This is the home of Mergriet van Wijenhorst, otherwise known as Griet, being a persona created for the SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism). Griet was born near Postel in De Kempen but due to low employment in the area, her father decided to take the family to Hoboken where his brother had a room he could let to the family. Not long after, the family was able to secure both work and housing in the nearby port city of Antwerpen where Griet remained. 

Map of Brabant, showing Postel, Antwerp and Hoboken
By the second half of the 16th century, Mergriet took up with Wolfgang, a migrant trade worker from Germany, whom she met at a kermess just outside of Antwerp in Hoboken. From there, they took up residence at the "Eik en Zwijn". In the 16th century, houses were known in parts of the Netherlands by such names as "Kalf met de Wieg" and "Den Draeck" which were often just represented as pictorial house plaques. The "Eik en Zwijn", aka: the "Oak and Boar", was chosen in an effort to mimic the practice and to give Griet a place to call home.

kermisse at Hoboken   Kermisse
Kermisse at Hoboken

While in the SCA, I do enjoy cooking, Mergriet most likely would not very familiar with many of the dishes I create. I do, from time to time, like to play around with dishes she may have been familiar. Often this requires a little more imagination that simply concocting something from a period recipe book, one such recipe I came up with was based on a guild inventory for a rice pottage as well as reference to similar recipes. 

Take 4 1/2oz of rice and cook in 1 1/2 pints of whole milk, adding milk if needed (if it starts to go dry). Cook this until the rice starts to soften, about 15 minutes, and then add a couple of tablespoons of butter, sugar to taste (start at about 1/4-1/3 cup), ginger and cinnamon to taste and saffron to colour. 

Mergriet in the SCA
In the SCA, I began playing between the provinces of New Brunswick (known as the shire of Lyndhaven), PEI and NS (both part of the Barony of Ruantallan). That was sometime in the mid-ish 90's when my eldest were still quite small and I was in my 20's! Between then and now, I've held many offices, helped run many events, cooked a fair number of feasts/dayboards, fought with swords, made all sorts of things, taught classes, judged in competitions, competed, was part of the royal seamstress team, made scrolls (actually decorated sheets of parchment or paper to celebrate an award...) for people and I even have 4 pretty scrolls to call my own. For those who haven't played in the SCA, this is actually quite typical for most participants, though activities will vary, and remember, it took me at least a decade of play (because I do what I do for fun) to accomplish much of that. 

At present my ability to physically be present at SCA functions has diminished somewhat, but I still enjoy sharing my projects and passions so this is why websites like this one exists. I have not quit, I just play differently now.