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Tomas de Courcy

A Baker's Peel Vert

A&S 50 part II

This brings me up to date with my competition projects.  I have two more posts to be put up soon, one to do with an apple pie I made last week, and one to do with spice blends.  But both of these will be aimed directly at the A&S 50 rather than for other competitions.  I have several competitions coming up this year and I will continue to upload my research to this site.

If you’re curious as to why I enter so many competitions, it’s two-fold.  First, without competition I won’t do nearly as many projects, and won’t research them as much.  I find that competition gives me a set deadline that I have to meet and an expected level of research that I need to do.  Second cooking is something that I normally do in my own house or encampment.  I don’t generally cook feasts.  Thus there aren’t very many other ways of getting my work out into the community.  Also I find that it encourages other to give period cooking a try.

Returning to A&S 50, I have 5 years to complete 40 more cooking projects.  I have at least five competitions left this year, so I need to up the ante.  I’ll be trying to do a number of at home period dishes, like the apple pie I made, over the course of the next few months.  I want to be doing 10 projects a year.

Baked Venison: Fresh and Preserved

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This was done for the Barony of Lions Gate A&S Defenders competition in February 2010.  The competition was that your entry had to be related to your persona, and you needed one page of documentation to show that.  I made Baked Venison and Cameline Sauce.  I made two kinds of Baked Venison, one with salted venison and one with fresh.  I served them with a cameline sauce.  Here are the highlights of my entry:

Source

Venison

When looking for a baked venison, or venison pie, recipe I found seven different recipes, sometimes from the same cookbook, spanning from 1393 till 1596.  I have arranged them in order with my commentary here.

DEER VENISON. As this meat is tougher than fawn or goat, it must be parboiled and larded all along it: and in cooking, it must be put in plenty of wine, and when partly cooked, ground mace added; and it must be eaten with cameline. – Item, in pastry, let it be parboiled, larded along its length, and eaten cold with cameline. (Pichon)

Examination of Medieval Sauces

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In August of 2009 I subjected my friends to my attempts at Cameline sauce (a sort of cinnamon based dipping sauce for meat), and Mustard.  I needed more practice with documentation and wrote this up as if it were for a competition.

15th Century Cameline Sauce

This recipe is from “Two Fifteenth Century Cookery-books: About 1430-1450” by Thomas Austin. I first found this recipe as the basis of Daniel Meyers’ Cameline sauce (Meyers). Instead of following his version of this (which was more of an amalgamation of several different Cameline recipes) I followed the given recipe.

Source

Sauce gamelyne. Take faire brede, and kutte it, and take vinegre and wyne, & stepe þe brede therein,
and drawe hit thorgh a streynour with powder of canel, and drawe hit twies or thries til hit be smoth;
and þen take pouder of ginger, Sugur, and pouder of cloues, and cast þerto a litul saffron and let hit be
thik ynogh, and thenne serue hit forthe. (Austin)

Tart of Prunes

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This was done for the A&S competition at Lionsdale Champions in June 2009.  The competition was “Rhymes with June”.  My lady Kayleigh deLeis and I did this together.  We won the competition.

Recipe

Original source

The recipe we chose was from A Proper newe Booke of Cokerye which was published in 1557 in England.  It is for a dessert tart made with prunes.  We found a second source in The Good Huswifes Jewell, published in 1596 in England which we used to add a bit of spice to our adaptation.

To make short paest for tarte.
Take fyne floure and a cursey of
fayre water and a dysche of swete butter and
a lyttel saffron, and the yolckes of two egges
and make it thynne and as tender as ye
maye.

To make a tarte of Prunes.
Take prunes and set them upon a chafer
wyth a little red wyne and putte therto a
manshet and let them boyle together, then
drawe them thorowe a streyner with the
yolkes of foure egges and season it up wyth
suger and so bake it.
(Frere)

To make Tarte of Prunes.
Put your prunes into a pot, and put in
red wine or claret wine and a little faire,
water, and stirre them now and then, and
when they be boyled enough, put them into
a bowle, and straine them with sugar, synamon
and ginger.
(The Good Huswifes Jewell)

Modern Translation

Preserved Venison and Salmon

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In June of 2009 my lady and I entered the Sealion War A&S competition.  The theme was “War Rations”.  We salted venison and salmon, then baked the salmon into a pie and grilled the venison.  I’ll be giving snippets from the documentation here and attaching the full documentation at the end.

Introduction

Competition

In war, the need to keep your troops well fed is an important necessity, but the long distances travelled to each battle requires some careful preservation and selections of such foods. As such the science points will be the best representation of period war rations. Points will be awarded to the rations that provides the best balance of nutrition/energy, best execution, and best documentation.

Supply Train

The supply train seems to have been a key part of medieval armies. The failure to cut off the English supply train during the siege of Orleans in 1429 for example nearly cost the French the city, and without aid from Jeanne d’Arc it would have (Kibler and Zinn). In the 13th century supply trains were so vital to the function of an army that Florence had a special guard unit simply to protect it (Nicolle and McBride). For this reason we have decided to focus ourselves on things that may have been carried in a supply train and cooked along the way.

Brief Outline

A&S 50

I’ve decided to try my hand at the A&S 50 Challenge.  For some background, here is a letter explaining the concept:

(The following is a letter Albreda wrote to introduce the concept behind the Challenge back in July of AS 42.)

Unto all good gentles of the Known World does Lady Albreda Aylese send greetings!

The Society for Creative Anachronism celebrates its 50th year on May 1, 2015, and that will be cause for much celebration.  I am starting early, and I hereby invite you to join the party!

April 29

I had a very fun practice the other day.  We did some high energy warmups, the glove game, which was very good for situational awareness, hand speed, and foot movement.  Then we did a bearpit to let the new fighters see how we fight in tournament.  To give them all a chance to play with new toys we did london  masters style.  I didn’t learn a lot of new things, but I did get to try out full speed aggression on Guilliame while we were both using single sword.  It was deadly efective.

The only other thing was that I’ve come to realize something that Godfrey tried to explain to me months ago when he started teaching me brawling.  When you get hit, you get hit hard.  When you’re fighting in close your opponent doesn’t have time to cushion blows.  You do, but only because you know what shots your throwing.  When you’re playing 6-12 inches closer than your opponent is used to they aren’t going to remember that they have less time and distance to cushion shots.

I got to fight some more at the demo on sunday as well.  I learned two things.  First, brawling is very hard without an eric to fence in your opponent, they just keep running back and never let you close.  I’ll have to remember this for when I’m war fighting.  Brawling won’t work then.  I’ll have to focus on defense and work in a partner situation.

Second was that I don’t know my lunging range anymore.  I was continuously a 1/2″-1″ away from my opponent when lunging.  This is likely as a result of my focus on close thrusts for the last few months.  I need to start practicing lunges as well as thrusts if I’m to be effective on the tourney field.

Practice and Eddies

Had a great time at practice.  We did some running and high energy exercises.  There were a number of new fighters there.  I got to do some slow work with Giuame, and that was very good for helping me settle some actions, like fighting close.  Then I got to work with Godfrey and we worked on brawling and fighting close.  I had some trouble closing, but once I had I was able to be effective.

Two days later was Sir Eddies.  The fighting was good, and I fought about the level I expected.  About half way through the tournament I was pretty exhausted and allowed two very quick losses that should have been more difficult.  I managed to hold of most opponents for a while, and got in a few good shots.  My greatest weakness seems to have been when I let up the pressure.  I’ll have to work on keeping my aggression high.  I had only one fight that I did not like the outcome of.  I won’t go into a name here, but it was a fighter I had not met before.  Throughout the fight he threw multiple shots without being aware of his aim or the power behind it.  I have a sore hand from one particular shot which got him a talking to from Oberst Luther.  I also had to call a hit on him.  During an exchange I managed a beautiful cut across his hand while I had his sword out to the side.  He managed to move his sword enough to cut my dagger hand on our way apart however.  I put my dagger aside and turned back to begin the fight again to notice that he had not put aside his weapon and was in his guard.  I pulled back my sword to show that I wanted to talk and asked him if he had felt anything on his hand.  His reply “I thought I felt something, but I didn’t think it was there long enough”.  I replied that I saw it as a valid cut, and asked the marshal.  The marshal thought it was a valid cut, but asked Oberst Luther, who was watching the fight, his opinion.  Luther agreed that it was a very good cut and the fighter switched weapons.  The fight continued and I let a shot through my guard and he cut my arm.  I accepted the blow, and though I didn’t like the fight accepted the result.  After reporting I asked Luther about the fight and he told me that the final cut that ended the fight had no pull at all.  The other fighter had not called back his bad blow.  I was disappointed, but as I had accepted the result I told Luther that I would leave it with the whitescarves to work out.

The end result of the tournament was a top four with Don Godfrey, Warrick, Giuame, and Callen.  Godfrey and Warrick were out in the semi-finals, and Giuame won over Callen in a wonderful, skillful, and honorable finals, watched by Prince Ieuan.

With the one exception it was a wonderful tournament.