Category Archives: Reviews

A review is an evaluation of a publication, such as a movie, video game, musical composition, book, or a piece of hardware like a car, appliance, or computer. In addition to a critical statement, the review’s author may assign the work a rating to indicate its relative merit. More loosely, an author may review current events or items in the news.

The Edible Monument

Not sure if you out there in cyberspace have seen Ivan May’s great blog or his recent post on “Joke Food” or not. If so, I would strongly suggest giving it a look if you are into illusion foods and learning about some fun things to make with sugar paste, marzipan and the like.

Also, there is a great resource for illusion foods and displays at the Getty called The Edible Monument. Check that one out if you love historical festival research, sugar sculpture info, cookbooks and table setting info… just a lot of great cooking stuff.

Both links have been added to my links sections for reference.


West Coast Culinary Symposium February 10, 2012 to February 12, 2012

Last weekend was the West Coast Culinary Symposium. It was in Northern California, Marin County I believe, Camp Bothin Youth Camp in Fairfax, California. I attended the weekend event and enjoyed it immensely.

There were numerous classes held on historical cooking, taught by many knowledgeable teachers, some including live demos (and tasting of much nummy food). The unfortunate thing was there wasn’t enough time in the day to take all the classes I would have wanted plus sometimes there were classes being held at the same time as others I wanted to be at. So, alas, I needed to pick one and stick to it.

I had taken some photos of the event, the site, the people and the classes, in which I posted to Flickr. Here is the slideshow of all the photos over here for you all to enjoy. I’ll put in a few shots here for you to see if you don’t want to really click thru to Flickr.

Next year the symposium will be up in An Tir and in 2014, CAID will hopefully be hosting it. I look forward to the next ones. If you get a chance to go and want to learn more about historic cooking (from 500BC to roughly 1650CE) you should go.

My Lord of Carlisle’s Sack-Posset

Written by: Mistress Huette

Take a pottle of Cream, and boil in it a little whole Cinnamon, and three or four flakes of Mace. To this proportion of Cream put in eighteen yolks of eggs, and eight of the whites; a pint of Sack; beat your eggs very well, and then mingle them with your Sack. Put in three quarters of a pound of Sugar into the Wine and Eggs, with a Nutmeg grated, and a little beaten Cinnamon; set the Bason on the fire with the Wine and Eggs, and let it be hot. Then put in the Cream boiling from the fire, pour it on high, but stir it not; cover it with a dish, and when it is settlede, strew on the top a little fine Sugar mingled with three grains of Ambergreece, and one grain of Musk, and serve it up. From Sir Kenelm Digby The Closet (London: 1671)

1 pint cream
18 egg yolks
8 egg whites
1 cup + 1 tsp granulated sugar
1 whole mace
1 stick cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg, grated
1 tsp cinnamon, grated
1 pint cream sherry

Scald the cream in a pan with the whole mace and stick cinnamon. Beat egg whites until frothy. Beat egg yolks until lemon colored. Fold in together and then fold in one cup sugar and grated spices. Remove mace and cinnamon from cream. Temper eggs with a bit of cream, then mix the cream and egg mixture together continually beating all the time. Place over a medium-low heat and cook until mixture coats the back of a metal spoon. Remove from heat and add the sherry. Pour into posset pots and let cool somewhat, allowing it to settle/separate. Sprinkle one tsp sugar on top of all and serve. I have deliberately left off the ambergris and the musk, as I don’t like the taste, they are hard to find, and are expensive. This posset tastes just fine without them.

A well made posset was said to have three different layers. The uppermost, known as ‘the grace’ was a snowy foam or aerated crust. In the middle was a smooth spicy custard and at the bottom a pungent alcoholic liquid. The grace and the custard were enthusiastically consumed as ‘spoonmeat’ and the sack-rich liquid below drunk through the ‘pipe’ or spout of the posset pot. At weddings a wedding ring was sometimes thrown into the posset. It was thought that the person who fished it out would be the next to go to the altar.

The Oxford English Dictionary, Second Edition, defines posset as a drink composed of hot milk curdled with ale, wine, or other liquor, often with sugar, spices, or other ingredients; formerly much used as a delicacy, or as a remedy for colds or other affections. Its use predates Digby by a couple hundred years; it was referenced in the mid-1400s by J. Baker’s Boke of Nurture. It said, Milke, crayme, and cruddes, and eke the Ioncate, they close a mannes stomake and so doth the possate. (Translation: Milk, cream, and curds, and also the junket, they close a man’s stomach, and so does the posset.)