Grape Sauce for a Roast

This sauce is redacted from The Opera of Barolomeo Scappi.  The original recipe called for grape must, but as I do not live in wine country, I was not able to find any in my area.  All research I did said a good substitution was to simmer grape juice until it was 1/3 it’s previous volume.

Start with 1 cup of grape juice, and simmer it until there is only 1/3 cup left.  To the Must substitute, add 2/3 cup of roast juices, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon tapioca starch, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ginger, dash of cloves, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a simmer, and let simmer for 5 minutes, until slightly thickened.  Keep warm until serving.

This is a good sauce for either beef or pork roast.


Glazed Eggplant

This past weekend, I was the head cook for an SCA feast.  Along with the very necessary and appreciated help from some friends, I put out a four course, fifteen dish middle eastern dinner.  After the event, I was asked for the recipes for 3 different things.

The number one asked for recipe was the Glazed Eggplant.  So, for anybody who wants it, here it is:

Glazed Eggplant

1 eggplant
1/2 cup flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 garlic powder

Olive oil for frying

For the glaze:
1/2 cup gluten free soy sauce
1 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon butter

Peal the eggplant and cut into 1/2″ to 1″ slices.  Mix the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in a shallow bowl, then dredge the eggplant slices in the flour mixture, making sure to cover all sides of the eggplant.

Fry in pan with olive oil until brown on both sides.  Put onto a cookie sheet, single layer, and into a warm oven while you prepare the glaze.

There are two secrets to the glaze:  one is the gluten free soy sauce.  This soy sauce is made from only soy beans, no wheat or wheat flour as is in the regular soy sauce, and it does have a different flavor.  It can be found in most local grocery stores in the asian food section.  The other secret is the butter.  When you add butter to a sauce, it finishes the sauce, makes it velvety, and gives it a bit of a rich mouth feel.  Do not substitute margarine for the butter, as margarine won’t give it the same taste or feel.

Put the soy sauce, red wine vinegar, and pepper into a shallow pan and heat on medium until it simmers.  Allow the sauce to simmer until there’s about 3/4 of the sauce left, then turn down the flame.  Stir in the butter until the butter is melted and the sauce is smooth and silky looking.

Put each piece of eggplant into the glaze, and then onto your serving plate.

This should serve four, but you may be surprised and find it’s not enough for one!


Note:  After a friend asked about it, I realized I’d messed up the amounts of soy sauce and red wine vinegar.  I have it fixed now.  My apologies to anybody who tried this before and had inedible food because of it!

New Year, New Energy

It has been a while since I’ve posted on here.  I’m sure all two of the people who follow me here have been wondering what’s up with me.

The short story is that I was suffering from a very bad case of depression.  I did not work on very many things last year.  I didn’t write about anything because of the depression.  I have found two things that are doing a good job in helping the depression go away; one is an over the counter supplement, the other is good counseling from a counselor who regularly kicks my butt.

In the past couple of months, I’ve started to want to work on my art and my crafts again.  I’ve pinned so many things to Pinterest, things that inspire me, things I want to do, and things that just look really cool.

As I said in the title, it’s a new year, and I have new energy.  I have decided the first things I’m going to work on and complete are my UFOs — those UnFinished Projects I have laying around.  Some of them are over 11 years old (I’m looking at you, Cloak of Doom), some about 6 years old (a lavender suit jacket I started to make and then never finished), some a year or less (lace cuffs and a couple of doublets that have been cut out for a couple months).

So my first priorities are to finish those things.  After that, I want to really start thinking out of the box with my art.  Yes, as long as I do period recreations on my needle lace, there will be a certain amount of flat things (handkerchiefs, cuffs, things like that), but I also want to do some 3-D needle lace items.  I want to push my limits on color and shape and size, while staying in needle lace.

Yeah, that’s a lot for a year, but I’ve got the energy now to do it all.

Hope all y’all will enjoy the pictures I put up, as soon as I take pictures of everything!

Lace completed!

I have completed two new lace pieces, just in time for the competition I’m entering tomorrow.

Queen’s Prize Tourney, in the Outlands, is being held on Sunday, Feb 17.  The rules are that anybody who does not have a Grant Level award or higher (Flower of the Outlands, Laurel) or who is not a Lady of the Rose, may enter one A&S item.  The entrant has to be sponsored by an above mentioned award holder.

As I have not been honored yet with any of the above awards, I am entering a piece of lace.   Yes, I know, you are all shocked to find out I’m entering some lace.

White lace

This lace is made with 35/2 linen.  It is one motif from a pattern from a German Needle Lace Pattern book, from 1597.  I still have to sew the lace onto some fabric and make a small pouch out of it, but that won’t take me very long to do.

At Queen’s Prize, there’s a competition that’s being sponsored by the Ladies of the Rose.  This competition is for “A Rose in Any Medium.”  So, of course, I made a lace rose.  Again, I’m sure you are all surprised.

lace rose

This was made with DMC tatting thread, and the pattern was a modern pattern of a Tudor Rose.  Where the wrapped bars are in the pink and rose areas, I wish I’d put needle weaving instead.  I think it would have made it look nicer.  However, I’m pleased with the overall look of the lace.


After I finished the pink piece I just posted about, I decided to tackle a much more difficult, and more SCA Period, pattern.

The pattern came from Les Singuliers Et Nouveaux Pourtraicts 1587 by Frederico de Vinciolo.



I started out with the intent to do all the beautiful lace around the arch as well, but ran out of time (and patience) with it.  This was another learning piece.  One of the most important things I learned on this one was that while using a 50/2 thread (2 strands of thread at a 50 gauge) it was too big.  I lost a lot of detail in the inner scallops.

I ordered a finer thread (90/3) and was able to have the detail in the saddle before I finished this piece.




As you can see, I lost detail in the front leg, and wasn’t able to put any of the picots or the arches on half lozenges hanging on the inside of the arch.


The more I make lace, the more I’m learning about it!

Trying to make a go of this again

I know it’s been a long time since I did any posting here.  Life became difficult for a while.

I think I’m back now.


While I haven’t been posting, I have done a few lace items I want to upload here.


Pink Punto in Aria2

This was my first attempt at doing “Punto in Aria” lace.  I took the inspiration from a plate I bought at the grocery store:



I learned a lot in that piece, and there are things I would definitely do differently.  But it was a good learning piece.