sarahbyrdd: (Cooking)
Quince enablers strike again. *** because I wanted to use honey I mostly followed this one.

And a little help from Nostradamus.  No really Nostradamus.

Part 2 Chapter XV To make a quince jelly of superb beauty, goodness, flavour and excellence fit to set before a King, and which lasts a good long time.
Take whatever quinces you like, as long as they are fully ripe and yellow.
Cut them up into quarters without peeling them (for those who peel them do not know what they are doing, since the skin enhances the smell), and divide each quarter into five or six pieces.
Remove the seeds, because the fruit will turn into jelly perfectly well without them.
As you are cutting them up, place them in a basin full of water, for unless they are plunged into water the moment they are cut up they will turn black.
Once they are cut up, boil them in a good quantity of water until they are well done, almost to the point of shrivelling up.
When they have boiled thoroughly, strain this liquid through a thick piece of new linen and squeeze the whole preparation through it as hard as you can.
Then take this decoction, and if there are six pounds of it, take one and a half pounds of Madeira sugar and put it into the decoction, and bring it to the boil over a gentle charcoal fire until you see that.
towards the end, it is reducing in volume considerably.
Then damp the fire down, so that it does not burn at the sides -- which would give a bad colour to the jelly.
Then, when it is nearly done, and so as to know when it is done perfectly, take some of it with a spatula or silver spoon and put it on a platter, and if you see that when it has cooled it comes off as a globule, without sticking either here or there, then it is done.
  Take it off the fire and wait for the scum on the top to settle, then pour the still-hot liquid into small wooden or glass containers.
And if you want to write or gouge something on the bottom of the container, you can do so, for it will be seen easily [through the jelly].
For the colour will be as diaphanous as an oriental ruby.
So excellent will the colour be -- and the taste even more so -- that it may be given to sick and healthy alike.

I decided to strip this batch down to the barest ingredients: quince, sweetener, water.  For the jelly I used honey, and for the quince paste I used sugar.

There was no trouble getting the jelly up to 222 as the recipe recommended, and I was a little concerned because it didn't convincingly pass the saucer test, but it seems to be gelling nicely in the jars.

The paste was another matter.  I burnt the bottom in the first pan.  Switched to a second pan.  Managed to get it to touch 200 or so but then it started burning again so I gave up and threw it in a parchment lined baking dish in a 225 oven as suggested by some of the modern recipes I'd seen. Almost 2 hours later it was around 214, which I'm calling good enough, and it's cooling on the window sill.   We'll see how that works out.  Worst case I'll spoon blobs in to jars and it will still taste amazing.
sarahbyrdd: (Cooking)
Having come into a few pounds of quince, I'm trying a few things.

Ratafia inspired by the spices from this site , but the cooked method from this site

1 lb quince chopped, cores and peels (fuzz washed off)
3/4 cup turbinado sugar
2 whole cloves
1 2 inch piece of cinnamon stick
3 grains of paradise (in lieu of white pepper)
1 quart brandy (AppStrawBrandies raisin brandy, made by a local CT guy, which my wine shop recommended for the project).

And also Paste of Genua

To make Paste of Genua, as they doe beyond the Seas

Boile faire yellow Peare-Quinces tender in their skinnes, and so let them stand vntill the next day, till they be colde, then pare them, and scrape all the pulp from the coare, then take as much pulp of yellow Peaches as the pulp of Quinces doth weigh, and dry it vpon a little chafingdish of coales, alwaies stirring it, then boile these pulps in double refined Sugar, and so let it boile, always stirring it vntill it come to a candie height, with as much Rosewater as will melt that Sugar, and put in your pulps, alway stirring it in the boiling, vntill it come from the bottome of the Posnet, then fashion it vpon a pie plate, or a sheete of glasse, some like leaues, some like halfe fruits, and some you may print with moulds, set them into a warme Ouen after the bread is drawne, or into a Stoue, the next day you may turne them, and when the stuffe is through dry, you may box it, and keepe it for all the yeere, but be sure it be through dried before you lay it vp in store.

From John Murrel, A Daily Exercise for Ladies and Gentlewomen, (London: 1617)

I only have one day to play, so I'm going to proceed as for apple sauce (rough chop peel & pips included, cook, food mill), then cook an equal weight of peaches, hit them with the stick blender, and combine and add an equal weight of sugar and a TINY amount of rosewater to avoid it tasting like soap, and cook down until it will set up.  Then dry as for fruit leather:

I can see why the added colorants in period.  It's a rather dull tan color, but the flavor is good.  As I was stirring in the rosewater I was strongly reminded of turkish delight.

Quince, sure has lots of pectin in it.  I could see gel building up on pips that had been left in the sink.

The final weights were: 1 lb. quince mash, 3/4 lb. peach mash, 1 lb. sugar, 1/2 tsp rosewater.

**Two weeks later I cut the paste into pretty bits.  It looks like the top crystalized a bit, and the middle ones are still quite moist though they do hold their shape.


Edit:  After the summer I checked the tin and it had gone to mold.  Oh well.  I'll try again eventually.
sarahbyrdd: (blackwork)
Yesterday I got the rose charted and made a start on the iris (at least thats what I assume it is).  There are so many places that things are fuzzy in both the picture in the book and the photo I found online, that I can tell the charts are going to be a compromise between all the available versions.  So I'll be making an interpretation rather than an "exact" copy of the original.  I'm fine with that. If I can chart the flowers just once and swap colors and orientations when I make the cushion my life will be much easier.  Which, when you think about it, is probably how that set of cushions started out and the variations are all human error/whim.  I may play with a barley twist border, rather than running it on the diagonals, for the sweete bag.

 Also, as I was charting it out it occurred to me that some of those many shades of cream to taupe might have been more pink before 400 years of use faded them.  I may edge more towards the pinks in the seat cushions, though I like the neutrals for the sweete bag.  
sarahbyrdd: (blackwork)
I was fortunate enough to see the "Betwixt Art and Nature" exhibit of English embroidery when it was at the Bard Center in New York. Getting to see all that spectacular embroidery up close and personal was mindblowing. One of the pieces that stood out for me was a seat cushion done in long-arm and regular cross-stitch, the sister to this piece of which I found a picture of on the web (happily, there's also an excellent full page photo of the piece I saw in the exhibit book).

Eventually, I'd like to make a copy of the whole piece for a cushion for the period chair that bytchearse commissioned for me.  But as a intermediate step, I'm going to chart two of the flowers and make (yet another) sweete bag.  I'd like to have that phase of the project done for an entry to this year's St. Eligius competition.  I've already picked out some really fabulous wool-silk blend floss with the help of the kind staff (pushers) at Thistle Needleworks and got advice about availble colorways in needlpoint wool when the time comes to work up the full cushion.  

I'm really happy to find this photo on the web.  Comparing this one with the one in the exhibit book will help me chart in the areas where the stitches are worn or pulled. 

St. Eligius

Nov. 9th, 2011 12:04 pm
sarahbyrdd: (Default)
Having been charged with overseeing the Musician's Salon at St. Eligius I set my mind to providing a flexible framework without making myself too crazy. What I've ultimately decided to do is offer one course for "children's songs" at a scheduled time, and otherwise I'll have different activity packets that people can enjoy whenever.

I. Rounds (sing them!)
II. Selected Middle English Songs (How DO you pronounce that?)
III. Transcription from period source (Take this facsimile and see if you can convert it to modern notation)
IV. Make it Fit: Fit the period lyric to the period tune.

I'll also have a box of random music and books that folks can leaf through, sing through, or ignore as the mood takes them.
sarahbyrdd: (Cornucopia)

1) Double batch of banana bread/muffins made, muffins frozen

2)  Much laundry done

3) Tomatoes canned:


4) Mozzarella has finally been achieved!

5) Finally found the USB cord for my camera, so I can post pictures of things ...

Like my entry for the embroidery challenge at Northern Region.  Any beekeepers (cvirtue, I'm lookin' at you) out there want a nifty little piece (no more than 6" square)?

sarahbyrdd: (St. Cecilia)
1. Where are you camping?
E02 with Clann O'Choda

2. When are you arriving?
First Sunday

3. What cool stuff are you doing?
Not working for lawyers.  Classes, classes, classes!  So many lovely things to do with string, maybe some singing here and there, and getting my name and device submitted. 

4. What's your SCA name?
Lady Sarah Byrd
sarahbyrdd: (St. Cecilia)
I've just gone through the PU class listings, and there are a ton of things I want to take, some to see how other teachers are approaching topics I teach, some to expand my crafty skills.  I understand why people are pissed off about this year's youth policy, but I hope my fun doesn't get spoiled in the process.  :-/


Jun. 21st, 2010 11:01 am
sarahbyrdd: (St. Cecilia)
Projects on my short list not really in an order:

Cut down/sew tick to fit new bed
Block/potato  printed divider curtains for big tent
cover for folding chair
2 pr. simple trousers for middle eastern garb

Organize spare room
- Get shelves to organize spare room

knit lacy scarf with the crazy soft blue alpaca yarn (simple pattern like this
finish chunky sox for kvirtue
line knitted relic bag
knit baby caps with stash yarn

register a device and name

Embroidered favor for bytchearse
New coif of better cloth, embroidered
New partlet of better cloth, embroidered
15th c. front lace gown (for summer)
chemise & hood to go with
Fancy Elizabethan cap (like the one in the userpic!)
Elizabethan ropa

... things getting added all the time.
sarahbyrdd: (operadoc)
1) I am pre-regged for Pennsic.

2) I'm pondering participating in the Known World Choir this year. Not positive I want to deal with the rehearsal process, but I do miss singing the more complex stuff, and in harmony even. I'm waiting to see what the repertoire is before I commit. Or I just may be stealthy until the last minute.

3) I have an evil plan. An evil musical plan. Anyone wanna learn a little tune .... ? *cackle*
sarahbyrdd: (operadoc)
Which period (or close enough) songs do you think should be in the repertoire of the general populace?  I'm thinking something handy for campfire or waiting for feast sing-a-longs, or a jaunty tune for processing onto the battlefield.  Just curious. 
sarahbyrdd: (St. Cecilia)
... about 3" left on my latest pair of socks.
... a kit for a knitted reliquary pouch which will make me learn 2 color knitting, and it's silk! 
... new size 0 dp needles for above project.
... a packet of favors to embroider for Her RH.  I have a stash of seed beads.  They may become involved.
... linen tea towels to be dedicated to the weekly bread making.
... more ideas for embroidered coifs and partlets to spiff up my garb.
... an urge to make some higher class garb, or at least a spanish coat to go over what I have.
... and hat lust.  So many good hats!  I want the one in my user pic.
... ideas about joining the A&S 50 Challenge. 
... a little bit of a sniffle. 

Also, the batch of proto-yogurt that I left on top of the fridge (rather than tucking into the turned off oven) turned out just fine.  Tonight I'll test the consistency and see if I want to strain it a bit. 
sarahbyrdd: (St. Cecilia)

And seems to be a good discussion of layout for marginalia.

EDIT:  Link is fixed! 

sarahbyrdd: (Pennsic)

I'm back from summer camp Pennsic.  A good time was had, despite the rain and squeltchy mud.  More to follow, but I just wanted to say hey to everyone who's not there for War Week.
sarahbyrdd: (Default)

At Glen Linn there was an embroidery challenge.  They supplied the basic pattern and materials and we had until 4pm on Saturday to complete them.  I was happy as a clam, and quite pleased with my first experiment with blackwork on linen (or something like it).  Having a hoop would have made for more even work, but I'm happy with the result.  So were the judges, I got an honorable mention! :-)

sarahbyrdd: (Default)


BTW, I love the Morgan Library.  I consider it one of the must sees in NYC, and much more managable than the Met.  



Pages of Gold: Medieval Illuminations from the Morgan
June 19 through September 13, 2009

Scenes from the Life of David, leaf from the Winchester Bible, illuminated by the Master of the Morgan Leaf. England, Winchester, Cathedral Priory of St. Swithin, ca. 1160-80. Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1912; MS M.619v.

See selected images from the exhibition »

This exhibition comprises approximately fifty lavish single leaves, dating from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries. Pierpont Morgan, the preeminent collector of complete medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, also acquired single pages as did many collectors who developed an appreciation for these orphaned leaves during the nineteenth century. Leaves acquired over the last hundred years, including those of Italian, English, French, Flemish, German, Hungarian, and Spanish origin, are being shown. A dozen of these leaves are on view for the first time.


Jun. 10th, 2009 07:46 am
sarahbyrdd: (Pennsic)
Thanks to CDs picked up at the O'Choda tag sale this past weekend and a little bit of iTunes, I now have a respectable playlist of the music we're using for the Whyt Whey: A Caroling We Will Go event.  I'll be off to dance practice tonight to check out the dance steps and consequently get an idea of what sane tempi might be, and it may be vaguely possible that I'll have most of the music crammed into my head to teach at Sing Thing on Thursday.  I do want to make translations of the few songs that are in Latin and French so we can have A Clue what we're singing about, and I'm also trying to line up a few ringers for the event to help the attendees feel more solid.
sarahbyrdd: (Default)

A test Monmouth cap to be exact.  Plenty of mistakes in it but I want to plunk it on the head of it's eventual wearer to see how it fits before I start working on the real thing and unravel the test.  Lots of good stuff learned in the process:  casting on, knitting in the round, using double pointed needles, 2 kinds of reducing, and I-cord. 

It was FUN, and went relatively quickly ... hmmm ... it may be a very cappy Christmas...

Yes, [info]zwischenny, I am now well on my way to being a Yarn-ho ...

sarahbyrdd: (Default)
But otherwise, despite the rain, the Ft. Tryon Medieval Festival was enjoyable.  It was surprising how many people were out even with the rain.  I was glad I thought to bring my folding chair so I had a place to sit and do some more work on attempt #2 of naalbinded mitten.  Mostly I just hung out, did fiddly things with yarn, and led a sing while you knit (or whatever) for about an hour.  Taught a few songs, learned a few songs, and generally had a good time.  With all the humidity my 22-year-old houpalandish thing stretched a bit and the hem was hitting the ground by the end of the afternoon, more elegant than the ankle length that it had shrunk to over the years, but I'd been hoping to avoid a muddy hem.  *snortle* I have garb that could have graduated from college.  Is that even possible?

THEN it was off to Forest Hills for temple rehearsal.  Overall a good rehearsal, I'm feeling pretty solid on most of the music, for a change, and can really give some attention to getting the Hebrew out (or at least the mangled version of it that I see in the translitteration).  The trains were VERY slow getting home though, and that made for a very late night.  I'm seriously considering a carservice tonight so I can get home at a semi-reasonable hour, especially as I have to be back out in Queens for the morning service by 9am on Tuesday.  Whee!
sarahbyrdd: (Default)
A weekend on news media and cellphone blackout, cooking, drinking, doing fiddly things with yarn, and generally having a good time amidst the leafy woods is a lovely antidote for stressful current events and family issues.  I guess what they say about having hobbies helping with stress levels is true.  :-)


sarahbyrdd: (Default)

October 2016



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