Skip to main content


Dent-de-lion- The Dandelion - Buttered Wortes (Buttered Greens) & Joutes (Braised Spring Greens with Bacon)

“What is a weed? A plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerso Family: Asteraceae Usage: Culinary, Medical Whether you are referring to the dandelion as blowball, lion's tooth, cankerwort, fairy clock, priest's crown, wild endive or pissabed, you are referring to a plant that has long been known for its culinary and medicinal properties. One of the earliest known greens, and a common and misaligned flower, dandelion's make very good eating and were not unknown in period. The official name is Taraxacum officinale, which is a derivative of the Arabic tarakhshaquin, "wild chicory" or "bitter herb", and also refers to "wild endive". In Latin, the plant was referred to as Dens Leonis, the Greeks referred to it as Leotodum. The Welsh refer to it as Dant y Llew as early as the 13th century. The French, the dent-de-lion, and the English gave it the name we are now familiar with--the dandelion. European dandelions we

SCA Feast - Coronation Feast of Cadogan and AnnMarie September 27, 2014

This feast marked my return to cooking in the SCA.  It was the most comprehensive of the banquets I have put together, and the one I am proudest of.  I would not have been able to pull this off it were not for those who volunteered to help, including those who helped prepare ahead of time, the day of, and the many individuals who helped with cleaning up afterwords (and who got to take home prizes of their own). Unfortunately, there is only one photo saved from the feast itself, and that is the partially assembled subteltie.  However, as I experimented and perfected several of the recipes, I did take pictures and will include them where appropriate. The subteltie was a hollow fondant dragon egg, surrounded by rondels of sugar paste painted in baronial colors.  When the egg was lifted, inside were dragons made of milk chocolate. It was surrounded by fresh herbs and flowers from my garden. Recipes From the Coronation Feast of Cadogan and AnnMarie September 27, 2014 Bronwyn Ni

Sugar Plate

This past week I have worked with varying degrees of success with the “Sugar Plate” recipe from Constance Hieatt’s “Pleyn Delit”. What I have learned is that a digital thermometer, although a bit more expensive is definitely worth the investment. I have also learned that the success of your sugar cooking is directly related to your thermometers ability to tell you the correct temp, or your own ability to use water to determine which stage sugar is t  at. After two unsuccessful attempts at cooking the sugar to the hard crack height recommended in “Pleyn Delit” and testing using the water method, both of which resulted in a soft gummy like candy--I bought a thermometer. The third attempt was successful at producing clear amber colored hard candy with violet leaves floating in it. The process is very simple. Take approximately two cups of sugar, 2 tablespoons of rosewater and add enough water to wet all of the sugar through. The amount of water you add is dependen

Violet Syrup

Green, Magenta and Lavender Violet Syrup Violet syrup is historically one of the most common ways to prepare violets. It has been used to ease coughs, congestion and sore throats. The preparation of violet syrup has not changed over the centuries. To make your own violet syrup, you will want to pick the deepest colored violets you can find. They are easy to harvest by simply sliding your fingers up the stem and plucking off the head. Surprisingly, you will need to pick about twice as many violets as you expect to in order to obtain dark colored syrup. Many North American varieties of violets do not have a fragrance, this is ok. They syrup is lovely to look at, and is refreshing to taste. An interesting fact to take note of, violet syrup will turn magenta if you add an acid to it (lime or lemon juice), and it will turn green if you add an alkaline to it (rose water). Violets were used to test alkaline or acid before the invention of litmus paper. Naturally, I also had to pla