Viking and Iron Age food: recipes

To continue on my last post about Viking/Iron Age food, the cooking post, I’ll now add a short in between posts-post with a few recipes. The last post did get rather long, and I didn’t want to add more to it and decided to break it up a bit. But I know that a lot of you want hands on recipes to try yourselves, so here we have two fairly easy ones with ingredients that are easy to find.

The recipes, and some of the information from previous posts, are from an excellent cookbook written by Daniel Serra and Hanna Tunberg, (who have given me their premission to post this recipes). It’s called An Early Meal – a viking age cookbook & culinary odyssey (2013) and is described as a culinary journey throught time. It’ll help you learn how to cook the Viking way, using period ingredients. You don’t get just recipes, but also a big section of the theoretical aspects, sectioned into three parts; what did they eat?, how did they prepare the food? and how did they eat? There’s also a generous appendix with archaeological finds of plant remains, an encyclopedia and a nice list of references for further reading! I highly recommend this book for all that are interested in Iron age food. Now, the recipes!

Salmon on turnip stew

150 g salted butter
250 g wild leek or scallion
500 g turnip
500 g salmon
5 dl fish stock (the water in which you boiled the fish)
4 egg yolks
1 sprig of dill
1 sprig of coriander

  1. Boil the salmon in big chunks with the bone and skin until ready.
  2. Save the water in which you boiled the fish – the stock.
  3. Chop the leek and turnip, and sauté them in the butter.
  4. Add 4 dl of the stock and bring to the boil.
  5. Mix the yolks with about 1 dl of the stock that you have allowed to cool off.
  6. Mix the yolk/stock mixture with the boiling stock, take off the heat and stir it.
  7. Fillet the fish and cut in into bite-size pieces.
  8. Put the fish in the pot with the lid on, to allow the salmn to get some warmth from the sauce.
  9. Sprinkle the green herbs over the dish, just prior to serving.

If cooking in a Viking Age setting, use an iron pot to cook the fish, and a soapstone kettle for finishing the dish.

Alu Laukar – a sauce for smoked meat

50 g wild leek or spring leek
0,5 dl chopped thyme
0,5 dl chopped dill
2 dl geuze, a Belgian spontaneously-fermented beer
2 tbsp malt vinegar
500 g salted and smoked fatty pork

  1. Chop all the greens together as fine as you can; you might even mortar or crush them.
  2. Mix the greens with geuze and malt vinegar.
  3. Cut the meat in thin slices and place on a serving dish.
  4. Pour the green sauce over the meat and serve it at room temperature.

There are 42 great recipes in the book, based on different geographical areas; Lofoten, Kaupang, Lejre, Hedeby, Jorvik, Uppåkra and Birka. Maybe you can find it, as I did, at your local library. Or you can support great projects like these and get a copy! Swedes and readers from most EU countries can get a copy here.

/Herrin Gele Pechplumin
(Magdalena Morén)

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Viking and Iron Age food: cooking

Food is something we all can relate to and when it comes to living history and reenactment, it’s always present. We can’t go around it, so we might as well dive into it. So two weeks ago, I started a trilogy of Iron Age/Viking food blogposts! I started with a post about the ingredients in northern Europe during the Iron Age. This time I’ll write about cooking and processing food. Next time I’ll go over the traditions of eating and dining in the same area and period. Hopefully this will cover a chunk of the subject, but I’ll probably not be able to stay away from it for long, there’s so much information!

For most people in the Iron Age, the kitchen wasn’t a specific room in their home. Some wealthier people could have a separate kitchen house, like a baking house. Large scale production of food for bigger households was easier to do in a separate space. But for a smaller and not so wealthy household, the kitchen was part of the main room. A domestic hearth was used both for cooking and warming up the room and the people in it. The fire could be set directly on the floor or, more commonly, on a heart made of clay, tiles and stone. Early hearths were built in the middle of the room and later ones may have been built against a wall, backed with stone. The centre built ones could, with air vents and air channels in the ground, provided a smoke free environment.

A living history group in Ale, Sweden, has made a top 10 list of the essential tools for the Iron Age hearth/kitchen. They listed (slightly in categories); axe and saw, fire-steel, fire-shovel, tripods, tongs, roasting spits, pot hooks, griddles/pans, toasting stone, pots made of baked clay and iron, and the water barrel with a scoop. All of these are of course not necessary, it depends on the kind of cooking you want to do; cooking with direct or indirect application of heat.

But before the cooking even starts, food had to be processed to keep longer. Different methods of preservation were used and the most common were smoking, drying, boiling and pickling. These methods ensured that food would keep beyond the stage of fresh, regardless of being harvested or slaughtered. Salt was another way to preserve food, it might not be as common as the ways mentioned above, due to its exclusiveness.
Drying was the most common process as it was the simplest one. It could be done outdoors or in warm, dry place indoors. Drying could also be combined with smoking if you put the food near the hearth, a sauna or a malting room.
Foods such as fruit, will keep much longer if boiled, so the sugars in them are concentrated. Sometimes, honey could be added to boost the effect. Boiling the fruits into a mush and then storing it in jars has been done since antiquity. It may have been used as a condiment.
Pickling was also a controlled process to avoid the decomposition of the food. This could be done by adding salt or some lactic acid and keep the food under water to keep oxygen away from the product. In this mixture, no microbes could survive and spoil the food. The important thing was that the vessel was waterproof, so the product was kept under the surface. Pickling of course keeps the vitamins and nutrition in the vegetables.

Between the harvesting and slaughter there was a period of storing the food, short or long. Cereals were stored in barns for the wealthy, or in pits and in the homes of the commoners. Grains and flour had to be kept dry to avoid insect infestations and moulds. Flour was stored in chest or bins. These containers were often locked. Bread could also be stored this way, usually only for a few days, to be eaten fresh.
Different kinds of jars were used for storage, a narrow neck on them allowed for a greased cloth to be tied over the opening. Meat in jars got covered with a sealing layer of oil or clarified butter.
Two ways to keep food cold was the bog-method and the pithouses. Butter and cheese were treated the same way when it came to storage and putting them in sealed containers and lowered 1-2 meters down in bogs seem to have been one way to keep them cool. The pithouses, cellars or simple holes on the ground used the coldness from the ground. Root vegetables could keep all winter in one, even though they probably didn’t have a lot of taste by spring.

Boiling seems to have been the most common way of cooking. Boiling could retain the juices and fats better than other methods and it was essential. Cooking meats and vegetables in meat stock were probably done in an iron cauldron. Stews, porridge and sauces were likely made in clay or soapstone vessels. Boiled dishes had a place at all meals, even the fancier ones.

Ovens were quite rare in Iron Age Scandinavia, but there was still a wide range of ways to bake food. Roots vegetables were baked in the ashes in the hearth and meat could be baked in cooking pits. The bread was probably baked over hot stones or directly in the ashes, more often than in ovens. Most bread would’ve been unleavened, but there are finds of bread with gas bubbles. They were probably made as sourdoughs or with yeast from brewing.

For special occasions, meat could be cooked on fire spits. The taste was probably more enjoyable than when boiled, but it was wasteful in terms of juices and fats. But they likely gathered the drippings from the metre long meat skewers. Using spits like this was time-consuming and took a lot of work. There’s also one find that indicates that there might have been grills as well, to fry meat or fish on.

When it comes to the seasoning of the food, there were multiple ways to add flavour. Salt might not have been added in the cooking process but was still there through the preservation. Herbs were used, such as thyme, dill, coriander, caraway and mustard seeds. Alliums, such as onions, leeks, garlic and wild garlic was the most common way to add flavour to the dish. Even vegetables in general were used to provide variety in the diet. But there are no physical finds of “exotic” spices from the raids/journeys of the Vikings or from trading. Nor are there any written sources that such spices reached Scandinavia in the period.

Sources of sweetness in northern Europe were dried or frost-bitten berries/fruit, malt and honey. Fruits and berries were probably not as sweet as they are today and might have been used more for cooking and brewing. Cider-like fruit wines were made and berries were added to the beers.
Due to the cold temperatures in Scandinavia, bee-keeping was not common, so honey was expensive. It was mostly used for mead. Malt was cheaper to make and the sweetener was likely used to make beer.

/Herrin Gele Pechplumin
(Magdalena Morén)

My sources:
-Hagen, Ann, Anglo-Saxon food and drink, 2010
-Serra, Daniel & Tunberg, Hanna, An early meal: a viking age cookbook & culinary odyssey, 2013
-Wickerts, Mari, Vikingatida köksredskap: köket under yngre järnålder: samlingsplats och kunskapsöverförare : råvaror & recept, 2013

(Photos with permission, top to bottom from:
Madeleine Bergman – Instagram _vikingventures_
Sarah Moores-Viking Klan Zebitz
Madeleine Bergman – Youtube Viking Ventures
Sofia Holmer – Instagram vikingspired
Sofia Holmer)

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Viking and Iron Age food: the ingredients

To add to my last post about my Viking/Iron Age feastgear set, I’ll this time write about food from the same period! When going through some of my sources and learning new things, I realized there was too much for one post, and I’ll add another one in two weeks about cooking, utensils, the kitchen and dining. This one will mostly be about the different kinds of food types available in Scandinavia and Viking settlements during the Iron Age. There are some great books about this area, and it would be a shame not to use it all. So I hope you’re ready for another culinary journey back in time!

On a farm during the Iron Age in Scandinavia, there would be a wide range of animals. Of course it differs between the beginning and the end of the period and also depending on where in Scandinavia, but everywhere there’s been a mix. Cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and horses were the common livestock. We know this because of the bone fragments found at excavations. Cattle and sheep were the most common. At settlements with a higher social status, there was a higher percentage of pigs. The horses were used both as draft animals, for riding and as food. But it seems like it was less common to eat horse in the bigger settlements that was Christianized.
Amongst the domesticated animals were also chickens, geese, dogs and cats. According to calculations made 1997 by Professor Lars Kardell, the average Iron Age farm had 1 ox, 3 cows (not including calves), 3 sheep, 5 lambs, 2 pigs, 5 chickens and 1 rooster.

With some of the livestock came milk. Milk from the cattle, sheep and goats were all used. It was mostly processed into other forms like butter and cheese. Fresh milk was difficult to keep fresh, so drinking it was quite a luxury and probably only done at special occasions.. But it could be soured to keep it longer. Butter was one of the main sources for fat in the Iron Age, not only used for cooking but also as a condiment in itself. Fish with butter seem to have been a common combination. But some sources also mention the use of butter together with bread, as we use it today. The sour milk could be drunk as it was but also made into skyr, a sour curdled product comparable to yoghurt. It is difficult to find archaeological sources for cheese, but hard cheese is mentioned in some sagas and fresh cheese have been made since at least the Bronze Age.

The most common grain in the Swedish area during the Iron Age was the six-row barley. One exception was the western part of “Sweden”, where oats were more common. Other crops were wheat, peas, beans, flax, onions, hops, mustard seed, turnips, rutabagas, carrots, celeriac and camelina sativa. The early varieties of carrots were red, purple and black. The orange variation didn’t grow in Europe until the 17th century, but the other colours aren’t always easy to find.
Food that got harvested from nature included wild garlic, wild celery, sea peas, honey and birch sap.

Together with the domesticated animals, crops and what you could harvest in nature, you had the food group “game and fish”. There are examples of finds from red deer, deer, boar, fox, bear, badger, beaver, elk, reindeer, hare, swan, geese, duck and marten. From the birds, you could also get the eggs if it was spring. The fish segment is more difficult to be sure about because of the lack of fish bones at the sites. What we know is that the amounts of fish found at settlements on Orkney and the Shetlands increased in the period of Norse settlement. They seem to have brought a tradition of eating more fish. The fish and seafood mentioned in Iron Age context are cod, hake, ling, whiting, herring, porbeagle, saithe, haddock, salmon, sturgeon, oysters and mussels. The fish you could eat fresh or boiled, fried, smoked, dried, dry salted, put in brine or fermented.

Salt was a very import and resource in the Iron Age. Salt got extracted from seawater by the Romans in England around year 0. They boiled the water in a salt pan made of lead and got salt crystals. Around the Mediterranean, the seawater was put in big plates or pools where it was left to evaporate. Left behind were the crystals, ready to be used or sold. In Poland, they mined salt from salt mines. In “Norway” by the sea they boiled the water slowly over open fire. This process used up a lot of wood and took a long time. The same seems to have been done on the “Danish” island Läsö. The theory is that the Vikings bought and brought the salt home from their journeys or traded the “Norwegian” salt. The salt got used in large quantities to preserve food when you couldn’t keep it cold.

Viking settlements in Jorvik/York has find of lentils, swede, leaks, peas, beans, onions, cabbage, carrots, parsnips, beets, sloes, plums, cherries, apple, blackberries, raspberries, elderberries, hawthorn, hazelnuts, walnuts and honey. There are long lists of foods being sourced at different Iron Age settlement and some of my personal favourites are the parsley in Fyrkat and blueberries in Oseberg!

/Herrin Gele Pechplumin
(Magdalena Morén)

My sources:
-Hagen, Ann, Anglo-Saxon food and drink, 2010
-Serra, Daniel & Tunberg, Hanna, An early meal: a viking age cookbook & culinary odyssey, 2013
-Welinder, Stig, Pedersen, Ellen Anne & Widgren, Mats, Det svenska jordbrukets historia. [4000 f.Kr.-1000 e.Kr.], Jordbrukets första femtusen år, 2004
-Wickerts, Mari, Vikingatida köksredskap: köket under yngre järnålder: samlingsplats och kunskapsöverförare : råvaror & recept, 2013

(Photos with permission, top to bottom from:
Sarah Moores-Viking Klan Zebitz
Sarah Moores-Viking Klan Zebitz
Amanda Thomsson, theupsalaviking)

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SCA feastgear: viking/iron age

In my SCA game I spend a lot of time and energy on the items that I eat and drink with. What we call feastgear is, for me, accessories the same way shoes, hats and bags are! My goal is to have a full set of feastgear with all my garb sets. For me a set includes a glass, a mug, a bowl, a plate, a spoon, a knife and a pitcher. With them I can have breakfast, a banquet and also just lie on a blanket drinking wine and eating s with my friends!
But building up multiple sets like these takes time and also some money, so sometimes we have to compromise and maybe use things from the “wrong” period or area. But don’t forget that a lot of period areas traded with each other.

I focus my Viking age/iron age kit towards the central area, mostly Birka and Hedeby/Habaithu. But luckily when it comes to pottery there’s a big mix of where the wares came from. The 3 big production areas in Europe from late 8th century to mid-11th is Western European, West Slavic and Finno-Ugric. The Western European ware came from the Rhineland; Frisia, Badorf, Pingsdorf, Walberberg and Mayen. The West Slavic included cities like Wolin and Oldenburg in today’s northern Germany and Poland. Finno-Ugric pottery came from an area that today is Finland, Russia, Estonia and Latvia.
About 25% of the pottery found in Birka is believed to have been imported and it was mostly Slavic, some Reinland and some Finno-Ugric. There was also a local production that resembled the Slavic pottery.

My Viking set is the most complete one. I have all the separate parts that I want to have and even a few extra pieces so that I can vary my setups or loan to friends. The easiest item to find when it comes to Viking feastgear is different kinds of cups, so I think I have 4 more that are not in the picture. The hardest piece to find was a good, useable knife in a decent Viking style that also was in budget for me. But after a lot of looking and some help I got the one in the picture which is very stylish but a bit big, so I also have a smaller one that’s very simple.

The pitcher in yellow-isch clay is a Badorfer style, dated around 500-900AD. Other pitchers in the same style have a more precise dating, 800-900AD. The dark bowl is a replica from a Birka grave and it’s in a Finno-Ugric style. The matching plate isn’t a replica, but is made in the same style as the bowl.

The glass is a replica bell beaker from grave 750 in Birka. It’s dated to the 9th century and it has a great feel to it. I’m not sure how common it was to have glass ware, what kind of people who could afford using them. So I’ll try using them only when I have my most fancy outfits on!

The red cup and the bowl with three handles are market finds that I don’t have any information about. But I like how the red adds a pop of culture to the kit. The spoon made out of horn is more of “in a Viking style” but has no provenance. There are Iron Age spoons made out of horn and bone, but they look very different and I haven’t seen anyone who makes replicas. But when I find some, I’m sure that’ll be my next step to make my kit better.

/Herrin Gele Pechplumin
(Magdalena Morén)


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Roman food: from poor to wealthy

To follow up on my last post about roman feastgear, this post will be about what to put on that feastgear, food! According to Jo-Ann Shelton (As the roman did: a sourcebook in Roman Social History, 1988) the romans had 3 meals a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner, but the information we have on the two former are quite scarce. There is a source with an example of a school boy’s lunch which consisted of bread, olives, cheese, dried figs and nuts. This to me (except for the olives) sounds like a perfect snack lunch at an event!

Of course, most of the written sources tell us about the meal traditions of the upper class. The wealthy took a reclined position on couches while having dinner. Preferably outdoors in a garden, if the weather allowed it.

The diet for the poor romans consisted of wheat. Wheat was made, by law, very cheap or even free to feed the poor people. The poorest ate little other than wheat, either crushed and boiled with water as a porridge, or as puls which was a boiled wheat dish like cream of wheat. And if they were lucky and had access to an oven, they ground the wheat into flour and baked bread. Other types of food poor people might have eaten were beans, leeks and sheep lips. With this they drank cheap wine or vinegar, mixed with water. As a slave, it could not have been easy to cook and serve things like meats, cheeses, vegetables, and fruits to the wealthy.
        A story about an old peasant couple tells us that they served a guest some cabbage, boiled smoky pork, green and black olives, cornel-berries preserved in dregs of wine, radishes, endives, cheese and eggs. As dessert they served nuts, figs, dates, plums, apples and grapes. As the centerpiece, a honeycomb.
        A modest dinner had ingredients a poor roman could never afford. A meal like that could include lettuce, leeks, tuna with sliced eggs, fresh green cabbage, small sausages on white grits and pale beans with bacon. Dessert could consist of shriveled grapes, pears and roasted chestnuts. As a small snack after, you could have some olives, hot chickpeas and warm lupines. With all this, you drank wine, most likely mixed with water.

Other sources with dinner invitations name courses like; pickled young tuna, lizard fish, oysters, sow’s udder, stuffed wild fowl, barnyard hens, snails, barley soup, mead, snow, beets, cucumbers, onions, sow’s womb and sea urchins!

A staple in the roman kitchen was the fish sauce called garum or liquamen. There’s a rumor that Worcestershire sauce is a descendant of garum. The sauce was so popular that it was a major industry in the seaside towns. So you could buy a readymade jar from a garum factory, or you could make it yourself.
         The entrails of fish are placed in a vat and salted. You could also use whole small fish like smelts, tiny mullets, anchovies or sprats. You salt it some more and then put it in the sun. After it has aged in the heat for 2-3 months, you strain the mixture and retrieve the garum. Some also added old wine to the sauce.
          It is not certain that recipes that calls for liquamen means the pungent fish sauce or maybe a watered down version. Or if it’s a more general term for stock, broth or some other liquid.

Numidian chicken
Clean and poach the chicken and then remove it from the water. Sprinkle it with assafoetida (a spice used today in North African and Middle Eastern cooking), and pepper, and broil it. Grind together pepper, cumin, coriander seed, assafoetida root, rue, dates and nuts. Add vinegar, honey, liquamen and olive oil. Put over heat, stir and when it boils, add starch as a binder. Pour the mixture over the chicken, sprinkle with pepper and serve!

Rabbit with fruit sauce
Cook the rabbit in wine, liquament and water. Add a little bit of mustard, anise an a whole leek. Prepare a sauce with pepper, savory, onion ring, dates, two damson plums, wine, liquamen, caroenum (a reduced wine) and a small amount of olive oil. Then thicken with starch and let the mixture boil for a short time. Put the rabbit in a serving dish and pour the fruit sauce over it before serving.

Liver sausage
The sausage is made by grinding together pepper, rue and liquamen. Grill pork liver and cut into bits. Combine the liver and the spices and grind together. Stuff the mixture into casings and place one bay leaf in the center of each sausage. Hang them to smoke for as long as you wish and when you want to eat them, remove from the smoke and grill them.

Sweet and sour pork
Put olive oil, liquamen and wine in a pot. Chop a dried shallot, dice cooked pork shoulder and add them to the pot. When this mixture is well heated, grind together pepper, cumin, dried mint and anise. Pour over some honey, liquamen, passum (a sweet cooking wine or raisin wine), a little vinegar and some juice from the meat mixture. Combine the spices with the meat. Add some fruit without pits and seeds and heat it all thoroughly. Crumble some pastry over to bind it, sprinkle some pepper and serve!

Now you have a bunch of recipes and ideas for a wide variety of roman meals, from the simplest to the biggest feast. I’m not much of a cook, so please let me know if you try out some of the dishes and how it turned out. I’ll keep to the figs, cheeses and oysters!

A friend of mine, Anna Syveken in the SCA, is doing a bunch of roman dishes over on her Instagram, so I really recommend heading over there if you want to see some roman cooking!

/Herrin Gele Pechplumin
(Magdalena Morén)

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SCA feastgear: roman

In my SCA game I spend a lot of time and energy on the items that I eat and drink with. What we call feastgear is, for me, accessories the same way shoes, hats and bags are! My goal is to have a full set of feastgear with all my garb sets. For me a set includes a glass, a mug, a bowl, a plate, a spoon, a knife and a pitcher. With them I can have breakfast, a banquet and also just lie on a blanket drinking bubbly and eating cookies with my friends!

But building up multiple sets like these takes time and also some money, so sometimes we have to compromise and maybe use things from the “wrong” period or area. But don’t forget that a lot of period areas traded with each other, so an Italian glass could be used for Italian, German and English garb.

The roman period was quite long and the styles vary greatly. But since this is more of a “fun” period for me, more than a very serious one, I’m using a wider time span, around 2nd-4th century AD when I look at the fashion. So that’s the same time frame I use for my feastgear. The geographical area is also a lot bigger than normal and I accept items from a wide range of areas that have replicas in a roman fashion.
So far, all I have are light linen garb for warm summer days, so I’ve mostly focused on drinking vessels, but I now have a full set so I can choose to use just a glass or the full set for a banquet!

Usually I’m a beer person, but the romans in the late antiquity thought that beer was a drink for barbarians, so when I wear my roman garb I drink wine and use smaller and more delicate drinking vessels in glass. The pitchers in ceramic and glass is for pouring wine and water on hot days on a blanket. A small bowl for grapes is also handy and a small spoon for delicate snacks.

Roman feastgear isn’t very easy to come by in Sweden, since there isn’t really a market for it. So I’ve received a lot of help with shoppping in other areas, especially the UK. But there’s also a bunch of German online stores that sell roman things.

The bowl and the knife are bought at markets, so I don’t have more information about them apart from being roman. The ceramic pitcher is only described as a roman wine flask. The mug has a dating of AD 120-150.

The plate is being described as roman samian pottery. Samian is the word used by English-speaking archaeologists to catagorize pottery made in the Gaulish area. Gaul was a region of Western Europe first described by the Romans. It consisted of present day France, Luxembourg, Belgium, most of Switzerland, and parts of Northern Italy, the Netherlands, and Germany.

The pieces made from glass has a bit more information to them since they’re made as replicas from specific pieces. Both the blue round flask and the clear glass is from the 2nd century. The flask is from the eastern part of the roman empire and the original for the glass was found in Sweden, Öremölla in Skåne. The blue glass is based on a piece found in Melby on Öland in Sweden and is dated 1st-6th century, so a model that was used over a long period of time.

Last, but not least, are the two silver spoons. They’re called The Corinium spoons, after a roman town in Britain. Corinium (today Cirencester), was the second largest city in it’s days. The spoons is said to have had many uses. The pointy end helped opening and eating shellfish, piercing eggshells to chase away evil spirits and also eating snails and oysters. The spoon is, according to Amanda Hart Museum Director at the Corinium museum, dated to the mid-2nd to 3rd century.

I’m very happy with my roman set, and I can’t wait to use it at an event to inaugurate it! Most of the pieces has been added under the age of the plague.

/Herrin Gele Pechplumin

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Grind that stag!

– a roman skincare routine.

A woman fixing her hair in the mirror, fresco from the Villa of Arianna, 1st century AD

I haven’t posted anything here for more than a year. 2020 was certainly not the year for blogging. But I hope that 2021 will be a better year for blogging, and for that we’re starting with a deap cleaning!

According to the roman poet Ovidius (43BC-17AD), cosmetics can help women to attract men, but I’m pretty sure this routine will work for both men and women, no need to attract anyone with it.

This routine would, according to the source, make the skin appear bright and radiant!

The first step is to strip away the husks and the chaff from some barley. Barley from Libya is the best, but use any kind you can get your hands on. Clean 2 pounds of it.
Then moisten and equal amount of vetch with 10 eggs.
When the barley has dried in a blowing breeze, crush it with a rough millstone turned by a lazy donkey.
Together with the barley, grind up the horns of a lively young stag.
Add 12 narcissus bulbs which you’ve strip off the outer layers and then pulverized on pure marble.
Add nine times as much honey.

If you use this mixture, your skin will be smoother and more radiant than your own mirror!

I’m not sure what you can use as a substitute if you can’t find a lively young stag and grind it’s horns, but maybe the horns of any young animal will work.

(As the roman did, Jo-Ann Shelton, 1988)

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Post event thoughts

All this unpacking, laundry, maintenance and packing away things is starting strong emotions in me. It’s making me feel thankful and greatful for the life I’ve found and made for myself in the SCA.
Before I joined in 2010, and even before I got really active in 2012, I had the medieval week in Visby to look forward to. If I was lucky, I got to go to the halfway party and take out one outfit that got to see more than just Visby.
When I got home after The Week, I packed away my stuff and started to long, ache, for the next one. Because that was all I had. I still long for the next one, but nowadays I have more.
In just a few weeks I’ll be going to Aros fencing camp, and in the fall I’ll be visiting Gothenburg, England, Sundsvall and more for events. By the time I’m back in Visby next year I’ll probably have been to about 12 events, some in Sweden and some abroad.
So even though this big, amazing and wonderful week is grand, there is more. Maybe the SCA isn’t for you, maybe it is, but there are more society’s around us with different focus periods and areas. If you want to do more, ask! I don’t know all the different groups, but I’m sure we can find some suggestions if you want to get your stuff out more regularly.

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Get me some cold wine!

So, the last few days obsession with finding things and ideas about items I can put my newly registered SCA device on led me back to my general obsession; feast gear.
As maybe some of you know, I’m very fond of buying, having, window shopping for and researching feast gear.  About a year ago I decided to start a project of getting each of my sets of garb matching sets of eating/drinking items such as plates, bowls, cutlery, glasses, pitchers, cups etc. And man, am I loving it!

With that in mind, I went back to Pinterest and added a lot of pretty art and museum items to my board Feast gear. And then I found this…


At the bottom of the pictures I saw this bucket with a pewter pitcher in it. My first reaction was “HAHA! A wine cooler!”. And then I saw this picture… Which even more obviously had water in it (pointed out by a fellow feast gear nerd). So pitchers in perhaps cold water to cool down white wine?


In the back of my head I also thought it might just be a bucket for dirty things, about to be taken out to be washed. As in the picture bellow.

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Long time no see- A&S-challenge

Hello everybody,

it’ been almost two years since my last post here and I have no idea why, since I’ve actually done stuff! But there’s going to change now. I want to step up my garb-game, or actually, my entire persona-game (SCA), so more activity is needed.

To kickstart myself, me and a friend started an Arts&Science-challange for ourselfs. Arts&Science is a term in the SCA covering a whole lot of things. “SCA Arts & Sciences are all the crafts, skills, and technologies practiced in the time period and cultures that our studies cover. SCA participants research, study, and practice these skills and then share them with others.” Read more here.

So the challenge is to do at least 10 minutes of A&S for a set number of days. This time it’s 30. So far I’ve done 18 of those 30 and it has gone remarkably well! Only one day so far where I was afraid to fail.

Since I’ve only returned to the blog in the middle of the challenge, most information about it is on my facebook page, feel free to have a quick look there as well! I’ll probably update there more and will do a summation here when finished. 


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