May. 30th, 2017

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Thursday of Double Wars was another busy day with not much sleep. I managed to get to bed after Ærikr's vigil at about 03:00, and managed to get up on time for the 10:00 Singing in Modes class by Kaarina. It was just she and I, so she gave me theory at my own pace, and we sang Itsy Bitsy Spider in all of the modes (Dorian, Hypodorian, Phrygian, Hypophrygian, Lydian, Hypolydian, Mixolydian, Hypomixolydian). She had sheet music for a variety of period songs that we could have sung in various modes, too, but since she went at the pace of the slowest kid in class, we didn't get there, but I learned ever so much. She promises me that she will record Itsy Bitsy Spider in the various modes and add it to her web page.

We went a little over time, as there wasn't another class in that room, but chose to end when Lady Elisande came in and asked if we would like to participate in the Experimental Cooking Class; apparently none of the students who had signed up in advance had made it, and she didn't want the supplies she bought to go to waste. I had only just finished saying to Kaarina that I had considered attending that class, as I have had fun doing similar things with school kids at SCA demos, but was feeling a bit too tired to bother. However, when asked by the teacher to please come play, suddenly I was full of energy and enthusiasm again, so we both did.


The handout she had prepared gave us a recipe from Das buoch von guoter spise, for Heathen cakes (Heidenische ku:ochen). The English translation she provided says:

"They are called heathen cakes. One should take a dough and has to make it thin and then take a cooked* meat and speck** cut and apples and pepper and eggs into and bake it and give it out but don't over salt."

*the word she translated as "cooked" usually means in water, such as boiled, poached, or simmered
**speck is a type of bacon


As you can see, this is a bit vague. What sort of dough? What kind of meat? What should it look like? What kind of texture are we going for?

She had purchased a variety of options, and we were free to just go for it, and we did, with very, very different results. Since my minion needs gluten free foods, and she had purchased a gluten-free flour option, I decided to play with that one as my dough. Since I really dislike bacon, and only eat wild game and reindeer if I am eating meat at all, I opted to use the pack of Renskav (thinly sliced reindeer meat), and substitute butter for the speck. Everyone else used one or more of the three types of bacon she had purchased, along with some other meat. Since I am a scientist, I kept careful notes of what I did for my version, which came out as a pie:

I cooked the entire 240 g packet of Renskav + 12 g butter in enough water to cover, and about a tablespoon of a Norwegian spice blend that Thora had provided, which contains: crowberries, alpine leek, thyme, black currants, lemon balm, lemon grass, marjoram, and hyssop. As soon as the meat was just brown I took the pot off the stove and left it to sit while I worked on the dough.

For the dough I took 250 grams of buckwheat flour, cut into it 25 g butter, mixed in 1 egg, then added a bit more water than I meant to, so I added the rest of the buckwheat flour (another 250 g) to make the dough workable. Then she mentioned that she also had acorn flour, so I divided my dough in half, and mixed a handful (what she had left--I have small hands) of the acorn flour into one of the batches of dough, plus a tiny bit more water to make it workable.

Then I pressed each batch of dough into its own pie plate, noting that the dough with acorn was a bit better behaved and holds together better. Once both pie plates were covered with dough I drained the meat (reserving the cooking liquid to take back to camp to cook grains in later) and divided it into the pie plates. Then I chopped three apples (keeping the peeling, but discarding the cores) and divided that between the plates, and cut 25 g of butter and added that to both pies as well. This added up to only a rather thin, patchy layer of solid filling across the bottom of the pies (really it might have been smarter to use this much filling for only one pie, but since I had dough for two...). We had more apple available, but not more reindeer, and this looked like a good fruit-meat balance to my eye, so I stopped there and went on to the eggs and pepper that the recipe called for.

Then I beat 4 eggs with 1/4 cup of pink apple juice & 1 teaspoon of pepper and divided that between the pies. They were still looking a bit empty to me, so I beat two more eggs with 1/4 cup of the golden apple juice (she had bought three different apple juice varieties for us to try if we wanted) and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper plus 2 pinches of salt (figuring if we are instructed not to over salt it, that implies that we should add some salt).

This time it looked reasonable, so I stirred the filling a bit to get it mixed and evenly distributed, and baked it. I was really happy with how they came out--they were really tasty. The acorn-buckwheat crust was easier to get out of the pie plates than the plain buckwheat crust. I suspect that given how little butter I put into the crust I probably should have buttered the pie plates.

My version was totally unlike the ones the others made, but so was every version we did. Some were made with a yeast dough, others were more pie like. One she did a more liquid-y batter and put the fillings in that. Some had the eggs beaten in, others, baked in a muffin cup, had a single egg broken onto the top of each of them.

We filled one plate with a sample of everything we had made and delivered that to the Queen, we each tasted as much as we wanted from each, and the rest was sent back to various camps. I, of course, took my pie, and my minion was delighted with his dinner that evening, as was my champion, who doesn't need gluten free, but loves reindeer.

After eating the results of our efforts I wandered by the market day. I had thought that I didn't need any more fabric, but the nice lady at Medeltidsmode proved me wrong with this lovely broken diamond twill unbleached linen, and six meters followed me home. Oops.

I also bought a bit more yarn, mostly to use up the cash I had left. I forgot to mention that earlier in the week, while at Gaita's music class I wanted to buy the songbook that we were using in the course. However, since they are from the UK they don't have Swish (this most wonderful payment method ever is only available in Sweden), and, of course, I had no cash (who needs it when one can just Swish?). So I asked around, and one of our camp members had cash, so she handed me 200 SEK, and I swished her the money, and then I gave the cash to Gaita, who gave me the song book and 50 SEK change. The nice lady selling yarn was offering them for 20 SEK each, or 3 for 50. So I took three, and am once again happily cash-free.

That evening's court begun, of course, with Ærikr's knighting ceremony, which was beautifully done, though I thought it a bit odd that ceremony mentioned only the belt and chain as the symbols of the order, yet after he was dubbed and buffeted and they were putting regalia on him there was, in fact, a set of spurs too, so I don't know why they weren't mentioned earlier. I had to laugh at myself when Sir Peregrine came forward with the belt, explaining that rather than pass on his old belt, which was stained yellow with age, he was instead providing a shiny new white belt with cast tokens for all of the fighting awards that Ærikr has attached to the end. You see, I had seen just that belt, and his old one, sitting on his desk at his place the previous Thursday when I was there, and I commented "a new belt?", and he explained how difficult he had had it trying to find white belt leather of an appropriate weight in Sweden--most places have only the thick heavy leather of his old belt, which he offered up for me to look at, not the thin nice leather of this new belt, which he folded up in his hands so that the decorations didn't show, and didn't hand me. I was easily distracted by his comments, and didn't think anything of it at the time, nor had I thought about that conversation or the belt at all when I made my guesses the day before that perhaps it was time for Ærikr to be knighted. The other odd thing I found with the ceremony was that when it came time to wrap the belt around his waist they didn't call forth his lady, but instead the queen did that service all by her self, and I wondered if that was normal for Drachenwald.

After his ceremony the court went on for a fair bit longer, with a number of deserving awards from the Crown, and from the new Prince and Princess. One of the most amusing awards was a Panache (Kingdom level arts) for a former Baroness of Aarnimetsä, which had been written if in a very long-winded form of medieval bureaucratic language (in this Kindgom the wording of the scrolls is totally left up to the scribe doing the work, and thus no two are ever alike). The text for that scroll was so long that quite a way in the herald paused, said "Page 2", and continued reading for just as long--he spoke of the creation of the order, of the crown giving the award, of the skills required to receive it, etc., etc., etc. When he finally, and at long last, came to the end of the text a second herald stepped forward, and read it all out again, in Finnish this time. I am told that they translated *everything*, even the "Page 2". When he was finally done they presented the scroll itself, which was actually a *scroll* they had to unfurl it to display. At this point someone in the audiance said that he had trouble following the scroll, and could we have it again, in Swedish this time. The Crown politely declined.

Towards the end of court the Crown summoned forward the Kingdom Chronicler, and apologized to her, for it was the 25th of the month, and normally by the 25th they would have already given her words to be included in the next issue of the newsletter, but this time they hadn't yet accomplished this task. As she started to assure them that it was ok the Herald called forth the order of the Pelican, and the very surprised chronicler was sent off to vigil.

Immediately after court the masquerade dance ball started, so, of course, I went straight to the hall for dancing. As the musicians were getting ready I noticed a tall masked slender man in late period garb walk up and chat with them about which dances he would be teaching, and then he went to sit down to await the start of the ball. So, of course, I went up to him and asked for the first dance (I was also wearing a mask). He agreed, and stood up. He had two pilgrams badge sorts of metal pinned to his clothing, so I asked them if they were awards or simply pilgrams badges. He replied that they were personal tokens from a Prince and Princess, and then added "In the West", to which I replied "I thought I recognized you behind that mask", and he had to ask my name, but as soon as I said "Kareina" he blushed with delayed recognition. To be fair, I knew that he was on site and had been teaching a shoe-making class, and I don't think he knew that I would be there, so I had the advantage.

I, of course, danced every dance, till the ball broke up at midnight. At that point I went looking for Jovi's vigil, and found the party over by the sauna (I don't think I mentioned that I enjoyed the sauna and hot tub on one of the first evening--it really helped recover my sore hips from the trip down). However, the line was really long, and I never did manage to find the vigil book, and I was tired, so I opted to just return to my camp and bed, and the next morning I emailed her the words I would have shared.

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