Earlier this year, my province hosted our kingdom’s Twelfth night celebration. I contributed cookies (and a subtlety, which deserves its own “Doin’ it WRONG” mention, ha ha) to the feast.
In the words of an event steward, “We’re interested in exploring period European twelfth-night traditions of festive merriment.
Our touchstone for the theme is Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” — boisterous humor, cakes and ale, chance reversals of fortune, masked identities, cross-dressing, farcical infatuations, and so on.”
I found a 7.5” cookie mold of the Epiphany (12th night). I planned to make 2 springerle cookies for each table, one flavored with anise, and the second flavored with speculaas cookie spices of my own admixture — all of which are mentioned in Forme of Cury (the cookbook from which our feast cook was working). The spice cookie failed to imprint and was not to my taste, so I reserved it for use in the subtlety and cut back to just the anise springerle cookie.
The leavening for the cookies was hartshorn (ammonium carbonate), which in medieval times was literally hart’s horn — powdered & processed deer antler. The anise cookie was pale cream in color, the speculaas cookie medium/dark brown. Springerle cookies date back to at least the 1600s, and the mold is duplicated from molds of the time.
I used a modern recipe from House on the Hill (the mold maker), and began test baking in November. The cookies store well in air-tight tins, and improve with age, so I baked them in December for our January festivity.
I asked my friend Lilie to compose a song for our province’s largesse presentation to their Eastern Majesties, for which we parade from our Østgarðr encampment at Pennsic to the East Kingdom royal encampment, singing as we march. Her contrafact (filk) to the tune of We be Soldiers is delightful.
In preparing for the presentation, I discovered that the melody with which I was most familiar is not the original melody, but is instead an interpretation by Curtis & Loretta, who learned it from a Renaissance band, possibly after an arrangement by William Chappell. You can go down this rabbit hole yourself — there is much interesting information out there. I began here: http://www.lizlyle.lofgrens.org/RmOlSngs/RTOS-Soldiers3.html
A friend asked for help stitching Girl Scout patches, so I made her a video, since we don’t live near each other. The technique is the same as I would use to appliqué trim or an embroidered element onto a medieval garment, so I share with you the video I made for her.
My local SCA group, the Crown Province of Østgarðr, is participating in Brooklyn Pride festival this year, yay! What better way to show off our affiliation and support than with a period cord worked in Pride colors? Presenting a lace bend round of 8 bowes in the inclusive (Philadelphia) Pride flag colors: black, brown, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.
My husband managed to catch his braes on something and tear an L-shaped rip into them. Conveniently, I had some leftover fabric from making two pairs of them, and was able to patch using the same fabric. Given the shape and amount of tear, I opted for a darn-and-patch solution. Continue reading “A thing of rags and patches — mending braes”
Sprang is a weft-less, warp-only twisted weaving, made with wool, silk, papyrus, linen or cotton yarns stretched over bars, using fingers for weaving & sticks as placeholders. Continue reading “Sprang!”
I am in desperate need of a new chemise. I want it to be short enough that it doesn’t show or need hiking up under my tunic / cote / peplos / overdress. I need it to be comfortable, not fitted too closely to my body (which changes shape on an irritatingly regular basis), and luxurious. Continue reading “Chemise”