Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I made butter!!!

Not much to say about it all, lol. It was a terribly simple recipe, thanks to help from my friends Kristy and Ever I quickly assembled the butter-making ingredient: heavy whipping cream. I poured the heavy whipping cream into a tupperware dish and shook for...gods, forever I think. It hit whip cream (I sampled, twas yummy) and I kept shaking till I hard a splashing around. The butter and buttermilk had separated, yayayaya!

Now I have butter, and will be baking late tonight when I make shortbread with it for tomorrow's meeting.


Friday, September 16, 2011

SCA Recipe of the day: Florentine Style Meat on Pasta

This is a bit more complex of a recipe than I have made before, Italian food tends to be heavy on the spice to change the flavor of the same ingredients, so we'll see how this one comes out when it's all done :)

  •  1-2 lbs. beef sirloin roast, cut into fist size pieces
  • 1/2- 3/4 onion
  • 1/8 cup prunes
  • 1/8 cup raisins
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • pinch saffron
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup verjuice
Lay meat in a baking dish. Cover with fruit, salt, and liquids. The liquids should be no more than a finger's-width deep in the dish. Put in the oven at 350 degrees. When the meat is half cooked (about 20-30 minutes) flip the meat over and add spices and sugar. Cook another 20-30 minutes, or until completely cooked.

* * * * *

First change to the recipe is the lack of verjuice. I replaced it with an extra helping of red wine so the finished product is going to come out sweeter than expected.  The meat is a bit more than the recipe called for (feeding 7 tonight) so I increased the recipe amount as far as spices went to compensate. I'm feeding a larger ground than I'm used to, so I admit I'm a bit nerous about screwing up dinner :p. The noodle water is started at the halfway point, because I remember how slow this pan boils water. I'm making an alfredo sauce to go on the side, incase anyone here does not want to have the red wine sauce.

At the halfway point I added the rest of spice with ease. It smelled wonderful so far, and I cannot wait for it to be finished!!

OK, this smells and looks amazing. The noodles are cooked al dente as is traditional italian pasta and the beef is thick and juciy. Because I'm eating with other people, I'm gonna have them give their opinion of the dish.

Simon - Ridiculously tasty. Goes perfectly with a Lindemans Merlot 2006

Kaoru - This came out excellently. I would have cooked the meat a little bit less as it was a little tough, but the clove scent was gorgeous without being overpowering in the flavor.

Troy - The beef had a very light and pleasant grape flavor that enhanced the flavor of the beef.  I don't like red wine and the red wine was only an aftertaste on the outside of the beef and didn't overpower the flavor at all. 

Char - Very good, would have liked a thicker sauce, even though it's not period :p

Dave - The meal overall was fantastic, the steak was cooked to a medium though still fork tender. The wine sauce could have been reduced down a little bit more to concentrate the flavors. A schnitzel would substitute perfectly too.

Lana - I would have liked a bit thicker sauce and thinner noodles for better coverage but the flavor was excellent for both the sauce and the beef.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Things I Have Learned Today

I seemed to have learned some valuable life lessons today, I thought I would share.

. Honey boils faster than water. Like...30 second boil time, as in "Oh, let me pour myself a glass of V8 Splash and hey whats that burning smell?"
. Trust your instincts when it comes to something your good at. My eye and fingers said I added enough breadcrumbs, but I was blindly following the recipe and thus ruined the whole batch of Gyngerbrede.
. Honey is a fucking bitch to get off a glass stovetop.
. I have a bad habit of getting riled up about silly things. I need to learn to find my calm and center again.
. It is possible to overprepare at work, espessially when the planned rush never occurs.
. I've not wasted time, I'm not a failure and most importantly I am amazing.
. I have a wonderful set of friends to be amazing with, if only I would share with them more.
. Burned honey smells horrible.

Friday, September 9, 2011

SCA Recipe of the day: Mylates of Pork

This is the first real meal recipe I've attempted from a period stance, this is another English recipe from the 14th century. I really enjoyed making this one, because I had to make a brand new spice!

2 - 3 lbs. cooked pork
4 eggs
1 cup mozzarella, grated
1 1/2 tsp. powder fort
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch saffron
pastry for a double-crust pie 

Cut pork into approximately 1 inch pieces. Combine with eggs, cheese, pine nuts and spices in a large bowl. Mix well and place into bottom crust. Cover with top crust and bake at 350° until golden brown - about 30 minutes. Serve either hot or cold.

You'll notice a recipe ingredient called powder fort, its kinda like a medieval Adobe. The recipie for such a blended spice is included below:

3 Tbsp. ginger
1 1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. cubebs
1 tsp. grains of paradise
1 tsp. black pepper

* * *

OK, this is really a nice recipe and I enjoyed making this one. I pre-cooked the pork and didn't spice it, I didn't wanna counter any of the spice that I used in the pie itself. The fort mixed well, it was a bit sticky to blend all the items together but tat was an easy clean-up. I went with a pre-baked crust because I haven't made one in a long time and I didn't wanna mess this up. It all fit into the pie nicely, I was bit worried but I had success!

Thirty minutes later, the pie has come out of the oven. The crust is not as golden brown as it could be, but that's because I didn't egg wash it  It smells wonderful, the crust crumbled a bit but I believe that's because I cut it and sliced it fresh hot. The crust should hold up stronger if left to chill (and this can in fact be served cold). 

Oh man. Oh man...this tastes amazing. Even the pinch of Saffron I added can be tasted, the fort blended so well with the crust and everytime tastes so...yum. A++.

I'm gonna go back to eating. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

SCA Recipe of the day: Celtic Shortbread

For those of you keeping score at home this is a proper food recipe that is not overly complex because it is not French ;)After the May Eggs from yesterday, I decided to try and make a dessert style recipe. The shortbread recipe I used today has been used in several SCA Feasts,  and is from a 16th Century English cookbook.

  • 1 cup butter -- softened
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour
Preheat the oven to 300° F. Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the flour, 1/3 cup at a time, until a soft dough is formed. (Do not overbeat!) Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until rounds are just firm to the touch. Yield: 16.

I'm personally not a fan of dark brown sugar so I went with the light version (not as period correct, I know...but if I'm eating these I want them to taste good!) Creaming the butter was a touch difficult, I don't have a electric mixer on hand that works (because my last one broke in a freak baking accident) so I did it by hand. The flour was a bit tricky, forming the dough but not getting it too fluffy was a bit of a waiting game. Thankfully I learned from yesterday not to keep my eyes off the dish, and mixed utill it went smooth. My formation of the dough yielded me 18 instead of 16, I experimented with various sizes till I found one I was happy with.

Now to toss in the oven! If you want to experience the same wait I did earlier, go ahead and wait 25-30 minutes before reading the next section.

* * *

OK, all done! Did you enjoy the wait?

The shortbread has come out of the oven, just as the coloring and texture says it should have from the cookbook. It looks and smells wonderful! The shortbread has a rich thickness to it, wonderful really and its very filling. Though I should try to avoid eating while still scalding hot...hmm...Regardless, shortbread by itself I would call a rousing success, a solid A.

Now to get creative!

Shortbread itself isn't a singular meal or desert item, it is often eaten with other items or various toppings. For this creative experiment, I'm taking 4 from my pile of 16 (I ate two,  hush) and adding various toppings. Shortbread #1 will be sprinkled with sugar, Shortbread #2 will be drizzled with honey, Shortbread#3 will be smeared with Jam and Shortbread#4 will be plain.

Shortbread w/ sugar is not too bad at all! The shortbread has cooled to get the proper amount of crumble to it, the sugar is a subtle but still yummy addition to the shortbread itself. Another solid A! Shortbread w/ honey just smells yummy, before I can even taste it I want it in my mouth from sight and smell alone! It tastes wonderful, my only issue in eating it is with is the mess factor. Honey is very messy and sticky, this would not go over well for the purposes of shortbread...though its still so yum. For sheer mess factor, this is gonna get dropped down to a B. Shortbread w/jam...holy crap! This stuff is amazing, I allowed the jam to melt while the shortbread cooled, so its an even and thing layer across the top...OMFG is this crap amazing. I wanna go buy like...a dozen jams and just smear the shit outta these things now. A+, a solid A+ from me. I kinda feel bad for the plain shortbread now, its so lonely and unjammed...

Ah well. I learned some great things on this recipe, and as always will improve upon my failures to make even more amazing food!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

SCA Recipe of the day: May Eggs

6 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. parsley
1/2 tsp. tarragon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 slice white bread

Place six eggs into a pan of cold water and bring to a boil. After they've been boiling for 3 minutes, remove from heat, and chill rapidly in ice water.

Carefully cut a half inch hole in the shell at the large end of the egg. Cut through the white with the tip of a knife to expose the yolk. Remove the yolk and put it into a bowl (a turkey baster or syringe works well for this). Repeat with remaining eggs.

Mix the six egg yolks together with the extra one, add spices and return to egg shells. Plug the whole in each egg with a small piece of white bread. Place in pan of cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

Remove from heat and chill in ice water for 2 minutes. Then remove the eggs immediately from the water, dry them off, and carefully remove the shell.

* * * * 
Oh France, making things needlessly complicated since the 1500's! This is my first attempt at a period-based recipe, so obviously there was some trial and error. the eggs pre-boiled a touch too long, so I did not get as much yoke from each egg as I would have preferred. I think the trick there is that each stovetop is gonna have different heat settings, and just to keep careful eye on the water.

I tried to mix in a bit extra egg yoke to compensate for what I lost, though I think the mixture was still a little less than needed as I ended up with a thicker spice blend. A well, lesson learned! :) I left out the tarragon and substituted with onion powder, because I love onions, and I stuffed with wheat bread instead of white as I felt that was more "period correct" for what would have been added.

Feeling creative once completed, I dusted each egg with a different topping to try and see how that would work! One egg has a small coating of freshly shredded cheese, another a thin dribble of honey, a third with a small sprinkle of sugar and the last just plain.

OK, upon eating I can tell its a bit too much spice with the yoke content as assumed. Still really good, but I should have scaled back on the spice to match the yoke ratio. First egg I would rate as a B-. Cheese egg has a similar issue, the sharpness of the shredded cheese is heightening the spice so it's not all that great sadly. I'm sure cheese egg would be better with a yoke ratio higher, but its a D+. Sugar egg...ugh. That was a poor choice, the sweetness and the rough spiciness does not go well in the slightest so this egg is most definitely an F. On the honey egg, on the other hand, surprises the crap out of me. I was kinda holding my gut, thinking I was gonna have another sugar egg on my hands and I was kind of right. The sweetness of the honey doesn't go well with the spice mix, but the honey itself on the egg where the ratio is better actually works really well! I have a good feeling that if the yoke mixture is perfected, the honey egg will be an awesome taste so I'm gonna go and give it a C+ for the effort.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lachlan's Lament

The walk up to 55 West was long and lonely, his steps echoing along the sidewalk. Maybe it was fitting that he make the trip alone, his shame pressing hard on his soul and making him regret ever coming. "Maybe I should have never come. Maybe I should have faced the sun." He ponders quietly to himself as he walks the corner around to the front of the building.

For a moment, his heart leaped. The feminine shape standing shadowed one the sidewalk reminded him so much of her it pained him. The scent of her skin wafted into his nose and calmed him, soothing the pain and wrapping him in a blanket of comfort. "Sairy." He speaks softly as to not startle her.

"Lachlan." Sairy's voice was joyful, and she abandoned composure as she ran up to crush the Gangrel that had been a brother to her in a hug. He nuzzled her cheek softly and smiled. "It is good to see you, brother."

"And I you, darling sister. I am confused...where is Corvin?" Lachlan tilted his head and inquired, the usual scent of her male disturbingly absent.

Sairy explained what had happened, where she had gone and to what lengths she had run. Lachlan felt the hole in his heart throb, though he hurt and just being near family was a torment he could not deny his sister comfort. Enfolding Sairy in a tight embrace, he whispers softly to her and together they make the long climb. Sairy needed his strength, his stalwart emotions to support her and no matter what he felt...Lachlan could not abandon his family.

The reunion was bittersweet. Lachlan felt a warmness in his heart, a swelling he had not experienced in decades as he made the rounds. He was mostly silent, giving bows of respect and brushing himself against his fellow Scarabae to feel comforted by their presence in his life once more. The Amun Brothers were a welcoming sight, and never had a glass of champagne tasted sweeter than when it was poured by his dear friend. Pel was...well Pel, and even her chaotic methods were a welcome sight. Aldar Rainer and Kin once again provided a stable position of authority and dignity to the room. The shock of the Twins being so separated was even smoothed over, his mood so jovial.

Even the dust-up between Corvin and Sairy was but a hiccup moment. As Corvin rampaged in his fury, Lachlan stood by his sister and comforted her. He whispered softly to her, stroked her hair and held her as she sobbed until Corvin returned. He said two words to Sairy, "I'm sorry", before they were both entangled in such a tight embrace to make even the bawdiest of poets blush. Lachlan just turned his back and allowed them to finish their reunion in peace, his own mind calm and centered as he stepped downstairs to greet the newest members of his family.

Then Aldar Rainer began to speak.

"There is one among us missing. My voice, my soothing voice. My Elebeta." Lachlan felt his Beast rise, and it took everything in his rational and controlling brain to keep from leaping across the room and pouncing the Aldar. He didn't hear anything, not what was said or who said it. Once the words were finished, and Pel dug the knife deeper into his heart, Laclan stalked out of the room.

The poor tree didn't know what hit it, his fists becoming cracked open and blood staining the bark. His hurt and pain, fury and angst all poured from him as he imagined the tree being Khemmet. Khemmet was the one responsible for his Bet's death, not Lachlan. Khemmet would pay.

But no matter how many times Lachlan tried to tell himself that, he never believed a word. In his heart, he would always know it was his fault his Elebeta had perished.

Tick tock

Moonshadow frowned as she left the small apartment room Bruja was being kept in. Today was not a good day. Her car had been broken into and her favorite pen was broken on the floor of the seat. It wasn't a big deal, but it clearly set the tone for the rest of the day.

Traffic sucked, it was as if the whole city had been turned into one way lanes for some reason. The target snitch she had to execute ran and she broke a nail chasing after him. Her lunch was burned by an improper heating format. She almost got a speeding ticket when she got the news about the young girls visions, and now it seems she has evidence that the Seers somehow knew about the operation kicking off in just mere minutes.

Grumbling to herself as the automated coffee machine _again_ only half filled her cup, Moonshadow pauses to consider. Who was the spy, who was the snitch? Someone inside the operation somewhere had to have leaked all the details. "Its not like we hid them well." She mutters, remembering Luke's fondness for making sure everyone knew everything. Finding the Seer plant would be tricky, if they've been undercover this long rooting them out will be even longer.

Moonshadow casts a cool eye over the assembled Magi as they all moved with a nervous energy. They all knew this was the big day, the big moment. If they knew they were all going to die, would they still feel the same energy and excitement? Would they die for the cause, or run and hide? "Hey soldier...hold up. I need to talk to you hun." She raises her hand to pause one of the UA members in mid-stride.

"Actually, I was sent to find you miss. The final stratagem meeting is about to take place, your expected to offer any intel you can." The woman magi salutes crispy before heading off again.

Moonshadow frowns. Things are moving too fast, too quickly. She glances over to the door where Bruja was being kept and nods. "They may not believe me, but surely her." She speaks below her breath.

Time was up, and if they didn't listen to her then time would be up for all mankind.


It had been a whirlwind week for Ronald, moving site to site almost every few hours just to keep ahead of patrols. He had fought hard to earn respect as a fighter for the UA cause, even mastering a few stolen Seer rotes. If his father had been alive, Ronald imagined he would be proud of how skilled his son had become.

So why was it, he thought gloomily to himself, that he was stuck doing guard duty on some moody teenager?

One of the fellow guards nods to him and he moves to open the small apartment door. Poor kid, he thought, locked away for so long and now under more lock and key. "'Scuse me ma'am, but you got a visitor." As the young girl looked up from her computer game and gives a small sneer, Ronald shivers. It was if a shade of death stared back, and every time it gave him the Hebe-Jeebee's.

"Not like you're giving me a choice...I've already told you all I know. Can't you just leave me in peace?" She mumbles slightly, a scowl forming on her smooth white skin. She brushed back her hair and quickly typed an excuse to pause on her online game. Looking more like a young woman on the cusp of death than a teenager in bloom, Bruja was used to this kind of treatment.

It had been a strange few days. Her life had been turned upside down, finding out the truth of her father then the "rescue" by some woman named Dea only to be kept "guarded and protected" as they pumped her for all the information she knew of her fathers Seer-related activities. Bruja didn't like the "talks", the UA members always seemed to get freaked out by her simple appearance and the guards had rotated fairly regularly.

She knew something was going on, her eyes were clouded by it. They sounded like lunatic rantings to others, but all she could see clinging to everyone was an encroaching death. Like a slime mold creeping down rank and dark stairs, the stain of death oozed about and clung to everyone it touched. Bruja tried to describe that which could not be described, that death was upon them all, but no one listened. She was stuck in this apartment room, and if she had to be miserable than by _god_ she would make everyone else so.

Brujah raised an eyebrow as a beautiful woman stepped into the room. "Thank you Ronald, leave us. You won't be needed." She spoke softly, like one might speak to a skiddish animal.

Ronald blinked, then frowned as he stepped away and shut the door. The young woman looked down at Bruja and smiled, holding up a file folder. "I know you've been over this a million times, but I'm different. I actually believe you. My name is Moonshadow, and I have less than an hour to try and save a large number of lives on the line. Will you help me?"

Bruja did her best not to look surprised at the forwardness of the woman. She looks to the clock, seeing the shadow of death begin to waver for the first time as it crossed the clock face. "Less than an hour? Then what are we waiting for, how can I help?"