Author Archives: Jane Gravesend

Foods and Feasts, 2016

This Thanksgiving several Gardiner’s Company members and friends gathered at Jamestown Settlement to meet and talk to visitors about food and life in early 17th Century Virginia. Isobel and Robert staffed the Governor’s Row House with a fine spread fit for Lord de la War himself. Tom and Jeff participated with the shot, demonstrating musket drill to the visitors and startling those not prepared for the noises of a military fort. Scott spent most of the days helping to process the hogs, from butchering to making sausage, while Elisabeth and Drea worked in the Barracks and out at the Devon Oven making a variety of tasty dishes on site.

The Infamous Stargazy Pie

The Infamous Stargazy Pie adorns the Governor’s table

Preparing to make sausage

Preparing to make sausage

Isobel and Drea at the Governor's House

Isobel and Drea at the Governor’s House

Robert prepares for a day of visitors

Robert prepares for a day of visitors

Elisabeth shows off her new red kirtle

Elisabeth shows off her new red kirtle

Tom and Jeff in musket drill

Tom and Jeff in musket drill

The Governor's Table display

The Governor’s Table display

The Governor’s table was laid with an impressive feast to include roast duck, stargazy pie, spinach fritters, coffin pie filled with roast rabbit and root vegetables, a fine pork pie, striped pease pudding, fresh cheeses, penney loaves of bread, fig pudding, brandied cherries, banbury tarts, and sugar cakes.

In the barracks they made a succulent Rabbit boyled in Claret Wine, Stewed Pippins, Sallet of Striked Colewarts and Herbs, Soops of Buttered Carrots, and stewed Fillets of Beef, Marinated Salmon, Manchet bread and a brown bread, and even some last minute Shrewsbury cakes. Everything I tried was very delicious.

More pictures of the food and festivites can be seen here: JYF Foods and Feasts 2016

October Tavern Work Day

Upon the 17th of October, a few Gardiner’s and friends gathered at the Tavern site to continue brick work on the Tavern base. Seven of us started work in the crisp air of Saturday morning; mixing mortar, soaking bricks prior to laying, cutting bricks down to size, and laying bricks.

start of the work day

We quickly discovered that we were disturbing the sleep of a local barred owl. Of course, the photographer didn’t bring her real camera, so it hung out quite a while despite the noise of breaking bricks and calls for supplies. Eventually it flew off and moved to a lower limb, but further in the woods.

Owl Visitor

After a break for lunch, Ann joined us back at the work site. She started laying bricks for the doorway plinth wall working towards the same corner Vic was working towards. Bob set the bricks for the final corner, and let Vic and Ann meet up in the middle.

Final corner

At the end of the day, the tired crew had made significant progress. We have completed all of the low plinth walls that will serve as a base for the timber framed walls, and built up a few courses along the back chimney wall.

End of Day

Happily at the end of the day, tired and sore, Laura fed us full of salad and Shepherd’s Pie, and then Key Lime Pie. You can see a few more photos from the day on Tavern Site photos, if you need more.

Site Improvements and Kitchen Progress

On July Fourth we held a work day for the Tavern site. One group of folks started laying bricks for the kitchen back wall, specifically starting and setting the two back corners.

Kitchen at the start of the day on Sept. 5th

Kitchen at the start of the day on Sept. 5th

So on Saturday of Labor Day weekend, a crew of members continued laying bricks, raising the back wall to about a foot high, and adding the two rows to complete 95% of a plinth wall on the south wall of the kitchen. We’ll plan more workdays to get as much brick laying done as possible before winter’s freeze sets in.

Kitchen progress at the end of the day!

Kitchen progress at the end of the day!

Gardiner’s also ordered a big pile of dirt to help us even out the low spots around the tavern site. A hardy crew spent the day moving the mountain of dirt to the various depressions sneakily lying about hoping to collect mud and trip passers by. We have further plans to spread grass seed, and possibly aerate the area to encourage a nice lawn for pike drills and skirmishing.

The daunting pile at the beginning of the day.

The daunting pile at the beginning of the day.

The much smaller remaining pile of dirt. :)

The much smaller remaining pile of dirt. 🙂

And another crew worked on the roof tiles. They built a shelf system for tile drying and storage, cleaned up the already poured tiles, mixed up and poured another batch of roof tiles into the molds, and then tested out the existing tiles on a nearby woodpile roof. This final test proved very illuminating, as the tiles cracked due to vibrations from nailing them in place. Using screws instead proved more holy, if less accurate. The crew also noticed that the broken tiles had more air bubbles in them, so perhaps a way to encourage fewer air pockets might help too. So, we’ve still got a way to go to figure out and make enough tiles.

Test use of roofing tiles proved informative.

Test use of roofing tiles proved informative.

On the whole, it was a very successful weekend. We accomplished quite a bit on Saturday and the site and kitchen are progressing along nicely.

Amy works on laying bricks

Amy works on laying bricks

Laura weeds out some saplings from the site

Laura weeds out some saplings from the site

Child labor was legal in Elizabethan England!

Child labor was legal in Elizabethan England!

Bob "Ever But At Times of Need At Hand" washes down the newly laid bricks.

Bob “Ever But At Times of Need At Hand” washes down the newly laid bricks.

And you can see more pictures of site work on Flickr.

 

Our AS50 Display

Gardiner’s Company put on an impressive display of talent in the arts of the Elizabethan era this Pennsic 44. Sunday afternoon in the Great Hall, as part of the Knowne World Arts and Sciences Display, members of Gardiner’s filled up a slew of tables with a wide variety of goods for all to see.

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Zeke and Eleanor Hamilton’s brother man the display and answer questions. Shown here are a gorget by Rowland Smyth, a leather embroidered hat by Eleanor Abbott, turned canisters by Thomas Pennington, a cherry box by Robert the Younger, a bound book by young Charlie, and cross staff, box, and hour glass by Geoffrey Williams.

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Wool/silk doublet with hand woven trim and hand wrapped buttons by Sydney Talbot, Mandillion based on a woodcut of Captain John Smith and a pair of bodies by Eleanor Hamilton, a knit cap by Emma Macconning, and some knit laborer’s caps by Jane Gravesend.

You can see even more items in a set on Flickr, from wooden stools and an amazing painting, to trunkhose and embroidery.

James Fort Training

The Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation generously offers a weekend of training for Jamestown Fort costumed interpreter volunteers. They offer essential classes such as A General History of Jamestown, Black Powder Safety, and an Introduction to Onsite Learning. Other offerings were A Laudable Form of Government: The 1619 General Assembly, Women in 17th Century Virginia, Provisioning the Colony, The English Military Experience at Jamestown, Advanced Methodolgy: Role Playing as an Interpretive Technique, Artillery, Historical Clothing in early 17th Century Virginia, and Ear Irons. This is a valuable resource for Gardiners’ Company members and all Fort volunteers, and an excellent learning opportunity. Approximately 20 Gardiners’ Company Members attended the training weekend in Williamsburg, from new volunteers to seasoned Company members, and we all learned something new we can take with us when next we work in the Fort.

Taking a quick break between classes.

Taking a quick break between classes.

English Military

Gardiners’ folks learning about the English Military Experience at Jamestown.

On Saturday night, we all gathered at the Hamiltons’ condo for dinner, drinks, lots of desserts, and good fellowship. Some worked on projects, and the rest of us just chatted and enjoyed the relaxing and entertaining evening. Thanks to everyone for coming out!

Hanging out Saturday Night

Hanging out Saturday Night

 

More Jamestown…

There were activities outside of the wonderful high-class spread in the Great Hall of the Governor’s Row House. During Foods and Feasts we specifically focus on the foodways of the early 17th century colonists. On Thursday and Friday, a hog is processed to show the various different cuts, as well as the food preservation methods used to make the pork last three months, or so. There was also bread baking and pie making going on in the Barracks, and military demonstrations throughout the Settlement’s Fort. Here are a few pictures, but more can be viewed in Drea’s 2014 Foods and Feasts photo set, and Jen’s album on Flickr.

Gareth and Chris work on cutting up pork. Copyright Andrea Callicutt

Gareth and Chris work on cutting up pork.

Scott shows visitors the salting and brining process as two ways to preserve meat. Copyright Andrea Callicutt

Scott shows visitors the salting and brining process as two ways to preserve meat.

Tammy and Amy at the Devon oven setting some dough to rise. Copyright Andrea Callicutt

Tammy and Amy at the Devon oven setting some dough to rise.

Drea, Lynn, and Sandy prepare to cook over the fire in the Barracks.

Drea, Lynn, and Sandy prepare to cook over the fire in the Barracks.

Alan and Jim guard the riverside gate and welcome visitors.

Alan and Jim guard the riverside gate and welcome visitors.

Some of the boys at the end of the day (Alan, Jeff, Jim, Chris, and Scott)

Some of the boys at the end of the day (Alan, Jeff, Jim, Chris, and Scott)

Thank You, and Enjoy!

Gardiner’s Company Store

Our fearless Secretary and Treasurer have been the brains and brawn behind the Gardiner’s Company Store, which has shown up at a variety of Atlantian events from Night on the Town to Holiday Faire, with the occasional showing at Sapphire/Ruby Joust and Twelfth Night. Stocking various sundries, and also peddling some used clothes, all the proceeds have gone to Gardiner’s Company to help with projects such as funding the site for Yule, paying for the land clearing for the upcoming tavern, and helping with materials and engineering for the kitchen building. The Company Store has also been helpful in getting a few members and friends clothed.

If you need or desire anything, you can reach these ladies at store@gardinerscompany.org

Headcoverings, plain and fancy

Headcoverings, plain and fancy, and credit cards accepted.

Clothes for sale

Clothes for sale

Shifts for ladies

Shirts and Trunkhose for gentlemen

Shifts for ladies, trunkhose and shirts for gentlemen

Bobbins, books, bottles, and such

Bobbins, books, bottles, and such

We appreciate all our customers who have helped Gardiner’s Company reach our current goals, and look forward to future customers and our future projects. And we’d be completely lost without Mistress Carlyle, our Treasurer, and Mistress Hamilton, our Secretary, for all the hard work they do in addition to being our cooks and keeping us fed. They are our quiet heroes!

Tavern Site

We staged a few photos on Sunday morning to give a better idea of the space of the newly cleared tavern and kitchen site. It’s quite large and spacious with plenty of room for kitchen, tavern, tents, drilling, skirmishing, archery, and games.

Bandesmen stand at the approximate four corners of the kitchen.

Bandesmen stand at the approximate four corners of the kitchen.

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Marking the proposed corners of the tavern, while Fanny admires the space.

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Looking to the gathering in the tavern, with a corner of the kitchen to the right

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Looking across the drilling green to a gathering of Bandesmen in the tavern

A few more photos of our first meal on the Tavern site during a break in work on Saturday, and the site on Sunday morning, are available on Flickr.

Gardiner’s at Pennsic 43

Gardiner’s Company had a fun camp this year at Pennsic, in the back of Vair and Ermine on Battle Road. In addition to cooking, sewing, fighting, and general frivolity, Gardiner’s members participated in three main events.

On Sunday, Gardiner’s members set-up and staffed a table at the Pennsic Arts and Sciences Display in the Great Hall. We had a great selection of goods from woodworking and armour to embroidery and clothing. We tried to share the love of late Sixteenth Century English life and goods to any who dropped by to take a look. Ester was our driving force in reserving space for herself and Gardiner’s Company, as well as arranging for a good host of members to staff the table and talk about the arts on display.

Isobel, Eleanor, and Ester with with the display of arts.

Monday afternoon manly displays of skill were seen as the men gathered for Pike Drill. Master Hamilton took the lads through a brief reminder of the commands before setting out to march around the Pennsic Market area thereby ensuring the safety of all, clearly driving away all those with ill-intents by the cunning display of ferocity. Zeke provided just enough color commentary to keep the lads entertained, and Adrian/Ian/Nigel/Ester’s brother led the crew in singing Jolly Broome Man and Amarylis to keep time.

We also held an Open Camp Night on Tuesday night that included many interesting and interested people, discussions varied from costumes to games to fighting, and lots of drinking.

Thanks all for a rousing Summer Muster, may we remember it fondly as winter’s chill creeps upon us.

More photos of the Arts and Sciences Display and Pike Drill are available. Alas, I believe we were all in our cups during the Open Camp night and neglected to take photos that evening.

 

Summer Workshop

On Saturday, July 5th, a host of Gardiner’s Company and friends gathered at the Hamilton’s house on Pepper Alley for some sewing, some painting, some personal projects, a class on ‘falling bands’, and lots of delicious food. Sadly the motivation to do any actual skirmishing never appeared, but there was plenty of talking about fighting.

New tables were acquired for the Company’s use, and so several folks got to work painting them Bandes blue, and then applying one coat of varnish.

Edwin and Alan apply varnish

Edwin and Alan apply varnish to newly painted tables

More than a few bandesmen worked on some personal projects in the shade. Richard worked on weaving some new trim, Ester fingerloop braids new cords for shirt strings, and Eleanor works on some hand sewing on a new bodice, but also helped make a new doublet pattern for Robert, as well as helping Zeke with some pants.

Personal projects in the works

Personal projects in the works; sewing and weaving

Sadly, the larger of the resident beagles hurt his knee in all the excitement of visitors, so he was properly medicated and crated, but kept near Master Hamilton to ensure he remained quiet and as happy as possible. The girl beagle did her best to make everyone feel welcomed and shed upon, with a happy doggie grin and wiggly rear.

Beagles at rest

Beagles at rest

Isobel hosted a class on the falling band, a collar that was issued to all bandesmen in Gardiner’s Company to protect the necks of their doublets.

Typical workaday falling band

Typical workaday falling band

Isobel showed a variety of falling bands and cuffs, from the truly fancy bedecked with lace, to the simplest pleated of a rougher linen. She also demonstrated pulling threads to ensure a straight cut on the grain, as well as a precursor to making a neat drawn work hem.

Several types of falling bands

Several types of falling bands

She gave us a great ratio to figure out how to determine starting lengths of linen strips. Start by measuring the collar of a doublet from either side of the button placket, and add two inches for hems. This piece is for the neckband portion that will attach to the doublet collar, and should be roughly two inches wide. Take the neckband measurement and double that to determine the length of the collar fall, which ideally is about 4 inches wide. The fall can be narrower at around 2 inches, or much wider around 8 inches, depending on taste or fashion. The same ratio works for cuffs as well, if you choose.

Most importantly, we were exceptionally well fed. From a delicious lunch with sides and baked goods, to a grilled dinner, and decadent dessert. Once again, our cooks excelled in their jobs and we are fortunate in their company.

Zeke enjoys dessert

Zeke enjoys dessert