Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving Day Fun

For the last several years, several members of Gardner's Company volunteer at Jamestown for the annual Foods and Feasts event. This event is over the Thanksgiving Day and the weekend and focuses on food, of course.

Carla and I usually set up "shop" in the Barracks Building of Jamestown Settlement. We volunteer there and do 17th Century English cooking demonstrations. Using period recipes we prepare various dishes in the huge hearth behind me in this picture.

While we are toiling away preparing food, there are also military activities, and some of our other members help fill out in other buildings of the fort.

Here are some of our guys in formation for a military drill. Robert is wearing the very sexy thrummed hat. It was a bit chilly in the morning.

Anyway, some of the wonderful foodies we made were:

A Mushroom and Leek tart on the Left and a Dried Fruit and Almonds Tart on the right.

Chicken Fricassie - Martha Washington's recipe I believe.

A meat pie. This particular recipe is a pork, fig, and cheese pie which turned out quite yummy.

And and almond tart. This tart is an amazing cream-based confection. The crust is like a sugar cookie and the filling is cream, almond paste, sugar, and egg whites. Yum.

That's just a sampling of the goodies we made. We made more that I didn't get pictures of before the volunteers and Staff gobbled it all down. It's hard to take pictures of stuff when you're supposed to be interpreting and trying to hide things like the camera under your apron. Thanks to some friends I have pictures of me, which I never get.

Overall, the weekend was some work, but I always have fun doing the cooking. It's also interesting working with the public and passing on some early American history in the process.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I read this article in Salon through an RSS feed to Bloglines and nearly spewed coffee through my nose this morning. Anyone who has flown on a major (and probably minor) airline in the last few years is familiar with the SkyMall catalog in the pocket of the seat in front of you.

Sheer boredom drives you to flip through this Mall of Unnecessary Stuff. Well, apparently there are other folks wondering just who is ordering this crap and have put together SkyMaul a parady of the ubiquitous airplane catalog.

I'm going to have to find this and read it. The little bits I've seen have been quite funny.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Isn't it funny how time flies? Okay, sometimes not so funny. Like now, it's the 17th of November. Next week is Thanksgiving, and Christmas is just around the corner. I find myself pretty much unprepared for the holidays. And then I wonder why I'm so unprepared, considering they happen every year, predictably at the same time every year!

I used to be better about getting ready for the holidays. I don't like procrastinating. It's not really in my nature. I’m the type who wakes up at 3:00 am and worries over things. Any thing. So I try to make sure I don't have anything to worry over. But yet, for the last couple of holiday seasons, I have found myself unprepared for the holidays.

And I wonder why.

Am I really so busy throughout the Entire Year that I can't come up with ideas for the holidays? I can't say that I am, but yet here I am again unprepared. I have a few gifts already purchased, and have a couple of ideas for some family, but for most of them, I have nothing, and can't think of anything cool. Maybe that's the problem; I want to find that cool gift.

But then, what is a cool gift? I think it's something that maybe the recipient wouldn't necessarily buy for themselves, but wouldn't mind having. Or maybe something hand made.

But then, if they wouldn't buy it for themselves, who's to say it wouldn't just sit around collecting dust? Having been the recipient of many dust collectors, I don't really want to do that to someone.

I love the holidays. I enjoy being off from work, cooking yummy food, wrapping gifts, and giving them to my friends and family. I enjoy gift-giving, especially when you've found that gift you really want someone to have. Many of my Christmas decorations are things I purchased in Germany and they are very special to me. It's always fun putting those decorations up around the house and on the tree.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

It's finally fixed!

Finally I have a reliable FAST connection to the internet. It's been a week long odessey. After spending hours reloading all of my software on my brand new hard drive, the internet connection problems still persisted. After all that, you would think something would have improved. I call Comcast yet one more time, and the guy said your modem is shot. Well Hell, I figured that out! What else is there ? Now, you can go to a Comcast store and exchange it or call a tech.

I've been waiting for people to bring me things all week. Which is another story. I wasn't going to wait for yet another tech.

I went to Best Buy and bought my own damn modem. Of course, the broken rented POS still has to go back to Comcast, but my internet connection is fixed!


Friday, November 03, 2006

Out and about

I've been out and about on business and vacation over the last couple of weeks. While it was fun, I'm glad to be home.

Until, that is, the hard drive quit. You know, for the computer.

So I have spent the last few days reinstalling the operating system, drivers, updating the operating system, and finally, tonight, I'll be able to transfer the files I did manage to save.

What a pain! I have to figure out a better way of backing up the computer, I guess. I managed to lose every bit (byte?) of e-mail. I have to recreate all of that.

I hope everyone had a great halloween!