Log in

Jadwiga's Burrow

> recent entries
> calendar
> friends
> My Website
> profile
> previous 20 entries

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016
9:48 pm - A few articles of interest
E. Cristiani, V. Dimitrijević, S. Vitezović, Fishing with lure hooks at the Late Neolithic site of Vinča – Belo Brdo, Serbia, Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 65, January 2016, Pages 134-147, ISSN 0305-4403, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2015.11.005.
Keywords: Neolithic; Vinča Culture; Fish-hooks; Bone technology; Use-wear and residues analysis; Prehistoric fishing practices

Willy Tegel, Bernhard Muigg, Ulf Büntgen, The wood of Merovingian weaponry, Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 65, January 2016, Pages 148-153, ISSN 0305-4403, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2015.11.011.
Keywords: Early Middle Ages; Merovingian weaponry; Mineralised wood; Wood anatomy

(comment on this)

Monday, December 7th, 2015
12:45 pm - saying for the day...
"Oh look it's bureaucracy. Clearly I must use four letter words."

(1 comment | comment on this)

Monday, November 30th, 2015
10:11 am - Citations of interest from Journal of Archaeological Science
Heide Wrobel Nørgaard, Metalcraft within the Nordic Bronze Age: Combined metallographic and superficial imaging reveals the technical repertoire in crafting bronze ornaments, Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 64, December 2015, Pages 110-128, ISSN 0305-4403, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2015.10.005.
Keywords: Bronze Age metalwork; Individual traces in crafting; Technological traditions; Metallography; Skilled craftspeople

Carl Heron, Oliver E. Craig, Alexandre Luquin, Valerie J. Steele, Anu Thompson, Gytis Piličiauskas, Cooking fish and drinking milk? Patterns in pottery use in the southeastern Baltic, 3300–2400 cal BC, Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 63, November 2015, Pages 33-43, ISSN 0305-4403, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2015.08.002.
Keywords: Southeastern Baltic; Subneolithic; Neolithic; Pottery use; Organic residues; Aquatic resources; Dairy products

Xing Huang, Wei Qian, Wei Wei, Jingning Guo, Naitao Liu, 3D numerical simulation on the flow field of single tuyere blast furnaces: A case study of the Shuiquangou iron smelting site dated from the 9th to 13th century in China, Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 63, November 2015, Pages 44-58, ISSN 0305-4403, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2015.08.009.


Jang-Sik Park, The implication of varying 14C concentrations in carbon samples extracted from Mongolian iron objects of the Mongol period, Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 63, November 2015, Pages 59-64, ISSN 0305-4403, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2015.08.011.
Keywords: Mongolia; Mongol period; Mineral coal; Charcoal; Iron technology; 14C concentration

(comment on this)

Friday, October 30th, 2015
3:34 pm - From the Journal of Archaeological Science

Ian C. Freestone, Ruth E. Jackson-Tal, Itamar Taxel, Oren Tal, Glass production at an Early Islamic workshop in Tel Aviv, Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 62, October 2015, Pages 45-54, ISSN 0305-4403, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2015.07.003.
( http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305440315002253 ) 

AbstractCollapse )

Filomena Gallo, Alberta Silvestri, Patrick Degryse, Monica Ganio, Antonio Longinelli, Gianmario Molin, Roman and late-Roman glass from north-eastern Italy: The isotopic perspective to provenance its raw materials, Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 62, October 2015, Pages 55-65, ISSN 0305-4403, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2015.07.004.

AbstractCollapse )

Sarah Paynter, Thérèse Kearns, Hilary Cool, Simon Chenery, Roman coloured glass in the Western provinces: The glass cakes and tesserae from West Clacton in England, Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 62, October 2015, Pages 66-81, ISSN 0305-4403, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2015.07.006.

AbstractCollapse )

Catherine M. Batt, Magdalena M.E. Schmid, Orri Vésteinsson, Constructing chronologies in Viking Age Iceland: Increasing dating resolution using Bayesian approaches, Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 62, October 2015, Pages 161-174, ISSN 0305-4403, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2015.07.002.

AbstractCollapse )

(comment on this)

11:37 am - Still more Speculum reviews of interest
F. Jamil Ragep and Faith Wallis with Pamela Miller and Adam Gacek, eds., The “Herbal” of al-Ghāfiqī: A Facsimile Edition with Critical Essays. Montreal and Ithaca, NY: McGill–Queen's University Press, 2014. Pp. x, 750; 545 full-page color plates and many color figures. $150. ISBN: 978-0-7735-4475-8.
Mònica Rius-Piniés
Speculum , Volume 90 , Issue 04 , October 2015, pp 1158 - 1160
doi: 10.1017/S003871341500202X (About doi) Published Online on 13th October 2015
[ abstract ]

And more...

Pavel Krafl, Synody a statuta olomoucké diecéze období středověku / Medieval Synods and Statutes of the Diocese of Olomouc. (Práce Historického ústavu AV ČR; Opera Instituti Historici Pragae, Řada B Editiones 10.) Prague: Historický ústav AV ČR, 2014. Pp. 435; 14 tables. CZK210. ISBN: 978-80-7286-220-7.
Lucie Doležalová
Speculum , Volume 90 , Issue 04 , October 2015, pp 1134 - 1135
doi: 10.1017/S0038713415002201 (About doi) Published Online on 13th October 2015
[ abstract ]

". The present volume offers new editions of all the known medieval diocesan and synodal statutes of the diocese of Olomouc (in Moravia, today Czech Republic), that is, ten texts originating between 1253 and 1493 (pp. 247–395). These are supplemented by editions of six other texts pertaining to the synods (396–409): two papal letters (1386 and 1389), two public instruments (1387 and 1388), visitation statutes (1392), and a letter of convocation (probably 1498). "

Jacob Lassner, Jews, Christians, and the Abode of Islam: Modern Scholarship, Medieval Realities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014. Paper. Pp. xviii, 312. $38. ISBN: 978-0-226-47107-5.
Yousef Meri
Speculum , Volume 90 , Issue 04 , October 2015, pp 1141 - 1143
doi: 10.1017/S0038713415002444 (About doi) Published Online on 13th October 2015
[ abstract ]

Anne E. Lester, Creating Cistercian Nuns: The Women's Religious Movement and Its Reform in Thirteenth-Century Champagne. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2011. Pp. xxii, 261; 11 black-and-white figures and 1 map. $46.95. ISBN: 978-0-8014-4989-5.
John Van Engen
Speculum , Volume 90 , Issue 04 , October 2015, pp 1143 - 1145
doi: 10.1017/S0038713415002067 (About doi) Published Online on 13th October 2015
[ abstract ]

Nicole Marafioti, The King's Body: Burial and Succession in Later Anglo-Saxon England. (Toronto Anglo-Saxon Series.) Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014. Pp. xviii, 297; 3 black-and-white figures and 2 tables. $45.50. ISBN: 978-1-4426-4758-9.
Victoria Whitworth
Speculum , Volume 90 , Issue 04 , October 2015, pp 1146 - 1147
doi: 10.1017/S0038713415002468 (About doi) Published Online on 13th October 2015
[ abstract ]

Linda Monckton and Richard K. Morris, eds., Coventry: Medieval Art, Architecture and Archaeology in the City and Its Vicinity. (British Archaeological Association Conference Transactions 33.) Leeds: Maney Publishing in association with Oxbow Books, 2011. Paper. Pp. xx, 362; many black-and-white and 8 color figures. £76. ISBN: 978-1-906540-62-3.
Matthew Reeve
Speculum , Volume 90 , Issue 04 , October 2015, pp 1151 - 1152
doi: 10.1017/S0038713415002006 (About doi) Published Online on 13th October 2015
[ abstract ]
Nicole Marafioti, The King's Body: Burial and Succession in Later Anglo-Saxon England. (Toronto Anglo-Saxon Series.) Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014. Pp. xviii, 297; 3 black-and-white figures and 2 tables. $45.50. ISBN: 978-1-4426-4758-9.
Victoria Whitworth
Speculum , Volume 90 , Issue 04 , October 2015, pp 1146 - 1147
doi: 10.1017/S0038713415002468 (About doi) Published Online on 13th October 2015

Dominique Raynaud, Optics and the Rise of Perspective: A Study in Network Knowledge Diffusion. (GEMAS Studies in Social Analysis.) Oxford, UK: Bardwell Press, 2014. Pp. 260. £90. ISBN: 978-1-905622-31-3.
Samuel Y. Edgerton
Speculum , Volume 90 , Issue 04 , October 2015, pp 1163 - 1165
doi: 10.1017/S0038713415001785 (About doi) Published Online on 13th October 2015
[ abstract ]

Patricia Skinner, ed., Jews in Medieval Britain: Historical, Literary and Archaeological Perspectives. Woodbridge, UK, and Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 2012. Paper. Pp. x, 175. $34.95. ISBN: 978-1-84383-733-6.
Paul Hyams
Speculum , Volume 90 , Issue 04 , October 2015, pp 1166 - 1167
doi: 10.1017/S0038713415002237 (About doi) Published Online on 13th October 2015
[ abstract ]

Carlos Steel, John Marenbon, and Werner Verbeke, eds., Paganism in the Middle Ages: Threat and Fascination. (Mediaevalia Lovaniensia, Series 1, Studia 43.) Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2012. Paper. Pp. xiii, 250; 4 black-and-white figures. €59.50. ISBN: 978-90-5867-933-8.
Sverre Bagge
Speculum , Volume 90 , Issue 04 , October 2015, pp 1167 - 1168
doi: 10.1017/S0038713415002134 (About doi) Published Online on 13th October 2015
[ abstract ]
Table of contents available online at http://upers.kuleuven.be/en/book/9789058679338

Gareth Williams, Peter Pentz, and Matthias Wemhoff, eds., Vikings: Life and Legend. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2014. Paper. Pp. 288; many color figures and maps. $35. ISBN: 978-0-8014-7942-7.
Stephen Mitchell
Speculum , Volume 90 , Issue 04 , October 2015, pp 1180 - 1182
doi: 10.1017/S0038713415002456 (About doi) Published Online on 13th October 2015
[ abstract ]
(described as a lavishly-illustrateed but well written exhibition catalog.)


(comment on this)

10:44 am - More interesting book reviews from Speculum
Read more...Collapse )

(comment on this)

10:14 am - A book on spice use in the Savoy Court, 14th & 15th c.
I wish I could read French. Someone read the book for me please and report back?

Fanny Abbott, Des comptes d’apothicaires: Les épices dans la comptabilité de la Maison de Savoie (XIVe et XVe s.). (Cahiers Lausannois d’Histoire Médiévale 51.) Lausanne: Université de Lausanne, 2012. Pp. 210; many black-and-white figures and graphs. €30. ISBN: 978-2-940110-64-3.

Reviewed by Jennifer C. Edwards in
Speculum , Volume 90 , Issue 04 , October 2015, pp 1076 - 1077
doi: 10.1017/S0038713415002390 (About doi) Published Online on13th October 2015

According to the review, Abbot uses the Scully edition of du Fait de cuisine to connect the spices recorded with their uses...
"Abbott devotes her first section to part of an account book kept by Jean Marci de
Valdetario, apothecary for the count of Savoy Amadeus VI, covering entries from February
1338 to November 1342. She then examines the lists of expenses in two account books
kept for the households of Duke Amadeus VIII: a daily account (journalier) of the duke’s
expenses, 1422–23, kept by Pierre de Porta, secretary treasurer; and a daily account of
expenses in the household of the duke’s children, the prince of Piedmont and the count of
Bagˆ e, created by Pierre Gillet de Pont d’Ain, 1425–26"

(comment on this)

Thursday, April 16th, 2015
1:16 pm - Google Scholar Button for Chrome
Lets you check to see whether a journal article you have the title for is available online, especially Open Access, also (if the article comes up in Scholar) lets you get a decently-formatted citation in one of 3 formats.

(comment on this)

Thursday, February 26th, 2015
10:01 am - Relevant to the last quotation post
'The opening formula of Akan tales varies from one area to another; but they all depict the absence of truth in what follows. Among the Ashanti the introductory formula - "Yense se, nse se O" - means "We don't really mean it, we don't really mean it, (that what we are going to say is true.)" Among the Fanti, the opening formula may be "Okodzi wongye ndzi" - "Okodzi is not meant to be believed", to which the audience replies, "Wogye sie" - "It is meant to be kept (and passed on)." In this dialect, the imaginative story is referred to by any of the following terms - anansesem, okodzi, or fien. (In Ashanti, it is invariably, anansesem) Occasionally, the opening formula may be "Anansesem da bi o" (Ananse tales, sometime ago), to which the audience respond, "Da bi ara ne nde" (past days are the same as today). This underlies the timelessness of tales in Akan.'

-- from "The Akan Trickster Cycle: Myth or Folktale?" by Kwesi Yankah. https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/bitstream/handle/2022/125/Akan_Yankah.pdf

(comment on this)

9:44 am - Two quotes relating to stories
I finally got my hands on the quotation book that inspired me so much in Middle School-- Pegs to Hang Ideas On that I began making my own common-place book, peopled at first by quotation filched from it. What inspired me to track it down after all these years? Two quotes that I wanted to share with a writer friend:

We do not really mean, we do not really mean, that what we are going to say is true.

-- Traditional Ashanti Folktale Beginning

This, my story which I have related, if it be sweet or if it be not sweet, take some elsewhere and let some come back to me.

-- Traditional Ashanti Folktale Ending

These both allegedly come from Ashanti folktales, and following up on this a bit, I see this in Wikipedia:
'... a traditional Ashanti way of beginning such tales: "We do not really mean, we do not really mean that what we are about to say is true. A story, a story; let it come, let it go" and finishes traditionally with: "This is my story which I have related. If it be sweet, or if it be not sweet, take some elsewhere, and let some come back to me."'

citing Kwesi Yankah (1983). "The Akan Trickster Cycle: Myth or Folktale?" (PDF). Trinidad University of the West Indes. Archived from the original on 10 December 2008.

I definitely like the longer version of the introduction better:
"We do not really mean, we do not really mean that what we are about to say is true. A story, a story; let it come, let it go"

(comment on this)

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015
1:47 pm - Successful carrots
Well, as part of our low-carb diet, we steadfastly ignore the carb and glycemic index of carrots (singing la la la I can't hear you) and pretend that because they are free veggies on Weight Watchers (or used to be) we can have as many as we like. (After looking up the glycemic index of parsnips, we bid them a sorrowful goodbye, but carrots, we couldn't give up.)

Anyway, so I was thinking of something fast that could go with the Baked Dover Sole and the Swiss Chard with Raisins and Pine Nuts we had planned. So...

I took 2 'horse' carrots -- the large ones that are sold individually rather than in bags; they seem sweeter-- peeled them and grated them on the large shavings side of the box grater. (Ok, I started out with 3, but after seeing the pile of carrot shavings, I stopped at 2.)

Then I shaved in a peeled, 2" knob of ginger.

Heated some (2-3 tsp) canola oil* in a big steel skillet, dumped in the carrots, and sauted like mad. Eventually I had to add more oil-- it was a LOT of carrot, and finally I finished with some butter. When it was soft to the tooth and the carrots were releasing significant orangeness, I sprinkled a bit of galingale on top, mixed it in, added a touch of salt.

It was amazingly yummy. (I am tempted to try it with balsamic vinegar or orange juice, but it was lovely the way it was.)

*Yes, I know canola oil is GMO. At least there's no uncertainty there.

(4 comments | comment on this)

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014
8:04 pm - Using up the mushrooms and mashed potatoes: pork sirloin roast with mushroom gravy
So there was a lot of leftover mashed potatoes, and mushrooms we hadn't used.
And there was a pork sirloin tip roast.

So I sprinkled it with Penzey's Bavarian Seasoning.
Seared it with a little butter.
sliced enough mushrooms to make 3 cups
sauteed the mushrooms with some butter.
Dumped the mushooms over the roast in a warm crockpot.
Added 2 regular carrots peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces.
Sprinkled on Penzey's dried minced garlic.
sauteed 2 small onions in olive oil.
Deglazed with about a cup and a half of water and 2 tsp beef base (I should probably have used some less.)
Cooked on high for 2 hours.

Yum. Going to warm up some leftovers now.

(1 comment | comment on this)

7:59 pm - About that slaw
1 medium size red cabbage, shredded in the food processor
2 very large carrots, shredded in the food processor
2 large Granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced to matchsticks
about 1 and 1/2 cups walnut pieces
1.5 tsp ginger garlic paste (I put that *** on everything, I told you)
dash celery seed
mignonette pepper to taste
3-4 tbsp bitter orange juice
2-3 tbsp splenda
garlic infused rice vinegar to taste
olive oil to taste

I gave pint containers of it to 2 of the neighbors, as there was too much to put in the fridge. It didn't taste right until I got enough walnuts in it.

(1 comment | comment on this)

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014
7:00 pm - There was a cabbage
We are trying to eat up all the leftovers from Christmas, etc.

So, in our crisper, was the red cabbage I bought to make the constructed salad from Markham at the event-- and never made. Hm. Whole red cabbage. My friends and those who have seen me cook know this will go no-where tidy.

Then there were granny smith apples I bought when Sarah wanted to make apfeltashen.

Red cabbage, tart apples. Ok, either cabbage and apples or... Cabbage/Apple Slaw Yes!

I bought 2 'horse' carrots-- the big ones that look like they would be good for home defense. Got out the food processor and started to chop cabbage. (Note to self: find the pusher-thing for the food processor. Wooden spoon handles are chancy.) And then carrots.

And then I opened the food processor, dumped it in a bowl and stared at it. Oh dear, that will need the rest of the red cabbage for balance. Grated up the rest of the cabbage. Ta-da! Right mixture.

And then there was no room left in the bowl for apples. I'm thinking wild thoughts about sending some to our widowed neighbor and asking him to give it to his children's families....

Wait, this is just cabbage and apples, right? It's stir fry! So, I heated up the skillet, put in olive oil (I know, wrong oil for stir fry, but it was handy), sliced up a small onion and sauted it. Then I dumped in a cereal-bowl full of the cabbage/carrot mixture and stir fried it; added some more oil; added half a teasponful of ginger-garlic paste (my equivalent of Frank's Hot Sauce-- that **** goes on everything) and then it needed a little liquid-- turned the heat down and splashed on teriyaki sauce... good, but a little bland now. Ah-ha! Splashed in a couple of teaspoons of bitter orange juice (we had an open bottle over from the chicken with orange and cinnamon on the dayboard), stirred it around and tasted it....

I'll be in my happy place. With a bowl and a spoon. See ya!

(3 comments | comment on this)

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014
4:06 pm - Project MUSE - The Invention of Infertility in the Classical Greek World: Medicine, Divinity, and G
Project MUSE - The Invention of Infertility in the Classical Greek World: Medicine, Divinity, and Gender

Interesting article on the definitions and categories of treatment of non-fertility in the ancient Greek world.

(comment on this)

Thursday, October 30th, 2014
11:40 am - Because sometimes we just need a laugh
I am reposting the link to "I has a sweet potato"

which I just sent to my colleague.

Sometimes you just need to sporfle.

Also, in my house, requests for the 3rd pbj of the day are met with:
"He was badly brought up." "By people who never fed him."

(2 comments | comment on this)

Monday, October 27th, 2014
9:34 am - There's something symbolic here...
So, was looking in the databases for the class I'm instructing today, whose paper topic focusing on methods for combating homophobia, transphobia and other things queer theory strives to address in specific settings.
Just for (a certain sick variety of fun) I tried searching "gamergate" and was surprised to come up with a large number of biology journal articles.

Apparently, according to the OED:
In some eusocial insects, esp. certain ants: a worker (female) that can become capable of reproducing, esp. when the queen has died. Also in certain casteless social insects: any dominant reproductive female in a colony in which most females do not reproduce.

1984 C. Peeters & R. Crewe Naturwissenschaften 71 50/1 The fertile workers may be called gamergates (‘married workers’) to distinguish them from ergatoids.

you can't make this stuff up.

(2 comments | comment on this)

Friday, October 24th, 2014
1:32 pm - Breeder Public Enemy #1
Yesterday, after his Robotics class, I told Beekman we were going to pick up some nuts before we went home. He was VERY invested in going home for screentime, either TV or gaming on the tablet, so he did not want to go. He was gretzing and whining, but I said, it will be quick, and then we'll go right home.

By the time we reached the small mom'n'pop nuts store, he was still upset, and when I told him he had to come in with me, he burst into sobs and tears. (This is his usual way of showing REALLY extreme disapproval of parental dictates; fortunately it doesn't happen often.)

Standing there with him outside the car, I made some calculations. I had said we were going to go get the nuts, and that he had to come with me. I was reasonably sure that nothing at this point was going to allow him to get himself back under control but a long session of grieving and then, eventually, getting what he wanted. And he was going to get what he wanted; he was going to get screentime after we got home and did his homework. I did not want to punish him for wanting what he wanted, nor did I want to reward him for the anger/tears by giving him what he wanted (not going into the store).

So, I took my crying five year old into the store, ordered the three things I needed, while talking softly to him and telling him it would be all right. I also asked him if he wanted some candy. We were the only customers, and the proprietor asked, in a fatherly way, why he was crying. I explained that he was learning a hard lesson about how sometimes we don't get what we want when we want it, but have to wait a little. "Ah," said the proprietor, not in a disapproving way. In the end, I bought some candy to share with Beekman, and the proprietor also threw in a free candy bar for Beekman. (Throwing in a free something for the kid appears to be common in the mom-and-pop stores around here.)

On the drive home I explained that I was totally sympathetic with his disappointment about how he hadn't gotten what he wanted when he wanted it, and that I understood that he couldn't stop crying right now. (Had I had other errands in mind, I would have abandoned them.)

Beekman and I went home, where he rejected the candy, and did some of his homework snuggled up in my bed, with sporadic bouts of sobbing; eventually, despite saying he didn't need a nap, he napped. When woken up for dinner, he was cheery, ate dinner, did his homework, and got screentime.

He didn't scream, howl or yowl, he just cried/sobbed. And no other customers were impacted. And this is exactly the way I vowed I would treat this problem way back when I was a tweenager and watched my brothers throw tantrums to get out of going places they found boring. But I'm fully aware that this is exactly the kind of parenting that makes teenagers and militantly childfree people look down on parents.

Which leaves me in that liminal space so common to parents, of not being sure whether acting according to one's priciples is immoral or not. :)

(7 comments | comment on this)

Friday, October 10th, 2014
12:20 pm - Medieval Kitchen review


There are some really good features of this book. The best is the illustrations. I'm not sure how they got permission (assuming they did get permission) to reproduce all those period depictions of cooking and eating, but the book is worth it just for those gorgeous color reproductions. These are illustrations you'll have trouble finding together in other sources, or finding online.

Another useful section is a two page spread on the chronology of some sources from the period, which I would have no qualms (after double-checking it) sharing with my students.

Furthermore, the author's Finnish origin and her use of non-English texts leads to the inclusion of information from Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish documents that are just not available in other sources. The references to documentary history and archaeology that aren't really available to English-only readers, such as the quotations from the FInnish works of Michael Agricola, bishop of Turku, and the menus from Finnish sources, make it a valuable source for an area not usually covered by food historians.
However, the biggest flaw in this volume is the lack of source citation. While the author makes in-text references to where a recipe may be found, there are no notes indicating the sources of many of the descriptive comments. This is especially troubling when one is dealing with areas where the author disagrees with the general run of scholars, for instance asserting that radishes were now known in Europe until the 16th century. Some of these may simply be typos in translation-- the author appears to claim that brewing in Scandinavia, *unlike* in other European countries, was done in the home by women... but most modern brewing history seems to claim that in most other European countries, the majority of beer brewing *was* done in the home, by women. That could be a simple mistranslation.
The section of recipes-- one might even say 'recipe file'-- at the back is somewhat problematic. In some cases, the author includes the original text of a recipe from the period, but almost always untranslated, thus making it difficult for the English-only reader to determine whether the version presented reflects the original accurately. In many cases, however, the author only says her version of recipe "was developed in reference to" a primary or secondary source. There are at least two references of this sort likely to freeze the blood of a knowledgeable medieval cuisinier: one to "with reference to Madeline Pelner Cosman," the author of Fabulous Feasts, a text whose descriptive material is reasonably regarded but whose recipes are overly reliant on 1970s fashions; another is 'with reference to James Matterer's website Gode Cookery" a site that includes both medieval and Renaissance texts with cooking versions and "Modern Recipes for Beginners." The sources for the recipes section, in particular, are omitted from the book's bibliography as well, unless cited somewhere else in the text.

The result is the level of scholarship that we would accept, possibly with some reluctance, in the SCA publication "Compleat Anachronist," where anything that sounds wrong should be verified with other sources. I still want to know how medieval pies were easily baked at home, without an oven, for instance. But the author omits the biggest sins of discussing medieval-and-Renaissance cookery (for instance, complaining about the amount of spices). But I expected better of someone with a doctorate in Medieval History-- compare it to Bridget Ann Henisch's Medieval Cook or Redon and Serventi's Medieval Kitchen; at best it's more like Maggie Black's Medieval Cookbook (a text that drives me insane by the way it uses recipes-- Le Menagier recipes for instance are ONLY in the section not devoted to Le Menagier, etc.)
It also is similar to Food and Drink in Medieval Poland, by Weaver and Dembinska, in the way it covers an area traditionally neglected, but undercuts itself by not citing sources and by including syncretic recipes without properly identifying their precursors.
In sum: worth it for the pictures, and the Scandinavian background. Double-check anything you read in here, using texts that cite their sources.

(1 comment | comment on this)

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014
9:50 am - Interesting article in The Christian Century
Miles, Margaret R. 2008. "God's love, mother's milk." Christian Century 125, no. 2: 22-25
EBSCO abstract: "The article presents an exploration into the use of nursing as a theological metaphor in Western medieval and Renaissance Christian art. An overview of several uses of the nursing Virgin Mary within church history is given, along with its gradual changes in artistic connotations throughout the Renaissance. The value of the religious image of nursing in spiritual life is emphasized."

"By 1750 the public meaning of naked breasts was largely medical or erotic. I have not been able to find a single religious image of the breast painted after 1750. By that time, it was impossible to symbolize God's love by depicting a nursing Virgin. Meanwhile, crucifixion scenes increased in number and in their graphic depiction of violence and suffering . . .
Did the increased attention to violent crucifixion scenes arise from social changes in Western Europe? . . . There are problems with the crucifixion scene as a representation of God's love for humanity. It presents a violent act as salvific. Are crucifixion scenes the unconscious origin, deeply embedded in Western Christian societies, of the sacrificial rhetoric that surrounds war? (On the eve of the Iraq war, George W. Bush said, "Americans understand the costs of conflict because we have paid them in the past. War has no certainty but the certainty of sacrifice.") Does the proliferation of crucifixion scenes habituate us to violence? The equation of love with heroic violence and suffering is typically a male-centered perspective. Depictions of the lactating Virgin, of course, also involve expectations about gender. Is God's love for humanity more adequately represented as the provision of life, daily care and nourishment, or as redemptive suffering?"

(comment on this)

> previous 20 entries
> top of page