A Collection of 15th Century Recipes
- Autumn, 1998
"...Second editions are lovely things! Ms. Renfrow took a well-documented publication and made it even more readable. Take A Thousand Eggs or More provides documentable recipes for those cooks wishing to recreate a meal from 15th century England. Both volumes include the original recipe with the original spelling. The recipe is then "translated" into modern spelling along with footnotes for more obscure terms and abbreviations... New to this edition are the approximate servings for each recipe. Volume One's "Glossary" has gone from one to five pages, including much more information on the plants mentioned in the text... If one is a novice cook, this is a good place to start learning how to prepare period foods. There is an updated, easier-to-read section entitled "So Now What?" where Ms. Renfrow takes a recipe step-by-step to show you what you might do, what questions you might ask yourself, and what decisions you might need to make as you prepare your own modern version... Sometimes one hears the complaint, "I would serve period food but there just aren't any recipes available." Take A Thousand Eggs or More should put a stop to that. There are enough tasty recipes in Volume One to keep a tummy filled for months, and by the time you have prepared those dishes, you'll be ready to tackle those in Volume Two! Bon appetit!"
Patsy Terrell, Radio Kansas,
"...These books are a great look at another time and will make you love modern conveniences even more..."
The White Paper
- Spring, 1998
"...I had the opportunity to review the new Second Edition of this already well-known two-volume set of recipies... I was quite impressed. Not only does it give period recipies followed by very helpful modern translations, but it also provides feast menus, adaptation suggestions, and illuminations. I found the technique used in the book very interesting. First, the original of the recipe is given, then a translation, and then the modern usable form, in volume one. Volume two has period recipies in the original and translations, but no adapted modern formula. I found that I very much like the mixture of these two styles, as it gives the adventurous cook an opportunity to apply the author's technique and experiment..."
The Ricardian XI
- no. 143, Dec. 1998
"...These two volumes provide a veritable feast of medieval food... these are delightful cookery books, which would be indispensable to anyone determined to recreate medieval recipes in their own kitchen..."
- Summer 1998.
"My husband has always been amazed that I can sit down with a new cookbook just as I would with a juicy new novel and read it cover-to-cover... I know I can't be alone in this and the second edition of Cindy Renfow's book will only draw others over to my side. This is a fascinating two-volume set. Volume One contains over 100 fully translated recipes that have been adapted for the modern cook. There is a great variety of recipes... More than just a collection of recipes (and all good cookbooks in my opinion, stand or fall on the "commentary" rather than the recipes themselves...) Ms. Renfrow has created a collection of recipes, informative notes, beautiful illustrations... and relevant period quotes. Her notes seem especially helpful for pointing out how to vary the recipes to suit our more modern tastes without sacrificing the period nature of the recipes. Volume Two contains 300 more recipes (translated, but not adapted), tips on adapting the recipes, and a glossary of phrases. Among the gems in this volume is a collection of actual feast menus from the time period... The extensive bibliography will be a major plus for anyone putting together documentation or just wanting to read more. In fact, the entire edition will make documentation a whole lot easier and a whole lot tastier. As you might have guessed, I give the second edition a big (sugar encrusted) thumbs up."
- August 1998.
"...So you want to cook for the camp, eh? Well, anyone can cook from volume one. Ms. Renfrow's translation makes it not only easy, but fun as well. ... Now, to be honest, you have to be a little adventurous to undertake some of the non-modernized recipes. But only a little. Ms. Renfrow has thoughtfully included a standard glossary of common recurring phrases, and indeed, a great how-to section, plus sample feast menus for the really ambitious. Most of the recipes include the number of suggested servings to help you plan your next banquet... both volumes are spiral bound and trim sized at 6 x 9 making them easy to handle when you are trying to prepare a meal, keep out road mess, fight off hungry campers and still not kill the next yahoo who thanks the height of humor is 'Hey! What's Cookin'?' for the umpteenth time... These are two beautiful volumes (320 pages Vol.- 1 and 352 pages in Vol. -2) with great woodcuts as well as great quotes throughout both. Don't do yourself a favor, do those you cook for a favor. Then send Ms. Renfrow a thank you note..."
- Vol. 3, #4, Issue #12.
"...Presented in a cleanly designed spiral 6x9" book with accompanying medieval b/w woodcuts, these notebooks are easy to read, entertaining, and useful in the kitchen (because of the spiral binding, they are easy to lay flat on the kitchen table)... One of the best medieval cooking resources available in print, Renfrow's Thousand Eggs will transport even the novice chef back to the feasting banquets of the royal courts of Europe."
Academic Library Book Review
"...many Medievalist groups...have already hailed this book with great excitement. Many of these dishes will surely turn up at the ever-popular Renaissance Fairs throughout the country. ...For adventurous cooks and for anyone interested in life in medieval Europe."
The Gourmet Co-op
"Friends, this is without doubt the most interesting, engaging and certainly unique cookbook I've come across in some time. The updated recipes cover everything from soup to nuts and they're terrific."
"If you enjoy perusing cookbooks as I do, you will find many enjoyable hours reviewing these books. They are filled with beautiful medieval illustrations and woodcuts, as well as quotations from medieval authors appropriate to the recipe at hand."
Cookbook Collectors Exchange
"Cindy Renfrow... has taken a very scholarly subject and make it interesting, 'palatable' and informative for today's cook. Take a Thousand Eggs or More is a set of books to read, to use and to savor."
"I was...completely thrilled with both volumes. ...Documentation has never been this easy."
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