[Sca-cooks] Pennsic Camp Cooking

Bronwynmgn at aol.com Bronwynmgn at aol.com
Tue Aug 12 12:12:29 PDT 2008

<<Anyone else have Pennsic cooking experiences to  share?>>
Two, in fact.
I did indeed use the (VERY) sour cherries from my friend's medieval species  
of cherry tree to make Another Crust of Tame Creatures at Pennsic.  This  was 
my first time baking in my Dutch oven, and due to a combination of  
circumstances, I found myself not only having to go through the myriad steps of  the 
recipe including making pie dough from scratch on a very hot day, I also had  to 
tend my three year old and the fire while doing so.
The three year old was easily occupied for most of the prep and cooking  time 
by filling a big bowl with water and letting him lounge/play in it where I  
could see him from the kitchen.  His white braies will never be the same,  alas 
If I remember how I did it correctly, I started the fire so I could start  
getting coals.  Then parboiled the chicken and put it in a colander to  cool, 
reserved the necessary broth and got rid of the rest.  Got a bright  idea and 
put my ceramic pie dish in the top of the ice chest to cool, so the  dough 
wouldn't immediately melt to mush in it.  Made the pie dough,  resisting the urge 
to use my hands to get the butter in and sticking with the  pastry cutter, 
which annoys me, and using ice water and cold butter.  Still  could barely roll it 
and get it off the board because it was so soft.   Popped the pie dish with 
the dough back into the cooler.  All the while  adding wood to the fire and 
watching the three year old trying to find a way to  fit his entire body into a 
bowl smaller than he was.  Boned and cut up the  chicken and fried it in butter 
because I didn't have any lard.  Put chicken  and cherries into pie dough and 
popped it back into the cooler.  Made the  egg portion of the dish, and had a 
bit of trouble with this because I've never  thickened something like this 
over the heat before and got it too thick, so it  sort of sat on top of the 
chicken instead of seeping down between the meat and  cherries.  Put a rack in the 
bottom of the Dutch oven, put the completed  pie in, covered it, got the 
coals into the Dutch oven hole in the fire pit, put  the oven in, and put coals 
around sides and top, at which point camp mates came  home and took over the 
three year old.  About half an hour later we had a  lovely pie, with only the top 
edges of the crust burnt and the custard nicely  browned.  Very tasty.
The second campfire cooking  event was the Drye Stewe for Beef, which  was 
pretty darned easy.  Two chunks of pot roast into the Dutch oven on a  rack, 
pour red wine over it, cover with chopped onions and sprinkle with blade  mace, 
whole peppercorns, and whole cloves, and cover it an bake it.  I had  help for 
the fire, the child , and the onion chopping  (and getting me  blade mace from 
Auntie Arwen's) on this one.  It came out quite yummy, and  even our camp 
"confirmed sceptic about medieval meat dishes" (pronounced dislike  of 
meat/fruit/dessert spice combos) raved abut it and wants me to make it  again next year.
Brangwayna Morgan

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