Who Are These Crazy People And What Are They Doing With All That Food?
Who We Are:
The Stewpot is an unofficial group of cooks and their friends who are dedicated
to the practice and promotion of pre-seventeenth century cookery in the
SCA Kingdom of the Outlands. We don’t have any formal entrance requirements.
Anyone who wishes to learn more about period cookery is welcome to come
and have fun with us, even if you’re only interested in cooking from the
What We’re Doing:
Feeding you, of course! Many of us have a near-pathological fear that someone,
somewhere, at an event, hasn’t gotten enough to eat. There are supermodels
starving in Caid, after all! But we want to do more than just that:
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We want to give the populace of the Outlands opportunities to sample the
delights of period foods. A lot of folks have the mistaken impression that
people in the SCA’s period only ate turnips, entrails, rotting meat, and
other nasty things. Yes, there are indeed recipes for the first two in
primary sources, but there are lots more recipes for lots of other things,
too. And some of them are pretty yummy! (You know, properly prepared, even
a turnip can be pretty tasty.)
As far as the myth of the rotting meat goes, we’re still not quite sure
how that got started. Maybe it’s just because everybody’s high school English
Literature teacher said so (I know mine did!). If you’re interested in
learning more, our section titled, "Fact or Fiction:
Myths About Period Cookery," exposes this and other common myths about
food in the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
So we would like a chance to show people the yummy side of period cookery,
foods like Mushroom Cheese Tarts, Savory Toasted Cheese and Asparagus,
Crustade of Tame Creatures, and Losyns. We plan to provide samples of these
and many other period dishes at upcoming events, so that people can try
just a bite or two of something "risk free". That way, if you don’t like
it, you’re not stuck eating a whole serving of it, and if you want more
... recipes will be available. As with modern foods, not everything will
be to everyone’s liking; however, we’re sure we can find dishes to tempt
even those with fussy palates!
We wish to provide resources and assistance to new cooks and cooks new
to period cookery. As a cook, have you ever wanted to try a period recipe,
but you just can’t make heads or tails out of "Take Conyng or Kydde and
smyte hem on pecys raw. and frye hem in white grece"? Or you have no idea
where to find ingredients such as cubebs and verjuice? Luckily, you’re
not alone! Other members of The Stewpot have "been there and done that,"
and know some of the answers to your questions and can help by pointing
out some of the common pitfalls.
We want to continue to expand our knowledge of the subject through research
and experimentation. New resources are constantly being made available
via the World Wide Web; as a group, we can evaluate them more effectively.
We have barely begun to scratch the surface of many period sources, and
we think that diving into them together sounds like an enjoyable way of
tackling a sometimes daunting task. And, of course, we will share what
we’ve learned via this website and other forums.