Citadel The

News from the Barony of Cynnabar, Pentamere
June 2010
Unto the great and noble citizens of Cynnabar do We, Tairdelbach and Hannah,
Baron and Baroness of Cynnabar send Our most heartfelt greetings!
We hope Our first Citadel missive finds you well and enjoying the warm weather.
We were pleased to hold Our first Baronial court and make Our first Baronial
decision! The choosing of Our armoured and rapier champions at a Baronial revel in
late April. We had a wonderful day -- and hope that were you in attendance you did
as well. It is our pleasure to announce Master Midair MacCormaic as our first
Amoured Champion. Master Midair is only the second person to hold this
prestigious office twice. We look forward to see him lead our troops and represent
the Barony in tournaments this coming Pennsic. After a vacancy in the Barony for
some time, we are happy to announce our first Rapier Champion as Azriel le Fey.
She is wicked grace personified and we also look forward to watching her lead our
troups this summer.
The summer event season is fast upon us! We are planning to travel across the
Middle Kingdom for many events. It's one of our goals to provide more of a
Cynnabar presence by not only our attendance, but with flags, banners and other
decoration. We encourage you to join us at these events and show the Kingdom the
greatness of the people of Cynnabar. Please feel free to make Our day-camp your
day-camp! That being said, Pennsic is right around the corner. Please make sure that
you preregister! It's very important for the group to have enough space. Registration
can be done online at and you will also need to contact Sir Straum
with your tent size. Upon camping at Pennsic you will be asked to pay a site fee of
$20/pp with a family cap of $45. Your camp fees help pay for the firewood, water
filters, ice, propane, torch fluid, and many other materials that keep our camp running.
Keep camp running and check in with Straum or the Camp Engineers upon your
arrival. We have the pleasure of serving the Crown again this year as retaining staff,
guard duty and peer on duty tasks for Sunday afternoon. If you are interested in
helping -- please contact Baroness Hannah. Shifts are 2 hours and start at noon.
We also have the pleasure of continuing the Cynnabar tradition in hosting the
Known World Baronial Champions Tourney. This will be held from 1 pm - 6 pm on
Monday of war week August 9th. We could use some help with set up and tear down
of shade and snacks for the combatants. In addition, Baroness Hannah will be
hosting a newcommers walk on Sunday. If this is your first Pennsic, please feel free to
ask about the tour!
We look forward to seeing you all throughout this coming summer event season!
Always in service to Our Barony and the Crown
Tairdelbach and Hannah
Upcoming Events in and Around Cynnabar
These Events and others are also available on the Midrealm website
June 18- 20
Baronial Border War 27
July 9 -11
Siege of Talonval
July 30- August 15
Pennsic War 39
The A&S 50 Challenge
Submitted by THL Johnnae llyn Lewis, CE
Currently Pentamere Coordinator Pro Temp!
There are literally hundreds of arts, sciences,
technologies, and crafts that can be explored in the Society.
After forty plus years, Midrealm citizens have spun,
woven, sewn garb, blown glass, created musical
instruments, leather crafted, cooked, brewed, sung,
illuminated, and researched hundreds of objects and
activities. Now there is a new A&S activity that may
appeal to new and old members alike. It offers a different
sort of challenge in terms of the Arts and Sciences. It‟s
known as The A&S 50 Challenge and it may be just the
right fit for someone‟s interests and activities.
Those attending the Midrealm Crown Tournament
in May were able to see a display of the Challenges being
undertaken at this time by their fellow Midrealmers.
Notably, on display was Lady Jadwiga‟s SCA history
tapestry, which is a massive undertaking to record the
history of the Society through embroidery.
On a basic level, the A&S 50 Challenge involves
doing 50 things in the Arts and/or Sciences between May
1st AS 42/2007 and May 1st AS 50/2015, in honor of the
Society‟s 50th Birthday.” The Challenge was created by
Lady Albreda Aylese who coordinates the activities from
her home in the Mountain Freehold in the East Kingdom.
She may be contacted at [email protected]
The Challenge offers individuals or groups the
invaluable chance to develop skills and learn more in a
non-competitive, community-based environment. There
are currently three types of Challenges:
The Depth Challenge – whereby one does 50 of any
one type of thing, in order to push your skills and/or
knowledge to new levels. This may be a broad challenge or
Weekly Schedule
for Cynnabar
Arts and Sciences
UM League, Room D
Baronial Meetings
8:15-end of meeting
UM League, Room D
Vocal Music Practice
Home of Lord Aaron and
Lady Jadwiga
Baronial Fight Practice
Island Park, Ann Arbor
European Dance Practice
Island Park, Ann Arbor
Middle Eastern Dance
Island Park, Ann Arbor
Please note these are also on
the calendar at
be narrowly focused.
The Breadth Challenge - whereby one creates/makes/learns 50 new and different
The Persona Challenge – whereby one seeks to create/make/learn 50 different
things that your persona would known or created. A number of people have chosen for
instance to read 50 books that their persona might have read for this challenge. Others are
keeping a daily diary (blog) and recording events in a given year such as 1587 or 1256.
As it has proceeded along, the Challenge has developed into a thriving A&S
Community complete with e-mail list, events, files, and website. Many participants are
blogging or have created online diaries or websites that document their activities.
Although the challenge started in 2007, there is still time to start the Challenge in 2010
and finish it before May 1st, 2015. There are several residents of Pentamere already
participating in the Challenge, and more are welcome to sign up and join the A&S 50
If you are interested in the Challenge, please check out the website at . Learn more about the Challenge and register there. There
is also a yahoo group for the Challenge if you would like to join the discussions.
Lady Verena Entenwirth maintains the Midrealm A&S 50 website, which can be found at
By the way, if anyone would like to help coordinate A&S 50 activities, including displays
or possible meetings at events for the Region of Pentamere, please contact me and we‟ll
see what we can work out.
Easy Quiche Lorraine
1-1/2 cups finely crushed potato chips
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup whipping cream
3 eggs, well beaten
1/4 pound bacon, crisp-cooked, drained, and crumbled
2 tablespoons sliced green onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
Dash black pepper
Dash nutmeg
2 cups grated Swiss cheese
In a small bowl, combine potato chips and paprika; blend well. Press chip
mixture gently onto bottom and 1-1/2 inches up the sides of an 8-inch springform
pan(a pie pan or casserole pan works great) In a saucepan, heat both creams.
Beat into eggs until well blended. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour egg
mixture into crust. Bake at 375 degrees F. 30 to 35 minutes or until a knife
inserted in the center comes out clean.
I have used this for years. It's delicious. Diners have always been surprised that
the crust was potato chips.
From Anonymous Cook
Most Suitable for a Summer:
Fruit and Vegetable Subtleties & Carving Sources
By THL Johnnae llyn Lewis, CE
Carved watermelons have been part of Midrealm summer banquet tables
for decades. I can personally remember creating a festive one for a head table
far back as the summer of 1974. The nagging question has always been: Was it
period to do so? Fruit carving has been a subject of much discussion on the
various Society Cookery E-Lists over the past several years. On the one hand
we know that watermelons are of course suitable for eating as they were grown
within our period in the lands surrounding the Mediterranean, but the question
often arises did the medieval or Renaissance cook ever carve or decorate
melons? Did they carve any fruits or vegetables for decorative purposes at all
prior to 1650?
The one long quoted recipe with the evidence is this one by Gervase
Markham which appears in his volume The English Housewife. There we have
carrots of differing colors cut into various shapes for use in a sallat.
Sallats for shew onely.
Now for Sallets for shew only, and the adorning and setting out of a
table with numbers of dishes, they be those which are made of Carret rootes of
sundrye colours well boiled, and cut out into many shapes and proportions, as
some into knots, some in the manner of Scutchions and Armes, some like
Birds, and some like wild Beasts, according to the Art and cunning of the
Workman; and these for the most part are seasoned with Vinegar, Oyle, and a
little Pepper. A world of other Sallets there are, which time and experience may
bring to our Hous wifes eye, but the composition of them, and the seruing of
them differeth nothing from these already rehearsed.
So here we are given license to “fancify up” carrots for use in sallats.
(Today‟s cooks might make use of those small modern stainless steel hors
d'oeuvres cutters in assorted shapes and turn this into an easy task.)
Markham‟s Housewife dates from as early as 1615 and dominated the
marketplace for almost thirty years. Where else might one look for such
instructions besides Markham? Well, there are works dedicated to just carving.
In 1508 Wynkyn de Worde printed the first book dedicated to the art of carving
in England. Titled The Boke of Keruynge, the early Tudor work was reprinted
and included then in numerous other cookery books until well past the
Restoration period by which time it was quite dated to say the least. De
Worde‟s Boke is dedicated primarily to meats and instructs one how to “break
and display” game and domestic animals, fish, and birds, and includes what
sauces must be served with said meats for the noble table. The Boke of
Keruynge does not however delve into the carving of fruits or vegetables nor
does it feature illustrations for carving.
Roughly contemporary with Markham, however, is an Italian carving
book, which does include both fruit carving and illustrations. Matthias
Giegher‟s instructive Italian works featured elaborate folding of napkins,
carving instructions, stewardship, and table service. They were first published
in 1621 and in 1623. Later in 1639 long after Giegher‟s death, Li Tre Trattati (a
combination of Giegher‟s earlier books and more importantly featuring 48
engraved plates) was published. Almost as an afterthought, this carving manual
includes engravings that feature “frutti”. Ivan Day describes the book as
showing how to “also whittle fruits, such as citrons, into the most extraordinary
shapes.” (Day, p. 123)
It‟s possible today to actually browse through Giegher‟s masterpiece
online. After a number of false starts and several hours, I finally managed to
locate an online copy that includes the sought after plates. (Any number of
these early volumes may exist but often they lack the desired woodcuts or
engravings. The valuable illustrations or fold-outs have simply disappeared
over the past centuries.) The Academia Barilla Gastronomic Library has a
copy, which may be viewed online once one has registered. Plate 21
(image/page 150) shows a pear being sliced into birds. Plate 22 (image/page
152) shows cedri or citrons being carved into flowers, fish, turtles, & birds and
even forming the center of a double-headed eagle. The final page shows
melarance or oranges being carved into a variety of decorative spheres.
Academia Barilla allows zooming so one can examine all the details. It‟s a
marvelous work, and we should be very grateful that the work and the plates
can be viewed online.
The Eastern Tradition
So in the west, we have 17th century sources for the practice, but if we
are willing to look to the Far East, we can date fruit and vegetable carving back
another four or five centuries or possibly even to the Chinese Tang Dynasty
(AD 618-906) and Sung Dynasty (AD 960-1279). Interestingly, we also know
that the watermelon was introduced and being grown in India in the 9 th century
and in China possibly as early as the 10th century. By the 11th century, (c 1080
AD) sources mention that the Chinese were eating watermelon seeds, a habit
that continues to this day. Were they carving watermelons as early as the 10 th or
11th centuries?
The September 2008 issue of Saveur magazine #113 carried a major
article on watermelons. Included in that article on pages 78-79 is a paragraph
devoted to the art of watermelon carving or garnishing. Of interest to us in the
Society, is the section that talks about the history of fruit carving in Southeast
Asia. It reads:
"In Thailand, however, the elaborate carving of watermelon and other fruits and
vegetables is a long-standing and respected tradition that dates to the 14th
century, when the art evolved in the court of King Phra Ruang. Chefs for Thai
nobility and royalty were expected to make food that was not only delicious but
also beautiful, even fantastical."
Other sources date festival fruit carving to an exact year, 1364 to be
exact. There are literally dozens of sites now on the Internet that cite the same
date, the same king, and the same tradition. Are all these sites correct or are
they merely copying each other? I‟m still not certain, but I am hopeful that
perhaps the forthcoming reference volumes The Oxford Companion to
Chinese Food and The Oxford Companion to Southeast Asian Food will
contain details on the history of fruit carving and clear up some of the mystery.
Meanwhile, Julia Abramson‟s article for the Oxford Symposium points
out that the Eastern tradition is alive and well. Try a Google Images search
under “watermelon carving”. Add in the term Thailand” or “China” and that
will narrow the search. Or search YouTube and watch “A traditional Chinese
dragon being carved around a watermelon.” The Thai tradition is one of
carving flowers, while the Chinese often incorporate more animals (like
dragons) into their work.
Bookwise, Chef Martin Yan mentions food carving in his books,
including his 2008 volume Martin Yan’s China. Chef Fuchsia Dunlop in her
award winning Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper compares present day
Chinese food sculpture to the creation of past subtleties. She writes, “It is as
ostentatious and utter frivolous as the sugar-paste cathedrals… Vegetable
carving can only exist in a society with a surplus of underpaid and
underworked youths, who can be persuaded to spend hours engraving the
outside of a watermelon with minutely realized scenes…”
Dunlop‟s words remind us that watermelon, fruit or vegetable carving
can take a long time to master. Those extraordinarily intricate designs take
practice and more time than one can often spare in those rushed hours before
events. On the other hand, the activity seems decorative, relatively inexpensive
when the fruits or vegetables are in season and abundant, and a most festive
thing to do. It‟s also fun and simple designs can be relatively easy, if one has
the time. Professionals use special tools and one drawback is that those
professional garnishing kits with the wide variety of tools and design cutters
can be quite expensive and hard to come by. It‟s perhaps best to start simply
with a selection of good paring knives and peelers before spending money on
more elaborate garnishing knives and special saws. Or consider acquiring
those pumpkin carving kits and making use of those tools; those always go on
sale in late October or early November.
There are a number of other books that might help or provide ideas and
patterns. Yuci Tan has written a general book titled The Art of Food Sculpture.
Xiang Wang has authored a number of books that feature the Chinese
techniques; Penpan Sittitrai and Sumitra Narain have written on the Thai
techniques. Inquire if your local public library can interlibrary loan these books
for you, as the books are not inexpensive.
I would end as I did many years ago and say once again that serving
carved watermelons or other fruits and even vegetables, can still be as it was
centuries ago „marvelously refreshing‟ and entertainingly festive on today‟s
Society tables.
Selective Sources include:
Abramson, Julia.
"Vegetable Carving: For Your Eyes Only," Vegetables: Proceedings of
the Oxford Symposium on Food and
Cookery 2008, Ed. by Susan Friedland. Totnes, Devon, UK: Prospect Books, 2009. pp. 9-18.
Bowen, Dana. “Why We Love Watermelon.” Saveur. #113. September, 2008.
Cancila, Karen. “An Ancient Art.” Saveur. #113. September, 2008. (watermelon carving)
Day, Ivan. “From Murrell to Jarrin: Illustrations in British Cookery Books, 1611- 1820.” The English Cookery Book: Historical
Essays. Ed. by Eileen White. Devon, UK: Prospect Books, 2004. Pp. 98-150.
Dunlop, Fuchsia. Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper. A Sweet-Sour Memoir of Eating in China. NY: W.W. Norton, 2008. Pp. 89-90.
Giegher, Mattia Li tre trattati di messer Mattia Giegher bavaro di Mosburc, trinciante nell' natione alemanna in Padoua.
Padua. 1639. [Registration required.]
Manneeratana, Pam. “The History of Thai Fruit and Vegetable Carving.”
“Sallats for show only.” Markham, Gervase. The English Housewife.1615, 1631. Edited by Michael R. Best. Kingston and Montreal:
McGill-Queen‟s University Press, 1986. Pp. 66-67.
Tan, Yuci. The Art of Food Sculpture. Designs & Techniques. Atglen, PA: Schiffer, 2002.
Wang, Xiang. “The History of Garnishing.”
Yan, Martin. Martin Yan’s China. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2008.
My original article “Regarding Watermelons” August 2006 Pale is now archived in part at: An updated article
on watermelons appeared in the 2009 August Pale.
Cynnabar Officers
Baron of Cynnabar Minister of Arts
Tairdelbach ua
& Sciences
Amyon of Cynnabar
Lady Jadwiga
Baroness of Cynnabar
Hannah Schreiber
Knight Marshal
Rebbah Chaya-Simcha
bat Yonah
Uillec MacLamont
Ysendra de Crag
Sgt. Bjarki Bjornson
Exchequer Fencing Marshal
Lord Vincent
Lord Arnold
Lord Aaron Drummond
All These Officers Can be reached at the e-mails of: [email protected]
You can reach me at [email protected]
*This is the Citadel, a publication of the Baronny of Cynnabar of the Society for Creative
Anachronism, Inc. The Citadel is available from Chronicler, Megan J. Riznikove, Ann Arbor, MI.
It is not a corporate publication of the Society for Creative Anachronism, Inc. and does not
delineate SCA policies. All material herein should be considered under copyright protections
under U.S. law and international treaty, and may not be reused without the permission of the
author, artist or other copyright owner as designated.