Earlier this year, I had been lazily researching for an idea I’d had for a class, which essentially was how to pad your medieval menu with food that’s easily relatable to the modern palate. Several years ago, I’d discovered that whipped cream was a medieval treat, but discovering pipefarces blew that out of the water.
Take egg yolks and flour and salt, and a little wine, and beat together strongly, and cheese chopped in thin slices, and then roll the slices of cheese in the batter, and then fry in an iron skillet with oil in it. This can also be made using beef marrow.
Mozzarella sticks? In a medieval cookbook? Yes. Yes, mozzarella sticks, as we know and love them today, in Le Menagier de Paris, 1393.
The recipe is easy enough — roll cheese slices in a simple batter and fry them. For this feast, I had my kitchen staff dip the cheese in egg, then breadcrumbs, repeat that, and then place them in the hot oil. Though not the precise same method, this one is tried and true, and resulted in perfect mozzarella sticks. (I also pre-made some gluten-free mozz sticks using gluten-free breadcrumbs!) I’ll take the steps to combine the flour and egg mixture the next time I make these for an event.
Lord Ulrich Eisenhand and Rohesia Whytemere, my fry cooks! Photo by Lord Sasson della Sancta Victoria.
I forgot that there was one last post about Ice Dragon to make! Better late than never, right?
My fiance, THL Darian, entered his first ever A&S competition at The Tournament of the White Hart in early March, then took his entry, a poem, to the Ice Dragon Pent a month later. This was the second poem he’d written for me for a White Hart Tournament, and here are two of the three versions he submitted for judging — the modern English and the Chaucerian English version.
This piece is an alliterative poem, following the style of The Pearl Poets Sir Gawayne and the Green Knight, dated in the late 14th century. The two copies of the same poem are in modern English, and translated to Middle English, following the dialect of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, a contemporary piece to the Pearl Poet, written in the late 14th century as well.
The Pearl is an example of the alliterative verse revival known as the Alliterative Revival. The movement emerged in England in the mid-14th century, continuing through the 15th century. The typical characteristics of Alliterative style syllabic count, coupled with alliterative stresses. Each line would contain a separative pause, known as a caesurea, in essence splitting the line in two. The Pearl poet differentiated from some of these norms in that he allowed variable lengths to lines and groups, as well as including an end point on each stanza, known as a bob and wheel. This tradition would start with a short line, followed by a rhymed section.
Included with these works is an extra example highlighting the stresses and caesuras to better allow reading, for as many who have studied Middle English poetry will agree, it often seems meant to be read aloud.
The White Heart – Modern English
by THL Darian ValskiOh host please hear of humbleness true
Before thee Brought my brilliant joy
A Lord willed low by lovely might
To show thee shine I should employ
Like Paris saw Pale his paired soul
In Helens grip held the great heart fast
Come forth in form as forged in Troy
May thee look to me,
For sadness be rid
Our hearts too, free
Look to here, I bid.
If would such words but Worthy plan
To grace the gift for my tongues relief
I should tell long tales of truest beauty
When should eyes be shift but by shy glory
I draw of her dreams as driven before
Her passion has paced the purest of chase
To home made her heart of my holy soul
The White Hart
Which Gawans hounds bayed
His travails would thwart
My hand though stayed
Wise by her Heart
As Pellinore would prove of aids plea true
Her voice made vital in verity sound
I learn fair lore from love to know
My flaw made fierce by mind fault free
To honor we hold as holy should be
Family by fortune did freely make she
For all good I gain her givith to me
I am here
And weak as a fool
Would cry voiced sheer
Upon the fates spool
Show her Glory clear
The White Heart – Middle English
by THL Darian ValskiOh host plees here of humblesse true
One of my not-so-secret works-in-progress is a long-arm cross-stitch heraldic bag for my Pelican, which will be finished in approximately a million years. I’ve learned a lot just from this one project, but I’m going to save my big post on bags and cross-stitch for a later date (and perhaps a class!). For now, I want to share with you the charts I’ve created.
The original bag (seen above) displays French and English arms and is dated to the first half of the 14th century. Examining the bag and counting stitches has lead me to the conclusion that each of these badges is in a 29×34 stitch rectangle. Each shield is surrounded by a 2 stitch wide border (making each shield 27 stitches wide and 32 stitches long at their greatest points). Using the 29×34 framework, I have spent weeks creating badges (mostly specific to AEthelmearc) for anyone who would want to create their own. These were made in MS Paint, with each pixel representing 1 stitch. MS Paint in Windows 7 allows the “View -> Gridlines” feature, which makes counting stitches/pixels much easier.
I’ve blown these up to 800%, but I can create bigger charts and share the originals upon request. There are a couple shown below, but for the rest, click on the link to the album I’ve created on imgur.