Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Privilege of the Cook

A while back there was a post to the SCA Cooks mailing list by Johnna Holloway (Hi Johnnae! Thanks!) that contained these ... guidelines? They were originally written between the 13th and 15th centuries, and collected and published in "Ancient laws and institutes of Wales" (1841).

There are a lot of interesting bits in here, such as how the cook gets all the entrails (except for the hearts). Some of the perks of the job could have money-making potential (he gets his land for free, but does he have someone working it for him? how much were goat skins worth?).  I also find the part about "protection" intriguing.

I'll have to read through the source (in my copious free time) and see how the cooks benefits compare to those for other jobs. Was the cook's job a good one, a bad one, or somewhere in between?


XXVII. The Privilege of the Cook.

1. To the cook belong the skins of the sheep, the goats, the lambs, the kids, the calves, and the entrails of every animal slaughtered in the kitchen; excepting the hearts, which go to the hawks; and the milt and the rectum to the porter.

2. To the cook belong the tallow and skimming from the kitchen, except the tallow of such ox as shall be three nights with the cattle of the maer-house.

3. He has his land free.

4. And he has a horse, always in attendance, from the king.

5. And a share of the gwestva silver.

***

XXIII. of the Cook

1. The galanas and saraad of the cook are the same as those mentioned above.

2. He is to have his land free.

3. And his horse in attendance from the king.

4. The cook is to have the entrails of all the animals killed in the palace, excepting the hearts.

5. The cook is to have the skins of the sheep and of the goats, and the fragments from the cauldron.

6. He is to have a share of the gwestva silver.

7. His daughter has the same privelege as the daughter of the bard of the household.

8. And his ebediw is six score pence.

***

XXIX. of the Queen's Cook, This Treats.

1. The seventh is her cook.

2. He is to have his land free; his horse in attendance; and his linen from the queen, and his woolen from the king.

3. He is to be supplied by the steward with all his necessaries for the kitchen.

4. He is to taste each dish that he may prepare.

5. His protection is the same as that of the king's cook.

6. His lodging is with the steward of the king.

7. His saraad is six kine, and six score of silver.

8. His worth is six score and six kine, to be augmented.

***

XXI. of the Cook.

1. The fifteenth is the cook.

2. He is to have his land free; his horse in attendance; his linen from the queen, and his woolen from the king.

3. He is to inhabit the kitchen; and he is to have his necessaries from the steward and the land maer.

4. He is to have skins of all the small animals which come to the kitchen with their skins on; that is to say, he is to have one third, and the steward two thirds.

5. He is to taste each dish that he shall season.

6. He is to have the fragments, and the tallow, and the entrails.

7. He is himself to bring the last dish, and place it before the king; and then the king is to present him with meat and drink.

8. His protection is, from the time he shall begin to prepare the first dish until he shall place the last before the king, to convey an offender away.

9. The steward is to supply him with all herbs to season his dishes; such as pepper, and other herbs.

10. He is to eat with the servants.

11. His lodging is with the steward.

12. He is to have one share of the supper silver.

13. His saraad is six kine, and six score of silver, to be augmented.

14. His worth is six score and six kine, to be augmented.

***

19. The protection of the cook is, from the time he shall cook the first joint, until he shall set the last joint before the king and queen.

1 comment:

Wacky Hermit said...

Forget the cook, I want to be the porter! All the rectums I could possibly want, and more! ;)