This is the second edition of Craig’s book. It comes in a nice glossy cover and he has included lovely colour photos of either the finished dish or it being prepared. The book is 101 pages long with some blank pages at the back to jot your own notes down on.
Craig is so open and honest introducing his love of this historical time frame but also letting the reader understand that this is his interpretation of the food. He isn’t stuffy or dry in his writing which is nice. He doesn’t call them recipes as such as they were not written down as we know them today. Instead, Craig has taken the knowledge of his research, his time as a Saxon re-enactor and a big helping of kitchen common sense to breathe life back into our ancestor’s food.
THE FOOD – PART 1
There is something for everyone here. The dishes range from sausages to salads, soups to teas and fish to omelettes. The way Craig lays out what is needed is simple to follow and just like in any kitchen in the world during any era if you want to add or omit something, do so as this is a guide.
The simplicity of the method of cooking is equally easy to follow. This doesn’t mean the food won’t taste delicious rather Craig keeps it simple to allow the reader to enjoy as an authentic Anglo-Danish experience as possible.
Craig has given the read some teas to try and these are delicious. There is an old adage that, “Food is medicine and medicine is food.” Nettle tea is such a boost to our systems you will be surprised you haven’t been drinking it for years.
Craig also gives some ways to brew alcohol. He again keeps it simple but this is a way to get the reader interested in the brewing process. He adds some further reading in a list of that name later in the book.
Craig has given the reader some simple Dark Age projects to try. They are simple, fun and achievable. This is what Craig does so well. He doesn’t set the reader up to fail. Everything that he shows can be done with limited kit and as we are in lockdown they make great family projects. They are a real treat because the reader can immerse themselves a little bit more into the world of The Dark Ages.
THE FOOD – PART 2
In this section Craig talks about the list that started his book and goes on to split the food into different types and categories. He expands how each was used in a historical context and even adds etymology to some. This is a really nice touch.
If you want to reach back in time to eat and drink the same sort of way our ancestors did then this is the book for you. Craig keeps it light yet very informative. You can tell he has walked in the shoes of his Saxon character Aethelwulf as the pragmatism and grounded language can only be used by one who knows what they are doing.
If family screen time is worrying you then this book could be your saviour as each page is a project that the whole family can get involved with. I know my gang and I are going to get stuck into it with great gusto.