[Sca-cooks] Period Portable Lunch Foods

David Friedman ddfr at daviddfriedman.com
Mon Feb 9 23:38:16 PST 2009

>Greetings all,
>             Over the years that we have been attending Pennsic we have
>noticed a pattern that we fall in to concerning food.  The first week we are
>there we tend to make big dinners every night, and the second week we
>struggle to coordinate everyone's schedule.  I have finally convinced my
>camp mates that this year we are going to try something different.  We are
>going to plan on dinners for the first week, and plan on lunch foods for the
>second week.  Our various obligations often include other dinner plans
>anyway, but we are all in classes, on the field, merchanting, visiting, etc.
>away from camp during the day.  Toward this end, we have bought Bento boxes
>for everyone in camp.  We plan to assign a day's food prep to someone every
>day just like dinners, but the foods will need to be storable, portable, and
>suitable for eating neatly.  I would like to come up with a list of foods
>for people to consider, and it would be grand if a large part of it could be
>period foods.  I am planning on making a batch of hais before I go up, I
>think that will lend itself perfectly.  We will plan on short kebabs of
>grilled meats, olives and pickles and other vegetable items.  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.

Some simple period things that don't require any work on your part:

Melons, apples, raisins, other fruit, nuts  ...

Cheese. We like the little balls of cheese in wax for Pennsic.


sausage--things that don't have to be cooked and will last for more 
than a week, such as a hard salami.

As for period things that you make and bring with you ...  .

You mention hais. Khushkananaj isn't as good after two weeks as when 
it's fresh, but it's still pretty good--we generally bring a bunch to 
Pennsic for nibbles around the bardic circle. Hulwa ditto. Prince 
Biscuit and currant cakes (Digby, so almost period).

It sounds as though you are mostly thinking in terms of things to be 
cooked on site by one person, carried by many--is that right? There's 
a frying pan bread from Ain i Akbari. Also, although they're a bit 
messy, we have two frying pan pastries--Murakaba and the Leafy Dish. 
I expect badinjan muhassa could be made on site, although I haven't 
tried it--I'm not sure how long it would keep if you brought it with 

One of our standards to bring to an event for lunch is barmakiya, but 
although it would probably be good for a day or two it wouldn't keep 
for a week, and making it on site would require an oven.

Depending how messy you are willing to be, you could do macrows, 
which is basically pasta and cheese, or rishta, which is a 
lentil/lamb/noodle dish, or perhaps A Dish of Lentils. We've cooked 
all of those at Pennsic. They would work for someone who doesn't mind 
eating food with his hand and then washing the hand later, although 
they are all things that a modern would eat with utensils from a 
plate or bowl.

I think all the cooked things I've mentioned are in the _Miscellany_, 
which is webbed on my site.

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