[Sca-cooks] Feast costs/budgets

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Wed Feb 20 17:51:53 PST 2008

On Feb 20, 2008, at 8:11 PM, jenne at fiedlerfamily.net wrote:

>>> I have always written rcipes in case of disaster response . . .
>> This is a failure of mine I must resolve to improve on. I think it's
>> that whole "cognizance of one's own mortality" thing. Why would we
>> need such detailed notes? I'll be there. What could possibly go  
>> wrong???
> I think this realization (that we had better not be irreplaceable)  
> happens
> to all of us, though those, like Master A, who have a good sense of
> organization, probably get away with it longer than those, like me,  
> who
> have people begging them to get a written organization even when we're
> THERE. :)

Oh, yeah, I'm the first to admit I shouldn't have gotten away with it  
all these years, I just have, and extremely well. I know,  
intellectually, that I am not immortal and indestructible, but there's  
this gap between knowing something and believing it. Maybe I'll grow  
up when I turn 60, but there's always been this sort of "driving 110  
miles an hour with my Samoan attorney at 4:30 in the morning,  
searching for the perfect Stilton" aspect to my work (I can do  
Wodehouse well and a passable Runyon, never tried H.S. Thompson before).

This whole thread has actually been something of an eye-opener for me.

> I'm a naturally frazzled person, and more of a good plain cook than
> anything else.

"Th' karate-man show his bruises on th' in-sahd!" ;-)

> Having lots of pieces of organizational paper-- copies of
> recipes with redactions, shopping lists, and schedules-- means that  
> a) I
> figure that if something terrible happens that my crew can pick up  
> and go
> with it without me; and b) when my plan fails to survive contact  
> with the
> actual events of the day, I at least have a list that I can use to  
> come up
> with a new plan. Also, I can say "Go look at the list" when people  
> ask me
> what they need to do when I'm doing something else. Having recipes I  
> can
> hand people is just such a blessing to me.
> Now, does that mean that I will, when I start cooking, use my own
> redaction exactly? Oh, no. It just means that I have some notion of  
> what I
> said I would buy, and how I planned to put it together. I tend to  
> read the
> recipe, read my redaction, and then wing it. :)

Sure. But it really doesn't have to be more than a safety net/fallback  
position, does it? Nothing wrong with that, really.

I still feel bad about having been the person to whom the notes and  
recipes were handed in an emergency a while back, and I managed to  
allow a dish to be sent out without part of its garnish. On the plus  
side, others of the cooks had never been exposed to the concept of  
melting butter into an emulsion on pasta (snort -- "Alfredo Sauce"),  
and we got a little carried away. So I guess even that isn't  
foolproof, but having access to the info and trying hard is better  
than the alternatives.

> I do test my recipes in order to get redactions and quantities (it's
> important when you need to buy cheese in pounds for Armored turnips  
> and
> you aren't a professional cook who can guess these things by eye!),  
> but
> also to make sure the flavors will go with the other flavors in that
> course, which for me means being able to a) taste it, and b) having  
> other
> people taste it.

Have I mentioned that "Food for Fifty" is really cool? ;-)


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