My Thoughts on Peers

I find it fascinating that many of my SCA friends have been discussing what makes a Peer, or what are Peer-like qualities, at the same time that I am reviewing my own journey thus far and where I want to go from here.

The Peers that I generally tend to affiliate with, I didn’t know were Peers when I met them. They are humble, kind people who don’t need to flaunt their prestige. They’re folks I can share a beer or a glass of wine with over a conversation, and have in many instances.

They’re decent folks themselves and try to encourage others to follow their moral compass for the good of the individual, the Society, and humanity as a whole. They understand that many hands make a task easy (most times).

They’re teachers and students all at once. They seek to expand their knowledge of people, themselves, their craft, and other crafts where they may not show mastery in. They understand that not all lessons come from our elders, and that younger folks have as much to give in their own ways.

They understand that they’re human — they forget, they get angry at times, they hurt, they share joy, they make mistakes, they forgive. And they do not hold the human condition against their fellow person.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

As for myself, I personally think I have a while to go before I’m able to competently teach anyone else about my craft (leatherwork), but it’s also fun for me to experiment (see last night’s failed circlet attempt and my first run of my vambraces) and try to figure out what makes things work well. Okay, so that applies to cooking, as well. ;-P

I try to remain humble. While I’m fiercely proud of being recognized by my Barony and Kingdom for the things I’ve done, titles mean jack and squat to me. I’m Samii. Nothing more, nothing less. I know I’ve got a lot to work on and I’ve got miles and years to go on my journey.

I try to remain open to learning and improving. It’s the only way I’ll get better at anything. And, well, though I may be relatively proficient at a few things, I can always find new ways to do them that produce better results or just simply make my life easier.

I try to take experiences with a healthy dose of salt. Even negative experiences offer the silver lining of an opportunity to learn and grow. Crow is often best seasoned with salt and a little beer to wash it down.

I try to remain positive. Always forward. Forward always.

Egg Custard Pie

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Ingredients:

1 – 9in/ Graham Cracker pie crust

4 Large Eggs

2 C. Milk, Heavy Cream, or Half-and-Half

1/4 C. Sugar

1/8 tsp. Mace (or 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg)

1 tsp. Vanilla Extract (either paste or liquid)

1/2 tsp. Salt

 

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350*F.

2. Lightly beat eggs like you would for scrambled eggs.

3. Add salt, sugar, nutmeg, and vanilla to eggs. Beat lightly to combine.

4. Add milk to egg mixture. Beat to combine.

5. Pour custard mix into your pie crust.

6. Put the custard pie into the oven and cook for approximately 45-55 minutes. Custard will be firm and slightly jiggly when done.

7. Once done, remove from oven and allow to cool.

Optional: Sprinkle white sugar across the top of the pie, then melt with a culinary torch to create a creme brulee topping. Serve with whipped cream and/or fresh fruit.

 

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Stone Dog Inn XII – Thank You and A Gift

As written on the Barony of Ayreton page on Faccebook:

Greetings unto the Barony of Ayreton!

As announced yesterday at Stone Dog Inn, when called before Their Excellencies during Feast, I happily and humbly submit the book of recipes that my team and I used to create the modest feast submitted for the pleasure and sustenance of our populace. The recipes contained in this book are sized for a family gathering as I believe that food should be shared, doubly so amongst our kith and kin.

I would also like to take this time to acknowledge the efforts and time of Siobhan and Tiffany, who both tirelessly assisted with creating the feast set before Their Excellencies and the populace, and of Helewyse, who was a source of reassurance and knowledge in this endeavor. Thank you all for your help. Stone Dog’s Feast could not have been executed without you!

Thank you also to those who came in after us to help with cleaning the kitchen and dishes! I appreciate your efforts and time, as well!

Thank you once again for allowing my team and I the opportunity to feed you after a long day of tournaments and games of skill!

In Service,
Samson “Samii” Muskovich


Stone Dog XII Feast Recipe Book

 

Dark Chocolate Beer Cupcakes with Whipped Irish Cream Frosting

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Makes 24 filled and frosted cupcakes.

Cupcake:

1.5 C. All-Purpose Flour

6 oz. Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa Powder (4 Pouches of regular, 6 pouches if you use the Simply Dark variant)

1.5 Tsp. Baking Soda

3/4 C. Porter or Stout (I used Revolution Brewery’s Eugene Porter, but Guinness or Dragon’s Milk Stout work just as well!)

1/2 C. Milk

4 Eggs

1 C. Melted Dark Chocolate

3.5 oz. Chocolate Fudge (or plain ol’ Chocolate) Pudding (3 Single Serving Cups)

(Note: You can make the quick and dirty version by purchasing a box of Betty Crocker Super Moist Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix and just substituting the water for your choice of dark beer and following the on-box directions; I heartily suggest using either Guinness or Dragon’s Milk!)

 

Frosting/Filling:

1 Pint (16 oz.) Heavy Cream, Well Chilled

3/4 C. Powdered Sugar, Sifted

1/4 Tsp. Cream of Tartar

2 Tbsp. Irish Cream

 

Cupcake Directions:

1.Preheat oven to 350* F.

2. Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.

3. Slowly add your beer to the dry ingredients. It will foam up. Whisk together slowly to incorporate.

4. Add the rest of your wet ingredients and incorporate.

5. Add cupcake liners to your tin and lightly spray (I used olive oil spray. Cake release can also be used.) so the batter doesn’t stick heavily to your liners.

6. Pour batter into liners (approx. 3 Tbsp/cup) and bake for 15-20 minutes (check after 15 — every oven’s different!).

7. Set aside to cool.

 

Frosting/Filling Directions

If you can, chill your whisk attachment and mixing bowl prior to making the frosting. It’ll make things move more quickly.

1. Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl (this one does not need to be chilled) and combine.

2. In your chilled bowl, combine wet ingredients. Start your mixer (hand-held or stand mixer) on slow and gradually increase speed until hard peaks form.

3. Once hard peaks form, lower the speed of your mixer and gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing until combined. The frosting will be stiff and will not run once it’s ready.

4. Using a pastry bag and a Wilton #230 tip, fill the bag with frosting. Insert the tip 2/3 of the way into the cupcake, and slowly pull out to fill. Repeat for the other cupcakes.

5. Once cupcakes are filled, take a second pastry bag with coupler and attach your choice of decorating tip (I like using a #32 tip). Decorate the top of the cupcakes.

6. Garnish with mini chocolate chips, if you’d like, and serve!

Stone Dog XII: Russian Into Fun

Hey, you! Yes, YOU!

Do you like games of chance, Darn Good Food, or the chance to earn fame and renown?

Well, you should mark your calendar for April 23rd for Stone Dog Inn XII: Russian Into Fun!

Why? Because we’re bringing a little piece of Mother Russia to the Midrealm, and it promises to be an event NOT to be missed!

(Shameless plug because I’m cooking Feast and I REALLY want y’all to come and enjoy some not-so-strange Russian food (you remember that amazing-looking chicken I made a couple months ago, right?), plus this is one of the SCA events I’m always at because it’s just plain fun.)

Here’s the deets:

When: Saturday, April 23rd, 2016 @ 9:00 AM – 10:00 PM

Where: St. Stephen Lutheran Church, 14700 Kildare Ave, Midlothian, IL 60445

Cost:
Site Fee: $5 for 13 years and older
$2 for ages 4-12
Ages 3 and under free
($5 nonmember surcharge will apply)
Lunch Tavern: $5 suggested donation
Feast: $10 suggested donation
And, because I’m the Head Cook, here’s a sneak peek of the tentative menu for the Feast:

On the Table

Bread

  • Chernyy khleb (Black Bread) – A dark rye bread that was a staple of Russian cuisine.
  • Drachona – A light, toasty egg-based bread often served in Russia.

Butter

  • Plain Butter
  • Honey Butter

 Cheese

  • Cream Cheese spread with herbs

 Drink

  • Kompot – Drink made by steeping dried fruit in water and sweetening slightly. Ours is made with dried apples and cranberries.
  • Water

 

Salad (1st) Course

Mixed Green Salad

  • Mixed salad with crumbled Goat’s Milk Cheese, Candied Walnuts (on table), Chopped Gala Apples, and Honey Apple Cider Vinaigrette

 

Main (2nd) Course

Russian Roasted Chicken

  • Succulent chicken thighs brined in a base of Russian Lager and period herbs.

Herbed Pork Loin

Kasha

  • Traditional Russian buckwheat side dish flavored with garlic and mushrooms.

Cranberry Sauce

Fried Cabbage

 

Dessert (3rd) Course

Medianyky

  • Russian Honey Cookies

Trudonoshi

  • Mini Russian-style cheesecakes served with your choice of Berry or Spiced Cherry Sauce

Snowglobe

Because I do live in Illinois and it’s supposed to be snowy out (it’s not, sadly) for the holidays, I have snow falling on my site through January 4th.

….It kinda makes the site look like a snowglobe, don’t ya think?

 

P.S.

Look for updated information after the new year. I’m finally fleshing out the “Who is Samii Tiger?” section!

Potsticker Soup

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Something I love to make during the colder months is Potsticker Soup because it’s ridiculously quick to make and it’s filling.

Ingredients:

1 32oz. carton Swanson Thai Ginger stock

1 24oz. bag Tai Pei Chicken Potstickers

1/4 C. Sugar (optional)

Parsley (optional)

Dried Orange Peel (optional)

 

Instructions:

1. In a large (I used a 5 qt) pot, bring the broth to a boil. Add sugar, parsley, and orange peel at this time, if you’re adding them.

2. Once the broth is boiling, add potstickers and bring back up to a boil.

3. Once potstickers are hot and tender, ladle into bowls and serve!

Kahlua Balls

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In an act of holiday kindness, I made “care packages” for my Dispatch team with these and the Rumchata Truffles included. Suffice to say, they went over well.

These are a variation on the recipe for Rum Balls provided by Food Network, modified specifically for my Dispatch team’s particular allergies.
Ingredients :

2 cups finely ground Gluten-Free Brownies (Prepare according to package [I used Krusteaz]  — sub out water for Kahlua, if you like!)
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted, plus extra for rolling
1 cup Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
2 to 4 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup Kahlua
4 ounces semisweet chocolate (or chocolate almond bark base), melted, optional

Instructions:

1. In a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, or by hand, mix together the brownie crumbs, powdered sugar, and nuts.

2. Stir in the 2 tablespoons of honey and the Kahlua.

3. Using your hands, try to form the mixture into a ball. If the mixture won’t hold together, add a little more honey (or Kahlua).

4. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls (I used a cookie scoop), then roll them in powdered sugar or melted chocolate, and let them set up. Then, let them age or ripen 24 hours.

Rumchata Truffles

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup of Rumchata
12 oz bag of white chocolate chips
Vanilla almond bark or white chocolate chips for dipping the truffles
cinnamon

Instructions:

1. Set up a double boiler using a heavy pot and a Pyrex bowl. Fill the pot approx. 1/3 with water and heat water to just below boiling.  In the bowl, place your chips and Rumchata. Place the bowl over the pot. As the chips begin to melt down, stir the Rumchata and chips together, creating a smooth mixture.

2. Once all of the chips are melted and the Rumchata is incorporated, transfer the mixture to a container and let it set in the fridge for 2-3 hours.

3. Use an ice cream scoop (smaller size), to roll the truffles into a 1 inch size ball. You might have to use your hands to shape the ball.

4. Using the double boiler setup from earlier, melt the almond bark or chocolate chips.

5. Dip the truffles into the almond bark and sprinkle with cinnamon to decorate.

Small Business Saturday 2015

In a new tradition I started last year, I like to highlight small businesses owned by my friends in addition to my own venture, Flying Tiger Designs. There are TONS of really awesome small businesses in local communities, though, and they should absolutely be patronized.

~ Samii

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

AnubianHost: http://www.anubianhost.com/

Ayden Lane Photography: https://www.facebook.com/aydenlaynephotography

Beauty by Brittany: https://www.facebook.com/beautbybritt

Blake Illustrate: http://blakeillustrate.tumblr.com/

Brillig and Mimsy: https://www.facebook.com/brilligandmimsy/

ByCats4Cats: http://www.bycats4cats.com/

Collared Corgi: https://www.facebook.com/collaredcorgi

Delilah’s Earth Crafts: https://www.facebook.com/DelilahsEarthCrafts

Draconas Creations: https://www.facebook.com/DraconasCreations

Felix Needleworthy Fine Renaissance Costuming: http://needleworthy.com/

Flying Tiger Designs: http://portfolio.samiitiger.com

Ink’s Mistress Tattoo and Piercing: https://www.facebook.com/InksMistress

Kangaroo Reef Mascots: https://www.facebook.com/Kangarooreefmascots

MoiraCoon’s Shinies: https://www.facebook.com/MoiracoonsShinies

Pendragon Chainmail: https://www.etsy.com/shop/PendragonChainmail

Reindog Creations: http://sugarbuzzstudios.tumblr.com/

Skullgarden ~ Art of A. L. Swartz: http://www.skullgarden.net/

Tag-End Emporium: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TagEndEmporium

Terraflora Designs: https://www.facebook.com/terraflora.designs