On the 12th of January I cooked my fourth feast for my local canton’s event, the Feast of St Sylvester. This one though was extra special. The menu for this feast was almost two and a half years in the making. Back in the summer of 2016 I found a website that sparked this idea. This site contained the text of two Dutch manuscripts from the mid – late 15th century which had been translated from Middle Dutch, to Modern Dutch, and then into English by Christianne Muusers. They were 15th century Dutch recipe books (my SCA persona is 14th-15th century Dutch) and I couldn’t find more than a handful of the recipes that had been recreated and published online anywhere else.
The first manuscript, Wel ende edelike spijse, contains 62 recipes. The second, The convolute Gent KANTL 15, contains 92 recipes in the first volume and 150 in the second volume. A total of 304 recipes to choose from! Some had ingredients that were impossible or extremely difficult to get, some had unclear cooking instructions, and some were repetitive. There were three recipe variations just for wafers. Of the eleven recipes that I ended up choosing only three had recreations that I could find online: wafers, onions with cumin sauce, and the fried gouda.
My favorite dish was definitely the stewed quince although the stuffed apples come in a firm second. Everything seemed to go over really well and some of the dishes surprised me, like the onions of which hardly any came back to the kitchen during cleanup. If you would like to learn more about my menu and try some of the recipes yourself please take a look at my Netherlands Feast documentation.
I want to thank my kitchen staff and servers again as well. Many of them stepped in to volunteer when my mom ended up in the hospital the weekend before. Putting together so much food is a production and every willing hand helps to lighten the load for all.