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July 3rd, 2011

10:42 am: HORDWEARD RULES
Here is a first go at rules for this competition I want to run, called Hordweard. I need to have it sorted by next weekend, so any feedback before them will be VERY appreciated.
rulesCollapse )

March 27th, 2010

12:59 pm: Beadmaking Basics
INFO FOR PEOPLE IN MY CLASS AT THE WEEKEND
So where to from here?
First, contact Mel George:
To hire the glassworks, you will need to have done a number of classes, and proven to Mel George (who is in charge of hiring) that you will be a good user and contributor to the space. Doing this class has been a great first step on your way! Contact her, and let her know you are interested.
Mel’s contact is: mel.george@canberraglassworks.com
Second, do more classes:
There is no specified number of classes to do in order to hire the space, it is more about proving competency with the equipment, and with your use of glass – some people are faster than others, but everyone gets there in the end.
Two classes coming up are: Bead a Bracelet and Nine Hour Necklace. We usually run a weekend long class at least once a month.
They are pitched at a beginner level, but don’t let this put you off. Ifyou want to do these classes, just remind me (or the teacher) that you have already completed a course, and we can teach you more advanced stuff rather than the basics (again) 
Third, start investing in some of your own glass and equipment.
There is nothing like the glassworks for having all the really expensive tools for you, but a pair of your own glasses that fit you well, are a great asset. So are some of your own basic tools, and bead release. You will also need your own glass, as the glassworks does not provide glass with hire of the space.
You can buy glass from the Glassworks, contact Mel George.
You can also buy direct from the places that we buy here at the glassworks:
http://hotbeadbox.com/ (Melbourne, but does post)
http://www.minsonartglass.com.au/ (In Binalong, on your way to Yass)
http://www.ozziebuddy.com/ (Brisbane, but does post)

Fourth, start learning some new techniques:
Best places to look for these are:
1. Books: both websites above stock books. Good authors include Cindy Jenkins, Kimberley Adams and Corina Tettinger. Also, 1000 glass beads from downstairs is a great inspiration, but doesn’t teach techniques.
2. The web: particularly http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=49934
which has a tutorial for basically anything.

Fifth, start making your own jewellery
Good places to buy findings for making your own jewelry. There are some great places in Canberra for stuff, but if you are making a lot, consider the internet. Here are a couple that are really great:
http://www.plasabali.com/
http://www.pasternakfindings.com/
Are recommended by friends who sell their jewelry on Etsy as good and reliable.

Good Luck, and I hope to see you all again! 

January 2nd, 2007

10:51 am: Winkworth Tudor Kitchen
Some time ago I spent a week cooking in a Tudor kitchen. The place itself was transported to the Weald and Downland Museum, and at the time they needed volunteers... Being the anal sort after I learned to light proper fires, cook properly, and use all the replica stuff, I made a list and took some photos. Then sui_001 took the photos again for me after I couldn't make the camera work... For an article with some cute photos of Dawn in the kitchen: http://www.wealddown.co.uk/News/dawn-of-tudor-cooking-2.htm

New Years Eve, I had a fascinating conversation with damned_colonial, mrsbrown, doushkasmum and sjkasabi. They are in fact looking to set one up. And in aid of the damned_colonial Food Porn night this Friday I present this list:

Inventory:
2 large Bread/Flour Arks (1 of flour with bowl, spoon and flour inside, 1 with clean rags) Approx 3x2 feet
1 Durer style mouse trap
5 three legged stools
3 benches
5 medium wooden buckets (with water in over night)
1 large bucket (for washing up - water, small amount brown vinegar, dried rosemary to scrub)
2 medium chests (1 for 10 terracotta and wax cloth sealed spice cups, 1 for spoons and knives)
2 small chests (1 for cooking knives, 1 for candles)
1 large dough trough
1 medium trough
2 small troughs
1 medium basket for onions
4 gathering baskets (various sizes)
1 set of scales
1 yoke
1 large leather jug
4 large pottery jugs
2 medium jugs
3 small jugs
3 large shallow pottery basins
2 large deep pottery bowls
4 mediums assorted deep pottery bowls
3 large serving plates
1 medium pie plate
1 small wooden churn
3 medium wooden churns
1 bowl of 15thC butter moulds
1 pottery skillet
2 small pottery deep bowls
4 handled pottery serving bowls
12 small pottery bowls (various)
5 small wooden bowls (various)
1 wooden platter
1 pewter plate
15 wooden plates, round (various)
15 wooden trenchers
9 wooden cutting/serving boards
1 gingerbread form (wooden)
1 wooden rolling pin
2 large wooden shallow bowls
3 medium wooden mixing bowls
3 small wicker/wooden sieves
2 small barrels
3 waffle/wafer irons
2 medium pottery cauldrons with handle
1 chafing dish
3 small jugs sealed
1 semi-circular pan
1 small wooden mortar and pestle
1 large stone mortar and pestle
1 tinder box
2 tall pottery canisters
4 short pottery canisters
4 large pottery jugs with spigots
1 small vinegar jug (used for wiping tables down)
4 large wooden spoons and hooks
10 medium wooden spoons
8 wooden eating spoons
1 iron skimmer
2 small iron cauldrons (brass lined?)
2 medium iron cauldrons with lids
1 large cast iron dutch oven
1 large shallow to handled iron pan
2 long-handled iron skillets
4 cast-iron trivets on legs (about 8 inches tall)
1 spit plus chains,etc.
1griddle (round)
1 iron fork
1 set iron tongs
4 sets iron handles (hinged hooks)
1 huge copper plus large wooden ladle plus wood cover
1 Bread oven plus wooden door butt
3 horn lanterns
1 besom
1 shovel (short handled)
1 coal scraper
2 wooden bread shovels
3 trestle tables
1 set of bellows
1 extra ladle
4 candlesticks
1 tiled fireplace (no chimney but air vent louvre)
1 peg board for hanging wrapped/smoked meat

shortly with some technical assistance from sui_001 I hope to bring you some photos...

October 7th, 2006

07:52 pm: following in the footsteps of the sheep goddess...
The first five people to respond to this post, will get some form of art, by me. I make no guarantees about quality, type, or timely delivery but I will assure that I will give it a good effort. Maybe. The only catch, of course; as with most memes, if you sign up, you have to put this in your own journal as well.

September 14th, 2006

06:37 pm: Intellectualism and the SCA
I have just spent a few days on a roadtrip with erudito, and had to dust off my brain for some of the most interesting historical/political talks I have had in recent times. Felt alive, as I find this actually much mor interesting than Norse clothing for example... And this particular chestnut came back out from the recesses of my mind - it may be familiar to some of you however, I don't believe it has ever been seriously proposed...

(Carefully places soapbox out for all to see)

It has always fascinated me that we have the most fascinating research into the practical tools or lifestyle of medieval life, and even intellectual theory on what these represent. For an example, please see Erudito's insight into the role of Medieval Dance. Absolutely Fascinating.

Where we seem to have a great big black hole, is in the research into the philosophical insights of the medieval scholars. It really piques my interest that no one that I am aware of in Lochac has spent time seriously looking at what for medieval man was the intellectual heights. I see no active discussions on Occam's Razor, or the value of music as a tool for studying nature's harmonics (eg things like planetary alignments). While some that I know of have such knowledge, I have never seen it actively pursued, or taught *within* the SCA.

And quite frankly, I find it really fascinating.

Here is a quickie from Cambridge's website:

The students who flocked to Cambridge soon arranged their scheme of study after the pattern which had become common in Italy and France, and which they would have known in Oxford. They studied first what would now be termed a 'foundation course' in arts - grammar, logic and rhetoric - followed later by arithmetic, music, geometry and astronomy, leading to the degrees of bachelor and master. There were no professors; the teaching was conducted by masters who had themselves passed through the course and who had been approved or licensed by the whole body of their colleagues (the universitas or university). The teaching took the form of reading and explaining texts; the examinations were oral disputations in which the candidates advanced a series of questions or theses which they disputed or argued with opponents a little senior to themselves, and finally with the masters who had taught them. Some of the masters, but by no means all, went on to advanced studies in divinity, canon and civil law, and, more rarely, medicine, which were taught and examined in the same way by those who had already passed through the course and become doctors. The doctors grouped themselves into specific faculties.

You can find the rest here: http://www.cam.ac.uk/cambuniv/pubs/history/medieval.html

For some years I have been mulling over the concept of running classes at festival for each of these topics (not personally for all of them, but co-opting the large brained types to do so). Each picks a topic for a class, and runs it on one day. Thereby gaining a taste through one day at festival at what people Learned in medieval times.

Perhaps complementary classes could be given in items such as Medicine (by for example Pip or Cairistiona, or possibly both) or Canon law, or theology...?

As an interesting aside, it might also be quite fascinating to have effectively a Great Debate run somewhere like the Wine Bar on one evening, allowing people to debate one of the great medieval topics, and thereby earning their "bachelor" or "masters" ... a REAL Lochac University???

(Not sure how far you could follow this without running into SCA convention in a bad way with the use of the word Master, but think it would be interesting)

Anyone have any thoughts - would this be a worthwhile activity? Would anyone be interested in coming to grips with the medieval intellectual mindset?

Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative

June 13th, 2006

06:00 pm: Dear all,

As it is my birthday today, and I will be 3+2, I would like to cordially invite you all to my 5th birthday party on saturday afternoon.

There will be cake, fairy bread, musical chairs, pass the parcel, candles, party pies, charades, and all the other great classics - suggestions invited, providing it can be played / eaten by the five year old you want to be.

If you would like to spend an afternoon in Glen Waverley, taking you away from all the hustle and bustle, particularly if we don't seem to have caught up in the last little while, I would love to have your company along with Sui & Jorgia around 3 or so...

love and kisses
meesh

January 11th, 2006

08:04 pm: My First Meme
Courtesy of Nobble, I tried the "Which Religion Are You?" test.

For those who know me I was brought up in a household where religion was not only important, but a constant source of tensions. One parent bahai, one parent wavering between marxist and quaker. Consequently I have an interest in all sorts of faiths and religions, and I consider faith to be one of the most important questions that a person has to aswer for themselves. Hopefully after a lot of thought.

I got a tie-break between two religions. Not at all what I would have expected, and I am somewhat perplexed by this... I guess , while I have no problem with either of these tenets, I would not have classified myself this way. I almost wonder, as so many of the questions revolved around whether or not jesus was god (or variations on a theme) if that is why these came up...?

Anyway, for your amusement:

You scored as Islam. Your beliefs are most similar to those of Islam. Do more research on Islam and possibly consider taking the shahadah and officially becoming a Muslim, if you aren't already.

Despite the actions of some - who go against the teachings of Islam - Islam is a religion of peace; the word "islam" means "peace through submission to God." "Muslim" means "one who submits to God." Islam is the third of the three Abrahamic faiths, and it shares much with Judaism in Christianity; its differences are the acceptance of Muhammad as the last and final prophet, and the oneness of God - in other words, that Jesus, though he was a revered prophet, was not in fact God, and only one God exists. Apparently the Taliban could not read (though their name means "students"), because the Qur'an states that men and women are equal as believers, and that all believers should be educated and seek knowledge. Modesty in dress and behavior is required in Islam for both men and women to preserve the values of society and move the emphasis from superificial appearance to intelligence, knowledge, and God.

</td></tr>

agnos
ticism

88%

Islam

88%

Hinduism

67%

Paganism

54%

Christianity

<td></td>
50%

Buddhism

50%

atheism

46%

Judaism

46%

Satanism

33%

Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with QuizFarm.com


You scored as agnosticism. You are an agnostic. Though it is generally taken that agnostics neither believe nor disbelieve in God, it is possible to be a theist or atheist in addition to an agnostic. Agnostics don't believe it is possible to prove the existence of God (nor lack thereof).

Agnosticism is a philosophy that God's existence cannot be proven. Some say it is possible to be agnostic and follow a religion; however, one cannot be a devout believer if he or she does not truly believe.

</td>

agnosticism

88%

Islam

88%

Hinduism

67%

Paganism

54%

Christianity

50%

Buddhism

50%

atheism

46%

Judaism

46%

Satanism

33%

Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with QuizFarm.com


January 1st, 2006

10:13 pm: Is it possible to be homesick for more than one place? Or is it time that I miss?

Let me tell you right now, that I adore Melbourne. It is a beautiful city that is home to so many people I have come to know and love. I have not one but two jobs that I like and that give me a great deal of variety, and of course I have my wonderful quixotic fiance and his gorgeous daughter. But I just don't get that home feeling about it yet. I know it will come, as it has elsewhere.

There are so many places that have become home over the years and each of them have become special to me. These things come back to me in brief flashes, awash with feelings of longing, though I love the now too.

***

Bathurst:

The hot sun beating down on an un-fenced football field with a view of the mountains, that is 20 metres from my front door. Playing with my sister on the grandstand.

The cool of the twilight, crossing a bridge with my father, debating philosophy as we walk the dogs every night.

The dense fog sweeping away from the old federation buildings that were my school as I arrive on a chilly winter morning.

***

Canberra:

Ad hoc dinner at H and J's tiny bedsit debating politics lectures, and finding out about this untlimately weird medieval hobby thing. Feeling a world opening up.

Talking to R's father as he cooks the meal for his amazing wife, and loving children. The feeling of family.

Playing with a young Druss, and armour lessons from my teacher and friend

Roleplaying with the guys as we playtest yet another module for shadowrun. Running with them, not knowing much, but feeling caught up in the fanasy.

Sewing an outfit all night for a wedding, and seeing a groom glow.

***

Sydney:

The quiet of a tiny backyard with a giant jackaranda tree and a windchime, visible from my bedroom, accompanied by a wicked bowl of sweet potato pasta.

An entire shop front as a sewing room. what luxury.

Dipping strawberries in chocolate for an engagement party of the most talented and giving woman I have ever known, who I was lucky enough to have as a best friend.

***

San Francisco

Belly dancing in a basement apartment, music going, braids flying.

Hanging vetriano pictures in a room that was entirely pink.

Dancing at my first concert - the Dave Matthew's Band - at PacBell park

Sewing by firelight in the BC, meeting so many people who were legends of my SCA childhood, being welcomed by them unstintingly. Feeling Western.

The best toasted cheese and pickle courtesy of a wonderful Miss J, with the magical personality of JT floating through with the most recent of his conquests.

Sunset in the Russian district.

Any party at Deena's. Any time, anywhere with that lady was like a party in itself.

**

England

Learning how to make a real fire from seasoned oak in a complete Tudor kitchen

An afternoon on a canal boat riding nowhere at a slow pace

Picnicking in Hyde Park and Kew Gardens

Yet another Real Ale, no beer, no ale.

A few weeks in The Shire, with warm people, and The Hill

Soaring, gliding, enormous winds, beautiful cliffs, and those magnificent men and their flying machines.

***

Somehow all of this has been mine for a time. Are these moments more precious for not being able to recapture them?

How lucky I have been. I still am.

December 12th, 2005

07:33 am: Absolutely Horrified
I cannot believe that this is the country I live in.

It is known for often being parochial, fiercely patriotic, and even inward looking. But we pride ourselves partly on our multicultural heritage. It is part of who we are. Without the last 200 years of immigration the vast majority of people in this nation would not be here.

I have always thought that the race riots we see on television in other countries could never happen here. I can't believe I was so wrong.

http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/the-mob-sang-waltzing-matilda/2005/12/11/1134235951620.html

I hope these people are put behind bars at the very least. This behaviour is completely contrary to the Australian way of life.

Current Mood: shockedand not in a good way

May 8th, 2005

05:40 pm: Hmmm... supposed to be working on viking cockatrice...
Problem is I'm completely wrapped up in the concept of the Breugel Feast. The Peasant Wedding for Midwinter. Its an area that I've always wanted to play with and have flirted with on and off over the years with major sidetracking issues like Viking. So now being given it on a plate to play with makes everything else look dull for the moment.

My current task is pastry. Everyone is agreed that a fish pie is a must. We just cannot afford the expensive fish we see in most recipes, like lamprey and eel, so we are going to have to make do with salmon, which is apparently cheaper and more easily obtained. Which i guess i would have known if i was a big fish fan.

Small aside: I have just read about coquinaria's website getting ripped off without attribuition. Truly shocked, and disturbed. WHY? Why take someone else's work? By all means use their research, even words if you are not doing your own, but why would you leave out an attribution??? That is beyond rude.

Anyway, so now i'm on the hunt for fish pie. Salmon pie if i can get it. As close as possible to fit in the timeframe of BPW (Breugel's Peasant Wedding - it had to happen, my penchant for TLA's has struck again). With a dutch spin if i can help it. And from the purely selfish perspective that those of us queueing up for the feast are of dutch rather than flemish stock. Come to think of it, I cannot remember having met any Flemish emigrees in Australia, let alone their children in the sca...

So, starting with Chrissie van Tets' translation of Een Noatble Boecxen van Cokereyen (NBC hereafter - which you can see here: http://users.pandora.be/willy.vancammeren/NBC/index.htm) Here is what I have:
Recipe 115: Pies of Salmon. Pies of salmon. "One shall not put anything [6] in them other than white ginger powder."
Well thats not so helpful. A good start, but no instruction on how to prepare. What type of pastry? Come to that, what type of pie?? I mean are we eating all the pie or just the innards? And what do you mean nothing but white ginger? Wouldn't the fish dry out??

If we look at recipe 94 from the same source, we get:
"[4] To make good pies. Take flour and [5] make dough from it and put therein eggs or [6] fat in order that the crust of the pie will be short. [7] And take the meat that you want to have in there [8] and cut it small as the meat allows. [9] Or take hens or capons or beef tongue [10] or other game and lay that whole in the [11] pie and one must stick them with cloves [12] if one wishes and some cut bacon into it. [13] And the spices for this are ginger, grains of paradise [14] and cinnamon mixed together. These spices [15] must be mixed with the meat when the meat [16] is cut up small. Then one throws it into the pie [17] together and takes a little wine if one wishes and one also lays [18] therein marrow bones because they should be fat. [19] Set it thus in the oven and let it bake. Then [20] it is complete."

That sounds a little more promising. But of course as per all our wonderful recipes within our time perid precious little in the way of measurements. And the pastry is nebulous, although we know it is a shortcrust, and that it contains flour and eggs. And we know that for standard meats, they are minced, spices, a little fat and maybe some wine added. Where does this leave our salmon? No wine, no fat (fair enough, greasy fish) with just a little white ginger powder in the mix... well that sounds boring. Maybe i should be saying delicate? Not to my mundane australian palate? Perhaps i need to be proven wrong?

If I look at recipe 95, butter is added to the list of pastry ingredients. As is warm water. "[22] Take butter, eggs, flour, warm water and [23] make therefrom dough of everything that was mentioned before [24]... " That just blows my mind. I have always been told COLD water. Always. Even run your fingers under cold water to make your hands cold enough to deal with dough. Have i been doing it wrong all these years??? But at least it is a more familiar bunch of ingredients for pastry.

As a side, totally taken with the recipe 99 for chicken pie with Sauce Robert ( but want to do something else entirely with the chicken). "Take verjuice and egg yolks; beat [21] them together. Then take fine powder. And when [22] the pie is to be baked so put it all together [23] and cut the chickens in pieces. Could we bastardize the salmon recipe to have no other spices other than white ginger powder. but maybe more in the way of a scrummy binding agent like this? Would it ruin the fish? Would it fit with the period palate? is it a legitimate redaction technique? After all the Sauce Robert option appears in the recipe book before the Salmon Pie, where the author seems ... well bored of repeating all the steps and is only giving spicing directions for pies of various meats... Wish I knew more about redaction. And cooking. Having looked through all the fish pie recipes in this book, most of them have a "nothing but" clause on spices... Hmmm.. still in the food for thought category. Think this distinction might have to come down to a taste test.

Pretty happy with the list of pastry ingerdients buy now, and know that most good cooks would not require any more direction than this, but have my curiosity peaked now. So what can I find?

Just as note, i found out what dutch cooks did before tv. Have you seen the lists of recipes? Half are how to make your food in technicolour!! I kid you not, they dyed their food interesting colours... and I'm talking purples, blues, bright reds, pink... how boring must our dishes look comparatively?

And as another note, at least three of the books have recipes for porpoise. Given Krae Glas, I wish I had a chance to have a go...

Looked at the Coquinaria website. Nothing more on dough in the flemish manuscripts, although an interesting recipe for cheese biscuits. Its a good website. Check it out at: http://www.coquinaria.nl/kooktekst/index.htm

Hmmm. So while there are other period dutch cookbooks, notably "Eenen seer schoonen ende excellenten Cocboeck", which i wish was available in English though i cannot find it. A few recipes can be found here, but without transalation before redaction hard to know how good they are: http://www.kookhistorie.com/

So on to a contemporary German source. I have no idea how valid this is. I have no idea if there was a strong overlap in culinary traditions, or if it was strikingly different. I know i think of german cooking now as different. Similar, but different in that thousand tiny ways so as to make it alien. But Sabrina is in many ways a legend not least of which for giving very full instructions.

Anyway, the full version of Sabrina Welserin's cookbook (Hereafter SWC) is here: http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Cookbooks/Sabrina_Welserin.html

Her recipe for dough is as follows:
Take flour, the best that you can get, about two handfuls, depending on how large or small you would have the pie. Put it on the table and with a knife stir in two eggs and a little salt. Put water in a small pan and a piece of fat the size of two good eggs, let it all dissolve together and boil. Afterwards pour it on the flour on the table and make a strong dough and work it well, however you feel is right. If it is summer, one must take meat broth instead of water and in the place of the fat the skimmings from the broth. When the dough is kneaded, then make of it a round ball and draw it out well on the sides with the fingers or with a rolling pin, so that in the middle a raised area remains, then let it chill in the cold. Afterwards shape the dough as I have pointed out to you. Also reserve dough for the cover and roll it out into a cover and take water and spread it over the top of the cover and the top of the formed pastry shell and join it together well with the fingers. Leave a small hole. And see that it is pressed together well, so that it does not come open. Blow in the small hole which you have left, then the cover will lift itself up. Then quickly press the hole closed. Afterwards put it in the oven. Sprinkle flour in the dish beforehand. Take care that the oven is properly heated, then it will be a pretty pastry. The dough for all shaped pastries is made in this manner.

How good is that??? seems hot water is the way to go though. Even better than this, recipes 64 & 65 are how to prepare the fish and make fish pie dough (albeit salmon doesn't rate a mention):

64 To make a fish pastry from trout, carp, Selbingen[9] or bream

Open the fish and pull out the entrails and cut diagonal slashes in it, let the fish remain otherwise whole. Take pepper and ginger, mix them together well and a little cloves, and salt the fish well inside and out. Take butter or another fat and put it on the inside and outside of the fish. Make the pastry as for any fish and let it bake.


65 The dough for the pastry

Take rye flour, according to how large the fish is, take it, and put water, about three pints, in a pan and a good quarter pound of fat into it, and let it cook together, put the flour on the table and put the solids from the melted fat-water on top, until it makes a good firm dough. You must knead it well so that it becomes good and sticky. Afterwards make two parts out of it. First the bottom, roll it out as large as the fish is. After that lay the fish on the bottom crust and roll out the top crust just as wide and put it over the fish and shape it like the fish. Make fins on it and take a small knife and make dough scales, also eyes and everything which a fish has. And put it in the oven and spread it with an egg. Then you have a fish pastry.

So that would be no eggs, but with fishy fatty water. So what is right? Time for a taste test i think. Roll on Thursday...

Current Mood: creative
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