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Tavern-Feast-art - 1/13/99


Feast report from the first Meridian Performing Arts Symposium held November 19, 20 and 21, 1998 by the Barony of South Downs. This feast was done in a tavern style with food available throughout the day. The food and atmosphere was less formal and concentrated on grilled and roasted meats and vegetables.


NOTE: See also the files: taverns-msg, games-msg, darts-msg, feast-serving-msg,  feasts-msg, feast-menus-msg, p-feasts-msg, headcooks-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.


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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



The Barony of the South Downs (Atlanta, Georgia), in conjunction with the

Meridian Minstrels' Guild, presented the first annual (hopefully)

Performing Arts Symposium.  Held November 19, 20, 21, 1998, at Indian

Springs State Park, 45 minutes south of Atlanta.


The class list, menu, and other details can be found on the web site:




Date: Thu, 3 Dec 1998 17:28:18 -0500

From: mermayde at juno.com (Christine A Seelye-King)

Subject: SC - Tavern Style Kitchen


Well, it isn't funny, but here it is.  I would add to it by saying we had

a Performing Artists Symposium going all day, and hall was set up with a

stage in the center, tables with tablecloths, 2 dart boards, lots of

board games, and a ladie's solar.  A dessert bar was donated by a local

household, and that ran from about 8:00pm on.  The evening was totally

performances (dance, vocal, choral, bardic, commedia, instrumental,

gosling, etc.)  and the food was still available throughout the evening.

I think he did pretty well for his first time out!

        Mistress Christianna


- --------- Begin forwarded message ----------

From: Dallas Fox <deadtongue at yahoo.com>

To: mermayde at juno.com


This is my report on how the Tavern went.


        For my first feastcratting adventure, I decided to do the feast

at the Performing Artists Symposium, as it seemed that it would be a

lower stress environment than a typical feast.  This is because rather

than a formal, sit-down feast, we ran a Tavern all day, and had food

available from 11:30 AM to 8 PM, when a dessert bar took over.


        The initial feast budget was $10 per person, a gracious amount,

which didn't make it to the final cut.  After talking with the Autocrat,

a unilateral decision was made to cut it to $8.00 each, still a goodly

amount.  I was able to get some really good buys, as it was just

before Thanksgiving, and lots of things were on sale.


        Much discussion went into the feast items.  As it was a tavern

atmosphere, we went heavy on the meats, cooking Chicken and Pork Loin on

a large grill at the site, along with 3 turkeys and sausage.  We

also had Roman Roast, cooked in ovens, and vegetables in various

forms.  A potato bar was suggested, but as it is strictly new-world,

we had the idea of a Yam bar, and with the help of a knight who is

totally infatuated with Yams, got several recipies for toppings from

several countries.  It was very popular, we got rid of 40 lbs of yams

in one day.  The rest of the yams, which were already baked, got fried

for Sunday breakfast.  We had grilled veggies, including Zuchinni,

which caused some consternation among seasoned feastcrats, but we

needed something to fill out the bill of fare from a vegetable

standpoint.  Our main veggie was Onions, and we used a 50 Lb. bag in

the weekend, in a variety of places.  We also grilled several fennel

heads, eggplant slices, and grilled mushrooms, which were very popular,

as were the grilled carrots and parsnips.


        For Friday night, we made a 10 gallon pot of chicken and

dumplings, and it was gone in record time.  We used a 10 Lb bag of leg

quarters and bisquick with butter and an egg added.  We couldn't serve it

fast enough, and the whole thing cost $7.00.


        On Friday night, I had helpers wash and slice 15 lbs each of

mushrooms and onions, and made a big pot of Oxtail and Ale soup, and a

big pot of a vegetarian bean soup.   My Saturday breakfast crat had a

large supply of Bisquick, and wanted to make scones.  I didn't tell her

not to use all three boxes, and when I got to the kitchen, she had made

18 Lbs of bisquick and some oatmeal into a BUNCH of scones, ready to

bake.  She managed to get rid of a few of them, but left me with 5 large

baking trays covered in ready to bake scones.  We had hot bread out all



        On Saturday, I had a staff for the kitchen and a staff for the

grill.  I got the fire started on the grill, and the first pass of chicken

and pork were done, along with a bit of sausage.  We also did the first

pass on the grilled veggies.  We found a large supply of rice in the

baronial stores, so we made a really big pan of it in the oven, and

made up 1 gallon of brown gravy.  For no money out of my budget, I had a

large source of starch, and it was well received.


        At noon, we had our first big rush (This was between classes).

Although we were behind, everyone had enough to eat.  The soups were

very popular, and we served lots of it along with hot scones. The

expected rush at 2:30 never materialized, so we were quite ready

when it got to be 5:00 and the big dinner surge started. I can't call

it a rush, it was an extended period of serving food, from 5 until 7,

with no big sags.  I had the last of the food off of the grill staying

warm, the Roman roast was out of the oven and shredded, and the

roasted apple slices were on the line.  Other vegetables on the line

included creamed onions, sweet and sour brussell sprouts, and a green



        The tavern format was very popular with the populace.  We had

lots of comments like, "This eating all day thing is GREAT!" The fact

that no one dish had to be done at any specific time was very easy on a

new feastcrat, as I could tell someone to come back in 15 minutes and we

would have some of it.   One major side effect of the Tavern format is a

very low waste factor. When you send out a tray of food at a feast, it

may come back untouched, and gets thrown away.  With the ask'em what they

want method, very little prepared food made it to the garbage.


        I was told by several people to expect 125 folks for the event,

but I thought it would be more like 150 to 175.  I purchased accordingly:

I got 43 Lbs of Sirloin tip for roman roast, 65 Lbs of Pork loin cut

into chops, 50 lbs of chicken leg quarters, 40 lbs of turkey (3

birds), and 30 Lbs of sausage.  I got 50 Lbs of onions, 50 lbs of

yams, and about 25 lbs of other veggies for grilling.  I had 25 Lbs of

mushrooms, 15 lbs of small boiling onions, 15 lbs of brussel sprouts,

a full case of apples, and assorted fruit for Sunday Breakfast.  The

amount that I bought was fortuitious.  From all of this, I had 8 Lbs

of meat left over, and the only things I had lots of left were foods

which weren't out early enough, like the creamed onions and brussel

sprouts.  I had 5 gallons of soup left over, and I am still enjoying

the oxtail and ale soup.


        In the final tally, I fed 163 registered guests for $940, a total

of $5.76 per person, including 2 breakfasts, lunch, Friday night dinner,

and mulled cider all day.  As my budget wound up with $1300 in it, I was

able to add over $300 profit to the event, a happy circumstance.


        The things I learned were many.  The foremost thing I learned is

that you can't teach someone how to grill properly in 20 minutes.  ( I

have the only AOA in Meridies for Barbecuing.) I can cook on a grill in

almost total darkness and tell when the meat is done and still juicy.

The folks working for me on the grill were cautious and made sure

everything was really done.  It was also cooked pretty dry by the time

it made it to the kitchen.  Closer supervision is needed, and I just

didn't have the time with all my other duties.  If I had it to do over

again, I would have done an aprenticeship for grilling, and had them

work with me prior to the event for several hours, learning how to

tell when it is done, but not overdone.


        The kitchen staff I had was wonderful, and several out of the

blue volunteers made it much easier on me.  The one place I didn't do

enough was in organizing cleanup staff, but the wonderful members of

our barony were right there and made it happen just fine.


        I will feastcrat again, and I may even try a regular feast next

time, but the Tavern format worked well, and resulted in a low cost per

person, and very little waste.  I think it will be a popular thing.


Ld. Damon Fox, called Deadtongue.


<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