This is one of my favorite-basic pancake recipes, so I wanted to post it here so I don't accidentally loose it again.
1 batch-8 large pancakes which feed (uterly stuff) 3 people
1.5 cups flour
3.5 cups baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tb sugar
1 1/3 cup milk
1 tb butter
Now when I do these for wars, events, ext- I do a batch of 5 per ziplock baggy- I know it says it feeds 15 people, but in all honesty it feeds like 20 depending on what else I put in there (spices, fruit, chocolate)
7.5 cups flour
17.5 tsp baking powder (6 tb)
5 tsp salt
5 TB sugar
6 2/3 cup milk
5 TB butter or oil
When doing prepping these ahead of time- I add all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, sugar) in a zip lock baggy. Then at the event I add in the butter, eggs, and milk (or as close of an estimate of them as I have)
You can always bet that if I have a stove, fire-pit, or cooking source at an event I will have at least 1 ziplock baggy of pancake mix with me, just in case someone might want breakfast
It also became evident that the songs we got last week (Cripple Creek and Go Tell Aunt Rody) are going to become permanent editions to our dulcimer playing collection (not so much with twinkle twinkle). Therefore I have started to write some SCA lyrics to go with Cripple Creek about Archery. I figured if I had to end up playing it 200 times (which is another assignment) then I might as well have a little song to sing with it.
As songwriting is not one of my talents, then if anyone wants to right any lyrics to go with Aunt Rody- feel free
The melody for those that don’t know it is:
2 beats, 1 beat, 1 beat, 2 beats, 2 beats. - (half note, quarter note, quarter note, half, half)
2 beats, 1 beat, 1 beat, 1 beat 1 beat 2 beats- (half, quarter, quarter, quarter, quarter, half)
2 beats, 1 beat, 1 beat, 2 beats, 1 beat, 1 beat, - (half, quarter, quarter, half, quarter, quarter)
1 beat, 1 beat, 1 beat, 1 beat, 4 beats – (quarter, quarter, quarter, quarter, whole)
Here is a youtube video of the sheet music and recording
The other thing that became very evident last night, was how desperately I needed a case for my dulcimer. All the other musicians (from guitar to banjo to fiddle), all have these cool black cases that they carry their instruments around. Now granted I could buy one of these cool black padded dulcimer bags for about $30. However, because this is me, I am going to make one :-) Out of leather :-) Also, because EVERYONE (and I mean everyone) has a black one…I am going to make mine out of orange leather. :-)
- Current Mood: happy
So I had my first ever dulcimer class last night. There are so many great words that I could use to describe it- aspiring, amazing, fun, challenging, exciting.
I have had my little dulcimer for about 3 years now, and I have been trying to slowly teach myself how to play… unsuccessfully. I think there are people out there that can in fact learn how to play instruments on their own or from a book- but I don’t think I am one of them.
I am taking the class at the Old Town Folk Music School (http://www.oldtownschool.org/), a beautiful building in the heart of Lincoln Square up in Chicago. Normally the school is only minutes from work, but with last night’s snow storm it took me an hour to drive the 5 miles.
I was afraid there would not be that many people in the class, or that I would be the youngest. Luckily for my shyness, neither were the case. The class had 7 people in it, and we all had similar stories. We all either purchased or were given a dulcimer, and tried self teaching to no avail. Of the 7 students, 5 were females about my age (mid 20’s-30’s), and 2 were retired gentlemen.
The class is taught by Dona Benkert, and well know and respected dulcimer player and teacher. It took about 20 minutes to teach and get all 7 dulcimers turned. After that the class flew by and we learned strumming and finger work. By the end of the hour class we had strumming homework, could play twinkle twinkle little star, and left with 2 additional songs in the key of D.
The strumming exercises are easy, repetitive, and can be done while Blair is watching either football or politics. The songs are not that bad and I no longer sound like I am strangling a cat. I actually don’t think I will be embarrassed playing my dulcimer while Blair is at home.
The class goes for 8 weeks, ending the first week of March. It was my goal when I signed up for the class, to be able to play at least 1 SCA song by Gulf Wars. I am even thinking of re-writing some words/lyrics to go with the songs we were given as homework, so they might be even more fun to practice.
(Just in case someone wants some exercises in writing lyrics, the songs are Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Cripple Creek, and Go Tell Aunt Rhody, all written in the key of D. )
- Current Mood: ecstatic
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a plant with a long history of being used as both a spice and a dye source. Turmeric was even listed as a coloring and dyeing agent in an Assyrian herbal dating to aprox. 2600 BC.
Marco Polo, in 1280 AD, mentioned turmeric as growing in the Fukien region of China.
The country produces ginger and galingale in immense quantities, insomuch that for a Venice groat you may buy fourscore pounds of good fine-flavoured ginger. They have also a kind of fruit resembling saffron, and which serves the purpose of saffron just as well
This “false saffron” moniker actually became an alternate title for turmeric in Medieval Europe. It was traditionally called Indian saffron or false saffron, since its deep yellow-orange color is similar to that of the prized saffron. A note should however be added, that the flavors are not entirely similar
Turmeric has a peppery, warm and bitter flavor and a mild fragrance slightly reminiscent of orange and ginger (which it is related to). It commonly found in curry, as well as the yellow ingredient in commercial mustards.
Related to ginger, turmeric comes from the root of the curcuma longa plant. The oils and the pigments from the turmeric plant both act as anti- inflammatory. This yellow or orange pigment is called curcumin. Nutritionally, turmeric is a good source of iron, manganese, vitamin B6, dietary fibers and potassium.
Fresh Turmeric can be made by purchasing the fresh root stalks of the Curcuma longa plant, and then boiling and drying the curcumin. This can then be grinded into a fine consistency used for cooking,
Turmeric can also be eaten raw. Though it looks like ginger, it is more crunchy, juicy, and chewy then the similar ginger root.
When dyeing with turmeric, the color will depend on the mordents and adjuncts used. When mixed with alkaline fluids it will dye bright red but when mixed with acid it will produce yellow. Historically, when Fuller’s earth was added to the turmeric it would create an alkali balance. In contrast acid ingredients such as lime juice, sour milk or dried mango would be added to give it a stronger yellow color.
To prepare the yellow dye, the dried or fresh roots are ground to a paste with water. Even when using mordents, the bright dye colors will fade over time.
The pictures listed are from a recent dyeing I did with Turmeric. I needed yellow for an underdress, and did not want to purchase any. Instead, I took some white linen I had and dyed it with alum and turmeric.
AS50 Dye: 1 of 50
The morning and afternoon progressed as normal. I was a little anxious and nervous about my podcast, which honestly is not that unusual as I am a shy individual when around people I respect or don’t know. On my way home I needed to stop at Radio Shack to get a new battery for our cordless phones that died about 6 months ago. When I reached my car, the key would not open the lock for anything- that’s when I noticed the hulu dancer on the dash….I don’t own a hulu dancer on my dash.
Once I reached the RIGHT car, I noticed my lights were on. As I tried to open the wrong car I put it down to me being pre-occupied about last night’s podcast.
I had a few other errands, including picking up dinner. On my way back to the car from Best Buy I noticed my car lights were on it again… I really need to stop doing that.
I got home, making sure that my car lights were off and then went inside. About an hour later, my upstairs neighbor knocked on my door, as I have the yellow Escape….Turns out my lights were on. I was confused as I thought I had made sure they were off. I go out to my car, and sure enough my lights are on. I get inside my car, and my lights are off…..But my lights are on!!! How do I turn off my lights, if they are already off?
By the time Blair got home to help me disconnect my battery, my battery was dead. He jump starts me, so I have enough power to lock my doors- and then we disconnect my battery just in time for the battery to die again (because well the lights were on). He then parks his car, and turns off the engine. The only problem is that he used his battery to jump my car, and did not leave it on long enough to recharge---- Yep…. Now Blair’s battery is dead…..
Unfortunately, it’s time for my podcast debate- so we go inside. However, the system I had tested yesterday had an epic fail while I was trying to use it. We started 15 minutes late, I am freaking out, and my audio sounds like it was done in a fish bowl…. Headplant.
With much struggling, frustration, and sitting on my frozen cement patio I was able to get through the 1 hour podcast. Even though Blair came outside and wrapped my in blankets while I was doing the podcast, by the time I came inside I was absolutely frozen.
Once done (and inside), we had to figure out how we were going to get to work with both of our cars being dead. Luckily I have roadside assistance through Geico (no one in the SCA should be without roadside assistance) . I was informed that it would be covered by my insurance and to call Geico back 1 hour before we wanted the jump. By this time it was 10:30pm…. By the time my feet were warm enough to fall asleep it was 1am.
Then this morning, we awoke early (Blair at 4, and myself at 5:45) tested my battery just to see if I had enough charge left to start it (nope), and then called for the jump. The service guys was uber nice, and showed us where the correct spark plugs were for the front lights so I could pull them till I could get it fixed. He also jumped Blair’s car. We then headed out to get gas, and then stop at our trusty automechanic near my work…..
Yep, my mechanic knows me by name (and I would recommend him to EVERYONE in the Chicagoland area). We pull both cars in, and he check’s Blair’s battery just in case- yep his battery is dead dead. So we get him a new battery, and leave my car there to figure out why my lights won’t turn off.
So in the past 24 hours, we have had 2 cars with 2 dead battery, a complete laptop fail, and a bad podcast.
For Christmas I upgraded Blair’s Ipod to the Ipod Touch. As a thank you, he gifted his original ipod down to me. I am not much of a music person, and I could not find how to put my audible books of the ipod. Therefore, I went looking for podcasts. I found some brewing ones, I found some craft ones, and I found some history ones. What I did not find were any historical crafts ones. There were some generic SCA ones, including the Exploring the Dream. Aquila Invictus, and the Lion’s Road. . However there were none that were SCA Arts & Science related.
Now I consider myself an A&S Junkie- basically meaning I dabble in a whole lot of things, but not really a master of any. Therefore, for my A&S podcast I did not want it to be about one art or craft but a whole plethora of A&S topics. My ambition is to create an hour long weekly podcast that has a weekly single topic and a variety of segments by different contributors.
So far people have been intrigued and supportive of this, so I have high hopes that I actually might be able to pull it off.
I am excited, because tomorrow I am doing a live debate with people from across the Known Worlde about what constitutes an Art and which is a Science. I am still looking for people from a few of the sciences and some of the Western Kingdoms to represent, and as it is tomorrow I am starting to get a little nervous.
- Current Mood: anxious
Now, I am not going to say that there was no self-interest in this. We almost always get the coolest knitted gifts for birthdays and the like from my sister. After she got the knitting machine, she mentioned knitting us taller socks to wear with our SCA Garb!
During this last winter, I started working on a multi-colored green cotehardie with duck appliqués on the base. Though I almost had all the ducks finished appliquéd on (using the embroidery machine), I had to put the dress aside to work on other projects manly stuff for my regional A&S. Luckily I think the dress is currently about 40% done, which means I could possibly get it finished before Kingdom A&S. Somehow I think it is fitting to be wearing a green dress with orange silk appliqués on it, when I have dyeing orange as one of my entries. I also have orange and green duck turnshoes- that I think would look like Da’bomb with the dress. The event is inside, so I don’t necessarily have to worry about wearing pattents with the shoes (which is the only reason I have not worn them yet). However, being turnshoes they really need to be worn with hose or period socks.
Enter in my sister’s new knitting machine. I asked my sister if I got her some yarn ASAP, if she would be able to knit me up a pair of socks to wear with my dress for the A&S competition. I got some natural colored cascade alpaca yarn (3 skein’s worth) and dyed them up using tin and madder root. The method can be seen here:
|5.4 ounces of the Cascade Alpaca lace ( 50g, 437 yards 28 stitch/4”) ie 3 skeins||Skein's stretched out and ready to dye||Washing up the skeins of yarn- I use a light oil free shampoo|
|Measuring out the mordant||Yarn in the Mordant water||Yarn sitting in the Madder Root Dye|
I then went ahead and UPSed them (and all my synthetic yarns) off to my sister, so she can turn them into some socks to be worn with my new dress!
No more; and by a stitch to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural socks
That feet is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To dye, to stitch;
To stitch: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub;
For in that stitch of joy what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this retail coil.
Ok Shakespeare I might not be, but I do have dyeing on the brain :-)
I just finished a (semi-successful) Division II-Textile Dyeing project on orange in period and how to reproduce those oranges using medieval European ingredients.
I also am taking part in an online color dye class. Though it focuses on commercial dyes- it includes lessons on shading, color theory and wheel, and how to brighten or sadden the colors.
Once I get back from a medical conference in Florida, I will be heading over to Greencastle IN for their Fiber Festival (which I have heard is huge!) Both days I will be taking full day workshops on natural dyeing (though I might switch to felting on Saturday). The first day class - is get this- on how to dye oranges and greens!!!! Woo Hoo!
Then at Lillies, I am down to help Nickolevna in the silk tent with dyeing on Tuesday and Thursday from 10-3. Then on Wednesday I am doing a workshop on Eating your Dyes.- Natural edible dyes that will both dye fibers, as well as can be eaten :-) Lunch is of course provided.
So Regional A&S was an extremely interesting and unbelievably enjoyable experience. It was my first time entering an A&S competition in the Middle Kingdom, and well as entering any A&S competition besides Queen Prize.
I spent a majority in a little bit of a lost daze, as I was trying to figure out exactly what was going. Luckily I was able to either fake it really well, I or just went with the flow.
Thankfully I had a great friend supporting me when the pressure got to be too much and I started to tear up. She was able to calm me down, get me on my feet, and I was able to finish up the day intact.
Also, I really am grateful that I had someone I trust who was there (and in charge). Master Phillip from Shattered Crystal has always been one of the Peers which I look up to, and I appreciate that he was there to support me and to answer some of my questions.
There were some really great entries, including my favorite which was done by one of my friends Phillipa. A couple of years back, she made her own tent. In order to enter it, she made a completely working scale model complete with rope bed and little dolls. It is absolutely phenomenal and I enjoy playing with it a little more then a 30 year old should.
My judging was a little all over the place. I had a couple of judges on different entries thank me for writing grammatically correct papers and commended me on the format. I had another judge question if English was my first language, and yet another hate the way I had the documentation written.
I scored a 1st place on the gambeson, the leatherwork, the cordial, and the orange dye project. I scored a 2nd place in the bread. This allowed all 5 of the entries to move forward to Kingdom A&S during Crown Tourney over Memorial Day.
On top of this, I also won the pentathlon event, making me the regional A&S Champion for the Midrealm. I am still a little in shock over this one.
I have a lot of work to clean up my documentation and my presentations before Kingdom. Luckily I got some great suggestions from a majority of my judges, and am looking forward to taking their positive and negative feedback in account when I edit my papers.
16th Century “Pane al Latte” or Italian Milk Bread
Libro novo nel qual s'insegna a far d'ogni sorte di vivande secondo la diversità dei tempi così di carne come di pesce. Et il modo d'ordinar banchetti, apparecchiar tavole, fornir palazzi, & ornar camere per ogni gran Prencipe. Opera assai bella, e molto bisognevole à Maestri di Casa, à Scalchi, à Credenzieri, & à Cuochi is a 16th century Italian cookbook usually shortened to just Libro nov and translates into English as A new book explaining how to prepare every sort of dish according to time differences like those of meat and fish. And how to arrange banquets, set the table, furnish palaces and arrange rooms for any occasion. A beautiful and useful work for butlers, scalchi or banquet organizerss, pastry chefs and chefs. Written in 1549 by Cristoforo di Messisburgo, it is considered one of the forefathers of tradition Italian cooking.
One of the recipes within this book is Prima per Fare Cinquante Pani de Latte e Zuccaro di Oncie nove l'uno which roughly translates into English intoto First (how) to make fifty Bread (of) Milk and Sugar, nine ounces each. This bread recipe is one of the forefathers to modern day Pane al Latte, better known as Italian Milk Bread. The original recipe yielded 50 miniature loaves weighing approximately 9 medieval ounces.
Bread was an important aspect of the medieval diet. Originally invented in Ancient Historic Egypt, by the medieval time period it was an integrated aspect of everyday medieval life. In fact for hundreds of years peasant received there wages in bread and beer. By the 12th century there were no less then 20 recorded types of bread. For the upper-class and royals this would include such recipes as pain de tour, pain de Pape, pain de chevalier, pain d'ecuyer, and pain de paire. These loaves would be more complex then the generic flour, water, leaven, and salt recipe. The servants or middle class would eat a more basic bread, but still packed full of nutrients such as the pain de valet, which consisted of rye, barley and flour. In contrast the common people would normally have the rounded loafs of pain de Boulanger or brown bead, using whatever grain that would be available or grown locally around them.
Pane al latte usually has a delicate mellow flavor and a semi dark crust. The milk allows the yeast in the recipe to act more efficiently, making it a perfect recipe for medieval style leaven starters which have a tendency to rise slowly due to having no commercial yeast. The sugars from the lactose in the milk, also give the bread a nice dark soft crust. As it has additional ingredients beyond water, flour, salt and leaven, it can be deducted that this type of bread would most likely be consumed by the upper-middle or noble classes.
Uncommon to modern pane al latte, this 16th century Pani de Latte recipe also calls for levaturo (from the Italian lievito, meaning sourdough), rose water and egg yokes. Before the invention of commercialized yeast, one of the most common ways to make bread rise, was by the use of a leaven or starter. Either added as a liquid starter or a leftover piece of unbaked bread dough, these leaveners would have enough natural yeast in them to give the appropriate rise to create palpable dough. The eggs in this recipe also help with the rising process, as they have a leavening power within dough. In addition, because of their fat content, they help the bread stay fresh for a longer period of time. Rose water, a common ingredient in many medieval bread recipes, and gives a floral and sometimes spicy bouquet to the finished item.
The original recipe from Libro Novo circa 1548, for Prima per Fare Cinquante Pani de Latte e Zuccaro di Oncie nove l'uno is: 
"Fatto Che haverai la tua Sconza, o levaturo, pigliarai di fiori di farina burattata libre 35. e tanto meno, quanto meno sara quella diche haverai fatto il levaturo, e libre 6.di zuccaro ben bianco, e Torli dUova 75 e libre 3 d'acqua rosata, e libre 6 di latte fresco, e oncie 6 di butiro fresco, e impastarai il tuo Pane, avuertirai bene, chee l'acqua, o latte non scottasse, e farai anchor ache torli d'uovu sian caldetti, & li scalderai, ponondoli nell'acqua calda, e li porri, il conveniente sale, e farai la pasta, sic he non siane dura, ne tenera, ma pui tosto ch'habbia del saldetto, e la gramarai moto bene, e poi farai il tuo pane, e lo lasciaraben (?) levare, e lo cuocerai con grande ordine, si che non pigli troppo fuoco, ma che al tuo Giuditio stia bene, e questo pane e piu bell a farlo tondo, che intorto, o in pinzoni, sia dopoi piu grande, o piu picciolo, come tu vorrai: ti governerai adunque secondo questo modo, che e provato."
This recipe makes 50 mini loaves and calls for the following ingredients: Levain (unidentified amount), Flour- 35 pounds, White Sugar- 6 pounds, Rose Water 3 pounds, Milk- 6 pounds, Butter- 6 ounces, Egg Yolks- 75 yolks. (see appendix A).
For the flour that was used in this redaction, basic unbleached white flour was used. Though bleached flour was used in 15th century Italy at this time, organic whole wheat unbleached flour was chosen as it would most resemble the white flours that could be purchased at a mill.  For the sugar, organic, unbleached and unprocessed can sugar was used. Cane sugar was available in medieval Europe, usually coming from Italy, Syria, and Spain. For the milk, whole milk was chosen as this would be similar to the milk available to the upper-middle class kitchens in which this bread was prepared. For similar reasons, the butter which was chosen was homemade using fresh beaten whole cream.
For the leavener, I created a medieval starter using no commercial yeast. This starter was created using equal portions of barm, water, and flour (see appendix B). The barm was created by a home brewer using Customs of London by Richard Arnold circa 1503 as the source. The original recipe included 10 quarters malt, 2 quarters wheat, 2 quarters oats, and 40 lbs hops. 
My basic leaven or sourdough recipe starters with ½ cup starter to which eventually 4.5 cups of flour are added. Therefore, to redact this recipe, I started with a base of 3 cups flour and ½ cup leaven starter. Using the same proportions within the Libro Novo. The following ingredients would be .289 cups sugar (rounded to 1/4 cup), 1.02 cups of rosewater (rounded to 1 cup), 2.05 cups milk (rounded to 2 cups), .13 ounces butter (rounded to 1 tsp butter), 1.5 yolks (rounded to 2 yolks).
The original recipe states “Fatto Che haverai la tua Sconza, o levaturo” which translates roughly to “When you have your levaturo ready”. To do this ½ cup starter was brought to room temperature and fed with ½ cup flour. Left to become active, this created the first proof. Once ready, this was mixed with 1 cup rose water and 1 cup flour.
“Latte non scottasse” means to not scorch the milk and butter indicated that this should be warmed prior to mixing into the dough. Therefore the 2 cups milk and the 1 tsp butter were heated to just simmering. The 2 egg yolks were beaten and then tempered into the warm milk and egg mixture, as the original recipes indicates that the eggs should be included warm “e farai anchor ache torli d'uovu sian caldetti”. To this mixture an additional 1 cup of flour was added. Once again this was left to rise, creating the 2nd proof.
For the final proof, additional flour was added until the mixture became a firm dough, approximately 2-4 cups flour. In the original this was indicated by “e li porri, il conveniente sale, e farai la pasta”, indicating to add flour until it becomes dough. This was kneaded well and left to “levare” or rise.
In the original recipe, it says “e questo pane e piu bell a farlo tondo” which means most beautiful when made round. Therefore to bake, this was placed in an unglazed ceramic bread pan, and left to rise to its final size.
“e lo cuocerai con grande ordine, si che non pigli troppo fuoco” warns that the bread should not be cooked at to high a temperature. To get a nice even color, I baked this at 400 degrees F for 20 minutes, and then reduced down to 300 degrees for an additional 20 minutes (see appendix C).
 Six Thousand Years of Bread: Its Holy and Unholy History, (New York: Skyhorse Pub., 2007), 31
 Six Thousand Years of Bread: Its Holy and Unholy History, (New York: Skyhorse Pub., 2007), 143
 The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook, (Boston, MA: Harvard Common, 2000), 50.
 Crust and Crumb: Master Formulas for Serious Bread Bakers. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed, 2006
 The Bread Lover’s Bread Machine Cookbook, (Boston, MA: Harvard Common, 2000), 73.
 Six Thousand Years of Bread: Its Holy and Unholy History, (New York: Skyhorse Pub., 2007)
 "Frequently Asked Questions about Medieval Bread." <http://www.whirlwind-design.com/madbake
 Six Thousand Years of Bread: Its Holy and Unholy History, (New York: Skyhorse Pub., 2007), 138
 Six Thousand Years of Bread: Its Holy and Unholy History, (New York: Skyhorse Pub., 2007)
 "Barm." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 23 Mar. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barm>.
 The Customs of London, Otherwise Called, Arnold's Chronicle Containing among Divers Other Matters the Original of the Celebrated Poem of the Nut-Brown Maid. (London: F.C. and J. Rivington, 1811.)