[Sca-cooks] Cooking and Serving Equipment

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Fri Feb 22 13:33:48 PST 2008

Back when rocks may not have still been soft, but were still not quite  
fully hardened -- call them semi-malleable... (gelid?) my local group  
owned some large stockpots, a few skillets, a milk crate full of small  
utensils, a crate of opened tins of spices, and some boxes of  
inexpensive wooden platters, serving bowls, and plastic pitchers. It  
all lived in the basement of our Titular Figurehead Person, simply by  
dint of being a responsible party with a large house located more or  
less centrally. Every so often, things would magically appear and be  
added to the stash, either because a particular cook asked for it, or  
because the Titular Figurehead Person, who was also the exchequer, and  
who also occasionally cooked, and knew what we did and didn't have,  
ran across it at a good price and picked it up.

Cooks pretty much had the option of adding anything they needed,  
within reason, and which they figured would be used more than once,  
from within their feast budget. This was nice because it made the  
annual financial reports easy (or, rather, I should say, Rife With  
Dangerous Opportunities for Clerical Errors Which, If Made  
Deliberately, Would Be Massively Against the Rules).

So, naturally, everything went swimmingly, nobody minded, we had lots  
of nice feast gear, and a sense that it was largely the cooks who were  
generating the profits to pay for the items anyway. No annoying annual  
capital asset depreciation for large stockpots; they were simply  
miscellaneous event expenses. A trend away from picking things up at  
garage sales and housewares clearance sales, and toward picking things  
we needed at restaurant supply houses which didn't charge sales tax,  
began, informed by the cooks who knew about such places.

On the down side, the set had (and has) to be inventoried frequently,  
a minimum of twice a year, in addition to being signed out for by  
event stewards and cooks, with an inventoried list of what's being  
taken and returned. Somebody has to label each item as belonging to  
the group. When all this is done diligently, you've got a well- 
maintained set of cooking and serving gear. When it is not... not so  

Recently (as of, I believe, the most recent Curia Regis in our  
kingdom) it has been declared illegal for local groups to put any  
capital expenditures for items that will then be owned by the group  
and re-used into specific event financial structures. Apparently  
groups were buying pots and pans for Kingdom Twelfth Night, etc., and  
including them as event expenses, which then reduced the gross profits  
the Kingdom could then scoop their cut off of! Oh, the unbelievable,  
shocking perfidy of it all! ;-)

So we can't buy pots for specific feasts anymore, not the way we used  
to, and everything is more complicated now. <sigh>


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