Yay! New Project!

My copy of a Medieval Home Companion finally came in after much shipping drama. For those unfamiliar with the work, basically, an elderly man in Paris in 1393 married a 15 year old and wrote her a manual in how to be a good wife, since he would probably die soon and he wanted her to reflect well on him to her next husband. Yeah, I know, weird.

However, it is one of the most complete looks into housekeeping in the fourteenth century. The book also has some fantastic woodcuts, including a few of some dresses I would really like to make.

I plan to do a blog-along as I read. So you, too, can enjoy my reactions to the husband’s suggestions of his wife’s house-keeping.

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Posted by on January 16, 2013 in Persona Research, Projects


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Recipes for Leonete to eat

My persona project gets a little harder because while Leonete may be able to eat anything that she could get in Lyon in 1480, I have more strict dietary issues. I am trying to come up with a meal I could eat that is wheat and soy free, and preferably legume and grain free.

Obviously, this has been…. exciting.

I have found 2 vegetable dishes I can have, now I just need to figure out where cress might be available in my area. I’ve never seen it at the grocery store, certainly.

Cress in Lent with Milk of Almonds

Menagier p.M14

Take your cress and parboil it with a handful of chopped beet leaves, and fry them in oil, then put to boil in milk of almonds; and when it is not Lent, fry in lard and butter until cooked, then moisten with meat stock; or with cheese, and adjust it carefully, for it will brown. Anyway, if you add parsley, it does not have to be blanched.

Lenten version:

2 c cress = 1/3 lb
1/2 c beet leaves (or spinach)
1 T olive oil
1/2 c almond milk
1/4 c parsley = 1/2 oz
pinch salt

Fish-day version:

2 1/4 c cress = 6 oz
1 1/2 c (2 ounces) beet leaves
2 T butter
1 1/2 oz brick cheese
(3 sprigs parsley)
(1/8 t salt)

Meat-day version:

2 1/4 c cress = 6 oz
1 1/2 c (2 ounces) beet leaves
2 T lard and/or butter
1 1/2 oz brick cheese
(3 sprigs parsley)
(1/8 t salt)

Chop the cress and beet leaves. Dump them into boiling water, let the water come back to a boil, then drain them (about 2 minutes total in water). Heat oil or lard or butter in a skillet, add drained greens (and chopped parsley if you are using parsley). Stir fry for about 3 minutes. For Lenten version, add almond milk, let boil with greens about a minute. For fish-day version, add cheese, chopped up and stir until cheese is melted into the greens. For meat-day version, add meat stock and cook down 2-3 minutes. Add salt, serve.

Notes: Greens should be measured pressed down in the measuring cup. Use a mild cheese such as brick cheese. Substitute spinach for beet leaves if necessary; the Menagier regards spinach as a kind of beet leaf. We have tried several ratios of cress to beet leaves; all seem to work reasonably well.

Mustard Greens

Anthimus p. 37

Mustard greens are good, boiled in salt and oil. They should be eaten either cooked on the coals or with bacon, and vinegar to suit the taste should be put in while they are cooking.

1 1/4 lb mustard greens (including smaller stems)
1 t salt
3 T oil
4 slices bacon
4 t vinegar

Wash mustard greens. Boil stems two minutes, then add leaves, boil 6 more minutes and drain. Fry bacon (6 minutes in microwave). Heat oil, add greens and stir, then add salt and cook five minutes. Crumble bacon and put over greens with vinegar. Stir it all up and cook another 3 minutes.


These are recipes from Cariadoc’s Miscellany. The Miscellany is Copyright (c) by David Friedman and Elizabeth Cook, 1988, 1990, 1992.

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Posted by on January 15, 2013 in Uncategorized


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Artifacts of a Life, an SCA project

This looks like a fantastic deadline and goal for my project. Obviously, this project will never be completely finished, but I like the idea of creating 3-5 artifacts from Leonete’s life quite a bit.

Artifacts of a Life, an SCA project.

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Posted by on October 25, 2012 in Persona Research, Projects


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To Do List – Reading

On Sunday, I posted a link to the Met’s Publication website, where they are making out-of-print publications available online. I scoured through what they had available, and boy am I excited. I mean, it is going to take forever to get through them all, but there are a ton that I am interested in, both from a persona development standpoint, and a general interest standpoint.

What follows is a list of links to the books I am most interested in. Collecting them in one place will let me easily plow through them. This post will also allow me to link to any reviews, citations, or other posts I write about any of these books, so that it is easy for me to put together bibliographies in the future, and you can see which ones I’ve read, and what I have found.

I am quite excited that most of these can be downloaded in pdf format, and therefore put on my kindle. I spend two hours on the MBTA every day commuting, so things are more likely to get read if they are in a format that is easily available to me.

Tapestry in the Renaissance

A Walk Through the Cloisters

The Saint Martin Embroideries

The Armored Horse in Europe

Tres Riches Hours

The Art of Renaissance Europe

The Cloisters Apocalypse

David and Bathsheba: Early 16th Century Tapestries

European Helmets

15th to 18th Century Drawings

Frankish Art in American Collections

The God of War

Man and the Horse

Masterpieces of Tapestry from the 14th to 16th Century

Medieval Art: A Resource for Educators

Medieval Art from Private Collections

Metropolitan Jewelry

The Met Vol 6: Europe in the Age of Monarchy


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Posted by on October 23, 2012 in Resources


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The Metropolitan Museum of Art – MetPublications

The Met has published online some of their best collections of art, many of which are medieval. This includes such favorites of mine as the Tres Riches Hours de Berry, which has fantastic 14th century costuming and life illuminations.

I am about to dive in and see what I can find to help me with my current project as well as just for fun, but I thought I would stop to share with all of you, first.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art – MetPublications.

Edited to add a link to the list of books with full publication online.

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Posted by on October 21, 2012 in Resources


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Things I Never Knew About Peas

“And first a SOUP of OLD PEAS. It is appropriate to shell them, and to find out from the people the place the nature of the peas of the area (for commonly peas do not cook well in well-water: and in other places they cook well in spring-water and in river water, as in Paris, and in other places, they do not cook at all in spring-water, as at Besiers) and this known, it is appropriate to wash them in a pan with warm water, then put in a pot with warm water on the fire, and boil them until they burst. Then separate the liquid from the solid, and put the liquid aside, then fill the pea-pot with warm water and put on the fire and separate a second time, if you wish to have more liquid: and then put back without water, for they will produce enough. and boil in it; and it is not appropriate to put the spoon in the pot after the separating, but shake the pot and the peas together, and little by little feed them with warm water or a little more than warm but no cold, and boil and cook completely before you add anything except hot water, be it meat or anything else: do not add salt, nor bacon, nor absolutely anything whatsoever until they are fully cooked. You can add bacon water or meat stock, but you must not add any salt, nor even the tip of the spoon, until they are well cooked; you can always stir them by moving the whole pot.

On meat days, you should, after the separating, add water from bacon and from meat, and when it is almost cooked, you can put bacon in; and when you remove the bacon from these peas, you must wash it with meat-stock, so that it looks nicer to put in slices on the meat and so that it does not appear to have peas stuck to it.”

Source: Le Menagier de Paris


I wonder what the modern explanation for the peas not cooking well in various types of water is.

This sounds like a pretty easy recipe to try, and pretty much like modern split pea soup, at least the way I cook it.

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Posted by on October 16, 2012 in Cooking, Persona Research


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Map of Lyon

This is a little late for Leonete, but it is a jumping off point.



Digitation source:
Braun and Hogenberg
Civitates Orbis Terrarum I 10
first Latin edition of volume I
was published in 1572
Engraving: admitted to
Balthasar van den Bosch, 1550


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Posted by on October 14, 2012 in Persona Research


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The Æthelmearc Gazette

Covering the Kingdom of Æthelmearc of the SCA

My Mind Rebels at Stagnation

The adventures of a redheadedgirl as she barrels her way through law school and the rest of her life

Got Medieval

The Life and Times of Baroness Leonete D'Angely

The Life and Times of Baroness Leonete D'Angely

Antiquarian's Attic

"A Farrago of Antiquities routed out of the Rusts and Crusts and Fusts of Time!"

East Kingdom Gazette

Covering the Eastern Realm of the SCA