An Tir-West 2011 Post Mortem

An Tir-West War 2011

Originally we weren’t going to A/W War. Because of the costs of fixing our kitty’s broken leg we really couldn’t afford to pay for the gas to drive 8.5 hours up and 8.5 hours back for the war. Their Majesties heard about this and offered to carpool with us to share gas costs. We really wanted to go.. so even though we should have said no.. we said yes. It was a very fun trip. Their Majesties were a HOOT as travelling companions.


They arrived at our house at ~3pm and we all piled into the truck and headed north. The trip went fairly smoothly up until ~12:40am when the truck’s “check engine” light flashed on and the truck started driving a bit more roughly. We pulled over and spent a while fiddling with it. We -just- had a tuneup about a month ago so we were fairly certain it wasn’t anything truly serious.

Luckily, knowing we were going to get in late and not wanting to setup in the dark, F and I had already made hotel reservations and Their Majesties agreed to share a room with us on Thursday night. We limped into the hotel at about 2:30am.

Breakfast in Gold Beach with Their Majesties Marc and Patricia

F suspected he know what was going on and in the morning was able to fix it (the wire on one of our spark plugs had come loose) and visited a auto-shop to get the “check engine” light shut off. We had breakfast in town and then headed off to site.

We had camp set up by about 11 and then headed back into town to have lunch and pick up food. This took an inordinate amount of time. Pretty much the entire day Friday was spent setting up and provisioning.

Cooking over coals. The green pots at the bottom/bottom-right are mine.

Saturday I went and played at the cook’s play date. I made a simple veggie pickle (not from any particular cookbook but tasty) and “Chicken with Bacon” from “The Troubling Icelandic Cookbook”. Both dishes were tasty but not terribly memorable.

At 2pm I ran across to the A&S tents and attended a class about “St. Birgitta’s Coif”. I’ve studied it.. and have been meaning to make one but hadn’t quite gotten around to it. The class was two hours of lecture/hands-on in which we made a cap. I got probably 80% done with my cap and was able to finish it up on Sunday afternoon. I -will- be teaching a class similar to this at Fall Collegium (I totally should have gotten a picture of myself in the coif.. it’s super cute).

The class finished at 4 and unfortunately this left me pressed for time in order to be able to complete my chicken dish before dinner. I was feeling terribly stressed out. It all worked out in the end.. but as I said before, the dish was nice but not “OMG I MUST HAVE IT”. Meh. (Chicken + bacon + red wine + pepper)(really it’s hard to go wrong with that)

Overall, since I hadn’t planned to attend the war until the week before the war I hadn’t planned what to cook/make at cook’s play date until literally the night before we drove up to site. I managed to make Ok dishes.. but nothing awesome. It -was- a lot of fun to get to cook over fire in crockery. I definitely want to play with that some more.

Ajax with the West Banner.

I’d told F that I would support him on the warfield on Sunday. Sadly I mostly failed at this. I did go down to the warfield.. and I did get some nice photo’s of the scenario.. but I didn’t really do water bearing.. and when I was sitting on the edge of the war field, in the nice warm sun.. I got terribly sleepy and decided to go take a nap. The nap was good for me.. but I should have tried harder to be more involved in the “War” portion of the war (as I’d promised F I would).

Monday we packed up and headed home. We had a long, mostly uneventful drive home. The traffic was good up until we got passed Santa Rosa. There we found that 4 horses had (seemingly) gotten frightened by the fireworks and had run out onto the highway. We were home by 11:30.

What worked:
– Loved cook’s play date.
– Loved the class I took.
– I actually loved the veggie pickles I made. I think those will become an eventing staple for us.
– Surprisingly, the sandals I bought at Pennsic were -fantastic- for the weather and terrain. I need to be sure to pack more sandals for Pennsic.

What didn’t work:
– Next year, if we can’t leave before noon, wait until the next day. Getting in at 2am sucks.
– Next year, take the dogs. One of them freaked out about the fireworks and jumped the fence. That lead to a very tense pack down as we tried to coordinate to have our pet-sitter pick the dog up from the folks who’d found him.
– Next year, plan better for cook’s play date. Had fun.. but need to put more thinking into it.

To-do:
– Need to make/plan out some nice roman outfits. Those looked terribly comfortable and cool.

My pictures from the War are posted on Facebook here:
SCA: An Tir-West 2011

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2 comments to An Tir-West 2011 Post Mortem

  • John Theophilous

    What KIND of pickled veggies?

    • Sylvie

      Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Celery and Onions in a brine which is 2 parts apple cider vinegar to 1 part sugar (though I think I was scant on the sugar).

      Slice up veggies and place in crocks. Heat up brine until the sugar is all melted. Let brine cool until “room” temperature. Pour brine over veggies. The longer they’re in the brine the better they are.

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