Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Spies Guild: Of Rumor and Hearsay

This is another worldbuilder fluff I've written for a game setting I'm writing with friends:

* * *

The Spies Guild: Of Rumor and Hearsay.


Of all the Guilds formed during the Venice Proclamation, none have the air of mystery and secrecy as the Spies Guild. No other member of the Underground can say for sure what it is they do, or who they are. Removing themselves from history and from the greater politics of the ages, they have cultivated a sense of power just from the unknown goals and elements within.

What little facts available mostly stem from the signing of the Venice Proclamation. Those who would become the Spies Guild did not band together under a common allegiance or bond like many others, the original Spies Guild was hand selected by a Chinese man names Han Xi. While the other Guilds spent time drafting themes, building power bases and joining in families, Han Xi moved amongst the Others gathered in Venice and selected individually those who would join his cause.

Understanding the need for a neutral party who's sole purpose was the protection of their race, Han Xi selected Others like himself who had the abilities to move invisibly through the world and find the enemies of their people and to kill without mercy. Those who could hypnotize, hide in plain sight, walk without a side, expert marksmanship and could even read minds were all selected. Those who would unite under Han Xi's leadership joined the ranks, willingly giving up their identity for the cause.

When the Guilds moved to sign the Venice Proclamation, the Spies Guild stood as one. Each had donned uniform clothing, each wore a white Venician mask hiding their face, and none spoke but Han Xi. He stated their purpose and goal was to protect the Underground not just from the enemies of the Inquisition, but from the enemies within the very Guild ranks. He swore, on behalf of his Guild, to remain neutral and stay out of politics. That they would oversee the protection of the Council, and that they would only act in the interest of the Underground. Han xi then signed on behalf of his people, then they walked silently out and away from the hall.

From that point on, the Spies Guild has moved at the edge of legend and fact. Dispersing across the world, they did their work in secret. Later changing their identities from the faceless legion to Mr. John Smith and Mrs. Jane Doe, they move in secret above ground and below to stop any threats to the existence of their race.

Rumors -

"I don't care what they say, there are more than 2 of them. Yeah, you only ever seen Mr. Smith or Mrs. Doe, but too many times they've been spotted as different skin tones and ages. Ya don't magically turn black, Mr. Smith! Why ya hiding how many there are?"

- Jackie Garlie, Oracle's Guild

"From what I was told by my padre, the existence of our race is the most important thing to them. That because the Inquisition is dead and gone, they've set up a breeding program. Apparently they got orders to fuck and knock up as many as they can, to keep making more of them. And you know the number of times you've banged a chica and then suddenly she disappeared never to be heard from again? Maybe they're breedin' us to, man."

- Reggie Al-Deli, Medium's Guild

"These guys? Following a bunch of rules and ancient bullshit for things that aren't real anymore. They do regular virgin sacrifices to Chinese Gods and Goddesses for what? I ain't ever seen them do shit, and all their magic hocus pokus is just to pull the wool over our eyes as they keep us enslaved. They're the real guys in charge, and we're the puppets."

- Bennie Two-Pence, Fortune's Guild

"I don't know much about them, except whenever Mr. Smith has been around there's trouble. Like a hurricane he is, when you see him fucking run for the nearest bolt hole and hide. They say they keep the monsters at bay, that they're behind the removal of AI because some got loose. Now the computer is our new enemy, and the Spies hunt them."

- Jill V., Orphans Guild

"We don't forget their oath, and neither have they. I pray you never given the cause to visit you, your life will never be the same."

- Brandon McLeason, Immortals Guild

"Fire and rage, lightning and storm. I can taste death in their shadow, regret in their smile and hope in their steps. They hide from everyone, including themselves, who they are. They suffer, so that we shall not suffer as they. They've divorced themselves from us so far, I've heard they all operate from an orbiting station. Maybe that explains why they feel so distant, and so sad."

- Jeremiah Hills, Empaths Guild

"Fuck them. You wanna know the face of the Inquisition today? Don't look any farther than Mr. Smith. People disappear all the time, whole cells and undercities suddenly collapse when they get involved. Never trust them."

- Francis Dearheart, Charmers Guild

"Hmmph. I see dozens of them, on a regular basis. Two my ass. And I don't know what they keep fighting, but it has big teeth and nasty claws. And bullets, lots and lots of bullets. as for what they do, I heard they recruit folk from other Guilds. Take away their minds, personalities and make them another drone to throw at the enemy."

- Dr. Gail Maris, Physicians Guild

"I don't care where they come from, I don't care what they are or who they are. They are angels, a godsend. I thought they were coming for me, I thought those bastards who have taken the mantle of Inquisition had me, then Mr. Smith and Mrs. Doe arrived. Saved my skin, they were throwing fucking fire from their hands! Angels, I tell you."

- XxGaleHazzardxX, Cyberpath Guild

Monday, August 20, 2012

Class handouts Pt. 2

This is the handout for the second class I taught this year at Res Festivus. This one I put together last minute to fill a hole in the schedule, I was pretty happy with it and it was well attended! I ad a few people take my email address to ask further questions, and ended up inspiring one of my friends to enter A/S for the first time!

* * *

Feast with the King
Why they ate certain foods at feasts, what they ate at feasts, and how we haven’t changed!
A class written and taught by Christoffer Koch

So, what exactly did they eat back then?

. Some food eaten in the Middle Ages is similar to the food eaten today all across Europe. People ate what the land provided, what livestock could be raised and what spices could be added.

. Food that could be kept for long term was used regularly, such as grains or certain types of vegetables. Meat was of course important to the diet, stored with a variety of methods if not prepared fresh. Since most major towns were close enough to a major waterway for trade, fish and other water-based life were also an important staple. When food would become scarce, wild plants and herbs would be used to help supplement diets.

. Spices, herbs and other types of supplements to the main dish were added regularly. Salt, garlic and sugar were important staples of the diet (though not the only ones ever used!)

Medieval Food, why was it so heavily spiced?!

. In the Middle Ages, we did not have medicine as it is known today. You wouldn’t take vitamin pills to get Vitamin C, or drink cough syrup to help with a cold. Yet the same problems persist, sickness and a lack of well health. So the people of the Middle Ages found ways to get the health benefits needed!

. Herbal knowledge, the basics of what plants and herbs/spices provided what, was common knowledge for the people of the Middle Ages. Chefs for noble households would be more than simply well-versed, and would incorporate health benefitting items into each dish.

. Certain spices, herbs and foods were known to have health benefits. Eating these items or drinking them in teas would provide the person with the beneficial bonuses.

We clearly don’t eat like that anymore, right?

. So not true! Many dishes and foods they ate in the Middle Ages we continue to eat today.

. The types of meats available haven’t changed, and many of the spices we still use today were available for the chefs as well. We can mass produce most of the vegetables and fruits nowadays, but they were available to our ancestors just as frequently as ours.

. Just like they did, we use a variety of spices for our meats and foods to change the flavor and tastes. Would you be happy with eating plain/boring pork chops for 5 days straight?

. Many whole dishes we eat today hail from the Middle Ages! The following food dishes are all period documented and eaten in that day and age as well as today:
. Funnel Cake
. Scrambled Eggs
. Chicken Noodle Soup
. Mac ‘n’ Cheese
. Hot Dogs
. Cheesecake
. Shortbread cookies
. Roasted Chicken
. Apple Pie
. Spaghetti and Meatballs
. Honey Mustard
And many more...

Some useful recipes.

. Tostees Dorees

Basically French Toast, an old idea that turns up in numerous cookery texts. This is how the
Viandierlviii (#198) describes them. The translation is Scully's:

Pour faire Tostees dorees, prenez du pain blanc dur et le trenchiez par tostees quarees et les
rostir ung pou sur le grail; et avoir moyeulx d'oeufz batuz et les envelopez tres bien dedans
iceulx moyeulx; et avoir de bon sain chault et les dorer dedans sur le feu tant qu'elles soient
belles et puis les oster dedans la paelle et mettez es platz, et du succre dessus.

To make glazed toast, slice hard white bread into squares for toast, and roast them lightly on
the grill, and coat them completely with beaten egg yolks; get good hot grease and glaze them
in it on the fire until they are properly glazed; then take them out of the pan and put them on
plates, with sugar over top.

6 slices dry white bread
6 egg yolks (or 2 whole eggs)
oil or butter

Remove the crust from the bread slices and, if they are not sufficiently dry, lightly toast them before the fire. Beat the egg yolks. Heat a little oil or butter in a pan, soak the toast slices in the egg and fry them golden brown on both sides. Serve warm, with sugar sprinkled over the top. This can also be served with savoury soups, leaving out the sugar.

. Funnelcakes

Rumpoldtlvii describes a tasty kind of fritter that has an additional benefit: Its preparation is showy and entertaining.

Mach ein Teig mit guter Milch / schlag drei oder vier Eyer darein / und ruer jn wol glat
an / mach Loecher durch ein Hafen / der nicht groß ist / geuß den Teig darein / und halt
ein Teller unten auff den Boden / daß der Teig nicht heraus rinnet / daß du es kanst
kreutzweiß in heisse Butter eynziehen / zeuchs nicht zu dick eyn / daß es kann außbacken /
bestraew es mit Zucker / unnd gibs kalt oder warm auff ein Tisch / so ist es ein gut
Strauben Gebackens.

Make a batter of good milk, break three or four eggs into it and stir it until it is nice and
smooth. Make holes into a pot that is not too large, pour the batter into it and hold a plate
against the bottom so it does not run out. You can pour it crosswise into hot butter. Do not
pour it on too thick so that it can bake. Sprinkle it with sugar and serve it warm or cold.
These are good fritters.

1 1/2 cups milk
3 eggs
1-2 cups flour

Beat the eggs with the milk and a pinch of salt until combined. Stir in flour by the tablespoonful
until a thick but still runny batter results. Heat plenty of oil or fat in a pan and pour the batter into it
in a thin stream. You can make circles or figures if you like. Once the fritters begin to brown and
harden, carefully turn them over with two spatulas or spoons. Drain on paper towels and serve
warm, dusted with sugar.

. Chicken Boiled with Herbs

While most chicken recipes tend to involve either pastries or complex cooking methods, the early fourteenth-century Omnia Cibariaxiv (II.5) preserves instructions for a simple mode of preparation:

Pullus in aqua dequoquendus hoc modo preparatur: accipitur pullus integer, et in potto
dequoquitur cum saluia, ysopo, aut petrosillo non inciso, per horam. Post, imponitur de
uino albo uel agresta, et sic administratur.

Chicken to be cooked in water is prepared thus: You take a whole chicken and cook it in a pot
with sage, hyssop or parsley, not cut up, for an hour. Afterwards, put in white wine or
verjuice and thus serve it.

1 chicken
1 bunch parsley
white wine or verjuice

Bring lightly salted water to a boil in a large pot and put in the chicken together with the herbs.
Gently cook till done. It is better to overcook than undercook, and if you are worried about the bird
falling apart, you can tie it up with string before throwing it in. This will also make removing it
easier. A dash of vinegar or wine added before serving lends it a bit of zest. If you wish, you can
also quickly brown the cooked chicken over the fire before it goes on the table. Parboiling birds
before roasting was a common thing to do.

Resources used:

. The Medieval Kitchen: recipes from France and Italy by Odile Redon, Francoise Sabban, and Silvano Serventi
. Plain Fare: A Period Camp Cookbook; A collection of simple, documented recipes for cooking in camp from the Kingdom of Drachenwald by Giano Balestriere (Volker Bach)
. The Forme of Cury by Samuel Pegge

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Class hand-out Pt. 1

So...I got to teach my first 2 classes at an event this weekend! Res Festivus was a phenomenal event (write-up on it later), and with the exception of one or two minor sad points an overall great time. It was even betetr because I got to teach classes for the first time!

This first hand-out was for my first class. It was a small class, only four people, but it was an early morning class with a lot of people late to the event so I try not to be discouraged :). This one I'm rather happy with, and wanna share it with you!

* * *

14th Century Feasts
How, where and why they ate feasts in Europe, and simple ways to re-create for an SCA meal.
A class written and taught by Christoffer Koch

Why did most nobility eat feasts the same way?

. 14th Century Europe is a time of change, a tipping point in history. Three cultures fought for dominance in Europe: England, France and the remains of the Holy Roman Empire.

. Each culture attempted to become the superior force amongst the people and to sway members of each kingdom to their side or the other, at the same time they couldn’t stray too far to make them uncomfortable.

. As a result, in the 14th century there was a uniform understanding of morals and civility on many topics. One could travel across much of Europe and be able to dine and follow the feasting customs correctly.

Where would they have eaten a feast?

. Each dwelling, be it grand castle or simple shack, had a central location that would have been used for eating meals. Often times in a peasant's home it was an all-purpose location, while in a landed nobles manor a separate room would have been set aside just for feasting.

. The feasting hall for the nobility would have been in a central location of the manor, for ease of access for both guests and servants. It would have been well lit, well ventilated and kept temperature controlled by large hearths and open windows.

. As some middle age feasts would have gone on for an entire day, the room was decorated to the taste of the noble.

Why would they have eaten a feast?

. Feasts would have been eaten for many things: celebration, holidays and affairs of state.

. Nobles would hold feasts to celebrate any number of things. Weddings, birthdays, etc.

. Many nobles would throw feasts to celebrate not just secular holidays, but religious ones as well. Celebrating feast days of saints, doing feasts for Lent or other religious situations and in honor of new Bishops/Archbishops in an area.
. Many nobles would host others from various countries across Europe. These would be to cement political alliances, formalize trade agreements, make alliances for joint ventures or any other number of things. Feasts would be thrown in honor of celebrated guests, not only to show them respect and honor but as well to show off strength and personal wealth.

How did they eat feasts?

. Like much of their lives, feasts in the 14th century were steeped in tradition and cultural behaviors.

. On the day of a feast, the hall would be arranged to seat the number of guests. Tables would be set out in a U pattern, allowing all to sit on the outside and see any entertainment provided. The High Table would be at the center point of the U, raised up, and the noble and his invited peers would be sitting on chairs. The rest of the feast would sit on benches.

. Your seating placement to the noble determined your rank of precedence, the more important you were in the kingdom and eyes of the noble the closer you sat to him. Ladies, as they shared the title of their husbands, would sit with their husbands unless otherwise issues arose.

. Upon entering, a guest would see the table set for them. Linen clothes for tableclothes were laid across the bare tables, a surnap (cloth for drying hands) and spoon was placed for each guest (if able) and a goblet would be set for guests to share between partners. Bowls would be set down if the food of the day called for them, or they were brought out when served.

. After the guests were all seated an elaborate washing ceremony took place, during which the water was strained and tasted before the noble might use it to wash. Hand washing was an important ritual and was done between each course.

. Being that religion was a key important factor in meals, a prayer would be issued after the hand washing and before the meal begins.

. Food was delivered out on pieces of bread called a trencher. This is a hardened piece of bread, the top removed with a straight knife to turn it into a platter or bowl. Many trenchers were made several days in advance for the bread to sufficiently hardened to act as a platter and plate. Trenchers would also be made out of ceramics or stylized wood, but this was rare.

. Trenchers not only acted as a food platter for the feast, but meals for the servants after!

. A note, large platters and plates did exist in period. Being that your average noble did not have enough for a 200-1000 person feast, they were rarely used.

. Guests were expected to share with their partner, often times their spouse but sometimes others. Reaching over was considered rude, as was double-dipping or taking too much and making a mess.

. Good manners were expected, of both the servants and the guests. Servants were not to remove a trencher until the guests motioned for it to be removed, glasses should not be refilled unless it requested. Guests were expected not to suck on their fingers, as these were the main methods of retrieving food, and it was frowned upon to horde or take more choice pieces of a meal without offering it to your partner first.

. Many different specialized servers would serve a feast. Your average server would bring out the platters of food for which the guests would take pieces off of and eat. Specialized servers trained in the art and protocol would handle the hand washing/tasting. Another specific server would bring out the salt from the cellar and place it for those needing it. Specifically trained male carvers would cut and portion the meat. Designated servers would only handle the liquid pouring, and others would be assigned clean-up of any meal pieces that needed to be removed.

How can we replicate this period feast style for our SCA feast style?

. Some things will be easy to replicate, some will require several people to work together. Your best bet is to grab your friends and get a table together to enjoy the experience as a group!

. Table decoration is simple, a white linen or simple plain white table cloth will do. A salt cellar, sometimes called a nef, is a dish or container that holds salt and would have been placed on a table as well. I recommend a glass dish or glass shaker if possible.

. Do your best to eat in period! Avoid forks (unless your persona is Italian), use only a spoon and a knife. Use your right hand to eat with, and your left keep reserved for other tasks you may need.

. A simple wooden or glass bowl can be filled with fresh water and used to wash hands before and between meals. If you can get a server who wants to play along, have them sample the water and pass around the bowl for you!

. Seat yourselves according to order of precedence. Find the highest ranking member of your table and make him or her the center. Starting from their right, have everyone at your table sit in order of precedence after that. If you’re able to have a server who wants o play along, have them serve you in that same order!

. A small prayer before the meal was period, designate someone to say one for your table in the style of their persona!

. Trenchers are easy to make, even if you don’t bake bread! Go to your local grocery store, and purchase a bread loaf on average 4-6 inch wide and no longer than a foot. Let it sit out and harden for 24-48 hours, cut and remove the top to flatten it (or slightly hollow to store items inside) and tada!

Texts used for research -

. The Medieval Kitchen: recipes from France and Italy by Odile Redon, Francoise Sabban and Silvano Serventi

. To the King’s Taste by Lorna J. Sass

. Food and Feast in Medieval England by Peter Hammond

Friday, August 17, 2012

My first ever writing gig

A long time ago, in the yesteryear of 2003, I was an avid writer and pursued it with a passion. I wanted to make a life of writing, and submitted my writings wherever I thought I could get them published. Most were deadends, but one publication actually wanted to publish a poem of mine.

I'm still proud of this poem, for the achievement it represents. I was paid 50 dollars to publish this poem, and I look back on it fondly as a spark that has caused me to continue to create. Yes, I wrote it while in high school so it's only so good...but I'm still proud of it.


A soft low note plays into the darkness
Echoing and filling the void
A higher pitched vibrato soon accompanies it
Smoothing out to provide a mellow chord
The forte-piano slowly grows into a fortissimo
Note move together, melody and countermelody
Each moving to fulfill a need; a desire
An occasional wrong note jars the phrase
Off beats and accents standing out of the hum
Soon they both move together, blending perfectly
Each anticipating the others crescendos and dynamics
The music comes to a bursting point of sound
Exploding forth in a tidal wave of ecstasy
Finally a rest is written
And then it slows to a legato
Then she says the words

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cooking Time - Who Doesn't Love Cake?!

I'm a big fan of inspiration, often I'll find a blog or cookbook that has an item which I cannot HELP but make. I've been playing around with a good number of various food items that I haven't blogged about, but I couldn't help but include this recipe onto my blog for future uses.

I found the recipe after viewing a link posted up by Mistress Madhavi, it's a fun cooking blog and the direct link can be found here: (http://adventurescooking.blogspot.com/2012/08/cardamom-brown-sugar-cake-with-fresh.html). The dish is called Cardamom Brown Sugar Cake with Fresh Cherries and Rose Cream, I've decided to give it the nickname of Fresh Cake for short. Everything about this dish just tastes fresh and clean, the cake has a dense but creamy texture to the tongue and the rose cream serves to heighten the feeling of refreshment and enjoyment. The fresh cherries are just the topping of it, I loved the taste but will be experimenting with various other fresh fruit berries to see if I can get a similar taste.

I did some minor ingredient changes from the original, here's my list and instructions for baking this yummy Fresh Cake!

Cardamom Brown Sugar Cake
Fresh Cherries, pitted and cut in half (except for two for a garnish)
4 Large Eggs
2 and 1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 and 1/2 Cups Brown Sugar, packed
1 Cup Butter, softened
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
3/4 Cup Whole Milk
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Cardamom
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
Rose Whipped Cream
2 Cups Cream
2 Tablespoons Powdered Sugar
1/2 to 1 Tablespoon Rose Water
1)  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure your oven is clean, unless you wan a strange smell on your cake!
2) Beat the cream and rose water until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until use.
3) In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, and cardamom until blended then set it aside.
4)  Cream together the brown sugar, granulated sugar and the butter in a large bowl. Make sure no patches of bare sugar remain.
5) Add the eggs, one at a time, until completely combined into the sugar and butter mixture.
6) Alternate between adding the flour mixture and the milk until both are fully incorporated and a smooth batter forms.
7)  Evenly distribute the batter between 2 well-greased and lightly floured 8-inch and 2 well-greased and lightly floured 5-inch cake pans. I used 2 9-inch and 2 4-inch myself, and it distributed just fine :)
8) Place the pans in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove the cake from the pans and allow it to cool.
9) Cut and pit your cherries, cherry juice can stain easily so be careful! I used the cooled cakes to measure out the number of cherries needed, placing them on top in the circular pattern to ensure te right amount was covered.
10) Once the cake has completely cooled, ice the cake layers with the whipping cream and layer the halved cherries between each layer. You can also ice the outside of the cake with the whipped cream, or leave the sides bare. Garnish the top with the two remaining whole cherries.

Some of the changes I made to the recipe changed the cake a bit on how it came out:

. By adding more rosewater than originally suggested, I got a stronger (but better imo) flavor of rose from the cream. It also made the cream a bit thinner, which was a bit frustrating so spread thinly!
. I used extra cherries....because. They were yummy, and a great addition ;)
. The freshly ground cardamom had a fresher taste, nicer smell and gave the cake an additional fresh taste! Go for it over the pre-ground whenever you can.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A new way to do fiction

I couldn't sleep at all last night, and felt inspired to create. I like to both thank and blame my muse for this.

Jadrek, a character I'm writing for a new game, is different. He doesn't speak to me like the others did, its not in a conversation but in snapshots. Like I'm flipping through a scrapbook and looking at snippets of his memories and mindset. Its new, and fun.

I felt inspired to write for him a bit, I decided to do it in a PowerPoint format on Google docs. My first experience with this, so sorry its kinda shoddy. It felt strong to me though.

Still trying to figure out how to sync music and video up, so here are 2 separate links until I can match them:



Have the music start at the 0:03 mark to sync up with the slideshow.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Birthday wishlit of DOOM!

 Not my usual style of post to this blog, but the best way to get this cross-posted so people will not bug me with questions :p

As is tradition, I like to provide a Brithday wishlist for all of those people who inquire or wish to do any gift-giving towards me this upcoming birth celebration time. Do I expect anyone to ever get me anything? Not really, but there are a number of people who do inquire as to what to get me so I try and make my options varied and wide.


. XBox 360
. PS3
. Nintendo 3DS
. New Laptop battery
. Blackberry Cellphone Charger
. World of Warcraft game-time cards
. iPad 2
. iPod Touch
. Skylander (PS3)
. External drive
. Flash drive


. White tee-shirts (large)
. Khaki shorts (36 waist)
. Socks!
. Fabric for making clothing with (white, blue, red, brown, green and black preferred)
. Elbow pads
. Catcher greeves
. Leather boots (preferably in a 14th century style)


. Mage: The Awakening Minds Eye Theater addition
. Banisher (Mage: the Awakening supplement book)
. Wolfheart
. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (hardback)
. Take A Thousand Eggs or More
. Stormrage
. Jaina Proudmoore: Tides of War


. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger tides (Blu-ray)
. Lord of the Rings Extended edition: Fellowship of the Ring (Blu-ray)
. Howl's Moving Castle (Blu-ray)
. Troll Hunter (Blu-ray)
. The Lion King (Blu-ray)
. Captain America; The First Avenger (Blu-ray)
. Thor (Blu-ray)
. Marble Hornets season 1 (DVD)
. Marble Hornets season 2 (DVD)


. Basic weight lifting set
. Decks of playing cards
. Saffron
. Grains of Paradise
. Cubeb
. Kiddie pool (big plastic inflatable one)
. Potting soil
. Onion, Green pepper, basil, rosemary or sage seeds
. Camping lantern
. Fire pit
. Razors
. Gift cards to Wal-Mart, Target, Lowes, Home Depot, Books-a-Million, Michaels or Jo-Anne's
. Ticket to Ride (board game)
. Honey (by the gallon)
. 1 gallon carboys
. Surgical tubing
. corks (for bottling of booze)
. surgical clamps
. fermentation locks


Sometimes, you just need to get lost on purpose.

I've needed a recharge for a while, and I've always felt at peace and at home in the woods. I feel comfortable, safe and at home when I go wanderings. Sometimes I find a spot, sit in the dirt under a large oak and just read whatever book I brought with me while eating a sandwich.

Needing this release, this sensation I decided to go get myself lost in the woods before work. I took my camera, a bottle of water, a sandwich and just went down a nature trail near my house. When I found an animal rail, I got off the beaten path and just walked around in the woods for a while soaking it all in. I took a whole bunch of pictures, but one particularly called to me so I'm posting it here as well.

I don't know why this picture calls to me, but it does. Its a beautiful tree, I walked up to it and just touched the trunk and felt relaxed. The moss swayed in the breeze of the oncoming storm, ad though clearly damaged and bent it still grew tall ad thrives.

So yeah, feeling better.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Two possible feast menu's

For the upcoming event when I get to cook for, I must plan out a menu and what foods to serve the populous. I'm torn between 2 options, and well be sitting down with the Autocrat and my teacher at the next event to get opinions on which of the two. I'm going with a German theme of camp cooking, so almost every dish can be traced from that region. But for you faithful readers, you all can get a sneak peek!

Menu #1 - The Carnivore

This menu is selected with the carnivore in mind. It's based around the Paleo diet (the diet my soon-to-be King is on) and is meat heavy as well as trying to use only foods that can be obtained in the wild/not based around agriculture


Eggs (scrambled with/without mess) - A mess is a wild assortment of items, what was on hand. So I'd offer eggs plain or with onions/mushrooms blended in.
Bacon - I would prefer cured ham steaks, but bacon is most likely cheaper
Apple slices


Cold cut sandwiches - Ham or chicken, served on a small roll with mustards and fresh cut onion rings
Pickle spear


Beverage choices -

. Water
. Tea (sweetened and nonsweetened)
. Lemonade (not period, but popular)

First Course -
. Bread and butter (spiced and plain)
. Wild Salad

Second Course -
. Mushroom and Onion Soup
. Sausage in an Apple and Onion sauce

Third Course -
. Barbequed Carbonadoes (various meat selections BBQ'd and spiced)
. Shiraziyya

Fourth Course -
. Funnelcake (oh yes, funnelcake is period)
. Sweetened Fruit
. Strawberry Puree

Menu #2 - The Well Balanced

This menu straddles the line. It doesn't favor anyone's particular dietary restrictions/choices, and is just full of things I find yummy!


Eggs (scambled, plain or messed or with cheese!)
Glazed Toaste
Cinnamon Oatmeal


Cold cut sandwiches - Ham or chicken, served on a small roll with mustards and fresh cut onion rings
Pickle spear


Beverage choices -

. Water
. Tea (sweetened and nonsweetened)
. Lemonade (not period, but popular)

First Course - 

. Bread and butter (honey, spiced, plain)
. Apple slices

Second Course -

. Mushroom Onion Soup
. Meatballs with a cherry sauce

Third Course -

. Pasta with Saffron and Mace
. Barbequed Carbonadoes (various meat selections BBQ'd and spiced)

Fourth Course -

. Funnelcake
. Bacon-wrapped dates