montjoye: (Default)
( Apr. 20th, 2017 02:08 pm)
The cabbage dish from the last night of festival 2017 that Katherina was surprised to actually like. The quantities are really flexible. We eat a lot of cabbage at festival because it keeps so well. Apples do too of course.

1T butter
~150-200g salt pork cut into lardons (can use bacon)
~8 Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped (leave the peel on)
~3/4 cabbage, coarsely chopped
~1t caraway seed, ground at least a bit
~1t fresh ground black pepper
1c white wine (could use cider I suppose, or even beer, but we drank all of that)

Melt butter in a large pot (this was done in one of our "tiny"s)
Fry salt pork until it browns and the fat runs
Add chopped veg and spices, stir to coat
Add the wine. Cook at about medium heat, stirring regularly until the veg are cooked through. I prefer it quite well cooked but you can stop whenever you prefer.
montjoye: (Default)
( Apr. 20th, 2017 09:52 am)
Mushroom rice as made on the last night of festival. It worked even better than I hoped. Tasty. Of course it can be scaled down for a smaller version. One can also substitute like crazy. The important thing is the rice to liquid ratio. It's gluten free. Leaving out the cheese and substituting olive oil for butter would make it dairy free too and still yummy.

~30g dried porcini mushrooms (the magic ingredient for this)
5-6 large field mushrooms roughly diced
2T butter
1c white wine
5c basmati rice
7.5c water, including porcini stock
2 chicken stock cubes (replacing the non porcini water with real stock would be better, but these keep for last night of festival)
a goodly handful of thyme leaves
~1t freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste
~200g hard cheese, grated or fairly finely chopped.

Soak porcini in enough hot water to cover for half an hour or so. Fish them out and chop them up. Save the soaking water!

Melt butter in a large pan (one of our tinys)
Saute all mushrooms until mostly cooked.
Add wine, then rice and spices, stir to coat the rice.
Add the porcini stock/water. Stir. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer (lid on) for 15min. Stir and check that the rice is cooked. If not, leave a bit longer, adding a little hot water if it seems to need it, we are aiming for quite a dry finish though. Check if more salt is needed. Stir in cheese.
montjoye: (Default)
( Apr. 5th, 2017 10:57 am)


Macaroons (based on verbal instructions from Mistress Elspeth):
3 egg whites
300g almond meal
300g sugar
mix, roll to balls on baking paper, bake ~25min at 150C or until lightly browned.

They seemed pale to me, then I realised that the last two years I have included some roast hazelnut meal. That would explain the colour difference! The hazelnut version is more effort though because I make my own meal, and I'm recovering from lurgy so that was deemed too hard this year.


The biscotti recipe I used is the same as last year, but not GF this time. Based on a "traditional" italian one, and not far distant from the medjeeval one, but less fatty, no cream or butter and with the sugar in the mix rather than used as a This year the mix wouldn't come together without extra liquid, hence the alcohol and water/juice additions.

My changes:
Made up in two halves, no vanilla

One half add:
1/2t aniseed, crushed and mixed with the dry ingredients
1/2 cup unblanched almonds, coarsely chopped and toasted in the oven
1t vodka
water to bring together

Other half :
finely grated rind of half an orange
1/2t ground coriander
1/t grand marnier
juice 1/2 orange to bring together
(I wanted some alternate flavour for those who don't like aniseed and R had already planned a sweet with rose water. R tells me she has evidence for coriander being used in biskit in our time frame)

Of course, now I'm worried there isn't enough. Sensibly, I think there is. It's the hind brain that wants more on hand. The macaroons are 2 and a half each for a dessert, hopefully to go with fluffy lemon cheese. The biscotti are meant for a lunch. There is one of each flavour per person plus a bunch spare. I could make a batch of different macaroons for spare if I have time?

The anise ones could use more anise. They tasted lovely but no noticeable anise flavour. Quanities were fine.SaveSaveSaveSave
montjoye: (Default)
( Mar. 30th, 2017 03:51 pm)
An alternative red meat sauce, or my answer to the price of zucchinis in winter :-).


1kg beef/pork mince browned in olive oil
3 small/med carrots grated
1 200g turnip grated
6 leaves savoy cabbage shredded
two parsley blocks
4T sweet paprika
2t smoked paprika
1cup tomato paste
330ml ale/beer
1/2t salt
1t fresh ground black pepper
water to not quite cover.

Bring all to boil, then down to a slow simmer for a few (I aim for 3) hours. Cook uncovered for the last hour if needed to reduce the liquid. Adjust seasoning to taste

It's great served with sour cream and cheese over rice, pasta, or potatoes. Or eaten as a dip dinner with corn chips. Or one can have two lots of cabbage and serve it with coleslaw. Or... whatever you like really.

montjoye: (Default)
( Mar. 9th, 2017 12:51 pm)
Festival salt meats are in their cures. It's 5 weeks to game on.

730g eye fillet (after trimming). This is my standard recipe. From:

100g salt
100g white sugar
5g Prague power #2
5g peppercorns}
3ish g fresh rosemary leaves}
3g juniper berries} ground in coffee grinder with a little of the salt

Reserve half the mix
Rub other half into meat
Seal in zip lock bag- fridge for a week, turn daily
Dry off meat, rub in other half of cure, repeat the week of fridge+turning.
Quick water rinse, dry. Vinegar rinse (I put vinegar in a small bowl and use a cloth to pat it on the meat), dry off again, weigh and record.
Tie, wrap and hang as per link until 30% weight lost. (I invert it every few days in the first week. If the cloth gets wet, change it).
Slice thinly and eat- with olive oil and lemon juice is recommended.

I think this was 600g when hung?
at 2weeks ish drying 450g wrapped. so 25% of weight lost. Theoretical end weight 420g?  this calculates out to ~$71/kg. Ouch. I'll use a cheaper cut of meat next year.

Salt pork
- experiment based on bresaola recipe. I usually just pack it in lots of salt. Trying for a more elegant product, but still an air dried one.

900g pork belly, without skin or bones.
150g salt
55g  dark brown sugar
5g Prague power #2
5g peppercorns}
leaves from large sprig of thyme} ground in coffee grinder with a little of the salt

Same method as above.
I think that after festival, I'll do another piece of pork belly with even ratio salt/sugar and see how that works. The previous pancetta recipe I tried, failed for me but used way less cure.

at 2weeks ish drying 625g wrapped. Say 583g if another 5% lost. ~$36/kg.
Neither of these costs accounts for the meat weight that needs to be purchased and isn't used for the salt meat.

Both are now (22nd March) out of their cures, rinsed, vinegar washed, dried, wrapped and hung to dry. Looking good so far. Bresaola was 600g straight out of the cure.

to think about for next time:
"the number of days the ham will be salted is 2.5 times it's weight in pounds" -research by watching River Cottage :-)
montjoye: (Default)
( Mar. 31st, 2016 10:37 am)


-Made a mouse guard pouch, four gold tassels for Miriam and fourteen red wool buttons for William.
-thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with my people, but left craving more. I really must do that drive to Siddly and CF next year is feeling more likely.
-loved the good news of dear friends being recognised for their awesomeness.
-did my duty in getting to the LPT (which I love anyway), the Laurel meeting, the Rose tea (which was more fun and inclusive than I feared) and did two gate shifts (which involved hanging out with mostly people I like, with the bonus of meeting a nice dude too)
-sang in Greg's LPT entry, which was one of the most solidly successful SCA singing performance I've been involved with. Hurrah. A skillful team and enough rehearsals for the win. The Exultate we did for midwinter a few years back might equal it?
-was far too grumpy at the beginning. I blame the quartet of my inner control freak, neat freak, anxiety monkey and hormones. I must remember this is likely to happen every time and cope with it better, or not go.
-Cooked some good stuff including the two curries I made for pre game- best I've ever done. The bresaola came out better than ever too, such that one lady said she now wants to marry me :-)



These biscotti are a new experiment.  I wanted something both more authentic and gluten free to do with the egg yolks leftover from the macaroons below. I've made an HA recipe for "bisket" a few times before, which is nice, but is too brittle to transport successfully.

(Ooo, or there is this one that I just found

The biscotti recipe I used is a "traditional" italian one*, and not far distant from the medjeeval one, but less fatty, no cream or butter and with the sugar in the mix rather than used as a dredge.

My changes:
used GF flour
leave out the vanilla
used 4 yolks and 3 whole eggs
divide the mix in two (actually I made it up as two separate mixes)

One half add:
1/2t aniseed, crushed and mixed with the dry ingredients
1/2 cup unblanched almonds, coarsely chopped and toasted in the oven

Other half :
half this sugar was light muscavado.
finely grated rind of one orange mixed into the egg
~80g pistachios
(I don't have any historical basis for the orange and pistachio. I wanted some alternate flavour for those who don't like aniseed and R had already planned a sweet with rose water)

I think I left them in the oven a bit too long in the drying stage. They are still tasty though, just a bit more toasty than is perhaps ideal.

Gotta say, GF flour sure is different than wheat flour to work with! First time I've used it.

The macaroons below are the same as I did last year

montjoye: (Default)
( Mar. 7th, 2016 02:17 pm)
With my hips sore after a 2hr walking/shopping trip, I was motivated to get to the mattress enhancement project on my festival list. I have a rope bed, with a half thickness cotton futon and a feather topper. All home made, which is nice and all but this rig leaves me tossing and turning with sore hips after a night or so.

those two lumps of foam are latex mattress offcuts I got at Reverse Garbage a couple of years ago. Dr Nik helped me lug them and compress them so I could get them home in my suitcase. I had visions of making a mattress topper with the thick piece, but of course there is less of it than I had imagined. I could possibly achieve this anyway if I could manage to cut it in three pieces horizontally. Rather a job. Apparently electric carving knives are the best way to cut this stuff, and I don't have one. So... in the short term, I decided to make a small pad for the hip zone out of the thin topping strip.


I cut that in three and encased it in some left over cotton canvas, which some might recognise from an ill conceived attempt to cover the BBQ shelters at Tara.


I quilted it very coarsely by hand to prevent the pieces shifting, and sewed down the edges of the canvas on the machine. Voila! I hope this is a bit more comfy. I will find out rather soon. It could hardly be worse.


And yeeess. This is a single mattress. It fits better in my tent than a wide bed dammit.
montjoye: (Default)
( Mar. 2nd, 2016 12:55 pm)


All put into cure two weeks ago, or 5 weeks before game on

800g eye fillet

100g salt
100g sugar
5g Prague power #2
5g peppercorns}
large sprig fresh rosemary-leaves stripped}
4g juniper berries} ground in coffee grinder with a little of the salt

Reserve half the mix
Rub other half into meat
Seal in bag- fridge for a week, turn daily
Dry off meat, rub in other half of cure, repeat the week of fridge+turning.
Quick water rinse, dry. Vinegar rinse, dry off again, weigh and record.
Tie, wrap and hang as per link until 30% weight lost.
Slice thinly and eat- with olive oil and lemon juice is recommended.

Salt pork
~1kg pork belly, preferrably with skin removed by a good butcher. (turn that into crackling and try not to eat all at once)
pack pork in salt (in ziplock bag is easiest). Fridge for a week, turn daily
Drain off liquid, add more salt. Fridge for a week, turn daily
Quick water rinse, dry. Vinegar rinse, dry off again, weigh and record.
Rub a mix of ground pepper, cinnamon and cloves in the surface
wrap, tie and hang.

This year the pork is in three pieces because the butcher was crap. Not using these people again for meat to be preserved. Fingers crossed the smaller pieces still work.

Weights- I forgot again and these are with cloth, ties and clips
Bresaola- 610g
Pork - 500g, 375g, 125g.

montjoye: (Default)
( Mar. 25th, 2015 07:45 pm)
I've finished the two 14thC gowns. Except the hem on the blue, which is cut and pressed but not sewn yet.

The buttons on the checked gown are from my Laurelling underdress. The blue buttons were conveniently left over from another project.

. .

IMG_4930 .

I've also patterned and made trial garments for the Wizard. Now I'm waiting on him to tell me when he can come try them on.

AND- I went mad and cut out an overgown from very bright, very thick red wool coating. It's partly constructed. I won't get much more done today because, surprise, my arm is in protest.

If I get the overgown done, i could take only 14thC garb to festival. Except I haven't enough chemises. Sigh. I'm already pushing it mightily to get the works in progress done.



Recording what I did so I don't have to work from memory next time.

From right to left:

the white ones are whipped almond (gluten free)
2egg whites, whipped
200g castor sugar, whipped in slowly
200g almond meal folded in.
spoon to tray- on reusable non stick mat or baking paper
bake ~25min at 150C

the darker domed ones are hazelnut almond (gluten free)
2egg whites
200g castor sugar
50g roast hazelnut meal
150g almond meal
mix/knead together
roll into balls
place on nonstick trays
bake ~25min at 150C

the flat ones* are lemon and contain gluten
1.5c SR flour
1c sugar
50g butter melted
4 egg yolks (from above)
1T grated lemon rind
1T lemon juice (approx)
mix/knead together
roll into balls, roll in almond meal
place on nonstick trays
bake ~15min at 180C

I made these in the order written above, all in the same bowl, then did a big wash up after. Quite efficient. The first two are based on information from Elspeth. The last is a family recipe from my childhood, tweaked to use up the egg yolks. Now I just need to pack them up for transport after they are properly cool.
montjoye: (Default)
( Mar. 20th, 2015 01:18 pm)
Woot. All the buttonholes and buttons are done. This frock still needs
-binding on the buttonhole edge*
-a bit of edge stab stitching, cuff ends at least.*


I'm so pleased with this gown that I went mad yesterday and decided I want a linen version. So I put blue dye through a length of heavy linen. That is laid out to cut now. I also dyed fabrics for garments I have planned for the Wizard. My current costuming list pre-festival looks like this:
-finish checked gown as listed above
-cut and "run up" blue gown.
-finishing on blue gown- could happen on site Just hem left
-come up with Wizard shaped patterns for tunic and trews
-make up Wizard trial garments to fitting stage

-do a fitting
-finish one set, hopefully two sets for W. Any hand finishing could happen on site too pre W arrival.
-deepen neckline on old 14thC chemise (It has been strangling me)
-make up another couple of 14thC chemises (I'm probably dreaming. I'll just wear my Flem ones if I don't get this done)
-and now I want a 14thC overgown, sigh- cut, part make, pin fit, finish machining, hand work

Of course I'm planning to take way more clothing than I need. Possibly in reaction to the extreme restrictions endured for CF

Then there is the food and other list. That's where I'm feeling stressed. I don't even want to write the list. Maybe if I do I'll feel better?
-check tabletop
-probably need to refinish the ends (again)

-find or remember macaroon recipe
-make two batches of these

-come up with two menu plans for Festival dinners (this is the real stress I think)
and now I have to redo one I think. Argh- take fettiplace and 100eggs, read on site
-consider pre game-on food (also stressful)- take pesto and dried herbs, figure it out on site
-deal with needed packing improvements- some- I've never sent everything in the truck before.
-air bedding

-Fix small coffee filter
-Oxyper sesame jar- not necessary

*to maintain my standards, sigh.

montjoye: (Default)
( Mar. 15th, 2015 03:48 pm)
Being home alone while sick is dull. I suppose having multiple childer to look after would be worse so I perhaps I should be thankful. I must be getting better though, I haven't napped today. Congestion is reduced but the woogly wankle is still present. I spent a few minutes cutting back the oregano and came over all thing.

I got through all of yesterday's list except this hem binding which flowed over to today. Nearly all of it could be done sitting down, which is just as well, particularly the 4m of handsewing which I did while watching a few eps of " ....Green Valley". It looks so neat!  It ought be just a plain hem, but I did that and the facing I used fell apart plus the loose woven pink wool wasn't coping well either. This should work better. Poetically the black binding is cut of cabbage from the "negative frock"- the pink trimmed black Durer gown.

montjoye: (Default)
( Feb. 25th, 2015 01:02 pm)
have just been put in their cures.

Salt pork
~1kg pork belly. Ruddy butcher did cut off the skin like I asked but also cut all the upper fat off too. Damn. We will still have salt pork but thinner and with less fat. I had to take a slice off the side to get a smooth block. Oh well, the little offcut is marinading and will be dinner. I'll have a go at making crackling from the skin.
(offcut marinaded in honey/soy etc and slow cooked in a tiny saucepan with the new simmer mat, served with 2min noodles and veg- heavenly.)

13th March- quick water rinse, pat dry, cider vinegar wash, dry again, rub in spices (pepper, cinnamon, cloves), wrap and hang. 580g

25th March- 480g, 82%

discussions last year with a knowledgeable butcher said that this should be made from eye fillet. Eep I said then, and used a small girello roast instead. This year I found a fairly cheap eye fillet and have used that. Otherwise all the same recipe. I'm making a small saucepan of stock from the little offcuts. The large offcuts are enough to make small beef wellingtons if I have the energy and interest for that. Maybe I will just fry them as steak.
Steak with mushroom cream sauce was pretty fab.

13th March- quick water rinse, pat dry, cider vinegar wash, dry again, wrap and hang. 500g
25th March- 400g, 80%

I forgot to weigh either bit of meat properly pre salt. Bother.

montjoye: (Default)
( Apr. 1st, 2014 10:18 pm)
is in the barrels!
Thank you so much to doushkasmum for doing all the presoaking, sterilising and general barrel wrangling. Including moral support and lifting assistance with the actual putting of beer into barrels.

Making quick notes here of the last stages:

Yesternight I sampled and measured densities

Big beer had stopped bubbling, but the sample was still efferevescent and cloudy (which says not finished to me). Density was 1.017, target 1.014. In a perfect world I'd wait a week or two more before bottling. but Festival waits for no brewer. So into a barrel it went. Last year I calculated that a cup of sugar for a 25L barrel was the same quantity as the standard bottle measure multiplied out. So, given that last year's beer was in a similar state, I used only half a cup of sugar for carbonation. This year we cut that in half again and put only a quarter cup in the barrel. We are a bit worried about the liquid and gas tightness of said barrels

Small beer was still glooping slowly. Honey will have that effect. Density yesterday was 1.004. No target as I don't have a modern recipe to work to. We added only half a quarter cup sugar to this barrel.

Fingers crossed!!

I have belatedly calculated alcohol levels
big beer=4.6%
small beer=2.8%
montjoye: (Default)
( Mar. 17th, 2014 08:48 pm)
Big beer is trying hard for first gloop. Density 1.052

Small beer
wort #2 without honey=1.020
wort#4 =1.022
combined together and with the honey=1.026

Quote from last year:
"Small beer has been fermenting for a week and has slowed right down. It’s not quite finished but I’ve bottled it anyway. I figure it will carbonate slightly by the last of the ferment. No sugar charge, don’t want to overdo and we don’t need the extra alcohol. Density at this stage is 1.012, down from 1.027, so around 2% alcohol"

So we have similar starting density, but with honey included and some darker malts present. We also have 27.5L in the fermenter! I think we drank most of the 15L I made last year.
It's been a huge brewing weekend. I've done 4 mashes. Believe me, that is a LOT of work, especially for a sedentary desk wally like me. I'm so tired. I've had a short nap which helped but still.

Mash rough details. Proper details are in Brewsmith.
1.Irish Red, my volume calcs worked and I got within half a litre of target. 27.5L is now in the fermenter and waiting on first gloop. I think I buggered up my one grain substitution though, colour doesn't seem right, though I haven't made this style before.
2. Small beer off the grain from 1. A last minute decision to do this, but there is increased interest in low alcohol styles at the moment so I thought this would help to up the volume. Added 500g honey (special home grown from L in Siddly) inspired by "Ale with Honey" from "Sip through time" (which I will buy a copy of next week when my purchasing embargo expires)
3. Scottish Ale 80 shilling. This didn't look as dark as I thought it would. Maybe I'm remembering the porter, or maybe I managed to confuse the brew shop with my interwoven order for two different brews. We will see how they both go, but I don't think I can trust that either has the right grain. Bother
4. Small beer off the grain from 3. This one has the same spice mix as I used for last year's festival breakfast beer.

I mean to put 3. aside for ferment later, after Festival and when the weather is reliably cool enough (unless I get a brew fridge organised!)

The two small beers: I have 14L of 2. (including the honey which should add ~0.3% alcohol). 13-14L of 4.
I plan to check the gravity of each, most likely combine them. I'd prefer to ferment and bottle them separately but I only have two fermenters, and it would be easier to present and serve both together at festival given the vessels we have.

Now I'm too tired to go visit the woodworking folks like I wanted too. I did make it down to the supermarket. I was going to be lazy and get takeaway for dinner, but for less money, I will now make a steak sandwich. Healthier and cheaper, win. I can also have the icecream I was craving last night :-)
montjoye: (Default)
( Mar. 24th, 2013 08:54 am)
Having discovered the marvellous convenience of a chamber pot at festival, and not wanting to use the tinkly tin one, I decided that whatever the opshop had on offer would just have to do.  I had fun painting it up. It was terribly tempting to turn the existing design into a face, I'm rather wishing now that I had, but then I'd be peeing into the head of a mustachioed chap who would be looking up my skirts. Ew or rather fun? Too late anyway, I've just set the paint.

. .

Still sick, actually sicker, and so not happy about it. Need to be well pronto
montjoye: (Default)
( Mar. 18th, 2013 07:56 pm)
Last stitches went in my new chemise today. These few bits of linen are the extent of my new garb for festi, and they are all pretty much identical to ones I already have. Sigh. No frocking excitement for Montjoye. I sure hope my food and beer adventures are successful.



And seeing as three posts is my daily limit- I shall also report that I am sick. Just a lurgy I think but one with bonus fever currently. I shall try to get the fermenter washed and then it's back to the couch for me.
montjoye: (Default)
( Mar. 14th, 2013 09:32 pm)
A day after filling the barrel, it sprang a leak again, same place in the lid. That weak spot just cant handle the pressure. I let off the pressure at the fill hole, bad for both carbonation and keeping. After much angst and a little discussion, that night I tipped it upright so the leaky lid is uppermost. The next morning, as I feared, it was spilling the ferment gas (CO2) from the leak. I wet it and put a weight on. Now I have found some beeswax, melted a little and poured it on the leak. Seems good so far, Yay. I think I’ll take that happy smile in the wax pattern as an omen for here on in.



montjoye: (Default)


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