Halfdan’s Viking Mead Recipe


“Ale has too often been praised by poets.
The longer you drink, the less sense your mind makes of things.”

–Ancient Viking Hávamál Proverb

       Halfdan’s Viking Mead Recipe   

  Mead (Honey Wine) – 5 gallon recipe

 8-10 lbs pure raw honey (for light, delicate Mead) (or)
 12-13 " " " " (for medium sweet Mead) 
(or) 15-16 "" " " (for very sweet or alcoholic Mead)
 4-5 gallons purified spring water (not distilled)
 3 tsp. yeast nutrient (or 5 tablets)
 1 tsp. acid blend (combination malic/citric acid) 
5-7 oz. sliced fresh gingerroot (1 finger's length)
 1/4 tsp. fresh rosemary (optional, as desired) 
5-6 whole cloves (optional, asdesired) 
1-2 vanilla beans (optional, as desired)
 cinnamon/nutmeg (optional, as desired) 
lime/orange peels (optional, as desired) 
crushed fruit (peaches, strawberries, grapes, etc.) 
1 tsp. Irish Moss(to clarify Mead)
 1/2 tsp. clear gelatin (to clarify Mead) 
1 spotted newt's tail (optional, asdesired :) 
1 packet yeast (champagne or ale yeast) 

Heat spring water 10-15 minutes till boiling. Stir in honey, yeast nutrients, acid blend, and spices (rosemary, ginger, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, lemon peel). Boil for another 10-15 minutes, (overcooking removes too much honey flavor), skimming off foam as needed (2 to 3 times during last 15 minutes). After 15 minutes, add Irish Moss or clear gelatin to clarify. After last skimming, turn off heat, add crushed fruit, and let steep 15-30 minutes while allowing mead to cool and clarify. After mead begins to clear, strain off fruit with hand skimmer and pour mead through strainer funnel into 5 gallon glass carboy jug.

Let cool to room temperature about 24 hours. After 24 hours, warm up 1 cup of mead in microwave, stir in 1 packet “Red Star” Champagne, Montrechet, or Epernet yeast (or Ale yeast in order to make mead ale), and let sit for 5-15 minutes to allow yeast to begin to work. Add this mead/yeast mixture to carboy jug and swirl around to aerate, thereby adding oxygen to mead/yeast mixture.

Place run-off tube in stopper of bottle, with other end of tube in large bowl or bottle to capture “blow-off” froth. Let mead sit undisturbed 7 days in cool, dark area. After initial violent fermenting slows down and mead begins to settle, rack off (siphon off) good mead into clean sterilized jug, leaving all sediment in bottom of first jug. Attach airlock to this secondary carboy. After 4-6 months, mead will clear. During this time, if more sediment forms on bottom, good mead can be racked off again to another clean sterilized jug.

When bottling, in order to add carbonation, add either 1/4 tsp. white table sugar per 12 oz bottle, or stir in 1/2 to 1 lb raw honey per 5 gallons mead (by first dissolving honey with a small amount of mead or pure water in microwave).

Enjoy! Skål!Source: http://www.blue-n-gold.com/halfdan/meadrecp.htm

(Some) Asatru U.S style


I cant help it, sometimes when i see Amercan Heathens i feel like i´m watching some bad Viking LARP.

That goes for all the talk of “Folk” and all the “hails” too.

I dont know any Swedish people that greet eachother with “Hail” or “Hielsa” (witch just sounds like misunderstood Swedish).

As a general rule you can hardly distinguish between Swedish Christians,Heathens and the secular majority (not to mention those that are kind of a mix of these…..witch in a sense is our entire culture).

I should make clear that:

1: I do NOT intend to insult anyone here, Heathen,Christian or other.

2: Neither will i deliberatly call all “Folkish” Heathens racists or all “Universalist” Heathens airhead neo pagans (Besides, we actually ARE neo pagans per defenition, EVEN if we are reconstructionists or grew up in a culture saturated with the folklore and extentions of cult and myth as i am).

3: And i do not think the fact that American Heathenry differs from Swedish (generalizing my ass off here) is in anyway “bad” or “wrong”. On the contrary i think its good. The custom SHOULD be adaptable to individuals, circumstances, places and communities. It always was. Even within what is today the nation of Sweden, Heathen cult and customs differed depending on when and where.

You organize in kindreds, we dont,Some of you use terms like “Thorsman”, i have never heard a Swede, even one focusing on Thor calling himself that or having an “patron God” attitude towards it (individuals and even whole areas in Scandinavia sometimes focus on certain mights as etymology shows, but it seems very de emphasized in actual cult, even today in most cases).

Eplagarðr Kindred. Some Heathens dress in Norse garb at special occations, others dont (and sometimes its a matter of practicality rather than choice)

Non of this is what i´m talking about.

Its simply that when i watch an Asatru Kindred video where “the dangers of a monoculture” is discussed where one guy leads the meeting while another guy sits on a chair, doing his best “viking chieftain” with a girl with a logo T – shirt on each side of him, a model longship on a shelf above him and two drinking horns on a table……

…..it feels weird and a bit cult (in the modern use of the word, incorrect as it is) ,LARP ,survivalist…..”i wish i was part of something cool and had a special heritage”….alien, silly.

It also gives me a feeling of self indoctrination by pastor, evangelical style.

I have nothing against boat models or drinking horns and definetely not girls…..especially several of them and in combination with drinking horns (horny?), i guess i just wish fate (not faith), and a trust that our culture(s) are biological enteties that takes care of themself  quite well with much less attitude, roleplay, pretend uniqueness and heritage would more of a base.

Mock history,science or hertage is a much bigger threat to culture than another culture ever was.

Swedish Heathens performing Disa Blot at a boulder.

Dont believe me? Ask a viking. They loved to mix their culture with others.

One of the museums in Sweden uses LARP as a way to teach history


fornsed:

Kalmar Länsmuseum is right now arranging a LARP about the 1600´s, when Sweden was at war with Denmark in this region.

LARP = Live Action Role Playing

 

The Swedish Semla – Recipe


The Swedish Semla - Recipe    75 g butter 1 cup milk 25 g yeast 1 pinch salt 10 teaspoons sugar 3 cups wheat flour 1 teaspoon cardamom, ground	 (optional) 1/2 cup egg, beaten  Filling  300 g almond paste 1/2 cup milk 1 1/2 cups double cream confectioners’ sugar Change Measurements: US | Metric  Directions: Prep Time:  1 hr Total Time:  2 1/2 hrs   1 Melt the butter in a saucepan, pour in the milk och warm until lukewarm (99 F).   2 Crumble the yeast in a bowl and stir in a little of the warm butter/milk until the yeast is completely dissolved.   3 Add the rest of the butter/milk, salt, sugar, cardamom and most of the flour (save some for the rest of the baking). Work the dough smooth and shiny. It should let go from the edges of the bowl. Allow the dough to rise under a baking cloth for 40 minutes.   4 Sprinkle flour over a baking board and place the dough there. Make 1 bun per person by rolling the dough against the baking board in your cupped hand.   5 Put the buns on a baking tray with oven paper and allow them to rise for an additional 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 440°F.   6 Brush the buns with the beaten egg and bake them for about 10 minutes in the middle of the oven. Let them cool on an oven rack under a baking cloth.   7 Cut of a cover on each bun. Take out a part of the crumb and put it in a bowl. Crumble in almond paste, mix and dilute with the milk to a rather soft mixture.   8 Distribute the filling in the buns. Whip the cream and put a large dollop in every bun.   9 Put the cover on and sift some confectioners? sugar over ?semlorna?  Read more: http://www.food.com/recipe/swedish-semlor-131318#ixzz1H3K88wvs

The Swedish Semla – Recipe

 

Filling

Directions:

Prep Time: 1 hr

Total Time: 2 1/2 hrs

 

  1. 1 Melt the butter in a saucepan, pour in the milk och warm until lukewarm (99 F).
  2. 2 Crumble the yeast in a bowl and stir in a little of the warm butter/milk until the yeast is completely dissolved.
  3. 3 Add the rest of the butter/milk, salt, sugar, cardamom and most of the flour (save some for the rest of the baking). Work the dough smooth and shiny. It should let go from the edges of the bowl. Allow the dough to rise under a baking cloth for 40 minutes.
  4. 4 Sprinkle flour over a baking board and place the dough there. Make 1 bun per person by rolling the dough against the baking board in your cupped hand.
  5. 5 Put the buns on a baking tray with oven paper and allow them to rise for an additional 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 440°F.
  6. 6 Brush the buns with the beaten egg and bake them for about 10 minutes in the middle of the oven. Let them cool on an oven rack under a baking cloth.
  7. 7 Cut of a cover on each bun. Take out a part of the crumb and put it in a bowl. Crumble in almond paste, mix and dilute with the milk to a rather soft mixture.
  8. 8 Distribute the filling in the buns. Whip the cream and put a large dollop in every bun.
  9. 9 Put the cover on and sift some confectioners? sugar over ?semlorna?

 


 Everyday Life in the Iron Age What was Life like in the Iron Age?  In the Iron Age they used a plough called an “ard”. Extra large picture. More illustrations. © Niels BachPloughing with an ard. Big picture© Lejre Experimental Centre Almost everybody in the Iron Age was involved in farm work and that goes for women and children, too. In order to prepare the land people used a special kind of plough, an ard, which was pulled by a couple of oxen. That was probably the men’s part of the work. Very few people were actual artisans. The most important of the artisans was probably the blacksmith and next to him were the people who did the peat-digging. They were important because the peat was used for melting out bog iron. The women were very skilled at making earthenware vessels. The earthenware vessels were used in connection with cooking and for trading. It took a long time to grindthe grains to make flour.Big picture The women also took care of the food and made sure there was enough laid up for the cold winters. They milked the cows, made bread and cheese and dried meat and fish. A lot of time was spent on harvesting the fields - the grain had to be threshed first, after which the kernels were grinded to flour on a stone grinder. In a mortar - a big stone with a round hole - they grinded seeds and nuts to small bits, so they could be used for porridge and bread. The leader of the community held a position which entitled him to not participate in the daily work of taking care of the land and the livestock. He had to train the men for war and make sure that the laws of the tribe were observed as well as be a kind of minister in the village. The women had many children during their childbearing years but only few of the children survived. Out of a family of 10 brothers and sisters only two or three children lived to have children of their own. Most people died before they had turned 45. Even at the time of the Tollund Man they digged peat in the bog. Extra large picture. More illustrations.© Niels BachThe goats needed to be milked. Big picture© Lejre Experimental Centre The boys and girls had to watch the livestock and help around the house which included fetching firewood for the fireplaces. The children of the Iron Age played like all children but we don’t know much about the games they played. In a grave which held the body of a young child, Silkeborg Museum discovered a rattle made of clay. Games which made use of dice and a board with glass pieces were also very popular. We don’t know how much time the children spent on playing. It is very likely that as soon as they were old enough they were put to work - tending the livestock, picking berries, cleaning the stable, spreading manure on the fields and collecting firewood. The day wasn’t divided into work and fun - the two were mixed together. Girl wearing a dress from the Iron Age.Big picture © Lejre Experimental Centre People got up when the sun rose and the cock crowed. They probably started the day by feeding the livestock. The manure that had accumulated over night had to be gathered and spread on the fields. In the wintertime some of the livestock, sheep and pigs would be in the stable right next to where the people ate and slept. In the summertime most of the residents’ lives were probably spent outdoors. In the evening the livestock would be shooed inside the fence surrounding the village after which it was closed. As the sun was setting people would gather around the fireplace and listen to stories before going to bed. People slept on low plank beds around the fireplace and the sound of the livestock munching would mix with the residents’ snoring.

 

Everyday Life in the Iron Age

What was Life like in the Iron Age?

 

Click for extra large pictureIn the Iron Age they used a plough called an “ard”. Extra large pictureMore illustrations. © Niels BachPloughing with an ardPloughing with an ard. Big picture
© Lejre Experimental Centre

Almost everybody in the Iron Age was involved in farm work and that goes for women and children, too. In order to prepare the land people used a special kind of plough, an ard, which was pulled by a couple of oxen. That was probably the men’s part of the work.

Very few people were actual artisans. The most important of the artisans was probably the blacksmith and next to him were the people who did the peat-digging. They were important because the peat was used for melting out bog iron.

The women were very skilled at making earthenware vessels. The earthenware vessels were used in connection with cooking and for trading.

It took a long time to grind the grains to make flourIt took a long time to grind
the grains to make flour.
Big picture

The women also took care of the food and made sure there was enough laid up for the cold winters. They milked the cows, made bread and cheese and dried meat and fish.

A lot of time was spent on harvesting the fields – the grain had to be threshed first, after which the kernels were grinded to flour on a stone grinder. In a mortar – a big stone with a round hole – they grinded seeds and nuts to small bits, so they could be used for porridge and bread.

The leader of the community held a position which entitled him to not participate in the daily work of taking care of the land and the livestock. He had to train the men for war and make sure that the laws of the tribe were observed as well as be a kind of minister in the village.

The women had many children during their childbearing years but only few of the children survived. Out of a family of 10 brothers and sisters only two or three children lived to have children of their own. Most people died before they had turned 45.

Click for extra large pictureEven at the time of the Tollund Man they digged peat in the bog. Extra large pictureMore illustrations.
© Niels BachThe goats needed to be milkedThe goats needed to be milked. Big picture
© Lejre Experimental Centre

The boys and girls had to watch the livestock and help around the house which included fetching firewood for the fireplaces.

The children of the Iron Age played like all children but we don’t know much about the games they played. In a grave which held the body of a young child, Silkeborg Museum discovered a rattle made of clay. Games which made use of dice and a board with glass pieces were also very popular.

We don’t know how much time the children spent on playing. It is very likely that as soon as they were old enough they were put to work – tending the livestock, picking berries, cleaning the stable, spreading manure on the fields and collecting firewood. The day wasn’t divided into work and fun – the two were mixed together.

Girl wearing a dress from the Iron AgeGirl wearing a dress from the Iron Age.
Big picture © Lejre Experimental Centre

People got up when the sun rose and the cock crowed. They probably started the day by feeding the livestock. The manure that had accumulated over night had to be gathered and spread on the fields.

In the wintertime some of the livestock, sheep and pigs would be in the stable right next to where the people ate and slept.

In the summertime most of the residents’ lives were probably spent outdoors. In the evening the livestock would be shooed inside the fence surrounding the village after which it was closed. As the sun was setting people would gather around the fireplace and listen to stories before going to bed. People slept on low plank beds around the fireplace and the sound of the livestock munching would mix with the residents’ snoring.

 

How did Viking Age people really look?


I have tryed to gather pictures enough to give an idea of how viking age people dressed and equiped themselves. Note “viking age”  (since the term is used)”Viking” is a proffession, not the ethnicity witch is “Norse”.
Only a small percentage actually went in viking (about 7% of the population).

Norse man.

Norse woman

Wool and linnen where usual materials.

Often cloakes, brooches, glass beads and pendants where added for decoration.The sleeves on this one suggests that it´s a bit later.

(via wyrdsister)

 Viking womanby ~VendelRus  Model: Cajsa

Viking womanby ~VendelRus

Model: Cajsa

Research by archeologist Annika Larsson has shown that imported clothes and fabrics where in use among those few that could afford it.

Norse man and woan with clothes of foreign influence.

”They combined oriental features with Nordic styles. Their clothing was designed to be shown off indoors around the fire,” says textile researcher Annika Larsson, whose research at Uppsala University presents a new picture of the Viking Age.

Vikings. The one in the fron is probably wealthy since he owns a sword.

When it came to arms the typical armor would have been padding or leather, if you could afford it maille (mistakenly referred to as chain mail by some) and a helmet with a nose guard or a mask like protection.

Weapons where the spear and an axe called “bearded axe” who could also be used as a tool.

Swords where unusual and would have cost as much as a whole farm.Those that one usually let it become a family heirloom.

The swords had the shape called a “spatha” but longer and actually, most Europeans used rather similar swords at the time (so the term “Viking sword” is not entirely correct).

The shield was round with a buckle in the middle.

Typical viking age helmet.

From the movie “Skaldmöld”From the movie “Skaldmöld”

Håkan Norhjelm showing viking age fighting techniques.Håkan Norhjelm showing viking age fighting techniques.

This guy has all the equipment you can ask for. If you look at Norman knights

and knights in general, not much changes for hundreds of years with the armor.

 When people think of Viking age weapons, they usually think first of the battle axe, and the image that forms in their mind is a massive weapon that only a troll could wield. In reality, battle axes in the Viking age were light, fast, and well balanced, and were good for speedy, deadly attacks, as well as for a variety of nasty tricks.  The axe was often the choice of the poorest man in the Viking age. Even the lowliest farm had to have a wood axe (right) for cutting and splitting wood. In desperation, a poor man could pick up the farm axe and use it in a fight. Axes meant for battle were designed a bit differently than farm axes. The photo to the left shows two reproduction axes based on 10th century finds, while the photo on the right shows a historic 10th century axe head. Axe heads were made of iron and were single edged. A wide variety of axe head shapes were used in the Viking age. The sketch to the right shows three different 11th century axe heads, while the photo to the left shows three earlier axe heads. In the early part of the Viking era, the cutting edge was generally 7 to 15cm (3-6in) long, while later, axes became much larger. The cutting edge of the largest of the axe heads shown to the right is 22cm (9in) long. The edge of this axe is made of hardened steel welded to the iron head. The join line is clearly visible in the sketch and in the historical axe head. The steel permitted the axe to hold a better edge than iron would have allowed. Some axe heads were elaborately decorated with inlays of precious metals, notably the Mammen axe head. The head is decorated on every flat surface with inlays of gold and silver and was found in a rich grave that dates from the year 971.When people think of Viking age weapons, they usually think first of the battle axe, and the image that forms in their mind is a massive weapon that only a troll could wield. In reality, battle axes in the Viking age were light, fast, and well balanced, and were good for speedy, deadly attacks, as well as for a variety of nasty tricks.

The axe was often the choice of the poorest man in the Viking age. Even the lowliest farm had to have a wood axe (right) for cutting and splitting wood. In desperation, a poor man could pick up the farm axe and use it in a fight.

 The spear was the most commonly used weapon in the Viking age. It was often the choice of someone who was unable to afford a sword.  During the Viking age, spear heads took many forms. The photo to the left shows a modern reproduction, typical of the late Viking age. The top photo to the right shows an 11th century spearhead, while the bottom photo to the right shows a 10thcentury spearhead. Earlier spearheads were about 20cm (8in) long, while later ones were as long as 60cm (24in). In chapter 55 of Laxdæla saga, Helgi had a spear with a blade one ell long (about 50cm, or 20in). He thrust the blade through Bolli’s shield, and through Bolli. The photo below shows an assortment of Viking era spear heads, illustrating the variations in size and shape. The top-most spearhead in the photo is 38cm (15in) long, giving a sense of scale.  In chapter 8 of Króka-Refs saga, Refur made a spear for himself which could be used for cutting, thrusting, or hewing. Refur split Þorgils in two down to his shoulders with the spear. Some spear heads, including all those in the photo above, had “wings” on the head, useful for a variety of tricks. These are called krókspjót (barbed spear) in the stories. Grettir used a barbed spear with a blade so thin and long that he was able to pierce all the way through Þórir and into Ögmundur with a single thrust, right up to the wings. Both men were killed by the thrust, as is told in chapter 19 of Grettis saga. The spear was the most commonly used weapon in the Viking age. It was often the choice of someone who was unable to afford a sword.

During the Viking era, helmets typically were made from several pieces of iron riveted together , called a spangenhelm style of helm. It’s easier to make a helmet this way, requiring less labor, which may be why it was used.During the Viking era, helmets typically were made from several pieces of iron riveted together , called a spangenhelm style of helm. It’s easier to make a helmet this way, requiring less labor, which may be why it was used.

TViking Swords  More than anything else, the sword was the mark of a warrior in the Viking age. They were difficult to make, and therefore rare and expensive. The author of Fóstbræðra saga wrote in chapter 3 that in saga age Iceland, very few men were armed with swords. Of the 100+ weapons found in Viking age pagan burials in Iceland, only 16 are swords. A sword might be the most expensive item that a man owned. The one sword whose value is given in the sagas (given by King Hákon to Höskuldur in chapter 13 of Laxdæla saga)was said to be worth a half mark of gold. In saga age Iceland, that represented the value of sixteen milk-cows, a very substantial sum. Swords were heirlooms. They were given names and passed from father to son for generations. The loss of a sword was a catastrophe. Laxdæla saga (chapter 30) tells how Geirmundr planned to abandon his wife Þuríðr and their baby daughter in Iceland. Þuríðr boarded Geirmund’s ship at night while he slept. She took his sword, Fótbítr (Leg Biter) and left behind their baby. Þuríðr rowed away in her boat, but not before the baby’s cries woke Geirmundr. He called across the water to Þuríðr, begging her to return with the sword.  He told her to “take your daughter and whatever wealth you want.”She asked, “Do you mind the loss of your sword so much?”“I’d have to lose a great deal of money before I minded as much the loss of that sword.”   “Then you shall never have it, since you have treated me dishonorably.”  The photo to the left shows a reproduction of a Viking era sword. The original on which it is based was found in east Iceland and dates from the 10th century. The sketches to the right show some of the variations in size and shape that existed in Viking era blades and hilts. The photo below shows five Viking era sword hilts, illustrating the variations in guards and pommels that existed during the Viking age. The hilts are generally classified using a system devised by Jan Petersen and published in 1919. Since a given style was in use only during a given period, the hilt style can be used to help date a sword.  The crossguard of the middle hilt has been pulled up to reveal the details of the shoulder, where the blade narrows to form the tang. reproduction swordTViking Swords

More than anything else, the sword was the mark of a warrior in the Viking age. They were difficult to make, and therefore rare and expensive. The author of Fóstbræðra saga wrote in chapter 3 that in saga age Iceland, very few men were armed with swords. Of the 100+ weapons found in Viking age pagan burials in Iceland, only 16 are swords.

n the Viking age, fighting men used large, round, wooden shields gripped in the center from behind an iron boss. A reproduction shield is shown to the left, and a historical shield from the Oseberg ship to the right. Shields represent one of several instances where the literary sources and archaeological sources do not agree on how Viking weapons were constructed. The Norwegian Gulaþing and Frostaþing laws specify the construction of a shield. The shield should be made of wood with three iron bands and a handle fastened to the back side by iron nails. A later revision of the law says that the shield should be made of a double layer of boards (tvibyrðr), and the front should be painted red and white.  A few shields have survived from the Viking age, notably the shields from the Gokstad ship, which date from the 10th century. The ship was equipped with 32 shields, several of which survive intact. They were made from a single layer of planks butted together, with no iron bands, and the fronts were painted black and yellow. Typical Viking shields were 80-90cm (32-36 inches) in diameter. Some were larger, such as the Gokstad shields, which were 94cm (37in) across. Based on surviving remnants, some of the smaller shields appear to have been as small as 70cm (28in) in diameter. All the surviving examples are made from solid butted planks, although literary evidence, such as the 10th century Frankish poem Waltharius, and the Gulaþing laws, suggests that shields were made of laminated wood. No archaeological evidence supports this style of construction during the Viking era in Norse lands. Surviving shields are made from spruce, fir, or pine. Again, literary evidence contradicts and suggests that shields were made with linden wood (Tilia, commonly known as basswood in North America). The word lind (linden) is used to mean “shield” in poems such as Völuspá , and the term lindiskjöldr (linden shield) is used in some sagas. Linden certainly has advantages over other species of wood for shield use. It is lightweight and does not split as readily under impact as do other types of wood. The Gokstad shields were approximately 7mm (1/4in) thick near the center and were chamfered so they were thinner at the edges. Most surviving shields are in the range between 6mm (1/4in) and 12mm (1/2in) thick, although shields thicker than 30mm (1-1/8in) have been found. n the Viking age, fighting men used large, round, wooden shields gripped in the center from behind an iron boss.

I hope this has given a picture of the ancestors a bit clearer than that of the fantastic and romantic remnants of the Victorian era.

 

Our heritage, ANY heritage is worth preserving or understanding.

Without a past how can we navigate towards a future?

fuckyeahnorsemen:  Viking ship at Gudvangen, Norway (by scott photos)

Viking ship at Gudvangen, Norway (by scott photos)