[Sca-cooks] serving unusual foods

Susan Lin susanrlin at gmail.com
Mon May 11 07:30:51 PDT 2009

case in point - Coronation feast on Saturday.  Most people it seems did not
understand that the sour cream that went out was supposed to be eaten with
the pierogi.  It probably should have waited for the pierogi but there was
room on the first platter so I sent it out at the beginning of the course
and the pierogi followed.

That being said - it seems that the meal was a success and nobody went


On Mon, May 11, 2009 at 5:59 AM, Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius <
adamantius1 at verizon.net> wrote:

> On May 11, 2009, at 1:39 AM, Stefan li Rous wrote:
> But do you ever serve some medieval dishes that might strike people the
>> same way? What dishes?  How have you handled it at feasts you've cooked?
>> Have you just expected the feasters to figure it out? Perhaps it's simply
>> the matter of which sauce goes with which meat or food item?
>> Perhaps it is the matter of serving a whole, small bird. Not all feasters
>> have been faced with figuring out how to eat such a thing before. Or eating
>> a whole, or almost whole fish with most of its bones intact. Or sending a
>> large chunk of bird or beast to the table and expecting those at the table
>> to be able to portion it out? (Not to mention this is probably not a period
>> way of doing it). How did you handle things?
>> In some places medieval foods/feasts have a bad reputation. Sometimes it
>> is because the feasts in those areas have been inedible. Sometimes perhaps
>> it has been something like this, the unfamiliar. What can be done to solve
>> this?
> I'm not sure if there's a guaranteed solution, but I've been rather
> sensitive to this problem for many years; it's one of the reasons, along
> with the frequently inherent food waste that sometimes comes with improper
> carving and service, I'll occasionally go for the Less Period Option, all
> other things being equal: which is more grating for the period ambience; the
> [for example] square block of ham or the bone-in ham nobody knows how to
> carve? I'd posit the latter. Not that there's a whole lot of baked ham
> presentations in the SCA (or are there? there probably shouldn't be...)
> But in general, I try to teach a very basic carving class when I can, using
> both modern culinary-standard techniques and any of several period sources
> on carving and service. The hope is that eventually there'll be fewer feast
> tables with nobody present at them who knows how to deal with a whole fish,
> say, or get eight small servings out of a whole roast duck. If you're one of
> those people who can deal with it, it's always nice to take at look at the
> next table to see how they're doing, and offer assistance if needed, or even
> the loan of a better knife. And yes, carrying a decent knife for carving is
> a good thing, too.
> As head cooks, taking a minute to discuss course details with servers can
> be helpful in preventing the kind of problems Stefan mentions. And then, of
> course,  presenting food in as close to a plate-ready state, in portions
> with sauces and garnishes as much in place as is practicable, is also
> helpful.
> Adamantius
> "Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls, when we
> all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's bellies."
>                        -- Rabbi Israel Salanter
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