[Sca-cooks] To say or not to say?

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Sun Aug 26 13:03:44 PDT 2012

I've been known to do the dishes shirtless, mostly to keep the tunic and 
shirt from getting in the way, but cook, no.  The last time I did a feast 
from an open air kitchen, I was wearing t-shirt, jeans and a doo-rag and was 
alternating quarts of water with pints of black and tan.

The problem with what you describe is that it flouts basic kitchen health 
standards and, depending on locale, can get you shut down by the health 
inspectors.  Rather than talk to the autocrat, who likely will not be doing 
the next event and because this may have legal ramifications, I would speak 
to the seneschal about the problem.  A good seneschal will quietly correct 
the problem.  A bad one will blow you off.  Then, depending on what happens, 
I would make my decision about assisting the group in an official capacity 
(officer, autocrat, cook, etc.) and whether or not I would partake of the 
local feasts.   A low key approach is more likely to do the job.

Having done multiple tours as seneschal and been the cook many times, my 
concern would be how many other basic rules on kitchen health were being 
broken.  Cross contamination, food poisoning, salmonella, and anaphylactic 
shock have a way of really dampening the party, not to mention creating a 
legal jepordy.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Cheri or Anne" <celticcheri at yahoo.com>

I have a query. Let me set it up for you a bit.

I am new to this group, but not the SCA, been in about 13 years now.
I have autocrated and made feasts.
The event was held at a state park with a building (screened in) with a 
kitchen in the rear where anywhere from 4 to 8 people were in cooking 
thruout the day. NO air conditioning, but several ceiling fans and one of 
those really big round ones (shop fan) At one point I went into the building 
and looked into the kitchen and saw 2 men and 1 boy without their shirts on. 
Sweating profusely. Over the preparation of food. Food people were going to 
be eating. With hairy chests and arm pits. (all the women in the kitchen 
remained fully clothes at all times)

Now....being new to the group, the LAST thing I want to do is step on toes 
or make anyone mad at me, I have to play with this group! BUT. Please. (no, 
I did not eat feast)

I am sure the autocrat is not aware of this. Should I take him aside at the 
next meeting and just tell him it happened? Or should I just let it go and 
never eat feast in my group?

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