Saturday, March 31, 2012

Past Few Days

Thursday : Pretzels, raisins, and bread with oil and herbs. I wasn't feeling well and just snacked the entire day.

Friday: Had a few walnuts, raisins, a couple of pretzels sticks, some peach tea at some point, adn then went over to Mom and Dad's. I cooked. :-) I made rice with almond milk, sugar, and cinnamon but -for some reason- it didn't work. I also cooked Salmon. Mom made peas and I think she made sweet potato fries. Of course, I couldn't have the fries but everything else was fine.

Saturday: I wasn't hungry this morning. I went over to a friend's house around noon and we went out with her family to a really cool grocery store that you can eat in. I ended up with brown rice and a crab cake - which isn't period but it was good. I'll through an extra dollar in the collection plate tomorrow. :-) I'll probably eat some more bread too.

On the sewing side of life: I've gotten a LOT done. The Titanic evening dress might get done tomorrow. Today, I did the beading on the underbodice piece. I'm not completely satisfied with the sleeves but we'll see. I have some plans and I want to try pinning them into place and choose from there. Pictures to come. :-)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tuesday and Wednesday

Yesterday, I had a salad at lunch with my olive and red win vinegar dressing. I don't like the salad oil at work and they don't give you a cup to mix the vinegar and oil together which is bothersome. I've been drinking water lately since those three or four glasses of tea I've been drinking a day are about 500 extra calories a day -something I do not need. For dinner, I ended up just having bread and oil with herbs. I could have heated up more apple pie but I just wasn't hungry.

Today, I'm not feeling great (not quite to sick yet, but getting there. I'm hoping to hold out until Friday). Even though today is a fast day, I'm snacking on pretzels for the salt. I need some of the ginger but all of it is at home. I might be able to stomach some raisins later but, right now, pretzels. Lots of them.


This is one of the apple pies I made. It looks...horrible in the picture but it really is tasty.

And, of course, Fried mushrooms:


Oh! And my "helper" that evening:


Monday, March 26, 2012

Sunday and Monday

Sunday I had two turkey sandwiches with bacon and a couple of cookies. Oh! And Fried mushrooms. I desperately needed the turkey sandwiches. It was just necessary.

Today, I've had tea, a salad, some bread that didn't taste good so I ended up throwing it out, and some more of my apple pie. I finally figured out what it reminds me of -now that I've sprinkled powdered sugar all over it. It reminds me of cornbread with fried apples. I haven't been able to eat cornbread in a couple of years but I use to love a good cornbread crust with a chicken pot pie. This tastes similar but with a more mild taste and texture. So, if anyone else wants to try the apple pie recipe, keep that in mind. It's not like a modern flaky crust but more like a hard cornbread crust.

Most of this week will probably be apple pie since I have a ton of it. It really does make enough for 12 or more people.

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Lunch was a salad and bread with herb dip. Not just any bread either! Homemade wheat bread by Mom. :-) It was really yummy. Yesterday, I know I was bad and had a cupcake (Birthday party) but I couldn't pass up a homemade cupcake even if I did end up having a small reaction to it (I think it was more the icing than the actual cupcake). I also had pretzels and raisins yesterday.

This evening, I'm finally getting around to making apple pie! for dinner. The dough is sticky. Very very sticky. I tried adding flour and that didn't work and I tried adding more water but nothing made it not the pies look a bit interesting. But who cares? It's pie!

I didn't turn the apples into apple sauce. I just used apple slices. Hopefully, it won't matter much. One pie has almonds on it, the other doesn't. The dough is enough to make two pies. We'll see how they taste!

EDIT: Oh my! It's very different from modern apple pie. Imagine having something like a sugar cookie (but without sugar) for a pie crust and apples with saffron inside. That's what it tastes like. You can leave out saffron and still be perfectly period -which I might do next time. The pie is still quite good, but I don't think the saffron is really necessary. Since it's perfectly period to leave it out, I might make another couple pies next week like this.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wednesday and Thursday

I didn't eat much on Wednesday, being a fasting day. I think I had a cough drop, some tea, and bread. I also took a nap and was freaking out over my pup having one of her seizures which contributed to me not eating.

Today, I've eaten. I've had pretzel sticks, raisins, and most of a salad. Note to self: keep dressing separate until Lunch time. I have no idea what I'll have tonight other than the typical snacking on crystallized ginger. I did get disposable pie plates which is one step closer to making the apple pie! :-)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The weekend, Monday, and so far on Tuesday

I don't recall what I ate Saturday night. I think it was just more bread.

Sunday, I was bad. I had cookies (COOKIES!!!!). Okay, so they were vegan chocolate chip cookies but there were something very much not period. And they are delicious. I then had KFC for dinner. I learned my mistake the hard way and will not do that again. Not only was there butter but there was probably some small amount of corn. Add that to the seasonal allergies and I think that's why I ended up having to go home early Monday.

Monday, I had OJ in the morning and didn't bother with lunch. I crashed around 11 am and didn't wake up until 5 pm. However, once I woke up, I started to feel a lot better. I ended up cooking some mushrooms, rice in almond milk with sugar and cinnamon, and have a bit of bread. I also ate a few pieces of crystallized ginger.

Today, I've had a lot of iced tea. I finished off the rice for lunch from last night and I brought in my salad dressing for a salad today. They have a decent salad bar at work but they don't get that you need to mix the oil and vinegar some how before you pour it on the salad.

For the sewing side of life, I did try to make a pair of Edwardian combinations and I didn't like them. They look fine but they don't fit me correctly. I'll make a princess slip and all the other undergarments tonight. I have a nice slip for my steampunk stuff but I need one to fit with my Edwardian evening gown. Pictures tomorrow, hopefully.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Friday and Most of Saturday

Friday was...a disaster. I didn't eat until I got home -had a couple of pieces of crystallized ginger- and then made up my bread and oil. Normal herb bread I get at the amish store that I've eaten a ton of time before tummy was not happy. Actually my tummy stayed not happy until about 10 am this morning. It was so unhappy, I didn't get to bed until 3 am. So much for getting to make that apple pie!

Today has been a lot better. I've had toast and jam for breakfast, a salad and bread at lunch, and -since today is a feast day in honor of Saint Patrick- I did have something with butter. :-) It was just a pretzel freshly baked at the mall but it did have butter.

I have no idea what I'll make tonight.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Link Parking!

For either tonight or tomorrow:

Recipe by Daniel Myers

Fish dishes that will please the general public can be hard to find, and medieval ones are even more elusive. The following recipe makes a wonderfully light dish that is excellent served over rice. The combination of the wine and spices completely eliminates any possible trace of fishiness, so it's perfect for even the most fussy eaters (both of my kids liked it).

4 perch fillets

1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup water
1/8 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. Powder Fine
1/2 slice bread, ground

olive oil

Rinse perch fillets, place in a baking dish, and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes.

Put wine, water, bread crumbs, and fine spice powder into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Remove the fish from the baking dish and pan-fry it in olive oil for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cloves, and mace to taste. Serve hot topped with the wine sauce.

Source [Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books, T. Austin (ed.)]: Salomene. Take gode Wyne, an gode pouder, & Brede y-ground, an sugre, an boyle it y-fere; than take Trowtys, Rochys, Perchys, other Carpys, other alle these y-fere, an make hem clene, & aftere roste hem on a Grydelle; than hewe hem in gobettys: whan they ben y-sothe, fry hem in oyle a lytil, then caste in the brwet; and whan thou dressist it, take Maces, Clowes, Quybibes, Gelofrys; an cast a-boue, & serue forth.

The original recipe calls for trout, which I have in the freezer, so I think this might work for dinner. The only spice I don't have is mace but I'm not sure how vital that really is....

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday's Dinner

Scallops sounded like an interesting recipe to try, it was delicious. Too bad I overcooked it a bit. Still, it was yummy.

Recipe by Daniel Myers

This has to be one of the lightest and most "modern" of the medieval recipes I've come across so far. The white garlic sauce is a bit too tart on its own, but when paired with the scallops it's perfect. The sweetness of the onions and the fine spice powder adds to the flavor of the scallops without overpowering it. On the whole, this dish would be great for a fancy dinner.

If you can't find verjuice, use 1/2 cup white wine and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1/2 pound sea scallops (large)
2 Tbsp. green onions, chopped
1 Tbsp. olive oil
pinch powder fine
pinch salt

2 slices bread
1/2 cup verjuice
1 clove garlic

Tear bread into pieces and place in a small bowl. Add garlic and verjuice, and stir until mixed. Allow to sit until the bread turns to mush, then strain the liquid into a small saucepan and discard the solids. Bring to a low boil and simmer until thick, stirring constantly.

Sautee onions and scallops in olive oil. Place onto serving plate and cover with sauce. Serve hot.

Source [Le Viandier de Taillevent, J. Prescott (trans.)]: Scallops. Pick them over well, scald and wash them, brown them in oil with chopped onions and Spice Powder, and eat them with good White Garlic [Sauce].

Source [Le Viandier de Taillevent, J. Prescott (trans.)]: White Garlic [Sauce]. Crush garlic and bread, and steep in verjuice.


France, 14th c.

No matter what I did, the sauce never really thickened. Originally, I poured the wine/lemon mixture on to bread with a garlic clove and then strained it but it ended up never thickening and reducing too much. I then added white cooking wine, garlic powder, a small amount of bread crumbs, and lemon still didn't really thicken. The sauce was good though and tasted yummy with the sweetness of the scallops.

The scallops were fresh (I got them at the amish market an hour before I cooked them so that's fresh, right? ;-) ) but I just wasn't paying attention and overcooked them.

For a side, I went with fried mushrooms, of course. :-)

Edit:'m allergic to scallops it turns out. Not badly but enough to avoid them. I do not like hives. I do not like my tummy acting up. It was only slightly worse than my corn allergy which is enough to avoid scallops all together. Oh well...

Trout tomorrow!

Wednesday Dinner and Thursday Food thus far

Dinner was...not good. I had my typical bread and herbs but I decided to try that salmon recipe I talked about a few weeks ago. It wasn't bad - cooked in almond milk like the original recipe calls for- but it needed the crab meat like the original recipe calls for. It just didn't blend right without it. The tastes were just too all over the place without the crab meat. I ended up throwing it out. :-(

Today, I plan on stopping by the Amish Market and seeing what they have for seafood. Maybe frying up some mussels? I'm not sure yet.

Surprisingly, I haven't lost much weight on this diet. Yes, I'm posting EVERYTHING I'm eating but I've only lost maybe 6 pounds. What I have noticed is that the ever present dark circles beneath my eyes have waned a lot. Being 1/4 Italian, I'm going to have dark circles beneath my eyes. There is no way to get away from that without surgery. However, mine were horrible and I had no idea why. It look like it might have been either milk or soy. I'm not sure yet. We'll find out after Easter which I have to give up. Either way, it's going to be painful. I love soy sauce and I love cheese. However, not looking like Night of the Living Dead every day and pictures of me looking far better than they normally do? So worth it.

Today, I've been munching on the Rosemary Flatbread (I need to buy more) and had two iced teas as well as a regular old salad. Nothing too exciting. I might have some almonds later on but I really just want to go home and have some Hot Chocolate and maybe make an apple pie for dinner.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday Food!

The sink got cleared! Yay! I can wash dishes again! The problem of a very small house is that I do not have room for a dishwasher; I wish I did. This means I need to hand wash every single dish and I loathe washing dishes. Truly loathe it. It's my least favorite chore. So, cooking all my own meals is a true penance to me. ;-)

However, now that I can wash dishes, I managed to wash the frying pan which means FRIED MUSHROOMS! I cooked up the steak mushrooms with onion and a bit of garlic. It was delicious. Having not been able to cook for umm...a few days thanks to the sink being clogged (can't wash the pots and pans so they can't be used until they are clean...), I loved being able to eat food again. Not that I hadn't eaten - the Steak on Sunday was great at Mom and Dads - just that I couldn't cook at home.

Monday's lunch was a large salad again at work. Just spinach, carrots, mushrooms, croutons and oil and vinegar. I also had a couple of bottles of iced tea. Dinner was primarily the fried mushrooms along with bread and oil with herbs. I just haven't been hungry lately.

Tomorrow I'll see about cooking up the last of the salmon finally. Since tomorrow is a fasting day, I'll just take in some medieval trail mix -almonds and crystallized ginger. Maybe some raisins. Or an apple. I need to use the apples before they go rotten. pie sounds good for tomorrow night as well. :-)

Titanic Gown Part 1

I'm going to make multiple Edwardian dinner gowns this year since there are so many events to wear them too. My first one is a black and red number.

titanic 001

I just have the fabric pinned to the dress dummy. The bodice is an extant one I got years ago as a lot of discarded sewing items. The cut of the bodice is very similar to a House of Worth gown from the very late 1900's:

My sleeve style will be different than the gown above - more in keeping with the styles of 1912, of course- but I liked the idea of the sash around the raised waistline area. Although I didn't pin it in the pictures, I will have a black lace sash around the dress waist.

The underlayer is a red silk for the gown. It doesn't show in the pictures but you can just see it beneath the pallu front of the gown. The pallu - or decorated part of the sari- is being used as a skirt front panel over the red silk. It's a semi-sheer black silk pallu with black embroidery and copper beading. Detail picture:

titanic 002

Detail picture of the bodice:

titanic 003

I plan on adding lots of red details to the dress - red beads possible around the neckline, sheer red organza for the sleeves, ect. I also want to play up the copper beads. I'll be adding beading to the black silk overskirt that goes around the back but I'm not sure whether to cut up the sari more and use the copper beads on that as trim or to use the lovely extant black beaded trim I have. Or both. We'll see. I will be using some more of the sari for sleeves and things.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunday and Monday Morning

Sunday I hosted a Regency themed tea party at Reynold's Tavern in Annapolis. Of course, this meant I needed a new dress! Keeping with the Regency Rainbow plans, I figured I'd use the blue fabric I've had in my stash for a couple of years. I now have a red gown, and orange gown, a green gown, and a blue gown. I just need yellow and purple! Yay!

For the blue, I really wanted something earlier, so, I went with a 1790's open robe.

I love the nice bright colors of the open robes in this Fashion plate from 1795 I found thanks to The blue fabric I used is sort of a dark teal blue. One thing I noticed about this style, in almost every single fashion plate from the 1790's, the open robe is shown over a white gown with a printed but white background skirt. The skirt or petticoat looked to be optional but the white gown was not. The handkerchief around the neck also looked optional based on the portraits and fashion plates of the era. So, I had to make a plain, boring, white muslin gown. Grr. I made a drawstring one since that seemed to be the most common type seen without an handkerchief.

I used the same pattern I created a couple of years go for the orange gown and used for the red gown as well. It works very well and is simple to adapt. For the drawstring muslin dress, I just added about three inches on either side to a front closure. For the open robe, I just curved the front of the gown to dip down and show of the bodice of the drawstring.

The fabrics I used:


I started the dress Saturday afternoon. For the top and bottom drawstrings of the muslin gown, I just used regular cream colored cheap ribbon. It actually closes up very nicely and you can't see the gap in the front of the gown.
For the open robe, I just pinned it closed once it was sewn up. Over the open robe, I wore a nice wide red sash with gold "dots". It's actually a duppatta that is sheer but I folded into a nice looking sash.


This was the dress with the handkerchief. I saw it on me like that Just no. It looked completely wrong on me.

With the dress done, my hair became a priority. Saturday night, I put my hair in curlers. Lots of curlers. To the point it really looked like pink marshmallows attacked my hair and my hair attacked back. See?


My hair was wet and, after combing it, putting the curlers in, I added the first few sprays of hair spray to help it set. Getting dressed on Sunday, I kept the curlers in until the last possible minute. I put on my dress, the open robe, and even draped the red ribbon I wanted to wear in my hair, around my neck so I wouldn't ruin the curls. I then sprayed enough hair spray before taking the curlers out on my hair to make New Jersey jealous. I sprayed each curl after it was taken out of the curler as well. I wanted the curls to stay, darn it!

Once all the curlers were out of my hair, I piled my hair on the top of my head using bobby pins and used the red ribbon to help secure my hair back. It looks to have worked out well!

So, a new Regency dress with Regency hair! Yay!

And post tea hair:

tea party 038

The tea, itself, was lovely. Tons of good food and yummy bright pink tea. :-) I love Sundays since I can eat anything those days.

Today, Monday, I've had apple cider, tea with lemon, and a salad with carrots, mushrooms, croutons, and oil&vinegar with salt and pepper. :-) Tonight, probably bread, oil with herbs, and rice with raisins and carrots if I can get the sink to work again. I need to call up maintenance. *sigh*

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Friday and Saturday

I went to Red Lobster Friday and ordered garlic shrimp with Lobster tails. I also got their version of fried calamari. It was mostly fired broccoli and fried red peppers with fried calamari. I didn't eat the veggies, just the squid and it made me so sick later on. At least, I think it was the calamari. My guess is the fried part had corn in it because I was just not a happy person afterwards.

That was all I had yesterday - it really made me that ill. Saturday was basically two cups of hot chocolate (the really good stuff by Twinings) and a few pieces of Sourdough bread -toasted- with oil and herbs. I was just still not hungry after the Red Lobster incident. Tomorrow, Sunday, is Tea! Yay! This will mean a lot of very not period sweets and other yummy stuffs - Since it's Sunday, it doesn't matter that it's not 16th Century.

Monday, I might attempt those Salmon fish balls if my sink works again. I need to call the plumber because it got completely stopped up and my pliers and wrench won't work on the sink pipes. Grr... If it doesn't, then maybe just a salad and lots of bread with jam.

Friday, March 9, 2012

So many things!

Yesterday consisted of way too much going on at work. Because we are breaking up the current team, as a last hurrah, we are all going to Red Lobster today. Yes, this means I'll have to cheat a bit.

Yesterday, I had bread and herbs with oil for lunch along with pretzels and a few apple slices. I also had ice tea. It was all quite good. I needed the apples because I could feel my blood sugar levels go all twitchy. I've been eating a spoonful of sugar the last couple of days because I did need that extra sugar in my diet. What I need to do this weekend is make an apple pie which should have enough sugar. Today will be fine - hot chocolate for all!

Dinner was mostly the rice from the previous day, some bread, and that was about it. After the day's events, I wasn't that hungry.

I'm only eating lunch today-rather than just dinner and a snack for lunch- due to the festivities. I'll probably actually have butter because that will be impossible to get away from while eating out but cheating on stuff like that is perfectly period. ;-) Right now, I'm thinking Fried Calamari and shrimp of some sort. Yum!

I'm currently working on a 1790's Open Robe dress.

I have a few yards of this lovely dark dark teal that I have yet to use. I'm normally not one to wear a dark teal (despite it being my favorite color) simply because my complexion does not like the color at all. However, given the style of the open robe, I'll have more white than teal and I'll be wearing a gold polka dotted red sash as well. Add a red necklace, red ribbon in my hair, and I should look something NOT like night of the living dead.


The blue is more rich than it looks in the picture but those are the fabrics I'll be using. I already have a pattern that I know fits so it's just a matter of cutting it all out and sewing it up. If I get time, I might add a sheer overskirt to the outfit.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wednesday Food

Yesterday was interesting on many levels. I had to go to work at 6 am so I knew food would be an issue come lunch time. Being a fast day, I couldn't just grab some bread and jam at the cafeteria. Instead, I had a small salad that was just spinach, carrots, a few mushrooms, croutons, and poured oil and vinegar over it. I also got ice tea to drink. The ice tea was $1.99 before tax and the entire "meal" was $4.31. It was enough to keep me going through out the day.

Last night, I cooked up some rice in almond milk with sugar and cinnamon. I added chopped carrots to the mix too. And raisins before it was completely done. I also had a salad and a piece of bread with oil and herbs.

Overall, not bad for a fasting day!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Orange Fritters!

The baked oranges I posted earlier called for a paste. All it says is to dip the oranges in the paste, to do something with sugar, Cinnamon, and ginger if you want it, and then to bake 'em leisurely. Well, figuring I made a decent paste with the apple fritters, I'd use that as a paste and fry the oranges up rather than bake them. I added sugar, cinnamon, and ginger to the paste. Oh my goodness, it's good. If I had burnt some sugar in the olive oil (don't ask), they would have been perfect. I added some powdered sugar on top of the fried oranges. I'm not normally a big fan of oranges not in juice form, but this is a pretty yummy snack!

I might try actually baking them next time, just to see the difference but it tastes fine the way it is.

Sounds Yummy

From a Book of Cookrye
How to bake Orenges.
Faire peele your Orenges, and pick away all the white that is under the peele, and so lay them in fine paste, and put into them Sugar, very little Sinamon or none at all, but a little Ginger and bake them very leisurely.

I also found the sweet potato recipe but it calls for butter. Grr! If I can find one without butter, that would be good. I'm sure that they were eaten during Lent (sweet potatoes were first introduced into Europe in the 1510's) so there *must* be a random recipe regarding them out there somewhere. I want my sweet potatoes! *grumpy face*

Tuesday will be boring when it comes to food

Today, I had Orange Juice for breakfast. Lunch is nothing more than pretzel sticks and Lemon Tea. (Yes, pretzel's are a Lenten food, thank goodness!) I do have almonds and I could sneak home again and get a salad but I'm just not that hungry. Tonight, I'm probably going to reheat the salmon I still have from last night, a salad, and maybe mushrooms. What I'd like to do for tomorrow is re-find that sweet potato recipe from the late 16th c and try that. It sounded good but I can't remember where I saw it.

In other news; I'm going to start my Regency dress for Sunday tonight. I know! So early! ;-) I'm planing on using this lovely blue twill I have in the stash, adding either silver or pink trim, and making a white skirt to go with the entire ensemble. I'm going with the 1790's look. Now, this may change because I do have a few days because I had this rather amusing dream a few days ago that I made this fabulous romper style early 1800's Regency dress out of orange linen that was completely embroidered in silver. Now, why orange linen rather than silk? Probably because I have a lot of orange linen and not a lot of orange silk in my stash - or my brain was trying to confuse me again. That happens. I sort of want to see if I have any saris that I could make into something but most of the saris I have are silk net (Edwardian stuffs). ...Or I could make a nice simple spencer out of some of the silk I have.....

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday's Dinner

I went back to the nice Elizabethan Salmon recipe for dinner but cooked it correctly this time. It's really, really good. I played with the ingredients a bit. I used the entire bottle of beer, the same amount of water, and added about a fourth of the bottle of white wine vinegar. I then played with the herbs until it looked right. I boiled the ingredients together. The second I poured the beer/water/herbs over the salmon? It turned white. I covered it and threw it in the oven for 20 minutes.

I also had the mushrooms and bread with oil and herbs. It was yummy.

For lunch today, I had the bread and herbs plus a nice yummy salad. Oh! And for dinner, I had the sparkling wine. It's called cold duck by Andre and it's actually rather good. It's a bit watery but not bad. I really like it.

1840's Dress in a Day

I decided I needed a new dress for the Poe event on Saturday despite my less than good attempts at the 1840's in the past. Barring that in mind, I wanted to use a fabric that would look good if it magically got turned into a wearable dress but that I wouldn't cry over if it, once again, ended up destined for the trash bin. This lead me to a plaid 20%wool/80% acetate (I think?) I had in my stash for the past few months.

The plaid was meant to be an 1860's dress; however, the seller that sold it to me informed me it was 100% wool. My fingers told a different story and the burn test confirmed it - I wasn't even sure it had wool, let alone being 100% wool. It wasn't until I pulled the fabric across the grain (rather than cutting through 3 yards of fabric to get a decent hem on the skirt) that I could smell the wool. So, it has wool, but it's no where near 100%.

Before cutting, I place the fabric out on the floor. I turned around to get the pattern I drafted a couple of years ago plus the pins. When I turned back, this is what I saw:


The same thing happened later when only the skirt part the fabric was on the floor:

So, the fabric may not be period but it is animal approved! Yay!

My inspirations for the dress included:

The pink 1840's I posted a few weeks ago in my other blog

This 1840's bodice

And this dress I have yet to post that is up at Augusta Auctions

I loved the idea of a gathered top rather than a pleated top but with the pleated waist still, as in the last dress. I thought that might be a bit easier since you don't need to make the top quite as smooth looking. I added about 3" to the center front, placing the pattern piece for the front about an 1 1/2" from the fold, and cut it that way. I then cut the lining on the fold exactly as the pattern piece looked. Using the lining as a guide, I gathered and pinned the bodice fronts together. Once that was gathered to the same width as the lining, I sewed them together, flipped the fabric over and pinned the pleats in place while having the sided pinned. To keep the bodice looking neat, I used gray thread to keep the pleats in place, along the gray or white lines of the plaid. I stitched through the sides, attaching the side fronts at the same time - thus keeping the front puff in place and looking neat.


This is the bodice, once I finished it, over my corset. I really was shocked at how well it came together. Later on, I added the sleeves and added a bit of self tape along the bottom edge of the bodice. The skirt was attached to the inside of the bodice - which was actually easier than trying to measure it and pin it to just the fashion fabric and then encase all the unsightly seams in the lining.


The finished dress! Not bad for only three hours on a Saturday, if I do say so myself. ;-) For once, I have an 1840's I don't want to immediately throw away! Yay! I'd like to put some sort of busk or something in the front and sew down the very front waist point but that's about all the dress really needs. A very minor edit compared to some of the stuff in the past.

Weekend and Wines

I was bad over the weekend. I had butter on Saturday (hard not to when you are eating out in the modern world!) and I had Turkey with mustard sauce and Banana Nut Bread on Sunday. Given that, even in the Renaissance, Sunday is a feast day, I'm not too worried. The turkey was so good! You can't beat the food at the American Indian Museum in DC for downtown food. It's pricy, but if you are walking around the museums and get hungry while in DC, go there. It's worth it.

On Saturday, I had crab cakes, rice, carrots, and peas at a Irish Pub in Baltimore. The vegetables were cooked in butter but the rest of the dish at least seemed like something similar to what was eaten in the late 16th C. So, not too horrible, really. ;-)

The wines I bought that I've never gotten around to writing about. The first is just a Sparkling Wine I like that is supposed to be sweet. The label is Andre and I've had the blush before but I want to try the sweet. The other wine is Gabbiano but I can't find it on the site. According to the label on the bottle, the vineyard was established in the 12th Century...

Today, I plan on going home for lunch so I can have a nice fresh salad. I'd also like to take the salmon out of the freezer and that way, it will be defrosted by the time I get home.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Wow, that was difficult.

I went to the farmer's market today. I didn't need much - mostly bread. However, this meant going past the donuts, the cheese, the milk, all the meat - everything I'd normally eat. I had to read the bread this time, not only for my typically buckwheat and corn allergies but also for milk, eggs, and butter! Luckily, pumpernickel was fine. My favorite bread, herbs and garlic, didn't have an ingredients list but, since I know I'm not allergic to it (or, at least, I haven't had a reaction yet!) and it looks like wheat bread with herbs in it, I'm going with it's safe for Lent.

Anyway, I think it was more difficult this time to go to the Farmer's Market than it was last week for two reasons - I didn't need as much and I was hungry. Being Friday, all I had up to that point was hot chocolate and water plus a few almonds. Since I was just there last week, all I needed was more almonds, more crystallized ginger, and some vegetables plus the bread. Not buying a doughnut was horrible!

Once I got home, I dug into the bread and had a salad. After that, my appetite disappeared.

One thing I have noticed over the past week, my complexion is changing a lot. The dark circles that I've always blamed on being Italian are almost gone! Mom had a theory I was allergic to Milk as well as everything else on my long long list...sadly, she might be right. Luckily, I like almond milk and I'd like to try coconut milk once Easter gets here.

Link Parking on Lenten Traditions

A bit on Italian Lenten Cooking in the Middle Ages

I love this post This is what I'm doing but much better said. :-)

Just a really yummy looking recipe

More recipes

So, despite loving eating like 16th Century European during Lent, I'm really REALLY looking forward to this second Sunday during Lent. I get to take the oldest nephew to the museums! This means, Aunt Sissy is going to treat him to a nice time at the American Indian Museum cafeteria. If you are ever in DC, don't bother with the museum. Seriously. If you know anything about American Indian history, it will make you mad. However, the lectures tend to be good, the festivals are fun, and the cafeteria? Pricy but oh so yummy. It's all "traditional" foods from the various regions represented in the museum. I love the turkey with mustard sauce and the green beans if they have them. They do have chicken nuggets for the less adventurous but really, you need to go there just once for the food. I just hope my 4 year old nephew is will to try something different. ;-) He'll, of course, get Astronaut Ice Cream right before I hand him back to my brother and sister in law.

I might put a few bucks in the poor box tomorrow and eat out on Saturday as well given the Poe anniversary.


Even in the modern Lenten tradition, Lent is still a fish day. So, tonight, I'm thinking about taking the salmon I have out and making this:

Take gode þikke mylke of Almaundys, & do it on a potte; & nyme þe Fleysshe of gode Crabbys, & gode Samoun, & bray it smal, & tempere yt vppe with þe forsayd mylke; boyle it, an lye it with floure of Rys or Amyndoun, an make it chargeaunt; when it ys y-boylid, do þer-to whyte Sugre, a gode quantyte of whyte Vernage Pime3 with þe wyne, Pome-garnade. Whan it is y-dressyd, straw a-boue þe grayne of Pome-garnade.

It's called Vyaunde de cyprys in Lente. Luckily, this time, there is a modern version here:

200g ground almonds
200g salmon steaks
2 tbsp rice flour
1 tbsp powder fort
2 tbsp sugar salt, to taste
a few drops of yellow food colouring

Vyannd Cypre of Samon Preparation:

Method: Preparation Combine the fish with 1l water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook gently for about 15 minutes, or until the salmon is tender. Remove the fish from the pan and strain the liquid. Set the fish aside and when cool remove the bones then pound the flesh to a paste in a mortar. Heat together the ground almond and 600ml of the salmon cooking liquid in a pan. Simmer for 10 minutes then cool slightly and blitz in a blender until smooth. Return to the pan and stir in the pounded salmon meat. Cook for 5 minutes then work in the rice flour, whisking constantly. Cook for 5 minutes then stir in the powder fort, sugar and season with salt to taste. Continue cooking, again whisking constantly, until the mixture is stiff. Serve hot.

I'm going to make a few minor changes but at least this is something I can follow! Yay! I also need to go get more mushrooms. I'm all out! Ack!

Being that today is a fasting day in the medieval/renaissance world, I only had a cup of hot chocolate this morning. So far, so good!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Last night, I had some of the whirled peas, the almond rice and cinnamon, a salad, fried mushrooms, and a piece of bread with plum jam. It was very very good. Tonight, it's more of the same because there are still a lot of leftovers from Tuesday.

I didn't eat breakfast today but had an early lunch. Lunch today was a salad with the oil and vinegar dressing, carrots, and chopped almonds. I also ate a piece of plain rye bread and had a glass of orange juice.

At my desk, I've been snacking on roasted almonds and crystallized ginger. I'm just drinking water which isn't very exciting but wine isn't allowed at work. ;-)

I'll post about the wines I got yesterday tonight. I can't recall the names off the top of my head. One is just a sparkling sweet wine and the other is from a vineyard that claims to go back to the 12th C! Although the recipe has, undoubtedly, changed, at least the grapes are probably similar to the ones I would have had back in the 16th c.

In non Lent related news, I cleaned up my sewing room!

sewing room 068

Isn't it much nicer than what it was?

sewing room 001

I know most of you have already seen the before and after over on LJ but, just in case, I wanted to post them here too. I am working on sewing projects; the gray coat in the nice cleaned up sewing room picture is one of them. It's going to be a Spanish Surcote. I got it as a surcote shaped pieces of gray velvet sewn at the sides and shoulders but no lining, not trimming of the hem, nothing else. So I added a lining and I'm going to add shoulder rolls. Then I'll have another nice velvet Spanish Surcote. Yay!

I'm also working on an 1840's bodice. I'm not too optimistic on it since all the 1840's stuff I've done in the past I've ended up trashing after one event. It's all looked...ugh. We'll see, though.