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19 May 2009 @ 11:35 pm
Quest was a mostly good, mostly, successful adventure this year.

I left Madison Wednesday night, with the plan of stopping in Sioux Falls, spending the day sewing and working on other little projects, and then continuing out to site Thursday night after my companion got out of work... except it didn't work out that way. As I was leaving Madison, I found out that my formulary had bounced and I had until 5:00PM EDT on Monday to fix it. As in, a full day before I was going to get back to the office. >:/ Grrr... crabby Eithni. Even crabbier Eithni when it took almost 8.5 hours instead of the usual 6 to get to SF, thanks to construction and awful rain squalls. So, I arrived quite lat on Wednesday and spent Thursday working on the &*$% formulary instead of playing with toys. Happily, my boss was understanding and is not making me take Thursday as a vacation day and I got at least ONE of my projects finished. The formulary was not yet accepted when I left for site, but I had given enough directions to our Pharmacy Benefits Manager that they were able to fix it while I was incommunicado. For various reasons, including a really impressive game of camping-gear Tetris, we ended up leaving town later than we intended, but the ride out was pleasant enough - talking, sewing, and listening to an audiobook made the miles fly by... Arriving on site at 3AM was less than amusing, but we were reasonably efficient in setting up and soon were abed.

Friday was the Geek Food day - I came to site with a box full of Viking-period ingredients and a vague idea of how to mush them together ad decided I would just play with them and see what I got. Sadly, I was Full of Fail and utterly forgot to take pictures of any of the dishes. *sigh* I just am really bad at taking pictures at events. Anyway, I'll try to recall the "recipes" as best as I am able. I didn't use modern measuring implements, though, so this is all a little vague. A "measure" is about a cup, but that was just an estimate.

For brunch, I made a porridge and barley flatcakes. The porridge was six measures of water, two measures of steel-cut oats, three apples, and some ham. I heated the water and oats over the fire until the oats were cooked, then added the apples and ham until they were heated through and drizzeled raw honey over the individual servings. For the barley flatbreads, I started with the recipe from the Viking Answer Lady. While I generally respect her site, these flatbreads were, well, yucky. Luckily, I had made a trial bread before baking them all. A little lard and a little salt made them much better (final recipe - three measures of barley flour, one measure of water, a dash of salt and a chunk of lard as big as three of my fingers). I fed breakfast goodness to my campmates and unsuspecting passers-by. It all disappeared pretty quickly, so I counted that a win.

Once brunch was eaten and the dishes done, I started on the next round. I made a cheese from a gallon of milk, "enough" sloe vinegar, and a thumb-sized pile of salt. I also made a stew from about a pound of lamb, four parsnips, two turnips, most of a bag of carrots, three measures of barley, some barley flour for thickening, one shaved horeseradish, crushed mustard seed, crushed garlic, and maybe some other stuff I don't recall. it was pretty good, but I should have added more seasonings. For bread, I made a different barley bread - this time it was about three measures of barley flour, two eggs, a small palmful of yeast, three fingers' worth of lard, and enough water to mix. I baked them on the edge of the grate over the fire that was closest to the rocks until done. It was pretty good, except a bit on the crumbly side, so I should perhaps have added some more lard. Since we were having TRMs to dinner, I made an attempt at dinner presentation. I put the cheese on the plate in a nice dome, garnished with fresh dill and surrounded by blackberries, hazelnuts and walnuts for an appetizer plate and the bread on the side with the stew in bowls. Again, the results were nummy, even if I would make soem changes next time. I made about 2.5 gallons of stew and was able to feed all but two servings to folks. Most of the people I could get to try it came back for seconds - yay for encouraging geeky food consumption!

Oh, and FYI - eggs placed on a grate above coals and rotated will become "hard boiled". Eggs placed on a grate and not rotated will become cooked on one side and remain raw on the other (the soot patterns give you a good idea about whether you've turned it evenly). And an egg placed in the coals will explode with an impressive bang and leave apretty solid crater in the firepit. Hee! Too fun!

Friday night was coldcoldcold! I was worried I was just a whiner until A told me that she had seen on her alarm/thermometer that it had reached 20*F. Ooof. I so need a night cap - even with all my warm sheepies and decadent bedthings, I was still chilly... Another project for the list, I suppose... I needed a Pictish hood anyway... 

Saturday was the Teach-Teach-Teach day. I got a sort of late start after a tasty-tasty steak lunch and associated cleanup, but then did a quick pass through the merchants and headed to Troll to teach my classes. The first one was a general fiber class wherein I taught whatever people were up for. I started with teaching fibergeek  Eithni's Magic Veil Stitch and then I taught all the attendees (and some fighters that wandered too close) how to whipcord.

Then, I taught an Elizabethan costuming class that was part library road show and part tutorial. That was followed by a short private costuming class and then it was almost time for court. I cleaned up my stuff and some of the A&S and went back to the tent... where I promptly faceplanted until I heard the herald cry for court. Court was quick and fun - and bonus! - one of my favorite blanks evah (the Pict from the Book of Kells) was used. I didn't see it finished, but HrRM told me which it was.

Saturday night was fajitas, s'mores, some wandering, some drinking, and some bardic. I slept in entirely too late on Sunday, but it was nice to wake up WARM, and to the call of free bacon. ;) Packing and getting offsite took about an hour longer than we'd planned, but with no firm plans for the day, there was little stressing about it, other than another game of quality Tetris to get everything back into the car. Hugs and goodbyes all around, and then we were off again...

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Current Mood: tiredtired
mightyjessemightyjesse on May 20th, 2009 02:13 pm (UTC)
All that food sounds yummay! I really don't like lamb all that much, but with all the other things you put in that stew, I don't think I'd have been able to taste the "gamey" flavor that bothers me about lamb.