Food, Glorious Food!

I have helped out in a few kitchens, and have not done nearly enough research, however, I enjoy cooking. Most likely, I will never do any A&S level cooking. I'm an "until it looks good" and "to taste" style cook. I generally throw food at heat and hope. But I very much enjoy trying to make an SCA period presentation of food stuffs. Even though it's a bunch of work, I like doing private dayboards for my friends.

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Pennsic 44

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My first Pennsic (2015) I roasted my first practice chicken over the fire. That year I also made a few pies and some bread.

Pennsic 45

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My second Pennsic (2016) I roasted my first practice turkey over the fire.

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That year, I was also in charge of my first camp dinner. I didn't count the turkey because I was terrified of the turkey not cooking properly. I made meat pies (a potato and beef inspired by a French Canadian Tourtiere) and a lamb sausage and barley soup (because we had leftover lamb sausage).

Pennsic 46

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Third Pennsic (2017), I was in charge of two meals. First week was roast port stuffed with dried apricots and prunes roasted over the fire. I also did chicken thighs stuffed with the same and wrapped in bacon, pan fried. (And a practice turkey)

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There was some gravy, leeks and mushrooms, and a pease porridge, too.

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Second week, I made meat pies. All were started by cooking down meat with bones. Dough was made on site as well. Beef with onions and mushrooms, pork with raisins and almonds, and a more modern chicken pie. (And a practice turkey)

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There was also an apple and a blueberry pie for afters. 10 in all. I could not have done this without the help of camp mates who kept the fire going.

Class on Hand Pies

In June of 2018, folks convinced me to teach a class on hand pies at the Canton of the Towers of Carolingia project day. My handout with "recipies" (i.e. vague guidelines) is available here.

Pennsic 47

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Roast pork loin, Roast turkey, Rice cooked in almond milk with dried apricots. Various gravies. I think the veggie was sauteed carrots.

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Pie night is becoming a thing. 12 pies this year. 2 beef with onion and mushrooms, 2 pork with raisins and apples, 2+ chicken pie, 2 lentil pies (with mushrooms, celery, and carrots), 2 apple, 2 blueberry. And a beta turkey. I'm no longer allowed to call it a practice turkey.

Great Malagentian Test Kitchen

In May of 2019, Malegentia hosted a "Test Kitchen" event. We took over a state park, and the theme of the event was to make food over a fire. The event was amazing and I really hope they run it again.

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Working on a barley and fava bean pottage (with onions and bacon).

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Roasting chickens. Making stock with the gizzards etc. in the pot by the coals. Kettle is just heating water to have warm water.

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Isabel del Okes and Muirenn Ingen Ciric are amazing people who came to this event to make sure I didn't fall into the fire or cut off something important. These ladies are fabulous and were having a wonderful time churning butter and kneading bread. And they did all the hard work of hauling firewood and water, washing dishes, etc. I cannot thank them enough for coming to help me so I could have fun.

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A honey, vinegar, apple, and raisin sauce for the chickens.

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We needed lunch, which was a lamb dish including preserved lemons, kalmata olives, onions, garlic, and couscous.

Of course I never got photos of everything because we were running late for dinner. Lunch was the lamb and couscous dish. We made a barley and fava bean pottage, roasted chickens (that didn't quite cook), a honeyed sauce for the chicken, and a peasant bread. The peasant bread was a sourdough made of barley, spelt, and oat flour. It was slightly burnt, but Muirenn scraped off the burnt bits and there wasn't a scrap left. There was also the butter that was split into three dishes, one plain butter and two seasoned. Later in the evening we mulled wine to sip by the fire.

GNEW 2019

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Unfortunately I never got pictures of the food, as I was too busy cooking (or teaching a class at the time), but I was able to feed 12-20 folks from here. I can't express the joy it gave me to return to my tent after teaching and seeing it full of folks enjoying the shade and eating food. Many thanks to all the folks who helped host while I was teaching, and who did dishes.

I don't have pictures of the food in situ, but I do have some from the prep.

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I made several syrups for flavoring water to enjoy. Left to right: Lemon syrup with rose water, lemon syrup, strawberry shrub, mint sekanjubmin, hypocras (mulled red wine), clareit (mulled white wine), orange syrup, sour mix

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I knew many folks needed to get going early in the morning. Grab and go foods are a must, like these crustless quiches.

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Cut and come again cakes. Old style cakes that have lasting power. Parkin (oat based ginger bread), a cherry cake, and seed cake.

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Pickled eggs. The yellow use a bread and butter pickle blend. The pink includes beets and onions. They sound weird, but are really good on hot days. I also always provide pickles and olives. (Usually store bought to save time).

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While I can bake bread over a fire, bringing it with you is much easier

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Hand pies are always a favorite. No memory of what these were. Possibly a beef/lamb combo with mushrooms and onions. Or pork with rasins and apples.

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Cold roast beef always goes over well. Serve with a few types of mustard. I usually include a chunk of ham or a roasted turkey breast as well.

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You always need a little something sweet. Almond or spiced shortbread. I also brought s'mores fixings. Not period, but who doesn't like roasted marshmallows.

Not included was the coffee, my lamb and couscous dish, various cheeses, including a few potted cheeses, or the pulled pork and pulled chicken I made ahead of time. Served with coleslaw. Also made a 3 bean salad for lunch. There were also several raw veggies (carrots, celery, salad greens), because vegetables are important.

Pennsic 48

There starts to be a theme. I was very proud of my week 1 meal this year, where I try to do something vaguely periodish.

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I know turkeys are not period, but they feed a bunch of folks. And a pork loin. Now with new happy spit with prongs to keep cooking meat from rotating.

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Finished roasted pork. Smeared the outside with mustard, flour, salt, and pepper.

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Dried apples and raisins cooked with honey, vinegar, and spices. Inspired by the honeyed chicken recipie from the Feast of Ice and Fire cookbook.

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Roast turkey. Stuffed with veggies to make the stock I made tasty.

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Pease porridge, or pea soup, with bacon and onions.

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Barley with fava beans pottage, also with bacon and onions.

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Peasant bread. I actually brought a sourdough starter to Pennsic and made bread in a dutch oven with spelt, oat, and barley flour.

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I made hypocras and clareit. Don't remember which is which, or what spices I used.

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Starting at the top and going clockwise: Pease porridge, Pork with honeyed fruit, turkey with gravy, bread with some fresh cheese I made the day before because I bought a cool new pottery jug, leeks and mushrooms, barley pottage.

Second week dinner didn't go quite as well. It was the same night as East Kingdom Court, and many folks wanted to attend, so we tried to eat early. Then there was weather (including hail). The food was good, just eaten haphazardly and never really served as a meal.

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Turkey and dutch ovens full of pies.

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The most pies together at a time. 2 Blueberry, 2 apple, and the 2 beef.

I only made 10 pies this year. Fewer folks in camp, I didn't do the chicken pies. I also made armoured turnips which were a success.

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