[Ansteorra] General event question

Wyllow MacMuireadhaigh wyllowmacm at netscape.net
Thu Aug 19 13:17:17 PDT 2010

I love a good feast with at least one wildly odd dish.  Well - best  
to make it only one wildly odd dish per feast, in case it isn't  
received well.  (As every good cook knows.)  Of course, once it  
becomes well-loved (as the case of "cheese goo"), it no longer counts  
as the "odd" dish - leaving room for more culinary exploration.

The advertised feast has been the deciding factor on events I've not  
been otherwise sure I would attend.  I have actually not come to some  
events, based on the obviously mundane food for dinner.  Some events  
ARE a feast, with a bit of swordplay or artistry while waiting for  
food to cook - those should not be diluted down.  Again - a good cook  
knows how to blend modernly comfortable dishes into a medieval meal.
On the other hand, it is nice to have the occasional camping event  
where I can go back to my site and practice my own fireside cooking  
skills.  And it is pleasant, after an in-town artisan-heavy event, to  
go out and sit around a restaurant, reminiscing on what we saw &  

Taverns tend to be the medieval equivalent of fast food - usually  
"meat-on-a-stick" or "meat-in-a-pasty" - and not a good meal for non- 
carnivores.  (Yes, there are some *wonderful* exceptions!  Middle  
Eastern usually has the best veggies, although there have been some  
great tavern soups, too.)

While I understand the occasional necessity, I prefer a served meal  
to a buffet - balancing a loaded plate over rough ground around  
hidden tentpegs at twilight is a death-defying feat, and not a  
relaxing end to the day.  The food may not be piping hot - but the  
dish makes it to the table.

I've been at feasts where serving was an honor, gentles being turned  
away because the serving list was full.  At those feasts, servers  
were carefully taught what each dish was, including the ingredients  
so they could guide a guest on the best dishes for a specific diet  
and recommend the sauce to put with it - and a hundred other details  
that turn it into an authentic experience for the servers and those  
being served.

That is just focusing on the food.  I believe the main social purpose  
of a feast is to come together and mingle with those who you have not  
seen all day.  I try to sit near someone I don't know (or don't know  
well), in hopes of some lively new conversation outside my normal  
circle.  Our long feast tables simplify this - there are always  
"edges" of conversation between groups, and a few lonely spots  
seeking a newcomer.  Serving is also a wonderful way for shy gentles  
to become acquainted with folk outside their local group.  And the  
occasional "odd dish" that didn't turn out as well with a thousand  
eggs as it did with a dozen becomes a shared experience - thank  
goodness for the fresh baked bread!

In service to the Dream,
H.L. Willoc macMuiredaig

On Aug 17, 2010, at 2:00 PM, ansteorra-request at lists.ansteorra.org  

> How big of factor is offering feast at an event? Would that be the  
> deciding
> factor whether you came or not? If the sponsoring group had a tavern
> instead, would that be a better idea? Meal ticket options would be  
> offered
> as well. Would your prefer to know what you are being served, and  
> it being a
> great meal, or something period. What if there was a cooking  
> competition for
> period recipes, and a regular good ol meal for feast, using the  
> word regular
> loosely. My question I guess would be what kind of food  
> arrangement, if any
> would most prefer. Would feast alone ever be the only reason you  
> went to an
> event?

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