[Sca-cooks] Virtual Siege Challenge August 2009!

Judith Epstein judith at ipstenu.org
Tue Aug 18 07:55:20 PDT 2009

I was reading in the Florilegium and saw a post that got me all  
excited. I've copied it, pasted it, and altered it as I see fit. The  
poster of the original challenge was Iasmin ("Gaylin Walli"  
<gaylinwalli at gmail.com>), and I hope she won't mind my stealing,  
ahem, adapting her challenge for this year's use.

Judith / no SCA name yet


In honor of those who survived the wars and came back home from  
Pennsic, this Cook's Challenge is a good, old fashioned, (virtual)  
siege challenge, taken from Iasmin's Disaster Deck (minus the  
disaster), and modified according to my own whims.

The Challenge:

You are the besieged in a fortified location. Your food stores are  
running low and you must figure out a way to end the siege to avoid  
the possibility of starvation. Your enemy has agreed to parlay at your  
location and you must appear to be able to hold out for many more  
months should negotiations go poorly. Your goals are to create the  
greatest number of *tasty* and viable dishes with only the ingredients  
listed below.  Remember, you're cooking for your own diplomats plus  
however many the enemy choose to bring, so try to make the meal both  
large and lavish-looking.

The Rules:

-- You must use recipes that could plausibly have been used in Period,  
and you must list the title and general description of the recipe.
-- You must list roughly the amount of the ingredients you're using in  
the recipe (and obviously your total amounts must equal those listed  
-- You can split the amount of an ingredient as much as needed between  
recipes in order to make the dishes you need to.
-- You can assume you have a a fully functional medieval or  
renaissance kitchen, with all necessary vessels and utensils, and  
enough fuel.
-- Your time is not limited for preparation, but you probably don't  
have more than two days before the negotiations must take place.

The Ingredients:

You have exactly these ingredients to spare for your diplomatic  
dinner, and no more (with the exception of the olive oil and water):

-- unlimited supplies of olive oil and water (thank goodness for  
springs, wells, and Old Man Habib's olive groves)
-- one pound of beef chuck, whole
-- two 4 lb whole roasting chickens, all parts attached (except the  
-- 6 chicken eggs
-- 6 cups flour (may be rye, barley, spelt, oat, and/or whole wheat)
-- 5 spring onions (green onions with the stalks attached)
-- 6 small oranges
-- 2 cups dried fruits (prunes, apricots, currants, cherries, raisins,  
and/or sultanas)
-- 2 cups nuts (almonds, pine nuts, pistachios, and/or walnuts)
-- 2 whole lemons, rather wrinkled
-- 1 cup honey (bee honey or date honey, your choice)
-- 1 lb fresh spinach
-- 3 large, red carrots, tops attached (in miraculously good condition)
-- 1 bunch of celery, miraculously fresh
-- 3 six-inch cucumbers, not perfect but generally okay (Period  
cucumbers look more like modern pickling cucumbers, not the big  
honking things you see in modern grocery stores)
-- 1 handful each of these fresh herbs: basil, peppermint, thyme,  
-- 1 pound of grains (may be split, or not, between brown rice,  
millet, or barley)
-- yeast and dried spices, no more than 1/2 cup of each, but of any  
variety available in Europe, Asia, or Africa within Period

What do you cook? How do you serve it?

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