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feast-ideas-msg - 12/26/09


Ideas for SCA Feasts.


NOTE: See also the files: feasts-msg, feast-serving-msg, feast-decor-msg, p-menus-msg, p-feasts-msg, prim-sit-fsts-msg, fst-entertain-msg, feast-decor-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



From: DICKSNR at qucdn.queensu.ca (Heather Fraser)

Date: 25 Nov 91 04:46:00 GMT

Organization: The Internet


Greetings to the Rialto from Sarra Graeham, courtesy of Lord Angus:


I am sure that there are many of you out there listening to this discus-

sion on making medieval feasts who are indeed sitting there thinking to

yourselves, "Self, it's okay for Cariadoc and Sarra to say that it's easy

to make authentic feasts, but they're Laurels, and they have arcane powers

when it comes to such things, and a mere mortal like me and the rest of my

shire could never do such a thing!"  :-(


There already was a post from someone (sorry, forget the name) detailing

how he and his shire of Newbys produced an authentic feast without any

trouble at all.  Let me add my voice to his, and say that our Canton, with

thirty people in the SCA for two years or less, plus one Laurel and three

other oldtimers, produce two authentic feasts a year, almost always using

a first time Head Cook and kitchen staff who've never worked an SCA feast

before (due to temperment, we oldtimers won't go near the kitchen, so we

have to recruit cooks.  Ask Lord Gaerhun o Gwynedd, who frequents the

Rialto when his thesis allows, about how this works, since he was our last

sucker, er, victim, er, well, he cooked the last feast! :-)  And a fine

one it was, too!)  In fact, I think I often prefer to work with first time

Head Cooks, because they don't come with the preconception that medieval

cooking is inherently difficult.


Yes, our people do have the benefit of being able to consult a Laurel

whose third skill is cooking, but I can tell you over the net what I tell

them in person.  (Finally, here it comes:  The secret! :-)


Get one or more of the following books (I will rank them in order of their

usefulness to us in the past):

     Hieatt and Butler, _Pleyn Delit_, U. of Toronto Press, 1976.

     L. J. Sass, _To the King's Taste_, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975.

     David Friedman, _Miscellany_, private publication.

     Katrine de Baille du Chat, _To Cook Forsoothly_, Raymond's Quiet

        Press, 1979.  (It's not a great source, but it has some of Caria-

        doc's early recipes and also some from Apecius, so as long as you

        avoid the recipes that say, "This is just as good as a real medie-

        val recipe," you'll be all right.)

Constance Hieatt has another book out, the name escapes me, but it is put

together the same way as Pleyn Delit, and I am told it is as good.  Pleyn

Delit is in print, and I believe To the King's Taste has just come out in

a new edition (I got my copy from Medieval Miscellania). I suggest E-mail

to David Friedman if you want his Miscellany, which is good for more than

just cooking.


All the books I have recommended here use actual medieval recipes as their

basis.  The authors have kitchen tested each recipe, and then produced a

modern recipe with ingredient lists and modern-style instructions using

the medieval recipe as a base.  None of these books are any harder to use

than _The Joy of Cooking_, and you can't go far wrong because the medieval

recipe is given above the modern one, and you can compare for yourself.

If the book you want to use does not quote the exact source for its re-

cipe (preferably with the original recipe given right there on the page),

then don't use that recipe; who knows what is being perpetrated on you!


Okay, now, use these books to plan your feast.  Except for bread (which

should be at least 50% whole wheat and/or mixed grains, and there is doubt

they used butter as a spread), don't cook anything that you can't find a

recipe for in one of your books.  This is the easiest way to make sure

nothing modern (like potatoes, green peppers, or vanilla) creeps in by

accident.  If you do this for a while, you will get a feeling for what is

or isn't medieval in character, and you will be less likely to go for

something totally out of period, because it won't "taste right".


Last step:  A couple of months before the feast, get together a bunch of

friends and the recipes you've chosen.  Make everything you plan to serve,

exactly the way you plan to make it.  Then sit down and eat it.  All the

books I've recommended are full of wonderful recipes, but some are better

than others, and it is unwise to serve things to your guests that you

wouldn't eat yourself.  Many feast disasters could have been avoided if

they had just tried out the recipe in advance.


Congratulations!  You have just planned a wonderful feast that is just as

easy as any SCA feast, and more authentic than 95% of the feasts I have



It is worth pointing out that it is a very short step from what I'm sug-

gesting here to working with primary sources.  Comparison of the original

recipes in Pleyn Delit (the best of my secondary sources) will frequently

show disparities between what the medieval and modern recipes tell you to

do.  One example, Pork in Pepper Sauce, has the modern recipe make a roast

with sauce, while the medieval recipe is clearly a stew! With a sense of

what they should taste like, you can try making the original recipes that

Hieatt and Butler quote, without yet hitting the library for other books.

When you feel confident with that, you can try working from transcriptions

of actual medieval books; two that I have used and liked are _Two 15th C.

Cookery Books_, and Hieatt and Butler's _Curye on Inglysch_, a compilation

of 14th C. cookbooks (the title means "Cookery in English", showing how

much of an oddity cookery books in the vernacular were before that time).

Curye on Inglysch also has several pages of 14th C. menus that are more

modest than the Richard II Coronation Feast menu you typically see.


     Sarra Graeham, Canton of Greyfells    |  Heather Fraser

     Barony of the Skraeling Althing       |  Kingston, Ontario, CANADA

     Principality of Ealdormere, Midrealm  |  c/o dicksnr at qucdn.queensu.ca



A feast to forget

11 Feb 92

From: asparrow at cs.umr.edu (Lynde d'Eath)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: University of Missouri - Rolla


Greetings from Callanish in Calontir.


The following article is not a pretty one, but

one I and the rest of the shire feel should be sent.


On Feb 2, six of us from Callanish attended an event.

The event was a lot of fun, but the feast had some serious

problems.  One of our number, a 10-year veteren and survivor

of some very memorable feasts, said it had to be the worst

she had ever eaten.


The menu was almost entirely whole grain.  They did serve

chicken (1 bird for 8 people) and some roast beef (not bad).

But there were at least 4-5 other dishes, of various sorts of



The problems with this menu:

1) our hearts may be medieval but our digestive tracts are

not.  Even though I do eat whole grains regularly, this was

an overdose of them.  Some people have spastic intestines (my

mother, also at the feast), and others are unused to so much roughage.

There were many bellyaches, and much diarrhea the next day, making

the 200+ mile trip home unpleasant at best.


2) At least one of the dishes was burned.  When one burns meat,

it can be cut away.  When a starch is burned, it must be thrown

away, for the burned taste permeates the entire dish.


3) Another dish was undercooked.  Please cook your groats/barley/etc

until they are soft.  Crunchy grains are fine for breakfast cereals,

but alarming when supposedly cooked.


4) Basic food safety was ignored.  The chickens, stuffed with millet,

were roasted (with stuffing).  Then they were chilled with the stuffing

intact, and reheated with the stuffing still inside.  It is a miracle

no one contracted samonella, since all three of those are considered

dangerous practices.


5) watch your spices!  What was edible was almost too highly spiced to be

palatable.  The cooks did something with rice and broccoli that made

it impossible to eat.  Ordinarily, it should be bland.  My 14 month old

brother, who eats anything, spat this out as too nasty to eat.


Thank you for bearing with my ranting.  Much of the information

about the kitchen comes from Lady Branwen O'win CT. Please,

when you're cooking feast, don't make one that makes the

gentry want to visit Pizza Hut afterward.  Plan a balanced

meal that fits the theme of the event.  Practice basic

food storage and care.  


Thanks again,

Lynde d'Eath



From: kathe1 at juno.com (Kathleen M Everitt)

Date: Sun, 13 Apr 1997 14:07:40 EDT

Subject: Re: sca-cooks Feast Budget


We do an annual feast of three courses that I cooked for four years in a

row. I always brought it in for under $3.00 per person. Adding site fee,

insurance certificate, and prizes for the tourney we tried to keep the

event cost to $7 or $8 per person.


I'm planning an  "Above the Salt/Below the Salt" feast for some time next spring. I want to keep the Below the Salt portion to under three dollars, but I'm looking forward to splurging with a whole $6 or maybe even $7 per person for the Above the Salt! (Keeping costs down for students and families is one of my crusades. :-))





From: Cossette <cossette at kendaco.telebyte.com>

Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 12:15:07 -0700

Subject: SC - Feast themes


Greetings, Mil Lord's and Mil Ladies,

        I am Cossette the Nice, I'm from a silly little barony in the midwestern

portion of  An Tir.  I have been on your list for less than a week and I am

finding it very informative.  

        I would like to request  a topic of discussion.  I would like to know

what kind of "Theme feast" you good folks on the list have always wanted to do.

My goal is to discover if anyone on the list has actually done anyone else's

Theme Feast,  if  so,  How did it turn out. What were the mistakes and what

worked really well. Hence,  I would like to tap the collective vast wisdom and

knowledge of this great list.

        I'll start.   The following are three theme feast I have always wanted

to attempt:

1)     A three course feast,  (We call each course a Remove over here.)   set

in one specific time period,  Each remove  would be from a different

geographical region. For Example: First remove,   French, The second remove,  

Italian and the third remove  middle eastern. Just for fun I would like to

arrange the entertainment to match the geographic area of the removes cuisine.


2)     A three remove feast, Set a one specific geographic location, Each

remove would represent a different time period.  for example: The location would

be France.  Firs remove would be only foods commonly consumed in French in the

12th century.  The Second remove would be food commonly consumed in that area in

the 13th century and the third remove would be food commonly consumed in that

specific area in the 14th century.


3)     Finally I have always wanted to do a "Funny Food Feast"  More

adventurous food, not for timid taste buds. Period food that is not for the

pallet of your "average" stick jock.   This would feature foods from various

lands and time periods, that would be a little too daring to serve at a "Normal"


        Of course It would be specifically well advertised as such.  An

approximate menu would be posted at the sale of the feast tickets.  I have  an

understanding t would be a relatively small feast  25 to 50 max.  The ticket

price would be a bit higher than normal to accommodate higher price foods and



        There you have my three Themes.  I would like to know what each of you

has always wanted to try and if  you served anyone's theme and how did it turn


        Thank you all in advance for your time and thoughts,

IYS, Cossette the Nice



From: Christi Redeker <C-Redeker at mail.dec.com>

Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 16:02:09 -0400

Subject: RE: SC - Feast themes


I would like to do a feast all in decorated food (the soilettes (sp?))

we have been going over has given me some wonderful ideas.


I would also like to do a full middle eastern (sitting on pillows,

eating with fingers, drummers in the background, you get the idea.





From: mfgunter at tddeng00.fnts.com (Michael F. Gunter)

Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 16:34:27 -0500

Subject: SC - Theme feasts


There are several theme feasts that I've wanted to do. One of my favorites is

the "No Sh** It's Period" feast with period dishes that some people feel are

modern:  Meatloaf, pizza, french toast, jelly donuts (Ich bien ein Jelly Donut),



I would also like to do a vegetarian feast that I dare carnivores not to like.


There's an early period outdoor feast that I've been thinking of where all the

food is cooked either in the ashes (tubers, clay wrapped meat) and in a big

kettle (meat and vegetables are boiled in the cauldron, the solids are lifted out for one course and a pottage is made from the broth for another.


These have probably been done but I would enjoy doing them.






From: gfrose at cotton.vislab.olemiss.edu (Terry Nutter)

Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 17:12:44 -0500

Subject: Re:  SC - Feast themes


Hi, Katerine here.  Cossette the Nice asked about "theme" feasts.  I've

cooked a couple; one with English, Italian, and Middle Eastern courses;

one just English and Middle Eastern; and one -- probably my most successful,

and certainly my favorite -- all English, all (except the bread) from

recipes originating in the last third of the 14th century, every dish

served in the course in which it most often appeared, and dishes that were

supposed to be served on a plate together done that way.


Most of the diners didn't notice most of what made that 14th century meal

special from a historical standpoint -- but there was virtually no food

left over, and it's the only feast I can recall serving about which I

heard literally *no* complaints (including second or third hand), ever.


And everybody thought it was really original and different -- despite

being centered at the time and place that is probably most people's

model of a "typical boring feast".



- -- Katerine/Terry



From: kathe1 at juno.com (Kathleen M Everitt)

Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 18:59:36 EDT

Subject: Re: SC - Feast themes


On Tue, 15 Apr 1997 12:15:07 -0700 Cossette

<cossette at kendaco.telebyte.com> writes:

>I would like to know

>what kind of "Theme feast" you good folks on the list have always

>wanted to do.


The niftiest "theme feast" that I've ever heard of was the most memorable

of all the feasts that I've attended in my 18+ years in the SCA. I didn't

cook it (I wish I had, it was wonderful.) It was cooked by Cindy Renfrew

(Take a Thousand Eggs or More). I've forgotten how you spell her SCA

name! And her kitchen crew at Hartshorn-dale here in the East. It was a

feast of Illusion. Everything served looked like something else. Eggs had

custard in them. Chicken skins were filled with a pork mixture, the

chicken was inside hollowed out loaves of bread, acorns were made into

salt and pepper shakers. Half the fun was trying to figure out what was

being served. And it was all delicious! I'd love to try something like

that, but I understand that everyone involved spent *hours* and *hours*

on preparation. I'm not sure I could find the staff crazy enough to try






From: linneah at erols.com

Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 22:37:05 -0400

Subject: Re: SC - Feast themes


In Marinus (Norfolk, Va.) Lady Elspeth put on a feast celebrating the travels of

Marco Polo.  Each course took us further East with dishes like hummus and

baklava adn other exotics that I can't remember. Entertainment included belly

dancers.  I thoroughly enjoyed the food and enteratinment, though many

people had trouble with the most exotic of the dishes.





From: Charles Dean <charles at macquarie.matra.com.au>

Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 22:49:51 +1000 (EST)

Subject: SC - "Good food" Feast


After talking about the concept for about three years

of providing a completely over the top feast, my

household and an few others are going to create a feast

for 55 people with a cover price of $50.00 Australian

by the time hall costs etc are taken out we will have a food

budget of about $30.00 - $35.00 US. The working title of the

feast is: The Good Food Feast.


The feast will be a high feast probably of Italian food from

1380 to 1420. We are also planning on serving wine. Some

of the dishes planned are whole roast suckling pig, salmon

baked standing on its tail, expensive seafood like crabs

or lobsters, rosemary snow (rosemary bushes covered in sweetened

whipped egg-whites) and other fancy delights. Basically its

a chance to cook all of the over the top recipes we have been

drooling over for years.


Each attendee will be asked to provide a server to attend their

needs through out the meal. As is traditional servers will

be able to grab left-overs after their betters have eaten.


To cook the feast we have the team known as the

"Politarchopolian Assult Catering Corps". Which includes

a cooking laurel, two professional chefs, a couple of

experienced kitchen hands, several experienced helpers and

a couple of the best autocrats around. As well we have the

support of a barony who's motto is "Eat, Eat, you're all

too thin!". All the team have worked together before.

The planned site has a professional kitchen attached to

the hall.  All in all, its a dream come true!


So, here comes the fun part. If you had a budget of $30US

(or $45 Australian) per head for to provide one meal only,

given the time, place and conditions above what would you



No dish at this stage is considered too hard to consider.


Current date for the feast is late Sept or early Oct which

is spring in Lochac.


All suggestions will be read with interest and I will keep

the list posted as to the feasts progress.


Charles of the Park


PS to save one train of discussion, I have had enough indication

   that the feast will be over-subscribed.

- ---------------------------------------------------------

Charles Dean    charles at macquarie.matra.com.au

Matra Internetworks - Internet service providers.

Ph (06) 251 6730  Fax (06) 253 4840

PO BOX 714, Jamison Centre, ACT 2614 AUSTRALIA



From: robin.hackett at wadsworth.org (Robin Hackett)

Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 12:56:34 -0500

Subject: SC - Theme Feasts


Cosette wrote:

>I would like to request  a topic of discussion.  I would like to know

>what kind of "Theme feast" you good folks on the list have always wanted to do.


Well, there are theme feasts my Barony of Concordia has done and there are

the ideas running around in my head.

For our Feast of the Sated Sultan event we serve Middle Eastern food and

the decor is pillows/rugs on the floor. It has met with great success. Our

cooking group (they don't want to be a guild) has created a late 14th

century Italian dinner for our own amusement and taste buds.

Personally, I would like to recreate the Pope's Vespers mentioned in the

Rennaisance Cookbook. It has three courses of over 50 dishes each!


>3)      Finally I have always wanted to do a "Funny Food Feast"  More

>adventurous food, not for timid taste buds. Period food that is not for the

>pallet of your "average" stick jock.   This would feature foods from various

>lands and time periods, that would be a little too daring to serve at a

>>"Normal" feast.


Well, we didn't serve peacock or swan, but our Crystal Snowflake Ball feast

was a collection of "delicacies" tempered with enough pork or raisen/fig

pasties to satisfy timid eaters. But I must say, the marinated herring

platters were empty (I can't say whether they were consumed though) and the

braised winter vegetables (parsnips!) and cold beet/fennel salads met with

success. I think the date roll may have looked a little too much like an

eel and it met with less success. *Our theme was under the sea so the roll

was shaped like eel with currant eyes.



robin.hackett at wadsworth.org



From: Chris and Elisabeth Zakes <moondrgn at bga.com>

Date: Wed, 16 Apr 1997 16:22:08 -0500

Subject: Re: SC - Feast themes


Something I would like to see: A feast of at least three removes, each one

from a higher social level than the one before it (i.e., serf/peasant,

journeyman, reasonably wealthy merchant, noble).


Aethelyan of Moondragon




From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at postoffice.ptd.net>

Date: Thu, 17 Apr 1997 09:31:12 -0500 (CDT)

Subject: SC - Feast Themes


Hi-de-ho there, Adamantius!


>2. How about a feast for Vlad Tepes' marketplace? Alternate courses of

>Transylvanian and Turkish dishes...the temptation to serve everything on

>skewers would have to be resisted, of course...somewhat.


I did this one for fun, once. We made what ammounted to a "garlic" feast. I

made a recipe for Medieval Veal Sausages (took Mistress Elizabeth's sausage

class at Pennsic) substituting Pork and Beef (veal was out of season and

waaaaay too expensive), and adding extra garlic and fresh herbs from my

garden. Yes, we stuffed our own sausages for an event! What a lot of work!

We did it ahead of time, and froze them. They were cooked at home and

transported to the campsite, where we re-heated them over the fire in beer

or broth (we did both for the alcohol sensatives in our group). In addition

we had a garlic salad with herbs, an autumn vegetable borscht, savory cheese

tartes made with home-made cheeses, and fresh bread, and for dessert we did

poached pears in raspberry wine sauce based on the complete

dagger-lickin-good cookbook, which were canned ahead, served over plain

"biscuits". It was back in the days when almost no-one came to our events,

but I believe it was the best feast I ever served. We had some professional

catering warmers, which made keeping the stuff warm a cinch.  Those sausages

were so good cooked over the fire.  We had a contest to guess the number of

fresh garlic cloves in the feast (several hundred to feed about 40!!!).


<<<sigh. I suppose it's not PC to do this theme these days>> I could never

stuff sausages by hand for an event now. Too many people come. Is that good

or bad?





From: "Philip W. Troy" <troy at asan.com>

Date: Thu, 17 Apr 1997 09:16:41 -0400

Subject: Re: SC - Feast themes


Cossette wrote:


> I would like to know

> what kind of "Theme feast" you good folks on the list have always wanted to do.

>  My goal is to discover if anyone on the list has actually done anyone else's

> Theme Feast,  if  so,  How did it turn out. What were the mistakes and what

> worked really well.


1. I'd like to do a maritime feast for an event centered on the

Hanseatic League, probably in Lent. This would have to be for a group

that will tolerate fish, naturally. Luckily for me, where I live people

generally complain if there ISN'T at least one fish dish at a feast.

Recently I did two, just to be sure.


2. How about a feast for Vlad Tepes' marketplace? Alternate courses of

Transylvanian and Turkish dishes...the temptation to serve everything on

skewers would have to be resisted, of course...somewhat.


3. Another Apician feast would be nice. I did one 11 years ago and it

went over well, but I like to think I've gotten better at this game

since then, and would like to do a better job this time.


4. Still recovering from The Celtic Feast from Hell, what I like to

think of as Oat Cuisine (AR! AR! AR!) We did a sort of tasting menu,

with about twenty dishes in four courses, in small portions. I was

impressed by the fact that folks continued to eat, quite happily, it

seemed, for over four hours without any signs of restlessness. Hard

work, because labor-intensive, but it was a nice change from my usual

nine-dishes-in-a-triclinium feast.





From: Aldyth at aol.com

Date: Fri, 18 Apr 1997 12:56:09 -0400 (EDT)

Subject: Re: SC - free feasts/theme feasts(was swan sources)


In a message dated 97-04-18 10:25:35 EDT, Christi writes:

<<  Do you have to offer free feasts to all the hunters around you?  I

wanted pheasant once for dinner and asked a neighbor if he had one after

hunting I would be really appreciative.  He gave it to me, but I had to

invite him to dinner to compensate.>>


In Windkeep we have had "Hunters Feast" for 8 years running.  It is a feast

done entirely of donated wild game.  It serves a twofold purpose.  The money

made underwrites the shire budget for the next year, and it encourages the

local hunters to donate game.  The current policy is that if a hunter donates

game toward the feast, he or she receives a reduced fee. A couple of times

someone has donated enough game for an entire course.  I let their whole

family in for free. (This feast is limited to 100 reservations, and usually

the charge is $10.)


The theme is obviously hunting.  We give prizes for the best garb, table

decoration, banner, etc. Last year the garb winner received a donated whole

deerskin, just tanned.  In fact the deer that was wearing the hide was served

at the feast.  This year we hope to make a cockatrice, if someone can find a

suckling pig at a reasonable price.



Aldyth at aol.com


From: allilyn at juno.com (LYN M PARKINSON)

Date: Fri, 18 Apr 1997 00:53:29 EDT

Subject: Re: SC - "Good food" Feast


>>>So, here comes the fun part. If you had a budget of $30US (or $45

Australian) per head for to provide one meal only, given the time, place

and conditions above what would you serve?<<<


Lord Charles,


If I had a huge budget to work with for a Spring feast, one of the things

I would like to do is based on the recipes for 'gealie' in Epulario.

Making the gelatin as described, I would put it in a large flattish

platter, to cover roast veal.  I'd cut the veal slices into fanciful

shapes--perhaps 'fish' swimming in a green ocean, or flowers in yellow.

As veal is a mild tasting meat (compared to some) and the galantine would

be deliciously cool, I'd use a very mild vinegar and go light on the

spices--just letting it have some piquantness. And serve with a sweetish

white wine.  And asparagus, unless it's an entremet. The trimmings from

the veal shapes could be thrown into a pot and cooked into a stew for the

retainers, with some additional broth.


Of course, I'd also have lobster, crabs, oysters...





From: L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt <liontamr at postoffice.ptd.net>

Date: Tue, 17 Jun 1997 08:47:54 -0500 (CDT)

Subject: SC - Feast Themes


Hallo folks. I've been kicking around some Feast Theme ideas, and wondered

if you all could provide any input, recipe sources, etc:


A "Filthy" Feast for Halloween (rather than the "Poison" one that I keep

hearing about, with "antidotes" in the second remove. I'm a little too

squeemish for that). The idea is to serve Compost, Garbage, FFartes--which I

read about once and now can't find the source, and other

horrible-to-modern-ear dishes. Can anyone point me in the direction of real

dishes with disgusting names, which have period sources? And before you

start to question my sanity, I'd like to state emphatically that THIS WAS

NOT MY IDEA. It was the guys in the Cook's guild that put me up to it. I

think I will retire from the kitchen and let them have at it for this one.

There won't be a lady-like word uttered the whole day in there.


I've been looking at some early paintings and illuminations depicting a sort

of Service I'd like to emulate: Birds served whole and carried to the table

on Skewers by two servants, etc.  Fish served whole. Joints carved to order

at the table, starting with the most important person and working downward.

This is probably best done for a smaller feast. Has anyone done this one,

and can they offer some good advice about strategy?


I'd like to hear more about Mistress Sincgiefu's (sorry if I mangled that)

Feast of Illusion. That sounds lovely.


I am wondering if anyone has done a feast where the sotelties are edible and

made to look like games or period toys (for xmas or 12th nite!).


Has anyone done a feast that is Themed for Spring (perfect for May Day)?


Does anyone have any other cool ideas? Now that Crown is over and I'm no

longer the Seneschal, I am going stark raving mad for want of something to






Date: Wed, 17 Sep 1997 23:17:07 -0600

From: yumitori at marsweb.com (Ron Martino Jr)

Subject: Re: SC - Re: Types of Feasts


> Some years ago our shire held a Heraldic Symposium and Nightmare

> Ball (everyone was to come as their favorite Heraldic Nightmare),

> and we planned on doing as you discribe.  However we were over

> rulled by the populous who insisted on putting up tables and having a

> sit down feast (they went into the closet and got the tables out

> themselves.  Very strange).  Just thought it was interesting how

> things don't always go as planned.


> Alys


        I just had the same experience last winter - we planned a finger food

feast so that there wouldn't be a break in the revelry and socializing,

only to have folks raid the table storage area, break up in to their

usual dining groups, and ignore everyone else until the food was gone...





From: kathe1 at juno.com (Kathleen M Everitt)

Date: Thu, 19 Jun 1997 23:04:51 EDT

Subject: Re: SC - Feast Themes-Feast of Illusion


On Tue, 17 Jun 1997 08:47:54 -0500 (CDT) L Herr-Gelatt and J R Gelatt

<liontamr at postoffice.ptd.net> writes:


>I'd like to hear more about Mistress Sincgiefu's (sorry if I mangled

>that) Feast of Illusion. That sounds lovely.




I hope Mistress Sincgiefu answers this and gives you more details, but

just in case she's busy I'll tell you what I remember. My younger son was

10 days old when I attended the feast she did in Hartshorn-dale, so sleep

deprevation blurred the evening! :-)


Some of the high points that I remember (I hope I'm remembering them

correctly!): They had acorns, hollowed out then filled with salt and

pepper, and put holes in the tops for salt and pepper shakers. I think

the chicken skins were stuffed with a pork mixture and cooked to resemble

chickens. The chicken meat was then put into hollowed out bread loaves.

They blew eggs from the shells then filled the shells with custard. There

were "oysters with pearls" but I can't remember what they were made from.

Anyway, nothing was what it looked like. Luckily, we had a squire with

us, so he tasted everything and let us know what it was really. If he

could figure it out. He at least let us know if there were any allergens

(onions or garlic) in it for several of us who couldn't eat those. There

were several dishes he never did figure out.


Great event! That feast is probably the highlight of any that I have

attended in over 19 years in the SCA! Not only was the food period and

delicious, it was so entertaining! We had a great time speculating on the

dishes as they came out and marvelling at the work that went into the

feast. And I understand that it was a lot of work.





Date: Wed, 17 Sep 1997 17:18:01 -0500 (CDT)

From: alysk at ix.netcom.com (Elise Fleming )

Subject: SC - Re: Types of Feasts


Greetings!  In the Cleftlands (Cleveland) we had a dance event where

every two hours a different course came out onto a buffet. People

grazed as they pleased... noon, 2 pm, 4 pm and 6 pm. There were "main

dishes", salads, grains and dessert foods.  It was a nice way to start

off novice cooks since no one had to do an entire feast, just one

course of some 4-6 dishes.  The dancers liked being able to eat

whenever they got hungry.


Alys Katharine



Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 12:01:01 -0700

From: kat <kat at kagan.com>

Subject: SC - re:  eggs


brid asks:

> along the lines of the versions of pickled eggs and tea eggs:

> Isn't there a recipe somewhere that calls for hardboiling eggs over a very low

> heat for a number of hours in a bath of onion broth or something of the like-

> for the flavor as well as the color?


        Yes!  It's a Jewish recipe; I helped Merrin (Na'Arah) make them for the Feast of Jewish Holidays.  (I think I'm STILL full from all that food... )


        You can do them on stovetop or in the oven; we used the oven at about 250*, overnight in a turkey roaster.  One hundred fifty eggs, the skin of a half dozen onions, cover with water, done the next morning.  Gorgeous things...


        And folks; that was probably the best feast I've ever been to.  You want to talk about overkill on the food?  Lady Na'Arah, a real live honest-to-goodness Jewish mother, put together a feast that included traditional dishes from ALL the traditional Jewish holidays; plus a handful of family favorites, in four removes.  Three different kinds of charoset; one Sephardic, one Ashkenazic, and one without something-or-other due to an allergy.  And despite her exhaustion and tired feet, she actually DID go around asking people if they were "sure you got enough to eat?  There's still some chicken...  Maybe some brisket?"  


        There was so much food left over that, even after the food handouts and the donations to the local Shelter, I actually ended up feeding rosemary-roasted lamb to my CAT...  


               - kat



Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 10:06:46 -0800

From: "Crystal A. Isaac" <crystal at pdr-is.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Fw: [Mid] Feasts


Alderton, Philippa forwarded:

> : Date: Wednesday, January 14, 1998 19:30:22

> : From: Steve Muhlberger

> : To: Middlebridge

> : Subject: [Mid] Feasts

> :

> : I think the idea of cooking everything in advance and getting your group

> : to vet it all is a great one.  The Eoforwic Culinary Guild about 15

> : years ago did this all the time, and we had a lot of fun with it.  The

> : people at the feasts who praised the food usually didn't realize it was

> : EVEN BETTER the first time around.


My local group did a feast in this fashion last year. In some ways it

was like a really big potluck. The people who volunteered to cook made a

dish for 60 people and brough it to the site. The head server oversaw

the garnishing & distribution. Everybody was served and eating in about

30 minutes. We had time for lots of entertianments and we even got to

dance (an oddity in my area, feasts usually take too long and the

dancing gets cut out of the program *sniffle, sob*).


The feasto/autocrat had chosen and redacted recipes from Apicius in

adavance and given them to the volunteer-cooks. There were about 11

volunteer cooks (some had thier own teams for dishes that required lots

of assembly, like rissoles).


For everybody except the feasto/autocrat, it was the easiest feast we'd

ever done. Next time we won't let the same person be the autocrat and

the feastocrat.


I think I've still got my notes form that feast, if you want more

information, please e-mail me privatly, crystal at pdr-is.com



Date: Tue, 12 May 1998 12:30:35 -0400 (EDT)

From: Sharon Gordon <gordonse at one.net>

Subject: SC - Food Tithe Stone Soup Feast


Has anyone ever tried a feast where people bring a

certain alotment of food...say any one of

1/2 pound meat(no organs) or cheese, or a dozen eggs

1 pound of vegetables(need not be all the same)

2-3 pounds of a grain


to you the night before a meal and then you created

an interesting meal out of it adding herbs and spices, etc?


I have done this with a mix of modern and period items

for a modern meal, and think it would be fun to do

with all period items.  Does anyone else think this would

be fun to try (or eat :-) ?) ?

If so what do you think would be the most equitable way

to set up the food catgories, so you would have enough

food in each and make the potential costs equivalent (no

limit to those who want to donate extra, but fair minimums

for the many who are living in frugal times)?  To promote

some variety, a certain percent

could bring the protein, and a certain percent the vegetables, etc.



gordonse at one.net



Date: Thu, 14 May 1998 00:13:54 -0400

From: Bonne <oftraquair at hotmail.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Food Tithe Stone Soup Feast


> Has anyone ever tried a feast where people bring a

> certain alotment of food...

> to you the night before a meal and then you created

> an interesting meal out of it adding herbs and spices, etc?


I held a "Stone Soup Kitchen" at a day event this past winter.  Some people I

invited in particular to share soup since we were so very far down the waiting

list and I posted a flyer to the baronial and I think Kingdom e-mail lists.

My family was eating soup in any case.  The whole idea was just to get some



> If so what do you think would be the most equitable way

> to set up the food catgories,


I requested each person bring "a bowl full" of either

- -cleaned chopped vegetables (suggestions given on flyer)

- -a loaf of bread (preferable good bakery loaves since that is as easily gotten

here as foamy bread in a wrapper)

- -dessert (to serve 6 or so)

- -butter, jam, or cheese


Bringing meat wasn't an option because I didn't want to deal with other

peoples storage mistakes.  Besides, I wanted to make the soup accessible to

vegetarian friends as well.  Those with large appetites were requested to

bring as many "bowl full" as they might eat, but please bring a variety of

things so as not to overwhelm the soup pot.  Those wishing to make a monetary

contribution could, but would be at the end of the line, behind food



About 6 of us met at the baronial pavilion after court, while the feasters

went off to the hall.  There had been several more expected, but came last

minute openings for servers and off they went.  I'd brought a few quarts of a

basic veggie soup, and I had 1 loaf of bread and a gallon of cider. We added

the donated veggies to my soup with some water & some herbs I had brought.

Brought that to a boil then let it simmer till done. While waiting, we drank

warm cider and ate cheese, bread, jam.  finally, the soup was ready and we

gobbled it down, dunking the bread in.


To do over, I'd start the soup between fighting and court instead of after

court.  Everything was cooked, but not really soup yet. Having my pre-cooked

soup helped, without that we would have had plain boiled vegetables!  If I did

this in winter again, I'd find a better spot.  We were under a pavilion

without the walls set up--c-o-l-d!  I'd never been to the site before, we

could have done this in an unassigned cabin, or on the porch of the hall.

Perhaps their Magesties and Excellencies would have seen fit to send us poor

peasants some charity if they'd known we were out there! Or at least we could

have stepped into the hall for warmth!





Date: Fri, 4 Dec 1998 17:42:55 -0800

From: kat <kat at kagan.com>

Subject: re:  SC - I need some advice...


Micaylah asks:

> We have decided that we are going to set

> up a menu and let the populace decide what it is they wish to bring given

> the list of menu items. I have kept it really really simple as the level

> of cooking in our fair Baronry is somewhat limited.


Micaylah, one of the cantons in our Barony has a "feast" every year

(meat-provided potluck that they label a feast) in which each ticket has a

recipe printed on the back.  Buy a ticket?  Make that recipe (or bring

something similar, at least in the same category, i.e. starch, veggie,



I've never been, it's an awkward time of year for us financially; but I

understand the idea has been somewhat successful.  Sorry I can't give you a

firsthand account.


        - kat



Date: Fri, 04 Dec 1998 20:42:15

From: Micaylah <dy018 at freenet.carleton.ca>

Subject: re:  SC - I need some advice...


kat said...


>Micaylah, one of the cantons in our Barony has a "feast" every year

>(meat-provided potluck that they label a feast) in which each ticket has a

>recipe printed on the back.  Buy a ticket?  Make that recipe (or bring

>something similar, at least in the same category, i.e. starch, veggie,



>I've never been, it's an awkward time of year for us financially; but I

>understand the idea has been somewhat successful. Sorry I can't give you a

>firsthand account.


The one I am proposing is a variation on this theme. We won't be selling

tickets, but I had planned on typing up documentation, sign up sheets

indicating how many dishes/gentles we need for each recipe, which are v.

friendly, recipes and the shopping lists. Too easy in our day of 'puters.

That way each one can choose what they want to do. As well, I plan on

"donating" the specialty type spices (cubebs, g.of p., juniper berries,

etc) that may be required.


At least I know now that other people have at least tried this method of

pot luck. Thanks





Date: Fri, 04 Dec 1998 07:51:39 -0800

From: Anne-Marie Rousseau <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Different 12th Nights


Hi all from Anne-Marie


we are asked about dividing up the contributions for potlucks.


I've run a gajillion potlucks, and think they're a fine way to do food

(when your primary goal is to get people fed, without having to cook dinner

for them all yourself). A few things we've found that work well...


1. Have the hosting branch provide a main dishy thing that can be expanded

as neccessary. we do pork and apple stew a lot...can be set up in a bunch

of crock pots and left alone.


2. Have some ringers arranged ahead of time "hey Anne-marie, you're going,

right? Bring three meat pies!"


3. Arrange the contributions in a fun and useful way. I've done by persona

(make the middle eastern people bring desserts :)), but my favorite is to

do it by the distance travelled.

If you travelled less than 1 hr to get to the event, bring a main dish or

side dish unit

If you travelled 1-2 hours, bring a salad or other veggie dish

If you travelled 2-4 hours, bring dessert

If you travelled more than 4 hours, bring bread and cheese. We're just

happy you came!


It helps that Madrone is land of medieval cooks. Most of them have had to

sit through my "period stuff you can bring to a potluck" lecture a

gajillion times, so we often have groaning board of real medieval food and

non-agregious medivaloide food. Only occasionally do we see the tub of

potato salad (hooray!).


- --AM, who understands that in some places, potlucks are evil and to be




Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 09:44:51 -0400

From: "Gaylin Walli" <gwalli at infoengine.com>

Subject: SC - lighter notes: table decorations


On a lighter note about the feast where I was head cook...


Our theme was "procrastination" and the event is called the

Procrastinator's Ball and Brawl. The feast itself was

not one subject to the theme of the event, but one carefully

orchestrated announcement from the Herald made a

portion of it seem that way.


On each table, in some lovely little woven baskets, we

placed a variety of  things like flowers (we had to use

silk), small stones, ribbon, and a few beads. The Herald

announced that we had run into a time crunch and had no

time to decorate the tables for them (a complete fabrication,

of course, as this was planned well in advance). Each

table was told they could create their own centerpiece,

and would indeed be judged on their creation. The table with

the best decoration would be awarded a prize as judged by the

servers and the Kitchen Steward.


The table that won managed to convince a Knight (I think)

to kneel on the table with the basket in his mouth and

ribbons in his beard and hair.


I nearly peed my pants laughing. We all applauded. And that

table's prize was a simple one. They got served first for

every course.





Date: Sun, 25 Jul 1999 13:38:35 -0700 (PDT)

From: Laura C Minnick <lainie at gladstone.uoregon.edu>

Subject: Re: SC - Real feasts?


The feast I co-cratted was several years oag- '92 to be exact. We

called it "S'ei Piace e Lice" (What Pleases is Permitted) and modelled it

on this idea- that the Black Death was headed our way, so we locked

ourselves into a villa in the hills above Milan and hunkered down to eat

and drink and wait for the pestilence to pass. THIS WAS NOT MASQUE OF THE

RED DEATH! We were shooting more for a _Decameron_ sort of thing, in fact

we told everyone to show up with stories and songs to pass the time. No

contests. No court. just good company and good food (LOTS OF IT!) Everyone

made an attempt at clothes c.1348 and the menu was 14th c. We picked a

Queen for the Day who chose performers. There was singing and poetry and

storytelling, and of course, much silliness in the kitchen. We had a

steward at the door, and after the doors were 'locked', no one could

enter without significant bribes. It lasted from around noon to late at

night (we had to be out of the hall at midnight) and we all ate too much.

It was great fun and I'd do it again if I had someone else to be head



The only way I can think of pulling off a feast like that is to make it a

themed event and stick to it. If the majes show up, they should

participate too. We did a Tournament of the Lions (twice) and once the

royals showed up- they also played as though they were visiting Toulouse,

and it was VERY interesting how roles, etc. shifted. It works- but only if

everyone is playing the same game...



- -

Laura C. Minnick



Date: Mon, 2 Aug 1999 12:12:12 -0400

From: Christine A Seelye-King <mermayde at juno.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Real feasts?


On Mon, 26 Jul 1999 08:41:41 EDT Bronwynmgn at aol.com writes:

>For Twelfth night last year, we decided that we wanted to do an event

>based on food.  We set up a schedule whereby two new dishes, one

>vegetarian and one not, came out of the kitchen every hour and a half to

>two hours.


This sounds like the Cook's List we had here several years ago.  It was a

contest between 14 cooks.  3-5 dishes were served every hour on the hour,

starting at 11AM and going until 11PM!  The amazing thing was, the later

it got, the more enthusiastic the diners were!  We figured people would

get full, but the appetites of the feasters were not diminished by eating

slowly all day.  There was a panel of judges that were served first, and

then the dishes were set out for the general populace to sample.  Court

was held at midnight, and several awards were given, Most Authentic,

Tastiest, Cook's Choice, Best Subtlety (I won that one!), etc.  Folks

have clammored for this type of event to be held again, but it hasn't

manifested yet.  I am trying to help a small Feastcrat's Guild get

involved in doing this kind of project.





Date: Wed, 25 Aug 1999 08:14:28 -0700

From: Anne-Marie Rousseau <acrouss at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - fancy feasts vs. simple feasts


hey all from Anne-Marie

we are told:

><< I feel there is no

> reason that we should limit our SCA "feasts" to those of the nobility.  >>


and we dont. At least around here, a "noble" feast is that which has

multiple courses, many many dishes per course. Servers who dont sit at

table. Subtleties. Edible gold on the Leache.


we've also done "boon day meals", where a simple meal of period food is

prepared and served to folks sitting on the grass, al fresco. Tartes of

flessche, funges, frumenty, cretonne of new peas, bread and wardyns in

syroppe. We have documents that specify that the workers, after a hard

days labor for the lord are to be fed a meal. The meal is even

specified...roast meat (la dee dah!), and pease pottage, and a big bucket

of ale, etc.


My own household re-enacts a middle class bunch of servants and staff for

the Grand Bastard of Burgundy (aka "Tony the Hunk" :)). We eat well, being

a camp of cooks, but we do our own dishes, and only have one or two meats.

Brugels painting show clearly that even peasants don’t do too badly on feast

days, like his wedding pictures. le Menagier, a middle class Parisian give

shopping lists and feast menus that show that even the bourgouis eat pretty

well. Perhaps not as often as the nobles, but not half bad.


Often we assume that you were either noble (ie lord in the castle) or a

serf (grubbing in the dirt, starving to death, etc). Actual medieval

records show that the majority of people were actually small farmers, and

that even a peasant had a pig and a bed and a pot to...cook...in :). (check

out "Standard of Living in the Later Middle Ages". Great book. Its in one

of those boxes over there....I'll be so happy when I move after this



- --AM



Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2000 06:38:26 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Rosee or Morree


DianaFiona at aol.com wrote:

> I'd really like to do a small feast sometime where the

> service is more in keeping with the actual practices in the high Middle

> Ages--i.e., the food is prepared in smaller quantities, but in larger numbers

> of different dishes, and dinners eat those dishes that happen to be placed

> near them. I don't really want to totally revolutionize our way of doing

> things--*I* certainly like getting to taste everything! But it would be nice

> occasionally to have a chance to use dishes like Rosee that really need to be

> prepared in small quantities for one reason or another..............Maybe if

> I get to do our Spring Collegium some time--it's small enough to work for

> this idea.


One possibility would be to, um, gather ye rosebuds while ye may, and

all, and dry them in season for future use. My Viceroy has a fairish

number of rose bushes, and he often dries the flowers and then wonders

what in blazes he's gonna do with them all. Maybe _next_ time he can

trim and dry the petals.


Regarding dishes cooked in small quantities, one thing we've tried here

in The People's Republic of the East was a sort of "tasting menu" of

about thirty dishes, with almost all the tables being served all the

dishes. It was  a lot of work, but it was one of the most fun feasts

we've done in recent memory (maybe four years ago?). I think what made

it possible was not only dishes cooked in smallish quantities (eighty

people were served   ~1/4 normal portions), but a high proportion of

them were very quick to cook, such as the late-period English dish of

mussels in a sauce that was virtually identical to moules mariniere,

toasted cheese, that sort of thing. We even cut pork loins lengthwise

into pieces that gave little two-inch medallion slices, which we could

start in saute pans and finish in the oven in fifteen minutes or so of

roasting. There was a lot of, "Well, what do we want to cook _now_?" As

I say, it was a lot of work and I wouldn't wish it on just anybody, but

it was undeniably a blast to cook and, I'm told, a memorable pleasure to



I may have the menu someplace...





Date: Mon, 28 Feb 2000 21:28:22 +1030

From: "David & Sue Carter" <drcarter at bigpond.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Is period cooking "different" from the other arts?


Stefan li Rous said:


> Along those lines, I've often wondered why there must be just one

> big feast at an SCA event. Why not have the one big feast, be it

> whatever, and have a second, perhaps more expensive feast, of period

> foods for those interested in this. But the logistics of having only

> one kitchen may rule this out. But I think it is worth considering.

> Free-enterprise and all that.


I believe you are reading our mind - or is it that great minds think alike?

For some time now Osgot and I have been plotting to do a Principality event

with 3 or possibly 4 feasts within the event.


The thought runs something like this:

Our group has several accomplished cooks who have done small feasts (50-60)

VERY well, but are afraid of a big one.

The SCA time line is diverse and people should be able to eat in personae as

much as possible.

A balmy summer eve would be a good time to eat out doors, and set the tents

up in a u shape with seperate sections being different themes.

All themes would have high table set for Royalty, who could choose how much,

of what and when to eat.

Entertainment is themed to each area.

People book for a particular section.

There would also be a tavern, serving over the counter meals at first come

first serve basis.

We have several good campsites around with massive kitchens and walk in

coolrooms that could be used.

There is an overall feast co-ordinator to head off disputes about equipment.


This will happen, but don't quite know when, yet.


We attended the event when a version of this was tried when Purgatorio (West

Fall Investiture) came to Australia, with limited success. Theirs was

inside in a many roomed venue, but the kitchen was poorly located and only

'adequate' from what I saw.  I think we can learn from their experience,

plus our event wouldn't be quite as big.



mka Sue Carter



Date: Sun, 26 Mar 2000 12:46:28 EST

From: ChannonM at aol.com

Subject: SC - Re: sca-cooks V1 #2049


<<  I'm wondering who else here has actually used either

a pitcher of water poured over diners hands before a meal (as is done

at Passover) or finger bowls after the meal and what, if anything,

you've scented the water with. >>


I just did feast for 150, the populace were give bowls with paper towels

soaked in a Menagier recipe for handwashing water, made with sage, rosemary

and orange peel. The head table hand washing was done with pitcher and bowl

and proper hand towels. Very simple, yet added the importance of the

tradition of hand washing.


I have also used rosewater added to the above recipe  (in small quantities)

too much rosewater turns many people off. I also find the rosemary/citrus

combination astringent enough to do the job.


Here is the Menagier's recipe


This period recipe comes from the 14th C Manuscript, Menagier de Paris found

in Cariodocís Miscellany Collection


"To make water to wash the hands at table: Boil sage, then strain the water,

and let cool until it is luke-warm. Or instead you can use camomile or

marjoram, or rosemary and cook with the peel of an orange. And also laurel

leaves (bay leaves) are good for this."


Redacted recipe


1 Quart of  water (if at Pennsic, used bottled water)

10 fresh sage leaves, or a small handful of camomile,marjarmom or

rosemary(you can use tea bags here or cheese cloth, to make the straining

later a non issue)

1 peel of an orange (preferably a seville orange, eat the rest)

1 bay leaf


In pot, bring the water to boil and add the herbs and peel. Allow to cool

then strain. Bottle and keep (if you need to) for a few days.


When readying to use the water, heat gently or add hot water to warm it

slightly. Using a pitcher and basin, keeping  a towel over your shoulder,

allow the person to hold their hands over the bowl while you pour. They

should rub their hands together. When finished, offer them the towel. Where

there is no table to set down the bowl this best works with two people, one

to hold the bowl, the other to offer the towel and pour the water.





Date: Wed, 14 Jun 2000 11:34:23 EDT

From: ChannonM at aol.com

Subject: SC - Re: menus and dish sizes


> One other problem with period feast menus is that American idea that you

>  "have" to eat everything on the table. Upper classes through the 19th

>  century only tasted the various platters, therefore serving a multitude

>  of dishes was fine.  --And they probably weren't massive platters at

>  that.


>  I've been toying with doing a feast with twice the dishes, half the

>  portions.  i figure that gives room to experiment and still feed

>  people--unless they're finicky.  In which case, I don't care.


>  Morgana


I did pretty much that at Clancy Day this year. I served 15 dishes, with

carefully controlled portions ie each person could have eaten 1/10 pie, 1-3oz

piece of fish that was then battered etc.


One person actually recognized that the food served first was not in huge

abundance and that I was controlling how much they could wolf down in the

first and second courses. This was deliberate and planned and allowed me to

provide a number of dishes that I otherwise might not have been able to work

into the menu due to cost prohibition. Now not everyone appreciated that,

especially when they loved that particular dish and there was no more to be

had (I kind of felt it left them desiring more vs leaving them hungry since

there were X number of dishes to follow)


No one could have gone away hungry even if they ate 1 spoon of everything

served. Those who were too picky will always be too picky, those who are

glutons welll........


Apparently, there were some who thought there was too much fish (served a

salmon pie and battered fish) and those who thought there was too little

fish (probably really liked one or the other fish dish). Go figure.


As for judging how well the food was by what came back, lets just say, people

were filling zip lock bags that they brought to the event before the feast

food could be taken away!





Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2000 14:07:40 EDT

From: KallipygosRed at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - questions


ddfr at best.com writes:

> >My best idea is a small (<50) "over-the-top" feast, that probably costs the

> >attendees somewhere around $25 each. The pros are that the handful of people

> >who would really appreciate such an event would be there. The cons are that

> >the actual number of people who you expose to this is very small, and that

> >the cost becomes prohibitive if there's more than two people from one family

> >who attend.


>  You are assuming that such a feast would cost much more to put on

>  than an ordinary one. Why? Having dozens of dishes is a lot of work,

>  but since the total amount of food people eat is more or less limited

>  by the size of the stomach, the cost of ingredients isn't much more

>  than for a simpler feast.


Another way, to cut the cost of such a feast, which I've used and the idea

was given to me by someone who uses it for all her feasts, is to have someone

"sponser" a particular portion of the meal. Say you want to have a really

rich, decadent dessert but the ingredients are expensive--or you are

approached to try to incoporate another dish that you are not sure you can

afford but very period and will look really good as well--then you let the

person who approached you sponser the dish, buy the ingredients and help put

together in the kitchen. We had a feast that should have cost in the

neighborhood of $15-18 per person for coronation, but by using this method we

were able to cut the cost to $8.50 per person. It can sometimes do the trick.





Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2000 10:32:09 -0500

From: "Michael Newton" <melcnewt at netins.net>

Subject: SC - Archers' feast (Fw: [SCA-Archery] The Perfect Archery Event)


I thought this was a good idea for a feast; sounds like one Ras talks about,

IIRC, his hunters' feast.


- ----- Original Message -----

From: <jrosswebb1 at webtv.net>

To: <SCA-Archery at egroups.com>

Sent: Monday, July 17, 2000 2:48 PM

Subject: Re: [SCA-Archery] The Perfect Archery Event


> A few years ago I ran an archery hunting event with 3d animal targets.

> It was set up as a roving range and archers were split up into groups of

> four(4). Any archer that

> hit the heart ring was awarded a chit pertaining to that animal. These

> chits were exchangable at the feast for a serving of the animal

> represented. We had Venison, rabbit, boar, and goose. If the archer did

> not wish the serving they could present it to a noble or even a

> sweetheart.

> The archers with the highest score in each

> group advanced to the finals to select the three highest archers of the

> day. This was an eighty(80) yard shot at an elk(3 arrows each) where the

> archer that came in first was awarded a golden stag head amulet, second

> was a gold arrowhead and third was a silver arrowhead amulet(all alloys

> of course).

> This makes a great fall season event and of course there was also a full

> feast of chicken, beef and fish for all. The game meat was additional.

> We ran it again a couple of years afterward and the militant vegetarian

> faction provided a brocolli, cabbage and carrot targets (3d) to be

> included in the games. It was pretty funny.

> I don't know if you'd call it the perfect archery event but it was a lot

> of fun.

> Respectfully,

> Geoffrei



Date: Tue, 29 Aug 2000 11:27:57 -0400

From: margali <margali at 99main.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Pennsic Bag Lunches


I always wanted to do a roman event based on a gladiatorial holiday - with the

food being presented as a dayboard rather than a sit down[lie down?] evening

feast. Each type of food would be at a different basket vendor or booth, and at

troll you'd get a certain number of coins to trade for the foods [the coins

denominations would be a picture of the food type they are to be traded for, like an animal for a meat dish like lucanian sausage, or pernam ham, a cheese for cheese and olives, a loaf of bread for bread and so on.]





Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2000 18:14:49 EDT

From: Bronwynmgn at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - I am So Ashamed! (long)


SCAbeathog at cs.com writes:

<< Please forgive me for jumping into what may be the end of a thread, but I

a little confused.  Do we need to concern ourselves with what the peasants

ate if planning a SCA feast?  Are we not all considered to be nobles?  Would

spices, etc. known in the Middle Ages be available to us (in persona)? >>


Not necessarily *need to concern ourselves* with peasant cooking  - although

I've seen more than one event which offers either a "peasant's feast" or a

"below the salt feast" - the first being (at least to me) a simple meal which

is served to everyone rather than the 2 or 3 course feast, and the second a

less elaborate meal served as a cheaper option to a full feast which is also

served.  There are those of us who want to know everything there is to know

about any cooking that went on in the Middle Ages, whether we ever use it in

the SCA or not.


Brangwayna Morgan



Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2000 18:14:09 -0500

From: "Gaylin J. Walli" <gwalli at ptc.com>

Subject: RE: SC - portion control and planning


Stefan asked:

>This was two different feasts served at the same time, one above the salt

>and one below?


Yes. Originally, the high feast was set to serve 120 not including head

table. The net result was that I ended up serving 160 through a

combination of pleading and planning. Some of those served were

the staff and some were additions to head table that I negotitated

at the last minute with Her Majesty. I cooked for 160, to the best

of my knowledge.


Now at the time of this insanity, I'd also planned to serve a small

side feast, or below-the-salt, of stew and cheeses and breads with

desserts, to other people. I hadn't originally considered doing this.

But in talking with Their Majesties at the time about it, we came to

the conclusion that two of the major goals of the event were to (1)

have fun and (2) keep people at the site having fun.


There was no evening court at the event site. Morning court with

the transition of the King and Queen was at a different event site

(*lovely* church/cathedral with no space for a 700+person event).

So the decision was made to try and keep as many people at the

fighting-feast site as possible for as long as possible and one way

was to serve an inexpensive, veggie friendly opportunity for people to

simply catch a bite to eat so they could stick around for dancing. We

settled on a meat stew, a veggie stew, and breads and cheese, fruits

and, as it turns out, some rather nice donated desserts.


Between you all, me, and that fence post over there, I would have rather

cooked something far more period. But there comes a time when you

just say "Sure, as long as you don't advertise it as period."


>Did you charge different prices?


Yes. High feast was 10$ US prepaid (12$ postpaid). Low feast was

5$ US prepaid. I'm not sure on the post-paid. I think 6-7$.


>How did you handle the logistics of creating and

>serving this? What were the menu differances?


Radically different menus. And in retrospect, I think this was a mistake.

Had I been thinking about this at the time we were planning, the best

choice for that event would have been to do one of three things. Each

choice is a valid one and would probably be the three basic choices

you'd be given in answer to a similar more generic question on the

list, I think. YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY. These choices don't work for

every group or every situation or every political environment or

anything of the sort:


(1) I could have cooked extra of a few select dishes and simply

given the low feasters a taste of the picture as opposed to the full

in your face gastronimcal onslaught I was accused of inflicting

on the poor folks. This would have been more period.


(2) I could have let someone else cook the low feast and kept to

the high feast on my own.


(3) I could have let someone else cook the low feast and coordinated



As it was, technically we did #3. I say technically because other than

saying "YOU! CELERY! PLEASE CHOP!" I didn't do the cooking for the low

feast. But when I think of letting someone else cook it, I mean letting

someone else do everything and leaving them on their own to planning

and everything else involved with getting a feast out on the table. For

coordination, I would probably negotiate burner sharing and oven timing

to help them out.


I did peronally cook many of the dishes for the high feast, many ahead

of time. The low feast was cooked the day of the event and I planned

it that way on purpose. In terms of logistics .... In planning out my

kitchen timing and prep work, I treated the low feast as an extra

first course that not everyone would eat, with radically different

proportions. I knew how long the items would take to cook and how

many burners and stoves I had and when feast was supposed to

happen and how likely the Royalty were going to be on time (they

were only 5 minutes late, so I was 10 minutes later). If you choose

#3 like we did, I think this is the best way to think about it. There

were not multiple courses for the low feast. Everything was served

more lunch tavern/dayboard style.


Does this answer your questions? If not, I can answer more.


Iasmin de Cordoba, gwalli at ptc.com



Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2005 11:57:14 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] RE: Bread as Art-OT OP

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


At one camping event, I did two banquets.  The first was a grand   Royal banquet, with four courses, subtelties and lots of food.  The next night, we had a   beggar's banquet.  We fed the beggars bread bowls of meats and veggies left over from the night   before and they had a leftover fruit salad and bread pudding, made from the leftover   breads, for their dessert.




--- "Lonnie D. Harvel" <ldh at ece.gatech.edu> wrote:

> The state health restrictions prevent us from delivering our leftovers

> to shelters. Primarily, as has been mentioned already, due to the

> facilities we are cooking in, the available methods of transporting the

> food, and the distance from possible recipients. What I have seen done

> around here (Meridies/Georgia) is to bag the food that will be good as

> leftovers and refrigerate, then make it available to the populace on

> Sunday morning as they leave. That is what I plan to do with my

> leftovers this coming weekend. I expect to have pork left over, and  

> some chicken. Some stuff does indeed go to pets.


> Aoghann



Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 12:35:56 -0400

From: Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Alternate Feast Settings

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


> Specifically, I would like to hold something similar to the French

> "Collation" during a dancing event  (in a way, quite similar to food

> available in period balls, say). The way I see this, it would be kind of

> like an overgrown sideboard, preferably in an adjacent but not  

> entirely closed up room.


I've done very long dayboards this way, and it's worked out well. It's a

lot of work to do a whole feast this way but it can be done, and for

people like me who worry about timing, it can be a blessing.


What I'd suggest, though, is to take a look at the late-period idea of

the banquetting course (See the Leeds Symposium publication "Banquetting

Stuff") and see if that model would work for you, as a period model.


I'm reading _Banquetting Stuff_ now and really excited about the



-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net



Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2007 12:32:57 -0500

From: "Michael Gunter" <countgunthar at hotmail.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Thoughts about a neat feast

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org


I was thinking about doing a totally fancy feast. It would

be very expensive, costing diners $20 - $25 probably.

But it would be done in an all day, period fashion with

courses brought out at various times with musicians

and entertainment.


The theme would be the Greek Gods with each course

being dedicated to a god or group of gods.


My thought would be to start with Aphrodite and have

dishes of aphrodisiacs like oysters, asparagus, peaches, etc.


The next course would be dedicated to Poseidon with

the bounty of the sea. Grilled lobster, mussles, salmon,

bacalo, maybe sea berry salad, frits de mere.


Then would be the bounty of the land in praise of Demeter

with breads, frumetty, leeks in almond milk, cakes and other


With this would be the praise of the hunt for Artemis with

venison, wild boar and game birds.


The final course would be for Dionysus with a flight of wines,

grapes, fruit and digestives.


Bags in honor of Apollo (god of travellers) containing dried meat,

fruit, cheese and travel breads would be given as a parting gift.


Each course would be preceeded with servants carrying ewers of

warm rose-scented water and towels for hand washing.


This would have to be pretty small and expensive, but I think there

are enough folk that would find this groovy enough to pay the price.


If I were to carry this theme to a more traditional SCA feast I would

just have platters made with each dedicated to a different god. Combine

the first and second then the third and fourth courses into one course

and eliminate the wine. The dishes would also be far less expensive.


Still, I think it is a fun idea.





Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2007 16:37:01 EDT

From: Bronwynmgn at aol.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] All day feasting

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org


In a message dated 6/24/2007 7:21:48 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,

hlecalais at sbcglobal.net writes:


<<A group in our area has a very "relaxed" event that allows for  an "all day

feast" situation.  I was wondering if any of you have experienced something

such as this, what your feelings were about it, etc.   The landed nobles have

indicated that they would want me to start with a "brunch" type course and

end with a late evening "snack".  Their Excellencies want those feasting, to be

notified (by herald) of each course and  then be excused after said course,

to dance, participate in bardic, nap  etc.  I am VERY excited to do this but I

always want expert input,  LOL!  Any and all comments would be appreciated!>>


I did this once for a 12th Night my shire ran, and was also in attendance at

another 12th Night where this was done.  Mine went well, the other had  some

major issues, and I learned a lot from comparing the two.


In the feast I did, we were basically all in one room, and I served a new

course of 2-3 dishes every 2 hours or so; the kitchen was adequate and the

equipment in good shape and I had enough help.  I think having everyone  nearby

helped because everyone saw when each course came out; also because there

weren't any major scheduled activities such as courts or performances, so people

were free to stop what they were doing to eat.


At the 12th Night I attended where this was done, it was a much larger site

with several rooms, so people in one room were not always aware that more food

had been served, and consequently didn't get all the courses.  Some of it

was also served during other activities such as courts, so people didn't feel

free to leave to eat even if they knew the food had been served.  There  were

also, as I understand, significant issues with ovens that didn't work which

led to difficulties getting out the quantities of foods needed.


The things I learned were:

1. Keep everyone close by or, as you are planning, have the courses heralded

so that people know more food has been put out.

2.Work with the person scheduling activities to make sure that you are not

trying to serve a course when some other high priority activity or such is

going  on.

3. Try to make sure the kitchen equipment works beforehand, and check it  all

when you arrive in the morning, so that you can rearrange courses if need

be, or make other arrangements, early in the day.


If you are serving lots of courses, keep the serving portions small.

Consider having servers to dole out the correct amount and keep people from gorging early in the day and being too full to eat later courses, or taking more than their share so that others don't get any.


Brangwayna Morgan



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