Thursday, March 27, 2014

Largesse project 1 - Feast basket is complete!

I have been scouring the town looking for juice glass that are not oppressively modern and will fit in my feast baskets and finally met with some success.

The finished baskets (I made six), Tahdah!

Largess 1b - Feasting Flyer

I also created an informational flyer to go into the feast baskets. Most of the information is adapted from several websites (listed on the flyer.) I'm putting it out on the web in case other people might like to use it too.

It's connected now, and it will download just fine but it's still not displaying correctly. I'll keep working at it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Largesse project 1a - Flatware Holders

I recently decided I want to start making largess for my Baron and Baroness. :)

Since we have a large contingent of college students I decided to focus on useful things for those starting out in the SCA, particularly things that would help a person be able to participate in the social aspects while letting them save their money for whatever their particular interest are.

Naturally, I decided on starter feast baskets for my first largess project.

After some judicious shopping on e-bay I managed to acquire six place settings of passable flatware  and I've just completed linen storage cases to keep them from rattling around the basket. Here's how I did it, in photos:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Turnip Tart

We've been looking to medieval France for recipes for our Barony's upcoming feast and so I've been experimenting:

To make tarts of turnips.

Take turnips, & put them to roast over the fire, when well cooked cut into long, small slices like one chops tripe, then take four ounces of soft, fat cheese, three raw eggs mixed with the cheese, a quarter ounce of cinnamon, two ounces of sugar, a little pepper, four ounces of melted butter, a little rose water, & make tarts like the others, & serve so.

The above is a rough translation of "Ouverture de Cuisine" based on this transcription by Thomas Gloning et. al. And is used with permission, to wit:

© 2006, 2011, 2012 Daniel Myers - This electronic document may be freely reproduced for non-commercial purposes as long as the copyright and this notice are included.

(The entire document may be found by clicking on the recipe, above, or typing the address into your browser.:

The first time I made this tart I bought the biggest turnips I could find. It turned out that just one of them filled two pie shells so this time I went for turnips of a more average size so, of course, it turned out I needed two of them for one pie! I'd say bake a couple more than you think you'll need.

My measured version:

Two small turnips, 3 ounces grated Parmesan cheese, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup half and half, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp sugar, sprinkle with pepper, dot with butter (about 2 tsp) bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.

As you can see I drastically changed the proportions of some of the ingredients, and moved much of the fat content from butter to half and half. I omitted the rose water only because I had none. I'll try adding it as soon as I have some in-house.

I find this tart to be a wonderful, slightly sweet savory tart with a subtle hint of cinnamon that really works. Very tasty!

Step One: Peel the turnips

Step Two: Bake In a closed damp environment

I wrapped them together in tin-foil and added a little bit of water to keep them from drying out, closed it up and into the oven they went!

Bake until soft. In this case they baked at 350 for an hour. Cool.

Step Three: "Cut into long thin slices like one cuts tripe"

I have never eaten or handled tripe (that adventure is still in my future) so this instruction was a bit of a stumper. I decided that intestines are tubes so it wouldn't be very thick, and they are probably something that needs to be cut into smallish pieces. This is all guess-work, but I decided to cut them in a sort of super-super-super-sized julienne, slices of the entire turnip about 3/8th inches wide, then crosscut into strips about twice that size.

Step Four: Arrange turnip in prepared pie crust

I swirled them into an even layer filling the unbaked pie crust. I gave the crust a nifty crenelated edge too.

Step Five: mix together eggs, cheese, half and half, cinnamon, and sugar, pour into filled pie shell. Sprinkle with pepper, dot with butter and bake at 350 for approximately 45 minutes

And voila!

Underneath it All! A Venetian Partlet ca. 1550-1600

I have several unfinished partlet projects lying about the house which keep stalling out about the time I get to the place where I try them on and discover that they are not the right some way or another. I'd pretty much developed some strange complex about them but I think it has finally been overcome!

Thus my report on my project for the historical sew fortnightly project

The Challenge: #4 - Underneath It All
Fabric: Purchased scarf, moderately sheer cotton/rayon scarf with lace bands near each end
Pattern: None. I chopped off the fringed ends of the scarf and bound the edge of the lace to hem it. Then I found the center of the scarf, folded the two ends to the center and whipped together the shoulder seams until they extended past my shoulder strap placement. Then I cut on the 1/4 position folds and hemmed the edges. At last, a partlet that fits!
Year: 1550-1600 Many variations of neckline treatments existed simultaneously during this period
Notions: Cotton thread
How historically accurate is it? Moderately. The shape is spot on and the construction work I did is good but the materials and original machine stitching...not so much.
Hours to complete: About 2
First worn: March 1, 2014
Total cost: $12
This project is also my first project #5 - Finishing Touches for the Five Foundations Challenge. Woohoo!
And now for the pretty pictures!

Monday, March 3, 2014

And for the Walters Art Museum, Huzzah!

You may have suspected that I have a tiny bit of a crush on this museum, and you'd have been right in the past. But not anymore! Now my admiration has blossomed into a feeling far to warm to be described as a mere crush, and in a moment I think your's will too.

They are offering the companion book to their exhibit, "Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe" free for both viewing on-line and downloading.

I'm still gonna by a paper copy but now I'm gonna ask them to autograph it! <3