[Sca-cooks] Period Portable Lunch Foods

Kingstaste kingstaste at comcast.net
Sat Feb 7 09:44:29 PST 2009

No no, babble away!  
Lettuce rolls are good, we might have to do some camp-wide education on
those, but they are definitely doable.  I'm the only non-dairy in camp I
think, so the cream cheese and salmon will be a popular idea I'm sure. Your
onion, cucumber and basil salad sounds good, what is the dressing on that?

The boxes we bought are tiffin-style stacked cylinders, although these are
made of melamine.  Our thought is to make bags for them out of a quilted
material to add insulation and a more period look, plus an over-the-shoulder
strap and extra room inside the bag to carry a drink of some kind and
We shouldn't have to worry too much about keeping things cold.  At 70
degrees, you have 6 hours from the time you take something out of
refrigeration until it needs to be thrown away.  At 90 degrees, it is
probably more like 4 hours.  So if we keep our foods properly stored, we
should be able to make it to lunch time that day without having to worry
about cold packs or anything beyond the insulated cover and keeping it out
of the direct sunlight.  Everyone needs to know not to try and save
something that has been riding around in a box all day though!  It will mean
more foods in the pickle line and fewer in the cheesey arena, but that's why
we're planning now. 

We looked all over for the little squeeze bottles, and finally gave up and
ordered some on-line.  We have the little silicone muffin cups for dividers
inside the boxes and some nice picks as well. Keeping things separate until
you are ready to eat them is a big key to the success of these things!  
We hit the three biggest oriental markets in town when Honnoria was here
last weekend, and I felt like I had walked half of Asia before we were done!
Kiri, when next you come to town you will have to bring your walking shoes!

Thanks for the links, it is amazing what people will do with these -   

-----Original Message-----
From: sca-cooks-bounces+kingstaste=mindspring.com at lists.ansteorra.org
[mailto:sca-cooks-bounces+kingstaste=mindspring.com at lists.ansteorra.org] On
Behalf Of Barbara Benson
Sent: Saturday, February 07, 2009 11:49 AM
To: Cooks within the SCA
Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period Portable Lunch Foods

Kingstaste: What I'm looking for now is suggestions for other period
prepared foods that would do well in our bento lunch boxes while at
the war.

Smoked Salmon would work nicely, rolled with lettuce on the outside
and tied with a chive it makes a lovely presentation for a bento. They
are even better with cream cheese betwixt the salmon and lettuce, but
you said no dairy.

Bento is one of my auxiliary food obsessions and there are plenty of
resources on-line for them. Again, none of it particularly period but
could serve as inspiration. One of the best sites is Lunch in a
Box:http://lunchinabox.net/ which has recently been receiving national
attention. A perusal through Biggie's archive has some wonderful

One of my other favorites is Kitchen Cow: http://www.kitchencow.com/
which is where the salmon idea came from. There is a beautiful picture
of these rolls as the header for her blog. Also worth investigating
are "Tiffins", being the Indian version of the Bento box.

Tiffins are usually cylindrical in nature and stack as stainless steel
columns. They are often insulated and can keep foods at appropriate
temperatures. They frequently feature curries in one section and rice
in a second - to be combined when eaten. I can see many of the "brown
glop in a bowl" style medieval dishes working well in this style. And
you could substitute frumenty, millet or any other cooked grain for
the rice (not that rice would be bad).

Egg based items are frequently seen in Bentos, a nice fritta style
dish would hold up well. Any of the egg based "quiche" style pies
could be easily made without crusts and placed in a box. I think the
idea of Pickles as you mentioned could be extended to some of the
prepared "pickle like" salads like those found in Rumpoldt. For my
recent Italian feast I made an Onion, Cucumber and Basil pickle-ish
salad that was delicious - and I think it would hold fairly nicely. It
might get too tart, but you could pack the "dressing" separately to
avoid this.

Which is another major feature of bento packing - they sell these tiny
squeeze bottles to pack sauces to go with foods. It helps prevent
things from getting soggy and such.

OK, I have babbled on too much, my apologies to the list.

Serena da Riva
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