English Cookbooks

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To the King’s Taste


So this book was gifted to me over Yule.  I have to admit I was a bit surprised only because the woman who gifted me with the book no longer plays in the SCA but as far as I knew had no interest when she was in the SCA for medieval cooking.  I didn’t even know she had the book in her library.  I guess stranger things happen.

So the book is actually a thin cookbook with a bit of history and Lorna Sass own take on the recipes.  There is an original recipe, a translation and then her redactions.  I like the first two portions; however I always prefer to do my own redactions.  If mine are truly horrible…then I might go back and go “Hmm…maybe this would be a better idea instead.”

An A for historic information included and an A for the recipes included.  There aren’t many (less than 50) but the ones included are tasty and/or informative.  I suggest this book for those who adore English Cookery.


December 29, 2015 | No comments

This book is as period as you can get with out actually going back a few centuries or so.  Yet it is one of my least favorite books.  Now this isn’t because the recipes are period…it’s because I have issues with reading regular English that Ye Ole Inglysch plays havoc with my brain.

The book I had hoped to purchase instead was Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books: however being out of print, Curye on Inglysch was the one I had to settle on.  The book Two Fifteenth-Century, or books bound into one, actually were based or/and have basis from Curye on Inglysch.  Making CoI the protozoa of English medieval cookbooks.

This book requires knowing and understanding old English to get any sort of comprehension of what and how to do one dish.  This book is very good as a reference and to start biting into original period recipes…but don’t try this one with out a few other recipes/books under your belt first.  This is NOT a beginners book.  Period wise  this book is awesome…cooking wise, I’m going to have to say D-.



So these are the English cookbooks I have.  These are only a few of a good period English cooking library.   These are definitly good for thumbing through for both ideas and for recipes/ingredients/how to in period.

The English Housewife. This book is very good for a look into a period household for common every day pieces of information on cooking, gathering, planting ect.  The recipes are with out measurement, so lots of experimentation is to be done.

Take a Thousand Eggs or More. I adore this 2 pack set of books.  Great original recipes in old English.  There is the author’s translation and recipe measurements, which you can either follow or experiment with.  Great for any level of cook.

The Medieval Kitchen. I like this one…the old English is translated in to modern so there is probably a slight drift (but not to much) from the original wording. There are measurements for these recipes to either copy directly from when cooking or take as…guidelines.  Another great book for any level cook.

Pleyn Delit: Medieval Cookery for Modern Cooks. I like this cookbook.  It’s not nearly as polished as say Take a Thousand eggs but the recipes are still very good as well as a bit of extra on history and Subtleties.  There are measurements so that any one can follow as well as the original recipe and a translation.  A good cookbook.

English Royal Cookbook. This one is not one of my favorites though it does provide dates for recipes and measurements.  There is not an original recipe just the writer’s words.  The historic part is interesting.  This is an ok book, worth having in the library but it will not be as well thumbed as others.

Fabulous Feasts. This book has really fun information and great pictures.  The references at the end of the book are incredible!  The recipes in this book do not list an original recipe.  This a great secondary source but not good for a primary source.

The Gourmet’s Guide 1580-1660. This is a small pamphlet, with a little history and a lot of recipes.  Each recipe has an original recipe, ingredients then the author’s redaction.  Not a bad little pamphlet.  Good references.  Definitely something to keep an eye out for and to acquire.