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 diner’s perspective!

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:
  • 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.

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