Renaissance Recipes

A Modern Renaissance Soup

When I searched for authentic medieval recipes I came up with a lot of different options. I decided for my first foray into Medieval cooking that I would start simple and, with the help of my Queen of Renaissance Aunt, I decided to go with a Savory Barley Soup with Wild Mushrooms and Thyme that I found. Of course I was unable to find half of the required ingredients (or they cost a fortune, like saffron) so here is my personal version of the recipe:

Savory Barley Soup with Wild Mushrooms and Thyme

½ cup dry white wine

1 Tbs. Olive oil

½ cup chopped shallots

4 garlic cloves, minced

16oz cremini mushrooms, 8oz chopped, 8oz whole

1 tsp minced fresh thyme OR ½ tsp dried

4 cups vegetable broth

¾ cup pearl barley

3 cups water

1 Tbs tomato paste

2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Bring the wine to a simmer in a small saucepan. Add the mushrooms and allow the liquid to cook down, until the mushrooms are tender. Turn off the heat and set aside. In a large heavy pot warm the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped shallots and the minced garlic. Saute about 3 to 5 minutes or until the shallots are softened. Add the mushrooms from your saucepan, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, and the thyme. Cook 1-2 minutes and then add the broth, tomato paste, barley, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until the barley is softened, about 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the soup from heat and allow to cool slightly. With a hand blender puree about 1 cup of the soup. Return to heat until hot, add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, and stir. Your soup is ready to eat! Serves 4-8 depending on bowl size.


We served our medieval soup in bread bowl trenchers. I started my dough for my bread bowls about 2.5 hours prior to my soup as they need at least 1.5 to 2 hours to rise. I know it’s not super authentic, being a white bread rather than black, but I knew no one in our family would actually eat a black bread so here is my modern medieval version.

Simple Bread Bowls

6 1/3 cup Flour

1 tbsp Salt

2 ¼ tsp Yeast x2 OR 2 pkgs

3 cups Water

1 tbsp EVOO


Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add water and stir until fully incorporated. Kneading is not necessary, but I did a little to make sure everything was fully mixed. Remove your dough from the bowl, rinse the bowl and rub with EVOO (prevents dough from sticking.) Return dough to the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit in a warm area for 1-2 hours until the dough has doubled. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Punch down the dough and roll it out on a floured surface. (I doubled our bread bowl recipe and cut about 12 bowls.) With this recipe you should get at least 6 large bread bowls or 12 small – depending on how big you want your bread bowls to be. Round your dough and set on a baking sheet to rise again, allow about 20-30 minutes. They will rise more once you put them in the oven. Bake for about 40 minutes. Brush with melted butter or olive oil 10 minutes prior to removing them from the oven. This will give them a nice golden color. When done allow them to cool. Use a bread knife to cut the tops in a circle and use your fingers to even out the inside and make room for your soup. Serve with the top next to your bowl for dipping. Enjoy!


Delicious Non-Alcoholic Renaissance Drinks Part 2

As we continue our series about non-alcoholic Renaissance drinks, we’re going to talk about some of the more ornate drinks. These drinks might be a little harder to replicate today, but with a little imagination and ingenuity, you can probably come up with a delicious recipe using today’s ingredients. When you are wearing authentic Renaissance period clothes, you will certainly complete the look with beverage that comes as close to what people actually drank back then. If you come up with any great recipes, or if you find any more Renaissance drinks, let us know in the comments section. Who knows – maybe we’ll have a Part 3, featuring your ideas!

  • Sekanjabin is a very exotic-sounding drink and it was made using a variety of sweet vinegar and sugar. We’ve never tried it, and although vinegar and sugar does not sound all that appetizing, it was quite popular during the Renaissance.
  • Honey has been a wonderful beverage ingredient for so many years, it seems! During the Renaissance, there was no shortage of honey in drinks. One of the most popular drinks to use honey was called Clarea of Water. This drink was a mixture of water, honey, and various types of spices, depending on what was local. The ingredients were mixed together and boiled. The drink would be cooled before it was served.
  • We thought we’d conclude our series with a quick and easy recipe for a drink that is just as popular now as it was back then: Rose/Lavender soda! This recipe comes from a cookbook dating back to around 1400:
    • 1 part rose/lavender petals
    • 2 parts water
    • 2 parts sugar/honey
    • Soak a number of petals in a pitcher of water holding twice as much water as petals for one night. Press, but not squeeze, the water from the petals and reuse them as needed. Mix into the water enough honey or sugar as to taste, and serve cold.

Delicious Non-Alcoholic Renaissance Drinks Part 1

Visit any Renaissance Faire and you will see a huge assortment of delicious Renaissance fashion drinks. From mulled wine to mead, there are plenty of tasty drinks that are great representations of what people in the Renaissance era drank. But suppose you don’t drink alcoholic beverages? It may seem like all you hear about is drinks with alcohol, but there were plenty of non-alcoholic drinks consumed during the Renaissance – some of them are still available today! Here are some of the most popular non-alcoholic drinks from this great time period!

  • While there may have been a strict class system during the Renaissance, one thing was for sure: people of all classes enjoyed milk! Milk was accessible to everyone, and it came from goats, cows, and mares.
  • An interesting brew that can be replicated today was sage water. Sage water was made by soaking sage in water overnight. This brew was used to cleanse the palette during meals.
  • We’ve all had a tasty Shirley Temple at some point. The grenadine-and-ginger ale combination is one of the best drinks around! Of course, people in the Renaissance era didn’t have Shirley Temples per se, but they had their own version of grenadine, called granatus. Granatus, like grenadine, was made using pomegranates and was most popular in Arabic countries.

Make a Renaissance Themed Get-Together Even More Fun with Signature Drinks!

One of the best things about summer is that most of us get to spend more time with friends and family. And – we even get to spend some of that time together outdoors! For those of us that live in areas with cold, often harsh winters, we’re all too aware of how precious sunshine and fresh air can be. After all, for many months of the year just walking to the car is enough to give you a red nose and frosty fingers!

If you’re looking forward to having some of your favorite people over for food and drinks, why not make it even more interesting by asking everyone to come in Renaissance attire? You can serve complementary food, and invite those with musical talents to take to the stage (or, you know – porch, deck or yard!)

As for the drinks, you can channel Renaissance recipes, or simply serve up your favorites and give them Renaissance-inspired names. We’ve put together a few to consider, but encourage you to get creative as well! Of course, the drinks can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic depending on your and your friends’ preferences. If you do opt for alcoholic drinks, just be sure to include one or two non-alcoholic options for kids, those who will be driving, or those who prefer not to imbibe.

Without further ado, a few Renaissance-inspired drink names to consider…

  • Maid Marian’s Marvelous Mead (If you won’t be serving mead, but want to include Maid Marian, you can simply call whatever drink you choose Maid Marian’s Marvelous Medley – or – Mix!)
  • Robin Hood’s Root Beer Refresher
  • Captain Morgan’s Captivating Cocktail
  • Botticelli’s Brew
  • Charlemagne’s Charming Champagne
  • Gutenberg’s Grog
  • Peasant or Pirate Punch
  • Michelangelo’s Mango Masterpiece
  • Sir Isaac Newton’s Calculated Cocktail
  • Shakespeare’s Liquid Love Story
  • Dante’s Delicious Inferno (something with a bit of spice!)

Do you have any drink name ideas you’d like to add to the list? Please share in the comments!

Medieval Costumes Get You Ready for LARP Season

Get ready for LARP season with renaissance costumes

The end of February is not too far off, which means that Live Action Role Playing (LARP) season will be here before you know it! Many groups like to hold their first events of the year during March. This means that it is time to dig out your Medieval costumes, oil up and polish your Medieval armor, and to start practicing with your boffer or latex weapons.

What is LARPing? LARPing is a type of roleplaying that takes you away from a gaming table and actually places you inside the role of your actual character. When you create a character, you actually come up with their personality, put on a Renaissance costume, and head out to a location, such as a campsite, to act out how your character would respond to the situations that are presented to you.

In most cases, there is a game staff that comes up with the story, villains, and other characters to help immerse you within the world of the game. Then you spend the entire length of the event acting out your character as you come across various scenarios. It is both a unique and entertaining experience.

If you are thinking about attending a LARP and are in need of a costume or armor, make sure to visit our site to see all of the fun options we have available.

Medieval Recipes: A simple recipe of baked pears

A simple recipe of baked pears:

Again, pears cooked without coals or water: to instruct the person who will be cooking them, he should get a good new earthenware pot, then get the number of pears he will be wanting to cook and put them into that pot; when they are in it, stop it up with clean little sticks of wood in such a way that when the pot is upside down on the hot coals it does not touch them at all; then turn it upside down on the hot coals and keep it covered over with coals and leave it to cook for an hour or more. Then uncover them and check whether they have cooked enough, and leave them there until they are cooked enough. When they are cooked, put them out into fine silver dishes; then they are borne to the sick person.

– Scully, Terence, ed. and trans. Chiquart’s “On Cookery” – A Fifteenth-century Savoyard Culinary Treatise. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., 1986.


3 pears
sugar cinnamon mixture


1.) Preheat oven to 400F (200C).
2.) Cut pears in half and core. Place in an oven dish and bake for 35 minutes. Pears should be slightly browned when done. Mix sugar and cinnamon together adjusting amounts of each to suit your taste (I used 2tsp sugar and 1tsp cinnamon)
3.) Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon mixture to taste and serve

If you are planning on a Renaissance themed dinner, then these Baked Pears can be an excellent desert compliment to the meal. For added ambiance, consider serving the dish as an authentically as possible while wearing this Tavern Keep Clothing.



Medieval Winter Food Preservation

Create authentic food for medieval celebrations

From time to time we like to bring you recipes that have a Medieval flair to them so that you can include period food during your reenactments or  LARP event. And so we realized that when it comes to the Middle Ages,  there is something that takes precedence when it comes to food: Preservation.


Since there were no means of freezing or refrigeration, tavern owners needed to adopt other methods of making their food harvested during Autumn last through the Winter. Here are some of the more popular methods, other than salting, that were used:


-Smoking: Smoking via wood smoke was the common way to preserve fish or pork.


-Drying: Grains, cereals, meats, and fruit could be preserved through drying.


-Picking: Substances high in salt such as brine, or liquids like vinegar, were the usual methods of preserving fish and others meats. This was also a great way to keep vegetables longer into the colder months.


-Honey: When it came to certain drinks, such as mead, honey was sometimes used as a way to preserve the eventual mixture.


-Gelatin: Meat and fresh fish could be well kept by cooking them in a material that will eventually produce and solidify into a gel.


These are just some of the methods used during those times. If you ever wanted to give your customers/players a true sense of historical food, you can consider trying one of these preservation techniques. It can also be an educational process if you have your servers, who are dressed in beer wench costumes, work with your customers/players in assisting with some of these methods so that they can learn how people had to prepare for the winter months in the Middle Ages.

Medieval Tavern Recipes: Raised Pork Pie

pork pieAs our loyal readers know, we like to provide you with a number of recipes so that if you are planning a Medieval themed dinner, you can provide your guests with adequate fare. If you are looking to keep everything as authentic as possible, you could even consider serving your dinner dressed in a Medieval Tavern Wench costume.


For the filling

800g pork shoulder, minced or finely chopped
400g pork belly, half minced and half chopped
250g smoked bacon, cubed
½ tsp ground mace
2 large pinches ground nutmeg
1 tbsp fresh chopped sage
1 tsp fresh chopped thyme
½ tsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper

For the pastry

575g plain flour
200g lard
220ml water

To finish

1 egg
Eggs, beaten
6 gelatine leaves
300ml chicken stock

Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients for the filling.

To make the pastry, put the flour in a large bowl, then put the lard and water into a small pan and heat gently until the lard melts. Bring just to the boil and then stir into the flour using a wooden spoon. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, (it should still feel very warm) knead well until smooth.

Cut off 1/4 of the dough, wrap in cling film and reserve for the lid. Roll out the remaining dough to a circle and then place in the base of a non-stick 20cm springform cake tin. Working quickly while the dough is warm and pliable, press the dough evenly over the base and up the sides of the tin. Make sure there are no holes. Fill with the meat mixture and pack down well. Roll out the dough for the lid. Place on top of the pie. Pinch all around the edge to seal the pie. Make a hole for steam in the centre, using the handle of a wooden spoon.

Cook in the oven for 30 mins then reduce the heat to 160C/140C fan/gas 3 and cook for 90 minutes. Brush the top with beaten egg and return to the oven for a further 20 mins. Leave until cold.

Soak the gelatine in cold water for about 5 mins, then remove and squeeze out the excess water. Heat the stock until almost boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the gelatine. Leave to cool to room temperature.

Use a small funnel to pour the stock into the pie through the hole in the top. Pour in a little at a time allowing a few seconds before each addition. Place in the fridge to set overnight.

We hope you enjoy!

If you are planning on a Renaissance themed dinner, then this Raised Pork Pie can be an excellent main course to the meal. For added ambiance, consider serving the dish as an authentically as possible while wearing this Tavern Keep Clothing.

Winter Stew Recipe

The Queen is well aware that when it comes to the winter months, that her subjects enjoy nice warm meals to take away the chill in the air.  Therefore, she has ordered her cooks to provide you all with her favorite winter stew recipe.


-4 slices turkey bacon, coarsely chopped

-1 ½ cups finely chopped onion (2 medium)

-1 ½ cups diced carrots (2 medium)

-½ cup diced celery (1 stalk)

-3 cups reduced-sodium beef broth

-2 cups dry red wine, ie: Merlot or Zinfandel

-1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves or ½ teaspoon dried leaves

-2 bay leaves

-2  2 ½-inch-long strips of orange zest

-3 ½ pounds of sliced shank, or cubed stewing beef, that is already trimmed

-½ cup chopped watercress or parsley

-Fresh ground pepper for seasoning

1)      Heat oil in a 4 to 5 quart Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add in bacon and cook, stirring often until the bacon is lightly browned, which should take about 3 to 5 minutes.  Into the Dutch oven put the carrots, celery, and onion and stir until they are all lightly browned and softened which should take about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add broth, wine, thyme, orange zest, and bay leaves and bring them to a boil.

2)      Rinse the beef under cool water then place into a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker set to high.  Add the mixture from step one into the cooker. Put the lid on the cooker and allow the beef to cook for 6 to 7 hours, or until the beef is very tender.

3)      Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and using a slotted spoon, place the cooked beef into a bowl. Remove the bones.  If desired, scoop the marrow from the bones and add to the meat.  Use the spoon to break the meat into small bite-sized pieces.  Cover and keep warm.

4)      Remove orange zest and bay leaves from the sauce and skim out the fat.  Then pour the remainder of the sauce into a large skillet.  Bring the sauce to a boil over high heat, occasionally removing the foam for about 20 minutes.  Season with pepper.  Return the beef to the broth and heat through.

5)      Ladle the stew into bowls and sprinkle with watercress or parsley.

At winter Renaissance Faires or Medieval events, this delicious stew can be dished out by those wearing serving wench costumes.  The Queen hopes you enjoy!

Ye Olde Renaissance Thanksgiving Recipe

As we embark upon the week where we give “thanks,” we thought that we could provide you with a recipe that you can use to supplement your meal.  Although Thanksgiving is a relatively young holiday, it does not mean that we can not include dishes from an older time.  A combination of new and old can enhance any meal.

Happy Thanksgiving

Today’s recipe is an old Italian dish that was originally found on a poem written by Petrarch.  Italy was the birth place of the Renaissance.  This dish can be used as a side dish for your feast.

Sun-dried Tomato and Olive Polenta



~ 1 cup instant polenta

~ 4 cups vegetable broth

~ 1 cup crumbled feta cheese

~ 2/3 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

~ 2/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomato

~ 1/3 cup sliced kalamata olive

~ ½ cup sliced fresh basil

~ ¼ cup olive oil

~ ½ cup flour

  1. Boil the vegetable broth; once boiling, stir in the polenta.  Let mixture simmer on low heat while stirring frequently for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan, feta, tomatoes, basil, and olives.
  3. Once you’ve stirred in the ingredients for step 2, put the mixture in a greased cake pan and spread the mixture evenly.  Press down if necessary.
  4. Let the mixture firm up in the refrigerator for a minimum of 2 hours.
  5. Once firm, cut the mixture into slices (about 16 slices total) and coat them in flour, taking care to shake off the excess.
  6. Fry the floured polenta in olive oil until nicely browned, then drain on paper towel.

Enjoy!  If you are running with a Renaissance theme for your Thanksgiving meal, do not forget to have your servers bring forth the food in their wench outfits.  Have a nice holiday!