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SC-Outlandish-msg - 8/24/08


Review of a pirate themed Siege Cooking competition at the 2008 Outlandish event.


NOTE: See also the files: cookg-compet-msg, AS-compet-msg, pirates-lnks, pirates-msg, boat-building-msg, stews-bruets-msg, turnips-msg, Outl-hist-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Sun, 25 May 2008 19:03:25 -0600

From: "Kathleen A Roberts" <karobert at unm.edu>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] siege cooking at outlandish - update

To: SCA-Cooks at ansteorra.org


well, the rainy and windy weather (hail last Thursday

night, but it did keep the dust down) made connor and i

decide to daytrip for the siege cooking on Saturday for

me, and general schmoozing for him. he had the better

time. it was 36 degrees at 8 a.m., warm and sunny all day.

extreme fire conditions, so nada but propane. the


scenario: with a seafaring/pirate theme, the team (3 cooks

and 1 scullery) had to prepare two meals, one for the crew

at 3:45 (in town hall) and one for the captain and guests

at 4:30 at the team's campsite). staggered times for four

teams. we began first, at 8:30.


all four teams met at town square at 8 a.m. the

coordinator was late. we then learned that each team of

cooks had to basically go through a guided scavenger hunt

to get the food. we were given a few basics in a bucket,

but otherwise it was long distance hiking shopping. (note:

if you were disabled or rickety in some way, you could

have a designated walker assigned.


all directions and rules were given to the teams at that

time. i had emailed the coordinator to ask (if

permissible) how many judges, so the team could have

enough plateage. she emailed me EIGHT! i forwarded it to

the team - we almost quit then.


despite slightly bad knees, i didn't think i needed the

designated walker, and forged on with my captain, one-eye

emma and fellow cook, zee spenyerd (OLE!) ). we didn't

have a chance to look into our bucket to see what we had,

being the first boat out, but it looked pretty usual...

oats, flour, honey.


oh, yes... and we had to do it all traveling in a BOAT of

pvc pipe in an elongated pentagon shape, that we had to

hold up with our hands. all travel required all three

persons be in the 'boat', holding it up. during your

voyage from place to place you could be raided by the

pyrates, and they could take your provisions if you did

not have sufficient bribes. the other boats could raid you

if you passed. you had to ask permission to dock at ports,

but had to stay at respectable distance if another ship

was already there.


but wait, there's more.....


so our team sets sail for the pyrate camp first, thinking

it furthest from our camp, that we would go there and

double back to the ports on the way to camp. we got to the

pyrate camp, and only three people were awake, and had no

idea what was going on. we were advised to come back when

everyone was awake.


so.... we hit the other ports of call where we got our

provisions. my bribes of song and/or homemade

oatmeal/almond,raisin/cranberry cookies got us some other

goods, as did emma's glass beads, but not especially

useful in the end.


but, hold the phone... we go back to the pyrate camp (the

farthest port from our camp) about an hour later to be

told that the captain had given all of the provisions to

the first boat there, early bird, worms and all that. we

informed him WE were first there and no one knew what was

going on. he said, well i wasn't awake yet.

grrrrrrrrrr...... fortunately, a friendly pyrate, and

great inventor, gave us a bottle of dead man's ale

(complete with little plastic skeleton in the bottle).

extremely miffed, we sailed away to camp, needless to say,

bitching all the way.


and then.... we complained to the siege cooking

coordinator who had no idea what was going on. we later

found out other teams had been dismissed by the pyrates



soldiering on... we checked our provisions. we had packets

of seeds in them. (insert scooby doo bewilderment noise

here). we were supposed to barter at a certain port of

call for extra veggies. BUT - no one told anyone that. we

found that out later. off in the boat again....


now mind you... the scenario called for two meals in 8

hours, or rather 6 hours (cuz it took us two hours to make

the rounds to get the provisions) for an unknown number of

crew at town hall (oh, just put down whatever dishes you

want, or as a buffet) and 45 minutes later dinner for 8 in

captains quarters,


we had... about a cup of flour 4 cups of oatmeal

2 cups barley (not prepped or hulled or anything)

three leeks (one of them bribed)

a quarter cup of coffee beans (bribed)

4 tomatoes

1 pineapple (!)

1 round watermelon

a 3 inch round of goat cheese with cracked pepper

a 2 inch block of gruyere

1 and a half cups of diced figs (coated with

unidentifiable powdery spice stuff - at first we wondered

why we had been given purina dog chow, cuz that was what it

looked like in the baggie)

a cup of milk

one onion

one pound of carrots

three hardtack biscuits

one half cup of spiced rum (bribed)

1 bottle of ale (bribed)

6 eggs

1 cup of milk

handful of salt

handful of black peppercorns (thank god for the crab


two apples (gotten by my charm and guile)

a vanilla bean

a quarter cup of olive oil

a quarter cup of distilled white vinegar

a generous quarter cup of honey

a generous half cup of raw sugar

a piece of beef round, about the size of two ladies fists

put together

a sandwich sized zip lock bag of beef jerky

two HUGE turnips

two tablespoons of dill seed (!)

a bottle of mead


no citrus, no salt pork, no wine/brandy, no rum... (i

strongly suspect there were salad greens somewhere as we

later found a bag of mesclun seeds in the bottom of the



and an hour later, to make up for the confusion at the

pyrate camp.... a piece of smoked venison the size of my

hand and less than an inch thick


then someone said they were coming to take some of our

meat because of a mix-up. fortunately, no one was chopping

at the time, but we convinced them we weren't the people

who were supposed to be giving up meat.


and one hour later, ditto above four pork spare ribs


i think that was it. its a bit of a blur now. i know this

is supposed to get your creativity going, but... one eyed

emma set to making a beef stew for the captain's table.

zee spenyerd (OLE !) used his blade skills to full

advantage, chopping and slicing. bones the teenage

scullery lad kept the pots and pans coming.


i was hoping for jerky cuz i had a good recipe for

breaking it down into a neat gravy to put over just about

anything (chuckwagon cookbook). unfortunately, it was not

the dry, preserved jerky you find in some good jerky

shops, but the sticky, almost teriaki sweet jerky you get

in bags at the truckstops, both thin and gobbet sized.


let me say, that emma and i were exhausted by the time we

started, with all the hiking. all of us worked away as

best we could, and two hours before the time to feed the

crew, we were staring at each other with glazed over eyes.

this being rosalio's (zee spenyard (OLE !) ) first siege

cooking experience, he was pretty much game for anything.

we had our notebook, we had ideas, but there just wasn't

enough of anything to do as much as we needed to do, even

with little tastes.


the jerky wouldn't reconstitute. the rum was spiced

(ICK!). what do you do with 4 spareribs 3 hours into the

competition, and a pineapple, fer gawd's sake?


sadly, and after much discussion, we decided that we did

not have the energy for the task at hand, and threw in our

pirate bandanas. neither emmaline or i give up easily, and

it was a hard thing to do, but it was beyond us.


as we were getting ready to go to the coordinators camp, a

fellow team captain came to our camp to see if we had

stolen her flag and provisions. (all teams had a flag to

show judges where they were.) apparently some one had

taken the raiding theme too far, and well into the

competition time, as she was about to make a dish,

discovered her eggs and milk were missing. (we gave her

what was left of ours.)


after four hours of hard work, we had a passable beef

stew, a pork/leek/apple dish that would not have served

six a tablespoon let alone 8, an authentic dish of

hardtack broken up and stewed with rum and sugar (that had

the figs added to kill the weird spiced rum taste) and a

nice little wrap of apple slice spread with goat cheese

and wrapped with finely sliced smoked venison, and the

rest of the flotsam and jetsam mocking us on the table.


oh, and a 'personal' judge came by every two hours to see

how we were doing, check on our teamwork and test us on

our pyrate trivia. extra points for documentation or real

pyrate recipes. he was a sweetie, and thought some of the

rules were crazy too, and actually gave us some 'sympathy'

chocolate for our experience with the pyrates/protein.


it was sad. the coordinator was shocked we surrendered our

flag. it was supposed to be fun, and she was sorry we were

not having fun with it.


if we hadn't had to lug those boats around every time we

went somewhere, if there weren't so many mouths to feed,

such disjointed provisions (i am used to odd, but this was

WIERD), if there weren't confusion about what and who

could be "messed with", then fine. but it wasn't worth it.

at noon, my husband stopped by and told both of us we

already looked exhausted and maybe this wasn't worth it.

being stubborn, we insisted it wasn't that bad. it got old

really quickly.


i am not a quitter but in retrospect i really think it was

the best thing. we left early, i don't even know now how

many teams finished or who won with what. i really didn't



the team was great all around, and bones was blessing for

toting within the camp, and zee spenyerd's (OLE !) knife

skills are incredible. our personal judge told us that

with some of the things he was hearing from us, including

the pyrating of eggs and milk, he was going off to have a

talk with the coordinators. he visited us after we

surrendered, and was rather sympathetic. nice young viking



we had fun with each other -- we would shout OLE! every

time one of us said "zee spenyerd" and were going to put

the skeleton in the crew's mess -- but the competition was

no fun.


future siege cooking coordinators, learn from this. it's

about cooking, not about cool, complicated and confusing

themes. KISS!





Date: Mon, 26 May 2008 06:49:27 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnnae at mac.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] siege cooking at outlandish - update

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>


Thanks for the lengthy detailed report.

It sounds rather confused at best.

I wonder if the coordinators have been watching too much reality tv.

I can't imagine spending most of the cooking time having to scavenge

for ingredients before you cook. Maybe you should have hired a crew

to just raid a camp or two for what they had available and cooked that.

Pyrates and all.

I do hope that you took the rest of the weekend off.




Kathleen A Roberts wrote:

<<< future siege cooking coordinators, learn from this. it's about

cooking, not about cool, complicated and confusing themes. KISS!


cailte >>>


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org