Having fun the peasant way...

How can I describe the most beautiful reenactment weekend I ever had?
Take a look at the photos and see for yourself:

Invited by Evocatio Ratisbonensis we went to Oberpfälzer Freilandmuseum in Neusath to have a late 15th century peasants fun fair - just the thing medieval farmes, cow herds and other rural people would have liked: a day off from working in the fields with lots of good food, beer and some fun like games, a lottery and a crossbow contest.

It took us 18 people almost three days to prepare everything for all the guest that would come to the fair on sunday...
We had to cut down the high grass where the games would take place, build lances for jousting, put up the target for a crossbow contest, stalls where you could by food and drink, an outdoor fireplace for cooking all the food and a big pavilion housing the kitchen during preparations.

clearing the "jousting arena"
raking grass with the brand new rake

Almost everybody brought bits and pieces of leftover wool fabric dyed in bright colours and I also brought my colourful wool ropes. Together with a lot of wild flowers collected on site and some straw our team of decoraters turned them into garlands, floral wreaths, straw stars and fluttering ribbons.
flowers for the kitchen table
a garland for "our" house

leaf wreaths for the contest winners
Bierzoigl on the tavern
 The big pavilion we used as a kitchen shed would be our tavern on sunday - so we stuck a big "Bierzoigl" made of straw and decorated with strips of leftover wool fabric to it. This hexagram is the traditional brewer's sign in Germany at least since the early 15th century (yes, it looks like the jewish star of David - a mere coincidence!). You can see it in the picture of the brewer Herttel in the housebook of the Mendelsche Zwölfbrüderstiftung from 1425 for example. It was used to mark breweries and alehouses and is still used by some brewing companies and inns in Germany today (see Wikipedia for details). And of course our beer stall where you could buy "Helles" and Dünnbier (only 0,1% alc.) also got one:

having a chat with the innkeeper

And then we started to cook... three cooks and a lot of helping hands cooked up pies and pot roasts, fresh butter and roasted ducks, fish soup and chicken stew, tartes and flat cakes.

"Are you tough enough to help in the kitchen, mate?"

We made chicken pies, carrot & thyme pies, cream & cheese pies, cream & ham pies, meat pies with lebkuchen sauce, meat & vegetable pies - enough to feed a small army ;-)

pies under construction

some pies before they went into the oven:
2 carrot & thyme pies, chicken & vegetable pie, cream & cheese pie

big bread oven (houses 20 loafs at once!) used...for baking pies

"Hm, they smell delicious... Have a taste of that pie!"

After all these hearty pies you need something sweet! So we made tartes with fresh fruit - plum tartes and  redcurrant, cherries and gooseberries on a bed of cream cheese.

plum tarte with nuts

In another oven in the same museum a local baker makes lovely traditional rhye bread on sundays - so all we had to do was order some and make fresh butter to go with the warm bread. Mhhhhhhhhhh, great!

Go for it!
Almost there - just a moment and the cream will turn into butter

The bonus for the one working at the churn - whipped cream leakes everywhere...

There also was  the best roast duck I ever ate in my life - you just can't beat a wood fired oven! We filled the ducks with apples, onions and dried plums, seasoned them with salt and pepper and basted them with dark beer every 20 minutes. Do I have to say more?

most delicious roast duck ever!

 Apart from eating and drinking we had some fun and games - a jousting tournament "peasant style", a crossbow contest, rope pulling, a funny game where you try to beat a stick as far away as possible with another stick, an early form of boule... And becaus tournaments are only real fun if you can win something, there were prices of course: A roast duck or a fruit tarte for the winning team, a big mug of beer for the second and so on. And the winner of the crossbow contest even won enough plant dyed wool fabric for a new pair of hosen.

winning team to the left - they won a tarte with fruit and cream cheese :-)

testing the brand new crossbow

I still think they won due to mass ;-)
 And because a fair would not be a real fair if you could not buy anything we had a hawker and a stall where you could buy pottery replicas.
"Hökerin" at work - selling candles, thread reels and other stuff

 Thanks to everyone who made this weekend so special!

They must have thought we were some kind of entertainment programm just for them...


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