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

Dragon dragon at crimson-dragon.com
Tue Feb 19 08:40:28 PST 2008

Nick Sasso wrote:

>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

Which amazes me, because we all eat and we all notice the impact of 
the cost of food in our daily lives. How can people NOT understand 
that the cost of everything, including food, is rising?

>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

How can people be so unreasonable? Granted, I have only been doing 
this for a few years and it is quite possible that I have just been 
lucky in getting good people to work with, but it seems to me that 
this behavior is insane.

When I do a feast, I lay out the parameters and tell the event 
steward that there will be no room in the budget or menu planning to 
alter the plan on feast day. If they cannot or will not agree to 
those hard and fast numbers, I walk away and say no to doing the event.

>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 . . .

Ingenuity usually serves as does cooking as much in advance as possible.

>the artificial $5 budget ceiling has been in place for TWO DECADES!

And why is that? Again, we all eat food, we all know it is going up 
in price. This is asinine and illogical.

>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,


I've been fortunate so far, when we say a meal is limited to say 60 
paying guests + the royals/head table and kitchen crew, I've been 
able to stick to that with no problems.

I've also had no arguments about the prices I have set, in fact, in 
one instance, the event steward charged people MORE than I said they 
should and nobody complained. I had set a suggested range of $5 to 
$6.50 for the lunch and had actually managed to come in well under 
budget making the $5 price profitable, even after insisting that this 
was the case, the steward went with the $6.50 price.

>and not everyone is entitled to be pandered to.

This is a personal pet peeve. And not so much in the sense you mean 
it here in that everyone thinks they should be fed, we really do not 
have that mind set much in Caid. What I do get is the "I'm allergic 
to X, I CAN'T eat that!" well, I provide a variety of choices, I 
provide for both meat eaters and vegetarians, I avoid using common 
allergens in more than one dish, there will always be several choices 
devoid of dairy, eggs, nuts or wheat flour. There is no excuse for 
all the whining.

>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.

A soup and bread choice perhaps?

>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.

No, I refuse to do so. If I am asked to do a feast, it will be done 
on my terms or I simply will not do it. It's already happened and I 
have refused to play a couple of times. Let us just say that there 
were people expressing dismay and disappointment.

>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!

Hmm... interesting idea. It bears examination.


  Venimus, Saltavimus, Bibimus (et naribus canium capti sumus)

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