Another Way of Making White Metheglin


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To three Gallons of Spring-water take three quarts of honey, and set it over the fire, till the scum rises pretty thick. Then take off the scum, and put in Thyme, Rosemary, Hyssop and Maiden-hair, of each one handful; and two handfuls of Eglantine leaves, and a half a handful of Organ. The spices, Ginger, Nutmegs, Cinamon [sic] and a little mace, and boil all these together near half an hour. Then take it from the fire, and let it stand till it be cold, and then strain it, and so Tun it up, and stop it close. The longer you keep it, the better it will be.

Digby, K. (1677). The closet of the eminently learned Sir Kenelme Digby Kt. opened: Whereby is discovered several ways for making of metheglin, syder, cherry-wine, &c. Together with excellent directions for cookery: As also for preserving, conserving, candying, & .c. London: Printed by H.C. for H. Brome, at the West-end of St. Pauls.



Maiden-hair is most likely the maidenhair fern, also known as five-fingered fern and rock fern.

Eglantine, also known as sweet briar, is a type of rose: rosa rubiginosa.

Organ is most likely a miss-spelling of oregano.

This recipe does not use yeast of any kind so I am curious as to how well it ends up fermenting or if it even ferments at all.



Two batches. The first to follow the recipe and use no yeast, the second to deviate from the recipe by using yeast.


Now I have to wait until spring when I can hunt down rose leaves and maidenhair ferns. I will have to substitute rosa rigosa leaves for the r. rubiginosa however unless I can find someone who grows eglantine without chemicals.


Tarts of Dreid Apricot


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Otherwise known as Tarts of why-the-heck-did-I-trust-the-redaction. One day I will learn this lesson.

Recipe from A Brief Overview of Early Spanish Cuisine (Vol. 6, The Feudal Gourmet).

Chap 83 On a pie of dry apricot or peach halves

A large & good pie of dry apricots, bring a pound of them, those which are washed with hot water, & after they are well washed, cast them in a pot, with a pound of sugar; leave a little for on top & cast to them white wine, & cinnamon, & season it, & set it on the fire; be sure that it does not burn, because they are delicate, & being conserved, remove them & put them in the pie, & cast to them sugar & cinnamon on top; after they are well conserved you also may cast honey in place on the sugar; but let it be good, & put the pie cooking on a small fire, because all the sweet dishes burn easily.

From Hernandez, 1607. Translation copywrite Dan Gillespie.

16 3″ pie crust tartlettes
3/4 lb dried apricots
3/4 lb sugar
3/4 cup sweet white wine
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp pepper
1 pinch salt
4 pinches cinnamon sugar

Pre-bake tartlette shells for 8-10 minutes at 350F.Dice apricots into 1/4 inch pieces.
Cook apricots, wine, and sugar on medium heat for 15-20 minutes (till sugar is completely dissolved).
Add salt and spices cook for a few more minutes to blend flavors.
Fill tartletts and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar
Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes
Let cool before serving

Ok, so the ginger makes sense but what is with salt and pepper in a fruit tart? Someone also has a love affair with the fraction 3/4, especially since the original recipe called for a full pound. But since I just happened to have 3/4 pound of dried apricots I went with it. I decided to ditch the salt and pepper however. I also did not pre-cook my pie crust. Especially since I wanted to make these as individual, half-circle pasties and you just cannot fold over a cooked crust.

And here is where people who do redactions without giving all the needed information in them can really mess things up. I am also very irritated with myself since I have cooked with dried apricots before and I should have known better. The original recipe states “…bring a pound of them, those which are washed with hot water, & after they are well washed, cast them in a pot…” When I made Mishmishiya from Pleyn Delit the original recipe stated “Take dry apricots, soak in hot water, then wash and put in a separate saucepan, and boil lightly…” Doing this re-hydrates the apricots so that they are not tough and overly chewy. This recipe DEFINITELY requires this step. I didn’t do it. I went with the redaction.

Next up, the wine. 3/4 cup is such a random amount. I also suspect it is way too much liquid. Not having soaked and strained the apricots however I cannot, at this time, estimate how much wine should be used but I suspect not much more than 1/4 cup. Or it could be that this really would be better as a full-sized pie with more liquid. I may try this out again . . . someday . . . when I’m less depressed about everything that went wrong.

I’m also pretty certain I cooked the mixture too long. Or rather that if I had soaked the apricots first that they would have ended up less chewy than they did without the soaking.

Ok, so all of my issues stem from being impatient, not paying heed to the original recipe, and trusting the redaction to give me all the information which I have proved through experience happens less often than I would like.

At least they taste good. Even if the texture is a bit off.


Queen’s Garb Challenge: Disney Pixar


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The purpose of this blog being to organize my research and various projects I suppose I should start off by giving some information on some of my most recent projects. Firstly, my entry for the Queen’s Garb challenge at this year’s Market Day at Birka.

Her Majesty, Queen Caoilfhionn inghean Fhaolain, declared last fall that her garb challenge theme would be Disney Pixar. How do you incorporate Disney Pixar characters into medieval clothing? It actually didn’t take long for me to decide what I was going to create. My character inspiration? Dean Hardscrabble from Monsters University!


With such a long body shape the garb would obviously have to be something with a train. For the wings, long, billowy sleeves that draped to the floor would give the best impression. The head-shape needed a large, commanding headdress. My persona’s period being 1350-1450 only a houppelande and hennin would do. Especially once I found this:


Detail from Giacomo Jaquerio’s The Nine Worthies and the Nine Worthy Women, (1418 – 1430)

I ended up using a different hennin shape than the one shown here. I also made a separate collar to match the one that my chosen character was wearing. If you want to see more of my research here is the pinterest board that I used to collect everything. I also have a public facebook album that shows my process and progress. For future projects a lot of that stuff will be posted here but since this project is already completed I don’t see a need to re-invent the wheel. I will however post photos of the finished product!


I am extremely happy with my results. And obviously other people were too as I won the Mid-Period category of the Market Day at Birka Fashion Show!


My name is Jennifer but in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA) I am known as Lady Lijsbet van Catwiic. My persona is from late 14th century – early 15th century Holland but my personal interests range from Roman-era clothing and pottery to Elizabethan cookery and sugar paste and many many subjects in between. The purpose of this blog is to organize my thoughts, research, and progress on my various projects in the Arts & Sciences of the SCA.