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Medieval Cooking Tips

Cracking an egg - photo by Daniel Novta / Flickr

From boiling vegetables to smelly pots, here are 10 medieval cooking tips from the 10th century.

A Man Must Not Embelish Himself like a Woman: The Body and Gender in Renaissance Cosmetics

Gherardo di Giovanni del Fora (Florentine, 1444/45-1497), Chaste Women in a Landscape, Probably 1480s,

In pre-modern Italy, cosmetics’ ideal backdrop was a pale complexion, apparently untouched by the sun’s rays to give the impression that one had the luxury of avoiding going about outside on any daily labors.

Where You Should Live – a Medieval Guide

15th centuyr home bieng built - from Pier de Crescenzi, Livre des prouffitz champestres et ruraulx

A civilized and intelligent man should choose, in the city as well as the country, the place most advantageous for the time of the year, pleasant, delightful, charming where he may build, where he may devote his efforts to farming, where he may relax with his artistic interests, where he may, in sum, commune with the gods themselves, an easy accomplishment for a man of the greatest integrity and learning.

Swan you say? Medieval Feasting!

Medieval feast

A guest post on medieval food and feasting in the Middle Ages by author Regan Walker.

The Cathedral and the City

Chartres Cathedral - photo by Atlant / wikicommons

Another fantastic talk. Professor Caroline Bruzelius talks to us about medieval art, architecture, and the role of the cathedral in Medieval society.

The Healing Power of a Garden – A Medieval View

A medieval garden - from British Library MS Royal 6 E IX   f. 15v

When it came to healthy living, medieval people were careful on what they ate. It was commonly believed that foods could offer good (and not-so-good) consequences to the body, but it was hard to remember what ailments a certain food could cure. In steps Henry of Huntingdon to offer us a poetic guide to the healthy and medicinal qualities of what you can find in a garden.

The Medieval Sense of Smell, Stench and Sanitation

Medieval woman smelling a flower - British Library MS Harley 6794   f. 197v

We will see that in the medieval era, there was concern for the foul and the fragrant because smell had the ability to make people both literally sick and sick to their stomachs.

The Noisy Middle Ages

Hieronymus Bosch, detail from Christ Carrying the Cross

Let’s take five minutes to lend the Middle Ages an ear.

Textile Consumption in Late Medieval Castile: The Social, Economic, and Cultural Meaning of Clothing, 1200-1350

Spanish clothing circa 1400, according to Costumes of All Nations (1882)

Focusing on the types of clothing imported into the realm, and using information from the royal accounts and tithes of a number of ports in the Bay of Biscay, I focus on issues of production and consumption in late medieval Castile and what this information tells us about the economic structures of the realm and on the exaggerated consumption of foreign cloth by certain groups within Castilian society.

Five Medieval Toothpaste Recipes

Toothbrushing - photo by Charlotte Van Bogaert / Flickr

Need advice on how to keep your teeth clean and shiny white? Medieval writers have got you covered!

23 Medieval Uses for Rosemary

Rosemary illustrated in British Library MS Egerton 747   f. 85v

In the Middle Ages, Rosemary was considered a wonder plant, which could be used to treat many illnesses and keep you healthy. One 14th century writer found 23 uses for it, including keeping your hair beautiful and preventing nightmares!

Medieval Traffic Problems

While perhaps people in the Middle Ages didnt need to worry about monkeys driving carts, there plenty of other traffic problems they had to contend with. From British Library Additional 42130   f.162

The medieval city was seen as a crowded, bustling place, with people, horses, carts and wagons all moving around. Just as in our modern city, this would all lead to inevitable traffic problems.

Using Salt in the Middle Ages

Photo by Kevin Dooley / Flickr

Salt was an integral part of medieval life: not only is some salt a necessary part of a human diet, but it’s also essential for preserving food such as meat, seafood, and dairy products in the absence of refrigeration.

How did people sleep in the Middle Ages?

A sleeping man in a medieval manuscript - from British Library Royal 19 D III   f. 458

A recent book on the history of sleeping shows that during the Middle Ages people typically slept in two periods during the night.

Medieval Hangover Cures

A drunk monk? This might be St. Arnulf of Metz (582 -640), the unofficial patron saint of beer.

Here are a few hangover cures from days gone by, because people who partied like it was 1399 also needed a little help the morning after.

Celebrating the New Year, Medieval Style

The Festival of Fools - Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525)

A look at New Year’s in the Middle Ages.

Five Medieval Games to Get You Through Long Winter Nights

15th century image of a King and queen playing chess - from British Library

Here are five games that date back to the Middle Ages that you can stay in and play on these long nights of winter.

Did People Ice Skate in the Middle Ages?

Medieval ice skates made of bone on display at the Museum of London. Photo by Steven G. Johnson, Wikipedia.

How did medieval people pass the time during the coldest part of the year? I came across several instances of medieval people strapping on skates and taking a twirl (or a tumble!) on the ice. Here is how it all began!

Food and technology – Cooking utensils and food processing in medieval Norway

16th century view of Bergen

By comparing archaeological evidence of cooking utensils from urban and rural contexts in Norway ca. 1,000–1,500 AD – in this case new technologies represented by imported ceramic vessels versus domestic steatite vessels and new types of stone griddles – my aim is to examine how new ways of preparing food were transmitted, either incorporated into routinised practises, ignored or transformed.

Surviving Winter in the Middle Ages

Pavel Sapozhnikov and his goat, Glasha, surviving a harsh Russian winter living as people did in the ninth century. Photo courtesy of Alone in the Past.

Surviving Winter in the Middle Ages: How did people stay warm? What did they eat? What did they do?

For the Knyʒhtys tabylle and for the Kyngges tabylle: An Edition of the Fifteenth-Century Middle English Cookery Recipes in London, British Library’s MS Sloane 442

Medieval Cooking - A cook at the stove with his trademark ladle; woodcut illustration from Kuchenmaistrey, the first printed cookbook in German, woodcut, 1485

The present thesis offers an edition of some fifteenth century Middle English cookery recipes, more specifically those of the Sloane 442 manuscript (MS Sloane 442), located at the British Library, London. The cookery recipes of this collection were most likely meant for the tables of the upper classes

The Power of Poo: Waste and the Medieval Environment

17th century map of London

This study will compare the ways in which three vastly different European cities and their civic institutions, London England – the Chartered Capital of a Kingdom, Siena Italy – an Oligarchic Republic, and Gdansk Poland – the reluctant territory of a Theocratic state

The Sense of Time in Anglo-Saxon England

Sundial at the Church of St John the Baptist, Pampisford, Cambridgeshire. Photo by Nige Brown / Flickr

Much has been written about how the Anglo- Saxons measured time, but relatively little about why, or in what circumstances. When did it seem important to note the year or the month, the day or the hour?

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