Manufactured by Berghausen Corp in Cincinnati. The colour I use
is Gel Paste Food Color 5416 Super Red.  I am sure that could use a more
appropriate media such as sandalwood in egg white or somesuch - frankly we
haven't bothered with alternatives yet.

Due to the nature of the dye and the hecticness of my kitchen, we usually
stamp the food after it has been cooked. The colour media we use needs a
fairly strong flat surface to adhere to - and we find that as it is a
shallow stamp, uncooked foods such as pastry and cookie dough do tend to
stick to the stamp.

For the illusion feast we had some chicken drumsticks dressed up as soldiers
inside a gingerbread fort (an idea I took from someone on this list).  The
soldiers inside the fort had griffins stamped on their shields.  The
soldiers besieging the fort had black griffins (I think my friend painted
those freehand).

Incidentally the moat around the fort was the supposed cerulean blue sauce -
that stayed red!!!  I'll get a summary of that discussion to Stefan someday

Since then we have used the stamps to decorate biscuits (we took to another
Barony's event - heh heh heh) and to differentiate between different sorts
of lidded pies.

Hope this helps - but as I stated earlier, I have no knowledge of this being
a period practice with western European foodstuffs.

Mel - who should REALLY get back to her Chemistry study.

Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 11:23:23 -0500
From: "sdrake" <steldr at home.net>
Subject: SC - RE: gold jordan almonds

I'm looking for gold-dipped Jordon almonds (not gold-foil wrapped);
does anyone know of a store in your area that carries them?  --If
yes, please send a phone # (with area code) or email address.

- --Mistress Cordelia/Midrealm

Try www.candydirect.com and look in the bulk candy section - you'll have to
scroll through 2 or 3 pages to get to the the j's.  I know it says gold foil
but these are dipped.  I have not ordered from this company - just something
I found on the web while browsing the other day.  They also sell 5 lb lots
of gold chocolate coins for around $34 - for those of you who utilize such


Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2000 00:45:02 EST
From: DeeWolff at aol.com
Subject: Re: SC - sotelties

Fast and Feast by Bridget Ann Henisch. Good background on sotelties.

Date: Mon, 6 Nov 2000 10:51:44 US/Eastern
From: harper at idt.net
Subject: Re: SC - Peach pits & perogie presses

Olwen said:
> Expect folks not to believe you when you say it is an egg.  Also expect
> folks to wrap them in a napkin and take them away to show other folks.  Good
> thing eggs are cheap, these seldom get eaten.

Those sound lovely!  I will have to try them sometime.

There are so many interesting things you can do with hard-boiled eggs.  One
that I found in a garnish book is hatching "chicks".  Carefully cut away the
white from the top third of the hard-boiled egg.  Cut the edges in a jagged
pattern, so that it looks like a broken shell.  On the exposed part of the
yolk, insert two peppercorns and a tiny wedge of carrot to make eyes and a
beak.  I've used one or two of these to decorate a plateful of plain eggs.


Date: Sun, 10 Dec 2000 21:21:26 -0600
From: "RANDALL DIAMOND" <ringofkings at mindspring.com>
Subject: SC - PIGS...IN...PASTE!!! (Apologies to the Muppets)

Lainie,  I have always used a boiling lard pastry for work
that had to retain a shape.  It holds details well for parts like
ears and such.  I decorated a large coffer pie with a life sized
bouquet of iris and roses and transported the piece 150 miles
and it held together very well.  The recipe is (per) 1 pound of
flour sifted with 1/2 teaspoon salt rub 4 tablespoons of lard together.
make a well and pour in a boiling mixture of 5/8 cup of mixed  
milk and water and 1/2 pound lard. Stir in with a large wooden spoon
until you can stand hand kneading.  Knead well and let stand for 10
minutes.  You can use this as long as it is still warm and pilable to
sculpt your piece. For a large hollow piece like a boar head, I
would make a rough core out of this pastry, stuff it and build a final
sculptural layer with detail encasing it.  This keeps the form from
slumping badly as the inside will have been set first. Set the core at
375 degrees for 20 minutes and let cool before adding final layers.
Brush the pastry well with beaten egg, especially in connections
like ears as this helps literally glue the whole thing together.  With a
core like this, you can get a pretty sturdy form as an end result.  Of
course if you have to transfer it to another platter rather than what you
bake it on, let it cool completely befor attempting a transfer.
Do make sure your you practice this a bit before the grand effort.  Lard
pastry IMO is a lost art and requires a bit of experience.

Akim Yaroslavich

Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2001 10:35:53 -0400
From: "Bethany Public Library" <betpulib at ptdprolog.net>
Subject: SC - Re: Aoife's Bull

Whew! I got really worried when I read that heading!

"My" Bull was actually based upon Master Dyfan's Pennsic stag that bled red
wine---he gave me some how-to's. Mine bled as well as pooped. Here's the

I was creating a soteltie for Endless Hill's First Baron at his
investiture, My Brother Tigranes, and wanted something special. His persona
was Zaroastrian ( something I found out after the fact--serenditpity at work
fer sure), and they have a creation myth where a celestial bull is wounded
with an arrow, and the bull bled from a chest wound out there in the sky,
and his blood became the world and everything in it. Tigranes's device
features a huge bull. I had researched some Persian architecture and found
several examples in museums of column pediments showing reclining bulls
(legs folded underneath them), and that's what I made my Bull to
resemble---it was more of a bull calf than a bull, but it was lifesized. I
found one such bull that was wearing a sort of livery (a tabard or table
runner type thing)
from the forehad to the tail, so I made a similar one to cover my paper
mache' bull (built on a chicken wire frame). He had a cross-bow bolt in the
chest which corked the tube that ran to the rubber stopper replacing the
spigot of the wine-in-a-box,
supported at a slightly higher elevation than the arrow by a welded metal
frame, inside
the bull. I built a slide in the bull's posterior with a trap door whose
handle was the tail. I then made a recipe for cow plop cookies
(chocolate-chocolate chip---that's an actual cookie recipe from Taste Of
Home Magazine), and inserted them manually (go ahead and laugh), keeping the
trap door shut with a bit of sticky tape afterwards, and hiding it partially
with the tail of the tabard.

The bull was finished with granite spray to look like the original
architecture. Master Dyfan's original was covered in sugar paste, but I was
working in an unheated garage in January and wasn't going to risk the
freezing and cracking issue. I also knew that not all sotelties or warners
were totally edible, so I figured a granite bull was OK.

The worst part of the whole story is that no one got a photo. The Baron took
the bull home, but mice got at it, and he had to throw it out.

Presentation was a hoot, though. We all made little horns to wear on our
heads, in the kitchen, and we trooped out and Moo'd as the bull came out.
One of our friends even went so far as to buy a pair of long-horn horns and
attach them to a headband. We had a blast, alleviating some of the solemnity
of the evening. Plus, he was my brother. I _HAD_ to play a practical joke.
It's required. I wanted to remind him he was still one of us, after all,
even tho he wore a new hat, and if anyone was entitled to serve BS, it was
me, the founding Seneschal of the Barony, on what was a *really* rocky
road to that point.

And you should have seen the ladies jump and squeal as the first few cookies
bounced and rolled under their feet. I'm bad, I know, but I had so many
visions of that Taillevant Live Frog soteltie in my mind, and this was the
closest I could get to it without offending anyone or killing any animals.

Tigranes was so pleased that he took some adjustable silver rings he was
going to gift, and gifted them as nose-rings rather than finger rings. And a
good time was had by all. Espescially me. I'm still laughing as I type this.



From: "Olwen the Odd" <olwentheodd at hotmail.com>
To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: transportable nibbles
Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 14:17:10 -0000

>Also (yeah, another question), how did you make the edible bouquet? I
>can recognize starfruit, but that's about it....Are they stuck on the
>end of bamboo skewers or something?

Yes.  I used extra long bamboo scewers.  The blue ones are small white
onions cut in a jagged fashion and sliced part way down each V to help the
'petals' open up and then they are floated in some ice water with lots of
blue coloring.  The "cala lillies" are made with thin slices of rudabega
with a tiny corn for the staimen.  I used tiny portabella mushrooms with
wiggly lines cut in and used as the center of rudiccio.  There are the tiny
red hot peppers cut jagged edged with small hot green straight peppers
sticking out of the center.  The large yellow are nothing more than a turnip
cut in half and tiny cube cuts are made almost all the way through then set
in ice water to open up some.  These I dyed with straight food colour out of
the jar.  The spring onions added a lot with their curley ends.  You know
how to do that?  I used daikon radish that was cut with a star shaped cookie
cutter to act as the base to lots of the 'flowers' so they not only had a
base but it kept them from sliding down the scewer.  I think there were
others but cann't recall at the moment.  The fun part was watching peoples
faces when the "grazed" at the hospitality table and they suddenly realized
what they were looking at!

Olwen who believes food should be FUN!

From: "HICKS, MELISSA" <HICKS_M at casa.gov.au>
To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>
Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 16:05:07 +1000
Subject: [Sca-cooks] Barbara the Gryphon

I've actually been flat out and doing no cooking and lots of sewing, but I
can tell the story.

> I don't know about anyone else, but I want to hear the Pinata story!

About 3 years ago I ran a Valentine's Ball in Polit (Lochac - Australia).
As it was a ball, the food was finger-food buffet style so I chose a theme
of an Illusions feast.  We were talking lots about warners and sotolties in
this list and I got all enthused.  One week before the event my Head Cook
got an attack of life and pulled out.  She had made the marzipan sweet
sotolties but nothing had been done on the main savoury food.  Four days
before the event Marion arrived from Brisbane to spend some relaxing time
with me.

I handed her a couple of bits of wood and asked "How would you like make the
centrepiece for me?"  "Sure" she replied not knowing what she was getting

The Baronial Device for Politarchopolis contains a Gryphon, so we made one.
Or rather Mari and our non-SCA friend Lemming (with help from Drake) made
one while I got most of the other food pre-prepared.  Yes this is the event
with the Cerulean Blue Sauce *twitch, twitch*.  Mari also ended up my head
cook in the kitchen on the night.

Anyway the Gryphon was made out of wood and chicken wire, which was the
papiermachied over.  The hindquarters and tail were covered in fake fur and
the front quarters and wings were covered in individually glued feathers.
The rest was painted.  Drake did the painting after we discovered he was
gluing more feathers to himself accidentally than to the Gryphon.

Seeing as we were South Park fans at the times and the gryphon became a
monster to make we called her Barbara (due to Mega-Streisand from South

You see, Barbara contained a number of compartments where we hid food.
There was a hatch in the side where we had platters of cold roast poultry
(simulating eagle meat) another hatch further down containing roast beef
(lion meat).  A slice under the belly where haslets (fruit and nuts in
batter - looking like intestines) fell out.  She also contained a
gingerbread treasure chest filled with marzipan and boiled sweet "jewels and
pearls".  I think we also had something in the head simulating brains but I
can't remember what.  We had hazelnuts that shot out the rectum when the
tail was lifted - we originally wanted Saracen peas from Guter Spise but it
was too humid and they wouldn't roll properly. And of course, being
Valentine's we had a red foil covered chocolate love heart in the breast.

When closed, all of these hatches were invisible to the naked eye.  Mari and
Lemming made this marvel in three days.  At the end of Court (before second
course) Barbara was brought up in front of the Prince and Princess as a
rogue Gryphon found in our lands that was slayed for their benefit.  And
each hatch was opened during court and the food brought out.  Simultaneously
in the kitchen, Mari organised all of the other food to be arranged on the
buffet so that it appeared that all of the second course was from the beast.

After the event we gifted Barbara to the Baron & Baroness and she stood in
their lounge room for quite a while.  Well things happen, I got out of touch
with the B&B, they eventually stood down etc.  Recently Mari contacted them
to get photos of Barbara because she is writing an article on Barbara's
construction.  Those four days will always remain in our history.  They
define the phrase "you don't know what you can't do until you try".

We found out that Barbara had been given to one of the fighting households
in this Barony and she had been trashed. She was finally destroyed when she
was used as a pi=F1ata at the household's margarita party at Rowany Festival a
couple of months ago.

At this stage, neither Mari or know what condition Barbara was in when she
was handed to the household, or even which set of B&B gave her away.
However all of that aside, we invested so much time and energy in such a
short space to this creation, and it was built to last and be reused by the
Barony.  We are both quite upset at the way she was disposed of.  If we had
known we would have taken her back to keep ourselves.

Anything you wish to add or correct Mari?


Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2001 16:18:45 +1000
From: "Craig Jones." <craig.jones at airservices.gov.au>
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Barbara the Gryphon
To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>
Organization: Airservices Australia

>Anyway the Gryphon was made out of wood and chicken wire, which was the
>papiermachied over.  The hindquarters and tail were covered in fake fur and
>the front quarters and wings were covered in individually glued feathers.
>The rest was painted.  Drake did the painting after we discovered he was
>gluing more feathers to himself accidentally than to the Gryphon.

You forgot the part where I said "All done!" and sat back to view my handiwork,
and felt the alarming warmth of a tube of supa-glue seeping though the butt of
my jeans...  I stick to brewing, it's safer for everyone that way.....

>When closed, all of these hatches were invisible to the naked eye.  Mari and
>Lemming made this marvel in three days.  At the end of Court (before second
>course) Barbara was brought up in front of the Prince and Princess as a
>rogue Gryphon found in our lands that was slayed for their benefit.  And
>each hatch was opened during court and the food brought out.  Simultaneously
>in the kitchen, Mari organised all of the other food to be arranged on the
>buffet so that it appeared that all of the second course was from the beast.

You forgot the young squire who almost dropped the back of the beast in
surprise during its presentation because nobody warned him of what came out of
"poop shute"!


From: Christina Nevin <cnevin at caci.co.uk>
To: "'SCA Cookslist'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2001 11:40:58 +0100
Subject: [Sca-cooks] Early Pastries WAS 13th century bread

Where can I find some info on early(11-12th cen) on baking-pastries,
specifically subleties?
Finnebhir Moon Dancer of Vanished Woods Shire

Reading the literature of the time, especially the 'romances' is always a
good plan, though somewhat time consuming. Perhaps someone else can
recommend a couple, as it isn't my area of expertise.

The only extant texts near that era are late C.13th - Manuscript Additional
32085, and 1320 to 40 - Manuscript Royal 12.C.xii. Both aka an Anglo-Norman
Culinary Collection, collected in an article:-
"Two Anglo-Norman Culinary Collections Edited from British Library
Manuscripts Additional 32085 & Royal 12.C. xii"
HIEATT, Constance & JONES, Robin F.  Speculum Issue 61/4 1986

I had a quick squiz through it and only came up with 3 vaguely related
recipes - Crosterole, and 2 Turk's head recipes (one for Lent), though the
p.878 Turk's head is spot on:

[square brackets = translator's notes]

14. Crosterole [parti-colored pastry cake]. Here is another dish, called
crosterole. Take best white flour, eggs and saffron, and make pastry,
coloring half of the pastry and leaving the other half white; then roll it
out on a table, until it is as thin as parchment and as round as a cake;
make it in Lent, as well as in other times of the year, using almond milk
[instead of eggs]; fry (the cakes) in oil.

23. Turk's head. How to make the dish called Turk's head from a fish day or
in Lent. Take choice rice and wash it and dry it; then grind it thoroughly,
mix with thickened almond milk, and put in spices and saffron, as directed
below, and sugar. Make a pastry case; then scald eels and remove the
excrement; then cut them up; and take parsley, sage, and some broth, and
grind it in a mortar, and put in saffron and mixed ground spice; then cover
[with a pastry lid] and put it in the oven, etc. ["etc" here means "and
serve it"]

25. Kuskenole [pastries with a fruit filling].
{OK, so Hieatt and Jones call them pastries. However I'm not touching this
one with a barge pole!}

26. Turks head. {This is the recipe referred to above in 23, however it uses
a pig's stomach to roast the pork, chicken and almond mixture in}

26. Turks head. A sheet of pastry [used as a case] well filled [?] with
rabbits and poultry, dates, peeled and sweetened in honey, new cheese,
cloves and cubeb; (put) sugar on top, then a generous layer of ground
pistachio nuts; the color of the ground nuts, red, yellow, and green. The
head (of hair) should be black, arranged to resemble the hair of a woman, in
a black bowl, with the face of a man set on top.

Al Servizio Vostro, e del Sogno
Lady Lucrezia-Isabella di Freccia   |  mka Tina Nevin
Thamesreach Shire, The Isles, Drachenwald | London, UK

From: "Elise Fleming" <alysk at ix.netcom.com>
To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>
Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2001 11:38:21 -0500
Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Early Pastries

Lucretzia quoted Finnebhir:
>Where can I find some info on early(11-12th cen) on baking-pastries,
>specifically subleties?

What do you (Finnebhir) consider "baking-pastries"?  Our idea of
subtleties tends to come from our modern cooking, and we often use
pastry/cake as a basis.  Lucretzia gave some examples of early
pastry, but for many of the subtleties, they were both edible and
non-edible.  A tree, for example, might be constructed of wood with
a hanging basket filled with sweets, or fruits made of sugar.  A
statue could be of wood or plaster with a marzipan or possibly
sugarpaste covering.  Or, it could be made of poured sugar (a later
period development).  The Manuscrito Anonimo from the 13th c. lists
a castle (and its furnishings) made of poured sugar.  What type of
thing were you looking for, or was it just for general information?

Alys Katharine

Date: Wed, 27 Jun 2001 13:54:57 -0700
To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org
From: James Prescott <prescotj at telusplanet.net>
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Early Pastries

At 12:44 -0400 2001-06-27, Druighad at aol.com wrote:
> I was looking for general info really. I had run  across some references to
> "subleties" and was interested if that  meant  something out of marzipan,
> pastillage, or jellies. I read that they were typically shaped to depict
> scenes and was wondering what materials were used, and how they were
> kept/stored, if they were eaten or just displayed like modern pulled/blown
> sugar pieces.

There is a range of meanings (varying with time and place), from dishes
served as part of the course, to dishes presented individually with
fanfare, to theoretically edible constructions presented individually,
to inedible constructions, to human tableaux, to human performances.

The root meaning of the French word that is often translated into
subtlety is "between dishes", though it is used in Viandier to apply
both to items presented between courses and to ordinary dishes.

- A dish which is presumably slightly special in some way, though to
  the modern culinary sensibility there doesn't seem to be any obvious
  reason why it should have been classified by the medieval cookbook
  author amidst other dishes which are much more clearly 'subtle'.

  I speculate that the medieval cook may have thought of some of the
  dishes as 'palate-cleansers', or at least changes of pace, served
  after the end of a course.  In modern France you might be served
  some small elegant appetiser between dishes.  These go by various
  names including 'amuse-bouche', literally 'mouth pleaser'.  The
  modern serving of a scoop of sorbet between dishes would fall into
  this category.  I further wonder whether there might not be, at
  least for some medieval cooks, a choice of foods which were
  especially well balanced and mild in the humours, or especially
  prescribed to ease the digestion.  Has Scully said anything about

- A dish made to resemble something which it is not, and intended to
  fool at least until it is tasted, as blancmanger cunningly made to
  resemble whole cooked fish.

- A dish that isn't going to fool anyone at close range, but which
  does resemble something which it is not, such as meat stuffing made
  in the shape of a vase with flowers.

- A dish that is decorated or altered in some non-trivial way, such
  as a blancmanger dyed quarterly, or a cockentrice, or hedgehogs

- A dish of edible ingredients but possibly not intended to be eaten
  by the spoonful in quite the same way as any of the preceding, such
  as a decorated boar's head or a castle in sugar, marzipan, cake, or
  other ingredient (modern kitchen ice sculpting).  These were
  presumably at least partly consumed by someone, though perhaps not
  always by the diners at the feast.

- The same, but made of partially or entirely inedible ingredients,
  could include something like a dragon's head breathing flame, though
  still presented on a small scale.

- The same, but on a human scale, with humans included such as for St.
  George, a dragon, and a maiden; or a castle under seige.  The actors
  may have remained immobile, or they may have mimed or even spoken a
  few lines.

- The same, but with a full theatrical performance, probably differing
  from a company of strolling players only in being presented under
  the aegis of the head cook rather than by some other officer of the


Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2001 17:39:48 -0400
From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>
To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Tur-duc-kin Q and A

Regarding the two major questions that seem
to have been asked from this thread, the
Time-Life volume on Poultry from The Good
Cook series has instructions with photos of
how to turn a whole bird inside out and debone
it without breaking the skin. It takes time, nimble
small hands, and a very sharp knife. You then reassemble
the bird and stuff it so it looks as though it's
just a regular bird with bones. Pay attention to
the oven temperature and roasting time. When
it's sliced, the diners discover it has no bones inside.
(I remember this well. 20 plus years ago I won both first
and second at the Middle Kingdom Penthalon, with
a bird in this fashion for one of my entries.)

The other question concerned appropriate recipes and
the sources for the chicken in the duck in the
turkey or the partridge in a duck in a goose.
There are several variations including what C. Anne Wilson
calls "the celebrated Yorkshire Christmas pie"  of the
1700's that was made for sale and shipment to London
or the "Yorkshire goose pie" where the goose enclosed
a small turkey. Possibly readers of the list saw articles
about the Mount Vernon Chritmas dinner that features
a variation based on Mrs. Glasse.
See: http://www.virginia.edu/gwpapers/newsletter/coda.html

for that recipe. I am still looking for the earlier
version of this recipe.

<snip. See pies-msg>

Johnnae llyn Lewis  Johnna Holloway

Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2001 21:43:36 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Pixel, Goddess and Queen" <pixel at hundred-acre-wood.com>
To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org
Subject: [Sca-cooks] silver leaf

On Wed, 24 Oct 2001, Philip Troy wrote:
> On Wednesday 24 October 2001 06:09, XvLoverCrimvX at aol.com wrote:
> > pixel at hundred-acre-wood.com writes:
> > > Get some of the dusting powder used for sugarpaste decorating. They make
> > >  it in silver. Or you can get some edibble silver leaf and glue it on with
> > >  some egg white, or just grind it up with some sugar, dissolve the sugar
> > > in some water, let the silver settle, pour off the water, let it dry, and
> > > dust it on. ;-)
> > >
> > >  Margaret

> You can try an Indian grocery... ask for silver vark. Failing that, try a
> good cake-decorating supply place.
> Adamantius

From experience, if you ask for vark (or varak, in some dialects) and they
look at you blankly, ask for the silver leaf for the sweets. ;-)

If the tops of lampreys are bluish silver, then you might want to use
silver dusting powder (it's usually mica and chalk, non-toxic and harmless
but you don't want to be eating it in quantity) and doctor it up with some
blue chalk. Yes, you heard me right, chalk.

Take blue chalk, the kind you buy at Wally's Discount Capitalist Emporium
for $.50 a box, and draw a few heavy lines on paper. Take a dry paintbrush
and drag it through the chalk lines, then brush onto your lamprey. When
he's the blue you want, dust him with silver, again with a dry brush.

This is the sort of thing you do to gum paste flowers to make them look
lifelike. You can use it on royal icing as well--it's subtle but nifty. It
also means you don't have to mess with bag striping to get multicolor
effects on your roses. I *hate* bag striping. It never comes out how I
envision it, so I've given up.


Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 10:24:19 -0400
From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>
To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] silver leaf

You can also find [with some looking] food-grade
non-toxic chalk for decorating.
Johnnae llyn Lewis  Johnna Holloway

Date: Fri, 16 Nov 2001 16:41:24 -0500
From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>
To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org
Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: [Sca-cooks]Sotelties was OT Rudolph an icon???

"Mark.S Harris" wrote:
> Speaking of icons, Icons are small portraits/paintings done in
> the Orthadox Church (see Icons-art, icons-msg in the RELIGION
> section of the Florilegium). I wonder if you could do one in
> sugarpaste/marzipan using food colors to make a soteltie? Any
> evidence of this having been done in Byzantium? I doubt sotelties
> were strictly a western European thing.
> Stefan li Rous

Peter Brears' All the King's Cooks, 1999, has
a color photo of a moulded Marchpane. It is a
large dinner plate sized marchpane that has been
unmoulded and then colored. It was made using a
reproduction wooden mold based upon
an illustration printed in 1827 of an early 16th original.
He has a full description with instructions.
He also has a great deal of information regarding
sotelties and sugarpaste works in general.

As for Byzantium, we may learn more about the foods and
cookery of that era when Andrew Dalby,
comes out from Prospect Books in England.

There are also several modern cake decorating books that
show one how to use food colors on flat sheets of gumpaste
to make flat artworks that can then be placed on cakes. I have
also seen a cake decorated with painted "gumpaste" minatures of
paintings that were placed on easles on the cake for decoration.

Johnnae llyn Lewis  Johnna Holloway

From: "Robin Carroll-Mann" <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>
To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001 22:00:27 -0500
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Jello was Tofurky Report

On 27 Nov 2001, at 9:07, Tara Sersen Boroson wrote:
> Or perhaps... marzipan fishies suspended in blue jello?  Or marzipan
> birds in blue jello with whipped cream.  Or little marzipan devils in
> red jello... or a marzipan santa head on top of a jello santa belly!
> :)
> -Magdalena

Sounds very similar to a recipe in the Neapolitan cookbook.  Whole
fish "swimming" in a basket full of gelatin.

Brighid ni Chiarain *** mka Robin Carroll-Mann
Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

From: Christina Nevin <cnevin at caci.co.uk>
To: "SCA-Cooks (E-mail)" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Jello was Tofurky Report
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2001 10:44:11 -0000

> Or perhaps... marzipan fishies suspended in blue jello?  Or marzipan
> birds in blue jello with whipped cream.  Or little marzipan devils in
> red jello... or a marzipan santa head on top of a jello santa belly!
> :)
> -Magdalena

For a long-ago feast subtlelty I made a pond from jelly, with chive 'reeds',
fish carved from carrots and marzipan lilypads and frogs. It was in a glass
bowl so you could see the fish and the 'bottom' of the pond. It looked very
cool - and naturally, no-one got a photo of it!


From: Marilyn Traber <marilyn.traber.jsfm at statefarm.com>
To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2001 09:58:49 -0600
Subject: [Sca-cooks] Coloring breads

Well, they make spinach powder [available from kingarthurflour.com] for
coloring pasta, so I would assume that you could toss it into bread, and add
the freshly made juice of more spinach in place of some of the water for a
better green.


From: "Olwen the Odd" <olwentheodd at hotmail.com>
To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Sugar Plate/Paste; Stained Glass Sugar
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2002 16:11:18 +0000

>I've done the former method for small 'windows', but as you say the colors
>blend if you try to do a large stained glass 'window this way.
>Please explain to everyone why crushed clear candies work well, but
>granulated colored sugar does not melt. Also, what have you found to be the
>best way of baking these? If baked directly on the pan these will stick &
>break. Do you use  parchment paper? Greased or ungreased aluminum foil?

I have had some success with larger windows with the first method by putting
a wrinkle in the parchment under the area of cookie between colours.  The
candies work because the crushed bits just revert to the syrup stage.  That
is why sugar doesn't work.  I have also done larger pieces by spooning syrup
into the holes.  I place the baked frame on a parchement with the wrinkles
on a cold cookie tray sitting on ice so the syrup hardens almost

When I have poured syrup or melted mashed candy and threw it out on a cold
marble slab to harden I have done stained glass (actually I used to make a
living doing stained glass with glass) I have broken up the big piece and
done a melt down (with a hot spoon or knife, etc) to get exact shapes.  I
actually first begin with a picture or drawing (duh) then lay the pieces out
on the drawing then have gone back after all the pieces are "cut" out and
fastened them all together using a couple of different methods.  One is to
melt the pieces together with a tiny cooks torch, two is to make connectors
using either sugar plate or marzipan.


From: "Diamond Randall" <ringofkings at mindspring.com>
To: "sca-cooks" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 19:56:10 -0800
Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Stuffed carrots- what would happen if

> It seems you would have to cut the carrots into sections since they have a
tendency to split.  I have done lots of carving in
> veggies and carrots are darn hard to do without them just suddenly
to split.  I have not seen the references Brighid > mentioned that can be
found in Granado where she says he describes hollowing out the insideof the
carrot to make a tube. > Would like to though.  I wonder if he says to
par-boil them for a bit to soften them.  That would make sense. Olwen

Tubes?  No problem, no splits.  Just go to Home Depot and get a new 1/4"
paddle style wood drill bit. Put it in a cordless drill and voila! The very
long shank of this item makes it easy to put a hole for stuffing in most
carrots.  As it is new and unsoiled, you can use the shreaded carrot
leftovers for making all sorts of garnish and salads too.

Though not a kitchen tool and especially not a period one, it does the job
without having to have a $50 kitchen gadget to clutter up your drawers. Heck,
you can even recycle the the thing and use it when building stuff.  What a
concept!  Need a bigger hole?  Just buy the size you need.  The big bits are
great for excavating large perfect holes in small cabbages too without having
to struggle with using a knife to cut out the bottom of the core.  Again it
makes great coleslaw too!

Akim Yaroslavich

From: "Elise Fleming" <alysk at ix.netcom.com>
To: <Hoyt77S at aol.com>, <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>
Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2003 18:22:33 -0500
Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Period Soteltie Leftovers

Greetings.  I read a reference about Spain and the subtleties done
there which were sometimes donated to the convents or given as gifts
to nobility.  The churches and/or convents might put them on
display.  There was reportedly one of items which was hung up in the
church in the (1700s?) and still is there today.  Unfortunately, I
don't know in what book I read it.

Alys Katharine

Date: Fri, 16 May 2003 13:13:04 -0400 (EDT)
From: Robin Carroll-Mann <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>
To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Peach Pits

-------Original Message-------
From: lilinah at earthlink.net
I seem to recall that some time in the past, someone on this list
sold some peach pit molds. If that person is still on list, please let
me know if they are still available, what they're made of, and how much
they cost.

The molds were sold by Mistress Olga Belobashnina Cherepanova, of
Calontir (MKA Stephanie Howe).  She made them of unglazed earthenware.


Brighid ni Chiarain

Date: Thu, 01 Apr 2004 07:30:15 -0500
From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Trionfi and April trip
To: mooncat at in-tch.com Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

>What are Trionfi or Trionfi di Tavola ?

Trionfi, according to John Florio’s Italian dictionay of 1611,means
"triumph." Here the word refers to the sweet sculptural components of
the Renaissance and Baroque Italian banquet. No funeral, festival,
procession, wedding, state visit or state banquet was complete without
an elaborate display of created sugar works or trionfi.

Can you tell that there's a handout and that there will be an article?


> What's trinofi?
> --maire, curious, and *really* envying your trip to the Leeds
> Symposium.....
> Johnna Holloway wrote:
>> I'll be off rather than on the lists this week due to the fact
>> that I am creating trionfi for Helewyse's Italian feast this
>> coming weekend.
>> Yes, there's a descriptive write-up and I will take pictures.

Date: Thu, 27 May 2004 09:18:49 -0400
From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] my summer project - Spanish Galleon
To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

I would suggest the following hints, tips etc.

You can also use a salt dough for the ship if you discover you
need something more sturdy.
You will need cannons and various things like spilled coinage.

I would suggest edible wafer paper or rice paper for the sail canvas.
Get one of the books that talks about working with this stuff. You can do
a lot with it.... steam it, bend it etc. It's also edible.
Rigging can be sugar strands... or you can work with dipped fine thread
in sugar too. You might be able to use sugar threads but don't count on
them supporting anything. They would be purely decorative.
Do think about how you are going to transport this to event and what
will be assembled on site.

The book Fassbind, Louise & Othmar
[ Louise & Othmar Fassbind ]

Zucker-Artistik für Fortgeschrittene.   Sugar Art in English
1997,   ISBN: 3952053023 has instructions in it for
an undersea scene that uses corals and rocks along with a poured
sugar base. Full instructions with recipes for how to make the realistic sugar
corals, etc. I would interlibrary loan it and look at it. It's too expensive
to buy--- it's probably close to 150 dollars now what with the exchange

I would invest in the drying silica gel granules in order to keep the pieces
dry if you are making advance and storing. You store the pieces with the
granules to keep the moisture at bay.
Bookwise you might also look at The Atlas of shipwrecks and treasure.

Johnnae llyn Lewis

Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2005 11:58:50 -0500
From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Exploding Cabbage
To: mirhaxa at morktorn.com, Cooks within the SCA
<sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Linda Peterson wrote:
> The picture of this is lovely, the name intrigues. What did it do?
> Mirhaxa
>  http://www.medievalcookery.com/images/chou.jpg

The MK Cooks List carried this description---
The Entrement - Le Chou Eclatant - was a large paper mache cabbage made
by my very talented lady wife.  The mechanism that worked so well in
testing (a balloon inside a 4" diameter tube, with a balloon pump)
failed on the first go round, so I had the crew carry it back into the
kitchen, reset the silly thing, and we brought it out again.  I was
told that the failure and repetition actually made it all somewhat
funnier.  The second time it worked - sort of.  Instead of shooting out
broccoli pieces in a 4 foot radius, one lone floret popped out, which I
then presented to St. Dorinda.

Maybe Doc will elaborate further.


Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 17:55:06 -0500
From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius.magister at verizon.net>
Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Flaming Subtleties (was Piecrust revisited,
was, Books for Cooks)
To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Also sprach Samrah:
> Apologies for my ignorance/innocence.  I am more than a bit new at
> this.  We had flaming subtleties in period?  I may be mistaken so
> please somebody correct me.   Desserts didn't flame (too late), but
> subtleties did?
> Samrah

Subtleties definitely did, on occasion; there are instructions for
fire-breathing dragons and such calling for ignited alcohol and
various resins such as camphor, IIRC, and servers to blow through
tubes to provide oxygen to the flames as they carried the subtlety
into the hall. Such subtleties weren't always edible, but I believe
some were.

As for flaming foods, yes, this is a clearly edible, or mostly
edible, dish, which might conceivably qualify as a flaming subtlety.
Clearly they weren't as common as they became in the 18th-19th
centuries and later, but I believe there's some evidence to suggest
medieval people flamed foods occasionally, or at least burned alcohol
for the theatrical effect. See Chiquart's recipe for flaming boar's
head, for one example (okay, it's not flaming, it's spitting fire --
what is burning is brandy mixed with camphor, soaked into a cotton
wick, as I recall).

I don't have references at my fingertips at the moment, but I'm sure
28 people will respond more definitively (you know who you are) ;-) .


Date: Thu, 10 Mar 2005 20:03:38 -0600
From: Robert Downie <rdownie at mb.sympatico.ca>
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Flaming Subtleties (was Piecrust
revisited, was, Books for Cooks)
To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

I don't have many references to hand, but here are the ones I was able
to grab right now (this includes May's gunpowder ships too)

.For a lofty entremet, that is a castle (De Fait de Cuisine 1420)
... And in the lower court will be at the foot of each tower: in one of
the towers, a boar's head armed and endored spitting fire; elsewhere a
great pike, and this pike is cooked in three ways: the part of the pike
toward the tail is fried, the middle part is boiled, and the head part
is roasted on the grill; and the said pike is sitting at the foot of the
other tower looking out from the beast spitting fire... At the foot of
the other tower an endored piglet looking out and spitting fire; and at
the foot of the other tower a swan which has been skinned and reclothed,
also spitting fire...

206. Lighter subtleties. (Le Viandier de Taillevent)
Make terraces of brown bread, with a damsel sitting on the terrace, and
with the terrace covered with green tin leaf strewn with herbs in a
likeness of green grass. You need a lion who has his 2 forefeet and head
in the damsel's lap. For him you can make a brass mouth and a thin brass
tongue, with paper teeth glued to the mouth. Add some camphor and a
little cotton, and when you would like to present it before the lords,
touch the fire to it.  If you wish to make the likeness of a wolf, bear,
striped donkey [zebra], serpent or some other beast, tame or wild, make
counterparts to the lion, each one in its own manner.

Redressed Peacocks which  Seem Living; and How to Make them Breathe Fire
through their Mouth - from Cuoco Napoletano
...And to make it breathe fire through its mouth, get a little camphor
with a little fine cotton-wool around it and put this into the peacock's
beak and soak it with a little aqauvita or else with a little fumey old
wine that is volatile; when you want to serve it, set fire to the
cotton-wool: in this way it will breathe fire for a long time. To make
it more magnificent you can cover the peacock with gold leaf and then
cover it with its skin. The same can be done with pheasants, cranes,
geese and other birds...

The Accomplisht Cook Robert May 1660
Triumphs and Trophies in Cookery, to be used at Festival Times, as in
Twelfth-Day, &c.
Make the likeness of a ship in paste board, with Flags and Streamers,
the Guns belonging to it Kickses binde them about with packthread, and
cover them with coarse paste proportionable to the fashion of a Cannon
with Carriages, lay them in places convenient, as you see them in Ships
of War; with such holes and trains of Powder that they may all take
fire; Place your ship firm in a great Charger; then make a salt round
about it, and stick therein egg-shells full of sweet water; you may by a
great Pin take out all the meat of the Egg by blowing, then fill it with
rose-water.  Then in another charger have the proportion of a Stag made
of course paste, with a broad arrow in the side of him, and his body
filled up with claret wine.  In another Charger at the end of the Stag
have the proportions of a Castle  with Battlements, Percullises, Gates,
and Draw-bridges made of Paste-board, the Guns of Kickses, and covered
with coarse paste as the former; place it at a distance from the Ship to
fire at each other.  The Stag being plac't betwixt them with the
egg-shells full of sweet water (as before) placed in salt.  At each side
of the Charger wherein is the Stag, place a Pie made of course Paste, in
which let there be some live Frogs, in the other live Birds; make these
Pies of course paste filled with bran, and yellowed over with Saffron or
Yolks of Eggs, gild them over in spots, as also the Stag, the Ship and
Castle; bake them, and place them with gilt bay-leaves on the turrets
and tunnels of the Castle and Pies; being baked, make a hole in the
bottom of your pies, take out the bran, put in your Frogs and Birds, and
close up the holes with the same course paste; then cut the Lids neatly
up, to be taken off by the Tunnels (pastry funnels to let steam out and
to use as handles): being all placed in order upon the Table, before you
fire the trains of powder, order it that some of the Ladies may be
perswaded to pluck the Arrow out of the Stag, then will the Claret wine
follow as blood runing out of a wound.  This being done with admiration
to the beholders, after some short pawse, fire the train of the Castle,
that all the pieces all of one side may go off; then fire the trains of
the Ship as in a battle; next turn the Chargers, and by degrees fire the
trains of each other side as before.  This done, to sweeten the stink of
the powder, let the Ladies take the egg shells full of sweet waters, and
throw them at each other.  All dangers being seemingly over, by this
time you will suppose  they will desire to see what is in the Pies;
where lifting first the lid off one pie, out skips some Frogs, which
makes the Ladies to skip and shreek; next after another Pie, whence
comes out the Birds; who by a natural instinct flying at the light, will
put out the Candles; so that what with the flying Birds, and skipping
Frogs, the one above, the other beneath, will cause muchdelight and
pleasure to the whole company: at length the Candles are lighted, and a
banquet brough in, the musick sounds, and every one with much delightand
content rehearses their actions in the former passages..  these were
formerly the delights of the Nobility, before good Housekeeping had left
England, and the Sword really acted that which was only counterfeited in
such honest and laudable Exercises such as these.

<the end>

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