When I don’t manage to write up the weekend quickly, I risk forgetting what happened, which is sad when you think how intense the time can be. This past weekend was a little different from others as there were more of us in camp than usual. I locked the camera in the car along with my car keys, and never remembered to ask Mr S for his key when he was present…so the images are all from other sources.
Last week I was party to the Great Oatmeal Debate by Text Message as I tried to determine whether or not oatmeal was correct in period, and if so, what kind. Let’s call it Hannah Glasse’s “oatmeal flummery” and move on.
To make Oatmeal-Flummery. GET fome oatmeal, put it into a broad deep pan, then co ver it with water, stir it together, and let itftand twelve hours, then pour off that water clear, and put on a good deal of fresh water, shift it again in twelve hours, and fo orrin twelve more ; then pour off the water clear, and ftrain the oatmeal through a coarfe hair-fieve, and pour it into a fauce-pan, keeping it stir ring all the time with a stick till it boils and is very thick ; then pour it into difhes ; when cold turn it into plates, and eat it with what you pleafe, either wine and fugar, or beer and sugar, or milk. It eats very pretty with cyder and fugar.
We were very lucky to have hard wood for fires, and I was very lucky indeed to have Mr McC on hand to tend to the fire, especially on Sunday morning, when I did not get up and start dressing until 6:00 AM. He joined us early Saturday morning with a kettle of hot coffee in hand, proving long experience with the un-caffeinated reenactor in the wild.
We ate very well this past weekend, with contributions from Mr McC, Mr L, the family C, and purchases from the Georgian Kitchen and Sugar Loafe Baking Company.
The Young Mr eventually bought his own loaf of bread, stuffed it in his haversack, and ate from it fairly continually on Sunday. If there had been a ginger cookie as large as a loaf of bread, I expect he would have bought that instead, but bread was a reasonable choice (though I think it proven tricky to hold a musket and a loaf of bread simultaneously….)
The 10th Massachusetts, fielding as militia, are in the second and third rows above; I was shocked–shocked!– to see them fielding in their small clothes, but it is documented, and as they said when they lay down and even left ranks before fielding, “We’re militia. We’re not listening.” (Left to right, that’s Mr FC, Mr S, Mr McC and, in the rear, Mr L.)
For me, the best part of the weekend was, as it always is, being outside of time. (I even had a nap on Saturday, when the gents were up at the battle: more delicious than stew or cookies or even quince cake.)
At Sunday’s divine service, I was reminded again of why I enjoy this, and why we keep doing this, even when it all seems ridiculous in the face of the larger world.
The old service from the Book of Common Prayer is not that different from what we used in church. The formal rhythm and familiar words always remind me of how different the 18th century was from our own time, and how small people could feel in the face of a world without electricity, internal combustion engines, and modern weapons of war. As we lined a psalm and recited the liturgy that hoped for peace, I thought of Ferguson again, and of the ways that people bind together in beliefs without regard to class or color, and had some hope (even as I recited om mani padme hum internally). A moment of grace is often more easily found stepping outside yourself, and stepping out of time and out of doors can help.
Speaking of stepping out…
We had to pack up and flee back to the 21st century on Sunday afternoon, and I was caught getting partially undressed outside our tent (between my height and Natural Gace, I find outdoor dressing easier). No matter what you do, or when you do it, a healthy sense of humor about oneself is always useful.