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sotelte-tols-msg – 4/18/08


Useful tools when creating sotelties.


NOTE: See also the files: sotelties-msg, pig-heads-msg, About-Marzipn-art, edble-embrdry-msg, entertaing-fds-art, molded-foods-msg, Sgr-a-Cnftns-art, Food-Coloring-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: Judy Gerjuoy <jaelle at access.digex.net>

To: sca-cooks at eden.com

Date: Thu, 10 Apr 1997 17:16:41 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: sca-cooks Corn and Marzipan


On Thu, 10 Apr 1997, Beth Morris wrote:



> Back in our heyday of marzipan concocting, Jaelle & I used commercial

> candy colors to color it, and molded it using everything available -

> plastic candy molds, the PlayDoh pumper, hands, any available tools.  


Not to mention metal cookie cutters. You would be surprised what you can

use to model it!


There are some good books out there on marzipan modeling - although these

days I am trying to get into using period dyes for coloring it (provided

they are safe to eat - not all are).



jaelle at access.digex.net



Date: Mon, 13 Oct 1997 13:23:19 -0500

From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at ptd.net>

Subject: SC - Re: Illusion food


>From: "Louise Sugar" <dragonfyr at tycho.com>


>Actually I once saw, in one of the myriad catalogs that I used to get,

>pre-blown out goose eggs and I can remember my great grandmother making

>aspic eggs.  she filled the blown out eggs with a beef aspic, chilled them

>to solid, peeled, and arranged them on wilted greens with other stuff....I

>was only 3 yrs old at the time so forgive my lousy memory of what else was

>in the dish......


I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner...... There actually exists a

gadget for poking holes into eggs and then blowing out the stuff. It's a

bowl shaped object with a pin, and then a seperate blower sort of like a

baby's ear syringe. You can buy them wherever you buy Pysanky Egg supplies

(ie: a well supplied craft store near Easter time).


The syringe would fill, as well as blow. You could put all sorts of stuff

into those eggs. Come to think of it, you could dye the shell, first, then

fill the eggs. No that would be cruel! Hmmmmm.......


Aoife, who knows a SCAdian Pysanky egg maker, and is going to call him for

local sources.



Date: Tue, 14 Oct 1997 10:28:35 -0400 (EDT)

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - piping bag


<<   I saw a late-period or mid-1600s reference to paper tube

with a hole in one end.  Of course, I have no idea now where I saw it.

Alys Katharine >>


Simply take a clean sheet of paper or baker's parchment, form into a cone,

fill and fold down the long edge. Snip the pointed end off and use as any

other piping bag. Works great and it's throwaway. :-)





Date: Wed, 15 Oct 1997 11:24:22 -0400 (EDT)

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: SC - Something to blow/fill egg


<< Does anyone know of an inexpensive source of something to blow/fill an egg? >>


Huge sterile syringes with long plastic points are available at any farm

supply store. They are used normally to inject medicine (usually for

mastidis) into the cows teats. I use these for all my injection needs merely

cutting the tip back to enlarge the hole. The tips are also available

seperately negating the need to purchase a new syringe each time.





Date: Mon, 15 May 2000 13:16:07 -0400

From: Richard Keith <keith.78 at osu.edu>

Subject: RE: SC - OT  OOP  Dragon cake special effects cookbook


>BTW watch the theatrical type fogs.  They have a smell to them and I don't

>know how well it would work with food.


Rosco fog juice is pleasant to smell and breeze.  Theatre Magic (forget new

name) is also very pleasant.  Both are considered non toxic.  Neither leave

a residue.  So I would not be afraid to use either.



Mka Richard Keith,  Mansfield Osu  Theatre dept.



Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2000 13:54:07 +1000

From: "Drake & Meliora" <meliora at macquarie.matra.com.au>

Subject: SC - Rubber stamping food


> Wow! Lightbulbs going off in all directions! I love this idea. Please, can

> you tell me details on just how you do this? (Any tips on food color paste

> brands? a regular rubber stamp? before baking?) Oh boy, a new way to decorate

> my food. Happy dance.

> Aelfwyn the easily amused


Glad to please <g>.  Actually to the best of my knowledge this is a really

OOP method of decorating food. And not just the use of rubber - I have not

seen devices or animals painted onto food items in any period texts.


However, it is a fun up-oneship to do to your neighbouring Barony. We

originally arranged these for an illusion feast I ran (and Mari - the now

Clerk of the Lochac Cooks Guild ran the kitchen at the last minute for me).


A good friend of mine (who alas is not in the Society anymore) took a copy

of the Griffin rampant from our Baronial device into a rubber stamp store.

The produced two stamps. One about an inch square and one about 2 inches

square.  When she went to collect them from the store the clerk opened a pad

of ink and was about to push the stamp into it when she screamed at him.  He

just wanted to test it so she could see the design <lol>.


Anyway we use red food paste (as our device is red and white) which is

diluted slightly with water until it has a creamy consistency - kinda like

the thickness of gouache pain that illuminators use.  And simply stamp into

the paste and them onto the food. The brand of colour paste I use is: Bakers

Preferred, Manufactured by Berghausen Corp in Cincinnati. The colour I use

is Gel Paste Food Color 5416 Super Red.  I am sure that could use a more

appropriate media such as sandalwood in egg white or somesuch - frankly we

haven't bothered with alternatives yet.


Due to the nature of the dye and the hecticness of my kitchen, we usually

stamp the food after it has been cooked. The colour media we use needs a

fairly strong flat surface to adhere to - and we find that as it is a

shallow stamp, uncooked foods such as pastry and cookie dough do tend to

stick to the stamp.


For the illusion feast we had some chicken drumsticks dressed up as soldiers

inside a gingerbread fort (an idea I took from someone on this list).  The

soldiers inside the fort had griffins stamped on their shields.  The

soldiers besieging the fort had black griffins (I think my friend painted

those freehand).


Incidentally the moat around the fort was the supposed cerulean blue sauce -

that stayed red!!!  I'll get a summary of that discussion to Stefan someday



Since then we have used the stamps to decorate biscuits (we took to another

Barony's event - heh heh heh) and to differentiate between different sorts

of lidded pies.


Hope this helps - but as I stated earlier, I have no knowledge of this being

a period practice with western European foodstuffs.


Mel - who should REALLY get back to her Chemistry study.



Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2000 14:03:06 US/Eastern

From: harper at idt.net

Subject: Re: SC - pennsic pot luck dish


> What did you use for a mold? Or did you sculpt them freehand?

> margali

[She is asking about some peach pit sotelties made out of marcepane that

Brighid did for the SCA-Cooks pot luck dinner at Pennsic 29 - Stefan]


I used Sculpey.  I pressed each half of a peach pit into a separate block, then

baked them until hard.  To make the pits, I sprinkled a little sugar into the

bottom of each mold, put 1/2 tsp. of paste into one, placed an almond and

another 1/2 tsp. of paste on top, and pressed the other mold piece over it.  

Then I carefully removed the top mold, scraped away the excess paste, and eased

the peach pit loose. However, though Sculpey is labelled non-toxic, it is not

recommended for food use.  I was willing to use it for one experimental batch,

but I would not want to do so on a continuing basis.  This is why I went

looking for a potter at Pennsic.  If you have access to a kiln, you might want

to try making one yourself.  I do not know if unglazed or glazed will work

best -- the potter has promised to make me one of each.





Date: Fri, 08 Sep 2000 14:00:46 -0400

From: Elaine Koogler <ekoogler at chesapeake.net>

Subject: Re: SC - pennsic pot luck dish


If it works like the cookie presses I've purchased, I suspect unglazed will work

best...I have several that I have used for shortbread, etc.  Some came from the

Bakers Catalogue and a couple from (I think) Williams Sonoma.





Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2000 16:11:17 -500

From: "Tara Sersen"<tsersen at nni.com>

Subject: Re: SC - pennsic pot luck dish


>I have a nice heavy latex mini-scallop shell candy mold I use for buttercreams.

>I wonder where I might get a few custom made with peachpits?


At good art stores (like the kind you find in cities near art schools, not neccisarily

ACMoore,) you can buy latex for making mask and sculpture molds.  My store of

choice is Pearl Arts and Crafts on South Street in Philly.


The latex is a powder that you mix up.  The stuff I've used turns into a soft

mold.  They might also have some that dries hard.  They have lots of darned

cool stuff.


With the soft stuff, you could fill a dixie cup with the liquid latex and dunk

a peach pit into the center.  When it is set, peel off the cup and cut all the

way or half-way around the pit to pop it out.  So, you could have a one-piece

or two-piece mold.  For something as thick as almond paste, I'm guessing a two-piece mold would work best.  For something that starts as liquid and ends up solid, like chocolate or (yuk) Jello, I'd use a one-piece mold.


If you try it, let me know how it works.  I've done mask-making for theatre,

and I've seen this done for sculpture, but I'd never thought to try it for food

before today!





Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2000 15:55:00 -0500

From: "sdrake" <steldr at home.net>

Subject: RE: SC - pennsic pot luck dish


Ok - I have a friend who is a professional clown - this is how she makes her

noses (don't laugh!!)  She has an impression of a nose in a plaster of paris

mold set in a styrofoam cup - she pours liquid latex into the mold, lets it

set for a little until there is a layer of solidified latex in the mold and

then pours out the excess.  after the latex hardens she has a new nose which

she then trims......I've long been intrigued byt the thought of being able

to mold other things this way but didn't know where to get the liquid latex.

Lo and behold I saw a can of it at a candle/incense store here in Tulsa the

other day - and if I can find it in Tulsa!!!!!   Of course you wouldn't

really need the plaster of paris mold , you could just pour some latex into

a cup about half way up the pit and later, just peel it off the






From: "Olwen the Odd" <olwentheodd at hotmail.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: transportable nibbles

Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 14:17:10 -0000


>Also (yeah, another question), how did you make the edible bouquet? I

>can recognize starfruit, but that's about it....Are they stuck on the

>end of bamboo skewers or something?



Yes.  I used extra long bamboo scewers.  The blue ones are small white

onions cut in a jagged fashion and sliced part way down each V to help the

'petals' open up and then they are floated in some ice water with lots of

blue coloring.  The "cala lillies" are made with thin slices of rudabega

with a tiny corn for the staimen.  I used tiny portabella mushrooms with

wiggly lines cut in and used as the center of rudiccio. There are the tiny

red hot peppers cut jagged edged with small hot green straight peppers

sticking out of the center.  The large yellow are nothing more than a turnip

cut in half and tiny cube cuts are made almost all the way through then set

in ice water to open up some.  These I dyed with straight food colour out of

the jar.  The spring onions added a lot with their curley ends.  You know

how to do that?  I used daikon radish that was cut with a star shaped cookie

cutter to act as the base to lots of the 'flowers' so they not only had a

base but it kept them from sliding down the scewer.  I think there were

others but cann't recall at the moment.  The fun part was watching peoples

faces when the "grazed" at the hospitality table and they suddenly realized

what they were looking at!


Olwen who believes food should be FUN!



Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2001 06:34:57 -0500

From: Amanda Whiteley <siancr at shaw.ca>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Marzipan fruits, the crash course

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


Another quick way for getting the citrus skin effect on marzipan oranges,

lemons and limes is to use a thimble. The imprints from the thimble look a

lot like orange skin.





From: Marilyn Traber <marilyn.traber.jsfm at statefarm.com>

To: "'sca-cooks at ansteorra.org'" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2001 09:58:49 -0600

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Coloring breads


Well, they make spinach powder [available from kingarthurflour.com] for

coloring pasta, so I would assume that you could toss it into bread, and add

the freshly made juice of more spinach in place of some of the water for a

better green.





From: "Diamond Randall" <ringofkings at mindspring.com>

To: "sca-cooks" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2002 19:56:10 -0800

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Stuffed carrots- what would happen if


> It seems you would have to cut the carrots into sections since they have a

> tendency to split.  I have done lots of carving in

> veggies and carrots are darn hard to do without them just suddenly deciding

> to split.  I have not seen the references Brighid

> mentioned that can be

> found in Granado where she says he describes hollowing out the inside of the

> carrot to make a tube.

> Would like to though.  I wonder if he says to

> par-boil them for a bit to soften them.  

> That would make sense. Olwen


Tubes? No problem, no splits.  Just go to Home Depot and get a new 1/4"

paddle style wood drill bit. Put it in a cordless drill and voila! The very

long shank of this item makes it easy to put a hole for stuffing in most

carrots. As it is new and unsoiled, you can use the shreaded carrot

leftovers for making all sorts of garnish and salads too.


Though not a kitchen tool and especially not a period one, it does the job

without having to have a $50 kitchen gadget to clutter up your drawers. Heck,

you can even recycle the the thing and use it when building stuff.  What a

concept! Need a bigger hole?  Just buy the size you need.  The big bits are

great for excavating large perfect holes in small cabbages too without having

to struggle with using a knife to cut out the bottom of the core.  Again it

makes great coleslaw too!


Akim Yaroslavich



Date: Fri, 16 May 2003 13:13:04 -0400 (EDT)

From: Robin Carroll-Mann <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Peach Pits


-------Original Message-------

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

I seem to recall that some time in the past, someone on this list

sold some peach pit molds. If that person is still on list, please let

me know if they are still available, what they're made of, and how much

they cost.



The molds were sold by Mistress Olga Belobashnina Cherepanova, of

Calontir (MKA Stephanie Howe).  She made them of unglazed earthenware.




Brighid ni Chiarain



Date: Thu, 25 Aug 2005 20:21:01 +0000

From: "Olwen the Odd" <olwentheodd at hotmail.com>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks] Egg cuber was new kitchen appliance OT OP

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org


> Olwen commented:

>> Our Atlantian past and future King (current Prince) has dice as his

>> household device.  I got a couple of these cubers and made egg dice for a

>> private supper that House Blackstar did for him and his guests a year

>> or so ago.  He loved it!


> That's an interesting idea! Did you put dots on these egg dice? How?


> Stefan


Well, I was going to use whole cloves but for some reason we didn't have any

with us, so I used whole peppercorns that were pressed into the egg.  They

were served on a small silver stemmed plate.  He liked them.





Date: Thu, 27 Oct 2005 09:05:30 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Edible Pearls was Pistachio source and

        marzipan      question

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


mollirose at bellsouth.net wrote:

> I didn't make the pearls a mundane friend did and sent them to me.  She uses

> a mold to get a more uniform shape then individually dusts them. I found

> some on the web for $20.00 a hundred! I now know how to get rich.


> Molli


Most good cake decorating catalogs sell those molds

to make pearls and beads.

Full instructions on how to make them---






for a picture of the mold.





Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 07:28:57 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] New cooking tool! ;o)

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Gee I mentioned that on November 3rd in an early response to the Count--


Small batches and what they don't tell you is that

if you want it thin you roll it through a pasta machine's rollers.

Start thick and keep running it through so it gets thinner and thinner.

Then cut and roll for artificial cinnamon sticks.

If you do a huge batch, then only work with a part and keep rest in  




I keep one machine around just to use for things like this now. The other

has been co-opted for clay stuff in the basement. I don't touch theirs;

they leave mine alone.




Sue Clemenger wrote:


> I saw something this evening in Michael's (craft store, where I was

> eyeballing some inexpensive carving tools for this new thing I learned to do

> at Collegium last weekend*), and maybe because I was thinking of Papa's

> story of the Cinnamon Sticks of Doom, and maybe it was just serendipity, but

> there in the aisle with all the varieties of modeling clays and sculpies and

> stuff, are these $24 small-sized "pasta machines" meant specifically for use

> with stuff like sculpy.

> Ba-da-bing! Wouldn't that work just as well for marzipan or sugar plate? The

> tool looks to make a pretty good-sized sheet of the stuff, and looks (on the

> box) to be very similar in style/function to the pasta maker that my Dad

> had, many years ago.

> At any rate, I thought I'd mention it, for those of you who are inclined to

> make these sorts of things.....

> --maire



Date: Thu, 10 Nov 2005 06:04:04 -0700

From: "Sue Clemenger" <mooncat at in-tch.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] New cooking tool! ;o)

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


> Small batches and what they don't tell you is that

> if you want it thin you roll it through a pasta machine's rollers.

> Start thick and keep running it through so it gets thinner and thinner.

> Then cut and roll for artificial cinnamon sticks.

> If you do a huge batch, then only work with a part and keep rest in fridge.


Yup. Which is probably what I had in mind when I saw the similar thing at

Michael's. If I'm not mistaken, though, yours is an actual "pasta machine,"

and the one I saw is called a "pasta machine for clay," so it's meant less

for noodle and more for playing? I suspect that cost may be a factor as






Date: Sat, 31 Dec 2005 09:18:44 -0500

From: "Elise Fleming" <alysk at ix.netcom.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Cakes

To: "sca-cooks at ansteorra.org" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Nancy Kiel wrote:

> But how do you copy onto rice paper? Can you run it thru a copy

> machine?


Rice paper (also called wafer paper) is not opaque.  If you place the rice

paper on top of a drawing you can, with proper lighting, see through most

of it, at least well enough to sketch the outline of the item.  For the

spots I can't see, I carefully lift up the paper (to not move it from the

lines I've already done), eyeball where the missing section is and lightly

draw it on.  Usually I use a non-toxic marker - black being the most

commonly used color since it will leave an outline within which I will

paint. However, other colors can be used.  


Regarding non-toxic...  

Crayola children's markers are labeled non-toxic.  They are pretty cheap.  I  

Will also admit to using a black fiber tip pen which has no particular label.

Most folk aren't going to eat the picture and if they do, there is such a

small amount of fiber-tip-pen ink that it shouldn't do anything to anybody.

If I'm feeling particularly paranoid, I'll use the Crayola marker.  Please

note that there are food-grade markers now available for those who are

really cautious.  They are fairly expensive, at least compared to Crayola

non-toxic markers.  You can also decide that the finished rice paper is not

to be eaten and trace the picture with pencil, although I doubt that eating

faint pencil lines will harm anyone.


If you can't see well enough to copy the picture on a table, you can always

tape both the drawing and the wafer paper to a window and trace that way.

If the original picture can't be removed from its book, photocopy that and

use the copy to put under the rice paper.  Years ago I purchased an opaque

projector so that I could project an image onto the surface of the rice

paper or cake and directly ice/paint that way.


Alys Katharine



Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 23:15:35 -0500

From: Robin <rcmann4 at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cleftlands Event Subtleties

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Elise Fleming wrote:


> I asked him about using Sculpy since previous discussion on one list or

> another had indicated that Sculpy was not usable for food items.  His

> opinion was that just pressing in an item and removing it right away would

> not make the item inedible.  I'd like commentary, if you please, since

> that's my feeling as well.  I can't imagine that Sculpy would be so "toxic"

> that using it as a mold where an item was pressed in and immediately

> removed would cause the item to be unfoodworthy.  I wouldn't see  

> baking in a Sculpy mold, but pressing???


> Alys Katharine


I use a Sculpy mold (and a couple of pottery ones) to make my marzipan

peach pits.  To the best of my knowledge, no one has died yet.  Sculpy

is labelled non-toxic, and though I wouldn't use it for a coffee mug, I

don't thiink that brief contact with food is hazardous.


I found a link to a material safety study at the manufacturer's website:



I am not a chemist or any kind of medical professional -- perhaps

someone with better qualifications could take a look at this and  



Brighid ni Chiarain

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom



Date: Tue, 31 Jan 2006 08:43:15 -0500

From: "RUTH EARLAND" <rtannahill at verizon.net>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Sculpey molds and/or decorations

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>


Brighid ni Chiarain wrote:

> I found a link to a material safety study at the manufacturer's  

> website:

> http://www.sculpey.com/Products/PR_ACMI.htm


> I am not a chemist or any kind of medical professional -- perhaps

> someone with better qualifications could take a look at this and  

> comment?

> --

> Brighid ni Chiarain

> Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

> Robin Carroll-Mann *** rcmann4 at earthlink.net


Well, I am a chemist, and I wouldn't hesitate to use it for something which

will contact food briefly. I read the results of the materials study in the

link provided and am satisfied that the safety of the product in question is

fine to use as a mold. To summarize, the study found no harmful effects in

dosages up to 24 mg/day. Put another way, if someone actually ate the

Sculpey, the person would have to eat something the size of a peppercorn

each and every day to consume more than the amount found safe by the study.

And even then, they are not saying it would be harmful, just that  

they don't know what it would do.


The study indicates that a marginally greater exposure risk is present

during baking, and even then only at temperatures that blacken the Sculpey.

So if you want to minimize the risk of exposure, you could make sure you use

the exhaust fan and ventillate the kitchen as much as possible.


As I suspected, though, the safety issues are connected to the dyes. The

phthalates mentioned usually show up as blue or green dyes. So if you want

to be extra safe, use the white sculpey, which is probably colored with

titanium dioxide, a biologically inert material used to lend opacity to

non-dairy creamer.


Berelinde Cynewulfdohtor

Barony of Settmour Swamp, East Kingdom

mka Ruth Tannahill



Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2007 17:45:16 +0000

From: Olwen the Odd <olwentheodd at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] one-trick ponies

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


> From: karobert at unm.edu> > cailte > still seeking the perfect leaping  

> stag


When I do those for the Outlands, or any other Arms, I simply print  

out the picture of the device then enlarge or reduce the picture, or  

part of the picture, to the size I want/need then cut out the image  

and use it as a pattern to cut around.  I either cut through a thick  

piece of marzipan and round down for the muscle/bone/item structure  

so it isn't just a flat piece of something.  With stuff like the Arms  

of An Tir that has that cool lion rampant I even use that nifty  

playdough extruder to make the "hair" of the mane, tail, etc.


Anyway, by using the copy/enlarge method you can use some nice copper  

or tin flashing to bend around the picture and make your own cutter.




<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org