Thursday, July 2, 2015

Blackberry and cherry and pear.. oh my! (In which our heroine makes cordial and brandy for the first time in years)

Apologies for my lack of progress in trying to blog more regularly.    Jay and I have officially joined the SCA and gone to our first two events.  We met some lovely people and had a great time learning Renaissance dancing last weekend. Jay has also gotten into rapier fighting in the SCA and we have plans to do several more events in the near future.  It's been a busy month!

Despite worrying about everything that was inaccurate about our Ren Faire outfits, I didn't manage to get else anything finished in time for our first events (although I managed to generate a pretty impressive pile of UFOs!) and we ended up wearing our Ren Faire stuff.  As usual, I worried for nothing and Jay cut quite the dash even sans doublet. But sadly, I have no pictures

One of the things I loved to do before in the SCA was making cordials  so the day after our first event,  I pulled out my old recipes, got a few more from some old friends and set out to start my first batches.

Hong Kong Market, an Asian grocery near us always has crazy cheap berries in the summer and I laid in a stock of strawberries ($0.99 a pound!)  cherries and blackberries..and some pears and ginger for good measure.

After pitting and slicing and dicing for hours (and several trips back to the package store  then the market to get the ratio of fruit to alcohol to balance out) I now have the following batches in progress.

Ginger brandy
2 different recipes of Blackberry cordial
Strawberry cordial
Black cherry cordial
Black cherry brandy
2 different recipes of pear brandy

Based on the recommendation of a friend, I'm going to try to start a batch every 3-4 weeks so that by autumn, I should be able to open a batch for most events we go to.  Apricot brandy is next up on the schedule!

Upcoming projects include linen shirts/smock for each of us, a new set of skirts and working class bodice  for me, a doublet for Jay, and one he can fence in, flat caps for both of us and a mid 16th century Venetian gown for me.  It's going to be a busy summer. Watch this space. :)