Saturday, December 24, 2011

Mmm, Bacon Chocolate Fudge...

So, not exactly a period recipe by any shape of the means...but I found this amazing link for Bacon Chocolate Fudge today. The following video has the instructions on it, but I'll go ahead and write them out for you as well:

To start, you're gonna wanna have the following items prepared in advance (the cooking/mixing process happens fast, so pre-measuring your ingredients will be key here) -

. 10-15 Strips of bacon (I used a hickory-smoked variety myself)
. 1 cup brown sugar
. 3/4 cup butter
. 3 cups White Sugar
. 2/3 cup evaporated milk
. 1 tbp vanilla extract
. semi-sweet baking chocolate (12 squares)
. 7 oz. Marshmellow creme

. 2 Cookie sheets, one covered in wax paper the other in foil
. 1 medium size pot
. 1 bread loaf or cake pan covered in wax paper
. Mixing wisk
. measuring cups
. thermometer

Step-by-Step -

Step 1) Coat your strips of bacon in the brown sugar, place each strip on a cookie sheet covered in parchment wax paper. Make sure both sides are coated evenly.
Step 2) Slide the bacon into a COLD oven, turning it on and setting it to 350 degrees. Cook for 20-30 minutes, until your desired style of bacon is ready (chewier bacon cooks less, crispier bacon cooks longer).
Step 3) Remove bacon from cookie sheet and transport to another surface covered with foil to cool, make sure to keep laid out in strips.
Step 4) Set your burner on high and in a separate pot mix in the butter, evaporated milk and sugar. Stir till it fully melts and blends together, it is critical that the temperature meets 234 degree's of your fudge mixture or else the other added ingredients later will not melt and blend properly.
Step 5) Take off heat and add the vanilla, chocolate and marshmellow creme. Stir together till all ingredients are melted and you have a standard blend of chocolate. The fudge should all be one color and uniform in texture.
Step 6) Layer your bacon in the cake pan prepped, then cover in fudge. Make this like a lasagna, starting with bacon then adding fudge then adding bacon.
Step 7) Chill in fridge for at least 1 hour, I left mine sit overnight.

Mine was still very sticky and mushy, not as solid as most fudges but this is my first attempt! It was still very yummy and so very rich, the bacon makes a unique contrast in flavor to the fudge.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


1) Life's a Happy Song - Staring: All
2) Every body wantsta be Acanthus - Staring: Moonshadow, Skyla, Michael, Eddy
3) I've got a Theory - Staring: Gypsy, Solomon, Noel, Cloud
4) Grim Grinning Ghosts - Staring: Bruja, Gauss
5) Tik Tock - Staring: Jason 13
6) Til I Hear you Sing - Staring: Sparrow
7) Going through the Motions - Staring: Asha
8) Party for One - Staring: Eucharist, Bowie
9) Pictures in my Head - Staring: Asha, Gypsy
10) Fireflies - Staring: Skyla
11) Man or Thyrsus - Staring: Jester, Cloud
12) Confrontation - Staring: Jacob, Marhime
13) Walk through the Fire - Staring: All
14) Dangerous Game - Staring: Lazarus, Christine
15) Mah Na Mah Na - Staring: All

IC: The flower of passion blooms even in the coldest depths of winter

He did not care about the foolish chink or his perverted club offerings. To care about such things was to invest emotion and precious inner flame to a path that bored and drolled onto endless sleep.

He did not care about the brain-rotted redcap, nor the sniveling Pooka who would cower and follow such a man. They were brutes and the victims of brutes, he could help neither and in fact would make good targets for a scam in the coming months.

He did not care about the state of the slums, nor its houses of broken dreams and whitewashed sin. He would use this place, feed his eternal flame within in their suffering if they would fall to his temptations.

He did care for the starved, for the scared. This was not their choice, they could not help what had happened to them and were desperate. They turned to the Brute, to the Betrayer, to the Lazy and to the Politician. They clung to anything that would support them, for they had no choice.

He remembered when he had made those same mistakes. He remembered it had cost his family and friends and entire plantation everything they had. He remembered the starved women and children, those in his old folly had condemned to death. He remembered his Oath to never stand for this again.

He felt that familiar flower begin to bloom within the soil of the soul, uncurling its blood-red petals slowly through his body till every inch of him thrummed with potential and inner flame. The flower needed pollen spread, water applied and soil replaced to grow lest it consume the poor mortal shell that contain it. He gazed upon the moon and let out the primal cry of his people from ages gone past.


Monday, December 12, 2011

A poem

I kinda felt the urge to write this today. No real reason, nothing inspired it. Its not as good as what they rest of you can do

Hopefully you enjoy.

* * *


To fight for the glory of the Crown so near
Along lyst field one day I did proudly hear.
To fight for your Lady's most loving eye,
With chivalry and honor, that is the cry.

I did but pause, and hesitate
My armor twas old, in quite a state,
My body was soft and easily torn,
So I did not fight for honor that morn.

"My Lord" I did say with a small smile,
"My travels have taken me many a mile
I've gazed upon honor quite grand elsewhere.
And many a sight I can happily share."

"If combat and battle is yours to compare,
Let me tell you of honor and glory elsewhere.
Allow me to set a most dramatic scene,
Not often seen displayed in the fighting ring."

"I've seen metal cut deep and ink wells flow far
When battle-ready scribes bring honors to all.
I've seen wvyern, dolphin and triskel's yonder
Carved into vellum to illuminate your honor."

"I've seen fingers so nimble you'd swear them a thief,
With songs sung to bring laughter or even some grief.
They dance along skin, along wood, along string.
Throat dry as they sing your honors till birds ring."

"I've seen sharp blades slice and skin a hide quick
To battle a feast, wit so sharp as to nick.
These cookery generals heaping plates high
In honor of your triumphs, both this day and nearby."

"To each it is said, on our own we should find
That sacred home of honor in our mind.
For though combat guides you to honors homestead,
For me I find honor in your daily bread."

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Food fun!

Hello folks, today's recipe and cooking experiments is making homemade pasta and ravioli's from period recipes :) I am cooking with my own Baroness today in her lovely home, and playing with her brand new pasta machine in the effort of creation.

We are using two different book in our pasta creation today, The Art of Cooking; The First Modern Cookery Book (original text from The Eminent Maestro Martino of Como and translated and annotated/redacted by Jeremy Parzan) for our period recipe and Good Eats Volume 2 for our modern interpretation of the pasta by Alton Brown. The reason we are using Good Eats Vol.2 is because the period recipe for pasta is, well..not there. The cookbook assumes you know how to make and craft your own pasta from scratch and is thus teaching you a new method of cooking with it and fillings. Most cook books that have survived to the modern day are not so much instruction manuals as we would see them today, they're a listing of what each dish was and what went into it. It was assumed that if you could read you were already an intelligent man/woman, and by the time you were working in a royal or noble house you have already learned how to do the basics like making pasta or breads and baked goods or know ow to measure and cut without instruction. This can on occasion make cooking difficult for these medieval recipes, but its a challenge I always love to handle.

We are attempting to make Ravioli for Non-Lenton Times, and using the Sicilian Macaroni recipe of pasta for the ravioli's. The idea will be to make 3 batches, one directly from Good Eats step-by-step and one each for myself and my Baroness to do our best and mix the period ingredients with to make our own blend of pasta. The recipe for the Sicilian Macaroni Pasta that we are using is as follows:

Take some very white flour and make a dough using egg whites and rose water, common water if you wish can substitute as well. Make sure the pasta is very firm.

From there the recipe for Ravioli for non-lenten times follows as such:

To make 10 servings: take a half a libra of aged cheese, and a little fatty cheese and a libra of fatty pork belly or veal teat and boil until it comes apart easily; then chop well and take some good, well-chopped herbs, and pepper, cloves, and ginger; and it would be even better if you added some ground capon breast; incorporate all these things together.Then make a thing sheet of pasta and encase the mixture in the pasta, a for other ravioli. These ravioli should not be any larger than half a chestnut, cook them in a capon broth or good meat broth that you have made yellow with saffron when it boils. Let the Ravioli simmer for the time it takes you to say the Lord's Prayer twice.
Serve in bowls, topped with grated cheese and sweet spices mixed together.

* * * *

OK, the first step is to make the good eats Pasta blend. We're simply following the instructions from Good eats Vol.2, page 12 for those following along at home :). The dough we make is pretty simple, our standard ravioli that I'm pretty happy with. We made two batches of that and have moved onto the rosewater based dough. 2 eggs, teaspoon of olive oil, 1/2 a teaspoon of salt and 3 tablespoons of water was the liquid blend, then 10 ounces of flour was the solid blend.

Oh man...this is very very naughty. The rosewater and egg white combo is an amazing flavor, and its very rich and silky on the tongue. Mmm...I think we're gonna make many more batches... 3 egg whites, 3 pinches of salt, eough rosewater to cover the eggwhites (just a couple teaspoons) were the liquids for this and 11.5 unces of flour (give or take) was our solid blend.

The pasta machine was actually super easy to work with, I was surprised at how well it all worked out. The pasta was rolled out and we added a chicken/bacon/basil/cheese/rosemary spice blend to make the filling for the Ravioli. A small amount was placed inside the center line, we then used an egg wash to bond the two sections of Ravioli out and cut them into squares (nothing fancy today, this is an extperiment day!). The boiling of the pasta was pretty borning actually, put alas. I boiled until the pasta floated to the top and I did in fact say the Lord's Prayer twice as my counting measure.

I'm afraid I don't have any photo's...because I ate them already. They tasted amazing, the ravioli's were spot on and the filling made it oh so yum. Makes me wanna buy a pasta maker now!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A much needed trip

I just got back from Long Nights, an amazing event and a much needed weekend of rest and relaxation. I met several old friends there, I got to spend time with my "family" and even made a few new friends along the way. The weekend was a turbulent one, but always exciting and adventurous.

We arrived onto site later than I would have liked, stupid Google sent me to the wrong campground and I had to backtrack a bit to reach the right one. The new tent set up like a dream, it was very simple and very spacious even with 2 people and all my cooking gear/Art-Sci gear in tow. I went right away after getting dressed to start a fire as I had intended on cooking for my friends that night, frustratingly much of the wood was still fresh and very green. I'll admit that was the low point for me when I struggled with the fire just to get it past the kindling stage. Thankfully Baroness Ceridwen was willing to offer a hand and soon we got the fire piping hot and burning bright.

The rest of the crew arrived not too long after, and just in time as I had managed to get the coals smoking hot. I did a mushroom and onion soup with pasta added, bread provided by Ever and grilled bratwurst with apples and onions. Nice and simple camp food :). I managed to find the Baron of Marcaster and present him with my gift to him in thanks for hosting the event, and he seemed to like it! We found ourselves up in the Feast hall with Crissy, we went about helping her do feast prep. I worked on and finished up my Art/Sci project, being a perfectionist and having tiny panic attacks the whole time, and we all finally found sleep around 12:30am.

My brain tricked me the next morning, it told me that I had turned my alarm clock off and it was time to get up. I sit up, feeling awake and refreshed to find its an hour earlier than I had meant to wake up...damn my brain! On the bright side, I got to enjoy a lovely shower without worrying about a line and was dressed and in the kitchen first thing, doing my best to try and be helpful and get things going. I goofed a bit by trusting instructions on a box instead of experience with the machine, but we all gotta make mistakes sometime right? I relaxed and then headed out to the lyst field where the Art/Sci was being set up to set up my display for my revamped Mylates of Pork.

I had the honor of being judged by two Laurels, one of whom has a distinct reputation of being an amazingly skilled cook. Both gave me tons of great feedback on my project, several individuals complimented me on my project and many recognized it from Baronial Bash and gave me kudo's and compliments on the latest batch. After that I got to spend the whole rest of the day in the Kitchen working on feast. Yay! I rolled up my sleeves, tied on my new red Apron and dived right into the fray.

My first work was the hummus, I made a crap top of that and it was super yummy. I then moved onto the kabobs, spearing the beef sections and having a lovely talk with a gentleman across the way from me who offered to help. We then moved onto dressing chicken breast, trimming the fat and cutting into edible sections. I went to grab the rest of my Art/Sci display when judging was finished, and we wrapped up the veggie kabobs and began to work on plating for the appetizer course. The battles ran late, adn thus Court and Feast would be delayed, so we started the kabob's cooking early so they would not overcook in the warming container. Man, let me tell you that grill was horrid to work with and I burned the hell out of my left hand...but thankfully with the help of two other lovely women we were able to get the kabob's a workin'.

I was deep into the beef kabob's when Ever comes back into the kitchen calling for me. I had apparently been summoned in court by their Excellencies, and everyone was waiting on me. I froze, and instinctively said "no!" I was covered in cooking mess, sleeves wrapped up, hand wrapped up to cool the burn and my other hand was covered in bloody yogurt. Ever gave me a look and said my name again, which means no more arguing so I quickly cleaned my free hand and made the walk up to the thrones. I'll admit I was terrified, as I always am, and my mind completely blanked as to why they had asked for me. I was given both the Crown's Acclaim and the People's Acclaim for my Art/Sci project, something I feel deeply honored to receive.

I admit...I was a bit unnerved with the King's directness. When it was announced that I had been honored with the Crown's Acclaim he very directly said (while staring at me and grinning) "King liked your pie!". He followed it with "Populous liked your pie" when I was honored with the Peoples Acclaim as well.

Feast went amazing, Crissy was phenomenal in the kitchen and a real treat to work with. After Feast I had my helm checked, turns out this helmet I've had for nearly 8 years is actually a legal SCA helm and it just needs some cleaning to be used! Score! Bardic circle after that was wonderful, tons of good song and poems and I did ever so love hearing Garcia's tales of his Highness in the days of yesteryear. I crashed early, exhausted from the day, but not before saying goodbyes and goodnights to many of the lovely folk.

Sadly, Sunday was a day of packing and returning to the present day. I was speaking with Baron Rurik about my helm and how excited I was, and he reminded me of a conversation I had had with him and a lovely older woman so long ago. Her husband had died shortly before I first began to explore the SCA, and she wanted to donate his armor onto a person who would cherish it and put it to good use. We had talked about me possibly picking up the armor from her, but events occurred to lead me away from the SCA until recently. Rurik still had all the old armor, it just needed cleaning and I was more than welcome to inherit it if I so chose to get it from him. I am incredibly touched and honored, and hope to bring honor to the memory of the man who's armor I will soon take into battle for King and Country.

All in all...great weekend :). I've been refreshed and feel inspired, already working on a filk song and a short story to boot!