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No-Cook-PotLk-art - 5/15/14


"Period Potluck Contributions That Require No Cooking" by HL Eulalia de Ravenfeld.


NOTE: See also the files: DYKIP-Food-art, easy-p-recip-msg, eggs-stuffed-msg, MF-vegetarian-art, nuts-msg, pot-lck-ideas-msg, salads-msg, Summer-Salad-art.





This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set of files, called Stefan's Florilegium.


These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author or translator.


While the author will likely give permission for this work to be reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.


Thank you,

Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous

stefan at florilegium.org



You can find more work by this author on her blog at: http://briwaf.blogspot.com


Period Potluck Contributions That Require No Cooking

by HL Eulalia de Ravenfeld


Not everyone likes to cook, and even those of us who do, do not always have time. Here are just a few suggestions of easy contributions to SCA potluck feasts that require no cooking and minimal preparation but are more authentic than brownies and fried chicken.


A quick reminder: provide an appropriate serving utensil with whatever you bring, transfer your contribution to a period container, and remember to label what you bring with ingredients. (An easy way to do this when you aren't cooking from scratch is to cut off the ingredient label of whatever you brought and put it next to your dish.)




Candied ginger can be found at Trader Joes and at New Seasons / Wild Oats / Whole Foods (henceforth collectively noted as NFMM: Natural Food Mega Marts).


Nuts: choose medieval (hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts) over modern (cashews, pecans, macadamia). Roasted and salted nuts are fine, but avoid flavored ones.


Try dried fruits, like apricots, figs, or dates.

If you absolutely must bring cookies, at least get shortbread instead of chocolate chip.




Cheese is a great potluck contribution, but there are some pitfalls. First, processed cheese-like product is right out, as is anything with modern additives, that is, no pepper jack please. Try to avoid Giant Orange Block. Tillamook makes some nice white cheddar if you want something easy to find and not cripplingly expensive. Trader Joe's has a broad selection of cheeses, including Armenian string cheese and fresh mozzarella. If you want cheese in quantity, go to Costco – they have brie, chevre, gouda, and more and the prices are predictably reasonable. If you are really ambitious, try the cheese department at your favorite NFMM. I can guarantee that they will have extremely helpful employees who may even be able to tell you about the history of various cheeses (the only pitfall is that their cheeses can be quite expensive).




Please, no Wonder Bread. In fact, stay away from pre-sliced bread in general (okay, with one exception: Trader Joe's has this wonderful sliced cracked wheat sourdough which is really tasty and reasonably period), but do remember to slice whatever you bring before plonking it down on the table. Safeway French and sourdough breads are all right, but if you want something a little fancier try a bakery our your favorite NFMM – I've found some really great fancy artisan loaves at New Seasons, including a whole-grain loaf leavened with starter instead of commercial yeast. So authentic! Again, avoid modern additives like peppers and tomatoes.


Fruits and Vegetables


For fruit, modern potluck guidelines apply: wash whatever you bring, and pick something that is easy to eat. Cut oranges or melons (cantaloupe is the closest to period melons, or try some of the fancier musk melon varieties at the farmers market), whole apples, pears, plums, or apricots, and grapes are all good choices depending on the season (one hint for serving grapes: take some kitchen scissors and cut the stems strategically to end up with small bunches of grapes rather than one massive heap).


Salad is easy to make, and made even easier and fancier when you buy pre-bagged (or boxed: Costco has a large box by Earthbound Organics that is a good size for a group) greens mixes. Toss with some olive oil and vinegar (red wine or balsamic), a little pepper, and some parmesan or romano cheese. If you want to get fancy, add some pine nuts.




Hard-boiled eggs are easy and inexpensive. Technically they require cooking, but at least it is easy cooking. If you want to fancy them up a little, bring some dijon mustard to go with them.


Olives are tasty and can be found in a wide array besides "giant". Try kalamata or garlic-stuffed green ones (both can be found at Trader Joes for reasonable prices). If you feel like spending a lot of money, look at the olive bar at your local NFMM; they often have some really nifty varieties.


Copyright 2013 by Laurel Black. <briwaf at gmail.com>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited.  Addresses change, but a reasonable attempt should be made to ensure that the author is notified of the publication and if possible receives a copy.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, please place a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.


<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