danagryphon: (Default)
My last two weeks have been spent preparing Dayboard and the Investiture Scrolls for the Bergental Investiture event this past Saturday.

I didn't get nearly as early a start to these projects as I had hoped (it's becoming a pattern here, I think), because of getting the Boog ready to go off to college, and then the day after that, my in-laws arrived for a month-long visit. We spent much of the time between Sept 4-10 entertaining them, at which point, they pulled their RV out of the park in our town and traveled up to the north shore to be near M's brother.

Add on to that the fact that I was originally supposed to have a collaborator on the scrolls to do the illumination who had to hand the whole kit and caboodle back to me because *she* got overwhelmed, meant that I was scrambling to get everything done.

But what had to get done got done, and what could wait will just have to wait for another day.

Stuff that had to wait:
  • new garb for me and the Spare (who has outgrown all his tunics but is still somewhat swimming in my old ones) from the 30 yards of linen recently purchased.
  • gifts for the incoming Baron and Baroness (besides the scrolls), which maybe I will now strive to give to them at their Yule event.
  • gifts for my Laurel, which I'm now going to get back to working on.
I forgot to take piccies of the Baronial scrolls, but I've asked the Baroness, a fellow scribe, to snap a few and send them to me. I did them in a Viking/Celtic style, because Bergental is big on Viking, so of course, the principals wore Italian Renn garb. But I was happy with how they came out, and will post the pics as soon as I get them.

The dayboard was a success, although I did edit down the menu due to both cost and time. Ended up a tiny bit over budget, but that is pretty much accounted for by a special treat I made for the royals (stuffed figs, which were yummy), so I am willing to consider that my personal contribution. I don't have the final numbers yet on how many ended up eating the dayboard or whether it made any money beyond the budget, hopefully that will come to me by the end of the week or so (not that there is a hurry beyond my own wild curiosity and satisfaction).

The dayboard menu ended up consisting of: dijon chicken, pomegranate beef, bacon wrapped mushrooms, hard boiled eggs, hot apple soup, a medley of cooked veggies, raw carrots, spiced cabbage, pickles, wheat and white bread, a variety of butters, herbed cheese spread, fresh grapes, and a cherry cheese tort for dessert. (Eggs, butters, and cheese spread made by [livejournal.com profile] chrystie69, my constant helper.) The only things with significant amounts left were the tort, a few eggs, and a bunch of the cabbage, so it was well eaten. That makes me happy. And more importantly, it helped make things a little easier for our good neighbors on their investiture day.
danagryphon: (Default)
My last two weeks have been spent preparing Dayboard and the Investiture Scrolls for the Bergental Investiture event this past Saturday.

I didn't get nearly as early a start to these projects as I had hoped (it's becoming a pattern here, I think), because of getting the Boog ready to go off to college, and then the day after that, my in-laws arrived for a month-long visit. We spent much of the time between Sept 4-10 entertaining them, at which point, they pulled their RV out of the park in our town and traveled up to the north shore to be near M's brother.

Add on to that the fact that I was originally supposed to have a collaborator on the scrolls to do the illumination who had to hand the whole kit and caboodle back to me because *she* got overwhelmed, meant that I was scrambling to get everything done.

But what had to get done got done, and what could wait will just have to wait for another day.

Stuff that had to wait:
  • new garb for me and the Spare (who has outgrown all his tunics but is still somewhat swimming in my old ones) from the 30 yards of linen recently purchased.
  • gifts for the incoming Baron and Baroness (besides the scrolls), which maybe I will now strive to give to them at their Yule event.
  • gifts for my Laurel, which I'm now going to get back to working on.
I forgot to take piccies of the Baronial scrolls, but I've asked the Baroness, a fellow scribe, to snap a few and send them to me. I did them in a Viking/Celtic style, because Bergental is big on Viking, so of course, the principals wore Italian Renn garb. But I was happy with how they came out, and will post the pics as soon as I get them.

The dayboard was a success, although I did edit down the menu due to both cost and time. Ended up a tiny bit over budget, but that is pretty much accounted for by a special treat I made for the royals (stuffed figs, which were yummy), so I am willing to consider that my personal contribution. I don't have the final numbers yet on how many ended up eating the dayboard or whether it made any money beyond the budget, hopefully that will come to me by the end of the week or so (not that there is a hurry beyond my own wild curiosity and satisfaction).

The dayboard menu ended up consisting of: dijon chicken, pomegranate beef, bacon wrapped mushrooms, hard boiled eggs, hot apple soup, a medley of cooked veggies, raw carrots, spiced cabbage, pickles, wheat and white bread, a variety of butters, herbed cheese spread, fresh grapes, and a cherry cheese tort for dessert. (Eggs, butters, and cheese spread made by [livejournal.com profile] chrystie69, my constant helper.) The only things with significant amounts left were the tort, a few eggs, and a bunch of the cabbage, so it was well eaten. That makes me happy. And more importantly, it helped make things a little easier for our good neighbors on their investiture day.
danagryphon: (Default)
Ok, my SCA pals, I need a reality check on something.

When I cook a meal for the SCA, I expect to be reimbursed for the food I buy. But I am given a budget ahead of time that I am expected to stay within, and I always shop as inexpensively as I can, sometimes going to 3 or 4 different stores to get the best deals. And when I use ingredients that I am going to keep the majority of, I don't ask to be reimbursed for them. If there are special things I want to do that are going to put me above and beyond my budget, I pay for them myself, because they are not necessary to the success of the meal.

So here's the dilemma. Should someone who makes a subtlety for an event expect to be reimbursed for the sometimes incredibly outrageous expense? Especially when the person makes no attempt to shop on the cheap, or adjust cost for stuff they only used part of. My feeling on it is that subtleties are an *art* in the SCA, and by and large, most artists in the SCA do not get reimbursed for their materials. Just ask any scribe.

The latest issue is that this person made a subtlety for a *fundraising* dayboard that was not part of the event cost, but required an extra donation by the people who partook of it. The person also did not make it clear ahead of time that the dish would be a subtlety (vs. just a plain dessert) or that it would be so expensive (we are talking $17 for two small platters of "gingerbread cookies") when they volunteered to make it. But now, this person has submitted a receipt and asked for reimbursement. It was put out there that people who volunteered to make things would be reimbursed for their ingredients (within reason).

Now, I agree that subtleties and such add to the ambiance and splendor of an event, but when they are made extravagantly without regard for budget, am I wrong to suggest that perhaps this person should be willing to suck up the cost for their art?

Please discuss.

Thanks!
danagryphon: (Default)
Ok, my SCA pals, I need a reality check on something.

When I cook a meal for the SCA, I expect to be reimbursed for the food I buy. But I am given a budget ahead of time that I am expected to stay within, and I always shop as inexpensively as I can, sometimes going to 3 or 4 different stores to get the best deals. And when I use ingredients that I am going to keep the majority of, I don't ask to be reimbursed for them. If there are special things I want to do that are going to put me above and beyond my budget, I pay for them myself, because they are not necessary to the success of the meal.

So here's the dilemma. Should someone who makes a subtlety for an event expect to be reimbursed for the sometimes incredibly outrageous expense? Especially when the person makes no attempt to shop on the cheap, or adjust cost for stuff they only used part of. My feeling on it is that subtleties are an *art* in the SCA, and by and large, most artists in the SCA do not get reimbursed for their materials. Just ask any scribe.

The latest issue is that this person made a subtlety for a *fundraising* dayboard that was not part of the event cost, but required an extra donation by the people who partook of it. The person also did not make it clear ahead of time that the dish would be a subtlety (vs. just a plain dessert) or that it would be so expensive (we are talking $17 for two small platters of "gingerbread cookies") when they volunteered to make it. But now, this person has submitted a receipt and asked for reimbursement. It was put out there that people who volunteered to make things would be reimbursed for their ingredients (within reason).

Now, I agree that subtleties and such add to the ambiance and splendor of an event, but when they are made extravagantly without regard for budget, am I wrong to suggest that perhaps this person should be willing to suck up the cost for their art?

Please discuss.

Thanks!
danagryphon: (Default)
So yesterday was our Shire's annual Middle Eastern Hafla event, and I volunteered to do the cooking again. But, as a wonderful surprise, [livejournal.com profile] xandra_rozina asked if she could be my co-cook! Fantabulous! She had never cooked for an SCA event before, but she had the street cred for doing middle eastern because she grew up in the Mediterranian, making and eating a lot of the same types of foods.

She asked to do a bunch of appetizers and one main dish (a fish dish that she was dying to try). Oh, oh, please, twist my arm. I like cooking M.E. main dishes, but hate doing all the relishes and pickles and other nibbles that really make the meal over the top fabulous. So with that mutually satisfying division of labor, we were off to the races.

Wow, just wow. The appetizer plates were AMAZING. I helped her with a grand total of ONE of them, a Persian tortellini (and then only because I had a pasta roller). The rest, she did all on her own. Plus, she did something like 4 dessert items. Now, [livejournal.com profile] uxbridgefox provided baklava and turkish delight and semolina cake for dessert, not to mention the all the bread, because she is crazy insane baking lady who is just too incredibly wonderful for words. Plus Toi and [livejournal.com profile] calygrey did a dessert subtlety that was adorable. So we had the most amazing selection of desserts as well.

So what did I make? Three main dishes. Lamb kebabs, chicken with pomegranate and walnut sauce (which I had made before), and a Moroccan vegetable stew. That was freakin' it. I felt like such a slacker. But, my dishes turned out well. I got the lamb from a local place, Blood Farm in Groton. I've been hearing about how fabulous their meats are for years, and keep saying I should try them for some of the weird specialty meats I need for SCA events (I wonder if they could get goat...), and I finally did. OMG. It was so worth it. Of course, 12 pounds of lamb ended up costing $100, but that's lamb. I marinated the hell out of it, and put together some kebabs with red onion and dried apricots. It was very pretty, very Moroccan, and they went like HOTCAKES. But, we had enough for everyone who wanted (barely). There was only a little bit of chicken left, which I brought home to have for dinner (since I eat almost nothing *while* I'm cooking at events). There was a ton of the vegetable stew left, mostly just because I made a ton because, y'know, vegetables are cheap. But I'm going to freeze the leftovers and recycle it for the next event next week.

But here's the thing. We started out basing our budget on 50 people. We planned for feeding 60 people, and ended up feeding almost 80 (and had plenty of food; because that's just the way I roll). We actually went slightly over budget, but our break even point was 65 people, so we STILL made a small profit. Which while not the goal (the goal is always to just break even), it was nice all the same.

The unanimous consensus seems to be that [livejournal.com profile] xandra_rozina and I make a great team of co-cooks, each playing on our strengths, which happen to complement each other nicely. Hopefully we'll be doing it again in the future, because she is always totally and completely awesome to work with (both as an autocrat and a cook). And now she has her first event as a cook under her belt! Woohoo! (She, of course, totally discounts herself and her invaluable help 2 years ago when I did a feast for Hafla and she spent the entire day in the kitchen helping cook, but that's because she's far too modest.) :)

Oh, and she also brought a rice cooker so I didn't even have to expend any effort to make rice. Just put it in the machine, push a button and voila! perfectly cooked rice. I SO know what the next kitchen gadget is that I'll be asking hubby for as a holiday or bday present, snicker.
danagryphon: (Default)
So yesterday was our Shire's annual Middle Eastern Hafla event, and I volunteered to do the cooking again. But, as a wonderful surprise, [livejournal.com profile] xandra_rozina asked if she could be my co-cook! Fantabulous! She had never cooked for an SCA event before, but she had the street cred for doing middle eastern because she grew up in the Mediterranian, making and eating a lot of the same types of foods.

She asked to do a bunch of appetizers and one main dish (a fish dish that she was dying to try). Oh, oh, please, twist my arm. I like cooking M.E. main dishes, but hate doing all the relishes and pickles and other nibbles that really make the meal over the top fabulous. So with that mutually satisfying division of labor, we were off to the races.

Wow, just wow. The appetizer plates were AMAZING. I helped her with a grand total of ONE of them, a Persian tortellini (and then only because I had a pasta roller). The rest, she did all on her own. Plus, she did something like 4 dessert items. Now, [livejournal.com profile] uxbridgefox provided baklava and turkish delight and semolina cake for dessert, not to mention the all the bread, because she is crazy insane baking lady who is just too incredibly wonderful for words. Plus Toi and [livejournal.com profile] calygrey did a dessert subtlety that was adorable. So we had the most amazing selection of desserts as well.

So what did I make? Three main dishes. Lamb kebabs, chicken with pomegranate and walnut sauce (which I had made before), and a Moroccan vegetable stew. That was freakin' it. I felt like such a slacker. But, my dishes turned out well. I got the lamb from a local place, Blood Farm in Groton. I've been hearing about how fabulous their meats are for years, and keep saying I should try them for some of the weird specialty meats I need for SCA events (I wonder if they could get goat...), and I finally did. OMG. It was so worth it. Of course, 12 pounds of lamb ended up costing $100, but that's lamb. I marinated the hell out of it, and put together some kebabs with red onion and dried apricots. It was very pretty, very Moroccan, and they went like HOTCAKES. But, we had enough for everyone who wanted (barely). There was only a little bit of chicken left, which I brought home to have for dinner (since I eat almost nothing *while* I'm cooking at events). There was a ton of the vegetable stew left, mostly just because I made a ton because, y'know, vegetables are cheap. But I'm going to freeze the leftovers and recycle it for the next event next week.

But here's the thing. We started out basing our budget on 50 people. We planned for feeding 60 people, and ended up feeding almost 80 (and had plenty of food; because that's just the way I roll). We actually went slightly over budget, but our break even point was 65 people, so we STILL made a small profit. Which while not the goal (the goal is always to just break even), it was nice all the same.

The unanimous consensus seems to be that [livejournal.com profile] xandra_rozina and I make a great team of co-cooks, each playing on our strengths, which happen to complement each other nicely. Hopefully we'll be doing it again in the future, because she is always totally and completely awesome to work with (both as an autocrat and a cook). And now she has her first event as a cook under her belt! Woohoo! (She, of course, totally discounts herself and her invaluable help 2 years ago when I did a feast for Hafla and she spent the entire day in the kitchen helping cook, but that's because she's far too modest.) :)

Oh, and she also brought a rice cooker so I didn't even have to expend any effort to make rice. Just put it in the machine, push a button and voila! perfectly cooked rice. I SO know what the next kitchen gadget is that I'll be asking hubby for as a holiday or bday present, snicker.
danagryphon: (Default)
So my day today started at 3 a.m. when I got up to start baking food for the dayboard. Two hours for the hams to bake, and while that was cooking, I chopped carrrots and made gluten-free treats out of the left over filling from the dumplings. Then around 5 a.m. (after cleaning up the mess I made with the ham when a bunch of the liquid spilled as I took it out of the oven), I started baking the dumplings. Baking 900 dumplings took me just about 5 hours. The pork and beef ones went fine, but the mushroom ones were a major PITA. I didn't freeze them since they were only made on Thursday night. And so they stuck to everything.  But eventually everything was cooked, and with the help of Hubby, loaded into the car.

The younger boychild decided to come with me to the event. So he and I popped into the car and arrived at the site about 10:45. Lots of folks were immensely helpful in unloading the car and helping to set up the food, including my Laurel. I love my Shire.

And despite having a final attendance of about 260 instead of 200, we had enough food that everyone ate and ate. The only thing left when I was packing up was some of the onion soup. But there were still things for folks to gnash even during the break between the finals and Court.

Oh, and I won my first A&S competition. There was a dual competition for weaving/dyeing and metalworking (because the saint whose day it was is the saint for both those things). I entered my tri-color Viking wire weaving bracelet (which technically could be in both categories, lol). But I won first place for the metalworking side of the competition. Woohoo! I had several good comments on it, and one person who very excitedly asked me to explain how I did the three wire weave.

A friend of mine, [livejournal.com profile] lanome, was elevated to the Order of the Laurel today, a fellow archer and scribe who does gorgeous scrolls. Although I missed her ceremony because I was busy helping to clean up (so I could get home and deal with the younger boychild who left with hubby just after I was given my prize for the competition, because he was throwing up), I got to visit with her for a short while during her vigil.

Now Hubby and I are relaxing while we wait for dinner to arrive, watching Fringe, while sicky boy sleeps. My Laurel, her sister, and their friend are coming back here after the post-revel to crash for the night so they don't have to drive home to Springfield yet tonight. So that'll be fun to visit with them. And in the morning, I'm making waffles! Seriously. I am. :D

Next week is the K&Q A&S champs event down in Philly, and I'm driving down Friday and crashing for the night in a hotel with [livejournal.com profile] xandra_rozina (who was also the autocrat for today's event, and as always, an absolute joy to work with). So much to do for that now, too. Oh, and time to start planning the Hafla dayboard which is 5 weeks away.
danagryphon: (Default)
So my day today started at 3 a.m. when I got up to start baking food for the dayboard. Two hours for the hams to bake, and while that was cooking, I chopped carrrots and made gluten-free treats out of the left over filling from the dumplings. Then around 5 a.m. (after cleaning up the mess I made with the ham when a bunch of the liquid spilled as I took it out of the oven), I started baking the dumplings. Baking 900 dumplings took me just about 5 hours. The pork and beef ones went fine, but the mushroom ones were a major PITA. I didn't freeze them since they were only made on Thursday night. And so they stuck to everything.  But eventually everything was cooked, and with the help of Hubby, loaded into the car.

The younger boychild decided to come with me to the event. So he and I popped into the car and arrived at the site about 10:45. Lots of folks were immensely helpful in unloading the car and helping to set up the food, including my Laurel. I love my Shire.

And despite having a final attendance of about 260 instead of 200, we had enough food that everyone ate and ate. The only thing left when I was packing up was some of the onion soup. But there were still things for folks to gnash even during the break between the finals and Court.

Oh, and I won my first A&S competition. There was a dual competition for weaving/dyeing and metalworking (because the saint whose day it was is the saint for both those things). I entered my tri-color Viking wire weaving bracelet (which technically could be in both categories, lol). But I won first place for the metalworking side of the competition. Woohoo! I had several good comments on it, and one person who very excitedly asked me to explain how I did the three wire weave.

A friend of mine, [livejournal.com profile] lanome, was elevated to the Order of the Laurel today, a fellow archer and scribe who does gorgeous scrolls. Although I missed her ceremony because I was busy helping to clean up (so I could get home and deal with the younger boychild who left with hubby just after I was given my prize for the competition, because he was throwing up), I got to visit with her for a short while during her vigil.

Now Hubby and I are relaxing while we wait for dinner to arrive, watching Fringe, while sicky boy sleeps. My Laurel, her sister, and their friend are coming back here after the post-revel to crash for the night so they don't have to drive home to Springfield yet tonight. So that'll be fun to visit with them. And in the morning, I'm making waffles! Seriously. I am. :D

Next week is the K&Q A&S champs event down in Philly, and I'm driving down Friday and crashing for the night in a hotel with [livejournal.com profile] xandra_rozina (who was also the autocrat for today's event, and as always, an absolute joy to work with). So much to do for that now, too. Oh, and time to start planning the Hafla dayboard which is 5 weeks away.
danagryphon: (Default)
So good progress has been made, despite the fact that the last three nights have been only me and my friend/neighbor, and her young daughter doing the cooking. Two types of dumplings are made (~300 each), meatballs done, shortbread done, marbled tea eggs (which came out yummy, but butt ugly because they wouldn't peel nice). That leaves mushroom dumplings (another 300), spinach pies, and two types of soup for today/tonight. [livejournal.com profile] uxbridgefox is making bread, so that's off my plate. I don't know what I'd do without her!

That will just leave a little bit of finish work (like cutting up carrots and cooking/slicing ham) on Friday night, so I should be able to get to bed nice and early. Which is good, because I plan to be up around 5 a.m. on Saturday to bake dumplings. Then everything gets packed up in my car and transported down to the site.

Fridge space is definitely an issue still, since I now also have many pounds of strawberries that need to be refrigerated. Oye. If the weather was a little more reliably cold, I might be forced to employ nature's refrigerator for some of the less perishable but still needs to be refrigerated stuff.

And I have yet to add up all my receipts, because I have to subtract out some stuff that I bought for myself while on the trips, but I'm pretty sure I came in right on budget, with not a penny to spare.

Off to start making soups and quiches.
danagryphon: (Default)
So good progress has been made, despite the fact that the last three nights have been only me and my friend/neighbor, and her young daughter doing the cooking. Two types of dumplings are made (~300 each), meatballs done, shortbread done, marbled tea eggs (which came out yummy, but butt ugly because they wouldn't peel nice). That leaves mushroom dumplings (another 300), spinach pies, and two types of soup for today/tonight. [livejournal.com profile] uxbridgefox is making bread, so that's off my plate. I don't know what I'd do without her!

That will just leave a little bit of finish work (like cutting up carrots and cooking/slicing ham) on Friday night, so I should be able to get to bed nice and early. Which is good, because I plan to be up around 5 a.m. on Saturday to bake dumplings. Then everything gets packed up in my car and transported down to the site.

Fridge space is definitely an issue still, since I now also have many pounds of strawberries that need to be refrigerated. Oye. If the weather was a little more reliably cold, I might be forced to employ nature's refrigerator for some of the less perishable but still needs to be refrigerated stuff.

And I have yet to add up all my receipts, because I have to subtract out some stuff that I bought for myself while on the trips, but I'm pretty sure I came in right on budget, with not a penny to spare.

Off to start making soups and quiches.
danagryphon: (Default)
So I've been testing recipes for the K&Q Fencing Dayboard, with pretty good results so far.

I'm making 3 kinds of dumplings: pork & currant, mushroom & cheese, and beef. Shaw's has premade pie crusts on sale right now for .99 for a box of 2, so I went and bought 36 boxes tonight. Woohoo! That's a lotta dumplings. But I hate making pie dough. Using the premade crusts worked well for Duello, and they weren't anywhere near this good a deal then (nomally they are $2.50 for a box of 2, so this is a SERIOUS sale). The ladies at the checkout looked at me funny, but I told them I was making pies for a charity bake-sale. Close enough, lol.

I'm also making chicken & cheese meatballs (a period recipe) which are amazing. They are cooked by boiling them in a pot of meat stock. Luckily, I save and freeze stock whenever I have extra, so I have plenty to do this. I'm also making ham croquettes (by request of the autocrat's hubby, [livejournal.com profile] brokk), and got a good deal on ham on sale tonight, too.

Let's see. Pies. Two kinds of pies, mostly for the vegetarians. One is a spinach, walnut, and egg. That one needs some serious tweaks from the period recipe. It says to line the bottom with hardboiled eggs cut in half, then spread a mixture of spinach, herbs and walnuts over the eggs and then bake until "set". But there is nothing to set. Even though the pie is called a "custard". Not. :-S The flavors on the test pie are good, but it's dry and crumbly. So when I make the real ones, I'm going to do it more as a quiche, and use the same number of eggs mixed with the spinach mixture and then baked to make a custard. But I think that'll be good. The other pie is a bean and cheese pie (another period recipe), using fava beans and cottage cheese blended together. The test turned out good, but I'm going to need opinions at Birka on the flavor. I'm not sure it's something that people are going to really like.

Let's see. Two soups: one onion and ale, the other beef and red wine. Yum. Those I'm confident enough with that I don't feel the need to test. The beef is pretty similar to the venison soup I made for Crown (but no venison, sadly), and the onion soup is a pretty standard onion soup.

I'm working on the veggies, need to decide if I can get away with just doing raw sticks, because I think roasting them ahead of time isn't going to work so well. Unfortunately, I'm confined by the limitations of no kitchen access on site. I was also going to do this interesting recipe for fried spinach, but again, I think trying to do that ahead and transport is going to lose its appeal.

Then nibbles; pickles, cheese, bread & spreads. Desert is going to be fresh fruit and almond shortbread. And then our subtlety lady is doing her subtlety. I'll be doing most of the rest of the shopping tomorrow before I leave for Birka. Unfortunately, when I get home on Sunday, I have to immediately run off to Financial Aid day at B's future college. Maybe I'll get some stuff done Sunday evening.

Evenings next week is going to be all about dumpling assembly (with as much help as I can wrangle). They will get frozen and baked the morning of the event. Pies, meatballs, and soups will get done up ahead of time, because they all reheat well. Shortbread can all be done up ahead. The croquettes will be done up that morning or the night before, although the filling can be done a good bit ahead. This is basically the same strategy I used for Duello, and other than a very early morning to start baking stuff, it worked well. Of course, this time, I've got a lot more food to make, but it'll work. And I'll have M and the boys to help me to load and tranport, and I'm sure there will be extra help on site to unload.
danagryphon: (Default)
So I've been testing recipes for the K&Q Fencing Dayboard, with pretty good results so far.

I'm making 3 kinds of dumplings: pork & currant, mushroom & cheese, and beef. Shaw's has premade pie crusts on sale right now for .99 for a box of 2, so I went and bought 36 boxes tonight. Woohoo! That's a lotta dumplings. But I hate making pie dough. Using the premade crusts worked well for Duello, and they weren't anywhere near this good a deal then (nomally they are $2.50 for a box of 2, so this is a SERIOUS sale). The ladies at the checkout looked at me funny, but I told them I was making pies for a charity bake-sale. Close enough, lol.

I'm also making chicken & cheese meatballs (a period recipe) which are amazing. They are cooked by boiling them in a pot of meat stock. Luckily, I save and freeze stock whenever I have extra, so I have plenty to do this. I'm also making ham croquettes (by request of the autocrat's hubby, [livejournal.com profile] brokk), and got a good deal on ham on sale tonight, too.

Let's see. Pies. Two kinds of pies, mostly for the vegetarians. One is a spinach, walnut, and egg. That one needs some serious tweaks from the period recipe. It says to line the bottom with hardboiled eggs cut in half, then spread a mixture of spinach, herbs and walnuts over the eggs and then bake until "set". But there is nothing to set. Even though the pie is called a "custard". Not. :-S The flavors on the test pie are good, but it's dry and crumbly. So when I make the real ones, I'm going to do it more as a quiche, and use the same number of eggs mixed with the spinach mixture and then baked to make a custard. But I think that'll be good. The other pie is a bean and cheese pie (another period recipe), using fava beans and cottage cheese blended together. The test turned out good, but I'm going to need opinions at Birka on the flavor. I'm not sure it's something that people are going to really like.

Let's see. Two soups: one onion and ale, the other beef and red wine. Yum. Those I'm confident enough with that I don't feel the need to test. The beef is pretty similar to the venison soup I made for Crown (but no venison, sadly), and the onion soup is a pretty standard onion soup.

I'm working on the veggies, need to decide if I can get away with just doing raw sticks, because I think roasting them ahead of time isn't going to work so well. Unfortunately, I'm confined by the limitations of no kitchen access on site. I was also going to do this interesting recipe for fried spinach, but again, I think trying to do that ahead and transport is going to lose its appeal.

Then nibbles; pickles, cheese, bread & spreads. Desert is going to be fresh fruit and almond shortbread. And then our subtlety lady is doing her subtlety. I'll be doing most of the rest of the shopping tomorrow before I leave for Birka. Unfortunately, when I get home on Sunday, I have to immediately run off to Financial Aid day at B's future college. Maybe I'll get some stuff done Sunday evening.

Evenings next week is going to be all about dumpling assembly (with as much help as I can wrangle). They will get frozen and baked the morning of the event. Pies, meatballs, and soups will get done up ahead of time, because they all reheat well. Shortbread can all be done up ahead. The croquettes will be done up that morning or the night before, although the filling can be done a good bit ahead. This is basically the same strategy I used for Duello, and other than a very early morning to start baking stuff, it worked well. Of course, this time, I've got a lot more food to make, but it'll work. And I'll have M and the boys to help me to load and tranport, and I'm sure there will be extra help on site to unload.

SCA Stuffs

Jan. 5th, 2012 10:38 am
danagryphon: (Default)
So I noticed that my LJ is turning into a writing journal (which is okay), but I wanted to write about some stuff going on in the SCA lately.

SCA geekery, in case you don't care )

SCA Stuffs

Jan. 5th, 2012 10:38 am
danagryphon: (Default)
So I noticed that my LJ is turning into a writing journal (which is okay), but I wanted to write about some stuff going on in the SCA lately.

SCA geekery, in case you don't care )
danagryphon: (Default)
The feast for the Carolingia Shakespeare event mostly went off without a hitch. Mostly. I forgot a couple of ingredients, cinnamon and garlic, but they were minor enough that everything was fine without them. Soaking the lentils overnight really helped make them more tender, and improved the stew. I had to call [personal profile] chrystie69  when I got to Burlington to ask her to bring a baster, corkscrew and veggie peeler, because I forgot to grab mine. So she saved my brisket (quite literally, since the Baronial supplies had no corkscrew, and wine was an essential ingredient in the brisket). I had helpers wandering in and out all day, including Rosina, Maire, [personal profile] chrystie69, who helped chop lots of vegetables.

Using the electric roasters to cook the chickens was, if I say so myself, a stroke of genius. With only one oven, there is no way I could have done them and all the other stuff that had to be cooked. And the beef in the pressure cooker was by far the most commented on item.

Shortly after I started cooking, the autocrat came in and asked if I thought we had enough food to add another table (8 more people) to the service, because they were developing a wait list at the door. So I told her sure, add the table, I'll make it work. So we ended up serving 9 tables, 72 people total. And it was perfect. Everyone had plenty to eat, there were some leftovers, but they were all pretty quickly snatched up by the attendees and taken home, and nothing went to waste.

So that was the biggest feast I've cooked to date (Hafla feast was only 40 people, although more dishes). And I'm already getting more requests to cook at other events. :D

Oh, and DW seems to like me now, as it has finally imported all my old LJ entries. Woohoo!

danagryphon: (Aleksei Guard)
I finished up all the rest of the shopping for the feast today, after taking the day off. I woke with a massive headache, that was only going to get better by going back to bed for a couple of hours. That worked, so I figured taking a day off to finish my prep for the feast was going to be time well spent.

I did most of the shopping Tuesday evening, and after taking stock of what I had spent (and it was quite a bit less than I had expected), I decided that I wanted to get more of a few things so that I could be more generous with the portions. I also picked up some grapes and cheeses (on sale) to serve as nibbles with the first course, in case there are folks who can't eat/don't like the lentil stew.

Between me and my neighbor, we backed 26 loaves of bread, and that was even with one batch of hers deciding it really didn't want to rise a final time before baking and ended up in the trash instead. So there will be plenty of bread. We went through 20 lbs of flour (bought in bulk at BJs). It is amazing how much money baking your own bread for a feast will save on your budget, compared to paying a couple of bucks a loaf for "artisan" bread. But this is something uxbridgefox already knows, as she is the Queen of Baking Bread for Events.

As I write this, the first batch of cheese tarts are in the oven. I decided to do individual pans for each table, since buying 9 (in packs of 3) small round aluminum cake pans cost about 2/3 of what 2 half sheet pans would cost. And will make serving much easier.

Once those are done though (since they have to be refrigerated over night to set properly), the only other prep I'm going to do ahead of time is to soak the lentils Friday night. Friday night, I also have to go down to [personal profile] chrystie69 's house to get a roaster and a pressure cooker. And the red wine, which she picked up for me at the Shaw's in Clinton (which is the only Shaw's I've ever seen that has a liquor store *inside* the grocery store, but then again, this is Clinton). Oh, and maybe if I'm feeling ambitious, I might make up some herbed butter (which is also better if it sits over night for the flavors to be infused in the butter) ahead of time. But otherwise, it's going to be a lot of chopping veggies on Saturday. I've already gotten email from one volunteer who is new to Carolingia and wants to work in the kitchen as a way to get involved. And I figure there will be others who will wander in and ask what they can do to help. But honestly, even if I had to do it all myself, I don't think it would really be a big issue. I've got plenty of time between when the site opens and the feast is scheduled to be served, and many of my dishes can be spaced out and kept warm until service.

This is only my second feast, and the biggest so far (Hafla was only 40 people, this will be 64). But I'm psyched about it, not stressed at all (although having today off to finish things certainly helped).

danagryphon: (Default)
Prepping for the feast is going well. I made the lentil stew and the dishes from the chicken course on Sunday for my family for dinner, and they were gobbled up, even by the kids. The makerouns are going to be a big hit with the kids. Last night, I tested the dishes for the beef course, and other than making one small adjustment to the seasoning on the mushrooms, it was declared a total hit (M and the boys were not home last night, so I invited my neighbor and [livejournal.com profile] chrystie69  to come try).

M's one criticism of the chicken course was that the chicken and the peas were a little on the bland side. May just need some more salt (I tend to under-salt when I cook, and let people put on if they like more). The dilemma with using period recipes (which the chicken and peas both are) is how much to change it to appeal to a more modern palate (which is used to bigger, bolder flavors), while still maintaining the authenticity of the dish. Honestly, I'm not too worried if the flavors of the chicken course are a bit subtle, since it is sandwiched between two courses will a LOT of bold flavor.

I started baking the bread to go with. I'm making small 1-pound loaves, figuring about 3 of them for each table. I'll send out half the bread with the lentil stew at the beginning, and then the other half with the beef course, which has a lot of juices for sopping up. The chicken course has its own starch with the makerouns, so I don't think it needs extra bread. So I need to make 24 loaves. I'm letting my bread machine do most of the work using the dough cycle, and then forming the loaves and baking them by hand. Right now, I'm just doing a basic white bread, but I might do half of it in an herb bread recipe, if I can find one that is suitable.

Tonight, I am going off to do the bulk of the shopping, first at BJs, then the Super Wallyworld, and finally Shaws for anything I can't find at the other two. I think I should be pretty good on budget. I bought enough for the testing to equal what will go out to one table of eight (I will have eight tables total to serve), and it came in right about on target. The only thing I'm concerned about is that if I can't find parsnips at BJs, I may have to hit multiple Shaws to get them, since the one near me only had about 4 or 5 1-pound bags. I need about 12 pounds total. Oh, and hopefully I can find somewhere to get red wine in large quantity fairly cheap, since both the beef and the lentil stew call for it.

Thursday, I'll bake the cheese tart, since it needs to refrigerate for at least a day to be served cold. I could try to do it Wednesday, if I'm feeling energetic enough after scouts. I'll also be continuing to bake bread pretty much straight through. I am setting up the bread machine to do a batch while I'm in bed, another one while I'm at work, and then another in the evening (might be able to sneak in two if I start early enough). Each batch makes 2 loaves, so that's about 6-8 loaves a day. I did 4 last night/this morning before I ran out of flour. So I'm in good shape there.

I need to go down to [livejournal.com profile] chrystie69 's place sometime later this week to get her electric roaster (plus mine, for doing eight chickens) and pressure cooker (for the beef). [livejournal.com profile] tpau  is getting the baronial cooking/serving equipment. Just need to check how early I can get into the site on Saturday. I've also already had an email from a newcomer to the Barony who wants to volunteer to help cook. woohoo!

I have rose syrup and pomegranate syrup for making drinks, and will probably pick up a canister of lemonade. So drinks are taken care of, too. If I have anything left in my budget (BIG if!), I may pick up a few nibbles to put on the tables as part of the preset, but that is certainly not required. I have a feeling the budget is going to be pretty tight as it is.

Gonna be fun! (and tasty) :D
danagryphon: (Default)
Prepping for the feast is going well. I made the lentil stew and the dishes from the chicken course on Sunday for my family for dinner, and they were gobbled up, even by the kids. The makerouns are going to be a big hit with the kids. Last night, I tested the dishes for the beef course, and other than making one small adjustment to the seasoning on the mushrooms, it was declared a total hit (M and the boys were not home last night, so I invited my neighbor and [livejournal.com profile] chrystie69  to come try).

M's one criticism of the chicken course was that the chicken and the peas were a little on the bland side. May just need some more salt (I tend to under-salt when I cook, and let people put on if they like more). The dilemma with using period recipes (which the chicken and peas both are) is how much to change it to appeal to a more modern palate (which is used to bigger, bolder flavors), while still maintaining the authenticity of the dish. Honestly, I'm not too worried if the flavors of the chicken course are a bit subtle, since it is sandwiched between two courses will a LOT of bold flavor.

I started baking the bread to go with. I'm making small 1-pound loaves, figuring about 3 of them for each table. I'll send out half the bread with the lentil stew at the beginning, and then the other half with the beef course, which has a lot of juices for sopping up. The chicken course has its own starch with the makerouns, so I don't think it needs extra bread. So I need to make 24 loaves. I'm letting my bread machine do most of the work using the dough cycle, and then forming the loaves and baking them by hand. Right now, I'm just doing a basic white bread, but I might do half of it in an herb bread recipe, if I can find one that is suitable.

Tonight, I am going off to do the bulk of the shopping, first at BJs, then the Super Wallyworld, and finally Shaws for anything I can't find at the other two. I think I should be pretty good on budget. I bought enough for the testing to equal what will go out to one table of eight (I will have eight tables total to serve), and it came in right about on target. The only thing I'm concerned about is that if I can't find parsnips at BJs, I may have to hit multiple Shaws to get them, since the one near me only had about 4 or 5 1-pound bags. I need about 12 pounds total. Oh, and hopefully I can find somewhere to get red wine in large quantity fairly cheap, since both the beef and the lentil stew call for it.

Thursday, I'll bake the cheese tart, since it needs to refrigerate for at least a day to be served cold. I could try to do it Wednesday, if I'm feeling energetic enough after scouts. I'll also be continuing to bake bread pretty much straight through. I am setting up the bread machine to do a batch while I'm in bed, another one while I'm at work, and then another in the evening (might be able to sneak in two if I start early enough). Each batch makes 2 loaves, so that's about 6-8 loaves a day. I did 4 last night/this morning before I ran out of flour. So I'm in good shape there.

I need to go down to [livejournal.com profile] chrystie69 's place sometime later this week to get her electric roaster (plus mine, for doing eight chickens) and pressure cooker (for the beef). [livejournal.com profile] tpau  is getting the baronial cooking/serving equipment. Just need to check how early I can get into the site on Saturday. I've also already had an email from a newcomer to the Barony who wants to volunteer to help cook. woohoo!

I have rose syrup and pomegranate syrup for making drinks, and will probably pick up a canister of lemonade. So drinks are taken care of, too. If I have anything left in my budget (BIG if!), I may pick up a few nibbles to put on the tables as part of the preset, but that is certainly not required. I have a feeling the budget is going to be pretty tight as it is.

Gonna be fun! (and tasty) :D
danagryphon: (Default)
So, I'm cooking the feast for the Carolingia Shakespeare event. The menu is a simple fare of foods that one would have gotten going to the Pub down the street from the theater after the show, and will be served very informally. Although it is organized into courses just for the order it will come out, it won't necessarily be served in the traditional courses with a bunch of time in between (depending of course, on how the timing of the cooking all works out, but that is the plan right now).

I am trying to cover as many of the food issues as I can, and I think I've actually got a pretty good menu for that. Anyone who is vegetarian, semi-kosher, gluten free, dairy free, or onion sensitive should be able to eat at least 80% of the food, as long as they don't have too many of those things going on at the same time.

Some of the recipes are period, and some of them are modern recipes that use period ingredients.

Menu list (tentative) with ingredients is as follows:

First Course:
Lentil Soup
Lentils, leeks, carrots, parsnips, turnips, celery, canola oil, vegetable stock, bay leaves, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, red wine, cilantro
Bread
Flour, salt, yeast, sugar, canola oil

Second Course:
Roasted Chicken
Chicken, butter, rosemary, thyme, egg yolks
Makerouns
Egg noodles, canola oil, salt, cheddar cheese, butter
Peas
Peas, leeks, canola oil, salt, sugar, saffron

Third Course:
Beef Brisket
Beef brisket, parsley, leeks, currants, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, saffron, salt, red wine, red wine vinegar
Roasted Parsnips
Parsnips, canola oil, salt, pepper, vegetable broth, butter, horseradish, parsley, chives, garlic
Funges
Mushrooms, leeks, ground cloves, ground pepper, saffron, vegetable broth, cumin, salt

Desserts:
Cheese Tart
Almonds, butter, ricotta cheese, honey, cinnamon, eggs
Shortbread cookies
Butter, sugar, flour

Edited: oops, looks like I forgot one. Will be using canola instead of olive oil. Also will need to check the Worcestershire, soy sauce, and vegetable stocks to make sure they aren't going to tweak anyone's sensitivities.
danagryphon: (Default)
So, I'm cooking the feast for the Carolingia Shakespeare event. The menu is a simple fare of foods that one would have gotten going to the Pub down the street from the theater after the show, and will be served very informally. Although it is organized into courses just for the order it will come out, it won't necessarily be served in the traditional courses with a bunch of time in between (depending of course, on how the timing of the cooking all works out, but that is the plan right now).

I am trying to cover as many of the food issues as I can, and I think I've actually got a pretty good menu for that. Anyone who is vegetarian, semi-kosher, gluten free, dairy free, or onion sensitive should be able to eat at least 80% of the food, as long as they don't have too many of those things going on at the same time.

Some of the recipes are period, and some of them are modern recipes that use period ingredients.

Menu list (tentative) with ingredients is as follows:

First Course:
Lentil Soup
Lentils, leeks, carrots, parsnips, turnips, celery, canola oil, vegetable stock, bay leaves, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, red wine, cilantro
Bread
Flour, salt, yeast, sugar, canola oil

Second Course:
Roasted Chicken
Chicken, butter, rosemary, thyme, egg yolks
Makerouns
Egg noodles, canola oil, salt, cheddar cheese, butter
Peas
Peas, leeks, canola oil, salt, sugar, saffron

Third Course:
Beef Brisket
Beef brisket, parsley, leeks, currants, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, saffron, salt, red wine, red wine vinegar
Roasted Parsnips
Parsnips, canola oil, salt, pepper, vegetable broth, butter, horseradish, parsley, chives, garlic
Funges
Mushrooms, leeks, ground cloves, ground pepper, saffron, vegetable broth, cumin, salt

Desserts:
Cheese Tart
Almonds, butter, ricotta cheese, honey, cinnamon, eggs
Shortbread cookies
Butter, sugar, flour

Edited: oops, looks like I forgot one. Will be using canola instead of olive oil. Also will need to check the Worcestershire, soy sauce, and vegetable stocks to make sure they aren't going to tweak anyone's sensitivities.

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