[Sca-cooks] Feast costs/budgets

Lilinah lilinah at earthlink.net
Wed Feb 20 13:49:30 PST 2008

Mykael Halfdan wrote:
>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 expected
>to prepare breakfast for Saturday and Sunday, all out of the same budget. When
>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 day
>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 really
>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 
>"services" for for

The West Kingdom does no feasts regularly. Most of our Kingdom events 
(3 Crowns, 2 Coronations, A&S Tourney - not counting wars) are 
camping, often at undeveloped sites. Our Twelfth Night Coronation is 
usually held at a hotel and is strictly BYO-food. The only occasional 
West Kingdom feasts are at our Collegia, which are usually held once 
or twice per year at schools, and sadly not well attended. Whether or 
not there is a feast depends on the site. Schools do not give us 
access to their real kitchens for legal reasons, so we must use the 
room where they teach "home ec." (don't know what it's called these 
days), *if* they have a room for this. And when they do, they often 
have quite old and malfunctioning electric stoves.

The Principalities do their own thing (hey, we're in NoCal). I 
confess ignorance over exactly what Oertha (Alaksa) does - i'm sure 
some Oerthan on this list can set us straight. The Principality of 
the Mists, where i live and cook, has three feasts per year: two 
Investitures, and the Bardic Competition and Feast. I *think* the 
Principality of Cynagua has feasts at their Investitures, but i've 
never attended.

Branches often sponsor feasts, and the majority of feasts within the 
borders of the Kingdom are at branch events. Most branch events are 
one day or one evening, although there are some that are weekend 
camping. IIRC, the Barony of Darkwood has two feasts per year, while 
the Barony of the Westermark has one (i don't know about Baronies in 
Cynagua or Oertha). What the smaller branches do is varied, from no 
feasts, to potlucks, to actual sit-down-&-be-served feasts. How 
"period" they are is also quite varied.

Our feasts have never been truly large. They've tended to top out 
around 80 at the nost, although i have cooked for 100 and 150. In 
order to no longer be impoverishing their sponsors, within the 
Principality of the Mists there is now a standardized size: 60 diners 
and no more than $600. Our Royalty and their immediate retainers are 
comped, so we are really feeding up to 72 on that budget, since up to 
3 sets of royalty may show up.

I also don't know much about what they do in the Marches, which range 
from far northern California - about a full day's drive from the SF 
Bay area - to the border with Caid - good half-day's drive - to Guam, 
Okinawa, and Japan.

The only time we ever have breakfasts or lunches at an event - 
perhaps one to three times per year, if at all - is if someone 
sponsors one as a fund raiser, either intrepid individuals or a 
household or branch. The only time there is a dinner at a West or 
Mists camping event is if someone sponsors one, either intrepid 
individuals, a household, or a branch, or if the sitting Royalty 
decree a potluck, any of which happen far less often than breakfasts.

Lately there have been "ice cream socials" and "lemonade stands" as 
fund raisers at Kingdom summer events. While i'm not a stickler for 
absolute and utter historical authenticity in all things at SCA 
events, i find these to be quite jarring, especially when they are 
"advertised" all around the Eric with signage (!!!) and hawkers, who 
are "period", but not when they're shouting about popsicles. These 
often have either or both Royal and autocrat sponsorship. The West 
and its branches seem happy to have period food at feasts, why not 
for fund raisers? (grumble, grumble, grumble)
Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

My LibraryThing

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