Friday Photo: Castle Cookery

Today’s Friday photo is an illustration from a Historic Scotland interpretive board at Dirleton Castle. It shows the various ways in which mediaeval cooks used a simple cauldron of boiling water to make various foods–sometimes simultaneously. If you’re like me, you probably assumed that all the ingredients just got tossed into the pot, boiled to death, and ladled out again. The varied possibilities for preparing foods in cauldrons, however, betrays the sophistication of life at Dirleton, which also enjoyed leaded windows and a garden.


5 thoughts on “Friday Photo: Castle Cookery

  1. That’s really interesting! I’d thought like you too: chuck it in and boil it to a pulp. Do we know what it tasted like?

    • No idea. I can’t imagine the porridges would appeal, but then, I don’t like porridge. There was a very interesting show on the BBC with Neil Oliver about the Roman invasion of Britain, though, in which a historian cooked a Roman meal for him. Even the dessert had fish-sauce in it! Ugh.

  2. This looks very complicated! It must have taken a lot of preparation and time to get the ingredients in the right order. I would have just used 5 different utensils, but I suppose this must have had something to do with the high cost of keeping a fire. Interesting post!

    • The high cost of keeping a fire, as well as the limits of space in said fire! When you’re cooking for several dozen people, I think that you have to make the most of every space you had! You’re right that it certainly looks complicated, though.

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