Tornado Pie

What is it with me and apple pie?

Last week, I went to Gulf Wars 2016 and I cooked dinner almost every night for the Aethelmearc encampment. Monday night was Roman, Tuesday night - Dutch 15th Century, Wednesday night - 15th Century Portuguese, and Thursday night, our last night, I attempted to cook German 16th Century, from Marx Rumpolt's Ein new Kochbuch.

Attempted, I say, because we got struck either by a "super cell" or a small tornado that luckily did not touch down. Dinner was to start at 7PM and we got struck at 6:30. I spent the tornado holding on to the Aethelmearc Royal Pavilion tent, in an effort to keep it from flying away. Yes, I know how crazy that is. Somehow, once the 60 mph winds (I have no idea if that was the actual wind speed but that is what I had heard) and the ice cold side-ways bullet like rain stopped, we found that the meat had somehow been fully cooked, the cucumber salad survived, and pies had survived the tornado. I plopped everything down on the tables that were somehow still standing and started my usual spiel: "Tonight's dinner was inspired by Rumpolt..." and got a huge laugh from the whole camp and a fistbump from one of my friends. The pies were devoured.

Holding down a tent during a tornado - 1 out of 5 stars.
Tornado pie - 5 out of 5 stars.

Let's do the numbers:

Tornado pie ala Marx Rumpolt.

For the translation that I used, please see Apple tart from Rumpolt - birth of an A&S entry by Mistress Catrin von Berlin OL (known as Gwen Cat) at Stefan's Florilegium.

Discussion: My version is, at best, perioid, rather than period. Consider it "inspired by" rather than an actual good translation. I was running out of butter so I made a vegetable oil crust with sugar that turned out pretty well and tasty. I also did not sweat the apples in butter, as we were camping and it was an added step. Also, we had golden raisins, not black raisins, as that was what was available at the grocery store. In a way, this was, somewhat in mindset, a medieval pie - as I had to use what ingredients and what time were available to me, as I had no way to run out the market and just get an ingredient I didn't have at the last minute, just like our medieval cooks.

2.5 cups of flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
enough water - probably 5 to 6 tablespoons

Mix everything all the dry ingredients together and then mix in the liquids until it becomes dough. Work a little bit but not much. Divide in half. Roll out on a pastry mat. Place one in an 9 inch pie pan and hold the other one for the top.

6 good sized pie apples. (For the love of the Spaghetti Monster, just say no to Red Delicious)
3/4 cup of sugar
3/4 cup of golden raisins
1 tablespoon of cinnamon

Peel and chop the apples then mix with all the other ingredients. Pour into pie shell. Cover with top and pinch close. Put in the over for 375 for about an hour or so. Pull out when it looks done - or when the tornado is over. (Tornado optional.)

Tardpolane Crust testing

I'm cooking a feast in two weeks and decided to make tardpolane - from the British Library Manuscripts Additional 32085, (which can be found in Constance B. Hieatt and Robin F. Jones, "Two Anglo-Norman Culinary Collections Edited from British Library Manuscripts Additional 32085 and Royal 12.C.xii" Speculum 61/4, 1986.)

Original recipe (in French and Russian)

Hieatt's translation.

The crust for the recipe calls for Almond milk and I was waffling on this. I haven't made a crust with almond milk before so I was leery. So, I decided to make three small tarts, one with water (as a control), one with store bought almond milk and one with homemade.

First, I made almond milk. Super easy. I ground one cup of almonds in my food processor and then added it to two cups of boiling water, letting it seep. After five minutes, I drained the almond milk through a sieve and let it cool.

From there, I made three different crusts, one with water, one with store bought almond milk and one with the homemade.

From left to right - water, store bought almond milk, homemade almond milk.

From there, I made a mixture of pears, spices, eggs, egg yolk, neufchatel cheese and milk (as my liquid) and poured them into the tart shells. Baked them all for about 30 minutes@375F.

Long story short - hands down, the home made almond milk was the winner. I was really hoping to use the store bought, as it's cheaper; however, the taste of the home made was much sweeter and richer and had a crispier crust. I think I would only use the store bought in case of an emergency. It really was not much different than using water. However, using the almond milk (each kind) made the dough much easier to use than plain water.

Lesson learned - no cheating! :)


Now that I am done with grad school, I've been hitting the knitting pretty hard.


Woo! Hat! I am beyond pleased with myself that I've learned how to knit fair isle or stranded. :) I am beyond excited with this and can't wait to knit more.

Scholarly journals? Really? Oh boy.

This is going to be meta. So, very very meta.

Because I am a research nerd, I was playing around with Google Scholar and discovered a number of articles online about this blog. Scholarly articles. That have been peer-reviewed and published in scholarly journals. Errrr....

I would like to, right now, apologize to any and all researchers for the title of my Livejournal! I called this blog/livejournal "House o'Crack" as it was primarily my knitting blog and, as many a knitter knows, yarn is like crack and is utterly addictive. It also turned into my SCA and other research blog and, I assure you, I had no idea that I was going to be written about in scholarly journals one day. So, again, I apologize to all scholars and researchers who have had to write "House o'Crack" in their footnotes and got the "wth" look from their editors. :)

I am now tempted to change it to something more appropriate like "Illadore's House of Yarn and Food and Internet thingies" or "Illadore's House of Copyright Infringement" or "Hi, I'm not a journalism student!" or even just "Illadore's Webpage!" -- however, that cow has already left the barn, and I might as well admit to my folly and leave it as is. Besides, yarn is crack! Especially Malabrigo wool. Just ask a knitter (who is not allergic to wool.) They will understand and nod knowingly.

So, instead, I will leave you with the articles I found.

Tanja Aitamurto,"New ecosystem in journalism: Decentralized newsrooms empowered by self-organized crowds," Centre for Journalism, Communication and Media Research
Tampere University, Finland,

Laurie Cubbison, “A Tale of Two Tarts” and a Case of Copyright Infringement" The CCCC-IP Annual:Top Intellectual Property Developments of 2010, A Publication of The Intellectual Property Caucus of the Conference on College Composition and Communication, March 2011,

Lisa Di Valentino, "Moral Rights and Open Licensing," 2010,


Susanne Behnk and Stefan Lücking. "Union responses to recent transformations and conflicts in the journalistic field" ILERA World Congress 2012, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA,

Project Proposal: Fiduciary Powers and Authority to Access Online Accounts and Digital Property During Incapacity and After Death (I am not sure what this one is, really...)

Meredith G. Lawrence, Edible Plagiarism: Reconsidering Recipe Copyright in the Digital Age, VANDERBILT J. OF ENT. AND TECH. LAW,


PS. Any researcher or journalist who wants to cite what I am, "food blogger" more or less fits (as I do have a blog and I have written about food); however, I think "amateur medieval food enthusiast" works best. Or "Food nerd" or "That weird woman who is nuts about apple pie" but I am not now nor have I ever been a journalism student. :)

And now for something completely different. :)

I've posted this pretty much everywhere else but perhaps I should post it here too:

I was given a writ to sit in contemplation for elevation to the Order of the Laurel. Vigil to happen December 3rd at the Rapier and Costuming Collegium in the Barony Marche of the Debatable Lands (or Pittsburgh, PA for those of you not in the SCA.)

Tarts may have been mentioned. :)

There's good in the world, right?

So, Ed Champion, who was the very first person to interview me over the whole Cooks Source "thing" was himself plagiarized, per his blog post:

First, for the love of the Spaghetti Monster, people!! This is the 21st Century! If you plagiarize someone (or ahem ...copyright infringe), you will be found out, eventually! Quit doing it!!!

Second, really, plagiarizing someone who is an investigative journalist? Probably a bad idea.

Ed -- I hope you get resolution. For the record, all he is asking for is:

(a) a public apology, both prominently in print and online, for taking my quotes without asking or attributing;

(b) the issuance of a correction, both prominently in print and online, indicating that the Sunday Times and Jason Allardyce lifted quotes from my radio program, along with a URL directed to my site,

(c) a donation of £500 (as compensation for using my quotes and others without permission or attribution) to Reporters Without Borders.

Sounds vaguely familiar. :)

Good luck, Ed!!!!

I feel I should quote from Godfather III

A number of people (journalists, bloggers, commentators on my Livejournal and friends of mine) have all asked that my own emails be posted to set the record straight. They're included below.

I would like to be clear: I am only providing this text for the record as I feel uncomfortable with some of the things that have been implied in public. I am pleased that Ms. Griggs and Cooks Source has done as I have asked, I am truly grateful for all the support that I received (BIG THANK YOU), and I wish Ms. Griggs no ill will and hope that this matter can be considered closed soon for all of those involved.

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Okay -- I thought I was done.

Johnny pointed out to me today the newest update from Cooks Source and from what I've read, I am portrayed as a big meanie. I should, 100x really... just ignore it and move on with my life as arguing with people over the internet -- lame -- and yet I can not seem to help myself.

For the record, I will happily post all the email exchanges between myself and Ms. Griggs if Ms. Griggs gives me permission.

I contacted Cooks Source five times: by voicemail October 28th, by email October 28th, by email again October 28th, by email November 2nd and by voicemail November 2nd. I believe that was giving Ms. Griggs a chance.

Not once did Cooks Source offer to pay me in any of those email exchanges -- or donate to CSJ. The apology Cooks Source gave me in an email was "If you want an apology, So Sorry, Monica!" -- I took that as sarcasm. As for my emails being rude -- I was demanding that "this" be fixed. I had one line of my own email that was borderline - "I am somewhat confused that I have to explain copyright to a magazine editor."

I do not think of myself as a big meanie in all of this -- I think of myself as a woman as mad as hell for having her work stolen and then being talked down to like I was a child. As I said, again, it was the principle of the thing -- my work was republished without my permission, my copyright was violated and I stuck up for myself.

Lessons learned:

Pay the writer.
Be nice to people.
Be mighty.

AND on this, I hope, really really really, -- I'm out.

What a long, strange ride this has been

What a long, strange ride this has been. (I have tried to write this three or four times. Writing this as a summary is a bit difficult.)
First, the update:

I have, in fact, confirmed with the Columbia School of Journalism that money was donated in my name by Cooks Source. I have also seen the webpage with the apology. While it is not perhaps the most contrite apology I have seen, it will do and all of my requests regarding the copyright infringement of my article have been met. So, unless something unexpected happens, I would say this is all resolved, at least to my satisfaction.

Now, onto the rest:

Wow. Just. Wow. Thank you. Not only did "The Internets" take up my cause, but, many people donated to CSJ and to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. Thank you for doing good and being mighty.

This whole thing has also been a bit of an education -- I have learned a great deal about copyright, or at least, how it relates to my work that is posted online. Copyrighting and defending your work, for the amateur (as the financial hardship to try to copyright and defend your work is large) is difficult to say the least -- and that does not seem right. Not sure what else to say there -- but -- I am sure more eloquent people than myself have something to say. :) I had some amazing help (thank you, Akiva) but I received such help because of what you all did -- getting the word out.

Second -- being a part of the public eye and being a part of the news cycle, becoming "internet famous," has been somewhat overwhelming. Somewhat. When I was visiting friends this past week or so, I would hand over my iPhone and tell them not to let me have it. :) (They obliged. :) I am very glad to be able to going back to being Just Monica or Just Illadore. (However, I don't think I will ever be able to Google my name again without it being linked to this story. :)

One last thing -- crowdsourcing is amazing (but I have mentioned that already :) -- and so is investigative journalism. Kudos to Ed Champion ( for working up this story and doing fact checking and really digging at what was going on. (Much love to other reporters I spoke with this week too, btw. :)

So, thank you all, again, for being interested, caring, and generally making me laugh. The song, the parody, the Downfall video, the haikus, the poetry, all of it -- thank you very much.

And on that note -- I'm out. :)

WOOPS! My apology

From Akiva -- my attorney

Monica, you're officially my favorite client ever. And not just because I'm laughing out loud at the moment (Tehila's my *daughter*, not my *dog*, and you just validated the entire premise of the game "Telephone" :)

(And yes, you have my full permission to reprint this e-mail if you want :P )


Woops! My bad! :)