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January; Mary, Mother of God

Feast Day: 1st January

To celebrate the Solemnity of Mary, we’re highlighting the Fleur de Lys badge.

The Fleur de Lys (also known as The Flower of Innocence) was the symbol of the Virgin Mary, so this badge may be from the shrine at Walsingham. Alternatively there is some suggestion that this particular badge design may be associated with the shrine to Our Lady of Undercroft at Canterbury. Badges for the virgin Mary were sold at many shrines as she is the patron saint for all humans, especially young children.

Buy a pewter badge of the Fleur de Lys here

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December Saint of the month – St Nick

St Nicholas. late 12th to early 13th century. St Nicholas was the bishop of Myra in the 4th century and his best known miracle involved saving three impoverished girls from a life of prostitution by secretly delivering three bags of gold coins to their home, on three consecutive nights. Another involves the restoring to life of three boys who had been murdered, butchered and pickled in barrels. This miracle earned him the role as the patron saint of children and also the patron saint of sailors and fishermen. He continues to be one of the most widely celebrated saints – as Santa Claus. The relics of St Nicholas found their way to the city of Bari in Italy in the 11th century, having been stolen from Myra (in Modern Turkey) by Bari merchants or sailors. St Nicholas, who had always been a popular saint in the east, now became one of Europe’s most popular saints.

His feast day is December 6th.

Want your own St Nick? Buy a replica pewter badge here

Learn more about St Nicholas on the wikipedia page

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November Saint of the month – St Martin of Tours

This month’s Saint of the Month is St Martin of Tours. Born around 316AD and died in 397AD.

He is Celebrated on Nov 11th.

Martin is believed to have been a soldier in the Roman army. Our replica badge depicts the legend of the cutting of Martins cloak in two in order to share it with a near naked beggar. That night, Martin received a vision in which the beggar revealed himself to be Christ. Martin vowed to abandon his military career for the life of a monk – later becoming Bishop of Tours.

Martin was the first confessor saint – one who became a saint through an exemplary life rather than through martyrdom.

This replica badge is based on an original found in the Netherlands, currently in a private collection. Purchase your own replica badge for St Martin of Tours here.

Further information about St Martin of Tours can be found on his wikipedia page.

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Medieval Fairs Calendar Refreshed

Our calendar of Australian medieval fairs is up to date with all of the 2022 events still to come, and a start on the 2023 season. The events of recent years have seen a lot of changes to the lineup, with several old favourites going by the wayside but interesting new events popping up in their place. Please let us know if we’ve missed an upcoming fair near you!

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New Online Shop is Live!

After a protracted migration and redevelopment, we’re thrilled to announce that our new online shop is – Open! Our updated shop is now mobile-responsive, with a compact layout when you browse from your smartphone or tablet, and live inventory data so if you can see a product on the shop, it’s in stock and ready to ship immediately.

For the moment, we have our top 3 most popular product categories available but over the next few months we will be bringing the rest of the catalogue online – including some exciting new additions.

The calendar of Australian medieval fairs is also back for the 2020 event season. We’ll keep adding events as we discover them

We’re excited to welcome you all to our newly refurbished corner of the internet and bid you good reading!

– Loreena, Roxy, Paul and Elden – the Mainly Medieval team.

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Treasure Trove of Benefits and Variety at the Table – A fourteenth century Egyptian Cookbook – Review

There’s an exciting new translation of a 14th century Egyption Cookbook. It’s the first time it’s been fully translated into English.? What’s even more fascinating is that the author takes the time to talk about things that aren’t mentioned a great deal in the usual European sources.?

It talks specifically about how to make bread (delicious bread, which uses milk instead of water) and about various egg recipes. (A few European sources mention eggs briefly, but mostly to say that everyone knows about eggs so there’s no need to talk about it). It specifically talks about the kind of wood that a cook should use “pick dry firewood, which does not create a great deal of smoke due to it’s wetness, such as olive or dry oak. Wood of oleander and trees with milky sap and the like must be avoided, as should firewood from the fig tree and any wood high in moisture”. And there’s an entire chapter on incenses.

Nawal Nasrallah is a fantastic translator. The book is extremely informative without being too dry. (Nasrallah uses the index and glossary to go super in depth about the translation and to talk specifically about why particular translations should be used which is also extremely instructional.)

Overall, this is an excellent collection to anyone’s medieval cookbook collection.

There’s a few pictures and figures from 14th century sources scattered throughout the book, to help illustrate various points. Including an ancient Egyption hand mixer, glass beakers, and bronze perforated incense burners.

There is also 22 modern adapations of some of the recipes in the appendix, complete with beautiful food photography. Dried apricot stew looks pretty good!

Buy it now on Book Depository

Publisher’s Blurb

The fourteenth-century Egyptian cookbook, Kanz al-faw?’id fi tanw? al-maw?id, is a treasure trove of 830 recipes of dishes, digestives, refreshing beverages, and more. Here, for the first time, it has been meticulously translated into English and supplemented with a comprehensive introduction, glossary, illustrations, and twenty-two modern adaptations of its recipes.

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Lochac Cook’s Guild Symposium – Campfire Cooking and Ceramics (5/8/18)

On August 5th, Company of the Staple member Roxy talked about Campfire cooking and cooking with ceramics on a campfire. These are the notes from that talk. These notes were originally posted to Companyofthestaple.org.au

The above image is of a saucepan with oil, for deep frying cheese fritters. It is in a trivet, and being cooked with charcoal.
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