Daybrd-Advent-art - 8/5/02
"Dayboard Adventures" by Jadwiga Zajaczkowa.
This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set
of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.
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Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author.
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Mark S. Harris
AKA: Stefan li Rous
stefan at florilegium.org
by Jadwiga Zajaczkowa
Well, another EK War Camp Dayboard/Courtboard is over, and we fed lotsa people. About 750 people trolled in on site, and we got compliments as usual on the food, as far as I could tell. (Note: for this event we do a dayboard that goes out in the afternoon, then a sideboard for court.)
The whole episode should probably be written up by E.M. Delafield as "the Provincial Lady Does a Dayboard" but I will give the highlights here. (Despite the fact that this is about the 6th time, I've done it, there are always new and exciting surprises.)
The menu was: 80 loaves fresh bread (Food 4Less), 15 loaves cheese bread and 20 cheese boards (long, flatish loaves with cheese, garlic and italian spices; both cheese bread & boards were Redner's Market's), 4 lbs butter, 6 lbs. dilled cream cheese, green sauce, sauce for pigeons (garlic, onion, parsley & vinegar), aquapatys (boiled garlic), lombard mustard, 8 bags commercial hard pretzels, 6 gallons of dill pickles, 4 48oz jars bread & butter pickle slices, about olives, 50 doz hard boiled eggs, 45 lbs assorted cheeses, 10 watermelons, 12 honeydews, 22 cantelopes, a case of plums, a case of nectarines, a half case of oranges (should have been 1.5 cases), half a case of bananas, 4 cases of grapes, half a case of cucumbers, 10 lbs carrots, half a case of celery, 2 gallons syrup of lemons, a gallon of syrup of ginger with lemon, and a gallon of sekajabin; 2 large cans gatorade. (Sugarfree rasberry syrup was also provided but nobody used it.) I also did a separate section for the royals that included berries and kiwis. We put out dried chopped dates and garlic sesame sticks in addition to the rest as a sideboard for court, as well.
The budget came out to be about $700 total including 20 lbs of ham. Due to weather conditions, we had fighting and thus dayboard ran long. (It generally runs from 12 to 4 pm, then we go set up the court board.) Fighting started late, dayboard was half an hour late. Trays for royals went out beautifully, if sans hard boiled eggs. Trays for archery never got done; people had to come get trays for MOL, troll and Pent and I made them assemble those trays themselves. We were short of coolers on the field and ice, and the gatorade (and sekajabin)never did go out but the ginger and lemon syrups were a big hit.
Most of the work was done by passers-by who volunteered and/or got sucked in, and I'm very grateful. Who were those masked Cook's Guild members? Pages are amazing and wonderful help, especially when you let them socialize. Moral of that is, no matter how many years you've said dayboard will need helpers in the meeting before the event, you can't just assume that when the autocrat says all areas will need help people will know dayboard needs help. [I plan to hire a childminder and provide apple juice and milk next time to take base advantage of the services of parents of toddlers in the shire.]
Another note: we generally don't pre-cut all the food before the dayboard starts, just the veggies and about 1/2 to 1/3 of the melons-- cutting the bread just enough to keep 5-6 platters of bread out keeps it soft and yummy.
The Sauce for pigeons went over very well. I still have to remember to do labels ahead of time and have them ready to put out. Adventurous people liked the other green sauce, but the lombard mustard just didn't get eaten. Fortunately it was free as it was the leftovers from a previous feast.
Next year I'll try again to do a handwashing station.
The gritty details, very long. Hopefully somewhat funny.
In the weeks beforehand, I made about a gallon and a half of ginger syrup, which left me with lots of ginger refuse. While boiling syrups, I also made another, thicker syrup, boiled the ginger bits in it until they reached 225 deg. F and stuck there for a while, pulled them out in forkloads and stirred with regular sugar. Pretty good. Forgot to put the ones I brought out on the dayboard.
Also made about 2 gallons of lemon syrup and a gallon of sekajabin (made to Cariadocs recipe but with 2 big handfuls of mixed mentha citrata, mentha piperita, and melissa officinalis.). Did get most of the syrup dregs off the floor after several moppings.
The week beforehand I made a Sam's club run to get the staples-- except
the aluminum roasting pans, which we had bought before the last event.
Also bought butter and 20 of the 45 lbs of cheese as they had cooper and
jack cheeses at 1.89 a pound. (I had pre-ordered the breads and the eggs
from the supermarkets we buy from.)
Wednesday I called in the order to the produce vendor who delivers to site, ended up with more berrries and stone fruit than originally planned, less apples and no pears because of prices. Must remind self that $22 a case is ok price for grapes... Cantelopes were cheap but Watermelons expensive- would buy melons at Amish stand in Lancaster.
Thursday I made a run to Lancaster county for cheese and bulk food. Got good prices on cheese ($1.69 to $1.89 a pound) and found Kunzler brand hams at 99 cents a pound at the same discount store, so I bought the ones that looked in good condition (20 pounds worth).
Had some confusion with the sesame sticks as they use soybean oil and there is a kid with a peanut allergy in the shire.... I was pretty tired and ended up grabbing chocolate covered pretzels as a substitute: the word chocolate wandered through my brain in search of something to connect with and it was only after I stopped at my mom's and got a drink that I realized that I couldn't serve chocolate as its so not period. Checked the list of allergy foods, found soy not on it, and went back and exchanged the pretzels. Also picked up sweet baloney and 2 pounds of frozen sliced roast turkey breast for the royals (TRH eat red meat, TRM only eat poultry...)
Had to take my mom with me to the farm stand to negotiate with the Amish owners, since they only had 3 watermelons out but she was sure they had more-- and they did. Prices between 2.30 and 2.99 each.
Fit everything back into the car. Drove back to Allentown. Unpacked refrigeratables. Asked myself why I was doing this. (When your car is full of watermelon belonging to the shire is probably a bad time to consider quitting the SCA.) Friend pointed out that I could do this in my sleep-- I replied that I was.
Friday got up and packed everything I had left to go (half my stuff being kindly delivered to the site by a friend, as 10 watermelons, 2 coolers and 80 loaves of bread were not going to leave much space in the Saturn sedan).
Rearanged the watermelon. Rearranged the coolers. Rearranged again until it all fit and left room for three boxes of bread. Went to Food 4 Less. Bread was baked but unbagged, they weren't sure what time I had said I would pick it up. (10 am). Waited half an hour while they bagged it and then struggled through the checkout line with the traditional two carts, answering the funny questions. [Nobody in the Lehigh Valley asks why you are wearing funny clothes, but 2 carts full of bread get you questions.]
Managed by main force to get all four boxes of bread into the car, made a run to the Farm Market which was short on dill but could sell me one bunch (approx 2x the size of the silly plastic containers you get in Supermarket produce aisles).
Drove 45 minutes to site, started to unload, found main hall was locked and breakfast cook panicking because she was supposed to get in a precook. Panicked myself a bit as I was supposed to cook 50 dozen hardboiled eggs.
Dropped off stuff, sent breakfast cook in search of someone with hall key, drove to local redners to pick up cheese breads, cheesey boards (long flattish loaves with garlic, chease and italian seasoning on them) and 2 cases of eggs (each 10 of the 2.5 doz small egg flats). Got all that in car with assistance from wondering Redners staff.
Went back, started boiling eggs on all stove burners (I boil about 1.5 to 2 dozen per pan, bring it to a boil, wait ten minutes and then dip out into cold water, add the next batch of eggs to the hot water, repeat. You have to bring the eggs to room temp first, but this is still faster and gets you eggs with yellow centers that are definitely hard boiled.) Helped breakfast cook with onions and advice as she had never done this before and her mentor had had to leave for Pennsic. Boiled more eggs. Boiled more eggs. Started cutting dill pickles into spears. (We find buying whole pickles and cutting gets you more volume and is cheaper. You want to put your cutting board on a tray so the juice doesn't get everywhere when you do it.)
Autocrat stopped by to ask if I needed help. I said, yes, I would soon. (Autocrat subsequently sent anyone volunteering to help me.)
Breakfast cook asked if we had flour. I said, "is it on the inventory?" Cook went to her tent where the copy of inventory was, discovered that there was no flour. She made a trip offsite to buy potatoes and flour.
Pages (teen program members) began to flock to kitchen offering to cut things. Started them on the cheese. Produce delivery arrived. Found someone with radio to radio for exchequer for check for produce vendor. Exchequer found seneschal to co-sign check while we unloaded. Discovered that order had been misheard and we had only a half a case, not a case and a half, of oranges.
Lent my food processor to breakfast cook to slice potatoes. Grabbed random passers-by to bring perishable fruit down to beer cooler.
Started pages cleaning and cutting celery. Started others snipping parsley. A merchant, her husband and a friend came to volunteer. Gave them things to cut. Rearranged egg operation to allow breakfast cook to start sausage gravy. Gave solicited advice about consistency of sausage gravy. Put hams to cook.
Started first batch of sauce for pigeons (parsley, onion, garlic minced and mixed with vinegar) in food processor. Adamantius' lady and others wandered in to help, people were put to work snipping parsley and peeling garlic.
Began wrestling with cutting the cooked ham which turned out to be bone-in. And put the aquapatys on to boil.
Eventually ham was all cut, all the garlic peeled, and I made up the other green sauce and batch of sauce for pigeons. Dilled the cream cheese. One bunch dill turned out to be enough for 6 lbs cream cheese.
Began washing dishes, cut my hand, washed a bit more, went back to camp and to bed.
Next morning, got up early but waited in line for cold shower and was not in kitchen until 9. Washed cutting boards, etc. and set up for cucumber peeling/slicing. Deputy cook (Jeff the Brewer) and I peeled and sliced for a while, until a newbie and her daughter from Caer Adamant happened by and volunteered. Put daughter to work on dishing up sauces and washing nectarines, mom cut cukes. I freshened up mustard sauce with ground yellow mustard flour.
Saw that dayboard pavilion was being put up. This is good. Found someone to go up to upper hall and wake caretaker to open beer cooler so we could get fruit out.
Cut watermelons. Cut oranges. Cut Honeydews. Had child wash plums.
Members of iron bog cooks guild wandered by to volunteer. Put them to work cutting citrus and also washing grapes and snipping into hand bunches.
Adamantius allowed himself to be volunteered to do trays for Royals. Borrowed a truck and deputy took first load of dayboard food up to field. Waterbearing team reported hose could not be used, left a funny tasted, and filled and carried three of the four water coolers up to field. Forgot the gatorade. 4th water cooler (2 were missing) got sent to fencing not archery.
Went to pieces over arranging royals' dayboard. Had to get pages lined up in two neat rows, one for TRM and one for TRH as plates were different. Deputy went back up to field with another load to start arranging. Only had one cooler so most perishables had to stay in fridge at hall.
Finally got all the food cut and brought to field by 12:25. set up food trays, deputy madly arranging. Got some bread cut and sauces out. Realized that MOL and Troll had not gotten trays. Autocrat made tray for MOL and sent someone to make tray for Troll. Pentathalon sent person to inquire about tray for them-- gave inquirer a tray and said, "have at".
My mom showed up. Began drafting helpers from crowd and trying to send existing helpers on break. Made up pitchers of the drink syrups (except sekanjabin, that never made it up there.) Realized that when autocrat said during shire meeting that help would be needed in a lot of places in the event, should have pointed out that dayboard was one.
Realized that once again, "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers" and was indebted to random volunteers who came in and helped (thank you thank you thank you).
Never did get labels on sauces AGAIN (still kicking myself) so had to explain verbally to everyone coming through the line. Still had no event staff walkie-talkie, next year I will be sure I get one to communicate with autocrats and yell for help when necessary. Hijacked random friends to fill water coolers and bring back from hall as they emptied. Never remembered to make up gatorade.
Repeated until 4, including arrival of so many friends I thought it was a Jimmy Stewart movie. Hijacked Annys Wolf, Evan from Atlantia, Alison and a baroness with moonstone circlet to help cut bread under cover of trying to have herb guild meeting. :)
Was told repeatedly by help to stop thanking them every 15 minutes.
At 4 fighters were still hitting each other with sticks (which is why there were ham and cheese for dayboard still left, though not much). Decided to leave dayboard open longer and start setting up for court board. Moved 2 of 4 tables to court board and started setting up. Brought remaining food from hall in truck, brought leftovers and trash down to hall in truck. Refilled coolers at taps by hall.
Deputy and friends helped set up court board, 4 random thugly people (mostly women) carried last table of dayboard down to court board. Tried to put out remains of everything and cut some bread but bread was going out faster than we could cut it. Courtboard was mobbed.
Took short break to wash hands and have hair re-braided by Mom.
Eventually help chased me away and I told them to stop doing stuff. They kept cutting bread. :)
Sat down for a while, muttered to friends. Sent someone to check whether drink syrups were being made up. Wandered up with Silver Crescents. Wandered away afterward when Maunches were called up. Multiple friends caught me, sat me down and made me drink. Began angsting about whether lack of ability to properly deputize made me look foolish in front of Master A. (Hard to deputize when people can't seem to find anything in shire stores...)
Heard herald announce "...kova". Parsed it hoping it was my old friend Kat'ryna. Nope. Jadwiga Zajaczkowa. Dropped goblet, according to witnesses. Had to be hoisted out of seat and physically helped toward court aisle by 5 friends. Walked out of my shoes on the way. Making little heeping noises. Maunches spontaneously began to admonish me to 'Breathe!' in chorus.
Made it up to the throne. Remarked to king, "I think I've been here before." He asked me if I knew anything that would help him with an ailment he was expecting in the next 2 weeks-- an attack of Midrealmers. At a loss, I replied that he would have to take out their herbalist first, and she was getting a Laurel and probably wouldn't be an accessible target. King laughed.
Got gorgeous scroll by Svea the Shortsighted. Dropped it and had it taken away from me by Baron Morgan for safekeeping. Got medallion sent by Jaella. Sat down and looked at dirty bare feet and sweaty cotton tunic hem while other new Maunches were made.
Dragged into the back of court and hugged by the order, cried and cried. Master A asked if I were happy. Sobbed, "Yes." After being hugged by the order, was pulled by camp cook to look for supplies I had bought her. ;)
After dinner, angsted so much about dayboard dishes that three friends slipped out of camp and did the dishes behind my back before I could recruit strength to get up there, barring me and my deputy from kitchen.
We had about 20 loaves of bread, 3 watermelons and 6 honeydews left, plus about 8 cucumbers. (The bread and the melons went toward breakfast.)
In 1 quart of lemon juice, put about 4.5 cups of sugar. Heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Simmer for about 15 minutes-half an hour. Refrigerate. To use, dilute about 8 to 1 with water.
Peel a big hunk of ginger and mince. (About 2/3 c. per batch) Mix 2.5 cups water with 4 cups sugar. Bring to a boil. Add 1 cup lemon juice and reduce heat. Add several spoonfuls of the ginger. Simmer until reduced by 1/6. Add rest of ginger. Simmer until reduced by about 1/3 from start. Cool. Strain & bottle. To use, dilute about 8 to 1 with water (or pour over vanilla ice cream. :))
Original:"Here is how to make green sauce: take ginger, cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, cloves, parsley, and sage. First grind the spices, then the herbs, and add a third of the sage and parsley, and, if you wish, three or two cloves of garlic. Moisten with vinegar or verjuice. Note that to every sauce and condiment salt is added, and crumb of bread to thicken it. (Tractatus de modo preparandi et condiendi omnia cibaria 394, translated in The Medieval Kitchen, Redon et al.)"
* 3 slices dry bread
* 3 cups parsley
* 15 leaves fresh sage
* 1- 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tsp ground cloves
* 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
* 3/4 tsp ground ginger
* 12 Tb wine vinegar
* scant 1 1/2 c. water
* pinch salt
Grind together the pepper and cinnamon. Add ginger and cloves, and grate in the nutmeg. Then grind up the parsley and sage in a food processor or blender (add optional garlic at this time). Add spices. Mix.Then add ground-up crumbs of dry bread, vinegar and water and mix to make a smooth paste.
Note: I omitted the nutmeg by mistake and it didn't need the salt.
Sauce for Pigeons
Sauce for Peiouns. Take percely, oynouns, garleke, and salt, and mynce smal the percely and the oynouns, and grynde the garleke, and temper it with vynegre y-now; and mynce the rostid peiouns and cast the sauce ther-on a-boute, and serve it forth.
Snip parsley leaves from 3 large bunches off stems (I used a mixture of curly and flat parsley). Grind about 3 cups of leaves in a food processor until seriously minced; remove from food processor. Cut up about 4 medium onions into chunks and mince in food processor. Add a handful of peeled garlic cloves. Remove and mix with minced parsley. Add red wine vinegar (about a cup) and mix so that the result is moist with vinegar and salsa-like in texture.
(Forme of Cury) Take Mustard seed and waishe it & drye it in an ovene, grynde it drye, farce it through a farce, clarifie honey wt wine & vinegr & stere it wel togedr, and make it thikke ynowe, & whan thou wilt spende thereof make it thynne wt wine.
Ground Mustard Seed
Mix in proportion, to make a paste. (I'll have a better mustard recipe later).
To freshen for use, add more wine and vinegar; if it is too dull, add pre-ground mustard flour.
-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa
Copyright 2002 Jennifer Heise. For permission to reprint, email jahb at lehigh.edu
Permission is explicitly granted for limited reproduction as a printed handout for classes in schools, herb society meetings, or classes or guild meetings in the Society for Creative Anachronism (except to corporate officers and board members of the SCA, Inc.), as long as I am notified and credited and the entire handout is used. Jadwiga's Herb site: http://www.lehigh.edu/~jahb/herbs/herbs.html
If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.