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Broccoli-fst-art - 3/24/05


Feast Report for The Feast of St. Dorinda of the Broccoli. Put on by Edouard Halidai (Doc) and the Barony of Flaming Gryphon on January 8, 2005.


NOTE: See also the files: feasts-msg, fst-disasters-msg, feast-menus-msg, dayboards-msg, feast-ideas-msg, headcooks-msg, Medievl-Feasts-art, p-feasts-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: Tue, 11 Jan 2005 19:45:02 -0500

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Feast Report The Feast of St. Dorinda of the


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


I just have to share this feast report from last weekend.

It's Doc's latest feast.


I calculated that  75 people at $5 per person ended up with

35 pounds of pork,

40 pounds of chicken

25 pounds of venison

plus the various vegies, cheeses, etc.


I thought that it reads and sounds like an old fashioned Middle Kingdom

feast from twenty five years ago.


Picture of the entremet is at


menu etc at



Johnnae llyn Lewis




Feast Report - Flaming Gryphon Baronial Twelfth Night

January 8, 2005


Hoo boy!  Where to begin?


I had been given an estimate of 80 to 100 people at $5 per person, and

a proposed theme of "The Feast of St. Dorinda of the Broccoli".  The

good people of Havenholde then said, "We trust you.  Do whatever you

want."  Silly people!  The final head count was around 75.


The first idea was the centerpieces.  I suggested to my able assistant

(Eoin Drake) to spray-paint broccoli gold, put it on a spike/nail like

a candle, and garnish it with something cheap and christmassy from a

post-holiday sale.  He came through on this with spectacular results -

they really looked cool.


The second thought was that I'd save some money by baking the bread for

the feast.  This worked out well enough (baking ahead of time and

freezing) except that I ran short of freezer space (just picked up half

a cow a couple of weeks before which took up almost all of the big

freezer).  I might start baking now for the next event, whenever it may



There were a couple of minor mishaps in the kitchen that had an effect

on what was served, but on the whole it all worked out well

enough.  I had one full-time assistant in the kitchen (Eoin), another

for much of the day (my mistress, Nonna), and a few people stopped in

to help chop from time to time.  Eoin and Nonna worked their butts off

and I'm much indebted to them both.


On the table to start was bread, strawberry preserves, brie, and

boursin.  I also donated some rose petal jelly for the head table. I'd

only planned on the brie but lucked into a sale on the boursin - Jungle

Jim's had bought too much and it had reached its sale date, so 12

little wheels of boursin cost me $5.  Woohoo!  There *is* some benefit

to shopping at the last minute. ;-)


The first course consisted of Cormary (roast pork w/wine sauce), Cole

Flowers (cauliflower and broccoli with butter, currants, and a dash of

vinegar), and vermicelli (with butter, saffron, and parmesan).  This

all went pretty much as planned.  I used 35 pounds of pork, 8 heads of

cauliflower, 8 heads of broccoli, and 10 pounds of vermicelli.


It was just as we were plating the first course that we discovered that

what we thought was a refrigerator was actually a *very* efficient

freezer ("What do you mean the fridge is at -4 degrees?!?"). The apple

juice (along with some of the other foods) had frozen, and a glass

bottle of grape juice exploded.  This kind of threw things into a



The second course was chicken, cold sage sauce, and honeyed carrots.

The only real trick with this course is that the sauce is not cooked

and is served at room temperature.  This means that in order to keep it

safe it really needs to be made at the last minute.  Not difficult, but

it's stressful to be grinding, mixing, and seasoning just before it

goes out.  40 pounds of chicken, 6 bunches of parsley, 10 bags of



The Entrement - Le Chou Eclatant - was a large paper mache cabbage made

by my very talented lady wife.  The mechanism that worked so well in

testing (a balloon inside a 4" diameter tube, with a balloon pump)

failed on the first go round, so I had the crew carry it back into the

kitchen, reset the silly thing, and we brought it out again.  I was

told that the failure and repetition actually made it all somewhat

funnier.  The second time it worked - sort of.  Instead of shooting out

broccoli pieces in a 4 foot radius, one lone floret popped out, which I

then presented to St. Dorinda.


The third course was venison (with wine sauce) and frumenty.

Unfortunately between the freezer thing and the preparation of a

recalcitrant cabbage, the frumenty was neglected at a crucial moment

and took on an unpleasant smoky aspect (read: burned).  Rather than

scramble and set other things behind, I chose to scrap it (I figured no

one would really mind that much - a starch filler at the end of a

meat-heavy feast).  Here I used 25 pounds of venison.


The dessert course was two kinds of candied nuts, pottage of rice, and

"dragues vertes" (a.k.a. candied broccoli).  The nuts were done before

lunchtime and were perfect.  I didn't have the chance to make the

sauteed almond garnish I would have liked for the pottage (but it's

good without), and the candied broccoli idea was scrapped at the same

time the frumenty charred (since I figured [and hoped] that no one

would eat candied broccoli, I thought it wasn't too much of a loss).



Lessons Learned (in no particular order):


1.  Bottles are fantastic for serving beverages.  They don't take up

much space on the table, they look period, and they're actually cheaper

than decent pitchers ($10 for a case of 12).  Just be sure to buy twice

as many as you think you'll need so they can be refilled more easily.


2.  Have a designated person to handle beverages - mixing, refilling,

etc... - and have them do *nothing* else during feast.


3.  Have sufficient kitchen crew lined up ahead of time, and work out a

division of labor ahead of time.  I only realized just how many more

people I could have used after the fact.


4.  A supportive spouse is of incalculable value (my lady took our 5

year old to the hospital mid feast so he could have his chin stitched



5.  Have a designated person in charge of the feast hall - to count

tables and wrangle servers.  They can also help to plate the food, but

shouldn't do much else.


6.  Take time to get familiar with the kitchen equipment - so you don't

confuse a freezer for a fridge.


7.  Bring lots of towels and dishrags (I meant to this time, but



8.  Schedule things out (e.g. cooking times and oven space) ahead of

time.  This is something I'm getting a *lot* better at, but still need

to work on.


9.  Division of labor is a really good thing.  Don't try to do

everything yourself.



I'm sure there's more, but I'm still not fully recovered yet.



Many thanks to those who helped:  Eoin Drake, Mistress Nonna, the other

Ian (who can crawl with amazing speed), Elspeth, Theo, and several

others who helped chop veggies, mix beverages, serve, and wash up (I'm

very very sorry that I don't remember all the names, but you know who

you are).


- Doc


   Edouard Halidai  (Daniel Myers)

   Pasciunt, mugiunt, confidiunt.


From: Daniel Myers <edouard at medievalcookery.com>





On Table:


Manchet Bread

Fruit preserves

Soft cheeses



First Course:


http://www.medievalcookery.com/recipes/cormarye.html">Cormarye (marinated, roast pork)

http://www.medievalcookery.com/recipes/diuers.html">A Dysshe of Cole Flowers




Second Course:


Chicken w/ http://www.medievalcookery.com/recipes/sage.html">Sage Sauce

Honey Glazed Root Vegetables





http://www.medievalcookery.com/images/chou.jpg">Chou ƒclatant (exploding cabbage)



Third Course:








http://www.medievalcookery.com/recipes/ryspot.html">Potage of Rys

http://www.medievalcookery.com/recipes/almonds.html">Sugared Nutmeats





Non-alcoholic wine (a.k.a grape juice)

Apple juice



<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