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October 30, 2006

Siege Cooking Competition at A&S Trouney July 2006

Here was the layout and rules for the Siege Cooking Competition at the A&S Tourney on July 21-23.

Feudalism is built upon a relationship of obligation and mutual service between vassals and lords. A vassal holds his land, or fief, as a grant from a lord. As part of his service, a vassal is obliged to feed and house the lord and his company when they travelled across his land. This obligation could be an onerous one. William the Conqueror travelled with a very large household, and if they extended their stay it could nearly bankrupt the lord hosting them.

You and your team cook for a country vassal. The king and his entourage have decended upon you. Luckily they say they will leaving tomorrow.. but your lord is determined to do his best to impress the king (even though he actually has meager goods). Prepare a meal to impress a king.

At a minimum you will be given:

5 lbs. of meat
1 lb. of fruit
2 lb. of vegetables
1/2 lb. of rice or legumes of some type,
1 lb. flour
3 eggs
1 mystery bonus item

You may provide:
3 fresh herbs/spices (unlimited)
3 dried herbs &/or spices (limited to 1/2 ounce each)
One fresh fruit OR above-ground vegetable - limit 1
One root vegetable - limit 2 lbs.

You may substitute one dozen eggs for either the fruit/vegi or root vegi that the team is allowed.
You may substitute 1/2 bottle vinegar or wine for 2 herbs/spices.

No more than 6 people on a team, 6 teams max.
$20 entry fee per team.

The current plan is to give ingredients to groups at a staggered start time (so we can have a staggered end time). For example, the first group will receive their ingredients at 12:40 and the judges will arrive at 5:40. The next group would go from 1:00-6:00.

The points will be awarded on presentation, taste and plausibility. Your team will receive more points if your dishes come from a single geographic and temporal location. Period-ish ingredients/preparation methods will garner greater points.

Internal use only below this line

Possible mystery items:
loaf of bread
dried fruits (thinking prunes)
dried mushrooms

Staggered ending times. 20 mins between each judging. 3-5 judges total.
12:40 - 5:40
1:00 - 6:00
1:20 - 6:20
1:40 - 6:40
2:00 - 7:00
2:20 - 7:20

Need judges
Need to make up judging sheet

Market Basket Challenge

You're given a basket of food, to make dinner for yourself and 5 other people, including the religious leader in your community. (If your community doesn't have a religious leader, you can substitute the mayor or some other important person.)
You get: 1/2 chicken, 1 cup lentils, 2 carrots, 2 turnips, 1 leek, 3 Strawberries, 1 bunch herbs (your choice, but only one herb), 1/2 cup wheat flour, 1 pat
butter (1 tablespoon), 2 apples, 1 egg, 1/2 loaf day old bread, a little salt and
a little pepper.
Your own pantry is bare, so what you get is what all you'll have.

October 18, 2006

On Sunday Ysabella had Mari come and teach a class on German's. Nice class. Lots of pictures. Mostly confimations of things I'd come to understand. The class gave me time to finish with attaching the gold trim. It's all nice and flat.

On Monday night I ironed and then attached a 100% cotton gingam strip to the top of my skirt. This will be used as a guide for getting the stitches for the cartridge pleats set.

Last night, on the way to Ysabella's, I stopped at JoAnne's and got some dark brown button twist thread. I cut a piece about 120" long and then doubled it up and used it to make the cartridge pleats. The pleats are 2.5" deep which may end up being too deep.. won't know until it's attached. Oh well. If necessary I'll remove the skirt and reattach it again.

I will end up with about 1" per pleat (though only 5/8" of that will actually be attached to the bodice... the pleat bulk takes up about 3/8" between each pleat). I think I'll start attaching this tonight. Hmmm, maybe not. I should probably work on the sleeves before I attach the skirt. *sigh*. Yes, it's easier to attach sleeves to a free bodice. OK.

The sleeves are in two parts. The top of the sleeve is too long. I think the gold trim needs to be removed and shortened drastically. The bottom part of the sleeve is too plain. Because of time constraints I made it without any frills. That said, it's the right length. I'll need to completely disassemble this and add new wool (with frills) to it. I also didn't like the way the flair over the wrists worked out. I'll need to redo that.

October 17, 2006

Vertically Striped German Gowns 1500s

Starting a collection of vertically striped german gowns. Annoyed at the poor quality of the pictures. Amused at the idea of a documentable vertically striped skirt.

from: http://www.hartmut-bock.de/Ketten/K__Bilder/k__bilder.html
from: http://www.gabrius.com/artindex/picture.asp?srcimg=http://www.gabriusdatabank.com/pictures/accorpa/2165/21650429.000.jpg&IDPIC=1007095

October 10, 2006

Last night I trimmed about 1.5"-1.75" off the bottom of the bodice all around and then finished that edge. Since I'm going to be attaching cartridge pleats I needed a finished edge. The plan for tonight is to re-attach the gold trim along the front edges of the bodice and to finish all the hand stitching on the trim on the front and the back.

October 9, 2006

I started the weekend with a finished dress and finished the weekend with a couple of bags of pieces of dress. It's like a deconstructed german dress :)

I tried the dress on and both Edith and Sefa agreed that the bodice needed to be shortened about 2 inches all the way around. I took the dress off and then removed the skirt and sleeves, undid the pleats in the skirt, and removed the guarding from the front of the bodice.

Ideally I'll have the dress all back together by Mists Investiture (November 11). Brion and Ysabella are stepping up as Prince and Princess of the Mists and they will be wearing Germans.

Current plan:

  1. Attach red/black gingam (that Sefa gave me, thanks Sefa) to the top of the skirt. Fold that over and used the gingam as a guide to make the cartidge pleats.
  2. Shorten the bodice by 1.25-1.5 inches all the way around(follow marks but leave enough fabric to put a finished edge at the bottom of the bodice as the marks)
  3. Finish the bottom edge of the bodice
  4. Re-attach gold trim along the front edge of the bodice so it shows on both the front and the back next to the rings.(prevent the flipping)
  5. Futz with bones as necessary
  6. Attach skirt to bodice

I have 238" of finished skirt.
The bottom of the bodice is about 49" around.
I want the tops of each cartridge pleat to be at about 2 squares on the gingam which ends up at about 5/8". When this is attached to the bottom of the bodice I'll need to add another 1/8" to that to account for the bulk between the tops of each pleat. This give me a total of about 3/4" for each pleat (5/8"+1/8").

This gives me around 65-66 pleats (49 divided by 3/4" ) around the bottom of the bodice.

Which means that each pleat needs to be around 3.60" each (238 divided by 66).

Rounding this, I'll be using 11 blocks in the gingam as my guide. (each block is around 5/16. 5/16 x 11 = 3.4375 which is as close as I can come in whole blocks to 3.60)

October 3, 2006


We're talking a deep Id type "me want" response. Sigh. Lack of money sucks. Me still want though.


Table & benches in a box
- Pic: http://scademo.com/images.demo/Picture50.jpg
- Plans: http://www.smoke-fire.com/camp-furniture-patterns-1.asp

Bronze Cauldron

Seal-a-meal vacuum sealers. Cook food, seal in bag, vacuum out air. Reheat meal by floating bag in boiling water. Mom & Dad gave me one of these for my Birthday.

Mini Scroll Frame http://herrschners.com/products/product.aspx?sku=320501
Bianca (from Alaska) came to stay with us for a couple days and she gave me one of these. I'm uber-psyched! Now I just need to figure out what to embroider.

October 2, 2006

Portable House

A merchant tent from Pennsic

I can't imagine "building" a house at every event... but it's impressive.


When SCA camping, trees are a luxury. Usually we don't end up with any in our camping allotment. That and since we covet Eric space, trees are hard to come by. That means we either have to suffer in the sun (no fun at all) or make our own shade. Option two is the option of choice. There's not a whole lot published about sunshades.

I'm a software engineer not a structural engineer. This means that although I can envision beautiful concoctions, I don't know if they will stand up to the lightest wind. This also means that making my own sunshade has been a long (and ongoing) learning curve.

First Sunshade at Estrella XX (where it didn't rain
and the sunshade functioned beautifully)
My first sunshade was made of a blue cotton twill with white cotton stripes. It was a lovely sunshade. It wasn't a rain fly. I really didn't think about what would happen when it got wet. It turns out, when the sunshade got wet, everything under it got wet.

This "sunshade" was essentially a 14'x18' sheet held up by poles (4 corner poles at 8' tall and 2 center poles at 11' tall) in the shape of a gable. The 14' stretch across the middle was a bit much so I also ended up using a rope across the ridge of the gable to give it some structure.

- Leaked like a sheet when wet. No water protection
- Wind sluffed it around madly. It was a horror when the wind kicked up.
- Since the blue and white fabrics were different they shrank at different rates making this a very pucker-y sunshade.

Second sunshade at Estrella XXII
Yes, that's me with the goofy grin.
Ignore that and focus on the sunshade.
So I made sunshade number two. I ordered some baby blue water resistant canvas from Bob at Itex (the guy from whom I've bought all of my water resistant canvas) and used some of the leftover sunforger from building my wedge (I wanted a similar blue-with-stripes) sunshade for the encampment. This is essentially a 21'x28' tarp held up by poles.

Originally we set this up with the same gable configuration as the first sunshade (4 - 8' corner poles, 2 - 11' center poles). The addition of the weight and water resistance makes the canvas more wind resistant. This mean that when we used this at its second event it shattered one of the tall center poles. I then added more grommets and we reconfigured. This sunshade is currently supported by 8 - 8' poles (4 corners and 4 centers of the outside edges) and 1 center pole (11' tall usually set on top of a cooler to make it about 13' tall). This gives the sunshade a vaguely hipped appearance (as in, like a hip roof). All of the "hip" appearance is caused by stretch in the canvas. I'm fairly certain this stretching is bad. Since the tarp is no longer strictly square, it doesn't fold up as nicely as it did originally.

- Wind sluffs it terribly (not as bad as the first sunshade.. but I still fear pole breakage)
- Too big (I know, how can it be to big? It just is. I don't think the structure we currently have in place is sufficient to support the forces this tarp can exert. More shade is good... but it's scary when a pole shatters into 3 pieces when you're sitting under the sunshade.).

BC style sunshade.
Picture from DragonWing Pavillions site
The BC style is very popular and although I'm friends with Duke Flieg, the BC doesn't please me.

As I said, we covet Eric space. Mostly this is because we love watching the fighting from our own shade. The BC style of sunshade only allows viewing out of the front of the sunshade. If you're at the back of the sunshade, your window of viewing is very small. I want at least a 180 degree viewing area. So no BC for me.

How did -they- do it?

There was sun in the medieval time (even though it's called the "dark ages"). How did medieval man deal with it?

I dunno, but I can guess.

- Sit under a tree. Camping isn't all that prelevant in the middle ages. If you wanted to get out of the sun you sat under a tree. Not really an option given our constraints.

- Tough it out. Soldiers on the campaign trail would just sit in the sun. Not an option I want to consider. I'm delicate (shut up, I am!).

From Il Cuoco Segreto Di Papa Pio V
(The Private Chef of Pope Pius V),
by Bartolomeo Scappi, Venice, 1570

- Set posts and add more wood to make a firm structure to support the canvas. I don't have time set posts.. but I might be able to work with this to come up with something comparable. Maybe posts with guy-ropes.

Images from the Siege of Florence Fresco 1530:

That said, these seem fairly small. 10x15 or so. Possibly a good size for a kitchen tent but not big enough for a sunshade on the Eric.

Not sure of exact source. By dress I'd say 14th century.
- Open the walls of your marquee so the roof provides shade and the breeze can waft through. I like this plan except that I have a wedge tent. That said, I'm partial to the idea of making a marquee-like roof to use for the sunshade.
- NOTE TO SELF: Scan picture from 10,000 Years of Costume of the Italian sunshade.

- NOTE TO SELF: possibly worth looking into pictures from the crusades.. western europe fighters + desert sun maybe equals sunshade ...