[Sca-cooks] A Feast Menu for Commentary

Elise Fleming alysk at ix.netcom.com
Sat Aug 7 13:43:37 PDT 2010

Serena wrote:
 >I was hoping to do one big piece - something comparable to what is
 >seen in the illuminations (2 ft high maybe). I was considering making
 >the torso and head out of another substance - maybe paper mache - and
 >doing the ears, trunk and drapery in sugar paste. Also, the incoming
 >Baron's device is a water bouget - I was considering making a bouget
 >sized for the elephant out of paste and filling it with candies or

What is a "bouget"?  I looked for a definition on the web and found 
nothing.  Is it "bucket" or "bouquet"?

A papier mache elephant would certainly work.  I've known of one SCAdian 
who formed the basic shape with something like chicken wire and then 
shaped more detail with marzipan.  She then put sugar paste over that to 
get all the details and complete the final shaping.  You probably want 
only a thin layer of sugar paste.  Thicker paste will take lots longer 
to dry, as you surmise.

 >Will the sugar paste harden enough to be able to stick out from the
 >side as ears a trunk and a bouget that could hang?

One consideration is that until the sugar paste dries, gravity will pull 
it down and distort the shape, even possibly pulling it away from the 
body.  Think of some options... For example, form the ears separately 
with perhaps toothpicks in the part that would attach to the head.  Let 
the ear dry, possibly draped over something to provide a lifelike curve 
or shape.  Then, when the head is ready, poke the dry ears into it in 
the proper place.  You might want to put a support under the dry ear to 
keep the toothpicks (or whatever) from pulling out of the moist head. 
Once dry, everything should hang together.

Depending on how large/heavy the ears are, you could also attach them 
(when fully dry) with egg white, again providing support until the egg 
white has dried them on.  You could hang the "whatever" from the ears 
with cord/gold string/etc.  How well the ears would support them might 
be a factor of how the ears were attached, how thick the base of the ear 
is next to the body, how heavy the contents of the "whatever" are.

The elephant could also suspend something from its trunk; could have 
gilded tusks; could have a "howdah" on its back with trinkets or treats 
in it.  (It could also leave behind a pile of edible sugar poop!)

Alys K.
Elise Fleming
alysk at ix.netcom.com

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