La Maison d' Armoise's Photos

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Where To Start..........

As promised, it has been an exceedingly busy last month for La Maison d'Armoise. One event right after the other, and we still are not finished with the season. Phew. I get exhausted just thinking aout it!

Here is a recap of events since my last update:

Queen's Equestrian Champion
What a fun a windy day this was. We had a blast watching the new Queen's Equestrian Champion be chosen. What a great job Mayken de Houtman did in winning the day on the beautiful Jo Jo. Congratulations Mayken. It was well deserved.  Be sure to check out our slide show above for the video of her Victory lap. We also got some great King On A Horse pictures that day.

Altavia Yule

Our next event was over in Alatvia for a Yule celebration. There was so much amazing food! Unfortunately, I think I ate WAY too much that night. But I had to try everything, just to be polite ya know. Our household set up an absinthe tasting at our table, which was very well received. We spent a good evening with good friends. My leeks with leek almond sauce won the prize for Best Side Dish! I was so excited. I won a lovely handmade ceramic cup and plate. Monique came in honorable mention for her gret dessert gingerbread pudding with butterscotch sauce. Yumminess all around. At the raffle both Monique and I went home winners. Monique won a great big basket of yarn and I won a cool box full of embroidery supplies. We were both thrilled.

Authorization for Thrown Weapons
In anticipation for the Queen's Champion Archery and Thrown Weapons Champion Tourney, Monique and I headed out to Woodley Park the day after Altavia Yule for some archery practice and to be authorized in thrown Weapons. We both got authorized, and got some great lessons in knife and axe throwing from the lovely Lady Cecilia (thanks!) and this amazing Russian guy who happened to show up. Unforunately, the Tournament is being re-scheduled due to inclement weather, but that will give us more time to practice throwing things. Monique says I throw like a girl. Meh, what can ya do? Monique took to knives very quickly whereas I surprisingly did very well with axes. We are both hooked and have ordered throwing knives.

Angels' Yule
What a dark and stormy night. What a great evening with friends. There was so much food, it really made one thankful for all that we have when so many people in this knowne wworld have so little. We really are blessed. Lord Balthazar did a stand up job autocratting this event, and a very fun time was had by all. Altavia's own Petronilla won Bardic Competition with an outstanding 80 line viking poem she wrote and recited. That is one amazing kid. And Monique won the dessert competition for her gingerbread pudding with butterscotch sauce. Her prize was a beautiful crystal bowl, donated by Lord Balthazar. We enjoyed good food, good entertainment and some good off color jokes (thanks to Dame Lynette). What an amazing night.

I still have one more Yule celebration this weekend. My home barony, Gyldneholt is having its Yule celebration with the good folks of Lyondemere. I am going to have to attend this one solo, as Monique has Lola duties. It is her grandson's first birthday. Oh my gulay. I am working like a fiend to have my scroll finished to turn in at Yule so it can be handed out at Twelfth Night. Gulp. It is going well, but there is a lot of painting left to do. It started looking very nice last night, though. I am excited to get it finished and turned in. It is my first Kingdom Scroll. Woo Hoo!

Well, that is all I have to report in this post. Cheers to everyone! Happy Holidays!


Monday, December 14, 2009

Gingerbread Bread Pudding with Butterscotch Sauce

I have had a couple of requests for my gingerbread bread pudding w/butterscotch sauce recipe so here it is. Although it is pretty easy, it requires a few days advance planning and baking.

5 days in advance, or as many as you want, soak 1/3 cup raisins in enough cognac to cover. Stir every day. The raisins will plump up a bit and absorb the cognac.

One or two days in advance, bake the gingerbread. When completely cool, slice in half width-wise and then cut into about 1" cubes. Let sit out on a cookie sheet to dry out a bit. This drying out will allow the gingerbread to soak up the custard before baking.

Cream 1/2 cup butter with 1/2 cup sugar until light. Add 1 egg and 1/2 cup molasses and beat thoroughly. Sift together 1 1/2 cup unbleached flour, 3/4 teaspoon salt, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Add alternately to creamed mixture with 1/2 cup very hot tap water, beating well after each addition. Bake in a greased 8" X 8" square pan at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until done. Don't under bake.

To assemble bread pudding, lightly butter the inside of a 2 1/2 quart baking dish. Combine 4 eggs with 1/3 cup granulated white sugar and 3 cups half-and-half. Finely chop 3-4 large pieces of Crystallized Ginger. I like Reeds because they use baby ginger root and it is less fibrous. Place 1/2 gingerbread cubes in the baking dish. Sprinkle half the raisins and half the chopped ginger root over the gingerbread. Repeat with the second half of the gingerbread, raisins and ginger root. Pour egg mixture slowly over the gingerbread cubes. Press down a bit on the top to get the cubes to soak up the egg mixture. Place baking dish in a larger pan. Pour hot water into larger pan to about 1" deep. Bake at 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until a butter knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool and refrigerate or serve warm.

Butterscotch Sauce

I found this recipe on a website and rather than write all the directions down here, I am providing a link. There is a great explanation and photos to reference. I scaled back the vanilla and salt to about 3/4 Tablespoon each. Adjust to your taste.


I would like to thank everyone for their compliments on my desert. I love to bake and finding an appreciative audience is a wonderful thing!

Altavia Yule

Southern California has been experiencing some very we weather and that has postponed a few events that would have been held out of doors. But Yule is thankfully an indoor event and much fun was had by all.

Altavia Yule was on December 5, 2009. Alys and I arrived a bit early in the afternoon to help set up for the raffle. Alys snagged a great dining table and set up our decorations for the feast. We were sponsoring an unofficial absinthe tasting and my fountain made an awesome centerpiece! My knitting friend Cassandra joined us that afternoon and I think she had a good enough time to make her want to come to more SCA events! Huzzah!

The pot luck dinner had many and varied offerings and we all stuffed ourselves. Alys made an incredible baked leek sidedish that took first place in the sidedish competition. It was awesome! I should have taken a larger portion...My gingerbread bread pudding got Honorable Mention in the desert category so I was very pleased. Many were interested in the absinthe and we louched up several glasses to those who wanted to taste the real thing.

After dinner there was a raffle in an adjoining room. Cassandra won some excellent jewelry, Alys took home a darling red Fleur de Lys case with embroidery supplies and I won yarn. I am always happy to win yarn! I love yarn.

After the raffle, we wandered back into the dining hall where the tables had been cleared away to allow for dancing. I am not sure who had a better time. Those dancing or those of us who watched the dancers crash into each other!

The next day was a scheduled archery and thrown weapons practice. I was feeling pretty on-target when my bow de-laminated. Well, so much for archery. Let's shift gears to thrown weapons. Alys and I both authorized for and practiced throwing knives and axes. It was so much fun!