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The Barony of Thescorre is having a “garage sale” to benefit the scribes of the Kingdom. Anyone who has received an award scroll can see the time and effort put into each work of art. Supplies for our beautiful scrolls are expensive, and the money earned will allow more scribes to do their art for Æthelmearc.
Please bring your SCA-related items that you no longer use to Pax for the sale. Pre-pricing items is helpful. There will be a tent set up in the merchant area.
Need items for Pennsic? Then come and shop! You never know what kind of bargains you will find.
(And the favor of stopping by at the end to retrieve unsold items would be greatly appreciated.)
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly via Facebook (Pamela McDermott) message or email.
by Lady Elska á Fjárfelli
Using bar soap to make something else is a time-honored tradition. In the 16th century in Tudor times, grated soap could be bought from an apothecary as an ingredient for scented soap balls (and rather strange medicines). Intriguing recipes of that time exist with quite curious ingredients, such as oil of spike (a type of lavender) and civet (an excretion of the civet cat, used in perfumery). If it smelled nice, or otherwise helped a woman’s self-image by bleaching (white hands), scrubbing (calluses), coloring (rosy cheeks) or smoothing (wrinkles), pretty much anything went.
White soap was known for many centuries but it was not until the Middle Ages that it came into widespread use. White soap had two distinct advantages over soft soap, or black soap. Its basic ingredient, olive oil, was easy and pleasant to work with compared to animal fat of questionable age and hygiene. It also sets into solid bars and therefore can be shredded, which makes it possible for a customer to mold and scent soaps to the customers’ personal taste.
Despite the general modern belief that people back then did not bathe much at all, people of the Tudor age did keep themselves clean … by continuously changing and laundering their underclothes and by sponge bathing. Henry VIII and other royals had permanent plumbed-in bathrooms, like those built at Hampton Court and Whitehall. Of course, these magnificent bathrooms were great luxuries.
Bathing for the average person meant having to fill a wooden tub with water, which was time consuming without indoor plumbing or gas ranges and was not something they would bother to do regularly. An interest in personal cleanliness did develop around that time as Tudor-style clothes were tight fitting and often of not-easy-to-clean fabrics, as shown by various toiletry soaps and stain removal recipes that began to show up in various household instruction manuals of that time.
Sir Hugh Plat, in his Delightes for Ladies to adorne their Persons, Tables, Closets, and Distillatories with Beauties, Banquets, Perfumes & Water (1609), shares a great recipe for “a delicate washing bal”:
Take three ounces of Orace, half an ounce of Cypres, two ounces of Calamus Aromaticus, one ounce of Rose leaves, two ounces of Lavender flowres: beat all these together in a mortar, searching them thorow a fine Searce, then scrape some castill sope, and dissolve it with some Rose-water, then incorporate all your powders therewith, by labouring of them well in a mortar.
Another nice recipe comes from The secretes of the reuerende Maister Alexis of Piemount (1558) by Girolamo Ruscelli, on how to make “Vvhite musked Sope”:
Take Sope scraped or grated, as much as you will the whiche (when ye haue well stieped and tempered in rose water) leaue it eight dais in the sunne: Than you shall adde to it an vnce of the water or milk of Macaleb, twlue graines of Muske, and sixe graines of Ciuet, and reducinge all the whole into the fourme and maner of harde past, you shall make therof very excellent balles.
Making your own soap balls is easy, since all one needs to do is grate soap into slivers (by hand or with a kitchen machine), add a tiny bit of water or milk to make the slivers sticky, knead a bit by hand and then roll the sticky mass into a ball. Dry for a few days and the soap is ready to be used. Plain olive oil-based soap like Castile soap would be close to period.
This project also makes for quite a fun kid’s activity, especially when they get to hand-grind smelly botanicals to add to their own kid-sized shaped balls of soap. Check out your local Asian store for a coarse stone mortar and pestle, pick up some herbs and spices like cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, lily flowers, or rose buds, and with the help of your energetic kids grind up a pinch of this and that, then knead into your sticky mass before shaping. The bits and pieces will also add scrubbing ability to your soap, along with an amazing handmade scent. Your kids might actually be inspired to wash their hands before dinner now they’ve made their own soap… a win-win situation if you ask me!
What are plausible ingredients for period washing balls?
You can try dried moss for a scrubbing soap; cedarwood, sandalwood, musk, and civet essential oils for a spicy woodsy scent; (distilled) rosewater, ground rose petals or buds, ground lavender buds, or lily flowers for a nice floral scent; dried herbs like mint, lemon balm, rosemary, or sage for that clean herbal scent. There are also some less usual but very period ingredients: Orace (orris, or Iris rhizome), Cypres (not cypress, but Aram or jack in the pulpit), Calamus Aromaticus (sweet sedge), amber grease (ambergris), Benjamin (benzoin), Macaleb (Prumus maheleb), Sandali citrini (yellow saunders wood), gum Oldanum (frankincense), Storax, and my personal favorite; oil of Spike (Lavendula spica essential oil).
So, the next time you are shopping online for kitchen spices or visiting an international market, check out the botanicals to see what unusual scrubs and scents they might have… and make yourself a set of scented balls the Tudor way!
Ashenburg K (2007) The Dirt on Clean, an unsanitized history, North Point Press, NY
Plat, Sir Hugh (1609) Delightes for Ladies to adorne their Persons, Tables, Closets, and Distillatories with Beauties, Banquets, Perfumes & Water EEBO
Ruscelli, Girolamo (1558) The secretes of the reuerende Maister Alexis of Piemount EEBO
My personal database of soap-related Materia Medica.
The SCA 50 Year Celebration continues in the Middle Kingdom with a variety of activities. Thanks to Viscountess Hodierna Miriglee of Lincludin, who was the second Princess of Æthelmearc, and to THLady Rachel Dalicieux for their reports and photos!
Alas, rain on Tuesday and Wednesday caused the closure of some venues including archery and siege, but participants enjoyed many other activities in the many buildings and arenas available on the fairground site. There were crafts in the arts building including pottery, fiber arts, and block printing, as well as numerous children’s activities.
One record already set by the 50 Year Celebration is that it currently holds the largest gathering of equestrians in the history of the Known World. There were mounted combat tournaments and other competitions over the course of the week.
The Queens of the Known World participated in one particularly unusual equestrian competition. They were driven in horse-drawn chariots and had to complete tasks much as in normal equestrian competitions, knocking over artificial “enemies” with beanbags. So of course the Æthelmearc contingent in the stands took the opportunity to cheer Queen Ariella on with chants of “Oh, No, Rock to the Face!” each time she struck a target. While our queen acquitted herself well, the winner of the competition was Queen Adrielle of Ealdormere.
One of the marvels on site was the “Great Machine.” Powered by dogs, it can do a variety of work. One of its creators, Master Sylard of Eagleshaven from Ealdormere, demonstrated using it to drive a Da Vinci Hammer and transform a bog iron bloom to iron that can be worked.Click to view slideshow.
Sir Stefan Ulfkelsson of Æthelmearc also spent some time working bog iron at 50 Year, though without the benefit of the machine. Instead, he had assistants working a bellows to heat a charcoal fire so he could smelt the bog ore into iron using a Viking-era bloom forge. He reports that he was able to achieve about 25% efficiency of product in to iron out, which is very good for this technique.
Photos by Master Fridrikr Tomasson.
Other indoor activities have included a Boat Battle, a Squire’s Tournament, a Known World Hafla, and Children’s A&S Day.
Of interest to both scribes and bards, SCA 50 Year marked the unveiling of a book that was created by a group of over 50 Midrealm artisans in a project called “Calf to Codex.” Spearheaded by Master Johannes von Narrenstein, they began five years ago with deer that were butchered by hand and their hides processed into parchment. The parchment was then distributed to numerous scribes who painted and calligraphed the text using handmade oak gall ink and period pigments, and in some cases even handmade paint brushes and of course, quill pens. The text includes Midrealm history, stories, and songs written by a score of bards of the Middle, including such luminaries as Mistress Marian of Heatherdale, Duke Finvarr de Taahe, and Duke Laurelen Darksbane. Once complete, the parchment pages were gathered into quires, sewn together to form a book, and bound using hand-planed quarter-sawn oak panels and a tooled leather cover with handmade metal reinforcements and clasps. The threads used to sew the book together were made from flax grown, harvested, combed, and spun by members of the Society. Even the tools used to line the leather cover were hand-made. At SCA 50 Year, Master Johannes presented the 112-page book at a performance area where bards performed music and stories from it.
Master Johannes says of the book’s purpose: “It will be used like a book should be – read from, to us, at events and gatherings. We will have a custodian to take care of it, and invite readers to read to us from it.”
The photos below, by Viscountess Elashava bas Riva, are stunning. Gentles interested in a closer look at the project can learn more on the group’s Facebook page.Click to view slideshow.
One of the more popular events of 50 Year was the “Founders Meet and Greet.” A group of five gentles who were present at the first tournament, including its hostess, Countess Diana Listmaker, told stories of the Society’s founding and early days and answered questions. They are undoubtedly the celebrities of the event and have graciously had their pictures taken with scores of people from all over the Known World.
Unto the artisans and scientists of Æthelmearc do Byron and Ariella, King and Queen, send Greetings.
We have returned from Our travels to Our beloved Shire of Ballachlagan (beloved particularly by the cicadas this year). We saw so many good artistic acts and thoughtful, insightful classes at the Æthelmearc. We extend Our thanks to all of the artisans and teachers who made the day so special, and to Mistress Alicia for organizing the Æcademy classes. We were pleased to witness the largest Cut and Thrust tournament ever sponsored in this Kingdom, and Our thanks go to Master Will Parris for organizing the tournament. Vivant to Don Clewin, who will soon become a Master of Defense, for winning the tournament.
THL Aelric and all the members of Ballachlagan should be very proud of the event; it went off beautifully and was an excellent showcase for martial and artistic pursuits. We attended many of the classes (at least in part) and were impressed with the quality and depth of the teaching. We also spent time in the Arts and Sciences display, where all of the entries were exceptional, and it was difficult to choose favorites. Furthermore, We thank everyone who made Ian Aetheling and Princess Leah welcome in their classes.
It is indeed a blessing to have Heirs who work so well with Us, and Our thanks go to Prince Marcus and Princess Margerite for their support in numerous ways.
In Service to the Dream,
Byron and Ariella, Rex et Regina Æthelmearc
Throwback Thursday – Duke Eliahu
Spretz Artura is performing everythign with grace, if I recall correctly. This was a fantastic episode. Hope you enjoy it all again.
Documented from the Rolls and Files of the Coram Regibus of Thomas Byron and Ariella, Rex et Regina Æthelmearc: Being a True Record of the Business of Their Majesties’ Royal Court at the Æthelmearc Æcademy and War College, 28 May, Anno Societatis LI, in the Shire of Abhainn Ciach Ghlais, accompanied by Their Heirs, Prince Marcus and Princess Margerite. As recorded by Gwendolyn the Graceful, Brehyres, Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald, with the assistance of Lord Pavel Dudoladov.
In the morning. Their Majesties invited Mistress Alicia Langland to address the populace. She welcomed all to the event, especially those who gave of their time to teach throughout the day, and made a few announcements of changes to the classes. She also announced the inauguration of a new stipend in the memory and honor of the late Countess Aidan ni Lir, and named its first honoree: Lady Edana the Red.
Their Majesties next called before Them His Lordship Sionn the Lost, and Lady Lelija Barnasiewicz-Tancerka. His Majesty spoke of the singular joy that is dance, particularly when one’s partner is also one’s love. A couple so dedicated and so infectious in their love of their art does not escape the notice of others.
Thus, Their Majesties invited before Them Their Order of the Fleur d’Æthelmearc, who acclaimed Their Majesties’ will to induct The Honorable Lord Sionn and Lady Lelija into that company, and to Grant Lelija Arms. His Lordship’s scroll by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova; Her Ladyship’s scroll is a work in progress.
Next did Their Majesties desire words with Mistress Phiala O’Ceallaigh. She brought unto Their Majesties works of exquisite skill and artistry, woven not by her own hand, but that of her apprentice, Viscountess Rosalind Ashworthe. So greatly impressed were Their Majesties that Her Majesty was tempted to keep a sample for Herself, but instead chose to have Her Excellency brought before the Throne. Thereupon did Their Majesties seek the counsel of the Most Noble Order of the Laurel, and instructed Her Excellency to go forward with that Order and sit the remainder of the day in vigil to contemplate elevation into their company. Mistress Phiala asked Viscountess Rosalind to return her apprentice belt, that she might make her decision independently. Her Excellency was escorted to her Vigil, and Court was suspended.
Court resumed in the evening. Their Majesties asked the children forward and invited them to amuse themselves with activities provided by Princess Leia at the rear of the hall.
Then Their Majesties gave leave to The Honorable Lady Clarissa da Svizzera to address the populace. Her Ladyship invited all to Pax Interruptus in the Barony of Thescorre, and announced a scribal fundraiser to be held at the event. She encouraged all to help support the scribes by bringing “SCA Yard Sale” items to donate, and to shop the yard sale during the day.
Their Majesties next received Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope to install her as the Kingdom Youth Fighting Marshal. Although Sir Thorgrim Skullsplitter, outgoing Marshal, was not able to attend, Their Majesties thanked him in absentia for his service, and entrusted Mistress Arianna with the charge to continue training Their Kingdom’s youth.
Their Majesties invited the Silver Buccle, Kameshima Zentarou Umakai, forward. With Their Majesties’ permission, he inducted Maighstir Liam MacantSaoir as the new Sycamore Herald. He also sought applications for the position of Keystone Herald, in charge of education, to replace the late Baron Malcolm FitzWilliam.
Their Majesties gave leave to The Honorable Lord Aelric Ravenshaw, autocrat for the day’s event, to address the populace. His Lordship thanked his staff, the staff of the Æcademy, the teachers, the cooks, and all those who helped bring the event to success.
Mistress Alicia Langland was once again invited to offer her own thanks for the teachers and students. She particularly acknowledged those who taught at Æcademy for the first time, and those who had had their first-ever teaching experience. She further explained that in the teachers’ gift bags were Medieval-style candle-lighting tools, known in period as a “clue,” and that additional “clues” will go to teachers at future events. Thus, if one teaches sufficient classes at upcoming Æcademy sessions, one might be so lucky as to earn a “clue-by-four.” The next opportunity to amass more “clues” will be Æcademy in the fall, currently proposed for November 12.
Then Their Majesties called Master William Parris forward to name the winner of the cut-and-thrust tournament held that day. Master William explained that cut-and-thrust has long been a growing interest within the rapier community, and that the Masters of Defence have made it their particular brief to encourage and foster it. He announced the final placements: in third place, Master Annanias Fenne; in second, Countess Elena D’Artois; and the winner, Don Clewin Kupferhelbelinc. Don Clewin was called forward to receive his prize: a Royal favor to wear and pass on as additional sponsored cut-and-thrust tournaments are held in the Kingdom.
Their Majesties called before Them Fenna Rioux. They noted her willingness to retain, and spoke of the glowing reports They had received of her other efforts in her Shire and for her Household. This, along with Their first-hand knowledge of her courtesy and nobility, moved Them to Award her Arms. Scroll was a work in progress by Baroness Mahin Banu Tabrizi and Lady Raven Whitehart.
Their Majesties also summoned Jarngerd of Stormhaven to attend Them. Her Majesty said that She first took notice of Jarngerd in Her home, where she was hard at work in the kitchens, and later learned of this lady’s practices in her own home, including raising rabbits for food and fur, as well as her efforts retaining and serving her household. In recognition of these things and more, Their Majesties named her a Companion of the Order of the Keystone and further Awarded her Arms. Scroll by Lady Raven Whitehart with wording by Baroness Mahin Bany Tabrizi.
Their Majesties next sought Lady Elena de la Palma and complimented her on her splendid attire. Her Majesty noted that all who see this lady can be in no doubt of her skills as a clothier, but also her attention to the details of her presentation, as well as her other creative ability. Thus did Their Majesties proclaim Their mind to name her a Companion of the Order of the Sycamore. Scroll by Lord Oliver Sutton.
Baron Silvester Burchardt was brought before the Sylvan Throne, where Their Majesties assured him of Their admiration for his weaving. Their Majesties also assured him that the Order of the Fleur d’Æthelmearc enthusiastically agreed and encouraged Them in Their present course, which was to once again convene the Order, and name him one of their Companions. Scroll by THL Máirghréad Stíobhard inghean uí Choinne.
Next did Their Majesties desire to address Baroness Amelia Soteria. Although she came before the Thrones from her position behind them as Their Thrown Weapons Champion, Her Majesty pointed out that she might as easily have been standing behind Them as Their retainer. Rarely is this lady found not working, as Mistress of the Lists, or in fighter support, or in any number of ways great and small where she tirelessly serves. Her prodigious efforts commanded the notice not only of Their Majesties, but of the Order of the Millrind. Thus with that Order’s acclaim, Their Majesties did name her a Companion of the Millrind, and gave unto her two medallions that had been provided by members eager to welcome her among them. Scroll by Baroness Ekaterina Volkova.
Their Majesties called for Viscountess Rosalind Ashworthe to come before Them and give answer whether she had chosen to undertake elevation. Upon her assent, the Most Noble Order of the Laurel was invited forward. Words from Duchess Rowan de la Garnison were conveyed by Countess Alexandra of Clan Donald. Her Grace cited the way Her Excellency wove her own patterns on her travels and left her mark upon the Kingdom. Master Wulfgar of the Wood spoke on behalf of the Order of Chivalry, saying that he has known Her Excellency almost all her life and never seen a better example of chivalry or courtesy. Her Highness Margerite read the words of Duchess Dorinda Courtenay, as a representative of the Order of Defense. Her Grace wrote of the work Her Excellency has done for the arts community, not loudly, but quietly, with little fanfare, but with great patience, and proclaimed that now is the time for the kingdom to speak loudly to proclaim her a Peer. Mistress Mahin Banu Tabrizi, also, attested to the service inherent in every instance that Her Excellency offered to teach, or to help, or guide another artisan on their path. Master Victor of Shrewsbury reflected on the way the threads of one’s life intertwine and twist, for Her Excellency introduced him and his late lady to the Society, ultimately setting them on the path that led to their own inductions into the Order of the Laurel. With the testimony of these Noble Worthies to confirm Their Majesties’ wish, Her Excellency was then bedecked with the medallion given to Mistress Phiala by her own Laurel, Master Ruadhan O’Ceallaigh, and with a hood adorned by a laurel wreath, wrought for her by Lady Beautrice Hammeltoune. Then did Mistress Laurencia bestow into her keeping the reliquary fruitcake of the Order of the Laurels of Æthelmearc. Mistress Rosalind swore her oath of service to the Crown and was proclaimed by Letters Patent to be a Peer of the Realm and a Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Laurel. Scroll by Duke Malcolm MacEoghainn.
Their Majesties called for the attendance of His Lordship Jussie Laplein. His Majesty declared that He knows this man well, for he comes to practice at Their Majesties’ home most weeks, and thus They have both crossed swords with him many, many times. With great pleasure, Their Majesties requested the presence of Their Most Noble Order of Chivalry to attend Them. They then commanded His Lordship to sit vigil at a mutually agreed date and contemplate elevation into the Chivalry. Scroll by Hrefna Fruþikona Þorgrimsdottir.
His Highness, Prince Marcus, addressed the populace. Moved by the ongoing efforts to support and bolster the scribes of Æthelmearc, His Highness announced his intention to sponsor a silent auction at the Kingdom Party at Pennsic. His Highness will create a full Landsknecht ensemble for the winner (who must also provide His Highness with the materials); the proceeds will benefit the scribes.
Her Majesty then named Her inspiration for the day: Lord Sasson della Sancta Victoria. Her Majesty spoke of his impressive efforts as a new Thrown Weapons marshal and a craftsman, but what captured Her attention on this day was that, while he normally attires himself in Japanese clothing, on this very hot day, he was in full Elizabethan garb. He chose to make himself this outfit on the occasion of becoming an apprentice, in honor of his Laurel, Mistress Anne Greye, whose persona is of that period. As he had already departed, Mistress Anne accepted Her Majesty’s token on his behalf and pledged to convey Her words to him.
Their Majesties recognized all those scribes who contributed scrolls, and announced that today and going forward, They have thank-you gifts in the form of scribal supplies. For the duration of the reign, scribes turning in scrolls may select an item from the scribal goodie stash, to help resupply them and provide them with materials they need to produce additional work.
There being no further business, the Coram Regibus was closed.
Gwendolyn the Graceful, Brehyres
Jewel of Æthelmearc Herald
All photos of people by Master Tigernach mac Cathail. All photos of scrolls by Breyhyres Gwendolyn.
by THL Donnchadh Dubh Ghlas
History was made on June 11 at the Æthelmearc Æcademy & War College in Ballachlagan: the first-ever Order of Defense-sponsored Cut-and-Thrust Tournament in the Kingdom occurred.
Nine combatants entered in the tourney, arrayed themselves in a semi-circle around the inside of the list field. The format for the tournament was round-robin style. Each pair of combatants met in the center of the circle, exchanged introductions, and proceeded to take their guard. The combat ensued under the watchful eyes of our Sylvan Majesties, Thomas and Ariella, and the marshal-in-charge, Master William Parris.
Many feats of valor and acts of chivalry were exchanged in the crossing of swords. In the end, Don Clewin Kupferhelbelinc bested all comers and was victorious. Second place was Comtesse Elena d’Artois le Tailleur and third place Master Anias Fenne.
As one of the combatants, it is my wish that these Tournaments continue, and my hope that they draw more worthy fighters into the fray.
Thanks to Mistress Hilderun Hugelmann and THLady Rachel Dalicieux for continued photos and commentary on the SCA 50 Year Celebration.
The SCA 50 Year Celebration opened on Sunday with Countess Diana Listmaker, who hosted the first SCA event, telling the tale of the first event.
A group of founders joined Countess Diana on the dais. One of them, Duke Master Frederick of Holland (known as Flieg), heralded in the royalty of the Known World, reciting each Kingdom’s lineage in turn.
There were then demonstrations of heavy fighting and fencing, as well as a procession of people in clothing from many times and places.
The processional also included the first same-sex couple to rule a Barony, recently retired Barons of the Barony of Gyldenholt in Caid, Master Giles Hill and Master Giuseppe Francesco de Borgia. Musical entertainment was provided by Wolgemut.
There was also a demonstration of jousting, using lances with balsa wood ends.
Video by Lena Erickson
On Monday, June 20, the Æthelmearc Pas d’Arms was held. This tournament was jointly sponsored by King Byron and Queen Ariella, with Their Royal Majesties of Ansteorra, Gabriel and Sonja. It was originally the brainchild of Duke Timothy of Arindale, who was unfortunately detained by llamas somewhere near Machu Picchu and could not attend.
Our King and Queen proudly held the field for four hours in the hottest part of the day, challenging the entire Known World to test their mettle against Their steely resolve. 30 fighters, some from as far away as Drachenwald and the West, met together in the list. At last, Thervald, squire to Sir Devon of the Midrealm, emerged victorious.
Our own Lady Cynewyn Æthelweardsdohter received a Token of Inspiration from King Gabriel for her enthusiasm during the combat.
A support group from Æthelmearc assisted with organizing the Pas d’Armes.
The Gode Bakery, run by Master Alastar Scott MacCrummin and Maistres Myfanwy ferch Rhiannon with assistance from Maistir Brandubh o Donnghaile, serves meals to hungry gentles.
Other subjects of Æthelmearc have likewise been enjoying themselves despite the heat.
Watch for more SCA 50 Year coverage as the week goes on!
This announcement is meant to give artisans advanced knowledge of the format so they can plan their work accordingly. However, please note that this announcement is incomplete, and a more complete announcement, along with details about preregistration, will be constructed once the event date and site are chosen. If you have questions, please e-mail Lissa.
-Mistress Elysabeth Underhill (Lissa), Queens Champion
-Master Magnus Hvalmagi, Kings Champion
Entrants may enter 1- 3 items into the competition, but the championship will be judged as a body of work. Individual entries will not be scored. No item should have won a previous King’s or Queen’s Championship, and each item to be judged should have been made within three years of the competition. The items can be from a single discipline or from multiple disciplines, however, entries which tell a coherent story about a people, time and place are encouraged. The winner of the competition is the Queen’s Champion of Arts and Science. The King determines the King’s Champion of Arts and Science.
Documentation is required to compete in the King and Queen’s Arts and Sciences Championship. Entrants are encouraged to use the judging rubric (which will be updated shortly) to help them determine what information to include in their documentation. However, due to the large number of entrants this competition typically receives, the length of the documentation provided must be limited to allow time for judging. Entrants are asked to compose a 1/2 to 1 page abstract or summary which provides an overview of their entire entry (their body of work). The primary documentation for the entire entry should be no longer than 6 pages, not including references. Entrants are encouraged to include a table of contents and section headings to make reading the documentation easier for the judges, and judges will be asked to read both the summary and primary documentation in full. Appendixes may be used to convey supplemental information, things such as images, tables, charts, excerpts from historic texts, detailed descriptions of processes undertaken, etc. Judges may look at these appendixes if they desire, and entrants can refer judges to information in their appendixes during their presentation. However, entrants should plan to include all information that is critical to an understanding of their project in their primary documentation.
Documentation is not easy to write! If an entrant desires help with writing their documentation, or wants feedback on documentation already written, please e-mail the current queen’s champion, Mistress Elysabeth Underhill (Lissa) at Lissa, no later than 3 weeks before the competition date, and she will try to find a volunteer to assist you. If you are interested in assisting with providing documentation feedback to entrants prior to the competition, please e-mail Lissa as well.
Filed under: Announcements, Arts and Sciences, Uncategorized
by Lady Elska á Fjárfelli
As fairly new residents to our fair Dominion of Myrkfaelinn (though not so new to this side of the pond), for our War Practice dayboard I drew my inspiration from foods of my Dutch heritage… which does tend to mean lots of dairy and potatoes.
While serving the lunch, my husband Hrolfr and I were asked what these different foods were — were they Dutch, and were they period? And while most of what you tasted would be perfectly at home at a Dutch event in modern times (with exception to the processed snack cheese and fake french bread, obviously), a lot of what I choose to serve also has its place in our history.
Take for instance hutspot, our main dish of mashed potato, carrot, onion, and bacon. According to legend, the recipe came from the cooked bits of potato left behind by hastily departing Spanish soldiers in the night of the 2nd to 3rd of October, 1574 on the downtown Lammenschans during their Siege of Leiden as part of the Eighty Years’ War. When the liberators breached the dikes of the lower lying polders surrounding the city, they flooded all the fields around the city with about a foot of water. And as there were few, if any, high points, the Spanish soldiers camping in the fields were essentially flushed out. Hutspot is normally cooked together with “klapstuk” in the same vessel. Klapstuk is a cut of beef from the rib section, is marbled with fat and responds well to slow cooking as part of the hutspot. If klapstuk is not available, then smoked bacon is commonly substituted. The carrots used are generally of the type known as winterpeen (winter carrots), which give the dish its distinctive flavor ordinary carrots cannot match but unfortunately are not available in the New World (as far as I know). The first European record of the potato is as early as 1537, but its consumption spread quite slowly throughout Europe from thereon. It was not until the 18th century that potatoes became a staple food in Europe. The original legend likely refers to what the Dutch call a ‘sweet potato’ or pastinaak, which is a parsnip; this vegetable played a similar role in Dutch cuisine prior to the use of the potato.
Soups, of course, are ubiquitous throughout history, as are lentils. On the other hand, nettle soup has a distinct European flair as stinging nettle tends to grow everywhere in northern and eastern Europe. Nettle soup is a cream soup made with the leaves of stinging nettle, mostly the Large Nettle or Urtica dioica (I have starts, if interested). Especially in Sweden, Iran, and Ireland the soup is rather popular; in Sweden, it is often served with a cooked egg. Archaeologists found traces in Stone Age England of the consumption of nettle as early as 3000 years ago.
Goat cheese had its start several thousand of years before Christ, and the Greek and Romans especially were enthusiastic goat cheese connoisseurs. In modern times, the Dutch are known for their cheese-making abilities, especially hard cheeses, and bred for this specific purpose the Dutch White Goat (Nederlandse witte geit) by crossing the high-production Saanen (from Switzerland) with the local Dutch Landgoat (landgeit), a heritage breed that can be traced back to the 16th century. Our small Ithacan flock is also based on Saanen, with the occasional Boer or Nubian crossbred, which we keep using traditional homesteading techniques (which often are surprisingly medieval). For instance, the use of the deep litter system (by cleaning once or twice a year the raising floor self composts, generating heat and thus keeping the goats warm in winter) and by keeping the kids with the does during the day but not at night, to milk in the morning, and have healthy large kids for the family come fall. My cheese is made with raw milk, as it should be.
My personal favorite was the coarse farmers pate, a perfect blend of meat, bacon, and liver slow baked in the oven. Growing up in the Netherlands, pates in many shapes and tastes are a general part of life, and I missed the availability and choices when moving to this side of the pond. Luckily, I brought my trusty Dutch Grandmothers Cook Book (Grootmoeders kook boek) with me, a book which pretty much every kid receives a copy when leaving home (it explains in detail how to boil potatoes, for instance) and which has a wonderful coarse pate recipe. I had more trouble finding period examples of Dutch pate, or even French pate, as it appears like its name is a fairly recent adoption (from France), and the way of eating it (cold, in the shape of a loaf). I have several Dutch recipes that with a little creative interpretation could be considered a pate, but only one English recipe will also look like one: the 14th century collection Curye on Inglysch has one recipe for meat & liver mortrew that should be standing (“loke that it be stondyng”) when done. I figured that was the end of it, until I recently received my modern Nordic Cook Book by mail, and found Norse culture has many different pate recipes. Pate might be more of a Northern European food culture than I thought!
My families’ favorite, and the one most dayboard tasters remember, is the vla. This is another modern Dutch staple, with a surprising history – and is available in every Dutch grocery store in multiple flavors so it can be poured into your bowl straight out of a carton. I vaguely wondered while living in the Netherlands why vla (custard) and vlaai (pie) sound so similar; in tracking down the history of vla, I stumbled right into vlaai. It turns out that vla (as a thick custard) could historically have been the filling of the pie vlaai. The medieval Dutch cookbooks on http://www.Coquinaria.com list several types of vla, or vlade as it is called in middle Dutch. It is not clear to me, since these recipes do not list to use a crust, if these vlades are meant to be eaten as a pudding or should be part of a pie – or maybe both – but then, the apple pie recipes do not list using a crust either, as everyone had their favorite crust recipes, and using a crust would be seen as kinda obvious to the experienced medieval cook! I did find, in the same book as the pate, a 14th century English recipe for a milk, egg, and sugar pudding cooked with wheat that would be eaten as a pudding, so it is conceivable vlade would be as well. It is also possible that medieval vlade underwent a regional change, as in one part of the country, vlade became to mean vla, and in another, vlade became to mean vlaai… As a side note, English custard and Dutch vla, even though made similarly with similar ingredients, do not taste the same – as the lunchers at my dayboard can attest!
I was surprised to find that rhubarb compote also is not really well known here. But then again, I’d never heard of strawberry rhubarb pie!
I enjoy the historic aspect of SCA dayboard cooking and had a lot of fun sharing yummy food examples from our Dutch heritage! Thank you for coming to eat with me, and I hope we’ll see you at the next Myrkfaelinn event – with vla, and possibly pate!
General information on vla, see here (use the translate button for the Dutch language sites).
The Silver Buccle and Golden Thorn (ÆCoH Webminister) offices, in conjunction with the Kingdom Webminister, are proud to announce that the Æthelmearc College of Heralds website, which has been undergoing a complete site redesign for approximately the last month and a half, is now live with our brand new, more interactive, site design.
The College of Heralds website address has not changed; you can find it here. And you’ll still find all of the references you’ve come to expect: the Order of Precedence, the Roll of Arms, the archive of Court Reports, and more. But the user experience has been brought more in line with modern web standards and mobile device compatibility, and (we hope!) the site has been better organized, with more new helpful features for both experienced heralds, and those taking their first peek into matters heraldic.
As always, if you have any comments, questions or suggestions, the Silver Buccle office stands ready to assist; please direct any emails off-list.
The SCA 50 Year Celebration has begun in the Barony of Sternfeld, Middle Kingdom!
Mistress Hilderun Hugelmann, Baroness of the Debatable Lands, is there and sends us photos of the SCA History display. Each kingdom has a display area with items from banners and crowns to clothing and armor. Let’s begin at the beginning…
The slideshow below has photos of the historic displays of each participating kingdom.Click to view slideshow.
There is also a display of historical scrolls. Here are the ones sent by Æthelmearc.Click to view slideshow.
Various artisans have made works in celebration of the SCA’s 50th anniversary. Perhaps the most impressive is an embroidered history of the entire Society in the style of the Bayeux Tapestry, created by Lady Jadwiga Wlodzislawska of the Middle Kingdom. Years in the making, the completed tapestry is on display at the SCA 50 Year event in the photo below, or you can get an up close look at the tapestry on Lady Jadwiga’s website.
Other artisans have also rendered SCA history in beautiful ways, as shown in the photos below.
Check back over the coming week for more news from the SCA 50 Year Celebration!
For the SCA’s 50th Year Celebration currently occurring in Indiana, the East Kingdom produced a video overview of its history, people and activities. The East’s booth at 50th Year was a major undertaking overseen by Countess Marguerite and supported by the work of many Easterners. The people who created this video are listed in the credits at the end. Many familiar faces and a few familiar voices are featured.
Filed under: Tidings
The next in our series of Æthelmearc Artisan Profiles, from Meesteres Odriana vander Brugghe: Cassandra Matis
When faced with a gift basket filled with a variety of bacon that was vacuum-packed, uncooked and still in perfect condition, Her Ladyship Cassandra Matis started on a path that has led to her being a recognized expert in meat curing. We were fortunate that she came to live here in Æthelmearc and has been as generous with her knowledge as she has been with her tasty bacon and cured ham.
Cas, as she prefers to be called, is originally from Massachusetts. Her first real cooking job was at Plimouth Plantation, a living history museum that focuses on the Plymouth Colony. While she has always had an interest in cooking it was that gift basket that really changed everything. Cas realized that she could learn how to make everything in that basket and with the encouragement of her late husband, she started learning how to cure meat.
Curing is a preservation method that can use salting, drying, or smoking. The most commonly known cured meats are salami, jerky, bacon, and prosciutto. Curing encompasses not only meat but vegetables, which Cas also makes. She describes curing as “a combination of chemistry, biology, art, and science”, particularly when dealing with medieval meat curing recipes, which can be maddeningly vague (“..until it takes the salt well.”) and then suddenly specific, usually with time and ingredients.
The immediate difference that Cas noticed with homemade cured meats was that the taste was significantly better than that of store bought cured meats. As she gained a certain degree of skill, she began sharing her cured meats through dayboards to make it more approachable for the average Scadian.
When asked about how she determined success, Cas told me that it was “getting to the end of the process as there is potential for failure at every step”. With that being said, she also admitted that through her years of experience she now has a nearly 100% success rate with what she makes. At the time that we spoke, she had about 75 pounds of meat in various stages of curing in her house.
Her love of all things cured has meant that when she bought her new home, one of the first things that she had done was having a meat-curing room installed in her basement so that she would no longer have to use dorm refrigerators and a variety of regular refrigerators to store her curing meat.
While meat curing is certainly what she is best known for, Cas is extremely proud of her cheese, beer, and bread-making. In fact, she loves making beer as much as she loves making cured meats. She makes her bread using a 21-year-old yeast starter she calls “Herm” and credits with being the longest relationship she’s had in her life.
Cas focuses on German culture during our period of study, Sabina Welserin, in particular. She has even found that there is an Italian primary source of the same vintage as Welserin that has much of the same information and has been doing research into that. She also uses Scappi a great deal in her cooking research. She loves using medieval curing methods, but will make concessions to ensure food safety such as using plastic tubs rather than wooden boxes to cure meats.
Her modern cooking heroes cut across all cuisines and, of course, includes Michael Ruhlman, the father of the modern artisan charcuterie movement and whom she refers to as the “Dale Chihuly of Charcuterie”. Her other culinary heroes are Jacques Pepin, Alton Brown (“He made it cool to be geeky about food.”), Jasper Cook, Anthony Bourdain (“I admire his ability to travel and eat anything.”), Gordon Ramsey, and Peter Reinhart.
Her Scadian inspiration is Master Basilius Phocas, the Midrealm Laurel best known for his work with Byzantine food and culture.
When asked about her future plans, Cas said that she would very much like to be making her living making a variety of cured meats, have a smoke house/spring house on her property, and expand her knowledge and work as a sausage maker. I have no doubt that she will be achieving these goals as well as any others she sets her mind towards.
 For those unfamiliar with Chihuly’s work, his glass sculptures are considered fully unique to the blown glass field due to the composition and scale of his work. Particularly considering there are myriad technical difficulties when working with blown glass and large-scale works like Chihuly’s, moreso. For more information about Dale Chihuly, please visit his website: http://www.chihuly.com/.
This month’s On Target is a pig hunt. I found this target a lot of fun to shoot, but like other store-bought targets, he had a tendency to tumble. Also, he was a little expensive, so to buy several of them for a hunt would cost a lot of money. So I made my own.
Using him as a stencil, I cut out seven layers of cardboard and one layer of political sign. The top layer is white foam board, which you can leave white or color pink or blue.
Using the wires from the political sign, you can make the pigs stand up in a natural position. I recommend putting some kind of a mark over the shoulder to use as a vital hit area.
This target is fun for all ages; children will enjoy shooting it at 15 to 20 yards, while more advanced shooters can try it at 35 – 50 yards.
Now, just for fun, go to the dollar store, where you can buy a pair of fairy wings. Attach the wings to a heavy cardboard tube and zip tie it to the pig target. Run a clothesline between two trees, and all day long you can shoot when pigs fly.
This month’s safety tip, with Pennsic not far away, add to the crest on your arrows. I recommend putting on an extra ring and your initials. A lot of archers may have the exact same crest you have and if you accidentally shoot a light arrow out of a heavier bow, it could shatter and cause an injury.
‘Til next time,
Many people wait until Pennsic to visit Herald’s Point to try to register their name and armory. Mistress Alys Mackyntioch reminds us that for Easterners, this is not the best strategy. The East gets between 150 and 200 submissions from Pennsic, substantially more than any other Kingdom, and substantially more than is possible to review in a single month. We can do a meaningful review of only about 50 submissions a month (again, substantially more than any other Kingdom), so submissions done near the end of Pennsic may not get to the first level of review until November. If you want to get a name or armory done, do it now before Pennsic. Requests for assistance can be sent by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, Herald’s Point is always looking for volunteers. Even if you know little or nothing about heraldry, we need people to draw and color armory submissions, help greet people and manage the line, and do administrative work to free up heralds for consults.
Filed under: Announcements, Heraldry, Pennsic Tagged: heraldry, Pennsic
Lady Sabina Lutrell, the East Kingdom Minister of Lists is looking for your help. The Pennsic Inspection Point and Marshals Tent on the battlefield is probably the second busiest place at Pennsic besides the gate and they need our help. Inside the tent, we need lots of hands to check authorization cards, ID, and Pennsic medallions. Do you have an hour or two to spare so that everyone’s vacation is a little bit more enjoyable?
We could really use your help. A sign up sheet has been created. Please click on the link below to sign up. No experience is necessary. Share with your friends. Sign up for one shift, or multiple shifts.
I look forward to working with you!
Filed under: Announcements, Pennsic Tagged: Pennsic, volunteers
The East Kingdom Awards Overview (created by Tola knitýr) has been updated to reflect the addition of the new AoA awards (Apollo’s Arrow, Silver Wheel, Silver Tyger, Silver Brooch) as well as the Golden Lance.
Other Award Resources
How to Write an Awards Recommendation by Queen Avelina II
Filed under: Court Tagged: awards, chart, resources
Polling Order Recommendations Due July 9th / Recommandations des Ordres nécessitant devoir faire par le 9 juillet
The orders that require polling are:
Peerages (society level awards): Order of Chivalry (heavy weapons), Order of the Laurel (arts & sciences), Order of the Pelican (service), Order of Defense (rapier combat)
Orders of High Merit (East Kingdom): Order of the Silver Crescent (service), Order of the Maunche (arts & sciences), Order of the Tygers Combatant (heavy weapons), Order of the Sagittarius (archery), Order of the Golden Rapier (rapier combat), Order of the Golden Lance (equestrian).
Recommendations for awards that do not require polling (including Awards of Arms and the new Armigerous (“Silver”) Orders) may be submitted to the Crown at any time.
Full descriptions of all East Kingdom awards can be found in East Kingdom Law available on-line here (.pdf document), in Section IX Awards, starting on page 23. Additional information about the new Armigerous Orders can be found online here.
Anyone may recommend any person for any award. You do not need to be a member of an order to recommend someone for that order or award.
An excellent summary of how to write a good recommendation letter is available on the East Kingdom Wiki by clicking here.
Her Majesty Avelina also wrote this excellent article on how to recommend someone for an award.
You may submit recommendations for any award by using the EK Awards Web Form. Click here to access the form.
Les recommandations pour les Ordres nécessitant un vote à leurs Altesses Royales Brion et Anna doivent être reçues au plus tard le 10 Juillet 2016.
Les Ordres nécessitant un vote sont :
Pairs (Ordres de la SCA) : Ordre de la Chevalerie/Chivalry (Combat en armure) Ordre du Laurier / Laurel (Arts et Sciences), Ordre du Pélican/ Pelican (Service) et l’Ordre de la Défense / Defense (Escrime).
Ordres de Haut Mérite (Ordres du Royaume de l’Est) : L’ordre du Croissant d’Argent / Silver Crescent (service), de la Rapière dorée / Golden Rapier (escrime), de la Manche / Maunche (Arts et Sciences), du Tigre Combattant / Tygers Combatant (combat en armure), du Sagittaire / Sagittarius (tir à l’arc) et de la Lance dorée / Golden Lance (équestre )
Les recommandations ne nécessitant pas de vote (ce qui inclut les décernement d’armes (Award of Arms) ainsi que les nouveaux Ordres non-votant) peuvent être envoyés à la Couronne en tout temps.
La description de toustes les reconnaissances du Royaume de l’Est se retrouve dans la Loi du Royaume de L’Est ici (en document .pdf) dans la section IX, Awards, débutant à la page 23. Les informations additionnelles pour les nouveaux ordres non-votant sont disponible ici.
Tous peuvent recommander une personne pour une reconnaissance. Il n’est pas nécessaire de faire partie d’un Ordre pour pouvoir recommander une personne pour cet Ordre ou cette reconnaissance.
Une très bonne description expliquant comment écrire une bonne recommandation est disponible sur le wiki du Royaume de l’Est en cliquant ici.Sa Majesté Avelina écrit également cet excellent article sur la façon de recommander quelqu’un pour une reconnaissance.
Vous pouvez soumettre vos recommandations pour toutes les reconnaissances en utilisant le formulaire EK Awards Web Form en cliquant ici.
Filed under: Announcements, Court, En français, Official Notices, Tidings Tagged: award recommendations, awards, polling deadlines, polling orders, pollings