Monday, February 6, 2017

A beautiful Fall day...Time for a Fall Pilgrim's Practice!

Not long after returning from War of the Trillium, we started planning our Non-SCA event. We wanted to do a small 20 person themed event to maybe encourage new people to come out and have our SCA friends come for some fun food and atmosphere.

We rented a cute city space in Bells Corners in Ottawa, it had a good kitchen and great log cabin atmosphere. What was also great about it was that some easy forest trails end right at the community centre. So, Cristabel and Wilhelm organize the path and decided what the pilgrimage would be like. John helped create the path markers and there was even a Hermit.

The Pilgrims would walk the trail and arrive at the Inn of the Surly Mermaid (my household with Avelyn Wexcombe and Dafydd ap Alan). Everyone was encouraged to come dressed up as a medieval pilgrim.
John made this based off a 17th century sign

I was tasked to make the food (Quelle surprise!). We needed enough food for the evening to be spaced out all afternoon/evening. There would be stories and games and some dancing for entertainment. A couple of months before the event I was contacted by a guest to see if we would have Gluten Free options. I knew I also had some Vegetarians as well, so this posed an interesting challenge.
OMG a cooking shot...that never happens!

Fall Pilgrim's Practice Menu: 

All from period sources

Vegetarian dishes - V
Gluten Free - GF

Chickpea Soup (V & GF)
Chicken in Yogurt Sauce (GF)
Meatballs in eggplant Sauce (GF)
Saracen Stew (Beef) (GF)
Onion Tart (V)
Rice in Broth (GF & V)R
Roasted Carrots (V & GF)
Cucumber Salad (V & GF)
Baked Turnip with Cheese (V & GF)

There will be some raw veggies, pickles and fresh fruit.

For dessert
Custard with dates (V & GF)

John, myself and Cristabel in the kitchen
I was excited about this event since my Dad and Memere (Grandmother) were coming. My Mom was suppose to come but she was very sick and had to back out. :( It was really neat to have them come and see what I do for fun, instead of just hearing me talk about it.

Memere and I in the kitchen - She is wearing my Garb. :)

As always I have a great time with friends in the kitchen and my Memere came and helped me with dishes. Everyone seemed to enjoy the food and My husband and Daughter came by later in the day for fun with Cristabel and Wilhelm's kids.

Some travellers enjoying games.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Onward to Trillium War I go!

I haven't gone to War of the Trillium in a long time. The last time was when my Daughter was 2 and it was very HOT and we didn't even wear garb. So my husband wasn't interested in going this year, but I wanted to go since I had been invited to camp with Fettered Fleur. They are attempting a period camp, and didn't mind that my modern tent was going to be there.

It was also a chance for me to cook with fire and John was going to teach me how he does it. YAY! This year I also decided to go for the Friday to Sunday, which I normally don't do. Now there is always concerns when camping with new people. For me, I worry about personalities, chores and expectations. I know there are always classes I want to do, and I am a planner so I like to schedule things. lol I am not the best at loosey goosey things.  I packed up the car and headed to the site. It was about a 4 hour drive, so not too bad.

The camp the next day after setup - Photo By Ross Weaver

So we as a group decided on a meal plan and it was reasonable at $20/p/day, though I think it could be done for less than that and the problem with arrival day is that it can take a while to set up, that having food that don't require a kitchen is best. So I would like to plan the food as much as possible this upcoming year. We have kids who come to this event, so it is important to make sure they are fed and watered. :D

One of the major items we came across as a problem was that there was a MAJOR fire ban. This part of Ontario had little to no rain all summer so far. So the site was a dry very dry field. How do you do fire cooking if you can't have any fire, you ask? Well, have a brazier. We had a fire box that was raised on  stand and we used charcoal to fuel it. That way there were no sparks, and it was like cooking with a BBQ. It was a wonderful experience, but I have to say, I was apprehensive to use John's equipment. Next year it will be better.

We did a lot of cooking, we had a roast beef on the spit, some chicken dishes and a whole host of things. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of us cooking or really our setup. (If anyone has any pictures they wish to share, I would love to post them). I promise for next time to document what we cooked and maybe even recipes. :D

I had a wonderful time on the Saturday night drinking the mead I love from Quebec, enjoyed a Bardic circle, and general silliness with friends. I was also happy to pack a lot of warm clothes. I packed a wool cloak and my flannel nightgown....boy did I need it at night. I also tested wearing wool in the heat. The result? I was nice and cool. I was more warm in my car than anything else.