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Period health practices, updated
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jducoeur
So this Pennsic was unusually dominated by All Things Medical -- not for any bad reason, simply because it's unicornpearlz' specialty, and we spent a bunch of time talking about it. And so, after dropping her off for the second run of her Overview of 16th Century Medicine class, I found myself thinking about the humors.

You know about the humors -- the period notion that all things are some combination of hot and cold, wet and dry, and that balancing the humors is crucial to proper health. In period, many of the cookbooks talk about these characteristics of the dishes therein, and how they may thereby be used for medicinal purposes. Unfortunately, there isn't much period cooking at Pennsic. So I ruminated on what foods I should be eating at Pennsic in order to properly balance my humors. After a few minutes' thought, I came up with what I believe is a reasonably canonical list of the four purest options:

Gatorade: which is cold and wet.
Whiskey: which is, of course, hot and wet.
Chocolate: which is cold and dry. (Unless it is melted, in which case it is hot and wet, but whiskey still wins there.)
And finally, Bacon: the most perfect food that is hot and dry. (When correctly made.)

So it is that, by the proper application of these foods, we may keep ourselves healthy at Pennsic. For instance, when a fighter walks off the field, overheated and parched, we feed them Gatorade. Or when we wake up, cold and clammy from the night's dew, a suitable amount of Bacon (say, six slices) will balance our humors nicely. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to fill in the best uses of the other foods.

And so, good gentles, remember to stock properly when preparing for the War. Other foods are optional, but these four should be part of any careful plan...
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There's not a lot of period cooking at your Pennsic? Mine has as much as I can make happen! Quince chicken stew from Guter Spise, barley, Muzzarewa (sp?) of Lentils from the Andalusian cookbook, and Chicken Barida.

I'm with you on everything but whiskey, though. I cannot give up chocolate for Pennsic, period or no ;).

There is as much period cooking at Pennsic as one wants to happen.

6 slices? Yowza - you have far more food stamina than I do. :) I love bacon as much as the next non-kosher omnivore, but I think that much in one sitting would make me significantly ill....

It's by no means a good idea, but Bacon has a strong potato-chip quality for me: "portion size" is defined roughly as "what's available". Six slices will make me unhappy in the long run (producing an excess of -- quick Google search -- yellow bile), but in the short run it's hard to say no...

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Add hot chocolate powder to it and you've got it made. :)

sounds like a plan. I think I'll add some pickles (cold, wet) since I hate most flavors of gatorade, and substitute cordial or mead for the whiskey, but other than that, yeah, sounds like a Pennsic diet to me.

Not sure if you're aware (and just ignoring it for modern applications), but classically, hard liquors were considered hot and dry.

In fact, that's where the earliest rumors of spontaneous human combustion come from: cautionary tales during the 18th centiry gin craze of old women (already dry as shown by their wrinkles) overindulging in gin and tobacco until *poof*

Horrors -- you're injecting *history* into my history! I'm not sure that's allowed.

(First rule of SCA humor: deliberately don't do research beforehand -- it just takes your nice, pure point and complicates it with facts. Easier to wear the "Bad Laurel, no biscuit" placard afterwards.)

That said, surely something can be done with the spontaneous-combustion notion. I smell a filk coming on...

You are awesome - may I have permission to direct traffic to this?

Sher, feel free. I was disappointed that I came up with it on Friday, too late to submit it to the Independent...

Is it okay to crosspost? This was amazingly funny! Also sounds totally accurate. I've been reading up on humors too, for Renaissance eats.

Sher. As a rule of thumb, I consider anything posted publicly to be fair game, so long as it's properly credited...

I'd replace Gatorade with ice cream, although it is difficult to pack.

Hee!

Okay, so I can see whiskey bacon. And chocolate bacon makes some sense (might be too much of a good thing, apparently 'hot'). Chocolate whiskey is...well, it's a thing, but not unbelievable. So chocolate whiskey bacon is right around the corner, and might taste good.

But chocolate gatorade whiskey bacon?! Right out.

Hey, nobody said medicine always tastes good...

Sadly, I think vosges did a poor job with that one. I love chocolate and bacon together, but that bar is not great in my opinion. I love Vosges in general, of course.

So I ruminated on what foods I should be eating at Pennsic in order to properly balance my humors.

This is so awesome that it hurts.

Because of a fairly unusual Pennsic diet resulting from keeping kosher, I thought this year that I had an overabundance of cold and wet. Given that keeping kosher indirectly caused the problem, I doubt that bacon is the solution.

The proper application is as the four seasons, or the turning of the wheel, and the items should be consumed in the four cycles of the day. Bacon at morn, to warm and balance the dew. Chocolate at midday to stabilize and fortify against the heat and the sweat. Gatorade in the late day to recover from the days heat and to replenish the waters. Whiskey in the evening to warm the body and soul and ease to sleep.

Missed you at war this year :(

Did have a lot of bacon. Didn't really need gatorade, not having left Tagmata much during the day, except to head up to EMS tent to change my bandages (they were really great - helpful and pleasant!) Whiskey of course, and some chocolate (Choc covered ginger, and chocolate covered almonds rolled in sea salt and red pepper from Trader Joe's, my favorite candy store)


Sorry -- I had planned to escort unicornpearlz to all of the Carolingianish encampments to introduce her to folks, but we never found the time for it. Only time I even made it to the Runestone was a very quick swing down to Enchanted Ground.

Bandages? I've missed a story...

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