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The following message is from Anna, Princess of the East Kingdom.
Good evening everyone. Brion and I will be holding 2 meetings at Pennsic this year. On Monday the 8th of August there will be a meeting of all members of The Orders of High Merit, that do not have a peerage. On Tuesday the 9th of August we will be holding a peerage meeting for all peers of the realm. Both meetings will start at 4 PM and run for an hour. Both meetings will be held in the East Kingdom pavilion on the battlefield. Bring chairs or pull up a comfy spot on the grass. We are looking forward to seeing all of you.
Le message suivant est d’Anna , la Princesse du Royaume de l’Est .
Salutations au peuple de l’Est! SAR Brion et moi tiendrons 2 réunions cette année à Pennsic. La première se tiendra le lundi 8 août pour les membres des Ordres de Haut Mérite qui n’ont pas accédé aux Ordres des Pairs. Le mardi 9 août, nous tiendrons la réunion regroupant tous les membres des Ordres des Pairs du Royaume. Ces réunions se tiendront au Pavillon du Royaume de l’Est situé sur le champ de bataille, à partir de 16 h. Apportez vos chaises ou trouvez-vous un endroit comfortable sur la pelouse. Au plaisir de tous vous y voir.
Traduction par Baron Godfroy de Falaise
Filed under: Announcements Tagged: Pennsic
Pennsic is rapidly approaching and we are working on plans to make it an even better experience for any newcomers in attendance. The Æthelmearc Kingdom Chatelaine, Baroness Desiderata Drake, would like to invite those who are new to the SCA and/or new to Pennsic, to the following activities:
The incoming Society Chatelaine, Duchess Kalisa Aleksandrovna, and I are coordinating the return of Newcomers’ Point. This year, however, working together to facilitate change, we are trying something a little bit different that we are hoping will make it even better than in years past. Our goal is to have a place that is open and available to newcomers during the busy War Week of Pennsic, where newcomers can feel comfortable and learn more about the event and the SCA in general. We have been able to obtain a tent through Pennsic University that is located on a main road and is close to where all of the activity of Pennsic University is located. This will be a set place for the majority of War Week that newcomers will be able to go and will know that they can attend newcomer-type classes or find somebody available to answer questions about the SCA.
The Newcomers’ tent will be in AS 17, on the corner of Chandler’s Road and St. Lawrence Way, close to the Great Hall (see map below), and will be open the following hours:
Saturday, August 6, 2016 – 11 am – 2 pm
Sunday, August 7, 2016 – 11 am – 4 pm
Monday, August 8, 2016 – 11 am – 2 pm
Tuesday, August 9, 2016 – 11 am – 2 pm
Wednesday, August 10, 2016 – 11 am – 2 pm
Classes will be mostly geared towards those who are new to the SCA, but will also have some helpful information for those new to Pennsic. Please check the Pennsic book or online at Pennsic University to see which classes will be offered each day.
For the third year, the Æthelmearc Chatelaines will be hosting the Newcomers’ Social at 1 pm on Sunday, August 7th in the Newcomers’ Tent (AS 17). Newcomers are encouraged to come and meet other Newcomers as well as Chatelaines from around the Known World, ask questions, and partake of some light refreshments. Rumor has it that there may be some Royals attending to welcome the newcomers as well.
Introduction to Royalty
One of the things that makes Pennsic stand out from other events is the large number of Royals in attendance from all over the Knowne World. Most newcomers don’t have the opportunity to come into contact with Royalty and to talk to them. But now is your chance! On Wednesday, August 10 from 11 am – 12 pm, we will be holding an “Introduction to Royalty” session for newcomers in AS17. Royalty from several Kingdoms will be there for an informal meet and greet and will be available to answer questions. We guarantee it is something that you will not soon forget!
Please also come by the tent anytime just to visit if you are in the area and if you are able to take a little bit of time to support these activities for our newcomer’s, we will be incredibly appreciative. Let’s work together to make this Pennsic amazingly special for newcomers!
Dame Desiderata Drake, OP
By THL Mairghread Stoibheard inghean ui Choinne, with additional reporting by Baroness Katja Davidova Orlova Khazarina.
Pax Interruptus XL began Friday evening with the Thescorre camping event’s annual heavy weapons torchlight tournament.
Despite it being “late at night, very hot, very sweaty, and very tough,” according to Duke Sir Khalek Shuurag Od, THL Thorsol Solinauga was victorious after fighting with great skill and grace.
The threat of rain on Saturday, July 9, held off for most of the day as gentles faced instead brisk winds.
The cooling breezes were a balm to the marshals and the heavy fighters, fencers, archers, throwers, combat archers, and gentles watching, working, or otherwise enjoying the event at the Genesee Country Campground… but everything had to be taped or tied down to avoid flying across away! Several tents, including the Tollner table, had walls or tops nearly blown off and stakes pulled out of the ground by the nigh-constant buffeting.Martial Preparation for Pennsic
His Grace Magnus Tindal, Pennsic Warlord, started the heavy fighters off with some pickups, then ran them through melees – no tournaments — for the whole day until court. “We’re building off of last year, and will continue to build an army that functions at the upper levels of effectiveness at Pennsic,” he said.
With War just three weeks away, he explained, he wanted fighters to focus on small unit communication. “At the end of the day, with the helmets on, people don’t always hear the actual commands. So, with practice, they more effectively guess what the commanders want them to do.”
“My objective is for everyone to have as much fun as possible with their friends,” said Lord Corbinus de Cuvis, marshal-in-charge of the event, while watching the melee lines begin to form upon the battlefield. He, too, expressed hope that the concentrated melee practice would help the army “hone our skills today so that we can obliterate our opponents at Pennsic.”
Over on the fencing field, Lord Michael Gladwyne and Lord Heero Himoura were two of several out-of-barony marshals who kindly agreed to run competitions so that Thescorreans could enter rather than run them. After allowing everyone (including Her Majesty Ariella) to warm up with pickups, the annual baronial rapier champion tournament was opened to all fencers present at the event, although only Thescorreans were eligible to be named the local champion.
Of the four Thescorreans who entered the 13-person single-elimination tree, Lord Padraig Ua Céileachair won the baronial title, while Lord Jacob Martinson, the current kingdom champion, won the overall tourney.
After the champion tourney ended, Master Benedict Fergus atte Mede ran those present through several melees, including a warlord tourney. He chose that specific format, he said, because it improves situational awareness and team forming on the fly. “Our warlord tourney ended up with three teams facing each other, which help fencers to be aware of attacks from more than one angle. At Pennsic, your kill is very rarely directly in front of you. This forces you to work the sides.”
Lord Heero noted at the end of the day that “despite the heat and intense wind, everyone did a phenomenal job. Several people did better here today than they did at recent events.”
Princess Margerite, watching the melee, agreed. “I’m really impressed with the comportment and skill of our armies, fencers, archers, and throwers. And I appreciate the opportunity to shoot and throw today!”
Far back on the throwing range, Sir Aquila d’Athos and THL Govindi dera Carr offered a fun competition for axe, knife, and atlatl at 10- and 15-foot ranges, with three normal royal round targets and one target with negative points. Her goal for the day, she said, was to offer everyone lots of throwing practice with all three weapon forms, especially for gentles who had thrown for a while.
The archers nearby, meanwhile, faced numerous whimsical targets and challenges. Lord Corwin Alexander Templeton offered a standard five-color target at 20 yards for warm ups, then guided archers through a timed window shoot with a target behind the window, a wand shoot with a markings on a three-inch-thick pole (which included a special 10-point bonus if you hit the blue dinosaur head on the wand), and another window shoot aiming at a foam “Saracen head.” He also included two special targets at 30 and 40 yards: the first, a “money shoot,” invited archers to hit specific denominations of paper money; the second included head photographs of various villains from A Game of Thrones. (Yes, Joffrey was the most popular target on that board.)
“You never know what kind of competition you’ll face at Pennsic, so my goal today is to offer a variety of shoots at different ranges, different types, different targets, beyond just lots of royal round shoots, to help our archers get ready,” Lord Corwin explained.
He announced later that afternoon in court that 10 entrants broke the 100-point barrier for the day and one broke the 200-point barrier – Master Jacopo di Niccolo, who eliminated himself from winning. Second-highest-scoring archer and thus winner for the day – and the only one to hit the dinosaur head – was Master Caleb Reynolds with 185 points.Lunch and the Gentle Arts
At noon, Lord Andrew of Thescorre and members of the Cauldron Bleu Cooks Guild served grab-and-go bag lunches to those who preregistered for the meal. In addition to individual spiced meatloaf “hedgehogs” hot off the grill, gentles enjoyed a portable, neat repast of personal-sized Ember Day tarts, plus gingerbrede, savory fried chickpeas, carrot sticks, and pickles, all tied inside a cloth napkin.
In the A&S area, next to several merchants, the Thescorre Scribes and Clan Blackheart both set up garage sales that symbiotically fueled each other. The scribes, led by Mistress Roberta McMorland, raised $236.75 for the kingdom scribal coffers; the goal had been $150!
The Barony also hosted an arts & sciences display at the event, with about dozen participants showing off their completed and in-progress projects: Viking/Norman threadwork (including hooded capelets with striking embroidered trims), embroidered liturgical shoes from later-period France, a Japanese cookery text in Old Japanese translated to modern Japanese and then to English, later-period German aprons, a carved horn vessel, hand-wrought pins, scrolls both gilded and gessoed (one based on the Codex Manesse and the second on The Visconti Book of Hours), and an icon of the Archangel Gabriel.
THL Otelia d’Alsace created the icon, based on the 1408 work of Andrei Rublyev, which won the populace choice. This lovely first attempt at iconography was painted on wood using tempera and period pigments (except for the white and blue).Courts
In an emotional highlight of the Baronial Court — while the wind picked up harder and storm clouds began covering the sky overhead — Baroness Sadira bint Wassouf shared that this event, on this day, marked 30 years since she was first invested Baroness of Thescorre.
She remarked with a wry smile that she and her late husband, Master Saleem, did not name Bob (the third raven in Thescorre’s heraldry) but were responsible for several other baronial traditions, such as the policies & procedures, the Mathom, and the baronage creating Pennsic favors to hand out to baronial members at Pax.
She and Saleem were also responsible, she continued, for creating a repeatable barony award, the Raven’s Egg, which is given at the whim of the baronage for anything that furthers The Dream.
“So this year, for the first and only time, I decided to give every single person in the Barony of Thescorre a Raven’s Egg because it is my deep and abiding belief that EVERY SINGLE PERSON has done something to build the Dream, and that those contributions are worthy of notice. Everyone, at one time or another, has done something worthy of notice that has gone unremarked and unrecognized, so for this one moment, this one time, I am saying, ‘You have been noticed; you are worthy; you are appreciated; you have been recognized… There is no Dream or SCA without you’.”
The gathering clouds darkened and rain started falling as Kingdom Court began; after a brief consideration, Their Majesties decided to continue without moving to another location and proceeded to hand out several awards of arms and other recognitions. Lord Quintin Lawless, who had just stepped down as baronial rapier champion and praised by Baroness Sadira for his graceful dance-like fencing as she inducted him into the baronial martial order, the Black Talon, was inducted by Their Majesties in the Order of the Golden Alce.
Their Majesties called THL Mairghread into court to receive her backlog Fleur scroll and called in the Order to greet her, then promptly grinned and inducted her into the Order of the Millrind, calling in that Order as well, which caused a merry mob as both orders wetly swirled and hugged. In addition, They welcomed THL Zofia Kowaleska into the Fleur and THL Cynwulf Rendell into the Scarlet Guard.
Sir Murdoch Bayne, who had sat vigil for consideration of the Order of the Pelican all day, presented himself and listened in the rain to effusive praise of his decades of service by Earl Yngvar and Countess
Before allowing the Order to welcome Sir Murdoch, Their Majesties presented a writ to THL Juan Miguel Cezar, commanding him to prepare to sit vigil at St. Swithin’s Bog’s 3-day the following weekend for consideration of elevation to the Pelican.
Lady Marguerite de Neufchastau, event steward, was tired but thrilled at the end of the long day. “I want to thank everyone who helped with this, I was very lucky with that my staff was so willing to help pull off this great event, because only with teamwork will this Dream work.”
The Æhelmearc Kingdom Party will be held on Monday, August 8th. As we all know, one of the keys to a good revel is good food, and this occasion is no different! We are in need of volunteers and donors to help ensure that the bellies of our populace do not leave the celebration empty or unsated.
“But Lijsbet, how can I possibly perform such a feat? I am just one person!”
I’m glad you asked! There are actually several ways you can assist in the Food Tent. If we all pitch in just a little bit, we can make certain that everyone enjoys themselves.
1) MAKE FOOD
Those who are inclined to do so are encouraged to make a recipe (or two!) to be served at the party. Additionally, Vegetarian, Vegan, and Gluten-Free versions of recipes are encouraged and requested. The dish you make should be:
* Finger food, or food that can be easily portioned and eaten while walking around is preferred.
2) BUY FOOD
Sometimes, Time is not our friend, and Ennui is a cruel mistress. To that end, if you are able to contribute an item (or two!) that could be purchased at the grocery store/Barn Mart, which requires nothing but to be delivered to AE Royal in terms of preparation, please consider this a very appreciated option. Some examples of store-bought foods we are looking for are: cheese and crackers; summer sausage; and veggie/fruit trays.
3) SEND FOOD
Not going to be at Pennsic this year, but still want to contribute? Send food with a friend! If you take advantage of this option, please make sure that you either designate someone who will be at War to be in charge of your dish (cooking/reheating if necessary, slicing, chopping, plating, etc.).
4) VOLUNTEER YOUR TIME
If you know you won’t be able to provide a dish for the party, but still want to help out, we are in need of volunteers to help make sure the food service runs smoothly. Even if you can only spare a half hour of time, your donation is valuable! Ideally, it would be wonderful to have enough volunteers so that each one only needed to spare 30-45 minutes of their evening helping out, while spending the rest of the time enjoying the party.
We are looking for volunteers to:
* Monitor the food table to make sure that items are being served at their appropriate temperatures, and that empty platters are being rotated in a timely manner
5) MAKE A MONETARY DONATION
This year, we ask that all those who volunteer to provide food follow the “You Provide It, You Prepare It” rule to make sure that any one person, or small group of people, doesn’t spend the entire evening in the kitchen. Additionally, if you provide food, also please plan on being in charge of making sure it is ready to be served. If it needs to be cooked or warmed up, you are in charge of making sure that happens. If it needs to be portioned, cut, or sliced, you are in charge of making sure that happens. If you have serving ware for your contribution, please plan on bringing it to use, as the kingdom does not usually bring as much as we need for the food table. If you do not have something to serve your contribution in/with, please contact Lijsbet as soon as possible so enough spare platters, bowls, tongs, etc. are brought to Pennsic.
You are welcome to contact Lijsbet with any questions you may have about making a donation of food, funds, or a bit of your time. She can be reached by:
Facebook Messenger (preferred): Keirin Lazauskas-Ralff
Their Majesties, Their Highnesses, and the party staff and volunteers humbly thank you in advance of your generous service to your Kingdom. The cooks, foodies, and service volunteers of Æthelmearc are some of the best in the Knowne World – We hope you will share your flare for flavor with your friends and neighbors! With your help, this year’s Kingdom Party is going to be so much fun!
This month’s edition of On Target: Why we protect our bow from the heat and why we inspect bows at events.
Two things you should never leave in a car with the windows up are a small child and your bow. When the windows are up the inside temperature of the car can reach 140 degrees Fahrenheit or more. This could cause the bow to delaminate and warp. Make it the last thing you pack and the first thing you take out when you reach the event.
When you reach the event, whether you are a once-a-week shooter or once-a-year shooter, make sure the first thing you do is have the bow inspected by Marshall. Notice in the first picture, this bow looks perfectly fine.
In the next picture, after the bow is strung, you can see the crack (see the note card that fit in the crack easily).
Notice in the next picture, by putting a line on the note card, how deep the crack is. The bow is no longer usable.
Tie a fluorescent orange ribbon around the bow so you do not accidentally use it again. WARNING: do not try to fix it, dispose of it, or make it a wall hanger.
This month’s safety tip:remember when you’re at the archery range at Pennsic, you’re a long way from the store. Take water, snacks and sunblock with you, especially if you have small children.
Till next time be safe and enjoy the War.
THL Deryk Archer
East Kingdom A&S Champions for Pennsic Announced / Déclaration royale des représentants du royaume de l’Est pour les Arts et Sciences au prochain Pennsic
On behalf of Their Most Noble and Wise Majesties, Kenric and Avelina, I am pleased to announce the competitors for the A&S War Point at Pennsic.
The War Point will be on Thursday of War Week, in the Great Hall, 9-4.
All are welcome to come and view the amazing works of all of the artisans; anyone with a Silver Brooch, Maunche, or Laurel (or out-of-Kingdom equivalent) may also vote for their favorites.
Voting is from 9-3; from 3-4 the Artists will stand by their works if you have questions or praise. The point will be awarded at 4 o’clock.
The portion of the team from the East is as follows:
I would bet on these artists against any in the Known Worlde, and I hope you come out and support them!
Mistress Amy Webbe
De la part de leurs majestés nobles et sages, Kenric et Avelina, j’ai l’honneur de vous introduire ceux qui représenterons l’Est pour les points d’Arts et Sciences à Pennsic.
Cette compétition aura lieu le second jeudi de la guerre, dans la Grand Hall, et ce de 9 à 16 heure.
Tous sont bienvenues et encouragés afin de témoigner du travail de ces artistes et artisans. Quiconque est membre des ordres de la Broche d’argent (Silver Brooch), de la Manche (Maunche) ou sont du Laurier (Laurel) (Ou encore des équivalents provenant d’autres royaumes) pourront apposer leur vote pour leur favoris.
La période de vote sera ouverte de 9 à 15 heure, puis pour l’heure d’après, les artisans eux-mêmes seront présents pour des questions ou des éloges. Le point de guerre sera accordé à 16 heure.
Ceux qui composent la délégation de l’Est seront :
J’oserais parier sur toutes ces personnes sans aucune hésitation devant n’importe quel autre artisan du Monde. J’espère que vous viendrai pour en faire autant!
Toujours prête à servir,
Maîtresse Amy Webbe
Filed under: Arts and Sciences, En français, Pennsic Tagged: a&s, a&s champions, A&S champs, Arts and Sciences, Pennsic, Pennsic 45, pennsic champions, pennsic war, pennsic war champions
Duke Maynard von dem Steine sends the following announcement:
I am pleased to announce, by the grace of Their Majesties, the following members of the kingdom 10-man unbelted team. These individuals will represent Æthelmearc in the 10-man unbelted melee tournament at Pennsic War on Monday August 8th at 5pm on the battlefield. Please come out to support the team and the kingdom. I would like to thank the members of the chivalry for their help in the selection of the team as well as every unbelted fighter in the kingdom for pushing hard every year and making these decisions harder each time we do it.
Baron Tadhg Sotal O’Neil – Captain
The Portland Phoenix covered the Great Northeastern War. The article can be found here.
Filed under: Uncategorized
We had a wonderful time at Pax Interruptus Saturday, delighting in the Thrown Weapons range and learning about the archery target mechanics in the morning, then fencing and heavy weapons for His Majesty in the afternoon. Thanks to the many marshals who gave of their time so others could practice and compete- quite a large group came up to be acknowledged in Court!
Thanks to those who provide us two nice canvas tents, especially on a day where wind threatened the nylon ones.
Thanks to the cooks and all event staff who made sure our experience was enjoyable and efficient all day. Marguerite De Neufchasteau made many good decisions as autocrat, including the one to brave out the rainy sprinkles for Court. We thank Her Excellency, Sadira Wassouf, for sharing Her Barony’s good efforts and gentles with Us and Their Royal Highnesses and for the egg favors! Vivant to Thescorre!
Yours in Service,
This was our last PainBank episode from 2005-6 timeframe. We interviewed His Royal Majesty (at the time) Semjaka, King of Calontir.
It was enjoyable and we never intended to stop podcasting, but alas we did. Maybe one day we will get going again.
In an effort to encourage crossing over to different fields at the war, I would like to announce the following:
If you compete in armored combat, rapier, archery, or thrown weapons, and you compete in all war point activities which you are eligible for in at least two of these areas, I would like to recognize your efforts with a token.
(For archery and thrown weapons, that means throwing or shooting each shoot/throw as many times are you are allowed.)
If you compete in all war point activities for three of these areas, there will be a slightly different token.
If you compete in all four, well, one, you’re insane. But if you do, I’ll have to think of something because I don’t really expect it…
Dans le but d’encourager la participation aux différentes activités martiales à la Grande guerre, j’annonce ce qui suit :
Si vous participez au combat en armure, à l’escrime, au tir à l’arc ou aux armes de jet, et si vous participez à toutes les activités auxquelles vous êtes éligible et qui contribuent aux points de guerre dans au moins 2 catégories, j’aimerais vous récompenser en vous donnant un gage particulier.
À titre d’exemple, pour le tir à l’arc et les armes de jet, cela implique de tirer ou de lancer aussi souvent que vous y êtes autorisé.
Si vous participez à 3 catégories, un gage un peu différent vous sera octroyé. Et si par la plus grande des chances, vous en veniez à participer à 4 activités, eh bien….vous êtes complètement fou!
Mais si vous le faites réellement, je devrai trouver quelques chose, car je ne m’attend pas à cette possibilité!
Filed under: En français, Pennsic Tagged: Kenric and Avelina, Kenric's challenge, Pennsic, Pennsic 45, pennsic war, pennsic war points, war point challenge, War Points
For one day, the Rare Books Library of the University of Pennsylvania will welcome the free learners of the SCA. In the same spirit as the voyages of discovery previous event please come and talk about your research, your failed attempts, your successes, and get feedback on your work and ideas for future projects.
Have questions? Want to present? E-mail Lissa.
A list of presentations and posters currently being offered is available online at the event website.
We hope to see you there!!
Filed under: Events
By Elska á Fjárfelli.
Inspired by the Scarlet Apron subtleties contest at Æthelmearc War Practice, I delved into the challenge of sculpting with food. And what’s better to play with than sugarpaste and marzipan!
As a traditional sweet at our Dutch Saint Nickolas celebrations and as filling of our traditional Christmas Stollen bread, marzipan (sweetened and finely pureed almondpaste) symbolizes home and the year’s end to me. For years, the store Aldi’s supported my seasonal habit… until a few years ago they stopped carrying German marzipan. Luckily, my best friend Angelika Rumsberger, originally from Hamburg and with a similar seasonal sweet tooth, gets a holiday package filled with German goodies. The marzipan from Lübeck is highly prized! As Angelika grew up on Lübeck marzipan, considered to be the best marzipan in Germany (and probably the world), she was able to give me great feedback on what good marzipan should taste and feel like.
Even though modern marzipan is typically seen as a German sweet, it originated in the Orient (where almonds and sugar also originated). A Persian doctor, Rhazes, praised the curative qualities of almond and sugarpaste as far back as the 9th century. When the Crusaders returned from the Orient, they brought marzipan with them. Thirteenth century philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas reflected upon the indulgence of eating marzipan, reassuring his anxious clerics: “Marzipan does not break the fast.” And in his novels, 14th century poet and author Boccaccio clearly noted a correlation between passion and marzipan.
In 13th century Italy, confectionery and spices were generally traded in tiny boxes. One theory is that the Italian word, mataban, for “small box,” gradually came to be used for the sweetmeat contents of the box: mazapane (Italian), massepain (French), marzipan (German, recently also English), marsepein (Dutch), and marchpane (English). The Latin form of marzipan appears as martiapanis in Johann Burchard’s Diarium curiae romanae (1483–1492), and Minshæu defines the word as Martius panis, or bread of Mars, for the elaborate towers, castles, and other subtleties made of this confectioner’s art sweetmeat.
For my subtlety entry, I choose to use marzipan as a filling and sugarpaste on the outside, since sugarpaste has a much finer definition of detail and would help keep the marzipan moist during display. As suggested in my period source, I wanted to use a mold and was lucky to find a good deal on a vintage Dutch candy mold. Even though this mold is obviously not period, the use of molds to shape food is period.
I based my marzipan on recipes in A Closet for Ladies and Gentlewomen, 1602:
To make a Marchpane, to ice it, and garnish it after the Art of Comfit-making.
Take two pound of small Almonds blanched, and beaten into perfect Past, with a pound of suger finely searsed, putting in now and then a spoonfull or two of Rose water, to keepe it from oyling, and when it is beaten to perfect Past, rowle it thin, and cut it round by a charger, then set an edge on it, as you doe on a tart, then drie it in an Ouen, or a backing pan, then yce it with Rose water and suger, made as thicke as batter for fritters, when it is iced garnish it with conceits, and sticke long comfits in it, and so guild it, and serue it.
To make all sorts of banqueting conceits of Marchpane stuffe, some like Pyes, Birds, Baskets, and such like, and some to print with moulds.
TAke a pound of Almond past, made for the Marchpane, and drye it on a Chafindish of coales, till you see it waxe white, then you may print some with moulds, and make some with hands, and so guild them, then stoue them and you may keepe them all the yere. They bee excellent good to please children.
Blessed with a local health food store, I was able to pick up two pounds of raw almonds. Then I looked up the word “blanched” simce I was unfamiliar with the process. Properly educated, I thought, I poured boiling water over the almonds so that the skins would loosen enough to be removed, since the skins are bitter and would darken the almond paste a brown color (rather than a very light beige). Since I do not own a large mortar and pestle (yet), I chose to run the blanched almonds through my food processor and came to the first hurdle: the almonds would crumble but not stick together as a paste! Maybe mixing in the sugar and rosewater would help it come together? But no… the period recipe clearly does not mention processing it twice. However, it did not look right, so I ran a small sample again and behold: marzipan! Apparently, modern almonds need to be processed twice?
This kept bugging me, and after some brainstorming with a fellow SCA cook, I learned about the difference between modern blanching and period blanching: in modern blanching, boiling water is used (a quick process) while in period blanching involved extended soaking in cold water (a slow process). And I wondered — would the extended soaking have a different effect? Soaking anything for extended periods hydrates tissue, and the same is true for soaking dried almonds: I suspected that grinding soaked almonds makes for perfect period marzipan.
Since historically marzipan is connected with both Christmas and with Easter celebrations, I choose a hen shape for the main mold. In Denmark and Norway, it is common to eat marzipan pigs for Christmas and marzipan eggs for Easter. And the English word marchpane might mean “march bread,” for marzipan shaped into a loaf. Inspired by the German tradition of Marzipankartoffeln, small potato-shaped marzipans dusted brown with Dutch cocoa, I shaped little egg marzipans. Instead of dusting with cocoa, as post-period kartoffeln are, I used spices available in period, including cinnamon, to give the “eggs” a beautiful brown glow (and a bit of a tartness in the first bite).
And what about the sugarpaste?
Sugar, by far the most important ingredient in confectionery, was first grown probably by the Persians and Arabs. Most importantly, they learned how to refine sugar from the raw cane plant. In Roman times, sugar (called saccharon) was available only as naturally exuded droplets from the cane. Before that time, honey was the world’s main sweetener; after this discovery, the cultivation of sugar cane spread slowly throughout the Arab world. A number of sugar-related words trace their heritage to Arabic origin, including sugar to sukkar, candy to qand, and syrup to sharab.
In medieval times, sugar was imported by the Venetians and Genoese from Arab-controlled areas until the 1420’s, when the Portugese started cultivating cane in the Azores. Not only would sugar quickly become indispensible in medicine, as a sweetener, and a preservative, it also became an artistic culinary ingredient of amazing flexibility: sugarpaste, which could be molded, formed, and dried into an array of edible items.
Although THL Lijsbet de Keukere quickly pointed me in the right direction to find a period sugarpaste recipe, unfortunately it was made with an ingredient not typically found in modern cooking supply stores or supermarkets: gum tragacanth. This period binding agent (also known by gumme and dragant) is a bit challenging to locate (and more expensive) than modern gum paste. If you have the time, order a couple of ounces if only to experience sugarpaste from scratch. (See URL for a vendor below.)
Against my cooking philosophy but up against deadline I used modern gum paste, which was available in the bridal section of my local Jo-Ann’s Fabrics Store.
The most complete period recipe for sugarpaste comes from Thomas Dawson’s The Second Part of the Good Hus-wives Jewell, 1597 (see http://www.cooksplaydough.html for a redacted recipe).
To make a past of Suger, whereof a man may make al manner of fruits, and other fine things with their forme, as Plates, Dishes, Cuppes and such like thinges, wherewith you may furnish a Table.
Take Gumme and dragant as much as you wil, and steep it in Rosewater til it be mollified, and for foure ounces of suger take of it the bigness of a beane, the iuyce of Lemon, a walnut shel ful, and a little of the white of an eg. But you must first take the gumme, and beat it so much with a pestell in a brasen morter, till it be come like water, then put to it the iuyce with the white of an egge, incorporating al these wel together, this done take four ounces of fine white suger wel beaten to powder, and cast it into the morter by a litle and a litle, until they be turned into the form of paste, then take it out of the said morter, and bray it upon the powder of suger, as it were meale or flower, untill it be like soft paste, to the end you may turn it, and fashion it which way you wil. When you have brought your paste to this fourme spread it abroad upon great or smal leaves as you shall thinke it good and so shal you form or make what things you wil, as is aforesaid, with such fine knackes as may serve a Table taking heede there stand no hotte thing nigh it. At the ende of the Banket they may eat all, and breake the Platters Dishes, Glasses Cuppes, and all other things, for this paste is very delicate and saverous. If you will make a Tarte of Almondes stamped with suger and Rosewater of this sorte that Marchpaines be made of, this shal you laye between two pastes of such vessels or fruits or some other things as you thinke good.
Modern sugarpaste is made by combining powdered sugar with gum paste and glucose. I used my trusted Kitchenaid mixer with the dough paddle attachment and followed the recipe on the gum paste’s can, and discovered that it made a fairly sticky dough (like thick peanut butter). To be able to sculpt I was expecting something more like bread dough, and since sometimes my bread dough is also similar to peanut butter when the liquid is off (that extra egg…) I did the same thing I’d do then and kept adding a dry ingredient. I added more powdered sugar slowly until the dough came together as a ball without sticking to the bowl, until it finally turned into something I felt comfortable sculpting with. According to the can’s instructions, I then rolled it into a loaf, wrapped it in plastic, and cured it at room temperature until the next day.
The sugarpaste was initially dry to the touch, but probably due to body heat handling it quickly became very sticky, which made sculpting rather frustrating. My solution was to keep my finger pads dusted with powdered sugar, which worked like a charm. To keep the sugarpaste from sticking to the mold (which would have made it impossible to unmold without losing the fine detail I wanted) I used a paper towel dipped in oil to grease the inside of the hen mold, and then liberally dusted both insides with powdered sugar. The sugarpaste hardly stuck to the walls and the hens were much easier to remove. I recommend keeping sugarpaste sculptures away from heat or moisture (including sunlight), and give it time to air dry until it becomes a beautiful chalky white.
While the sugarpaste I used was a modern substitute, I was able to make my marzipan with raw almonds and raw sugar. It therefore had a fairly course texture, which I really like. For a smoother marzipan, you could use finely ground almond flour and powdered sugar, which you can buy pre-made from a store. But never forget the rosewater – it’s the finishing touch of quality marzipan! The one feedback on my entry that is still with me is the remark that the “eggs” could have been made sweeter. I suspect cinnamon was at fault for this, as well as the influence of my Lübeck-trained friend who was very clear that good marzipan is never made with less than two-thirds almonds, to cater to a more refined European taste!
“A Closet for Ladies and Gentlevvomen, Or, the Art of Preseruing, Conseruing and Candying” (1602). Edited and Annotated by Johanna H. Holloway, 2011. www.Medievalcookery.com
http://www.mkcc.rhawn.com/MKCCfiles/cooksplaydough.html (Countess Alys Katherine’s how-to article, which inspired many of the sugarpaste subtleties across the SCA)
Thomas Dawson, “The Second Part of the Good Hus-wives Jewell” (1597)
Where to buy gum tragacanth:
Artisans! Do you have narrative documentation or a project diary of your recent A&S creation? Have you written a handout for a class? Share your knowledge and submit it to the Gazette at firstname.lastname@example.org! Our editors are happy to work with you to format it into an article.
We call upon all Lords and Ladies of Æthelmearc to take up the banners of the Kingdom and bring your fighting forces onto the Pennsic fields. Bring your Knights and footmen. Bring your archers and throwers. Bring your fencers and Masters of Defence. Bring your artisans, that we may win victory through displays of artistic prowess. Bring those gentles whose service allows Our army to seize victory and supports the Pennsic event.
At Pennsic, we defend our lands from the aggressive Midrealm armies, and we ally with our parent Kingdom of the East.
We are in need of good gentles, noble of heart and spirit, to stand beside Us as Retainers and Guards. If you would be at our side in this capacity, you would have the thanks of your King and Queen. Contact Our co-head retainers (elss.of.augsburg at gmail dot com or alaricmacconnal at gmail dot com) or Our guard captain (fredeburg at gmail dot com).
Our Court will be held on Tuesday night at 6pm in the new barn; We hope that you will be there to witness as we acknowledge some of the many gentles who make Our Kingdom great. Our Kingdom Party will be held on Monday at 8:30pm in the Royal encampment; the theme is Arthurian Legends.
Yours In Service to the Dream,
Byron and Ariella
King and Queen of Sylvan Æthelmearc
Are you a Pennsic “virgin” wondering what you are getting yourself into and how to prepare?
Wonder no more! Our series on Pennsic from last year has been updated for Pennsic 45! Click the links below to access each article.
Enjoy, and have a blast at Pennsic!
So, you’re going to Pennsic this year and want to fight or fence? Make sure your paperwork is in order before you leave by following these tips:
All current authorization forms can always be found on the Kingdom Authorizations Clerk Website.
Rules regarding authorizations and Pennsic can be found on the Pennsic Website.
This throwback episode goes back to an interview I did with Duke Felix (Scott Frappier).
It was a great time and our friendship has only flourished since then. In the image though is Duke Edmund and Duchess Katrina.
Greetings to all of the wonderful artisans who have offered to make favors for Her Majesty!
Over the course of the last three months I have handed out over 160 embroidery kits, and many more people have used the instructions that were posted on the Gazette to make favors in various media for Her Majesty to give out at Pennsic.
However, not a lot of those have been returned completed yet.
If you are planning to provide royal favors for Queen Ariella, please email me and give me your best estimate for the number you anticipate completing by Pennsic. That way we can ramp up production in other areas if it looks like we won’t have enough.
If you hadn’t thought about making favors before but would like to now, it’s not too late! Instructions are still available here. If you need fabric, let me know and I can provide some at Pax Interruptus this weekend or Bog 3-Day the following weekend.
Thank you all for your service to your Queen and Kingdom!
Mistress Arianna of Wynthrope
East Kingdom Curia will be held Saturday, 9 July 2016, 8:00 a.m. at Great Northeastern War in the Province of Malagentia (Hebron ME).
Following is the agenda, prepared 5 July 2016, 6:10 p.m.
EK Law Section III.I. The Agenda for the Curia Regis 1. Any items that The Crown chooses to add to the agenda after the Curia has been called will be added to the agenda under “New Business”. 2. If a Curia notice has been sent according to East Kingdom Law, but another Curia needs to be held before the previously announced one, any items of business held over from the earliest Curia will be automatically added to the agenda of the subsequent Curia under “Old Business”.
Filed under: Announcements, Law and Policy Tagged: curia
In June, the proprietors of Mystic Mail announced via Facebook that they would not be operating at Pennsic this year.
Instead, the Coopers have announced that they will create the Cooper’s Lake Internet Café, or CLIC, to be located near Penn Market and ice. The café will have WiFi and hardline internet available. You’ll also be able to charge your devices (phones, tablets, laptops) there.
The Chancellor of the Pennsic University, Captain Elias Gedney, issued the following statement:
All Pennsic University teachers and students should be advised of the following
There is a Staples ten minutes off site, one exit down I-79 at 2551 W State St., New Castle, PA 16101.