Those blue cheese biscuits from this entry? The ones I said were made from a recipe by Nigella Lawson, but I didn’t particularly care? This morning I was reading Wel ende edelike spijse (Good and Noble Food), or UB Gent 1035, as transcribed and translated by Christianne Muusers over on Coquinaria, when I came across recipe 1.21, Deegh om pypesen te makene, dough to make pipes.
‘Take cheese from Gouda and eggs. Grind together with white flour. Lay it on dry flour and make small biscuits of it.’
Compare this with Nigella’s (paraphrased, abbreviated and innuendo removed):
Mix the cheese, butter and egg yolk together and work in the flour (and the optional cornmeal and salt which I didn’t use) just enough to form a soft dough. Let rest in the fridge, dust a surface with flour, roll out the pastry and cut whatever shapes you like. (Domestic Goddess p.64)
Granted, the cheeses used are different, the latter recipe is enriched with butter and yolks rather than whole eggs, but otherwise the recipe is basically the same. This really illustrates my own cooking philosophy. According to it, even if we do use a modern recipe, provided that we use period ingredients and period methods, someone somewhere probably already made it in Period.