Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Leon dSaint Aubin - Order of the Tygers' Cub

Recipient:      Leon d' Saint Aubin
Award:            Order of the Tyger’s Cub  
Date:               August 23, A.S. XLIX
Event:             King’s and Queen’s Equestrian Championships at Quintavia Summer Celebration, Shire of Quintavia
Royalty:          Brennan Augustus and Caoilfhionn Augusta (Emperor and Empress Orientalis)
SOSN:            BC14-219
Assigned to:  i: Adrienne d'Evreaux, c: Alexandre St. Pierre

Order of Honor - Tyger's cub

Be it known that We, Brennan Augustus and Caoilfhionn Augusta, Emperor and Empress Orientalis, have seen and heard much of the good works
of Our noble young servant,
Leon d' Saint Aubin, who has, like the watchful crane, become a shining example to his brothers and his fellows and brought much gladness to Us and Our people. We are pleased, therefore, to welcome him unto Our Order of the
Tyger’s Cub and bestow upon him the position of page to the Crown of the East, that all shall know of his virtues. Done by Our Hand this twenty-third day of August, A.S. xlix at the Summer Celebration in our Shire of Quintavia.

King’s signature space Queen’s signature space

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Severe Backlog, Grand Master Bowman for Deormund Wulfscyld

Achieved: 12/1/1987
Awarded: 8/16/1989 Pennsic
King Morguhn & QueenMaurya
Grand Master Bowman

To all the patient and faithful of the East to whom these presents shall come,
We Morguhn and Maurya, King and Queen of the East, give joy and greetings.
Exultation and joy mark this day We delight in the display of skill demonstrated
by all the archers of the East and we are surpassingly impressed by the skill of
Deormund Wulfscyld in earning the rank of Grand Master Bowman,
such status was attained on 1 December 1987.
This accomplishment, attested to by the scorekeeper and
Captain General of the Archers, is a rare occasion and as such We wish
to laud this achievement in the presence of our subjects
on this 16th day of August, anno Societatis XXIV at Pennsic War.

Calligraphy and white work by Lord Alexandre Saint Pierre, Illumination by Lady Adrienne d'Evreus.  Inspired by Luttrell Psalter.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Miron d'Allaines le Comte AoA

One and all to whom these presents come, greetings. Be it known that we, Brennan Rex and Caoilfhionn Regina, have found the many good works and services of Miron d'Allaines le Comte to be of much merit. Most especially for picking things up, putting them down and for herding cats.

On this Feast Day of Saint Vincent of Collioure the nineteenth day of April, Anno Societatis xxxxviij we are moved to Award unto him Arms and make him a lord of our court.

[Space for blazon.]

Done by Brennan and Caoilffhionn at Balfar's Challenge in the Barony of Dragonship Haven

 Based on and traced from many pages from the hours of Catherine of Cleves.

German Vine Black

Grinding German Vine Black from Natural Pigments

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Heathen Peas

Heathen Peas or Heidenische Erweiz”

2 cups sliced almonds
2/3 cup honey
A squeeze of lemon or lime
1 tsp water
"Good" spices-
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp black peppercorn
Pinch mace
1/2 pinch clove
1/2 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1. Whisk honey, water and lemon in a small sauce pan. Simmer on low, stirring occasionally, until it caramelizes.
2. Grind almonds in a food processor until they are very fine and look a bit oily.
3. Grind pepper, add all spices to almonds and pulse to incorporate.
4. Add almond mixture to caramelized honey and bring back up to hard ball stage (250-266F).
4. Pour out onto granite or cutting board.
5. When it's cool enough to handle, roll into small balls.
6. Enjoy!

The translation from: https://guoterspise.wordpress.com/2012/07/18/recept-63-heidenische-erweiz/
Recipe from: http://www.food.com/recipe/heathen-saracen-peas-199187
and another https://eldrimner.wordpress.com/tag/almonds/

The first time I tried to make these I attempted, by weight, to redact the translation of the mid 14th c German text.  "A third as much honey" So... 12 oz almonds, 4oz honey?  It didn't work, so I went back to the internet and found other attempts, redactions and recipes.  Using these gentles trials, errors and successes as a basis, I made my own.  Several times.  People liked it!  As funny as these little balls looked, they put them in their mouths and said "yum!".

It won Queen's Choice at fall Crown A.S.XLIX.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Mulling Yellow Ochre

"To approach the glory of the profession step by step, let us come to the working up of the colors..." (Craftsman's Handbook 20)

Cennini's father brought him close to the borders of Casole '(Craftsman's Handbook 27) and my lemon yellow ocher is from Natural Pigments.

"Each color calls for the same method of working up with clear water (and to) work it up thoroughly, for it goes one getting better" (Craftsman's Handbook 27).

I measured 1g then added two more grams for a total of 3 grams of Lemon Yellow Ocher from Natural Pigments.  I worked it with the muller on my prepared slab with distilled water.

I'm not sure if the manufacturer intends a lot more (3 Tbsp was suggested and ignored by their handout) but a large volume seemed wasteful.  After working up for what felt like a long time (@20min) I scraped the mulled pigment into my straight sided jar and dripped distilled water onto it.

I cleaned my muller and glass slab with a plastic bristle brush, dawn and tap water.

More experimentation and painting with it to follow.

Lard Candle

How to make a ball jar candle with rendered lard from a pig:


You will need:
  • A ball jar
  • A wick material.  Hemp cord from the hardware store works well.  Try to get untreated hemp, cotton or linen.  Make sure there is no plastic in your cord because it won't burn as well and it will release noxious gasses.  A simple burn test may be performed:  light the end on fire, if something in it melts rather than burns away, there's plastic present.
  • a nut or washer to weight your cord so that it hangs straight down
  • a pencil or another straight, stiff rod to hang your wick from
  • melted, rendered lard
 1.Thread your wick/cord through your nut or washer.
2. Tie an overhand knot toward the bottom of your cord so the weight doesn't fall off.  After you have tied your knot and made sure it will not allow the weight to fall off, trim the end of the cord so you can dangle it freely into the jar without excess wick in the way.
 3. Tie another overhand knot onto your pencil or rod to secure the dangling wick at the top of the jar. 
 4. Melt previously rendered lard or tallow.  If you want to learn rendering, go here:
5.When it's completely rendered, heat it further until you're sure there are no impurities left to ruin your lovely candle.  I heated it to 382F.  After I took it off the flame it continued to heat up a few degrees to 384F.  Always be sure to turn pot handles in toward the stove to help protect children and animals from accidents.
6. Pour fat (lard or tallow) into jar and allow to set overnight.  Make sure you suspend your weighted wick as near as you can to the center.
7. Once the fat has set up, trim the wick.  VoilĂ ! You have made a candle!!

I waited another week before lighting the candle to allow the fat to penetrate the wick/cord.  Alternately you may soak your cord in melted, rendered fat first.

First Official Assignment

Recipient: Pypa Ravenild the Seaborne
Award: Award of Arms
Date: January 25, AS 48 (XLVIII)
Event: Market Day at Birka and Baronial Investiture, Barony of Stonemarche
Royalty: Kenric and Avelina
SOSN: KA13-087

Words by: Mistress Elizabeth Darnley
Calligraphy by: Alexandre Saint Pierre
Illumination by: Adrienne d'Evreaux

Alle beon he blithe
That to my song lythe!
A sang ich schal you singe
Of Kenric the Kinge.
King he was bieste
So longe so hit laste.
Avelina het his quen;
Faire ne mighte non ben.
Hit was upon a someres day,
Also ich you telle may,
Pypa Ravenild wit hwer bryghte
Lyndhaven caem, to serve her plighte
That ich am hol and fer
On this lond arived her
Sede she "mote I sterve,
This rengne ich schalt serve."
King Kenric her hine grette
"Lady Pypa Ravenild, feere now mette"
Quen Avelina demed it verray so
And King Kenric bid hure go
With Arms none to harme e hinder
Atte Birka eek Esten winter
St Poppo's feste, fife and tweynte
AS XLVIII, a Lady hendy.

I hemmed and hawed about the inspiration with puzzle initials and many pieces from the British Library.  I ended up finding some illumination from Ghent that inspired the piece. British Library Manuscripts Burney 345, Egerton 1151, Egerton 1066
Bibliotheque National, The Count of Meliacin by Girardin d'Amiens
Here and here.

Here is the piece in progress.  Alexandre Saint Pierre has finished the awesome calligraphy of Mistress Bess's inspiring words, I have traced my drawing and inked it with water-fast india ink.

Now the layers of Kolner miniatum tinted with red ink have been painted and let rest overnight before the gold gets applied.

Still in progress, further down the line.  White work is my nemesis and I repaint the circles many times before I'm happy.

Finally getting somewhere!  I love the 'filler' drawings, inked with red and blue Winsor Newton inks, inspired by period illuminations and integrating her hobbies.  The monster A tail was inspired by a wayward drop of paint that turned into the foot.

Saffron Water and Saffron Yellow

A&S Project: Saffron Water 2015
1 TBSP boiling water with 6 strands of saffron.

Presented at Hadchester's Caristia III

 Contested by only myself, I won the People's Choice Award.

Using the saffron water as is half and half with Gum Arabic from Michael's it was too pale to see the resulting ink...
...so I added another pinch of saffron to the mixture.  Immediate results were obtained and I hope with more time a yellow ink will result as described by Cennino d'Andrea Cennini.

The paint results are here!

Monday, April 6, 2015

My first scroll, an unofficial, self-inflicted assignment.

With Alexandre Saint Pierre's beautiful calligraphy!

Countess Marguerite inghean Lachlainn,, presentation of the Archers of the Northern Army Badge.

It is with sincere pride that we archers of the Northern Peaks
gratefully acknowledge that On this Day, all shall know that
Countess Marguerite inghean Lachlainn inspired our community,
and our supporters from within and without,
to create a blazon to adorn ourselves so that she might
identify us and each to one another in times of peace and war. 
As such, let us be United under a banner emblazoned
"Sable, two arrows in saltire Or,
overall a mullet of four points elongated to base,
all within a bordure embattled Argent."
in Service and Fealty to the Kingdom of the East.  

   In Service to Their Royal Majesties,

   Lady Adrienne d'Evreaux, Commander of Archery, Region of the Northern Peaks

It is with only a small amount of fear of the thorns of this lady of the rose
that Lord Tomas undertook the quest to deliver this token to Countess Marguerite.
We might take comfort and rest in the shade of this beautiful rose of the Northern Army.
Perhaps Meggie is a magpie and might find our shiny offering pleasing!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Rendering lard

Rendering lard:

I acquired pig fat from Ken's Custom Meat, a local butcher. Without having the argument about what kinds of fat are good for you or not I will say that Alexandre and I are trying what our grandmothers used and centuries of families before them.
Lard made from free range pigs whose ancestries can be traced to medieval Spain. Animal fat was readily available in period in Northern Europe and was used for many purposes including cooking, lighting and lubricating machinery.

To render the lard from the pieces of pig I chopped it into the smallest possible pieces by grinding it using a Kitchen Aid meat grinder attachment.

Then I heated it in a crock pot on low to slowly to melt the fat. The resulting liquid fat was poured into a sterilized glass jar through cheesecloth to remove leftover pig bits called cracklings.

My ultimate objectives: Make candles to make lampblack, a period pigment, (d'Ouessant) and make soap.

soap lye resources from Agatha:


Bauman, Diana. http://www.myhumblekitchen.com/2011/02/how-render-lard-the-right-way-snow-white/#sthash.nmDj3eGj.dpbs

d'Ouessant, Aurelia. http://thehoodedhare.com/lighting-in-the-middle-ages.pdf

By Lady Adrienne d'Evreus

Quick Farmer's Cheese

The production of cheese for food is ancient. The definite origins are unknown though there are many theories and oral histories.

It is a versatile and tasty byproduct of 'too much milk'. Many factors govern the final product including the kind of milk used, what you use to set the curd (Rennet or acid), cultures and other flavoring additions and further processing including bacteria and mold as well as local conditions.

Quick Farmer's Cheese

1 quart of whole goat milk
2-4 Tbsp lemon juice
cheese cloth
salt and herbs

Heat your milk slowly in a non-reactive pot, stirring with a wooden spoon to 175 F (about 80 C). It will look 'foamy' around the edges.
Stir in the lemon juice and let the curds 'set' 10-15 minutes.
Pour into a colander lined with cheese cloth and let drain an hour to an hour and a half.
If you're in a hurry you can pick up the bundle and squeeze out the whey.
Add salt and herbs. Form into a button.
Serve it forth or chill to use in the next week.

Farm fresh milk is best. You may use cow, sheep, goat, buffalo, reindeer, camel, yak, etc.
Store bought pasteurized milk is acceptable as long as it's not 'ultra pasteurized'.
To set the curds you may also use other citrus juices or acids like vinegar or rennet.

If you soak it in cold water for a few hours then press it under a slab you have made Paneer.
Paneer (also Panir or Paner) is an acid set, non-melting farmer's cheese.

What to do with the whey (other than converting it to bacon by feeding it to the pigs)? The whey is the liquid strained away from the button.
Original recipe from Platina: De Recocta. We heat the whey which was left from the cheese in a cauldron over a slow fire until all the fat rises to the top; this is what the country-folk call recocta, because it is made from leftover milk which is heated up. It is very white and mild. It is less healthful than new or medium-aged cheese, but it is considered better than that which is aged or too salty. Whether one is pleased to call it cocta or recocta, cooks use it in many pottages, especially in those made of herbs.
- Andrews, E. B. trans. Platina. De Honesta Voluptatae. L. de Aguila. Venice, 1475. St. Louis: Mallinckrodt, 1967.

Redaction: Save the whey, slowly heat to over 185F to precipitate the milk solids. You will see it happen! Strain, salt and use in other recipes or eat plain!

Or... some recipes use more acid (vinegar or citrus) to make ricotta and other products.

Adrienne d'Evreus.
Heat your milk slowly in a non-reactive pot.  Gently stir occasionally with a wooden spoon to help distribute the heat evenly.
You will witness the milk begin to steam and form little bubbles around the perimeter of the pot.
Confirm that an adequate temperature has been achieved with a thermometer if you'd like.  Between 175 and 180F or around 80C should be sufficient.
Remove from the heat.  Pour in your acid or rennet and wait for the curd to set.  The process begins instantly and looks like curdled milk.  Let it sit and react for about 10-15min.
Once the curd has set, strain the whey away from the curds through cheese cloth over a strainer set in a pan if you want to save the whey.  If you've only used 2 Tbsp of the lemon juice the whey will still be milky.  If you want to process it further, remember not to strain it into the sink!

You may hasten the process of straining the whey by picking up the cheese cloth by all four corners together and hanging it over the pot or even holding the four corners of the cloth in one hand and  squeezing it with the other.  Let it cool a little before you do this or wear a clean, protective glove.
 I ground coarser salt with a mortar and pestle to make my own cheese salt.
Pinch, wash and chop fresh herbs to liven up your lemony cheese.

Begin at the beginning

I will "begin at the beginning... and go on until (I) come to the end" as Alice is instructed to do in Lewis Carrrol's Wonderland.  Because, like her "sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

I will "enter the profession through a sense of enthusiasm..." (Craftsman's Handbook 3)