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For the past week or so I’ve been foolishly obsessed with an early-modern pastime called The Game of the Goose. It’s a silly game, dependent entirely on dice rolls, and requires no skill whatsoever. It can be played as a race game or as a gambling game. Fortunately hunting down period game boards and making printable versions is much easier when somebody has already done all the ground work for you. Giochi dell'Oca e di percorso, I am in your debt. Did you know there’s a an academic groups that studies historical board games? I didn’t, but Board Game Studies publishes Proceedings from their international Colloquiums. Weeks like this, I love the internet.
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Over the past year, we’ve had a couple of discussions on creating mini-PPFs, or events-within-events, to explore a specific bit of history.
One of the things I’d like to do at West Collegium 2013* is “Lunch with Cardinal d’Este’s Retainers”. In her book, The Cardinal’s Hat, Mary Hollingworth uses the records of Ippolito d’Este to reconstruct what his life was like. She also goes into some details on the pay and food of his retainers. Form this, and with the help of the Italian courtesy books, I’d like to create a lunch where the students (in groups of four) would get the same lunch d’Este’s retainers would have gotten, and would then have to share it out amongst themselves with the help of a hand-out/guide and probably some advice from roving instructors.
We’ll need to create a menu, probably make beer and bread, figure out trenchers/pitchers/spoons and more details I’m probably not remembering right now.
So, would you take this class?
Would you like to help create it? 

* (November 9th, website has no details yet, http://www.westkingdom.org/as48/nov/collegium-occidentalis)
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I'm thinking of teaching a class on basic feast planning and organization at A&S, or maybe at the next West Coast Culinary Symposium. If you were thinking about volunteering to cook your first feast, what would you want to know? 

Tentative class description: An in-depth discussion on the necessary steps to plan and execute an SCA feast. Topics will include planning, budgeting, basic food safety, working with your autocrat, and kitchen management. The goal of this class is to give you the tools to confidently prepare a feast so that hot food is hot, cold food is cold, and everything is served on time. We will not be discussing cooking or specific recipes.

I am thinking of including a section on "The 4 big things I did wrong at my first feast". I'll have some spreadsheet examples for the shopping  plan, and some example budgets.

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For the upcoming food collegium, I'm teaching a class ambitiously titled "The Medieval Cook as Physician and Priest: the effects of medical theories and church rules on food and beverages. Lecture class on the theoretical aspects of medieval and renaissance cooking. Possible topics of discussion: overview of humours theory, application of humour theory, rules of lent and the lesser fasts, the importance of medical theory to the medieval cook, humorous humor theory for feast shtick, and how to use the rules to avoid eating food you don't like."

Does anybody have questions they'd like to ask? I may not be able to answer all of them here, but I'll be happy to forward you a class handout afterwards (if you are unable to attend).
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For those of you who missed the "perfectly period" feast at collegium, I'll be teaching a class for the Queen's College on Saturday at June Crown. I hope it will be about 4pm, but I'm not sure where. If you were a carver at the feast, I may try to conscript you for a chicken-varving demo. 
There will be 15 class handouts, bring a cup and dish if you want to eat the chicken. No cost, no limit.

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The A&S ministers have been kind enough to allow a last-minute added class by Lady Cynthia. It will be in the last time slot on Saturday, 3:45 - 5:15.

Class Title: Working with a Janet Arnold Pattern
Instructor: Lady Cynthia Barnes, Cinbarnes.googlepages.com see "Compleat Costume Companion"
Class Description: In this class we will examine one or two garments described from Patterns of Fashion, c1560-1660 by Janet Arnold with the goal of turning this marvelous information into a patterns & instructions for making a wearable garment. We will specifically focus on the materials, research and construction requirements. Brief lecture portion followed by hands-on lab where class will read materials provided in Patterns of Fashion and brainstorm.
Students are expected to understand the basics of garment construction and have an interest in high fashion European garments made between 1560-1610.
Class size: Not to exceed 12 students.
Fees: none for handout
Required Materials for Students: none
Optional Materials for Students: writing materials & graph paper; personal copy of Patterns of Fashion is recommended (or bring xeroxed diagrams, contact instructor for list of study patterns).

For a look at some of her work, please refer to her google page or
the West Kingdom history site:
http://history.westkingdom.org/Year40/Photos/CB02.htm (right)
http://history.westkingdom.org/Year40/Photos/EP05.htm (left in brown)


Mar. 10th, 2008 10:32 pm
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3 days before the last of the ceramics for the Collegium Feast/Class must be painted and turned in for kilning. 12 days before March Crown. 47 days until Spring Collegium. I still have no actual plan for dancing or entertainments at the feast. The stage directions are not done. The class handout is not started.
But the benches are done, or at least out of my hands. A new volunteer has popped up for making knives, and another for hall clean-up. I found the right table for the butler's station, and a person who wants to keep it afterwards. The caving class last Saturday went well, I think. All the carvers have dismembered at least one chicken. Progress is being made.

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For those of you wondering, the Artisan's display will be on the second floor, (So make sure your art can fit into the elevator, or you are willing to carry it upstairs) in the Gateway Foyer of the DoubleTree hotel in San Jose. Here's a handy link to their hotel map .

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Once again, a Saturday afternoon Artisans’ Display is planned for The West Kingdom's 12th night.  (http://www.thewestermark.org/12thnight.html). This is not a competition; this is a chance for artisits to display thier work (and works in progress). It is also a chance to schmooze and be schmoozed by other artisans of the kingdom. Artisans of all levels are welcome to participate. Bring your projects and your questions, show off your work and take an opportunity to see what others are working on.If you leave items for a static display, please be sure each one is marked with your name and contact info. Documentation is not required, but is recommended. A handout with a description of your item, and how you made it is always appreciated by the people who stop by for a look. Notepads and pencils will be provided to exchange contact information or leave questions or comments, and personal tokens are encouraged. They  don't need to be fancy -- beads or ribbons or baggies of cookies are all equally appreciated.The display area will be open about 1:30pm for setup, and the display will run from 2 p.m. to 4pm. The Artisans Display is currently scheduled in the afternoon, but that is subject to the whimsy of Their Majesties, and Their Royal Highnesses.If you'd like to display your works, please contact me BEFORE THE 15th OF DECEMBER. The default setting is currently a half-table per artist, but different arrangements are available if you ask in advance. If you will need more space, or if you have any special requirements (light? electricity? space for a dress-dummy? dancing? are you hoping to serve snacks?) you cannot procrastinate in letting me know what you need. (You can procrastinate on what exactly you’ll be displaying until the very last minute, that’s ok). You may want to consider how to protect your work if it is especially fragile. If you can't decide until the very last minute about participating, there may be a small amount of extra table space on a first come, first served basis or the whimsy of our Queen.


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