Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Artz of Thor

Thor has inspired this week’s Artz.  It could be the legend. It could be Chris Hemsworth. It could just be the awesome blonde hair. It could be the stirring of Viking blood coursing through my brain.  Whatever it is Thor is our focus.

Thor is a god in Norse Mythology his name meaning Thunder. He wields a hammer and is associated with storms, oak trees, strength, fertility and the protection of mankind.

From Thor we get Thunresdaeg,  Thunor’s Day,  Thor’s Day, and finally Thursday. 

He is described as having flowing red hair, a red beard and fierce eyes. He is a son of Odin and usually travels in a chariot pulled by two goats. Not only does he carry the hammer Mjölnir, a staff named Gríðarvölr he wears gloves made of iron and they are named Járngreip.

Thor and the legends that surround him have inspired poets such as Wir und Sie an ode to Thor written in 1776 by F. J. Klopstock.  He appears in the writings of Rudyard Kipling, 

and Hans Friedrich Blunck; drawings and paintings by artists Mårten Eskil Winge and E. Doepler, statues by sculptor B. E. Fogelberg.

                                                                         Bengt Erland Fogelberg, Thor, 1844
The chemical element thorium is named for Thor as is Scutisorex thori, an extinct species of shrew that was found in the Congo, one of only two mammals known to have interlocking vertebrae.

In 1962 Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, and Jack Kirby

 crated the Marvel Super Hero Thor the inspiration  that we see in the movie Thor: The Dark World.

This week the Artz of Thor. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Jethart in Artz

Jedburgh, Roxburghshire, Scotland is where my 7th Great Grandmother was from. She came to America sometime before 1720.

Jedburgh, Jethart, Jeddart, Jed-worth or to translate, it is the town of Jed. It is on the bank of Jed Water in the southeast of Teviotdale. Sounds like a place from the mind of J.R. Tolkien.

In 1118 David I built a priory here. In 1147 it was built upon and changed into the most beautiful Abbey in all of Scotland and dedicated to the Virgin Mary.  In 1523 the Earl of Surrey launching an attack on the village, and the Abbey ransacked it and ordered it burned. Several years later Sir Evers attacked it and in 1544 the Earl of Hereford again attacked and once more burned the Abbey. Finally in 1559 the Abbey was abandoned and all revenues reverted to the Crown.

Most of the Abbey walls still stand as does many of the out-buildings. It is one of the most perfect and beautiful examples of Saxon and early Gothic architecture in all of Scotland.

David Brewster the inventor of the kaleidoscope was born in Jedburgh in 1781 which is reason enough in my book to love this place.
                                                    Inner picture of a cigar box from the early 1900s with a portrait of Brewster.

This week join us as we visit Jethart in Artz.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Fried Artz Eggs

I was looking online for a tartan for my 6th Great Grandmother Mary Sitlington, an uncommon name with an uncommon history. Clan legend tells the sad and violent tale of the Chiefs of clan Lamont. It all happens in 1646 when the clan sides with King Charles I against Cromwell. 
                       Anthony van Dyck Charles I (1600-49) with M. de St Antoine
When they made this tragic decision they abandoned Clan Campbell on the battlefield. King Charles was defeated and the Campbell’s retaliated by attacking castles in possession of the clan Lamont. The Campbell’s signed a peace treaty with the chiefs allowing them to peacefully leave their castle, but when they opened the gates the Campbell’s attacked and killed over 200 men women and children. Lady Mary Lamont who was with her 4 sons in residence at their castle on the Cumbrae Island

 escaped with her sons to Ireland. To protect their identities a decision was made to change their names. The oldest son took the name Sitilington which was the name of a small stream on their Scottish estate. The youngest son took on his mother’s maiden name of Young and the middle two became White and Green.
As I was looking for a hint for a tartan I came across a painting of fried eggs in a painting of breakfast. This peaked my curiosity and I wondered if I could find 5 paintings or sculptures of fried eggs for this week.

Wikipedia says that fried eggs are made from hen’s eggs. I was unaware cocks laid eggs. That mystery solved I discovered fried eggs are a key ingredient in dishes in many countries.

In Japan they are called “medama yaki 目玉 焼き”" which translates to eyeball baked.

In Germany fried eggs are called Spiegeleier. 

In India a fried egg is called a poached egg and can be purchased from street vendors. In Russia it is яичницаor yaichnitsa. 

It is served sunny side up. In Brazil a popular dish is served called bife a cavalo. It is a fried egg served over a steak the translation is horse steak and in Spanish it is bife a caballo.

Fried eggs can be served over easy, sunny side up, over hard, over well and over medium.
This week enjoy Fried Artz Eggs.

The tartan I shrouded Great Grandmother Sitilington is the Lamont tartan.