[Sca-cooks] Feast costs/budgets

Nick Sasso grizly at mindspring.com
Tue Feb 19 11:36:38 PST 2008

-----Original Message-----
The reason for the breakfasts is that we in Meridies do weekend events at
Church Camps and Woodman of the World Camps and so on. Places with heated
indoor spaces and indoor 'facilities' are goood, in our book.  > > > > > >

And that somewhere along the line, it became a "god-given right" to have
eggs, bacon and real orange juice . . . no Tang.  Franklin Roosevelt was
kind to the southern states and their park systems . . . but that doesn't
seem to explain it.  I have been in the trenches for some breakfast attempts
that were not as outlined above, and the results were less than genteel from
the people with plates and cups in hand.  Moreover, People will steal
breakfast in a heartbeat from that $1 a head budget for 100 people . . .  I
would rather have done breakfasts over coals and fire than the mind-numbing
egss/pancakes/bacon that I was thrust into over and over and over and over;
and fighting off moochers who arrive at site early specifically for a free

Many guests meeting up with a strong hospitality are gracious and thankful
for services they are granted . . . and many demand far beyond that $1 to $5
they ponied for a meal a volunteer staff spent the morning/day cooking.
(I'm not so much bitter as outraged at behaviors).  There is a disjoint in
socializing new members into being gracious guests as much as gracious
hosts.  I love Meridies and Meridians.  Some are just course bumpkins with
funny clothes on with the manners of Venetians and the tastes of Frenchmen.

I guess what I am saying is that (metaphorically) "we always do what (we
think) we always did . . . just because it was done before".  "No one ever
charged $8 for a fully served 24-dish meal at an SCA event complete with
appetizers, meal, desserts and beverages.  That would be an outrage!"  Heck,
I can get a Breakfast Burrito for less than that!

niccolo difrancesco
(Ain't it fun and actually gratifying that the same issues are around today
that were around 15 years ago?  Same song, different verse . . . still
seeking the best solution for eveyone involved)

-----Original Message-----
From: Mykael Halfdan
Shire of Thorngill

Concerning the cost for feast:  I find it reveling that the same folks who
often quibble at the cost of a multi course, well prepared meal, usually
entertainment, will soon after leaving the site stop for lunch at a chain
restaurant (i.e. Denny's or Cracker Barrel) and spend two or three times
spent on feast.

I have done a couple of small feasts (80-120) and  helped keep the cost down
by using some of the following:
    1. Talking with the manager of the meat department at my favorite store
and ordering in advance.
    2. Shopping "specials", 2 for 1 and seasonal close-outs (lamb after
    3. Soliciting donations of game or fish. (give recognition to donors and
others often step-up)
    4. Purchase in-season fresh fruit and vegetables directly from local

If the groups we are working with are unwilling to increase fees for feast
cover the costs then we have an ethical obligation to inform them that
quality and quantity will suffer. (you get what you pay for)

On another but related topic. The first feast I did on my own I had done all
the research, planning and most of the purchasing (using up most of the
budget) when I was informed, the weekend before the event, that I was also
to prepare breakfast for Saturday and Sunday, all out of the same budget.
I questioned this I was informed that it was a standard expectation in our
Kingdom (Meridies). I satisfied this commitment but it was an extremely long

and if not for a very dedicated staff feast would have suffered. I have done
a couple of more small feasts since then and have made accommodations for
breakfast. Is this a standard practice throughout the SCA? I find that this
impacts my focus on feast and would like to find some way to pass on
breakfeast. Should I consider a written contract that specifies my
for for

Mykael Halfdan
AKA Dennis Olson
Shire of Thorngill
Kingdom of Meridies

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