Front Door > Front Hallway > Dining Niche

Relax in

al-Iwan, the Dining Niche

The Dining Niche



The Iwan is off to one side of the central courtyard. It is not quite a room, yet set back and somewhat protected from the elements - lined with soft cushioned banquettes, the walls decorated with intricate zellij tile work.

Settle back on a cushion. I'll have a servant bring a refreshing beverage and some food. Do you eat meats or do you prefer vegetables only?

I have cooked a little Medieval Middle Eastern food. And I like to eat modern ethnic Middle Eastern food. I'm including here a few of my favorite recipes and some cookbooks i recommend, and some links to useful food sites on the 'web.

Besides Head Cooking, I also assisted at a number of feasts, although i don't remember them all. Among them were the Boar Hunt Feast 1999, Mists Spring Investiture 2003 and Mists Fall Investiture 2003. I've also prepared food for the Laurel Vigils of a number of friends.

I have also contributed food to and helped organize the banqueting table for a number of the Duchesses Balls at Twelfth Night. Mistress Anna Serre and i prepared successful day boards for several Mists/Cynagua Wars and at June Crown one year, donating the money we raised to the Water Bearers of both Principalities, and for Youth Armor. And i have been Silver Spoon officer, organizing and judging cooking competitions in the Principality of the Mists.

In 2007 i went to my very first Pennsic, where, among other things, i was highly honored to cook a feast for Jade and Kaaren, King and Queen of the West, and their royal guests, which i've heard was quite well received. Later in 2007 i cooked a 16th century Ottoman feast for Mists Fall Investiture, based actual 15th and 16th c. Ottoman recipes. And at Mists Spring Investiture 2008 i prepared a table of Middle Eastern sweets and beverages on behalf of Kamiilah, the new Princess of the Mists.


Now Serving!

FEASTS - descriptions, menus, and recipes

  • Bawarid: Two 9th century Cold Chicken Dishes
  • 13th C. Andalusian Chicken and Meatballs with Walnuts and Saffron
  • Four 14th century Arabic Dishes for Lent
  • Three Medieval Near Eastern Recipes you can cook at a camping event
  • Ambrogino - 14th C. Italian recipe fora delightful chicken with fruit dish
  • 23 German Mushroom Recipes - my translations, from several different dialects of Medieval German
  • GREEN SAUCES & VARIATIONS - a comparison of 24 recipes from France, England, Italy, Spain, and Germany, from 3 centuries
  • CAMELINE SAUCE & VARIATIONS - a comparison of 19 recipes from Scandinavia, England, France, Italy, and Spain, uncooked, cooked, and one either way, from 5 centuries.
  • Fine Spice Powders- eight blends from 1324 to 1607 compared, as well as a mid-17th century recipe, French recipes in my own translations
  • Two Arabic Spice Boxes
    • A Fragrant 13th Century Spice Box of Andalusia
    • A Fragrant 13th Century Spice Box of al-Baghdadi
    • The Two Spice Boxes Compared
  • Annotated Bibliography of SCA-period Near and Middle Eastern cookbooks
  • Links to SCA-period Near and Middle Eastern Cuisine on the 'web
  • À la table du Grand Turc, by Stéfane Yerasimos - In the summer of 2006 i translated this book about Ottoman cuisine in the 15th and 16th centuries from French to English. Because of copyright issues i cannot put it on-line
  • Anonimo Toscano Libro della Cocina, late 14th or early 15th C. - translated by Vittoria Aureli
  • Three Fifteenth Century German Cookbooks - translated by Giano Balestriere
    • Cookbook of Master Eberhard (Das Kochbuch des Meisters Eberhard)
      mid-15th c., South Germany
    • Cookbook in the Archive of the Teutonic Order (Ein Kochbuch aus dem Archiv des Deutschen Ordens)
      late 15th c., South/Central High Germany, modernly Polish Baltic coast
    • Recipes from the Bavarian Inn River Valley (Alte Kochrezepte aus dem bayrischen Inntal)
      late 15th or 16th c. East Bavaria

Feasts in 2008

17 May 2008 - Principality of the Mists Spring Investiture - Middle Eastern Refreshment Table

Her Excellency Kamiilah, now Princess, asked me to provide refreshments for the populace between courts. I prepared a selection of sweets, most of them from historical recipes, a few modern but peri-oid, as well as homemade beverage syrups and Moroccan mint tea.

Sweets:
  • Halwa bi-Tamar (13th C. Andalusian) - A Sweet of Dates and Nuts
  • Abbasid Qataif (13th C. Andalusian) - spiced nut filled wonton half moons in syrup
  • Pomegranate Khabisa (13th C. Andalusian) - balls of semolina cooked with pomegranate juice, sugar, rosewater, saffron, and ground almonds, rolled in powdered sugar
  • Carrot paste (13th C. Andalusian) - carrots and honey cooked to a puree and seasoned with ginger, galangal, cubeb and clove
  • Senbuse Mukallele (15th C. Ottoman) - small triangular almond-paste filled phyllo pastries dusted with powdered sugar
  • Tamar bi'l Luuz (modern, peri-oid) - Dates filled with Almond Paste
  • Jauz bi'l Luuz (modern, peri-oid) - Walnut Halves with Almond Paste
  • Briwat bi'l Fakiya (modern, peri-oid) - small rectangular nut and sesame filled phyllo pastries in honey
  • Mustachados (traditional, peri-oid) - Walnut Macaroons - walnuts, sugar, and egg
Beverages:
  • Homemade Sharbat - Beverage Syrup
    1. Lemon (13th C. Andalusian) - organic lemon juice, cane sugar
    2. Cherry (15th C. Ottoman) - cherry juice, cane sugar
  • Mint Tea (modern Moroccan) - fresh mint and gunpowder green tea - served with sugar and Splenda on the side.

  • Middle Eastern sweets recipes

October 2008 - Principality of the Mists Fall Coronet - Small Private Royal Feast

I cooked this small feast for the delightful Prince and Princess of the Mists, Sigifrith and Kamiilah, at their Fall Coronet in 2008, a weekend camping event. The menu was centered around 14th, 15th and 16th century Middle Eastern dishes.

  • First Course
    • Barida of Abu Ja'far al-Barmaki - Cold Herbed Chicken Salad - from ibn Sayyar al-Warraq, 9th c. 'Abbasid
  • Second Course
    • Terbiyeli Tavuk Shorbasi - Chicken Broth with Gourds and Chestnuts, and with Egg-Lemon Sauce - reconstructed, 16th c. Ottoman
  • Third Course
    • Zirva - Lamb with Fruit - from Shirvani, mid-15th c. Ottoman
    • Isfanakh Mutajjana - Spinach with Garlic and Spices - from al-Baghdadi, 13th c. 'Abbasid
    • Rice in Three Colors - reconstructed, 16th c. Ottoman
  • Middle Eastern Private Royal Feast recipes

  • Back to Top

    Feasts in 2007

    08 August 2007- Pennsic 36 - West Kingdom Royal Feast

    When Kaaren was Queen of the West during the Spring and Summer of 2007, She decided to have a Persian reign. Because i enjoy cooking historically accurate Near and Middle Eastern food, i volunteered to cook for Her. Since i would be at my very first Pennsic in 2007, She asked if i could prepare a Middle Eastern feast for Her and King Jade and about a dozen royal or formerly royal guests. I tried to keep it tasty but light, due to the high heat and insane humidity at the site.

    • 1st Course - Cold Dishes
      • Bazmâwurd = Feast Opener - "chicken roll-ups"
      • Zaitun Mubakhkhar = Smoked Spiced Olives
      • Stuffed Eggs
      • Shîrâz bi-Buqal = fresh cheese with herbs
      • Sals Abyad = White Sauce (aka "Purple goop")
      • Lavash [because it is like the period bread ruqaq]
    • 2nd Course - Hot Dishes
      • Manti - meat wonton with yogurt sauce
      • Bustâniyya = Orchard Dish - meat and chicken with dried fruit and spices
      • ‘Adasiyya = Lentil Dish with vegetables
      • Jazr = Spiced Carrots
      • Saffron Rice
    • 3rd Course - Desserts
      • Oranges with orange flower water, rosewater, and cinnamon
      • Watermelon with fresh mint and lime juice
    • Middle Eastern feast recipes

    10 November 2007 - Principality of the Mists Fall Investiture - 16th Century Ottoman Feast

    In the Summer of 2006 i translated À la table du Grand Turc by Stéfane Yerasimos into English. The book covers Yerasimos's research into the cuisine of the Ottoman Empire, particularly of the palace, in the 16th century. It also includes 42 recipes, slightly more than half of them actual Ottoman recipes written down in the late 15th century. I wanted to prepare a feast using them, and i got my opportunity at the Principality of the Mists Fall Investiture Feast.

    • First Course
      • Soup - Choice of either
        1. Buyresiyye (kadin tuzlugu shorbasi) - Meatball Soup with Barberries
          or
        2. Terbiyeli Tavuk Chorbasi - Chicken Soup with Small Noodles, Seasoned with Egg-Lemon Sauce
      • Mantı - Seasoned ground lamb in thin dough wrappers, boiled, then served with garlic-sumac-yogurt sauce
    • Second Course
      • Flat Breads (and NO pita!) (purchased from a Middle Eastern market)
      • Fresh Pickled Cucumbers
      • Rose Petal Jam (purchased)
      • Merserem - Lamb and Chard in Herbed Yogurt
      • Mahmudiyye - Chicken and Apricots with Noodles and Almonds
      • Four Colors of Rice
      • Bulghur with Chestnuts
      • Sharbats - Beverage Syrups - Morello Cherry and Mulberry
    • Dessert Course
      • Sheker Burek - Almond-paste-topped yeasted Biscuits
      • Senbūse Mukallele - Fried Almond-paste-filled Pastries
      • Muhallebi - Delicate Rose-Scented Rice Flour and Milk Pudding
      • Zerde - "Yellow" Rice Pudding with Saffron and Nuts
      • Turkish Coffee (Peet's, of course), with sugar and Splenda on the side
    • Mists Fall Investiture Feast

    Back to Top

    Feasts 2003

    January 2003 - Cynaguan Royalty - Private Moroccan Feast

    My services were engaged - actually they were won at a fund raising auction - to prepare a small feast for a dozen people at which the guests of honor were the current Prince and Princess of the Principality of Cynagua. The other guests were their guards and their consorts.

    The recipes came from the 13th Century Anonymous Andlausian Cookbook as well as a number of modern Moroccan cookbooks. Alas, i lost the menu list and can only remember a few of the dishes.


    September 2003 - Principality of the Mists Bardic Competition - Greco-Roman Feast

    I cooked a Greco-Roman Banquet of six courses comprising 25 dishes for out-going Bard of the Principality of the Mists, Sir Colin McLir. The original recipes came from a variety of Greek and Latin sources, not just the Apician cookbook.

    • First Course - Promulsis
      • Panis : Fresh Bread
      • Caseum : Fresh Aged Cheese
      • Epityrum : Chopped Seasoned Olive Relish [Cato the Censor, de Agricultura, 119]
      • Ius cum Ovis Hapalis : Boiled Eggs in Pine Nut Sauce [Apicius, Book VII, Chapter XIX, Recipe 3]
    • Second Course - Gustatio
      • Panis : Fresh Bread
      • Moretum : Garlic, Herb, and Cheese Spread [The Ploughman's Lunch, anonymous Latin poet]
      • Aliter Carduos : Herb Marinated Artichokes [Apicius, Book III, Chapter XIX, Recipe 2]
      • Ius in Cordulla Assa : Grilled Tuna with Date Sauce [Apicius, Book IX, Chapter X, Recipe 5]
    • Third Course - Primera Mensa, Cena Prima : First Course, First Table
      • Ius cum Pullo : Chicken with Plum Sauce [Apicius, Book VI, Chapter V, Recipe 1]
      • Acetaria : Mixed Greens Salad
      • Hypotrimma : Cheese Sauce [Apicius, Book I, Chapter XIX]
      • Boletos : Another Mushroom Dish [Apicius, Book VII, Chapter XIII, Recipe 6]
      • Erebinthoi Knakosymmigeis : Saffron Chickpeas [Piloxenus, The Dinner, quoted in Anthenaeus (circa AD170-239), The Partying Professors]
    • Fourth Course - Primera Mensa, Cena Secunda : First Course, Second Table
      • Pernam : Ham with Figs in Pastry [Apicius, Book VII, Chapter IX, Recipe 1]
      • Lucanicae : Smokey Sausages of Lamb [Apicius, Book II, Chapter IV]
      • Sinapim : Mustard Sauce with Nuts [Columella 12, 57]
      • Cuminatum in Patina de Persicis : Peaches in Cumin Sauce [Patina: Apicius, Book IV, Chapter II, Recipe 34]
      • Cabbage in the Style of Athens [Mnesitheus (4th c. BCE), quoted by Oribasius, in Medical Collections, Book IV, Chapter 4, part 1 (4th c. CE); another version in Cato (c. 234-149 BCE) and quoted by Pliny the Elder (24-79 CE)]
      • Pulentium : Barley Polenta [Pliny, Naturalis Historia, 18, 73]
    • Fifth Course - Seconda Mensa, Cena Prima : Second Course, First Table
      • Conditum Paradoxi Compositio : Spiced White Grape Juice Surprise [Apicius, Book I, Chapter I, Recipe 1]
      • Patina Versatilis : Pine Nut Patina - [Apicius, Book IV, Chapter II, Recipe 2]
      • Mustei : Sweet Must Cakes [Cato the Censor, de Agricultura, 121]
    • Sixth Course - Seconda Mensa, Cena Seconda : Second Course, Second Table
      • Savillum : Roman cheese cake [Cato the Censor, de Agricultura, 84]
      • Almond Paste Peach Pits in Sugar Plate Chariots
      • Fresh Fruit

    • Greco-Roman Feast Menu and Recipes

    October 2003 - Great Western War - Iron Chef Competition

    The Great Western War Iron Chef Competition is organized by Mistress Selene Colfox. In it, two teams each make a meal, every dish featuring the "secret" ingredient. The judges are mostly people who have contributed a small amount of money for the honor, so that Selene can reimburse the teams for their expenses.

    I was asked to be on the West Kingdom team, head by Duchess Berengaria. In 2003 the secret ingredient was apples.

    I drove down with friends. Since someone else was driving, I was able to read through a number of cookbooks, flagging suitable recipes.

    When i met up with Berengaria, she told me that the door on her camper shell had popped open on the freeway and the basket with the recipes she had found and a couple of her cookbooks had fallen out.

    I became de facto team head, since I had the cookbooks and had recently read the recipes. I had not planned anything in particular as I was only going to assist and I had thought my recipes would just augment what Berengaria had found. Baroness Eilis and Vigdis (soon to be Mistress) peeled, chopped, sliced and diced. Bera and I cooked, with the assistance of a Caidan man - Aeduin of Skye i think. We cooked from un-redacted Medieval recipes - just as they were written.

    I had not understood that we were presenting a meal and had just thought we were supposed to cook as many recipes as possible in the 4 hours we were allotted. The other team had been involved in previous Iron Chef competitions and had planned a lovely meal, with many of the recipes those they had prepared previously for various events. Iron Chef Team West managed to prepare 18 dishes! With Eilis, Vigdis, and Bera garnishing and organizing the dishes, I presented our feast to the judges. The competition was close, but WE WON!

    All recipes were period, coming from sources as diverse as Byzantium, Germany, France, and al-Andalus. Unfortunately, due to the situation, I do not have the recipes to present here. I can try to reconstruct the menu, if someone expresses interest.



    Back to Top

    Feasts 2002

    5 April 2002 - Mists Spring Coronet - Iron Chef Cook-Off

    Because the Iron Chef dinner at the Principality of the Mists Fall Investiture ended in a tie, there was a tie-breaker at The Principality of the Mists Spring Coronet. The dishes Euriol and I made were served only to the High Table. This time I selected a Near Eastern dish from The 13th Century Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook.

    I won...


    August 2002 - Purgatorio Coronation - Casbah! Middle Eastern Feast

    West Kingdom Purgatorio is the event at which the second of our three annual sets of kings and queens is crowned. Because of the extreme fire hazard, only propane stoves were allowed, and only on one particular parking lot. Duke Fabian had an idea - create a feast and encourage people to stay on site and keep the atmosphere festive. I created the menu and provided the recipes. Duke Fabian and his lovely lady Eliska took me shopping for the ingredients.

    Duke Fabian made 600 meatballs from my recipe. I cooked most of the food because i don't test my recipes and if there's something odd i can fix it. So the week of the event, I cooked the tagine, the face of the couscous, and the tharidah, and prepared the mustard sauce, the cucumbers, and the koshaf for 150 people in my home kitchen. Ivan Ivanovich ot Strelsov baked the K'ak and the Irnin from my recipes, and there were a number of helpful people at the event who helped make the couscous, the tabbouleh, and the cinnamon oranges, as well as heating up the frozen tagine and tharidah, and serving the food to the hungry populace.

    • Purgatorio Casbah!, a description of the event and recipes:
      • The Main Dishes:
        • Couscous
        • Seven Vegetable Tagine
        • The Face of the Couscous, spiced onion and raisin sauce
        • 9th century White Tharidah of al-Rashid
      • Additional Dishes:
        • 13th century Andalusian Meatballs
        • 13th century Andalusian Almond-Mustard-Honey Sauce
        • Abbasid Cucumbers
        • modern Tabouleh
      • The Desserts: 14th century K'ak ring-shaped cookies
        • 14th century Irnin date bars
        • Moroccan Cinnamon Oranges
        • Egyptian Koshaf Fruit Compote

    September 2002 - Principality of the Mists Bardic Competition - Mediterranean Tour Feast

    Conchobhar, the outgoing bard and autocrat had the idea of different food in each course. To have the food tied together i picked Mediterranean cultures - Spain, Italy, and the Near East - and dishes that featured ingredients brought to Europe by the Arabs. Also at the Bard's request, i made modern baklava... I used a Syrian recipe that was absolutely fabulous.

    • Mists Bardic Menu, a description of how the menu came about, how i organized the kitchen, and recipes:
      • The Hors d'oeuvre Course:
        • Bread - mix of sourdough bread and dinner rolls
        • Butter - unsalted
        • Mostly Period Cheese Plate: emmenthaler, fontina, munster, provolone
        • Carrot Paste - Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook
        • Meatballs - Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook
        • Sinab - Almond-Honey-Mustard Sauce - Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook
        • Almond-stuffed Prosciutto-wrapped Dates - Catalan
        • Steamed Asparagus - asparagus tossed with olive oil, vinegar, salt - Italian (Apicius, Anthimus, Platina)
      • The Catalan Course:
        • Salmon Casserole - salmon, orange juice, almonds, pine nuts, raisins, galingal, pepper, ginger, saffron, fresh parsley, fresh mint, fresh marjoram - 16th c. Catalan
        • Cazuela Moji -Chard Frittata - eggs, toasted bread crumbs, aged grated cheese, chard, oil, ground coriander seed, caraway, salt, pepper, cloves, ginger, saffron, honey - 16th c. Catalan
        • Escudilla of Millet - 16th c. Catalan
      • The Italian Course:
        • Sommachia - chicken, olive oil, sumac, vinegar, prunes, almonds, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, cloves, salt, saffron - 14th c. Italian
        • Melon Soup - ripe melon, eggs, vegetable broth, saffron - 14th c. Italian
        • Pulentium - Barley Polenta - barley grits, vegetable broth, whole coriander seed, flax seed - Pliny (Roman)
      • The Near Eastern Course: at the Bard's request, several dishes i served as Iron Chef Persian
        • Bustaniyya - chicken, lamb, almonds, peaches, pears, spices - 10th c. Persian
        • Buraniyya - eggplant, yogurt, sesame oil, cinnamon, etc.
        • saffron rice - rice, water, milk, saffron - not-quite-historically accurate Medieval Near Eastern
      • The Dessert Course:
        • Bizcochos - Biscotti - 16th c. Catalan
        • Hypocras - Spiced Wine - 14th c. French - into which to dip the Bizcochos
        • Persicate - Peaches, vegetable broth, almonds, sugar and ginger - 16th c. Catalan
        • Toronjas de Xativa que son Almojavanas - Deep fried ricotta cheese balls with honey - 16th c. Catalan (we ended up not making these, but the recipe is here)
        • Syrian Baqlawa - flaky pastry with sesame seeds, almonds, walnuts, and raisins, topped with pistachios and sugar syrup flavored with rose water, orange flower water, and fresh lemon juice - modern Eastern Mediterranean


    Back to Top

    Feasts 2001

    10 November 2001 - Mists Principality Fall Investiture - Iron Chef Persian

    For The Principality of the Mists Fall Investiture, there was a sort-of Iron Chef, with three teams, each cooking one course of the meal. I offered to help on a team, as i had only been in the SCA about 2-1/2 years and had limited Medieval cooking experience. The event Autocrat asked me to head one team, so i said, "yes". It turned out, we were scheduled to serve the very first course (gulp).

    I chose entirely historical Near Eastern food, most of which was Persian in origin. I was asked to cook some of it again for another feast in 2002.

    • The course I cooked included:
      • Zaitun Mubakhkhar - Smoked Spiced Olives
      • Laimun Safarjali - Persian Lemon-Quince Syrup beverage, made from scratch
      • Sals Abyad - "White Sauce", spiced walnut-sesame butter served with Persian Sangak bread
      • Badhinjan Buran - Princess Buran's Persian Eggplant, cooked in light sesame oil, and pureed with spices and yogurt
      • Bustaniya - Persian "Orchard Dish", of chicken and lamb with pears, peaches, almonds, and spices
      • Arruz - Persian Saffron Rice
        • garnished with cooked garbanzo beans
        • and Rutab Mu'assal - almond-stuffed Honeyed Dates with rosewater
      • And to finish up, al-Mauz - Persian Batter-fried Bananas
      • and finally, Lauzinaj - Persian Phyllo-wrapped marzipan
    • Iron Chef Medieval Persian

    Back to Top

    8 December 2001 - Beacons Gate Boar Hunt - German Feast

    I was the Chief Cook aka Kitchen Steward again for The Province of the Mists Boar Hunt. This time I selected primarily German food, although I filled in with a few English recipes. The German recipes came from three sources, Ein Buch von Guter Spise from the 14th century, Ein Kochbuch von Sabina Welserin, 1553, and Ein Neu Kuchboch von Marx Rumpolt, 1581.

    • From Ein Buch von Guter Spise, 14th century:
      • Cucumbers fresh pickled in white vinegar, honey, anise, caraway, pepper, saffron, mustard
      • Red Cabbage marinated in red wine vinegar, honey, caraway, anise, pepper
      • Chicken and Quinces
      • Rice with Cherries
      • Millet "pone" cooked with almond milk, eggs, bread crumbs, herbs, saffron, butter
      • Swallenberg Sauce - white wine, honey, ginger, pepper, garlic
      • Horseradish Sauce with ground almonds and white wine
    • From Ein Kochbuch von Sabina Welserin, c. 1553:
      • A Sauce for Venison or Pig - white wine, cherry syrup, Lebkuchen (gingerbread), apples, almonds, spices, currants, raisins, vinegar
      • Beef Tongue in a sauce of apples, onions, raisins, and spices
      • Spiced Dried Green Pea Soup with additional ideas from English, and French recipes
    • From Ein Neu Kochbuch von Marx Rumpolt, c. 1581:
      • Chopped Lemons & Pomegranate seeds with sugar (a big hit)
      • Beets marinated with horseradish, red wine, cider vinegar, coriander, caraway, anise
      • Root Turten, a pie of spiced and buttered turnips, parsnips, carrots
      • Bitter Seville Orange Sauce with cinnamon, sugar, rosewater
      • Sweet and Savory Spinach
      • Lentils with herbs and bacon
    • From late 14th century English Forme of Curye:
      • Sallat, mixed greens and fresh herbs dressed in oil and vinegar - used because the German recipes were similar, but vaguer,
      • Funges, spiced mushrooms in broth - used because at the time i couldn't find any German mushroom recipes (which led to me translating 23 German mushroom recipes, below)
    • From Two Fifteenth Century English Manuscripts:
      • Brawn in Peverade, pork stewed in wine with spices
      • Applemoyes, apples pureed with almond milk and spices
      • Char de Wardons, sweet and spicy pears purée
    • From a combination of recipes by Lady Elinor Fettiplace and Sir Kenelm Digbie:
      • Button Mushrooms pickled in white wine vinegar, whole peppercorns, cloves, nutmeg, mace, bay leaves, fresh ginger
    • and the classic Garlic Roast Pork legs

    • The Province of the Mists Boar Hunt Feast Recipes


    Back to Top

    Feasts 2000

    10 December 2000 - Beacons Gate Boar Hunt - My First SCA Period Feast As Head Chef!

    Halfway through my second year in the SCA, I was Chief Cook and Kitchen Steward of my first feast at The Beacons Gate Boar Hunt. While the Shire of Beacon's Gate ceased to exist quite a while ago, the Province of the Mists carries on this popular event.

    There were 24 dishes in the feast - including the bread, cheese plate, and store bought sausages. Here are recipes for 19 of the dishes, all of them documentably historical except the spiced apple cider, from England, France, Italy, and Spain - and i'll tell you, while they're all good, some are absolutely fabulous.

    • two hot drinks
      • spiced apple cider
      • hypocras, Medieval spiced wine, made of grape juice since the site is dry.
    • From the 14th century English Forme of Cury
      • Compost, a sort of Medieval European chutney
      • Chykens in Gravey - chicken cooked in almond milk with ginger
      • Rice cooked in almond milk
      • Funges - that is, mushrooms cooked in broth with complex spices
      • Crustarde Lumbarde, a sweet spiced custard pie with dried fruit;
      • Salat of mixed herbs and greens
      • Frumenty, cracked wheat grains cooked with milk and eggs.
    • From 16th century Spanish sources:
      • Limonada, a lemon sauce served with meat
      • Honey-Horseradish Sauce
      • Garlic Sauce with Walnuts and Almonds
      • Spiced Apple Cider Sauce, reduced to the consistency of honey and the color of cherry amber.
    • From various other 16th century sources:
      • Italian Cabbage with Fennel and Apples
      • French Whole Pears in Crust
      • Elizabethan Buttered Onions and Apples, a lucious sweet and pungent dish, perked with cinnamon.
    • From the mid-17th century French cooking master, La Varenne:
      • Turnips in Mustard Sauce
    • And a couple Boar Hunt classics:
      • Roast Pork with garlic, succulent and delicious, there wasn't a scrap left over.
      • Gingered Apples, invented at the first Beacon's Gate Boar Hunt. This is my own variation on the theme, made with candied ginger.

    • The Menu and Recipes with the original sources and modern recipes.

    Back to Top

    Medieval Near Eastern and Other Recipes

    • 9th c. - Bawarid: Two Cold Chicken Dishes rather like chicken salad, from 9th Century Baghdad, capital of the 'Abbasid Empire.

    • 13th c. - Chicken Covered with Walnuts and Saffron from the century Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook, with my worked out version. This is very delicious and well worth the effort.

    • 13th c. Andalusian lamburgers, A Type of Ahrash Called Isfîriyâ, with vinaigrette.

    • 13th c. Andalusian Lamtûniyya, fowl dressed with sauce and garnishes.

    • 14th c. - Four Arabic Dishes for Lent, from a chapter titled What Monks and Christians Eat in Lent in the Book of the Description of Familiar Foods.

    • Three Medieval Near Eastern Recipes that you can even cook at a camping event.

    • 14th c. - Ambrogino - a luscious and succulent Italian dish of chicken cooked with dried fruit and spices, which may reflect Arabic influence.

    • 14th - 16th c. - 23 German Mushroom Recipes - My translations of recipes from a number of 14th to 16th century cookbooks, graciously sent to me by Thomas Gloning. With thanks to Gwen Cat for looking over my first eight translations, and really big thanks to Giano, a German who writes impeccable English, for looking over all my translations. I also want to thank several people, mostly German, who have e-mailed me to help identify some of the mushrooms in these recipes. I have incorporated most (if not all) of their helpful hints.



    Back to Top

    Food Related Articles

    • Fine Spice Powders - A very slightly revised version of an entry in a 2004 West Kingdom Arts and Sciences competition. I document and give recipes for eight blends from 1324 to 1607, as well as a mid-17th century recipe - including my own translations of all recipes originally in Medieval and Renaissance French.

    • GREEN SAUCES & VARIATIONS - 24 different recipes from France, England, Italy, Spain, and Germany from 3 centuries, compared, plus charts of commonly used ingredients and the uncommon.
      Green Sauce is a blend of green herbs, usually parsley and sometimes other herbs, with vinegar or verjus, often thickened with bread. It was usually so thick that bits of meat were dipped into and swirled in the sauce. I think green sauce is especially delicious with fowl, good with pork, and also good on fish. These sauces are so flavorful, lively and refreshing! I highly recommend Green Sauce.

    • CAMELINE SAUCE & VARIATIONS - 19 recipes from 5 centuries, from Scandinavia, England, France, Italy, and Spain, uncooked, cooked, and one either way.
      Cameline Sauce neither looks like a camel, nor contains camels, nor is it a sauce for camels. It is essentially a thick cinnamon flavored purée into which bits of roasted or boiled meats were dipped for additional flavor, taking its name from a word for cinnamon, "canel", with a shift from "n" (Caneline) to "m".

    • From two 13th c. Arabic language cookbooks - I counted all the spices, herbs, and other seasonings and flavorings used in all the savory recipes in two 13th century Arabic cookbooks. I wanted to get some idea of the frequency that certain seasonings were used. This was quite a bit of work, and it has produced interesting results:
      A Fragrant 13th Century Spice Box of Andalusia
      A Fragrant 13th Century Spice Box of al-Baghdadi
      The Two Spice Boxes Compared

    • An Annotated Bibliography of SCA-period Near and Middle Eastern cookbooks

    • Links to Near and Middle Eastern Cuisine

    Back to Top

    Cookbooks I Host

    I also host several cookbooks translated by some friends of mine.

    Three Fifteenth Century German Cookbooks

    Translations by a native German, known in the SCA as Giano Balestriere, of three German language cookbooks. He gave permission for these books to be housed on several sites, but here in Dar Anahita, typos have been corrected and he and i consulted to improve a few uncertain words.

    1. Cookbook of Master Eberhard (Das Kochbuch des Meisters Eberhard), cook to Duke Henry of Landshut
      Mid-15th century South German.

    2. Cookbook found in the Archive of the Teutonic Order (Ein Kochbuch aus dem Archiv des Deutschen Ordens) in Northeastern Germany (modern Polish Baltic coast)
      Belongs firmly in the South/Central High German tradition rather than the Low German one native to the Western Baltic.
      Late 15th c. South/Central High German.

    3. Old Recipes from the Bavarian Inn River Valley (Alte Kochrezepte aus dem bayrischen Inntal)
      Late 15th or 16th C. East Bavarian.

    Back to Top


    Step through the doorway to return to the front of the house.

    the doorway



    Gode Cookery Award


    I enjoy corresponding with other SCA members who have Andalusian, Near or Middle Eastern, or Central Asian personae.


    al-Iwan renovated 05 May 2004, redecorated 18 June 2004, and update 05 September 2011