5 Reasons Doing C & I Is Better Than Cooking

HL Nikolai Kolpachnik Spinachev’s
Baronial Arts and Sciences Championship
Competition Entry.

I’m not that great a cook. Mostly cooking doesn’t interest me. I’m also not a foodie or gourmet. High-quality or exotic ingredients don’t interest me. And I can’t be bothered with food skills that don’t involve a microwave or Keurig.

Attending a scribal gathering or making an SCA scroll is way more fun to me than cooking. Even more fun than eating at a 5-star French restaurant or local trend setting place.

Why you ask? I have five reasons.

1. A scroll or full page illumination lasts longer than food. Whether I keep it or give it away, my creation can be enjoyed for years to come. 

In the SCA most scrolls are framed and hung to decorate a wall. They may be there because the recipient is proud of the honor it represents, but a well-done scroll also adds to their room’s decor. That makes us both happy.

2. I can walk away from a scroll I’m making without ruining it. I might even leave it unfinished for months until the spirit over takes me again and I finish it. Try that with food.  

My fridge often contains dishes from weeks ago that need throwing out. Plus, if I walk away from a pan on my hot stove the food will either burn, go dry or boil over.

My studio has a few projects I plan to return to “some day.” They’ll be there when I finish the scroll I’ve been asked to do by the current Royal Scribe. And may be the Royal Scribe after that, too.
3. Doing calligraphy and illumination won’t make me fat. Just smelling food cooking seems to do that. 

When I’m working on a calligraphy and illumination project I lose track of all time, I often miss meals. I even skip cooking because C and I is more fun than standing to stir a pan. It’s also way more fun than washing the dishes needed for cooking and eating. 

4. I can fix most C and I oopsies without throwing the scroll away. Some of my cooking errors ended with me even throwing the pan away.

While I’ve devoted more time to learn C and I than I ever would to cooking, I’ve enjoyed the learning process thoroughly. I’m now able to scratch off letters I mistakenly wrote in the scroll text. I can adapt or cover up a misplaced mark. I’ve even adapted a cat foot print into a scroll motif.

5. Scribes are less snobbish than gourmet cooks. (Sorry Calontir Cooks Guild.) 

Well-seasoned cooks take pride in their exotic spices and techniques, and they should. It is their passion and expertise. Using fresh homegrown herbs is great for you. I’m lucky I have them dried in a jar on my counter. And I don’t know the difference or taste between Italian and lemon basil, or when to use them.

My Playing With Pigments Class

Give me a scribal gathering or class, with or without wine, and I’m in heaven. Scribes share skills and materials easily. We can do this in the field or in a symposium. Scribes are the most giving, sharing people. They easily share what they know, on the spot if they have their portable art box near by.

These are my five reasons I prefer calligraphy or illumination to cooking and even eating. It’s my passion. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 

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