Elsa's Event Write-Ups

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2013 Calontir's Cook's Symposium; Theme: German

As posted on the Mooneschadowe list, 4-29-2013, when Jean Paul asked how the event went.

I thought was several kinds of awesome. Let me describe the event:

Friday night is social - people saunter in as their time allows, and since this is a gathering of cooks, someone brings nice wine, someone else has home-brew, someone has a collection of cheeses (some of which may or may not be banned), and someone else has bread. Someone brought a few kinds of jellies including one made with port wine. [edit: I've since heard that this is a fairly rare phenomenon in Calontir, and it is a great honor to be included in the festivities.] When Sabine and I arrived around midnight, the party was fairly quiet in decibel but well attended.

The classes on Saturday are a nice blend of hands-on and show and tell. Many classes have a "here, taste this" component when they are not "let me show you this hard-to-find resource." Teaching classes is gratifying because the audience knows how to use the thing you brought as an example of how your recipe can go wrong. :-) Her Majesty Calontir [Catalina] participated in classes and brought grace and beauty to the day.

Feast is "potluck" in that people bring things that they've made at home or on site in the course of their classes [sausages, some bread, Rumpoldt's apples]. There were several kinds of sausages, lots of breads, exotic desserts, and fancy vegetables (including armored turnips). Everything was tasty and plentiful. And the company was lovely and interesting and engaged.

I think we'll be better able to tell stories at the Revel - about the Food of the Bayeaux Tapestry [and shown on a large scale in the thread by a person recreating a section], and Nostradamus's opinion of what to do with cherries [mash them into jelly, and make the pulp into fruit leather], and how to start translating German works from the 1400s into tasties to share [most markedly Rumpoldt's work by Mistress Gwen Cat].


Class I Taught

  • No-Hassle Yeast Bread for Feast by HL Elsa [discussion, taste-testing, and limited hands-on]

Classes I Attended

  • A Cook's Book of Hours by Brother Francis of Paola [discussion only]
  • Gwen Cat Shares Her Books by Mistress Catrin von Berlin [discussion only]
  • Andelusian and Arabic Sauces by HL Jaida de Leon [discussion only]
  • Food in the Bayeaux Tapestry by Melisent McAffee [with visuals and the in-process Tapestry! I was in-and-out]
  • Nostradamus's Recipe for Cherry Jelly by Lord Dov [discussion and taste-testing]

Other Classes Available

  • Cheese Making by Lady Hedewig
  • Finding Resources by Lady Hedewig
  • Food Safety by Lady Amelyn
  • German Beer by Lady Elyssa [discussion]
  • Getting Started in Outdoor Cooking by Cathus
  • Hands On Apples from Rumpolt
  • Hands On Mustard Making Class by Mistress Gwen a'Brook [I took this class in 2011]
  • Hands On Making Sausages Class by HL Aline
  • Hard Cheeses (The Care and Feeding of Your Spoiled Milk) [discussion only] by HL Lisette
  • Hearth Cooking by HL Giraude
  • How to be a Feast Steward by Mistress Gwyneth
  • Oh Deer!, Playing with Venison by Herrick
  • Portable Feasting by Mistress Gwyneth

2012 Calontir Metal and Glassworkers Symposium

August 2012; This event occurs every other year in the lands of Calontir (this time, Warrenton, MO - near St Louis). I recommend it highly!

Classes I Attended

  • 13th Century Wire Jewelry (Hands On) with Master Philippe de Lyon
  • Damascening (Hands On) with Master Francis Bean
  • Forged Penannular Brooch (Hands On) with Brynjolf Brandrsmidr
  • Granulation (Techniques Track) with Lord Gunnarr Alfotr
  • Viking Wire Weaving ((Hands On) with Lady Muirgen

Topics I "Learned Things About" Without Actually Taking the Class

  • Ancient Glass Bead Making (Demonstration/Lecture) with Lady Keely the Tinker
  • Forged Bodkin Arrowheads (Hands On) with Brynjolf Brandrsmidr
  • Glass-Head Veil Pins (Hands On) with Lord Rolant of Falcon's Keep
  • Making Your Own Mandrels (Hands On/Demo) with HL Shandrake Vale

Roadtrip Party "Features"

2012 Eldern Hills Baronial

Once upon a time at an even not at all far, far away, a lady sat felting while sipping her extraordinary tea. As she sipped her tea, another lady approached carrying a beautiful pie. However, the pie was a vain character and could not stand the idea of anyone enjoying tea while they could be enjoying a delicious slice of pie. So as the lady with the pie began to sit on the ground, the pie launched itself out of the lady's hands and attacked the tea reserves.

The tea was taken by surprise. The pie pan crushed the tea's container and began ripping the tea from the container and spreading it upon the ground. The tea screamed and looked upon the pie with tea filled eyes. And sighed a sigh of death. The pie realized what it had done but it was too late. The deed was finished. The pie gave himself to be eaten by the four Iron Artisan competitors to fuel them as they worked.

With their bellies full of pie and their minds full of the thoughts of tea, they labored over their work. From the death of the tea rose Fluffy the Buffalo, whose tea soaked fur enables it to defend and protect teas of the world. When a glass of tea is in danger, Fluffy will ride upon his Black Stars to obliterate the pies before the tea can be destroyed. If your tea is ever in danger,

Count on Fluffy the Buffalo!

2011 Gulf War XX, Horse Waiver, Explained

Posted on Facebook: March 21, 2011 at 8:09pm

I learned new things about horses this year when I worked a couple midnight-to-6am Troll shifts at War. Everyone on site had to sign a waiver that had to do with horses on site. Cresencia very clearly explained to everyone who visited us what exactly they could expect from the horses.

  • Horses are large and dangerous animals that can and will hurt you.
  • When they stand up on their back legs, they aren't trying to give you a high five or a big hug.
  • Horses have poor digestion. Anything you give them will ultimately end up half-digested and in the wooded part of the ravine.
  • If they ask to borrow your cell phone to make a local call, they'll really use it to call internationally.
  • When they offer to valet park your car, they really want to park your car at the bottom of the pond.
  • Horses leave road apples as a warning against people (like Cresencia) who spread dissention against horses.
  • Despite the name, road apples do NOT taste like apples or anything else good-tasting.

In case some of this list does not ring true for you, remember that horses beat up the King and Queen of Northshield. The King visited the hospital with some broken ribs and a punctured lung, and the Queen had a bruised tailbone.

Skorragarðr (Skorragarrdr) Axeman II, February 2007

This one time, we played an enthusiastic game of 'It'll be horrible, let's do it!'

Skorragarðr was having their literal second event, under similar conditions as their first, so we knew to expect:

  • Bitter cold
  • No shelter (they _did_ have a tent with hot beverages, the second year! we huddled with a space heater for a bit!)
  • Primitive amenities (the site had flushies and outdoor showers)

Yeah, we day-tripped that one, because camping the previous year was a Lesson Learned.

There were more than 5 Mooneschadin in my party - when we got to site, we dispersed, as a traveling party does.

My Namron/ Skorragarðr friends were up for an adventure, so we hiked the (sodden) fields to see if the rumored horses were friendly. I had trepidation about all that, but I think someone in the party was familiar with the fuzzes - anyway, they were unbothered by our attention as far as we could tell. (I think someone got in trouble about that - oops, and sorry to whomever we gave offense.)

But my allergies kicked up Something Fierce. After a bit, I'd been sufficiently dreadful to be around that people pooled drugs and blankets and a chair for me.

One of my Very Most Favorite event photos of me was taken at that event. This was when I knew I could feel at home outside my home group, and in the SCA in general - in this particular vein of "nerd hobby."

2006 Gulf Wars XV, When the Banner Bearer Killed the King

Recounted for Mirela Ra's, via email on 8-14-2015, per her request for stories defining the SCA

So this one time!

No kidding there I was, at Gulf Wars 15. I'd gone to a few Fighter Practices, armored up, and got authorized. I used one of the sets of blue plates that are still in the loaner armor; one of the UBF helms that are spray-painted Mooneschadowe-maroon. I wasn't really ready to commit atrocities, but Charles was the Guard Commander and he gave me a post: I'd carry a banner and fishbat, and I'd stay behind the lines with him, so we could rally our troops during resurrection battles and on the open field.

Now, Charles made a name for himself at that War for believing in the power of the column charge. Pretty well every time "Lay-on!" was called, he'd order a charge. By the time we got to the Ravine battle, we were dragging but knew the drill - and we'd seen its effectiveness, so we were still heartened for the work. I was still not-quite-impressed with my banner - a 9-foot rattan spear with a huge wind-sail of a leather banner hanging horizontally for maximum wind-catchage, amplified by all the charging. But again - so effective! Our Guard always found each other, and we were an inspiration to our allies and a terror to our foes.

We charged into battle, I stayed near Charles, or others of the Guard at times when he was taken out, then stood sentinel at Res Point until Charles rallied enough of the Guard (or willing allies) to take a contingent back into the Hell that is the Ravine battle. Time became meaningless and the battle wore on.

Next thing I remembered, our Guard stood atop a small knoll, facing the opposite direction from which we'd started. I counted four of our Guard in front of me - between me and the mass of ongoing fighting. Next thing I noticed, they were three, then two. I readied the only shot I knew - the only shot I knew I could get anyone to call.

Last one down, and I saw a huge bear of a man all in white running directly at me, up the hill. I threw that slot shot as hard as I could, not particularly caring if it was an unchivalrous act since my friends were all dead and I intended to make my death count, too. The shot was cleanly thrown when three spear shots landed on my arms. My brain was still too engaged in connecting that shot to yell "good!" - but by the time I managed to react in a visible way to indicate that I acknowledged the shots, I heard sounds of disengaging - laughter, waterbearers on the field, jeers about shots that didn't happen the way someone had wanted - sometimes with hilarious and unreproducible results.

Our party picked up our gear and pride, and started the trudge home, up the hill behind where we'd taken our last stand. I think someone said we'd won the battle, but at that moment, we would have preferred another skirmish to caring about the results of that one - we all really needed a friggin' sammich.

Before we got too far up the trail, we were hailed from the main Ravine. King Bytor, current and occasional King of Trimaris, wished to congratulate us on our victory. His excitement was a little incongruous, I'd thought, since his army had just lost - and pretty decisively, I thought I'd heard. But he was completely verklemmt from choking back his joy of a well-fought battle in order to express thanks to us for providing that battle for him.

As we turned back around to find our freaking sammiches, someone told me that I'd killed the King of Trimaris. And I was all like, naw, man, naw. And they were like, yeah, it was a real thing. And I was all like - huh.

I was careful to mark my fishbat from that battle, with "KS" on the handle pommel, so I would be able to find it later. It was well-made, though I don't remember who made it - maybe Charles? That fishbat had other adventures before it was killed in the service of a chivalrous and conscientious fighter I am proud to now call Sir Magnus.

When the fishbat was no longer fit for duty, I reclaimed it and put it in a reliquary box for permanent display of that time when the banner bearer killed the current sitting King of Trimaris, an already-Duke named Bytor.

2002 Gulf Wars XI

First War! Mississippi. March 2002

  • Our party was Reid Linneman, Ian Gass, Kevin Wegley, Charles Asbery, Libby Hieber, Bonnie Kaiser, Walter (?).
  • Did a lot of wandering around and Waterbearing. I got caught in the rain at one point, and ducked into a Merchant's tent where I bought a brown floppy wool hat for shelter.
  • The Ghetto party camped in Army half-shelters: green, low, canvas, triangle-shaped tents. We had (one or two?) spare for armor and overflow supplies.
  • The Ghetto-dwellers didn't have a good run of food supplies, so we had to use some creativity to get anemic grilled cheese sandwiches. Maggie shared pancakes at breakfast.
  • All of my garb was pulled from then-HL Maggie's closet in the last minute before we headed out. I particularly liked the Mongolian-style tunic.

Some of the best parts were:

  • Driving through the night and catching the sunrise just outside of site.
  • Chatting with then-HL Maggie at the Ghetto campfire for hours.
  • On the way home, we stopped by Gulfport to hang out on the beach for a little while - until we all got 2nd degree sunburns.
  • Then we went to dinner at Randol's in Lafayette, LA with Ian's father.

2001 Very First Event

Ainar and Mercedes' Investiture, at Will Rogers. October 2001

I wore garb out of the Northkeep loaner box. I loved that dress! It was stretchy - the texture was springy and mesh, entirely see-through. They gave me an electric blue satiny half-slip to wear under it, so I hiked that up like a strapless dress and was perfectly happy with it. You couldn't see the underdress in the fading light - until we took commemorative pics after Feast and the flash made it shine. The photos earlier in the set came out nicely.

I served Feast and received a strand of black and white freshwater seed pearls as largess. I still have them, and I still daydream about what I'll do with them when I become fancy enough to wear such finery.