Fst-St-George-art - 7/19/99
Feast of Saint George, April 8, 1999 by Lady Bonne of Traquair.
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).
Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous
Stefan at florilegium.org
Date: Wed, 05 May 1999 13:54:41 PDT
From: "Bonne of Traquair" <oftraquair at hotmail.com>
Subject: SC - Feast of St. George, was accomodating vegetarians
>lilinah at grin.net wrote:
> > How do people cope with feeding vegetarians?
>Generally what I find easiest for an SCA-type feast is to have about
>half my dishes be completely meatless, and some of those dairy-free.
OK, finally I have the time to report on my feast from last month. How to
feed difficult eaters had been part of my personal challenge so I'm
kidnapping this thread for my own purposes.
Feast of St. George, April 8, 1999
I had $350 to fead 72 (56 paying guests, 8 at high table and 8
servers/kitchen staff in the back). In this area, the cook does have to buy
dish soap, paper towels and such. I also chose to buy some fancy, though
plastic, serving dishes.
Although it turns out that we had no special requests, I had 3 specific
barony members in the back of my mind when planning my feast. One is
lactose intolerant, another allergic to alliums(? onions) the third a strict
vegetarian. I promised the first two specifically that they could eat
enough of feast safely, and could eat more if I knew to seperate a serving
of some other dishes. As for the one vegetarian I knew of and other
potential vegetarians, I chose a collection of recipes that allowed enough
non-meat dishes in each course so that everyone could eat a full meal.
Vegans would have been another matter as there were eggs here and there. I
don't know anyone in the barony with an allergy to nuts, but if it had come
up, almonds were only in one dish.
The First Course
Ciambelles #* at
Split pea soup (from The Medieval Kitchen) #* at
Boiled Beef with onions and mushrooms #( at if requested in advance)
Skirrets, Rapes and Pasternakes (as posted here)# (* at if requested)
Tartys in Applis (also posted here) #* at
(why are skirrets, rapes and pasternakes not vegetarian food? Because they
are cooked in good broth from the beef, unless otherwise requested.)
The Second Course
Roast Chicken # at
Sallet of Spring Greens and Fresh Herbs #*( at if requested)
Asparagus and Green Onion (Medieval Kitchen)#*( at if requested)
A French Custard (Fettiplace)* at
Bread #* at
The Final Course
Bisket Bread (Fettiplace) #* at
Mato (Sweetened goat cheese) * at (#?)
Garnish of violets #* at
(Whether or not goat cheese qualified as safe I left for Corwyn to decide
False Hippocras to drink (a spiced "wine" punch for a dry site)#* at
All of each course was served up at once so that the diners could make their
choices and eat from a filled plate. To my mind, the same amount of food in
dribs and drabs is not as satisfying. Then I learned the baron's pet peeve
is a trickled out feast and made not doing so an even more important part of
my plan. The only problems were:
- --not finding the ciambelles recipe far enough in advance. Didn't get to
test it, it wasn't quite what I was expecting. But they were nice breadlike
objects to go with the soup.
- --the soup thickened fine on it's own and so we had eggs and milk leftover
from not using as thickener.
- --changing the beef from spiced (corned) to boiled beef. I had a doubtful
recipe involving mushrooms, red wine, currant jam, and was going to use
italian currants in wine available at a local fancy foods store to really
simplify it. But, we arrived at the store a little too late, and then
discovered my co-cook is allergic to alcohol. So it was beef with onions
- --changing the chicken from the ballotined (boned and restuffed) to just
plain because of lack time and place in advance of the feast. Then a
kitchen so small we lacked the space to do the job without contaminating
- --parsnips and turnips had been tasting fine up to the week before, but
those bought for the feast turned out to be bottom of the barrel, woody and
not so good. OH well, the feast was supposed to be 3 weeks earlier at one
- --two different people sent out to pick up different last minute items from
different source BOTH got in their head that I needed LOTS of parsley. I
only needed one bunch. At least it was cheap.
- --failing to get a menu and ingredient list to the reservationist early
enough. This was partly because the Park staff moved us from a 96 seat hall
to a 56 seat hall two weeks before feast. We went from barely sold any to
all sold out overnight.
- --failing to get the gate copy of the menu and recipes to the gate, though
we had multiple copies in the kitchen and no one asked to see them.
- --I wanted to have menus on the tables--but am just as glad I didn't
considering the changes made on day of feast.
The canton seneschal and exchequer had problems last year with a cook who
was way over budget and had massive amounts of leftovers. I know their
complaint was justified because I got enough leftovers to feed my family
most of the next week--value of at least 3 times what I paid for us to
attend and eat feast!
I scaled up carefully (Excel is my friend) and resisted the urge to buy a
little extra just in case. Did my best to find prices that would keep me
within my budget, and then hoped to get lucky with sales. A very few feasts
here have breakfast the next morning, but many of you mention it. I planned
to put out for breakfast whatever leftovers were suitable.
After hearing reports here of people garnering donations, I tried that. I
had 13 loaves of honey wheat bread donated by a local bakery. A grocery
donated $10 worth of goods, enough to buy the juices needed for the false
hippocras as it turns out. I learned other stores would also donate goods
with a more specific request made sooner. The bulk goods manager at one of
these other stores took it upon herself to donate 2 lbs of blanched almonds!
I found a sausage company that also supplies chicken and pigs at
wholesale. I had to buy a full case of chicken, so my co-cook has half a
case in her freezer for her feast. I did get lucky with sales: sirloin roasts
at 99-cent a pound the week before feast and apples and pears for 30-cents
less than I'd figured on. Eggs on post-Easter markdown.
Leftover food was minimal: We had enough ciambelle dough and Tartys in
Applis filling left to create apple dumplings for breakfast on Sunday along
with some eggs, milk, a bag of apples, and loaf of bread. Co-cook and I each
took home a bag of apples, loaf of bread, a cooked chicken and bunches of
parsley! I also had a dozen eggs and enough beef and veggies for my family
to have stew for dinner Sunday night. Co-cook got any non-perishable foods
and scullery and serving materials--her canton paid for the stuff and she is
cooking for them soon. I spent $334--$16 under budget!!!! As much as $50
under budget if you deduct the extra chickens and the other items my co-cook
will not have to buy for next feast.
Feast was due to start at 6 but my brain changed this to 5. We spent most
of the day like that. Late afternoon, the herald told me that my daughter
would be receiving an award at court, he would plan to bring her out first
thing, at 4, unless he didn't see me out there. In that case he'd call her
up when he saw me, or last on the list, whichever came first. This sent me
to the back wall to re-read the schedule. Well! So, it turned out we were
able to start 10 minutes early.
Started early and under budget--it doesn't get much better than that!
Copyright 1999 by Karen Lyons-McGann, Irvine, CA. (Gyldenholt, Caid). <oftraquair at hotmail.com>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited and receives a copy.
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.