[Sca-cooks] 2 feast lunches in 2 weekends - what was I thinking LONG

Cat . tgrcat2001 at yahoo.com
Wed Mar 16 10:29:53 PDT 2011

Greetings the list,
I still dont have the basement put back in order, but I survived my 2 week 
cooking marathon, and thought I would share.

Currently I head the Baronial Cooks Guild, and in February was asked if the 
Guild would provide lunch at the March Crown Tournament.  I put it to the guild 
and after getting 3 replies of "I'll help" I ended up coordinating.  The 
Autocrat and I discussed the venue and settled on 150 as a reasonable number of 
bodies and on $5 per for budget.  About two weeks out I discovered that the 
budget had been changed to $3 per head (quite reasonable, but it would have been 
nice had I been kept in the loop.)  We adjusted some of the menu (peas in, 
spinach and pork out) and rolled with it (and came in $5 under the $450 
budget.).    Each of the 5 participating guild members chose and took on a dish 
and then we combined efforts at the site.

The Crown Tourney Menu: Lentil soup (vegan) Caldo de Lentejas , Bread and 
butter, Beef Stew Roo Broth, Pasta with cheese Macrows, Herbed peas Grene 
Pesen, Cabbage Fennel and Apple salad Cauli Verdi, Carrot sticks Aliter 
Caroetas,  Fresh Fruit, Digby’s Most Excellent Small Cakes, Meringues
Items were picked from existing sources (specifically excluding German :-) with 
the exception of the Meringues which were to use up the egg whites left from the 
Digby cakes. (and because folks have come to expect them if I cook)

Items were well received and while there were more persons on site than expected 
we still had enough food to have some leftover to contribute to the 'pot luck 
feast' in the evening.  (and we were thanked, and complimented on the food and 
how clean the kitchen was after we were through.)

The situation became a bit more complicated when 2 weeks prior to crown I 
received an email stating "OH, I thought Gwen Cat was cooking Lunch for Baronial 
A&S" (Gwen Cat had asked -because I had wanted to cook this small lunch for 
50-60 but been told it was covered.)  So with one week to go I negotiated a 
budget ($150) assembled a menu (all from Rumpolt - hey with 6 days I am doing 
what I can do almost in my sleep)  Thankfully Ranvaig has her transcription and 
translation searchable so I coordinated with her and filled in the blank spots.  
I have been wanting to make the stuffed cabbage for years, and finally had a 
chance.    Having seen the Rice Pudding fryed recipe that Ranvaig had translated 
I really wanted to play with that, and did a test batch of that as well as 3 
different grain options to take to fencing practice the Wednesday before.  The 
fencers got to try 'door #1, Door #2 and door #3 (chick peas, millet, oat 
groats) and offer their favorite before being handed a slice of the fried rice 
pudding.. they all agreed "door #4' was worth being a guinea pig for the others 

The A&S Menu: Split pea soup with onions (vegan); Stuffed Cabbage or (we had 
enough for both rather than or) Chicken with Parsley; Millet cooked in 
broth, Radish Salad, cucumber salad, Pickled beets, Rice pudding fritters, Fresh 

I took the Friday before as a vacation day to shop, pack, and prep 150 meatball 
sized cabbage rolls.  Got to bed at a reasonable hour and was almost ready to 
walk out the door on Saturday morning when I get the phone call "THE STOVE IS 
GONE!!!!!"  (Now, I had a really funny feeling about the site and had chatted 
with the autocrat and said "please make sure the site is as I remember it, with 
a kitchen that has a standard 4 burner 1 oven home stove"  and had gotten back 
"yes, we have the kitchen"  )  I made 6 frantic phone calls, finally reaching my 
much loved apprentice who was running late and so grabbed her 2 burner propane 
camp stove.  I put an extra roaster (I have 2) and my rice steamer and 2 crock 
pots in the car and got to site.  

Apprentice stayed outside (thankfully the weather was reasonably nice) managing 
the stove, and another gal had her husband bring their indoor propane burner and 
spent over an hour frying the rice pudding fritters.  ALL the rice pudding was 
eaten (folks lay in wait looking for the next batch to come out of the pan) and 
there was one scoop of pea soup, and about a dozen cabbage roll balls left, ah 
and more of the radishes than I liked, but no cucumbers. I think more salt less 
oil next time.

According to the feedback I got both lunches were successful.  My favorite 
comment was "you hit another one out of the park" followed closely by "you have 
restored my faith in feasts"

Lessons learned:  Always always check the site!  Campstoves are your friend. 
People will eat cabbage rolls and pea soup.  Pan fried rice pudding ROCKS!  
Folks will eat less lentil soup when there is beef stew available (one young man 
came back 4 times to get more beef stew.) If the autocrat publishes an arbitrary 
serving time it is acceptable to say "no, we will be able to serve between 12:30 
and 1:00, not at 11:30, please plan accordingly."

Drop me a line if you would like the PDF menu booklets for either meal.

In Service
Gwen tired now Cat
Caerthe, Outlands
PS the A&S lunch was brass bowl, and we recovered the initial cost and made a 
nice profit for the event above that cost.  


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