Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Thoughts on Peerage from the #LongestVigilEver

 Being given a writ during a pandemic has had some upsides and one of them really has been the time to reflect on what it means to me to be a peer and what sort of peer do *I* want to be. The thoughts come and go and I try to track them the best I can (Thank you Johanna for the best book ever!!). As I was chatting with a friend the other day I shared with her what I am going to share now.

Many talk about a path to peerage and the journey they are on. I myself have even referred to it as such, but it has really struck me that all my work and my apprenticeship has not been a path or a journey. Peerage is not the destination or the end. What is it then? The work I have done to get here is my 'packing phase' I have gathered my tools and resources. Saved my money and chosen a 'way'. All of the work up until my writ was just to get me to my front door. My journey, my path, starts when I take on the mantle of peerage and walk out the door. Along the way I will meet others either gathering their own tools and supplies or who have headed out their own doors and have taken to the open road. I look forward to those I will me along the way. Peerage is not a destination, it is the start of a journey.

Monday, January 11, 2021

A lot of on line teaching

 Most of us have had to make shifts in how we display and teach our arts because of the pandemic. Me, I have been teaching on line and will continue to do that. I taught at the Drachenwald University in November and enjoyed myself (for the most part) It was an on line event but really ended up with a full event feel. We had court, and a ball and classes galore. After court they opened up a room and breakout rooms for people to just hang out and chat in... it was lovely! i look forward to doing that again. 

I have 3 events coming up that I will teach at. In February I will teach at Atlantia's University. I will teach my Scappi class again and a 'Care and Feeding of Vegetarians' class. In March I will teach an as yet undetermined class for an online event hosted by Polderslot (The group in the Netherlands). I was just in contact with their coordinator and am sure we will settle soon what they would like. In April I will teach at yet another on line event called 'To Uncrown a King' Hosted by Insulae Draconis ( the UK group). There I will talk about 'Two Fifteenth Century Cookbooks'. I look forward to researching more about the food of that time in England as so far I have only really looked at Italy in the 15th century.

Just an update of what I am doing and where to find me if you have an interest. You can always just drop me a message here and I would be happy to make a date to talk food.

Take care, Be safe and eat well.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Looking back

For some reason today I find myself looking back on my body of work. I am grateful that when I started the journey with Judith she had me fill out what we called a 'post mortem' a review of the event and a close look at the good and the bad. I diligently filled these out no more than a week after the event so that things were still fresh in my mind and in some cases I started them as soon as I got home. While looking for things to cook for a virtual feast and Laurel Prize display this weekend I began reading them. It is amazing some of the insights I have had and the slow build of confidence over the years. My apprentice journey has been 9 years (and a bit at this point because of world circumstances etc.) I actually consider that part done and am on a current path of vigilant, a path of reflection as well as looking to the future, contemplation and excitement. I look forward to continuing to learn and teaching (as best I can). I am thinking many things hope to continue to make proud the people who have stood behind me on this path.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Notes from a camping weekend

 I don't expect this post to make much sense to anyone but me really. So continue if you want a peek inside my head.

This last weekend was my first 'camping on my own' experience since the divorce. I had One event where I borrowed a pavilion that was put up and taken down for me. Owning no modern or medieval equipment I have avoided camping events. This is now changing. I have inherited a tent that I need to become more familiar with, maybe if we get a nice weekend I will hold a grill and set up the tent party. Though I need tent stakes first :). Second thing I need is a proper tarp for the ground. I have a cheap make do one for now but I will invest in something round and nicer in the future. I will also invest in a camp cot! I am too old to be snuggling rocks on the ground, lol. I do own a cooler But it is quite large, so I made a 'hacked' cooler with a wooden box by cutting up store cooler bags and hot gluing them into place, It actually worked! I put the ice in at 630 am and on Sunday there was still a cup of ice in the bag. I will note also that it was crushed ice and sitting in its own water as it melted. 

In July I bought a grill, it was 10€ and it folds down. It was big enough to grill for 4 of us, 5 could have happened too. But loving it so much and knowing that I like to do more cooking I bought a second for the event and am glad I did. I am even thinking of getting a third as 2 of my period pots fit on one and the meat was on the other, so a third is on my mind. Also on my mind is talking to a smith and having a spit built that will work with my grills. With how small they pack up even three of them would take less space that the traditional 'fire bowl' and at some point I could build a wooden facade to hide them.

Cooking notes, So glad my pots have lids, that helped with getting things to boil faster. I did a lot of pre prep for the weekend having made lunch completely in advance. I also stuffed the lamb before the event to. Oh to add to the list of things I need, a table and chairs. Something light and packs small. Knowing we wouldn't likely have a table we made do with what we could borrow and that was a bench. I got 2 of the Roman stools from the ex and my feast gear box made a nice table as well at times. We worked it out. I will definitely buy lamb again from my Turkish store but when I want just a leg I will go to the normal store, lol. At the Turkish store I ended up with a whole 1/4 lamb! Lol. I didn't need that much but I have leftovers now for stew and pies. I didn't use any ground lamb in my recipe, I simply minced it fine and it was great. The whole thing came together well. The only problem I had was a bit of over stuffing it and not being able to close one side well enough so we lost some stuffing. Less stuffing next time, or use aluminum foil under it (which was suggested to me and I happened to have a piece with me!) I invested in rouladen nadeln, metal pins used for keeping the rolled beef rolls you find in Germany together while they cook. Not very expensive and worked like a charm on the areas I needed them. Everything else I cooked was good to. The garlic soup was great! I brought it home along with the leftover chicken. I boiled the chicken most of the day, strained it out and added the garlic soup. I tossed in carrot, parsnip and some herbs. Stripped the paste off of one of the leftover Icelandic chicken and chopped that up too. I added barley and cooked it a few hours... so much yum!!!

Getting used to camping 'on my own' is going to be strange and have a learning curve, but I can do it!!

* On my own is in quotes because I am usually camping with/ near other people. There is always help for set up and take down. I am never really 'on my own'. I always have people to be with and cook for.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Teaching virtually

 I'm going to teach at the virtual university about prepping a feast. I had done a series of posts on the subject long ago and so I will endeavor to collect my thoughts (and the thoughts of some others) into something resembling a class. I do OK with leading discussions but the whole class thing still mystifies me. Maybe doing it virtually will help with my nerves and such.I do really well one on one or maybe with a small group. We will see what the interest is, could be no one even shows up and I worry for nothing.

Monday, August 10, 2020

SCA in the time of Covid 19

 March was the last physical event I went to. It was a good time with great people. I do so hope we get to do that again sometime soon (ish). As it stands there are no Kingdom level events until the new year. Things here in Europe have been on a slow incline. Likely due to the vacation season and hot weather. We will all be back in lockdown if this continues though. 

I have had some family difficulties, but things are evening out on that front. But it has been a distraction and an addition to my anxiety. Covid too has heightened my anxiety and left an uncertain future in front of me. Schools all closed and employers stopped hiring. People are working from home and I don't have the skill set for that.Indeed most things I can think of need start up money which I just don't have. i feel stuck in this way.

My SCA life though moves forward. It has been 2 weeks since I received my writ to enter the order of the Laurel. I had begun planning the occasion for 12th night coronation in January but it has been cancelled. Now to contemplate an alternative which is quite difficult as there is nothing on the calendar at the moment. Plus my travel options are limited because in this time of pandemic my passport has expired and for a long time you could not get a renewal. Renewals have just now opened but they are back logged and the turn around time is unknown. Though a plus is I can do it via mail. Now to get it done. 

Monday, March 9, 2020

Post event accounting

     3 crates of 'shire stuff' went home with someone else to be sorted and accounted for. I can't say i feel bad about it. I have been tracking this stuff for about 10 years or so. I still maintain the towels and spices but they are small and I have a spot for them. I need to do a reckoning on the spice box and I am about halfway through that project. I have measured and weighed all the jars and bags. Cleaned the box and now need to make a sheet with the list.

      As some may know I have had some important things going on in my personal life. My son has been 'sick'. I don't want to get into detail here but privately if you wish to ask me I will answer.

     I had plans for this event but it was fraught with frustration and perils at every turn, but we made it! 2 weeks before the event is when my son got sick. I immediately cancelled his reservation knowing he wouldn't make it. I thought it would be my daughter and I . Then I had to cancel her reservation as I made a mistake in my calendar when vacation was (she was spending this one with her dad).  Then due to my son's illness and having to be places to deal with that it was made apparent a week before the event that I would not make it in time to cook dinner on Friday night and I would need someone to do the shopping. Thankfully a solution was found. Thank you to Saidra who cooked from my instructions the onion soup on Friday night, and huge thanks to Robert who took her shopping for all my ingredients. Things worked out and it was great weekend all around.

     I kept the menu simple, one of the simplest I had ever made. I was astounded at the onion pie's reception. It was decimated and the pans practically licked clean. The pumpkin was well received as well even though there happened to be leftovers, which were scooped up in the morning by people.

     I was happy with the food that was made and at the pace in which we were able to work. We had plenty of time to rest or sit as we needed. I say we and it was truly only Bryndis and myself, but we never needed anyone else. After feast we did have some dish Fairies! Petronilla and Brian were fantastic and knocked out a ton of dishes. The fact that the dishwasher only takes 6 min probably helps with that!

     The site, though shared was lovely and easy to organize. The kitchen adequate for what we were doing and well equipped. It is small and each half only has room for 2 or maybe three people. 2 was comfortable 3 would begin to make things tight. I would easily be willing to use that facility again.