[Sca-cooks] Cooking and Serving Equipment

aldyth at aol.com aldyth at aol.com
Fri Feb 22 17:09:35 PST 2008

Although the concept is not at all funny, it did make me laugh.? Our little shire here in Cheyenne Wyoming has been around for 20 + years.? Early on we were asked to put on a Kingdom event.?I was asked to cook. ?We had nada zilch as far as cooking stuff or serving stuff, and the site was not going to be a help.? I had some larger pots and pans, and roasters but nowhere near what we were going to need.? So, off to the officers I trudged with a request for cooking stuff, and serving stuff.?Not as part of the event, just for shire property. ?And was sent home without said cooking stuff.? The reason given was that we had nowhere to store the stuff that was truely neutral (and they were too cheap to rent a storage unit).? So I took money out of savings and bought the stuff I needed.? The event was a success.? Afterwards the exchequer and seneschal went over the feast receipts item by item to make sure?I didn't include those supplies?in the event budget.

Over the years I assembled a cooks guild, and most of the people in it now have their own stuff as far as roasters and pots.? I still have most of the serving things.

What made me laugh about the whole thing was that our group is having an event in April autocrated by a self proclaimed wonderful cook.? And since she made the local cooks guild mad at her she outsourced the feast.? Last week before War she emailed me for the list of all the shire cook stuff.? When I told her we don't have any she was upset and wanted to know where all the stuff we always use came from.? The private property of the cooks guild was the reply.? I suggested she put a proposal up to the financial committee when it next meets if she wants things that are shire property.? So far I have heard nothing but crickets.

I don't like the level of administrivia we have when it comes to budgets.? But I do understand it after being our Kingdom Exchequer. I was really suprised what people would list as supplies to be expensed rather than put it in or on a property list.

BTW, what we currently do as far as feast budgets are a pre event planning sheet (I have copies) and the feastocrat presents a per person feast cost based on the cusine.? So far we have not had alot of hoo haa about the price of the feast, but we do want expensive food items explained.? After the event we have a post mortem that incorporates the pre event planning with the actual cost.? If anything goes over budget it is discussed at the financial committee meeting (which coincides with the post mortem) before it is paid.? We have never NOT paid someone for an overage, but we have also had precious few of them.


-----Original Message-----
From: Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius <adamantius1 at verizon.net>
To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
Sent: Fri, 22 Feb 2008 2:33 pm
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cooking and Serving Equipment

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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