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March 23rd, 2011

Coronation feast mods @ 03:45 pm

I made a change to the menu.  It's not so much for financial reasons, although the change will be easier on the budget.  Mostly it's because it sounds tasty and I think fits the menu better.

Before now, the fourth course was this:

Venison with mustard sauce and horseradish sauce
Beets and Red Cabbage with Berries
Spelt Pottage
Custard Tarts with Raisins

I have done away with the spelt pottage and am now going to make Flead Cakes.  Basically, they're Kentish herbed biscuits made with butter and lard. 

Doug has volunteered himself to taste test them, as often as it takes until they're perfect.   =)

October 22nd, 2010

Doom @ 10:07 am

Heard there is a hiccup with the ADT website, so for those that need directions to Doom, feel free to pass this around:

MontMilner Rainbow Camp, 3375 Jump Off Road, Sewanee, TN 37375    

*Directions from the the Alabama area: Take your best route to Highway 72E. Take the I-24 ramp to Nashville.

*From the Nashville area: Take your best route to I-24.

*From the Knoxville or Atlanta areas: Take your best route to I-75. Take exit 2 to I-24.

*From these points, take exit 134 to Sewanee and turn left on US-41. Drive about 3 miles. Turn left on TN-156 and go approximately 3.5 miles. There will be signs.

October 13th, 2010

The Food of Doom! (for those that missed it on FB) @ 06:38 am


Feel free to pass this around to anyone who might be interested. . .

 Friday night traveler's fare will be potato-cheese soup, chicken-rice soup, bread, cranberry oatmeal cookies, tea, lemonade, and water.

 Breakfast Saturday morning will be baked French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon, coffee, and hot cocoa.

 The fundraiser lunch will benefit the Meridian Fighter Feed at Gulf Wars.  It is a pasta bar (penne tossed with olive oil and your choice of marinara, meat sauce, pesto, or alfredo) with salad, chocolate chip cookies, lemonade, tea, and water.

 The Feast is currently limited to 80.  It's a "taster's menu", but it also represents Gluttony, so be prepared.  Here's the menu:

1st Remove, from Andalusian and Baghdadi sources:
Rolled Chicken Sandwiches
Mirkas (Sausage) with Feta
Garbanzo Flatbreads
Herbed Cheese Curds
Carrots Pickled with Mint and Tarragon
Almond Pudding
Hais (date-nut balls)
Raisin Drink
Syrup of Pomegranate
Syrup of Carrots

2nd Remove, from Danish, Dutch, and German sources:
Beef Roast
Pork Loin
Carrot Puree
Unleavened Buns
Cheese "Doughnuts" (made with Parmesan and bacon)
Pear Tarts
Spanish Pastries

3rd Remove, from Italian and Catalan sources:
Pomegranate Chicken and Rice
Pottage of Marinated Mutton (ok, lamb)
Mushroom Tarts
Broom Pudding  (made with rice flour and almonds)

4th Remove, from French and English sources:
Balls (made of pork and lamb . . . shaped like, not taken from)
Benes Yfryed (favas fried with onions and garlic)
Tart de Bry
Appulmoy (roasted apple pudding)
Crepes (filled with spiced sugar)
Sweet Tisane (a barley and fig-flavored drink)

 There is also a silent auction (again, to benefit the Fighter Feed), and rumor has it (haha) that there will be a massive Brownie Goo Cheesecake up for bids.

 If anyone has any dietary or allergy concerns, please feel free to message me privately.  Hope to see you there!


August 25th, 2010

(no subject) @ 08:13 am

I finished the purple class yesterday.  It was a really fun and interesting subject to put together.  One day I might have to flesh it out more for a larger article.  Right now, even with just a "high points" approach, it's over 1700 words.   Hey -- should I play Prince music in the background?  I mean, he's the Purple One and they had princes back in the day, so wouldn't that make it sorta-kinda-maybe a little bit period?  *lol*

I would love to knock out a Byzantine outfit to wear to the event this weekend, but I know me well enough to know that I wouldn't be happy with something I just knocked out. 

My first attempt at embroidery is progressing slowly.  Right now, I think it's going to be one of things that I'll be glad I tried, but I don't really see as a long-term interest.  Props to those that do it because they enjoy it, though.   I have three projects that I want to embellish with embroidery; I'm going to see those through, but I'll be curious to see how many others there will be in the future.  Embroidery doesn't really work with my "instant gratification"-oriented personality.

I looked at my calendar, and I have project commitments for the next nine months.  Having that much time planned out sounds crazy, but my goal is keep a better record of it all and I won't have a gazillion things to do at once.  One or two jobs/projects/classes/whatever a month seems reasonable.

For the silent auction at Coronation, I'm donating a selection of hand-blended extracts and spice mixtures.  Some are even from period recipes.  There should be around 10 items in the lot, so it should be a fun thing to bid on. 

Wow, I just looked at my upcoming projects list, and most of them are food-related.  How did that happen?  =)


July 15th, 2010

(no subject) @ 06:46 am

Tags: , , ,

My food class for RUM is basically done.  It still doesn't feel right to me -- I keep thinking that I should have more about the food itself, but I can't figure out how to do that.  Deirdre says it's great, so I should probably just leave it alone and roll with it.  Right now I'm in my "crazy-nervous over something new" phase; once I actually start talking in the class, I'll be fine. 

I want to redact a couple of the fall feast recipes for the class, and probably a couple for the OVO meeting. I mean, I have to test them anyway, right?  I can make my class and my friends my guinea piges!  Muahahaha!

Finally finished Dugal's Spiffy Dishwashing Tunic.  At a distance, even the woven trim looks OK.  I keep telling myself than in a couple of years I'll hold that piece up and say, "Look how far I've progressed!"  =)  I have to work out a system to keep myself on track when I'm card weaving.  Right now, I get too distracted, or too rushed, or too impatient, and I lose count of where I am in the process.  It's kind of annoying for my Instant Gratification Self.

Also finished all the handsewing on this really lovely brown striped wool apron that's been sitting in my half-finished pile for months.  The fabric has really fine blue, rust, and teal stripes in it, and I stitched it with some maroon wool I got from maudeleyn .  It's more subtle than I had originally intended, but I like it.  Now I have to make the tunics to wear under it.

I'm working on a rosary project now, too.  There was an entry with two rosaries at Kingdom A&S, but I don't know who did it.  As a fellow enthusiast, I was a bit disappointed in the documentation.  (Good grief, did I just say that?)  Maybe it was the person's first entry, I don't know.

It brings up an entire issue that I'm wrestling with: creative license vs. documentable authenticity.  The whole rosary project started because I found a description of one in "Canterbury Tales", then I found a picture from a Book of Hours that seemed very similar to the description.  Excellent!  The only problem is that neither of those are primary sources; in fact, both of them are tertiary at best -- they are a work of fiction and a painting -- purely conjectural because of the artistic license.  Fine for inspiration, but not so fine as documentation.

I'm a firm believer in the C of the SCA, but I also understand the need for the educational depth.  What a pain in the ass that conflict can be.


June 7th, 2010

Kingdom A&S @ 07:56 am

Kingdom A&S was fun, but I have to admit I'm glad it's over.

What I learned:
  • It is now an imperative for me to provide "packets" of supplies for tasting for the judges.
  • Whichever item I like *least* will be the favorite on the entry.
  • Wooden spoons are fine to have for an entry, but have some plastic ones on hand in case someone (like the King) has the oogies over wooden spoons.
  • I must eat breakfast before sitting with my entry all day.  A giant brownie at 6:00 a.m. does not constitute breakfast.
  • If my entry consists of mostly of items made with large amounts of sugar and/or honey, I need to keep protein-y snacks with me.  Otherwise, I *will* snack on the entry, and I *will* have a massive sugar crash by lunch.
  • Even if the competition is in an air-conditioned hall, I should wear something cool.  That many people wandering around sort of diminishes the effect of an a/c.  Especially if I'm seated between an entrant burning two sterno pots and an entrant running a toaster oven.
  • It makes me crazy happy to see people wearing the swag I gave them for their entry.

I was so amazingly tense over this entry.  Finally, after I had thrown something across the room because I couldn't find my OVO pouch, Dugal had to sit me down to explain it to me.

This was only my second entry in a kingdom-level competition.  It was my first after I scored a 20 on my *first* kingdom-level entry.  It was my first after I had represented Meridies in my first inter-kingdom competition at Gulf Wars, where I didn't do as well as I had hoped.  (Let's face it, the lunch I made scored better than my actual entry.)  I was putting enormous pressure on myself to not be a fluke.

In the end, I scored very well: 20-20-19.

After it was over, one of my judges came up and said, "You know, the bread you made at Magna Faire and MidWinter A&S was fine, but this was really wonderful.  THIS (meaning a survey) is where you excel.  THIS is the kind of entry you need to keep doing."

I appear to have set a fairly high bar for myself.  While it's exciting to know that I can do really, really cool stuff, it's also tiring to know that I have to keep my brain in high gear for it all.  Not that I would ever half-ass a project, but I spent hours pondering every possible detail for that pudding entry -- What did I forget?  What random question could they ask that I forgot to cover?  Is my documentation too long?  Is it too dry?

Of course, I can't complain at all.  I already have ideas for my next few entries.


May 19th, 2010

Almond Pudding x7 @ 06:47 am

I got all the recipes redacted yesterday.  Now I just have to test them all.

I had to change my choices in the German and English sources because I could not wrap my brain around ways to make them work -- one with vinegar but no emulsifiers and one with bread crumbs but no sweetener.  I may try them anyway, just to see what happens.

My brain was overloading, going through the stack of paper that included the original recipes and scribbled notes and whatnot.  I couldn't draw any parallels or note significant differences in them.  Then I remembered the feastcrat spreadsheet that madrun  had sent me.  I was in the car at my daughter's dance class so I couldn't immediately use it, but I drew up a grid and wrote everything out on it.  Ta da!  Instant ingredient comparison analysis.  Andi, you are a genius.

Seven varieties of pudding is a lot. I may cut it back to five.  Either way, I must not forget the pitcher of water and the oyster crackers for the entry.

May 18th, 2010

scheduling and stuff @ 09:52 am

PUF 2010 is over.  It was grand and it was weird.  It was labeled by some as "PUF the 13th", but others said it was fabulous.  All in all, I guess it was a typical PUF.

Had lunch with Chuck and lrainey  on Sunday.  Good food, good friends, good conversation.  Few things are better.

It was A-MA-ZING to see people that I haven't seen in years -- John and Calyx, Duncan, Thayer, Dave, Chip.  Happyhappyhappy.  And sitting with madrun  on the porch just talking for hours was the best.  We must do that regularly.

Those electric roasters can cook things pretty quickly -- who knew?

Box fans in the kitchen are a must.  So are those padded kitchen floor mats.  And as much as I hate to admit it, my walking shoes with custom arch supports saved my life.  Yeah, my legs, feet, and back hurt, but I'm not crippled. 

So now that that chapter of 2010 is closed, the next thing on my To Do list is my Kingdom A&S entry.  So much almond pudding you'll say, "Holy crap, that's a lot of almond pudding".  It's a survey across five or six countries.  Right now I'm just trying to decide which recipes I want to use and redact them.  I'm hoping the documentation eloquence comes soon, because right now I've got nothin'.

About a month after that, I have to turn in my menu and recipes for a "grand" feast for Unchained Doom.  But before that, I have to find a site.  Yeah, I know it's the autocrat's job, but his ex-wife is moving to Germany and his son is going with her for two years.  He's trying to fit in as much Dad-time as possible before he goes. 

I'm afraid I'm going to have to go with WOW.  I know the kitchen really well, but the site is really expensive.  Between their site fees and the big food budget I want, I'm afraid it'll be cost-prohibitive.  I want a site that has tenting and cabin space (late October, the weather can go either way in seconds), and preferably one where I can serve alcohol.  I don't have to have alcohol, but it would be a nice addition to the feast.

After that, I don't know.  I mean, I DO know, but I'm trying to consciously choose to not think about it yet.  Maybe that will keep my head from exploding.

April 30th, 2010

(no subject) @ 07:24 am

Phooey.  My spice grinder died.  Now I have to wait until BB&B opens to get a new one.  Tick tock, tick tock -- I have cookies to bake!

April 28th, 2010

(no subject) @ 07:54 am

Once again, my head is too full of ideas.  This time, however, I'm trying to write them all down so I'll remember them when I have more time.

I need to make a black underdress for this weekend, and I need to make noshy things for the meetings.  It's not required, by any means, but I can't help it when I have an excuse to play Treat Fairy.  =)

I decided I want to do a survey of almond puddings for Kingdom A&S.  Now the issue I have is figuring out how I'll discuss it on paper.  I'm sure that will come as I redact the recipes.

Gotta work on the Doom feast, too.  Lots and lots of documentable dishes for that one.

I want to teach at RUM, but I don't know what.  I've exhausted the bog coat class for awhile, I can't find my visual aids for the prayer beads class.  The fibula class is hands-on, so I might be able to bulk up the documentation on it.  I would love to teach a food class, but I have no idea how I'd approach it.  Or what exact subject matter I'd teach, for that matter.

PUF is coming up in less than two weeks, and I've done NOTHING to prepare for it.  That seems to be my theme song this year, unfortunately.