Sunday, June 4, 2017

Chicken Recipe

I love to cook, for myself and for others. Tonight for dinner I decided to be a little adventurous and try some new things with the chicken.

I started out with a 5oz chicken breast, cleaned up with minimal fat. I let it soak in lemon juice, marinating it to give it a nice flavor. While that was marinating, I started up a nice pot of rice. I boiled it with chicken broth and saffron to give it a lovely flavor, and went back to the chicken.

Once the chicken was finished marinating, I tossed it into a skillet and medium-high heat. Seasoned with marjoram, garlic, ginger, pink salt and a fringe of rosemary and these cooked up nicely. The rice finished just in time, a little light fluffing and it was a delight. I topped it with a bit of fresh butter, because why not ya know?

It was a delightful meal, something I need to make again sometime soon.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Story time reflections

Once upon a time, there were six young children lost in the woods. They had grown up together in a small town at the edge of the woods, but that town was a place of filth and refuse that never truly came clean. Agreeing that they had to strike out on their own to start a new life away from that town, they packed their bags and meager belongings with a few sandwiches. Slipping away with the smallest of goodbyes, they hit the road out of town and walked deep into the woods to cross and find a better life.

As they traveled, the children shared their hopes and dreams for the future and what life they wanted now free of their old town.



"I want to find a place that will let me become a warrior of renown, someone that people will sing my tales for years to come." Thus spoke the first child, and the leaves shook and heard his call.

"I want to live life as one party, traveling from one camp to the next and meeting all the new friends I can." Thus spoke the second child, and the squirrels chit tweed and heard his call.

"I want to be an artist, to bring to life the images I see in my mind, and work for what I want without being beholden to others." Thus spoke the third child, and the bubbling spring flowed fast and heard her call.

"I want to fight the good fight, to work hard for my gain and end the day with a new meal every night. I want purpose." Thus spoke the fourth child, and the wind picked up and heard his call.

"I want a place to call home, to make my way free and have a family." Thus spoke the fifth child, and the birds took to the air and heard her call.

"I want to create something lasting, to help support a great work or some building to have that satisfaction." Thus spoke the sixth child, and the flowers slowly opened in the sunlight and heard his call.

After a time, the children crossed the wood and entered a new kingdom. There they met wonderful people, new friends who took them into their homes and let them sleep a spell in exchange for a few chores around town. There they met the new King and Queen, freshly crowned and ready to make new friends as well. The children decided that this was a place they could call home, and began to settle. They met new friends, new faces, and the influence these good folk had on them helped shaped their growth. As they started their lives, those dreams they shared in the wood began to come true in ways they never could have imagined.



The first child picked up the blade, and though skilled as he was it was his way with the pen that quickly won him renown. His tongue and quill became sharper than any blade he could wield, and there were stories told of his prowess in battle true...but these tales of valor and honor came from his wordsmith skill and the lightness of soul it takes to master speechcraft. Thus, when that first King and Queen came back round to rule the land again the child found his dream had come true. 



The second child did indeed spend his time traveling from camp to camp, traveling to meet new friends and celebrate life. As he traveled, he learned new tales and shared them as he went. He found a love for the bardic arts, studying multiple musical arts and sharing his joy of life to every tent and cabin he found himself. Thus, when that first King and Queen came back round to rule the land again the child found his dream had come true. 



The third child quickly became an artist of renown, earning the respect of the various guilds and rank within. She found joy in creating art for the sake of art, but her heart truly soared when she did art for the sake of another. She dedicated herself to art for the sake of others, raising others up. In the joy of others she found life, and bent to task. Thus, when that first King and Queen came back round to rule the land again the child found her dream had come true. 



The fourth child did find his fight, and his skills with the blade became well known. But his skill became known not for combat, but the kitchen. He worked hard, he ate well and he learned to value his work for others. Dedicating himself to art and work for others, he found purpose. Thus, when that first King and Queen came back round to rule the land again the child found his dream had come true. 



The fifth child found the family she sought, a good man to wed and a doting child to have at her knee. Her family would not simply be them, she would soon discover a whole family who flirting about as the butterfly to take her under their wings. She found a home working the sewing rooms and scribal halls, and was happy. Thus, when that first King and Queen came back round to rule the land again the child found her dream had come true. 



The sixth child found great success with his ability to see what needed to be built, and to create works that others needed. He rebuilt and redesigned a whole tavern and town postal service, he inovated a new method to share festivals held throughout the land and found happiness. All this was good, but still his soul did not know satisfaction. It wasn't until he had wed and held the son he helped bring into the world that he truly knew joy, and the greatest thing he would leave behind as a legacy. Thus, when that first King and Queen came back round to rule the land again the child found his dream had come true. 

In the end, all the children found that their dreams had come true in one fashion or another, and all rested well and in happiness. They toasted the King and Queen, the first ever they remembered having, vowed to continue to support the magical kingdom they had found which made dreams come true.

And they lived happily ever after.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sunday Topic: Religion and Spirituality



Religion -


1) the belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.
2) a particular system of faith and worship


Spiritual -
1) of, relating to, or affecting the human spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things.
2) of or relating to religion or religious belief

See? There is a difference!


I've always seen a difference between the two, and understood my need for them in separate manners. Religion is the structure in which I express my spirituality through the lens of culture/time/current ethics or morals. Spirituality is the core truth, the message and the importance it has on me. Spirituality is the code/the message, Religion is the way the message is presented and the ritual I use to express it.


Religion shifts and changes with the culture and time that uses it. Christianity today is vastly different than Christianity 100 years ago, or even just 50 years ago. The message/truth/code/guidelines/expression of reality that Christianity proclaims hasn't changed; what has changed is how we interpret it and how we express it. Christianity in America is different than Christianity in Germany, same day but different culture. At the heart, both cultures draw upon the same information and resources but due to the lens of society interprets it vastly different.


Spirituality however, that is something I feel a bit more fundamental. It is the thing we understand in our hearts as right, it is the moral/ethical code we follow to be a better person. It is those beliefs we have that defy explanation or assumption, it is the way of living that feels right. These are fundamental cores of our nature, the things that are "real" to each of us. These have to be expressed, they defy our understanding in an animistic way, and thus we create filters to understand them. These filters are built out of our cultural heritage and thus the message will change...into Religion.

Can you have pure spirituality and no religion? I think some people do, but they are rare. Isolated monks, spiritual guru's hidden in the wilds, these are people who have no tie to culture or the times and express their spirituality through an unfiltered/less tainted lens. But for the rest of us, our spiritual needs become expressed through the religion we choose to follow. I think it's a good thing to understand that.


What are your thoughts on the matter?

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Artist Life



Artist Life is...

. Being unable to eat, sleep or even control your breathing due to the INTENSITY that you feel you must create art.

. Being nervous about spending $0.99 on an app that will provide a few hours of entertainment, but you cannot pull out your credit card fast enough for a multi-book binding of three 14th Century cooking manuscripts for $100.00.

. Having to pause moments of your day to jot down notes or ideas, as brief bouts of inspiration hit due to random circumstance.

. Meeting a fellow artist, and spending hours just enjoying the shop talk and sharing of knowledge with a new friend. But when someone asks you later who you were talking to...not remembering their name because you realize you forgot to ask it,

. Hating the things that people praise the most, because you feel the praise is unjustified.

. A whole host of superstitions from years of work that infect your every move when creating art. Examples being specific chairs you must sit in to write, temperature/humidity to compose music to, just the right amount of clothing in the right spots to feel inspired to write.

. Seeing the world in a completely alien way than most of the population...and the learning to cope with that separation. 

. Flying into a rage because you could not properly explain to your loved ones the vision you have, the artistic mindset you wish to impart.

. Weeping at the chance to spend weeks of your life slaving away on a project that will perhaps only be experienced by people once, to be put on display for a majority who will never know the pints of blood poured into the task. 

For me, the biggest thing is seeing the world differently. And it's not so much a physical change in what I see...I see the boats on the water just like everyone else. It's just so much more than that.

I see the boats on the water, water stained gold and red with the light of a dying day. The water surges up the side of each ship, bleeding the promise and dreams of deeds done that day before becoming swallowed by the black night and the promise of death. Each ship drifts along, sailing despite the dying day, continuing its journey despite setbacks because it is confidant that with death must follow a new life and a new day. Some boats are pure of heart, some shadowed in an inner darkness reflected out, some striving for that purely human element of the middle which we must all arrive in. Some sails are unfurled to learn what it can of the knowledge of wind, some lowered to trust their own steering of the rudder. Always sailing, forever along the ocean of life and death. 

This is Artist Life.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Recipe: Miso Soup

This recipe posted here is the one i used to make my miso soup served in my Fall Coronation 2015 feast. It got many rave reviews and asks about a recipe, so I figured as I am working on more regular blogging I will share it here! The recipe is broken down to serve 5-10 people.

Miso soup


Ingredients:

3 quarts water - I use standard tap water here, nothing fancy
1 quart of fish stock - This one is a bit tricky, and will depend on how crazy you wanna go. For the stock, I made it from lightly boiling tuna. You can of course buy fish stock in Asian grocery stores (or the odd Publix wth a large international selection), but I made it fresh.
1/4 cup dashi granules - Can be purchased in any Asian grocery store
1/4 cup miso paste - Can be purchased in any Asian grocery store, but I have seen at Publix and Whole Foods!
Salt to taste - I used sea salt, but use your favorite salt here!
1/2 pound fresh cold wakame - I have only found this is Asian grocery stores, but I've heard this can be found in Whole Foods as well.

Instructions

1)
In a large pot with a well fitting lid, add in water and fish stock. Bring to a rolling boil.

2) Once water and fish stock have reached a rolling boil, add in dashi granules. Stir for one minute, until granules are fully mixed in.

3) Once granules have been mixed in, add in wakame. Stir vigorously, until the wakame is broken up and softened.

4) Whisk in miso paste, until water has turned one solid color. Drop heat to a simmer, fit tight with a lid and let simmer for 25 minutes.

5) Remove lid, stir to mix up wakame that may have settled. Sprinkle salt to taste, serve hot.

Enjoy!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Writing Commitments

So when I first started this blog YEARS ago it was to help stimulate my creative flow. It shifted to focusing more on SCA, with my personal writings and musing being sprinkled around. I want to write more, to invest more into my writings. Honestly, life has kept me away from many things including my writing habits, but I want to change that. I am committing to 2 blog posts a week, one on Sundays and one on Thursdays. If I feel like updating more...cool! If not, I will be sticking to my commitments.

I want to get into writing, and having a desk and a desktop to do it on now will make life easier. I have a lot to catch up here and document, so here's to many more posts! See you guys on Sunday!

Filk: Do You Wanna Enter Art/Sci?

This is a filk that my best friend and sister for life Ever co-wrote, late one night in between Facebook messenger. It's gone through a few edits, and I'm sure it will go through more, but as I cannot sleep and want to update the blog...ta-da!


Do you wanna enter Art/Sci?
To the tune of "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman?"
Ever:
Do you wanna enter Art/Sci?
And document our every move?

Chris:
We review our every source we find, check all the words we write until our papers prove!

Ever:
We used to be so social, but now we're not. I wish we could have more time...!

Chris;
Do you wanna enter Art/Sci?

Ever:
It doesn't have to be at kingdom...

James:
Go away you two!

Chris/Ever:
Ok bye...

Ever:
Do you wanna enter art/Sci? And be authentic as you can?

Chris:
You will get all sorts of cuts and scrapes, with Middle French and poison dust to drive you mad!

Chris/Ever:
Just trust us.

Ever:
It can be so lonely, all these dusty books, just reading the same old things!

Chris/Ever:

Page flip, page flip, page flip, paper cut!

Chris:
Hello?
Please, won't you just try if? Laurels are asking where you've been.

Ever:
Come out and try you're hand at it, you've got a real talent, just let it shine!

Chris:
Art/Sci's really easy, we believe in you, please just give it a try...?

Ever:
Do you wanna...

Chris:
Enter art/sci...?