[Sca-cooks] Feast costs/budgets

Dragon dragon at crimson-dragon.com
Tue Feb 19 14:55:52 PST 2008

Laura C. Minnick wrote:
>At 02:11 PM 2/19/2008, you wrote:
> > >>  She didn't come
> > >> along, and later we heard that she'd told her friends that Terese
> > >> and I
> > >> obviously didn't know how to cook very well, since we had to _test_
> > >> our
> > >> recipes...
> > >
> > > My chin just hit my chest with some force! How... why... what...
> > >
> > > Beyond comment.
> > >
> > > 'Lainie
> >
> >That August Personage uses recipes??? What a hack! ;-)
> >
> >Seriously, though, I must admit honestly that I don't always test
> >recipes in real time, either; more often I do a simulation run in my
> >head. But it's probably a combination of experience and extreme luck
> >to have gotten away with it all these years, and I certainly would
> >neither counsel my method for anyone not comfortable with it, or for
> >anyone for whom there's another method that works better. I am all
> >about doing what works for people.
>I do that with stuff I'm cooking in camp, but I wouldn't try to cook
>for a feast or anything without a preview.
>I usually do a couple of big dinners a year- 8, maybe 12 people. The
>biggest group I've fed was 17. I only use recipes that I know well,
>and I keep a notebook with detailed instructions for helpers- with
>notes kept for future dinners. I can't imagine cooking for a whole
>feast without that sort of thing.
>Remind me never to eat if that person is cooking!
---------------- End original message. ---------------------

Hmmm.... Well, I guess you won't eat at one of my feasts then, I 
don't use written recipes very often. I cook things in "the usual 
manner" and "until it be rightly done" I add ingredients until "it be 
enough" ;-) Much of what I do is not necessarily directly from a 
period recipe but is period inspired.

I've made things for feasts I have never made before, I rarely do 
test runs. I am confident enough in my skills and knowledge that I am 
certain I know what I am doing and how it will turn out. Is this 
arrogance? Maybe so, I have been accused of it before. But you know 
what? Results are all that matter.

The key is an understanding of what you are doing, how different 
ingredients act under different cooking methods and process control 
as you cook. Taste and adjust, do not follow anything blindly. 
Cooking is not a formula, it is an interactive art form and a recipe 
is merely a guide, not gospel. It also helps that I can read a recipe 
and unless it contains something I don't know, will have a very good 
idea of what it will be like before I ever make it.

I've rarely had complaints about the food I and my crews produce, 
people usually go away moaning about eating too much and asking for 
recipes and leftovers. Maggie and Selene can confirm this from direct 


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

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