28 May 2008

Summer Nights and other things

I am very tired but happy. Last two weeks has been really hectic for me. The weekend before last weekend was Aarnimetsä Academy event (I am clad that it was only 120 km away from our house) then last Tuesday I went to Helsinki (by bus and train and I had to wake up 5 am and I was at home about 7:30 p.m.) and last weekend we had Summer Nights and the event was held about 440 km away from our house (about 5 hours driving…well 6 when we went there because we got stuck in Helsinki’s traffic jam about for an hour when going to the event). BUT enough complaining, the event was very good in every ways. Someone said and I think likewise that we have had some very good events recently.

Summer Nights was a quite small event and the event was special also because Her Royal Majesty, Jovi Queen of Drachenwald attended the event. There were about 50 people and one of the best things about the event was that there was ten or more newbies. Ulf and I spend most of our time helping in the kitchen. It was good that they had enough people to help at the kitchen so I had some time to be Her Majesty’s lady in waiting (and I had a change to see the court in the different perspective, behind the Queen, for the first time… I am again one experience richer than before the event). And Ulf had a change to participate the Rose Tourney. But the best thing ever was that the head cook and the event steward and people who where planning the event had a good theme for the feast. So there were some golden boy angels and the decoration of the feast hall was very beautiful. The staff and the angels had wreaths made from leaves…

But Summer Nights is over and next event for us is going to be Cudgel Wars (the event I have been waiting for since it was over last year). I have noticed that I often fell into day dreams and I have been dreaming about the hot and beautiful summer and Cudgel Wars and the lake and I don’t know why but especially the mornings… Then I wake up and notice that I have more than 100 things to do before Cudgel. I have made a list about things that I have to do. I am a list person. I need to have lists and little yellow papers so I don’t forget things I have to do. The list is also essential for me because I only have about three hours per day to do things like writing emails and other stuff and making clothes and planning the foodstuff for the Cudgel. Next Sunday I will have the whole day to do things (Yeppee!!), but someone has to clean our house also… boring. One hour left, four things to do at the computer.

21 May 2008

I found, I found!!

After work I went to our local fabric store. I have visited there once (in three years) and after that I have completely forget that we have that store at our little city. But today I was reminded about the store in our city and so I went there. I was surprised that there was actually more than one woollen fabric that I could consider to buy. But this time I only bought this very lovely blue creyish wool.

This is for my 16th century Flemish peasant dress. As I have told earlier that I am making currently an Italian 16th century working women’s dress. But I am also gathering the fabrics, threads etc. for my next project. I would like to have this Italian dress for the summer times and this warmer Flemish outfit for the winter times. And for the Flemish dress I have decided that I will also make a jacket when I have enough time. But now I have this new wool for my gown, then I have dark red linen for my kirtle, I have enough white linen for the smocks and linen partlet and I have also black wool for my black partlet. And I have bought already some black linen thread for sewing the partlet (but I can use that also for the gown…if I don’t found blue linen thread from our local thread shop.. I might because they have surprisingly many colour choices in their linen threads). Then what else.. I need to find some linen for the gown’s lining. I am soooo excited :D.

19 May 2008

Aarnimetsä Academy

Last weekend we had here at Finland (Barony of Aarnimetsä) Aarnimetsä Academy event. It was the first event to the spring's Academy stewards and I think that they did well. I hope that this was a good experience to them also and they will be doing lots of events in future too. People were pleased about the lectures and I received many thanks about the lectures and the timetable (although I still think that organizing the lectures to the event wasn't that hard thing to do. But I am very happy that people were happy about the lectures and I know that this happy feeling will last long). I was again (it happens when organizing things) little bit inpatient about sitting at the lectures but I was able to sit in some of them. M's lecture about chirurgeons in medieval times (and in SCA) was very good. It was her first lecture in event and I think that she is very good at giving lectures (the presentation was clear and showing the pictures was a good idea).

I was really waiting for the archery practices because I was looking for to try archery for the first time. I was afraid that it might rain and R might cancel the practises. But no, everything went well. Or better than well because now I can't wait until I get another change to do archery again!! I am so happy and I am already dreaming about my own bow and arrows. I also enjoyed the lectures about the manners in medieval times and in SCA and I had little time to sit and listen a lecture about wines and wine making. I am not happy about that I didn't have any time to go to the lecture about Latin basics and of course many others as well. But maybe next time.

Our shower room's repairs are finished now and I can use our washing machine. So yesterday I washed my green wool for the Italian renaissance peasant dress. I can't do much in this week because I will be at Helsinki tomorrow and we are going to Summer Nights event in this weekend. I am afraid that there will not be enough time for doing new garb to the Cudgel War. I will be really disappointed if that happens. But if it happens there is only one person whose fault is that and it's me (I could always arrange my time better so I could do more, for instance I could also watch little bit less TV).

We have now a theme for the lunches and snacks to the Cudgel War and I know the theme for the big feast at the last Saturday so I can now start really doing a list about foods to the event. We have decided that we will not make English 15th century food for lunches and snacks but we will do Mediterranean area food and it will be different time period and place in different days. Wednesday will be different because we are going to have a day off. But I know now that the Saturday will be suitable for this main idea. But first I have to list the books that I will be using so it will be easier to start doing things.

I am so tired and I have to wake up very early tomorrow…I will have half an hour wake time left but then I need to sleep.

11 May 2008

Lemon liqueur

I started to make lemon liqueur and (aniseed liqueur). The picture shows one way to make lemon liqueur. The liqueur tastes little bit like Italian limoncello (which is one of my favourites). In this way the lemon is hanging in glass container and the steam of the alcohol makes the lemon sweat its juice through its peel.

And after the liquid has turned yellow I will pour some sugar there and it is ready (but the liqueur tastes better after couple weeks). I have tried to make orange liqueur like this and it was very good!

Kaftan project

This weekend was special because we didn’t have any place to go so we stayed at home and we didn’t have any visitors. So I was able to do some projects. This is funny, but I accidentally found some fabrics in my boxes that I didn’t remember buying. There was for example some white linen, red linen and some dark grey (almost black) wool. Good. I can start to make another chemise for me for the Cudgel Wars (before I get more). I was hoping to start making my dress this weekend, but repairs in our shower room isn’t finished yet. So I sewed little bit Ulf’s kaftan. I have started this kaftan project maybe two years ago. It has been tough to do it because I don’t know much about Viking garb. I know that they have found a kaftan like this and it was made from silk (not wool and linen). So I don’t have any clue if Vikings ever wore these kinds of kaftans. The colours of the fabrics (green wool and yellow linen) are very bright, but there is a good reason why. These colours are THL Baron Godwin’s heraldic colours and the kaftan is for Ulf to wear when he is Godwin’s personal tourney herald. I have bought the buttons for the kaftan long ago. Now I have to do rest of the sewing and a do some tablet weaving for decorations (or ask someone else to do it).

I made also little bit my Assisi tablecloth. I will send more pictures about it as soon as there is enough progress to show.

7 May 2008

Poached eggs

I have started to make plans for the next Cudgel War event. The event is going to be in July so there isn’t that big hurry yet. We (Ulf and I) are going to make all the lunches and snacks (besides Wednesday snack. I try to find someone to do that so we can have one day off from kitchen. It is good thing since the event is going to last about nine days). But anyway I don’t have theme for lunches yet. Last time we made food from different time period and area starting in Anglo-Saxon food (or was it Viking? Yes it was and the seckond day was Anglo-Saxon, silly me) and closing in Elizabethan times. It was fun and I learned a lot. This time I was thinking about maybe to make food only from certain time period and area. I am not sure yet.

But anyway today I decided to try made some poached eggs. I have not actually made poached eggs before, but I have been in a kitchen while someone else has made them. So I know that it is not the easiest thing to do. This time I decided to use a recipe from Cindy Renfrow’s book Take a thousand eggs or more: A collection of 15th century recipes. Here is the recipe from the second volume and some thoughts about it.

Poached Eggs

Take Eggs, break them, and seethe them in hot Water; then take them Up as whole as thou may; then take flour, and mix with milk & cast thereto Sugar or Honey, & a little powdered Ginger, and boil all together, & color with Saffron; and lay thine Eggs in dishes, & cast on powder enough. White powder is best.

My thoughts:

1 c milk (about 2,5 dl.. I am not good with measurements I usually don’t use them)
2 T flour
1 T honey (I decided to use honey)
pinch of ginger
pinch of saffron

Mix all the sauce ingredients together and boil carefully. Make poached eggs in boiling water with salt. And that’s all. Garnish with a little ginger. There isn’t any mention about salt in the recipe from the collection. The dish tastes better if you put salt into water and you can also sprinkle little salt on the top of the dish as well. Some of the modern recipes of poached eggs suggest that you should put some vinegar into boiling water as well because that way egg stays better together. I didn’t use because I wanted to try this without the vinegar.


I told earlier that we went to Tallinn last Saturday. Our four hours or so trip was success. The weather was very good and not too warm and not too cold. And of course Tallinn was beautiful as always. I had a little list about things I was interested in buying if I could find them. But there wasn't any necessary to find anything. So we walked little bit at old Tallinn and went to eat at Olde Hansa. I didn't have my camera with me, but Olde Hansa has web pages http://www.oldehansa.com/ where you can find more about the restaurant and their shop. Olde Hansa has online shop also.

One of things I was looking for Tallinn was clay plates. We have only wooden plates for the SCA events and those wooden plates are quite old (we have bought them at Budapest years ago). They didn't have clay plates at their store, but I was able to buy two clay plates they use in their restaurant (plates were still hot like they were taken from dishwasher hah hah). And I bought a very beautiful small glass bottle and a necklace. I was looking for to find good container for salt but I didn't. I was still more than happy about things I bought.

Food was also good as usually. I ate wild boar with spelt, berry jam, sauerkraut, onion jam... and a rose pudding. I was almost too full before the rose pudding.. but how can I resist the tempting call of the sweet and soft rose pudding??? Well I can't. Olde Hansa's beer is also a good reason to go there again and again. We ordered honey beer, herb beer and cinnamon beer and tasted all of them. I think honey beer was probably the best.

5 May 2008

A Mouse and A Cat

It is official now. This year we have had at least two animal visitors at our house (I am not counting flies or spiders) :D. Not at the same time… Couple of months ago we had mouse (it disappeared somewhere.. I still don’t know where… I hope that it is not dead and lying somewhere hidden). And just a moment ago… I was sitting here at my computer and I saw something fluffy, white and black sneaking in our lobby. Of course I fright up and shout something and the poor cat run to our working room. It said miau to me and then I said to it that unfortunately I can’t keep a cat even if I wanted to. And I had to carry it out. It looked me little bit confused or maybe little bit offended after this all. Maybe it thought that it is normal to come to visit people at their homes when they have windows open :D. I am pretty sure that now when it knows how to come here, this is not going to be the only time it will come here.

By the way, I was hoping to get some of my fabrics cleaned today. But when I came home, our washing machine was not at our shower room, it was standing at the kitchen. Our shower room looked like this:       


We had some kind of leak at our sewers and our landlord said that they need to open and dry it so the humidity level of the floor goes normal again. But today they decided to do the walls and (maybe) our sauna again also. I am happy that we are going to have hopefully more beautiful shower room and a better sauna… but I hope that this is not going to last too long… I have inspiration to start making clothes again (I bought some fabric to my working class dress today). I need to make a list about things I don’t have yet for my dress.