Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Now that I'm Coherent Again... 

To answer J's comment: You're probably the first, other than me, to order copies of The Cauldron Crack'd. I ordered copies for selling at the Faire as soon as it was accepted.

I can't put the book about CC's first year on Lulu.com because my computer lacks the ability to handle Excel for the spreadsheets and I lack Adobe for formatting it as a pdf. Right now, if I can't do it in Word, it just doesn't get done.

I've been sending queries to traditional publishers, but it's really too soon to hear back.

Traditional publishers move slow, which is why this cookbook was published at Lulu.com - speed! From uploading to receiving the print copies is just 2-3 weeks (longer for me since I ordered so many copies for the Faire, so I paid extra for faster shipping).

I do want to apologize because I left out an entire chapter! That's what I get for rushing things. Like bread, a good book needs time to develope.

Since an ISBN has already been asigned to it (which means it will be available via Books in Print in 2 weeks), altering the book to add it would be difficult, at best. So, what we decided in the dark hours of this morning - when realization hit that we'd forgotten that chapter - was if the book proved popular enough to need edxpansion and updating, we'd add it then. This was the short chapter on beverages.

It was a very short chapter, just three drinks: a mulled wine/cider, a soft mead, and Pyrate's Brew.

The mulled wine recipe was taken from Curye on Inglish: English Culinary Manuscripts of the Fourteenth Century by Constance B. Hieatt and Sharon Butler, called Potus Ypocras. I won't post the original recipe here, but the redacted one is simple enough:

a bottle of wine or apple cider
1 cup honey
6 inches of broken cinnamon sticks
1/2 ounce of fresh ginger
2 tablespoons whole cloves
1 tablespoon black pepper, bruised
1 tablespoon fresh galingale (check the Asian markets for this)
2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons bruised caraway seeds

Warm the honey and skim any scum that rises. When no more scum rises up, pour in the wine, and tie the spices intoa triple layer bag of cheesecloth. Let the spices simmer in the honeyed wine (or cider) for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat and let cool with the spice bag still in it. Cover and let it sit for 24 hours in a cool place (the refrigerator is good). After 24 hours, remove the spices and filter the wine. Rebottle the wine and set it in the back of the refrigerator for at least a month. When you're ready to serve it, warm it up and add a little more honey if you like it really sweet, like me.

Soft mead came from so many sources, I'm hard put to select just one. It is an insanely simple recipe. You'll laugh when you read it. That's OK, it's a nice drink.

1 cup honey
2 cups sweet water
the juice of 1 lemon

Warm the honey and skim the scum that rises. When no more scum rises, add the juice of the lemon, remove it from the heat, and stir in the water. Serve it warm or chilled. It's very sweet. Just the way I like it.

Pyrate's Brew is our own concoction, a lovely spice blend one can add to hot beverages such as coffee, cocoa, cider, wine, Dr. Pepper, and most juices (you should try it with grapefruit juice!). We like to buy those "make your own" teabags, and fill them with this blend to steep in the beverage of our choice. The addition of rum or rum flavoring makes it super Pyratey good.

1 teaspoon each ground clove, cinnamon, nutmeg
1 fresh vanilla pod, chopped into 12 pieces
2 teaspoons dried orange zest (not peel, no white pith at all!)
1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut flakes

Mix all of this together, then divide between 12 tea bags. Seal the bags. When you want to make a Pyrate's Brew as we do (coffee), then take 1 tea bag per cup of coffee you'll make, steep them in the hot water you'll use to brew the coffee, then brew the coffee. Add 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk, 1 teaspoon raw turbinado sugar, and a few drops of rum flavoring. If you prefer real rum, use as much as you like, but really, more than a shotglass full in a cup of coffee overwhelms the coffee flavor, and you might as well dispense with the coffe and just drink the rum straight from the bottle.

We know a few Pirates from various Faires who like to skip all the coffee nonsense, and steep the spices straight in the bottles of rum. When they drink this, they start slurring their Yo Ho Hos,and become great fun at the late night Faire parties.

Not all Faires end at Gate Closing, and if you work at a Faire, you might be lucky enough to be invited to the Pirate Party. Of course, if you're really popular, you'll have to decide which party you want to attend: The SCA's, the Pirate's, The Royal Party, the merchant's, the musician's. Me, I'm a Faire slave volunteer, I'm usually too tired to attend these parties.

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