It's sometimes hard for people to relate to the Middle Ages and what the people there had to endure day to day. Folks today have images in their minds of dirty people, cringing at lightning and filled with superstitions. While that is partly true, there is also a lot that is not. When I give talks about the Middle Ages, I try to make it relatable by describing life in that era as perpetual camping. Spit baths, smelling like smoke from the fires you have to keep lit; small fires, by the way, not the ridiculous campfires we all usually have. In London, as a matter of fact, most people couldn't afford logs or wood, which was scarce in the area. They had to make due with peat fires which are smelly and "cool", not as warm and roaring as one might have if one was rich. You'd have to fetch your own water and you'd go to bed when it got dark. The lack of artificial light makes one sleepy, ready for bed and then you'd get up with the dawn. A better way to live, surely.
Well, my Thanksgiving was a little like that except for the comfort of my trailer and its electric heater. Because it was darned cold up in the mountains of Julian, CA. A quaint little town that sprung up over a century before to mine gold. And you can still take tours of the old gold mine and stay in the old hotel. It's a tourist town now, with lots of cute shops and lots of apples. The Julian Pie Company supplies pies to southern California grocery stores.
We like to make what we call the "Man Turkey", a turkey roasted on a spit over a campfire, cooked the old-fashioned medieval way...except for the small motor turning the spit. I have threatened to carve a peasant out of wood and, in whirly-bird fashion, connect him to the motor to make it look like he is turning the spit. For another time.
Now some pics:
It's beautiful fall weather up in these mountains. Usually we get to see wild turkeys wandering about but I didn't get to see any this time. Below is a pic of our old, old trailer behind our kind of old Jeep. It still gets us there, not in style, but at least warm, dry, and with a bathroom!
I like to decorate the table.
And put out appetizers.
Since we are camping with friends and expect more to arrive at the table, we roast two turkeys.
It's a two man operation to do so.
The town of Julian.