A little lull in posting, because we were off travelling again! This time an epic road trip over to the Barony of Shattered Crystal in the Middle Kingdom, who were hosting Known World Cooks and Bards over Labour Day weekend. (Google says it’s an 11 hr drive, we found it to be closer to 16 hrs with stops and food and border. It’s a good thing we rather love road trips.)
Now, I am going to point out that I am not much of a cook and none of a bard. I do cook, yes.. although not much. I research cooking more than I set pot to stove, and given a choice, I’m more likely to be cooking weeds for colour than soup. (I do love to bake, but that’s more feeding a carb addiction than anything.) I also love to sing, but it’s generally in a sing along pack with my songbook in the key of army, although I do some part singing and enjoy it when I do. I play no instruments and write no music. I am no bard. There was a few moments of ‘hunh, I will be the token string person at this event.. it’ll be fine’. And then it was noted to me that /brewers/ fall into purview, and I am certainly one of those, if only a rather beginner one. Problem solved! (And spinning packed, because I am still a string person, let’s not be silly here.)
My class choices can be best categorized as the care and management of micro-organisms. I took classes on yeastie beasties (different kinds, how to capture them), I took classes in encouraging bacteria (yay vinegar!), I took classes in discouraging bacteria (food preservation classes). I chatted with bakers and microbiologists about Wilma (she’s brewing only these days, no more bread from her. Ah well.) We chatted with people about quinces and how to use them in everything. (Class notes can be found here.) I chatted with people about brewing, about life and everything and about nothing much, basking in the afternoon warmth. The mosquitos drove us back to the hotel before bardic really got going each night, which was sad making. I’d hoped to hear more just ambient music during the day, but I think the bards were worried about being too loud, and as a result, weren’t nearly loud enough.
We chatted with anyone who stopped by. We had a little baronial day camp, and held baronial food court, filled with silly Oreo flavours and fortune cookie scrolls. (Halloween, latte, mint chocolate chip, and the star of this oreo tasting.. Maple Creme). It was, overall, a relaxed weekend of food and good company (for the mosquitos too, apparently!). Ealdormere was where cooks and bards started, and there’s a push to have it come home again, and I’m happily in favour of that. As always when we go travelling, we find so many people that we wish lived closer. The world holds far too much awesome, spread too thinly over it.