Sambocade – From of Curye

A favourite of Company of the Staple’s Sambocade makes a delicious dessert. Effectively, it’s an elderflower cheese cake.


Original recipe from Forme of Cury

Sambocade. Take and make a crust in a trap and take cruddes and wryng out the wheyze and drawe hem thurgh a straynour and put hit in the crust. Do thereto sugar the thridde part, and somnodel Whyte of aren and shake therein blooms of Ellen and bake it up with euros and Messe it forth.

My translation: Take and make some pastry and put in in a trap (open pie case) and take [cheese] curds and wring out the whey and draw it through a strainer and put it in the pastry. Mix Sugar and egg whites and shake fresh blooms of elderflower in top, bake it with rosewater and serve it forth.




800grams of ricotta cheese (cottage cheese is an acceptable substitution)

150g of white sugar

3 eggs

25ml elderflower cordial

15 ml rosewater

pastry for a 9inch pies (Shortcrust works quite well)


Make and prepare pastry in individual cases. (In our experience, people don’t like cutting Sambocade so it’s nicer to have them in individual cases)

Mix all ingredients (except for rosewater)

Pour into pastry cases. Take a fork and sprinkle rose water over the top.


Bake until just set – they’ll turn a beautiful golden brown colour on top.



In the image, the Sambocade tarts are cooked with a vegetable parchment individual tart case. This made cooking them a lot easier and involved a lot less mess. 

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14th Century Curfew

Medieval curfews, also known as “couvre-feu”  or fire covers, are ceramic or iron covers used to keep the embers of the fire overnight.

Some extant example of curfews are

The Medieval Household, Daily Living C.1150-C.1450 has some drawings of fragments found of some ceramic curfews, plus some good history and written descriptions.

British Museum has two potential 14th century curfews but no images of either

Curfew 1 and curfew 2


A French example

No date given except for “lower middle ages”.


A page on the archeology of Villeneuve-d’Ascq says that this is a photo of a 13th century terracotta fire cover

Seems to have been two styles of curfews – one in which the curfew covered the coals completely and one in which the coals were banked up behind it


15th century, beautifully styled couvre-feu

This 19th century book refers to an early 18th century work in which a curfew has been drawn for reference. Again a half bell, presumably because the fire is being bank in a corner.


a much later example, the V&A has a brass fireguard which is from the 17th century


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Tucking your dress into your belt – Sources

It can be quite easy to fall into re-enactorisms. “Why are you doing it like that?” “Oh, because so-and-so does it like this”

So my goal for 2018 is to document all the little things where when someone asks us “and why do you do it like that?”

I’m starting off with a fairly light-hearted subject -tucking your dress into your belt while you work.

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Mistakes were made

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.

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Heidenische küchen (Heathen Cakes)

Heathen cakes are from the 14th German manuscript Ein Buch Von Guter Spise


5*. Heidenische kuchen (Heathen cakes)
Diz heizzent heidenische kuchen. Man sol nemen einen teye und sol (den) dünne breiten und nim ein gesoten fleisch und spec gehacket und epfele und pfeffer und eyer dar in und backe daz und gives hin und versirtez niht.
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

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Chyches (Spiced Roasted Chickpeas)

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.

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