Lansknecht-fst-art – 11/8/05
A review of the Lansknecht Feast presented by Jadwiga Zajaczkowa in June 2005 in the East Kingdom.
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Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous
Stefan at florilegium.org
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2005 11:43:32 -0400
From: Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>
Subject: [Sca-cooks] Lansknecht feast postmortem
To: East Kingdom Cooks Guild <EKCooksGuild at yahoogroups.com>, Cooks
within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>
This is the menu that the Steward approved for the meal to be served to
the king on Saturday last. We sat 128 in 16 messes of 8, not including
those seated at high table; the servers and kitchen staff were fed,
according to the custom of this country, on the broken meats.
Soft Cheese; Spiced butter, Boiled Garlic (Aquapatys); Bread; Pear Chutney (Pear compost), Sweet Pickles
Cumin Chicken (chicken thighs in a cumin sauce); Pickled Beets; Rice; Carrot-Cheese Pie (from Granado); Sallet of Herbs
Roast Pork in Spice Sauce; Mustard Sauce; Barley; Cebollada of Onions de Nola (parboiled, sauteed, in an almond milk/cheese sauce); Tart of Green vegetables (from Le Menagier de Paris); Plum Mousse (Bollace)
Beef Rolls; Grilled Mushrooms; Asparagus or Snap Peas; White fish in Rosemary Sauce; Garlic-Pepper Sauce (Sauce Aliper)
On the buffet after the meal:
Assorted fresh berries; Quince paste; Apricot paste; Anise cookies; Leche Lombard (date rolls); Candied Citrus Peels; Candied Ginger; Candied seeds; Gingerbrede
Many of the sweet dishes including the gingerbrede, aniseseed cakes,
candied spices were made in the stillroom beforetimes. Though my
assistant Lady Iuliana and I labored long over the Leche Lombarde, it
was not quite firm enough to slice by the time of the meal, and we
served it in a long roll which some of the Queen's Men kindly likened to
a 'date turd'. The King's Herald was very fond of the candied lemon
peel, but likened it to sugared lemon squid, I know not why.
The cellarer and I visited market on the Friday in order to make final
purchases; the beef, pork and chicken and other stored foods already in
We took the sweet pickles from stores, but the Pear Compost was made
specially for the feast. Unfortunately of the two gallons of it, one was
lost when the container broke, but much of what we sent out was eaten,
and well it should have been. The honey and Muscat wine made a very
We boiled the garlic for 4 or 5 hours until it carmelized beautifully
and received many compliments on it. The bread was fresh from the baker
the day before, and well liked, but I failed to instruct the servers to
volunteer to bring out more, so some tables did not get as much as they
wished; Dairyman Corwyn Ravenwing made the soft cheese which was well
liked but we did not send out enough of it. Butter came from the stores,
but the yeoman Meredith made short work of mixing in the spices and we
chilled it overnight. However by compare to the other items it was not
as well liked. Since the Court recently dined with a Duchessa who likes
peculiar-flavored butters, they may have been put off a bit. We served a
plain brown mustard and cider vinegar mustard at the beginning of the
meal (it was only one day old and so quite sharp), and many partook of
My cook Christopher Calhoune had made the cumin chicken before times, and
it was universally acclaimed, but tragedy was narrowly averted: the dish
contains bacon and a Baronness of the south, who is made deathly ill by
pork, had a bite. Fortunately the apothecaries were able to assist her
I had planned rice and barley groat pottages, but the mill had no barley
groats and no time to make more. We considered wheat groats, millet, and
oat groats, but Cook Iuliana argued that whole barley would do, and it
did. cooked with chicken broth. Sarah bas Mordechai cooked the rice and
the barley in the oven, and they were "perfect"; I am much
impressed with her skill.
Due to an error in my calculations, the scullions had cracked too many
eggs for the Carrot-Cheese pies, but they were universally acclaimed
nevertheless. Had I not prepared additional pies, our servers would have
The sallets were mostly composed of herbs-- we used only 8 of the 16
heads of lettuce and only half of the bushel or more of spinach I
purchased, but much mint, rosemary, dill, basil and sage went into it,
and it was dressed with dark vinegar and olive oil. There is a fad for
penitence in the shape of avoiding bread and grain pottage, and I think
such fads contributed to the little sallet that was rejected. However,
the three gallon bottles of pickled beets I had made myself were not as
successful, but they were delicious and beautiful going out to the
table, and my Ladies were well pleased.
My undercooks Christopher and Iuliana made up the roasts and put them to
cook early in the day; they were a touch overdone but all agreed they
were delicious. However, in this part of the country, leaf beets are
seldom grown; Christopher must needs bring some by cart. The vendors do
charge highly for parsley, but not so high for dandelion. Therefore did
I use too much spinach and not enough chard; too much dandelion and not
enough parsley. We also used ricotta along with the young cheese called
mozzarella and grated hard cheese to make the pies. Therefore the pies
were well enough but not so toothsome as they are wont to be. A number
of our more huntsmanly squires and ladies found the greenness of the pie
disconcerting, and many of them came back-- but the same had gorged
their appetites on the carrot pie.
Christopher I put to poaching the fish, and it was done far earlier than
the Cebollada, so to save it getting cold, we served the immediately and
put off the Cebollada. Many avoid fish on a meat day, but most of the
fish was eaten once the hall steward asked those who disliked fish to
give to those who did not. The Bollace had not fully thickened, whether
because we did not add enough rice flour, or cook it enough, I know not;
but it was sour-sweet and went well with the pork. We garnished each
bowl with a pink clove-gillyflower floating in it.
The cellarer and I had planned to use either Asparagus or peas in their
pods depending on what we could get at the market. One merchant had a
half-bushel of peasepods for a reasonable price, so we purchased them
and bought 6 quarts more from a farmer on the way back to the castle.
The girl children with Meredith and Mistress Pagan pulled the strings
from the pods for us. Cooked quickly with a little butter in the water
they were delicious.
The beef rolls in Christopher's style were good also, though my Mother
had sliced the second batch of beef a little thick due to my fault.
However, the Sauce Aliper was excellent on the beef and I heard the
Queen had it also on her peas. Johanna of Wisby, wife of the chief
scullion, who worked tirelessly for me, grilled the mushrooms for me,
and those who liked mushrooms were very well pleased. Christopher and my
Mother finished the Cebollada-- we had only been able to obtain onions
in a 50 pound sack and I caused too many to be cooked-- and we served
it. Some few tables turned up their noises at this peasant-flavored dish
but many ate and appreciated it.
My head Scullions were Johannes and Johannae of Wisby, who traveled far
from the city to come and assist us in the kitchen. Johannes left the
kitchen only to be taken in fealty by Dame Catriona MacDuff and to
marshal at the Thrown Weapons practices. Nor were Iuliana and her
friend Meredith, Lord Christopher, Lady Sarah bas Mordechai, and my own
mother Jacqueline lacking in hard work.
Many of the court volunteered to serve; we selected 9 adults, who worked
with the young pages to train them in the way to serve. I am given to
understand that the youngsters much enjoyed this practice. (Among the
servers were Lord Aegidius, Lord Robin Gallowglass, Lady Shannon
Gallowglass, Lady Johannae, and others -- I am endeavoring to find out
names.) Also Lady Emma spent much time in the kitchen serving up food.
Our Head Server, who served for the High Table, was Mistress Brighid ni
Chairain, and our hall steward was Mistress Anne Liese Wolkenhaar, who
announced the dishes and arranged the serving.
Handwashing was performed at the beginning of the meal with mint-scented
water (for convenience, I used oil of mint, as "Plat" suggest for
the oils of spices). From then on, we kept our servers continually
bringing in food and drink, until at the end of the second course when I
declared a 10 minute rest for them. (Jason and Lord Elias who served as
butlers and mixed and distributed Lemon Drink and Ginger Drink were also
kept busy; I am grateful for their service!)
After the first course, I and my assistants were summoned into the hall
to the cheers of the multitude and thanked by the king and queen; I was
quite pleased. (Of course I had to ask if anyone had not gotten their
pickled beets.) After the second course, however, I went into the hall
to announce the short break for the servers lest the Court think there
was no more food. His Majesty in a fit of levity spoke to me saying, "I
do not find this acceptable." Emboldened by my exhaustion, I replied,
"Your Majesty, I did not ask you if it was all right." He was amused,
and the Queen gave me a quest, to have a servant see to my feet and to
get some rest. :)
Since there was no buffet already laid, the dessert buffet was brought
into the hall. Two strong men brought in the table, and we servers
processed in with the plates of desserts. Lady Andrea McIntyre had
arranged these plates beautifully, though due to an oversight some
wafers of a strange confection were added to one plate; but Their
Majesties and others were pleased to enjoy them. We were especially
pleased with the 6 quarts of strawberries of a surpassing sweetness,
aroma and flavor that the cellarer and I had obtained from a local
-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net