[Sca-cooks] An Event Without a Feast, was Cookery book at Longleat House?

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sun Nov 8 11:37:18 PST 2009

On Nov 8, 2009, at 2:24 PM, lilinah at earthlink.net wrote:

> On Nov 8, 2009, at 8:40 AM, Judith Epstein wrote:
>> Maybe a couple of events without feasts would clarify the issue of
>> the relative importance of cooks for them.
> Johnnae replied:
>> You must understand that major events, even events like Crowns
>> and Coronations, routinely run without feasts in this kingdom.
>> Some offer hotel catered banquets that don't sell out and get  
>> canceled.
>> Others never plan a feast to start with.
>> Even the 40th ran with just lunch taverns.
> Well, out here in The West, there are NO Kingdom level events  
> guaranteed to have a feast.
> We have no lunch tables, day boards, or feasts at our 3 Crown  
> Tourney and 2 Coronation camping events, including TWELFTH NIGHT  
> Coronation, which usually happens in a hotel and does NOT have a  
> catered meal. There's a room set aside for eating in where it's  
> strictly BYO.
> We used to have feasts at our two Collegia per year. But first each  
> Collegium went from a 2-day to a 1-day event with a feast on  
> Saturday night, and then feasts were curtailed for two reasons: 1)  
> the sites we usually use, schools, don't let us use there  
> professional kitchens and often have no home ec. room anymore, and  
> when they do they usually have home-grade not-fully-functional  
> electric stoves; and 2) not many people stayed for the feast. Now  
> we're only having one Collegium per year because it's such a money  
> loser. Small groups of dedicated foodies sponsored the Perfectly  
> Period Feast in 2007 (English, early 15th c.) and next year there  
> will be a late period Spanish PPF.
> I'm not very up on feasts in other Western Principalities and in our  
> Marches, but in The Principality of the Mists we have 3 feasts per  
> year: two Investitures, and one Bardic Competition and Feast, which  
> has been losing money. The Investiture Feasts are often poorly  
> attended, too, especially the Fall one (Nov. 21 this year) because  
> it's usually pouring rain and people want to get home before it's  
> too dark and dangerous to drive.
> Some branches of the Mists have feasts in December - that's when  
> most of the feasts are. And because they're at branch level - barony  
> (not as big a deal out here, since they are subordinate to the  
> principality they're in), province, shire, canton, college - these  
> feasts are quite often not historically accurate, and often pot  
> lucks. Some branch "feasts" during the lighter time of the year are  
> just your basic American cook-outs.
> So, no historical feasts? There are very few anyone would really  
> miss. Not much of a threat...

I'm thinking that around here, we need to have a sit-down with the  
Usual Suspect event-steward and cook types and brainstorm on some  
alternatives, including events without feasts, feasts with cold dishes  
or dishes cooked off-site but nearby, keeping pots of food warm in big  
insulated cooler boxes, portable burners and ovens, etc. It is doable,  
but growing harder every year.

The vacuum-sealed boil-in-bag thing worked pretty well for me  
yesterday, but it would be nice if solutions could teach a bit about  
period cookery, too. I guess if people get to eat it, it still can,  
but there's something lost when your period cooking becomes an airline  


"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  
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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