Home Page

Stefan's Florilegium


This document is also available in: text or RTF formats.

finger-foods-msg - 7/5/09


Ideas for finger foods at feasts and events.


NOTE: See also the files: gingerbread-msg, candy-msg, pretzels-msg, fruits-msg, cheese-msg, bread-msg, nuts-msg, dayboards-msg, pot-luck-fsts-msg.





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: auslan94 at matrix.newpaltz.edu (katie auslander)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Finger Foods

Date: 25 Apr 1995 02:58:46 GMT

Organization: SUNY New Paltz


Dottie Elliott (macdj at onr.com) wrote:

: I am looking for some ideas for period finger foods.  It needs to be foods

: that can sit out on a table for several hours. It can sit upon a tray of

: ice to keep it cool or be warming in a dutch oven on a coleman stove if

: necessary.  I am looking for something different from desserts.


        humus (spl?) is very good and sits well.  pickled eggs, unfortunatly

i don't have the recipie, are great. then there are bread and cheeses and



                       aka Aislinn



From: Esther Beukenhorst <beukenho at fub46.zedat.fu-berlin.de>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Finger Foods

Date: Wed, 26 Apr 1995 12:52:35 +0000

Organization: Freie Universitaet Berlin


On 25 Apr 1995, katie auslander wrote:

> Dottie Elliott (macdj at onr.com) wrote:

> : I am looking for some ideas for period finger foods.  It needs to be foods

> : that can sit out on a table for several hours. It can sit upon a tray of

> : ice to keep it cool or be warming in a dutch oven on a coleman stove if

> : necessary.  I am looking for something different from desserts.


>      humus (spl?) is very good and sits well.  pickled eggs, unfortunately

> i don't have the recipie, are great. then there are bread and cheeses and

> things.

>                     -Katie...:)

>                     aka Aislinn


We have used dates and orange slices; the orange slices were a by product

of the handwashing bowls in which we had used the orange peels--the

combination has the advantage that the consumers of the finger foods can

clean their fingers afterwards...


Hannah of Hanecnolle



Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: ddfr at quads.uchicago.edu (david director friedman)

Subject: Re: Period Finger Foods

Organization: The University of Chicago

Date: Tue, 25 Apr 1995 04:57:03 GMT


Baroness Clarissa asks for period finger foods. The following are all

from Platina, who is 15th c. Italian.


Platina mentions candied pine nuts. His almond fricatellae would

work, preferably kept hot. His "The Flesh of Veal" is basically

little rolled up slices of meat; you could serve them with toothpicks

through them. He does say to "serve immediately to your guests," but

he isn't watching.


You could do his Canisiones, although I think the Islamic

Khushkananaj is a better version of the same idea. The Torta from Red

Chickpeas works served cold; you would want to serve it already cut

for finger food. White torta or Custard Tart might work as finger

food, or might be a little too soft. Golden Morsels would work if you

kept them hot. So would Frictella from Apples or Rice Fricatellae.


Worked out recipes for all of these except the candied pine nuts are

in the Miscellany. Some of them are desertish, but most are not. I

believe Platina recommends the pine nuts as a first course.





From: Sharon Saroff <sindara at moose.erie.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Period Finger Foods

Date: Thu, 27 Apr 1995 10:39:17 -0400

Organization: ErieNet


Your Excellency,


        May I suggest small pies.  I'm thinking tarts or puff pastries

filled w/ veggies, meat , cheese or combinations.  I've seen these in

period cookbooks and have done this at events.  It goes over well.

        I have a recipe for curry pie that can be adjusted to making

tarts or filled partries.  The nice thing is it can be served hot or cold.

E-mail me privately if you want the recipe.





From: Sharon Saroff (5/4/95)

To: markh at sphinx

period finger food


        The recipe I mentioned is called Sweet Curry Pie.  Variations

have been done w/ much success.  Thanks for the response. I love to

share recipes and bead information.


        In a saucepan or large frypan sautee one small red onion, chopped

and one small sweet onion, chopped. (Vadalia onions are best)  I use

either olive or nut oil for my sautee instead of butter because I keep

kosher.  Add 2 small apples chopped and sautee until all are tender. (I

have used rome apples, jonamacs and granny smiths)  Add 1 tsp of honey

and 2 tsp cider vinegar and stir carefully.  Now add the following

spices.  Note the amounts are approximations from the recipe I entered in

Ice Dragon years ago.  I am from the Jewish mothers' school of cooking.  

How do you measure a pinch and dab?


        Spices:       2 tsp ground clove

               4 tsp ginger

               3/4 tsp ground nutmeg

               3/4 tsp ground mace

               2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

               3/4 tsp ground cumin

               1 1/2 tsp ground coriander

               2 tsp oregano

               1/2 tsp saffron

               3 cloves minced garlic

               1 tsp citris peel (lemon and orange)


Variations include the elimination of the ginger I have a friend who is

very allergic) increasing the cumin and coriander if you like it hot and

eliminating the honey if you don't like sweet things. Stir together and

simmer until thickened stirring constantly.  Add 2 1/2 pounds cooked lamb

or chicken cut up into small chunks.  Stir and simmer until tender, about

5 minutes.  Spoon into pastry shells and bake.  I cheat lately on the pie

crust and buy the frozen ones.


        All ingredients have been researched as period and were used in

combinations such as above.  My persona is middle eastern so curry is a



        If you are interested, I have a recipe for a marinade that keeps

meat from spoiling even in Pennsic heat.  It has become one of my Pennsic

staples.  It's basically a raid the spice cabinet marinade.


        Enjoy the recipe.  If you're at Pennsic I can be found either

camping w/ the Barony of Bergental from the East or in the Bazaar across

from the bathouse under the cooperative merchants of Sundries.





Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

From: ddfr at quads.uchicago.edu (david director friedman)

Subject: Re: Period Finger Foods

Organization: The University of Chicago

Date: Thu, 27 Apr 1995 04:43:10 GMT


My previous post was a little high on deserts, despite my claim to

the contrary, as I realized after posting it. Here are a few more

suggestions, all from the _Miscellany_, and not limited to Italian.


1. There are lots of vaguely quiche like European things: Ember Day

Tart, Spinach Cheese Tart, Chawettys, Pork Doucetty, Crustade, etc.

They could be cut up and served as finger foods, cold or hot. For

somewhat different non-desert pies, "To Make a Tarte of Beanes" Or

Tarte de Bry.


2. Pipefarces.


3. Someone mentioned Humus (properly Hummus bi Tahaini; "Humus" by

itself just means chick peas). I do not know of any period recipes

for it, although perhaps the person who suggested it does. For a

definitely period Islamic dip (c. 10th c.), try Badinjan Muhassa. You

could also do Zabarbada of Fresh Cheese. It hardens when it cools, so

you would probably want to put it on bits of bread as soon as you

cooked it.


4. Barmakiyya. It is somewhere between a pasty and a sandwich:

bread/meat or fish filling/bread, all cooked together. Good cold.


5. Cooked Fried Chicken (Andalusian) or something similar could be

done, using wings and disjointed legs.


6. Maqluba al Tirrikh is a sort of little fish pancake that should

work as finger food.


7. Chopped Liver (_Du Fait de Cuisine_)


8. ryschewes





From: Tyrca at aol.com

To: ansteorra at eden.com

Date: Wed, 18 Jun 1997 11:07:19 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: Food Receipe


A very easy and yet delicious recipe that I use for potluck is this:


     Take 1 pound of pitted dry dates, 8 oz cream cheese, some ginger,

nutmeg, and about 3 tbps of honey or brown sugar (whatever you have that is

sweet).  Mix the cream cheese, honey, and spices until smooth and combined.

Split the dates down one side, and stuff a spoonful of cream cheese in each.

Wonderful.  These never last more than about 20 minutes at any potluck

dinner I've ever taken them to.


Lady Tyrca Ivarsdottir

Barony of Namron, Ansteorra



Date: Tue, 16 Sep 1997 19:25:19 -0500 (CDT)

From: cole joan <jscole at ux1.cso.uiuc.edu>

Subject: Re: SC - Types of Feasts...


> Please remember to make sure there is an area to clean hands, or don't make

>greasy, or sticky, finger foods.  in a dance collegium everyone will have to

>touch there partners food if not washed off first!!


> Murkial


Make cheesecakes in cupcake tins (individual)

Make savory tarts (quiches) putting the crust down on a jelly roll pan and

cutting little squares


grapes are guaranteed to disappear, especially if you remove them from

their bunches (this also helps discourage against one person taking a

quarter of your grape supply in one shot)

cheese cut in little squares





Set out some bowls of water and float potpourri in them (so people realize

they are not drinkable), put signs announcing that they are fingerbowls,

and have some attractive little towels for hand drying as well.





Date: Mon, 31 Aug 1998 23:00:02 -0400

From: "LHG, JRG" <liontamr at ptd.net>

Subject: SC - Gunther's Laurel's Vigil Feast


Gunther wrote:

>I have been asked to cater a buffet for a friend's vigil in a few weeks.

>Since most of his ceremony (Laurel) will be as close to his personna as

>possible I would like to make the foods fit as well.


>He's Elizabethan English.


>What I'm looking to make are finger-type foods that people can nibble on

>without much fuss while waiting for their audience.


Gunther, I found a recipe that sounds pip-on, from hugh Plat's delights for

ladies. i did something similar to this for an ice Dragon competition once

and won:

To preserve Orenges after the Portugall Fashion


Take Orenges and core them on the side and lay them in water. The boile

them in faire water till they bee tender, shift them in the boiling water

to take away their bitternesse. Then take sugar & boile it to the height of

sirup as much as will cover them. And so put your Orenges into it, and that

will make them take sugar. If you have 24 orenges, beate 8 of them till

they come to paste, with a pounde of fine Sugar, then fill every one of the

other Orenges with the same. And so boile them againe in your sirup: then

there will bee marmelade of Orenges within your Orenges, and it will cut

like an hard egge.


I served mine with the flaky pastry and almond butter from Huswife's Jewel,

and it was quite refreshing and yummy, and the oranges look so nice in a

fancy dish,  whole, glistening with the syrup. They are sliced into 1/4 to

1/2 inch slices, laid upon the flaky pastry rounds, and dolloped with

almond butter when I do this sort of thing. Serve immediately, or set out

an example or two on a tray and then let folks help themselves. If you have

leftover syrup it is good mixed with water.


If you are feeling very naughty, you could use tangerines, which mimic

period sized fruit and are a little closer, in my mind, to the oranges that

would have been available, with their thin skins. They would be less

bitter, tho.


The nice thing is that this will "can" well (tupperware or a covered

ceramic crock in the fridge will also do the trick for about 2 weeks), the

almond butter can be made a few days ahead and the flaky pastry made ahead

and slipped into zip-locks for the freezer. They (pastry) come out nicely,

and can be dried quickly in the oven if there is a need, but I have never

had a need to do so.


Other notes: The potted Venison would be good with some sippets or tostes

or rusks to eat with it (or the crunchy sort of oatcakes), for textural

contrast. Darn.  Now I'm hungry ;^D.





Date: Mon, 9 Nov 1998 17:13:10 -0800 (PST)

From: Karen <tyrca at yahoo.com>

Subject: SC - Viking Sweets, my creative adventure


Ok, one of my first forays into cooking for the unread public is over,

and I am glad to report that I survived it!


This last weekend in Ansteorra was Laurel's Prize Tourney, in which

everyone is encouraged to display what they have been working on

lately, and let the Laurels walk around and take notes, make comments,

and generally immerse each other in art.


I have a lot of embroidery that I displayed, but with all the things I

have learned on this list, I wanted to have something to nibble at my

table.  If there were something to eat, people were likely to stop and

look at other things.


So I read what I could find on "What Vikings Ate".  We had that page

posted to the list about a month ago from Mistress Thora Sharptooth,

and here in Ansteorra we have the Viking Answer Lady.  I perused both

sites, and looked in some books.


Now we know that there are no books with recipes from that period, but

I persevered.  Mistress Gunnora mentioned that they had a great and

abiding love of plums and prunes, so I went from there.


The archaeological record has plums and hazlenuts found in digs in

Dublin (exactly where I was wanting to look).  I decided on something

sweet with prunes.


>From there, I checked out --LOTS-- of cookbooks from Germany, Russia,

Ireland, Scandinavia, anywhere there was a Norse cultural influence.

And the interesting thing I found was a repetition of stuffed prune

recipes.  I found one stuffed with an almond, one with cheese, one

wrapped in bacon, etc.


I took these ideas, rejected the almond in favor of the hazlenut, and

this is what I came up with.


Stuffed Prunes


1 lb dried prunes


1/2 t ground pepper

shelled hazlenuts

1/2 lb sliced bacon


Put the prunes in a saucepan, cover with mead and add pepper.  Stew

until soft, but not falling apart.  Cool prunes, then stuff a hazlenut

into each one.  Wrap each prune with a piece of bacon and cook (I

surmise that this would work on a griddle, in a hot oven, or in some

sort of basket arrangement over an open fire.  I put them in a pyrex

dish, and heated them in the microwave engine until the bacon was done.


That is all.  I left the toothpicks (which held the bacon together) so

that my guests would have a "handle" to eat them with.  I was hoping

for a new taste, and not exactly sure what I would get.


Amazing!  Somehow the overwhelming sweetness of the prunes was toned

down by the salt of the bacon.  It was as if these flavors had always

been together.  The pepper flavor didn't show up until the prune had

been finished for a minute or two (when they were already at the next

table) and was not strong, just a pleasant memory of flavor.


Comments?  (sorry this is so long)  I feel successful. People not

only ate it, but liked it.  Adults and children alike.





Date: Wed, 4 Aug 1999 17:27:00 EDT

From: DianaFiona at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - brain failure & menu help


kat at kagan.com writes:


Can someone suggest to me five or six period dishes (or perioid, if

necessary) that I can transform into canapes?  I haven't seen the hall yet,

so I am assuming that everything will have to be prepared in advance and

served cold or room-temp, except whatever will fit in my chaffing dish.  I

also won't have time to do more than one really fiddly complicated thing.



    Hummmm........ If you don't have to stick to European foods, what about

the date balls (Hais) from al-Baghdadi? Make them tiny and they can go a long

way. Here's the version from Cariadoc's Miscellany:



al-Baghdadi p. 214/14 (GOOD)


Take fine dry bread, or biscuit, and grind up well. Take a ratl of this, and

three quarters of a ratl of fresh or preserved dates with the stones removed,

together with three uqiya of ground almonds and pistachios. Knead all

together very well with the hands. Refine two uqiya of sesame-oil, and pour

over, working with the hand until it is mixed in. Make into cabobs, and dust

with fine-ground sugar. If desired, instead of sesame-oil use butter. This is

excellent for travellers.


2 2/3 c bread crumbs

2 c (about one lb) pitted dates

1/3 c ground almonds

1/3 c ground pistachios

7 T melted butter or sesame oil

enough sugar


We usually mix dates, bread crumbs, and nuts in a food processor or blender.

For "cabobs," roll into one inch balls. Good as caravan food (or for taking

to wars). They last forever if you do not eat them, but you do so they don't.


    Gingerbread might be another sweet option--I think I'd roll it in balls,

too. Or, perhaps, time and skill allowing, create a stamp in an appropriate

design (Charges from the bride and grooms devises?) and stamp the tops of

squares of the gingerbread with it. Marzipan might work for that too, if the

budget allows....... The good part of these is that you can make them ahead

of time and serve them at room temperature........ :-)


            Ldy Diana



Date: Sun, 08 Aug 1999 09:30:49 -0700

From: Anne-Marie Rousseau <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Icelandic "geese"


hey all from Anne-Marie


we are asked:

    While I'm on the topic, does anyone have any particular suggestions for

>finger foods for this kind of set up? I'm trying to stick mostly to late

>period Western foods due to the personas of our current Monarchs. So far I

>have one of the "Deviled" egg recipes (The one with sorrel), a chicken pasty,

>or the Icelandic Chicken, perhaps a pork pasty as well, fruits, raw veggies,

>bread, olives and/or Compost, marzipan (either shaped and colored as fruit,

>or printed and flattened), gingerbread (Definitely printed, since I've stamps

>that'll work), Digby's Excellent Small Cakes, lemonade from one of the syrups

>in the Miscellany, and ice water.


when we did a similar thing at 12th night a few years ago, we had:

spiced roast beef, sliced thinly

manchets (small fist sized rolls)

sliced cheeses

bowls of dijon mustard

bowls of horseradish sauce

[if people chose to put them together into one newfangled sandwich unit,

that was their business!]

pickled carrots

pickled asparagus (we can get it CHEAP here)

hardboiled eggs


marchpanes (sugar cookies with little marzipan decorations on them)

shrewsbury cakes


mandarin oranges (it was 12th night...they were a good serving size and cheap)

small apples



all we did was rotate out the meat platters, and stand watch to keep folks

from handling the food without proper clean utensiles.


worked great!

good luck,

- --AM



Date: Tue, 13 Feb 2001 11:41:33 -0600

From: "Debra Hense" <DHense at ifmc.org>

Subject: SC - RE: Period finger foods


My contributions are scaled down in size foods.  Gingered cheesecake in mini-muffin tin sized bites.  Spinach tarts the same. etc.  


I've found a number of recipes which can be adapted for finger foods if you scale the size, and/or provide toothpicks.


At least the recipes/flavors/textures are a good attempt at period foods.


Kateryn de Develyn



From: "KarenO" <kareno at lewistown.net>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] transportable nibbles

Date: Sat, 19 May 2001 13:39:41 -0600


> Maire asked:

> >I'm in charge of organizing/hosting the Queen's Tea at Uprising  I'll be

sending out requests  to bring goodies .  I'd like them to be period, <


    Hey Maire,


    howzzabout those meatballs you tasted at Crown that I made from the

French Scully?   Cooked & frozen,  maybe heated to warm, and  served with

Sage Sauce?    IIRC,  they tasted pretty good at room temp.





Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 14:18:50 -0400

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Finger foods


Also sprach Jeff_Gedney/USER/US/Dictaphone at dictaphone.com:

>Hullo the list!

>I have been racking my brain and I must be just plain vaporlocked...

>I am looking for period (citations too, please, I'd like to give

>documentation on request)  finger type foods, non-messy, to serve for a

>"stand-up" feast I am doing in a month. I dont mind doing my own redaction,

>in fact I enjoy doing that.

>I am getting pretty desparate for ideas.  Anyone?


The glazed aloyaux (faux "birds" made of rolled-up veal slices with

marrow or suet) from Taillevent are good for that. Yes, you can do

them with beef.


Mushroom pasties (from Le Menagier) in small form. Use something like

a 3-inch round pastry cutter and make turnovers.


Payn ragoun: remember the pine nut candy you cut up at EK 12th Night?





Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2002 16:13:51 -0400

From: "Louise Smithson" <smithson at mco.edu>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Finger  Foods


Try these one from the Menagier de Paris at:



PIPEFARCES. Take egg yolks and flour and salt, and a little wine, and

beat together strongly, and cheese chopped in thin slices, and then roll

the slices of cheese in the

batter, and then fry in an iron skillet with oil in it. This can also

be made using beef marrow.


Looks like fried mozzarella sticks to me!



MUSHROOMS of one night are the best, and are small and red inside,

closed above: and they should be peeled, then wash in hot water and

parboil; if you wish to put them in

pastry, add oil, cheese and powdered spices.

Item, put them between two dishes over the coals, and add a little

salt, cheese and powdered spices. You can find them at the end of May

and in June.


I have made these as little tartlets for a buffet, they go over well.

For about 24 or so.

Small blind baked pastry cases.

1 lb mushrooms, parboiled, cooled and chopped

1/2 lb cheese (I have used cheddar, swiss, colby and a combination of

any of them)

Mix sliced mushrooms and cheese with a little salt, pepper, ground

nutmeg, ground cloves, cinnamon and ginger (to taste) fill the pastry

cases and bake briefly.



From: Varju at aol.com

Date: Sat, 29 Jun 2002 18:53:29 EDT

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Hotel interested in period food

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


The Spinach Tarts,Date Tarts and Chicken Tarts from Sabina Welserin work

really well as finger food, just make them as small tarts using a pierogi






Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2002 00:12:02 -0400

From: vongraph <vongraph at comcast.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Fw: [trimaris-temp] CROWN LYST, TAVERN MENU & HOURS

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org



This has given me several *wonderful* ideas!! However, 'rat on a stick'??

Help, please?




Rat on a stick is our tongue in cheek title for  a dish that is not likely

to have existed but brings on some interesting ideas about the Seige of

Antioch and what might have been served just before they got to the

prisoners as dinner.


Anyway it is combination of beef and pork ground up and mixed together in a

secret quantity, to which then are added such things as dates, raisins, eggs,

bread. various and sundry spices. it is then weighted out in 1/3 of a pound

portions that are shaped roughly as a rats body. Upon this is placed two

raisins as eyes and a stick is shoved into the neither part.  The whole

concoction is then smoked in a smoker for a period of about hour or bit more

at 350 degrees and served hot.


It actually tastes very good and is great finger food for the events bit

hard on prep time because of the necessity of grinding the beef and pork

if you want quality but other than that its not hard to prepare. We usually

make it before the event and bring it frozen to keep it fresh.


YIS, Elric



Date: Thu, 18 Nov 2004 19:00:28 -0500

From: Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Spanish Vigil Food

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


> First, since this is for a Vigil, we want to serve "finger food"

> (loosely defined), not a whole balanced meal.


Ok, I'm  no spanish specialist but I've cribbed from some and I know



Hm... Figs in the French Manner, from de Nola, can be made in the normal

way or with Kedem grape juice:



The Al-Andalus has a stuffed egg recipe that people love:



(and it doesn't have to be fried!)


Pork-cheese sausages will work, though you might want to contrive to

nuke them in someone's room before serving:



Give people Clarea de Agua to drink:



The chickpea dish with pitas to eat it on has worked in the past:




And marzipan, of course, in little shapes, as de Nola suggests.


-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net


<the end>

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

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org