[Sca-cooks] Mid-East Feast for West Royals @ Pennsic

Lilinah lilinah at earthlink.net
Mon Sep 3 17:59:00 PDT 2007

Well, i guess i will report on the small feast i cooked at Pennsic 
for Jade and Kaaren, King and Queen of The West.

I would never have put myself forward to the Royalty, but at the Boar 
Hunt Feast in December last, a Laurel with whom i'm acquainted told 
me i should offer to cook for Royalty. I hemmed and hawed, but 
finally said it was a good suggestion. Then Jade (our "once and 
future king" - i think he has been a king just about every year since 
he won his first Crown - we have three crown tourneys per year) won 
at March Crown and Queen Kaaren said she wanted a Persian reign. I've 
met Kaaren outside of SCA events and she is a nice person, so i 
offered to cook for her and she accepted. She gave me free rein - i 
didn't need to have my menu approved.

I brought nearly all the spices and seasonings with me, and even some 
of the fresh herbs, from California, and that turned out to be a good 
thing. Unfortunately the only lamb i could find were tiny lamb chops 
(at ?Eagle?) or huge haunches (at Restaurant Depot), so i used ground 
beef in the manti and stew beef in the bustaniyya. Of course i 
apologized to the assembly for the inappropriateness of the meat.

I was hoping to cook on a real fire, but the set-up my friends had 
ordered did not arrive in time. So i used my 24-year-old 2-burner 
Coleman propane stove

The Feast for 12 or 13 diners was surprisingly well received by their 
guests, all royal peers - but i confess i don't know who any of them 
were. One gave me his token - he says he never eats vegetables and he 
had 3 helpings of the carrots. Also, he was lactose intolerant, and i 
happened to have a small container of soy yogurt with me, just in 
case, so he got his own bowl of sauce for the manti.

Here is the menu:

-- Bazmaawurd - 9th C. - chicken, fresh herbs, and citron pulp (i 
used lemon) rolled up in flat bread
-- Zaitun Mubakhkhar - 14th C. Description of Familiar Food - smoked 
spiced olives
-- Jazr - 13th C. al-Baghdadi - carrots with garlic, caraway seeds, & vinegar
-- Stuffed Eggs - 13th C. Andalusian
-- Shiraz bi-Buqal - al-Baghdadi - a soured dairy produce (i mixed 
yogurt and cottage cheese) with fresh herbs
-- Sals Abyad - Description of Familiar Food - puree of walnuts, 
tahini, spices, and lemon juice
-- Lavash (purchased and brought from California)

-- Manti - Shirvani's 15th C. Ottoman cookbook - meat "wonton" with 
yogurt sauce
-- Bustaniyya - 9th C. - meat and chicken with dried fruit and spices
-- 'Adas/'Adasiyya - 9th C. - Lentils with vegetables
-- Saffron Rice (my version - long grain white rice cooked in water 
with saffron)
-- Lavash

-- Peeled orange segments with cinnamon, rosewater, and orange flower water
-- Cubed watermelon with fresh mint and lime juice
(I originally thought of doing two or three period desserts, but it 
was so hot and so humid, when not downright rainy, that i figured a 
light dessert was best. At least the ingredients were "period" even 
if the recipes are not.)

Many dishes were entirely consumed, and very little was left of the 
others, although i made too many lentils. Apparently some of the 
diners were gambling to see who would get that last of the 
Bazmaawurd, and they requested what little was left of the Sals Abyad 
be brought back during the Second Course.

I'm trying to reconstruct what i cooked. My recipe pages got soaked 
at Pennsic (surprise, surprise) and i'm not quite sure where they 
are. Fortunately i used indelible ink, so when they surface i'll have 
a better idea of the quantities of ingredients i used, in case anyone 
is interested.
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

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