Treasure Trove of Benefits and Variety at the Table – A fourteenth century Egyptian Cookbook – Review

There’s an exciting new translation of a 14th century Egyption Cookbook. It’s the first time it’s been fully translated into English.  What’s even more fascinating is that the author takes the time to talk about things that aren’t mentioned a great deal in the usual European sources. 

It talks specifically about how to make bread (delicious bread, which uses milk instead of water) and about various egg recipes. (A few European sources mention eggs briefly, but mostly to say that everyone knows about eggs so there’s no need to talk about it). It specifically talks about the kind of wood that a cook should use “pick dry firewood, which does not create a great deal of smoke due to it’s wetness, such as olive or dry oak. Wood of oleander and trees with milky sap and the like must be avoided, as should firewood from the fig tree and any wood high in moisture”. And there’s an entire chapter on incenses.

Nawal Nasrallah is a fantastic translator. The book is extremely informative without being too dry. (Nasrallah uses the index and glossary to go super in depth about the translation and to talk specifically about why particular translations should be used which is also extremely instructional.)

Overall, this is an excellent collection to anyone’s medieval cookbook collection.

There’s a few pictures and figures from 14th century sources scattered throughout the book, to help illustrate various points. Including an ancient Egyption hand mixer, glass beakers, and bronze perforated incense burners.

There is also 22 modern adapations of some of the recipes in the appendix, complete with beautiful food photography. Dried apricot stew looks pretty good!

Buy it now on Book Depository

Publisher’s Blurb

The fourteenth-century Egyptian cookbook, Kanz al-fawā’id fi tanwí al-mawāid, is a treasure trove of 830 recipes of dishes, digestives, refreshing beverages, and more. Here, for the first time, it has been meticulously translated into English and supplemented with a comprehensive introduction, glossary, illustrations, and twenty-two modern adaptations of its recipes.

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Mainly Medieval Online Store Down for Maintenance

Greetings gentle readers,

We have exciting news. The time has come to undertake a major upgrade of the Mainly Medieval website! To facilitate this, we will be switching off the online store section of the website and stock will only be available for sale at events such as St Ives Medieval Faire. The calendar and our blog and Facebook will continue as normal with fresh posts and interesting snippets, and we will keep you all updated on progress.

For those customers with orders currently in progress or with back orders, we will, of course, continue to process these and keep you updated.

We are really looking forward to the changes that are occurring and we thank you in advance for your patience as we work towards the new Mainly Medieval incarnation.

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Waterproofing seams in a canvas tent

We’ve just had a workshop day for Mainly Medieval, going through and seeing what tasks need to be done.

We had noticed at the last event that the old Burgundian tent (about 8 years old now) was starting to leak water in from it’s seams. So time to fix that up, books hate rain!

We used a mix of beeswax and distilled pine resin (aka pine turpentine), which meant that the beeswax was easy to work with.

Take a small scoop, rub it into the seam and burnish it into the seams with a piece of leather (or with fingers).

Read More…

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June 2017 News

Greetings Gentle Readers,

We’re back from Blacktown Medieval Fair and would like to say thank you to all the lovely people who came over to say hello. The event was great fun in a beautiful location and the Blacktown Council crew were as amazing as ever.

Read More…

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April 2017 News

Greetings Gentle Readers,

Rowany Festival in Mittagong is only one week away! For those able to attend, we will be setting up our shingle in the kitchen hall on the Saturday market day, from 9.00am to 12.00pm. Pre-orders can be picked up from our stall during this time.

Do come and say hello and check out the latest arrivals we will have available for sale. These include the most recent Compleat Anachronists, the ‘B’ pendant from Steve Millingham, bejeweled ring brooches and the debut of the Queen of Hungary water 2017 vintage and Gentleman’s beard pomade from Medieval Still Room.

Easter falling within this month, we suspend our study into appropriate medieval Saints. There is no doubt that this was and remains one of the greater holidays in the Christian world, even if there is a lot more chocolate in the modern world.

Until next time, we bid you good reading!

Loreena, Roxy, Paul and Elden

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February 2017 News

Greetings Gentle Readers,

Our sincere apologies – January slipped past and February is here. We have been busy rebuilding stocks, placing orders and researching new and interesting products from local Artisans. This year we hope to expand our library of instructional pdfs, as well as book and product reviews and more events.

 

Feast Day for February

This month in the medieval calendar one of the many martyrs celebrated is St Valentine on February 14th. Yet mystery still abounds; which St Valentine? There were no less than 3 Valentines martyred and celebrated for their heroic love to their fellow man and all three were celebrated on this date.Nor was the exchange of gifts between couples actually a part of the St Valentines celebration. From literary sources such as Chaucer and the Paston letters, we learn that showing love and affection on this particular date was almost co-incidental, and secular in nature. A common belief held in England and France throughout the period was that birds of every kind, began to pair on February 14th. Thus it was seen as an auspicious day for people to celebrate and show their love.Today we celebrate St Valentine’s day with cards, chocolates and flowers. Flowers and letters of affection also figured largely during the medieval period along with small tokens such as pewter badges depicting hearts, flowers and other symbols of earthly as well as divine love.

A Medieval Token of Affection for the Feast of St Valentine

Popinjay Badge

Should you wish to show your loved one a lasting token of your affection with something a little different, may we suggest our range of replica medieval pewter pins and badges? Order before Feb 7th and these tokens will arrive beautifully presented in elegant white packaging, ready for the big day.

Until next time, we bid you good reading!

–Loreena, Roxy, Paul and Elden

Image: Birds from De Artes Venandi Cum Avibus, Pal. lat. 1071 21v (Sicily, 1240’s) – http://digi.vatlib.it/view/bav_pal_lat_1071/ Copyright Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana

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Christmas Blog

Beautiful, thoughtful, unusual Christmas gift ideas;

Christmas is upon us with all the joy, excitement and ‘perfect gift’ search panic that it can create. Let us help you find that perfect gift, and more besides.

A book can bring so much pleasure to the bookworm in your life and we have a wide range; from Medieval Cat’s colouring book, to cooking and brewing recipe books. There are books for every budget including subjects such as gardening and philosophy, all the way to the magnificent leather-bound facsimiles such as In Service to the Duke.

To further help ease the search we have put together a variety of excellent value gift packs, beautifully presented and ready for the Christmas tree. These limited edition collections can be found under ‘A Christmas Wish List’ and include;

· Deluxe Pamper Pack – from the lovely ladies at the Medieval Still Room, a sample collection containing the fragrance which graced the Queens of Europe, a velvety balm to indulge the skin, and a clear lip balm as sweet as honey for the lips;

· Dilettante’s Card Game set – contained within a drawstring bag, a period replica card deck; a pouch containing 12 pewter jettons and a conveniently pouch sized book containing rules for the many popular card games played in period;
· Elegant personal wash set; snugly packed within a drawstring bag, a double sided timber comb, a tablet of nablis soap, and the softest of hand woven cotton white towel, edged with grey bands and fringing;

Please be advised that to ensure orders (within Australia) arrive before Christmas the last shipping date will be Friday the 16th of December. After this date, we cannot guarantee that orders will reach people in time.

From everyone here at Mainly Medieval, we wish you all a joyous festive season, and a safe and prosperous 2017.

Loreena, Roxy, Elden and Paul.

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Newsflash – October 2016

St Ives has come and gone and October has arrived. Our heartfelt thanks to everyone who visited the shop and attended our lectures at St Ives. We hope you all had a wonderful a time; we certainly enjoyed the event, and look forward very much to going back next year.

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September Newsflash

Greetings Gentle Readers,

Spring has arrived! Our thanks to everyone following our blog and facebook – we love sharing bits of quirky research and interesting links with everyone.

A number of changes have also been implemented to the website, such as the stock lines being offered, along with a bundle of new stock and titles.

Of our home grown suppliers, the Medieval Still Room have increased their offerings of products including a Sleep salve, honey amber, and the 2016 release of the Queen of Hungary Water, and the 2016 Yule tide incense in cone form. Further, the popular clear lip balm is being released in modern lip balm twist tubes as well as the normal containers; so now you can take this gentle medieval lip balm with you everywhere.

Regards older stock lines; unfortunately, we have had to remove belt mounts from our catalogue due to difficulty with supply. Rest assured, we’re doing our best to ensure that orders already made are being completed. Once we can secure a reliable supply we will bring back a range of belt mounts.
Our next upcoming event is St Ives Medieval faire on the 24th and 25th of September. If you are near St Ives or travelling close by it’s well worth a visit, and we will be showcasing our latest products as well as the classics. Please note; for those wanting to collect orders at the Fair, your orders need to be in the by the 10th of September.

Until next time, we bid you good reading!

Loreena, Roxy, Paul and Elden

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August Newsflash

Greetings Gentle readers,

Just a brief letter this month; The move into the new warehouse is finally complete and the great unpack has begun. While we are continuing to operate, sadly it is a little slower until the unpacking is finished and we apologise for any inconvenience.

During the interim, why not look through posts on the blog? This is where we have our latest reviews, post interesting and amusing snippets from the past, and links to useful resources and information on the maintenance of gear.

Until next time, we bid you all – good reading!

Paul, Elden, Loreena and Roxy.

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