We talk a lot about the dishes that went right, where we tried them out and people say nice things about them and ask for the recipe.
And then people say “oh no I couldn’t do it, I don’t know how to cook”. Well, I didn’t know how to cook before I started cooking for medieval events. I’ll do a blog article about how to go from being unable to boil eggs to cooking on a campfire for 100 people another time. But today I want to talk about the three biggest mistakes I’ve made when trying to make a medieval dish.
Heathen cakes are from the 14th German manuscript Ein Buch Von Guter Spise
These are called heathen cakes. One should take a dough and should spread it thin and take a boiled meat and chopped fatty bacon and apples and pepper and eggs therein and bake that and give out and do not damage.
Redaction from Medieval Cookery
I think what I love most about medieval cooking is looking at the different versions there are under the same nominal title. Forme of Curye is the 14th Century English manuscript and it has a couple of different versions as a result of being manually rewritten out and copied. That puts some slight variation differences depending on which text you happen to look at.
This recipes, Chyches or Chiches, has what seems like a minor issue but does create a difference in redacting it. And that is the placement of a comma or lackthereof between two words.
Good vegetarian dishes are always on my list to find new recipes and try them out. This leafy green and cheese pie from Le Manager De Paris looks like it’ll fit the bill perfectly!
Company of the Staple loves to cook. We’ve been having a lunch display since our first event, working our way up from bringing bread, cheeses, and cold cuts, to pre-making tarts and pies, up to cooking our lunch over a fire on the display. We’ve had a lot of practice, and made many mistakes along the way. We’ve also learned a lot by asking about the the mistakes of others.
This year, as it has for the past three years now, Company of the Staple will be cooking, and feeding 150 people over the course of a weekend event. While talking to the public about the cooking and medieval food. (And many many other things.)
One of the challenges given to me is to find a better way to cook breakfast. Because trying to cook a breakfast for over a hundred people when you only have a campfire and anything that you were able to precook in your residential kitchen, is quite frankly, an absolute nightmare.