[Sca-cooks] Probably, it's a cultural mindset (RE: Current farm prices and affects on feast budgeting)

Nick Sasso grizly at mindspring.com
Tue Feb 19 08:10:01 PST 2008

-----Original Message-----
 On Feb 18, 2008, at 8:40 PM, Terry Decker wrote:
>>  I know that Namron likes good food at a decent
>> price while breaking even or making a profit.  Of course that doesn't
mean that
>> the feast is period, but as long as it doesn't cost more or taste worse,
>> period is great.
> Part of me is insulted by that, but I know what you mean. I'd say most
> around here would pay [a little] extra to know they'd get better and
> more period food, but I can certainly understand a refusal if the
> option represented a drawback. On the other hand, if the situation
> allows for even the very idea of a straight comparison between my
> feast, or yours, and the breakfast buffet at  . . . .

As Duke Inman MacMoore phrased it, Ansteorra is a blue collar kingdom.  That
means incomes are quite a bit less for many of our SCAdians and we have a
number of people how are not particularly adventurous eaters.  Add to that a
number of really bad "period" feasts over the years and there are some
issues trying to sell the better and more period angle.  It helps if you
have a reputation for delivering. > > > > > > > > > > > >

See, it usually comes down to this sort of reality.  It isn't always about
the real cost of food and presenting an opulant feast for the enjoyment of
the diners.  In my last local group it was about the mindset that every
single person drawing a breath is entitled to eat a great meal at a tiny
price.  That is without regard to the practicalities of facilities,
proximity to food supply, budgetary constraints, sanitary needs, skills of
the designated cook or actual numbers of people planned for.  If they gave
you money for 150 people, they were fully empowered to arrive an hour before
the feast and demand that 50 more people be serv ed out of "hospitality" or
some deranged mindset.  While I live the sometimes psychopathic desire to
serve way more than is practical . . . it is a cultural mandate in some

A feast hall that can only seat 120, a budget to feed 140 and facilities
that cannot actual manage either was absolutely no guarantee that I wasn't
aiming at a wildly moving target.  AND . . .the artificial $5 budget ceiling
has been in place for TWO DECADES!  At some point, the larger community
needs a paradigm shift wherein a superior product/service is provided for a
finite number of people at a somewhat higher cost, and go with it.  NOT
EVERYONE will be able to afford it, not everyone will be interested in it,
and not everyone is entitled to be pandered to.  If it is important enough,
then have a general "feed bag" sort of meal option for those who want to pay
$3 to not be hungry anymore.  Poeple with limited income will actually have
to pick and chose what we spend our money on . . . just like in the rest of
the world.

Those who want atmospheric improvement, genuine attempts at authentic
recipes, and are willing to pay what it costs . .. can get that.  Those who
don't want to participate for whatever reason . . . don't have to.  The
thing many of us will have to decide is how we can ply our trades in a
shrinking economic atmosphere, and still enjoy the spirit of it all.  You
don't think fighters are going to get cheaper grade steel for helmets when
the price soars, or costumers start using lycra or rayon because
linen/silk/brocaid is pricey.  Ah . . . but we cooks must dumb down our
craft and use hamburgers because it's only food, really.

Unless and until local groups change the overall mindset for feasts in
whatever locations providing challenges . . . we craftspeople and artisans
that work in animal protein and vegetable matter have to get truly creative
in finding patrons willing to support the vision we have.  We don't need to
whine and lay down throwing a tantrum . . . we need to have our own private
feasts and banquets that encourage the visions we want to promulgate.
Invite people to come to our party and enjoy our tent full of food and
candlelight.  It may take unusual efforts, and live fire cookery, but it can
be done.  You may be amazed at how many peopl graivtate to that way of doing
it . . . or how many people do not.  Either way, you are doing your thing
and inviting others to share, even if it requires a paid reservation. PLUS
you can teach cooks to do it a good way!

pacem et bonum,
niccolo difrancesco

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