[Spit-project] Long Member Introduction & Questions

ranvaig at columbus.rr.com ranvaig at columbus.rr.com
Tue May 29 20:15:24 PDT 2007

>I am probably known to most if not all other listees. I am al-Sayyida
>Urtatim al-Qurtubiyya bint 'abd al-Karim al-hakam al-Fassi.

Uratim, how wonderful that you are coming to Pennsic!  I really want to meet you!  I'll be driving from Ohio on Monday.   I am cooking a 10th c Irish feast there on Sunday (over fire).  The plan is to cook dinner, wash up, pack everything in the van for Pennsic and leave first thing in the morning.  Boy, I'm an optimist. If there is anything I can bring on Monday, let me know.  I know I can get fresh herbs and the other things here.

When will you be doing your meal?  The SCA-India group is doing their Biyari on Tues, as long as you don't conflict with that, I'd love to help.  (You might want to come to that too, if your schedule permits).

>- how long ahead of time to start the fire before i can bring to a
>boil a pot of water on it?
>- how to judge when the fire is ready (down enough) to cook skewered
>meat? (yes, i don't do standard American barbecues)
>- does one move the coals around to create a hot spot and a medium
>spot and a warm spot to cook different dishes?
>- should i be hanging pots over the fire or is setting them on a
>grill as good or better?

There is a produce stand on site, but its mostly fairly typical items. I remember garlic, onions, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, apples and oranges, maybe grapes and melon.  I don't remember seeing fresh herbs but you could check.  There are grocery stores nearby but I've never used them, usually I bring everything with me.  I've heard that at least one store will order order whole animals for roasting.  At worst Pittsburgh is an hour away, I'm sure you could find everything there.

I'd start the fire an hour before you want to cook.  Usually you will have your pans over coals, not fire.  Have an active fire in one spot to make coals and roast meat, and rake or shovel the coals to your pans.  Roasting skewers would  be over quite hot coals.  A whole animal or a larger cut on a spit would be next to, not over a fire.  That way drips wont flare up, and you can collect drippings for a sauce.

Hanging or setting pots on a grill will depend on the setup.  If I want to saute, I put my cast iron pans right on the coals, and hang over the fire to simmer.  You can move the coals or adjust the height to adjust the heat, it will depend on the setup.

Boiling water will probably take longer than you expect.  If you are talking about the rice, for a large batch, I'd start heating the water two hours before serving. You might need the pan over a fire to bring the water to a boil, but keep it on coals once you've added the rice, or its very likely to burn even with lots of stirring.  When it comes to a boil, add the rice, move to coals, cover and cook about 10 mins, remove from the fire before its quite done, and let it steam for an hour or so. Covered it should keep for quite some time, if necessary.  Don't stir it while it's steaming.  Some of the Persian recipes require the rice to be drained, you probably would leave it on the coals until ready to drain, after draining, let it steam away from the fire.

See if you can help them with a meal before you are on your own with their setup.  Good luck.


More information about the spit-project mailing list