Redacting recipes

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This topic contains 12 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  BruceHam 2 years, 8 months ago.

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  • #273


    What would be a reasonable challenge for redacting recipes? I’ve mainly been cooking from other people’s redactions but in 2018 I’d like to stretch my skills and go to the original sources.

    I’m thinking several recipes from the Dutch/Flemish period cookbooks, there’s two that I can find online where somebody else has done the translation to modern tekst already (which is cheating to some extend but my old/middle Dutch is not that great): & ). With the end-goal being modern instructions for tasty things (so involving experimenting to find the right conversions for measurements and more elaborate instructions for novice cooks).

    Would this be too much? too little?

  • #275

    I’m not much of a cook nor do I have any experience in recipe redaction so I have no idea of how much work this could involve. The idea of the challenge is that it will take you about a year to complete. How many hours you put into it is up to you, but it should make up a reasonably large portion of the time you would likely otherwise have spent on several other smaller projects in the comming year. So if for example you generally spend 20 hours a week on SCA projects or on cooking as a hobby (not to make sure you get food on the table every day) then I would guess that your challenge will take maybe half of that time spread out over the year. Or if you have at most one hour per week to spend on your SCA and cooking hobby in total then your challenge will probably take at least half or maybe even almost all of those 52 hours in a year. It really is up to you based on what how much time you have and what you feel is a reasonable amount of time to put into this project. But at the same time if you were to say you spend 10 hours a week on SCA cooking but this project will probably take 10 hours in total spread out over the year then I would question how much of a challenge is this really for you.

    I will try to get a bunch of cooking interested people to log in here and give you more useful comments than mine 🙂

  • #276


    Hmm, I did 1 recipe per month last year from ready-made redactions so if I take half of that (ergo 6) (to account for needing additional tries to figure out a version that tastes good for modern day palates and additional complexity trying to identify the actual techniques, some of the recipes I’m thinking about are not much more then a list of ingredients rather) that would be an achievable goal for a year while still being somewhat challenging.

    I have the members of Huys Uylenburgh and the shire of Polderslot who can do regular taste testing and I can bring samples to events that I’m attending (not quite sure which those will be yet however)

  • #278


    Hello! Redacting in the purest and simplest sense is not all that hard; I can usually put together a modern English version of something in Middle English about as fast as I can read it aloud (except when I run into words I completely don’t know). Redacting and testing is another matter; redacting, testing and constructing modern recipes is hard work, the more so because of the occasional difficulty of finding ingredients, choosing suitable substitutions, and so on. Not to mention that many medieval recipes take a long time to cook.

    The following figures are guesswork from experience, rather than anything hard and fast.

    So, assuming that you’re looking at a recipe with ten ingredients, one of which is obscure or difficult to get hold of, and will probably need to have something else substituted for it in your modern rendition, and that the recipe takes about an hour to run through from start to finish, I would estimate that that will take something in the region of 8-10 hours to do. That allows for working out what the ingredients are, finding the obscure one, putting the recipe together 4-5 times to try different quantities, another 2 times to try substitute ingredients for the difficult item, and then writing up a modern-style ingredients-and-steps recipe. It doesn’t allow for the whole thing going wrong, which is going to happen once in a while.

    So take your available hours per week, and divide by 10 (maybe by 7 or 8 if the recipes are generally simpler). That’s the number of recipes you can do properly in a week. Then multiply by about 40, and that will give you what you can do in a year, allowing for a few complete disasters along the way.

  • #279

    Sounds like a lovely idea! I would choose one recipe per month and go as deep as you can get. You can study the recipe, language, ingredients, measures, compare the recipe for other recipes that are similar but from other sources or look how the recipe changes in centuries if can be find in other sources. Going deep you will also learn a lot. Take notes, a lot of notes. For me even with the simplest recipes it takes hours and hours to research and study before I take the recipe to the kitchen with me and test it. For example I just made a simple recipe with only couple of ingredients that aren’t that uncommon. I wrote six pages of notes and it took over ten hours to do all the research I wanted. And best part is that there is still and always much more to learn :). Good luck and go for it!

  • #285


    From aodhosiadhail & Mistress Eva Grelsdotter’s comments I gether I can do about 10 recipes in a year. I think I’ll focus on things that are called ‘koek’ either now or then and on things that are called ‘taart’ either now or then’ from the Flemish/Dutch cookbooks. I have access to 3 digitally and the 4th should be in the university library here so I’ll go take a look at that one and then pick 10 recipes and finalise the challenge based on the questions in ‘Planning your Challenge’.

    • #286

      Lia de Thornegge

      I think that sounds reasonable, with the input from cooks 🙂

      Will you be at 12th Night Coronation? Maybe we could have a meeting there to finalize your Challenge and maybe get it launched there.

  • #289


    I will be (and by then the latest loop of the 2017 rollercoaster should have calmed down again :D)

  • #294


    I will recreate 10 recipes for things that are/were called koek or taart (ergo things that would be considered (sweet) baked goods in modern times) from the period Flemish and Dutch cookbooks. Each recipe will be written in such a way that it can be made by modern cooks and published on the huys Uylenburgh blog. Each recipe should at least contain the modern instructions as well as the original version. Ideally, several recipes should have detailed notes about the research process/decisions made.

    By April 1st there should be at least 1 but preferably 3 recipes available
    By July 1st there should be at least 4 but preferably 6 recipes available
    By Octobre 1st there should be at least 7 but preferably 9 recipes available
    By January 1st there should be 10 recipes available.

    I will draft people at events I attend (be they small local things or fancy Kingdom events) into tasting the results to help ensure the recipes are palatable to most people.

    • This reply was modified 4 years, 8 months ago by  Yda.
  • #330


    I posted this to the fb group last week, I thought it might be usefull to add it here as well. A halfway-through summary:

    5 recipes posted, 4 to go. (The final one will be a newyears thing that I’m keeping till December to post but I’ve figured out the recipe).

    I have one recipe that I didn’t manage to make something tasty out of so far, I’m thinking about giving up on that one.

    I’ve learned how to make 1 type of piecrust; still struggling with the 2nd one but once I have that one down I can try to get the crust mentioned in some of the recipes working as well.

    I’ve learned how to comb through modern recipes to find out the workings of something there’s only notions of in the manuscript.

    I want to do at least 1 more apple pie (something that involves apples cooked in wine). Should do 1 Vladen (seems to be a type of pie with fruits; I have several recipes of Appelvladen, kersvladen, pruimenvlaai,…). I want to try the predecessor of another tarte that is still eaten today (mattentaart) that I found the origin for. Still debating on the last recipe for the list. If I can find Quinces I might try the quince in dough thing to see if it resembles the appelbollen I ate for Christmas as a kid.

  • #340

    Awesome work! I love seeing your updates here and on facebook.

  • #1504

    Having made a box of shrewsbury biscuits for a prize for auction handed over at Ostara in March the idea came about to make a box of medieval biscuits based on different times and eras and present at least dozen biscuits that are period
    I know how to make shrewsbury and Marchpane

    I intend to research 12 biscuits one per month
    The idea is to find a recipe that I like and get the different ingredients together and spend a day experimenting
    I know from making the Shrewsbury that finding the right texture that keep shape takes a lot of experimenting
    I expect it to be the same for others
    Using flavors is another
    issue and tracking some of the ingredients may also be problematic but we will try
    I intend using cookbooks if possible and archaeological finds
    I also intend to be inclusive
    So at the end of the year there should be something for everyone
    Gluten free
    Dairy free
    Lactose free if possible

    I intend to show the changes to accommodate allergies
    My other interest lies in making cordials
    So seasonal cordials based on hedgerow and herbs in season
    I am not a drinker and except for two people which one person especially made me a rose water cordial I would like to make 4 to 6 cordials from cookbooks to accompany the biscuits would be a nice refreshment to offer fighters or fencers who need energy
    Shrewsbury are regarded as a biscuit for travelers
    Having two more biscuits used to feed weary traveler would be great
    Making three biscuits that mature with time would mean they could be used for largess once properly sealed
    So research and experimentation would equate time wise to a minion of day and half a month
    The cordials I would like to try using honey firstly as sweetener and followed by same version using sugar
    I have a selection of cookbooks to begin with and have been promised by worthy Aodh a lesson in how to research using the museums
    And what to look for
    At the end of this I entendres to have a box of biscuits worthy of the title medieval biscuits and improved and learnt how to improve research
    So I think that it for now
    Any questions will try to answer thank you
    Maedhbh Rois Ineagh Ui Chaoimh

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