Friday, August 21, 2009

Gen Con and Pennsic

I'm still trying to recover from my week of Pennsic followed by 4 days of Gen Con (talk about culture shock), but I think I'm finally up to writing a bit here about how it all went.

For those who haven't heard of Pennsic, I've been describing it to my co-workers as a cross between Woodstock, A Renaissance faire, and a conference of academic historians.

This year was pretty good. The weather was reasonably cool and dry (soggy start and hot finish notwithstanding), and I didn't get sick at all this year. I spent lots of time taking classes and just hanging around with cool, geeky people.

The big focus for me this year was on book binding. I've been wanting to try making books for years, so I was thrilled to take classes on the subject and to talk with people who do it.

Best of all, I got to bring home some equipment for binding books! I suspect a new project will be coming along shortly.

Gen Con
As I have for the past few years, I sat on some of the Writers' Symposium panels, and I gave a two-hour seminar on medieval European cuisine.

The seminar was to a surprisingly large audience - they moved me from one room because we'd gone over the 100 person capacity. The audience was agreeable, interested, and in a good mood. They seemed to enjoy it, and I received a few compliments here and there, so as far as I can tell it went really well. I'll have to come up with a good topic for next year.

The Writers' Symposium panels were lots of fun, though surprisingly I did feel a bit out of my element on the panel about dragons.

Again, I spent a lot of my time hanging out with geeky people and learning cool (to me) stuff. I didn't buy as much stuff this year as I have in previous years - that's a good thing.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Kalendarium Hortense - August

The Kalendarium Hortense was published by John Evelyn in 1683. It contains instructions for what a gardener should do throughout the year. The excerpt below is the section titled "Fruits in Prime, or yet lasting" for the month of August.

The Ladies Longing, the Kirkham Apple, John Apple; the Seaming Apple, Cushion Apple, Spicing, May-flower, Sheeps snout.

Windsor, Sovereign, Orange, Bergamot, Slipper Pear, Red Catherine, King Catherine, Denny Pear, Prusia Pear, Summer Poppering, Sugar Pear, Lording Pear, &c.

Roman Peach, Man Peach, Quince Peach, Rambouillet, Musk Peach, Grand Carnation, Portugal Peach, Crown Peach, Bourdeaux Peach, Lavar Peach, the Peach Des Pot, Savoy Malacoton, which lasts till Michaelmas.

The Muroy Nectarine, Tawny, Red-Roman, little Green Nectarine, Cluster Nectarine, Yellow Nectarine.

Imperial, Blew, White Dates, Yellow Pear-plum, Black Pear-plum, White Nutmeg, late Pear-plum, Great Anthony, Turkey-Plum, the Jane Plum.

Other Fruit.
Cluster-grape, Muscadine, Corinths, Cornelians, Mulberries, Figs, Filberts, Melons, &c.