Hostesses With The Mostest > Entertaining and Hospitality

SCA and Feasts - Stories Anyone?

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OK - with the thread highjack on worst food ever

I thought that we might have enough stories 'tween us for a new thread.

Best Feast
Worst Feast
Most "Interesting" Feast or the "What WERE you thinking of feast"

and the ever popular

WHERE did my KITCHEN go? Feast

One of our sites packed up and went to Irac the week before our event.  Not a pot, pan, or dish of any kind in the kitchen.  Dollar Store to the rescue.  Another ripped out the kitchen days before an event. Not even a counter did they leave. (they called that one Yonnie's miracle feast)

Perhaps the worst one, which I mentioned in the other thread, was the Twelfth Night feast with rabbit pie and pickled beef.  Only the bread was edible, so two guys from my table went out in search of a local Chinese place.

The most shameful one I can recall was hosted by a group that was riding on a former member's rep for good food (The knight who had prepared the cornish hens with grapes had long since moved out of the area).  Since I knew that this group didn't have a good cook left, my table paid the Off Board fee and brought our own food.  Lady Eleanor prepared a small turkey (which we pretended was a large capon); I prepared 6 cornish hens (3 glazed with cherry, 3 with apricot), two other ladies contributed side dishes, and I brought bread from Parisi's in my neighborhood (bread fit for the gods).  The official "feast" consisted of a soup that looked unrecognizable, canned beef stew, some kind of technology-produced meat product, and a little bread.  It was a total ripoff.

The largest spread -- relative to the attendance -- was one I was Feastocrat of.  In a group where attendance of 100 was normal and we would typically cook for 110, we ended up with 80 due to a political problem.  This feast had three full entrees:  my Boeuf Bourginon, Sir Vincenzo's Lemon Dill Chicken, and my Choucroute Garni.  Salad, bread, side dishes (noodles with the boeuf and wild rice with the chicken), and fresh fruit also provided.  There was enough food for another 30 people; my territory lost $200 on this feast.  Since I was also Exchequer, I was quite peevish.  However, we never lost money again because we never had less than full attendance after that one.

It's hard to be on a diet in the SCA.

Oh - the lovely politics. we have had a few run ins with that.

Our worst attended event was one called Rosemal Revel. At the time we were still an incipient group, and has one person in the Barony determined to get us to disband. (Hah - like that would happen) so he refused to sign the papers so we could get in the Kingdom newsletter. (he was also Baronial Senashel, He signed later under the watchful eyes of our Baroness. Who was doing a pretty good impression of a drill sargent on him)

So hardly anyone showed up, we must have had food for a good two hundred people, thanks to an overzealous cook.  She has long since left us for another state.  But Boy could she cook. 

Some kind souls that were there were PAYING us for the feast leftovers.  By the time we added up the event we had just enough to pay the Barony back what we had borrowed and had $13.46 left over.  For several years. Till we had another low attendance event, with even MORE food left over. (Same cook)  Those leftovers went to a homeless shelter. 

I miss Loren's "Shchickens"  they were the best I have ever had - she put some sort of fruit dressing between the skin of the bird and the flesh and roasted them all day. They fell apart under your spoon.

Our group is now under "orders" (our Barony is Peer heavy) to up our "Period" style.  (Yes, Master Brusten) and I think that the first thing we need to do is eat better than fast food at an event.   A couple of us have recently recieved a Purple Fret (Kingdom Service Award) and were told that we should strive to live up to it. (I guess after 15 years I should be trying harder than I am, so I don't feel bad about that order)

Have any quick food to recomend?  (Besides bread and cheese)

One of the best feasts I ever worked my sous-chef -- who was a sous-chef professionally -- made roast beef and gravy, but used the commercial gravy cleverly by dividing it into three batches and spicing each differently.  The roasts were studded with garlic and rolled in crushed pepper prior to placing in the broiler; nothing else to be done but to watch it to make sure it didn't overcook.

My chicken with nut butter (If the recipe isn't in the Cookbook Project folder I will put it there) was also served, along with my garlic soup.  We also had a fabulous kitchen facility with a steam table.   The only leftovers at that feast were a little beef and vegetables, but every bite of everything else was consumed.

One thing I discovered quickly when planning events is that the most efficient thing to do is come up with a balance of advance-prepared and prepare-on-site things.

And nothing is more period than stew.


--- Quote from: venus193 on February 25, 2007, 10:00:11 PM ---
And nothing is more period than stew.

--- End quote ---

Stewed meats with herbs and savories?  Oh yes, incredibly period.  But modern "stew," combining meats, vegetables and starches, actually isn't period--just FYI.  :)  I used to think so too, till I started researching and redacting my own recipes.

Easy quick recipes...  absolutely!  Buy a copy of "Pleyn Delit" (authors are Hieatt and Butler).  Everything in there is totally authentic and most of it is really yummy!  :)  Or Siobhan Medhbh O'Roarke's "Travelling Dysshes" is really useful too, although not as many recipes--but it does have a really exhaustive "period/not period" foods list in it.

Cariadoc's Miscellany, online, has a lot of great stuff in it too; and you don't have to wait for Amazon.  ;)

     - saphie


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