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Poster: Carol_O'Leary@ed.gov (Carol O'Leary)
Greetings to all at Cheapside! I have been following the discussion
of cordials and documentation with some interest and wish, with
absolutely no disrespect intended to Lady G or her work, to point out
a relatively common fallacy in her search.
Lady G has invented a cherry rose cordial of which she is very proud.
That's wonderful. Now she is looking for documentation for it.
That's maybe not so good.
Gentles all, if we truly wish to emulate our predecessors, if we wish
to "recreate" the Middle Ages and Renaissance in any degree, we must
learn what they did *first* and try to base our work on theirs, not
create out of whole cloth and then search for something that looks a
little like what we made up. Documentation has to come before
creation, not as an afterthought.
When I teach people about medieval cooking, I like to compare it to
learning a language. The ingredients are the vocabulary, and the
cooking techniques and ways of combining ingredients are the grammar
and syntax. It's fine to combine vocabulary to create new sentences,
but if you don't know the grammar and syntax first, you get
meaningless strings of words. The primary sources are our teachers;
let them teach you without preconceived notions that you know better
than they do. And yes, it *is* fun to learn the rules before you
start creating on your own; it's just a matter of how you pose the
Melisande de Belvoir
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