[Sca-cooks] serving unusual foods

Susan Lin susanrlin at gmail.com
Mon May 11 13:19:40 PDT 2009

The comment:  I'd like to hear more about how this feast worked out and what
any other problems and solutions might have been. Wasn't this a feast that
you took over at the last minute which had already been designed by someone

Here goes the answer:
Yes, this is the feast I took over 3 weeks before the event.  Most of the
menu had been set - we made some additions and modifications to accommodate
vegetarians and gluten free and the likelihood that court might run late
(which surprisingly it didn't).  With an apology to people who prefer a more
period feast but the comments have all been positive.  People seemed to
enjoy themselves.

Things to remember - if you serve bread they will eat it - all of it -
regardless of how much you put out or whether they know there is more food
to come or not - and then they will be full.  If you don't have a big budget
- put out lots of bread and butter at the beginning and everyone will be
full before the end of the first course!  This is a little disappointing
when you have lots of good food following and it doesn't get enjoyed.

A little soup goes a long way.  Expect that people who do eat it will likely
eat only about 1/2 cup per person.  It's easy to make too much.

Prepping as much as you can beforehand makes for lighter work and a much
calmer kitchen on the day of the event.  We had all the sausages and pierogi
done prior to the event so all they had to do is be cooked.  Also, the bread
and the pudding was made in advance.  As long as you have the
refrigerator/freezer space it'll help keep you sane.

Note on the pierogi - I should have pre-cooked one to see how it went -
boiling was a disaster but thanks to my Mistress (Aldyth)'s quick thinking
we put them in the oven and just finished them off browning in butter - huge

Which brings us to this tidbit:  things drenched in butter are usually a
huge hit!  The spaetzle is a prime example.  It was very tasty and I don't
think much came back.

If you don't have enough burners put the vegetables in a roasting pan with
some water, cover and bake - again, Thank you Mistress.  Check on them often
so they don't over cook.

Not all ovens cook the same - case in point - some of the gratin savoyard
were cooked beautifully and some were unfortunately not cooked as thoroughly
although nobody seemed to complain.  The potatos were not crunchy hard but
some did have a bit of "tooth" to them.

If you put condiments out - make sure the servers know wht they're for so
they can explain (we put out the sour cream before the pierogi and not many
people knew what it was for).  Continuity seems to be key.

Eight quarts of pudding is enough to fill 90 tart shells with some left over
- people like pudding.  The tarts all disappeared.  Strawberries in season
are wonderful - especially when your Queen likes strawberries - do not
purchase them out of season - they may be red but they don't have much
flavor.  The tart shells can be made in advance and frozen as well.

You don't need a fully staffed kitchen at 8am - especially if you have
wonderful people coming in all day offering to help.  We had about 6 or 8
key people in the kitchen on and off throughout the day and everything got
done pretty much on time.

I think those were the big lessons.

And now my plan for most of the rest of the year is to power lounge at each
and every event I attend!!  Maybe I can finally wear my pretty garb.


On Mon, May 11, 2009 at 1:34 PM, Stefan li Rous
<StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>wrote:

> -S commented:
> <<< 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. >>>
> I think the solution in that case is to tell the servers, or at least the
> head server who should pass it on, "The sour cream is or the pierogis which
> will be out shortly". I've seen entire courses come out, out of order, and
> some dishes get shifted from one course to another or not come out at all.
> It happens. And I don't have a problem with sending out something like this
> sour cream when the space is available. But get the word out. Otherwise,
> folks are going to be trying to figure out what the sour cream is for and
> they might find another use for it, on food or not :-), and not have any
> left for when the food it was meant for comes out. Thank you, Susan.
> <<< That being said - it seems that the meal was a success and nobody went
> hungry. >>>
> I'd like to hear more about how this feast worked out and what any other
> problems and solutions might have been. Wasn't this a feast that you took
> over at the last minute which had already been designed by someone else?
> Thanks,
>  Stefan
> --------
> THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
>   Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas
> StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
> **** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****
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