Sylvie's Secret Feast Plan

The Plan:

This is the skeleton of the plan when I start. To this plan I can add or remove courses and/or dishes. I can move dishes between courses as appropriate. This is only the plan.

Day board(served at 10-12):

Meat soup and/or Vegetarian soup
“bread” for dipping
butter or spread to put on the “bread”

Feast

First service (Fill your hunger. Satisfy the feaster.)
Soup
Vegetarian dish
Non meat protein (egg, cheese, milk)
Meat dish(smoked meat? Sausage or Chicken)
1-2 Sauce (mustard, or sauces)
This should have large amounts of inexpensive foods. Fill the hunger of the feaster. This is a good place to serve your soup which usually requires few cheap ingredients to make a large amount. Chicken and pork and cheaper cuts of meat may be served here. Also keep in mind any vegetarian diners and offer both a vegetarian dish and possibly a non-meat protein. These can be combined(egg/cheese/spinach tart).
Second service (Interesting dishes with great flavors.)
Meat dish
vegetarian dish
2-3 other small dishes
Filling grain dish(rice, frumenty, bulgar wheat)
This is where you should include your more expensive, or more experimental foods. Things that you want to prepare but you don’t expect the diner to eat much of it (aspic, eel, venison). As an ending you should also include a “filling grain dish” for those diners who have a “hollow leg” and just need something to fill up on.
Third service(Little things to finish.)
Confetti?
Sweet “dessert”
Possibly a drink
This is the closing service. If you’ve properly portioned out your feast, not much of these will actually get eaten. This is the “dessert” course. Modernly we appreciate a sweet something to close.

General:
Consider your dishes. When you serve a course how are you going to send it out? Separate dishes for each thing? A common plate with portions of each dish? Do you have enough serving dishes/spoons to do it that way?

If you’re accommodating vegetarians make sure you can keep the meat juice out of the vegetables (and/or check with known vegetarians and possibly send out separate plates for them).

Make sure you don’t have a coures/feast that is dominated by a single note. IE, the vinegar feast or the “varied piles of grey vaguely meat goo” Aim for variety in textures and flavors. Although you can have chords of flavor throughout the feast make sure those chords aren’t in -every- dish. Ie, a feast with notes of apple cider vinegar and cinnamon in serveral dishs “hangs” together as a complimentary feast.. but don’t have those notes in EVERY dish or it just become boring (and inedible if for example you have someone who is allergic to cinnamon).

I recommend against serving more than one soup in a course. In most cases diners only have a single bowl for the soup. The dayboard is an exception. Since those soups usually go out on a table and the diners self serve and can try each of the different soups and take as much or as little as they deem fit.

After you have written out your feast handout which lists each dish and all of the ingredients in that dish, DO NOT CHANGE ingredients without announcing the change. At one feast I cooked I decided at the last minute to add apple slices (which I had left over from the previous course) into a dish in the second course. Later that evening a diner came to me and told me she had taken one bite of the dish, noticed it had an apple in it and immediately spit it out. It turns out she was allergic to apples and if she hadn’t noticed discrepancy it could have been a potentially fatal error.

If a dish isn’t good, don’t send it out. This can be if it’s not cooked enough, over cooked, too much salt, etc. If you wouldn’t eat it, why would you inflict it on your feasters. Fix it if you can.. undercooked food can cook for longer and become part of the next course… otherwise throw it away.

Vegetarian:
Unless contacted I normally try and accommodate lacto-ovo vegetarians. That is, those who eat milk, eggs, butter but don’t eat actual meat products.

Some “our furry friends” vegetarians will not eat ANY animal based products. This includes milk, eggs, butter, rennet, etc. Beware that most commercially made cheese uses animal-based rennet. Beware of vegetable based soups that use commercial veggie stocks with a meat based thickener.

Resources:
Rob Peter to feed Paul: halving feast costs http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/recipes/rprf.sca.feasts.html

Beaconsgate Boar Hunt (2008)

First course:
Venison with Furmenty (venison in gravy with a wheat berry side)
Capoun in Salome (Chicken in a saffron almond milk sauce)
Buttered Wortes (wilted greens in butter)
Pies de Payrse (Pork pies with currants, dates and cinnamon)
Soppes Dorrey (Onion Soup)

Second course:
Boublier of fresh Boar (Pork cooked in vinegar with spices (very very flavorful and tender))
Decorated Rice (Essentially rice pudding with cinnamon)
Sallet of many herbs and flowers (Green Salad with lots of herbs, decorated with rose leaves)(rose leaves are very tasty)

Last course:
Boars Head Soetlety (A “boar’s head” made of fruit cake and marzipan)
Pears in Wine (Pears cooked in red wine with syrup)

Some details:
We had 80 guests. We had 15 lbs of Venison, 28 lbs of chicken, 36 lbs of pork roast.. and 24 pies.

Lessons:
I took off Thursday and Friday from work, did all my shopping on Thursday and most of my prep on Friday. I had 7 people who helped me in the kitchen.

We sent out all of our courses on time.. and there was only one dish I wasn’t terribly happy about (the onion soup). All the other dishes were very tasty and seemed to please the feasters. Even the soup was “ok” but I know I could have done better. Next time I’ll use white wine and start by making an onion stock. The onions went out -very- purple from the red-wine.

Red-wine and onions (or pork flesh) do not go together. Use white wine instead.
Also, if you’re making cooked cabbage, use green OR red, don’t mix them. The red cabbage changed to a kind of interesting teal color.. which was tasty.. but off-putting.

Beaconsgate Boar Hunt A.S. XL (2005)

Boar hunt 2005 is the second feast I’ve ever cooked. I started out with very big plans. Life intervened. The feast still came off well.. but I ended up re-using a lot of recipes from my last feast.

Theme: “Hunt and Harvest”

First Course:
Furmenty (v) with Venison
Capon Fricassee
Bourblier of fresh boar
Tourte (cheese and herb tart)(v)
Cabbage(v)
Soetletie, Bread Beasties(v)

Second Course:

Ravioli in white broth(v)
Fillets in Gelatine(pork chops in gravy)
Chickens Endorsed
Rich Pasties
Compot(Honey-Glazed Vegetables)(v)
Sallet of all kinds of herbes and flowers(v)
Citrus Sauce(v)
Soetletie, Pigges

Third Course:

Roasted Rabbit
Optimal Cameline(v)
Pears in a wine sauce(v)
Tartlets (deep fried meat filled dumplings)
Confetti(v)
Soetletie (Boar’s Head by Dorothea)(v)

(v) – Vegetarian

Mists Bardic Feast September 11, A. S. XXXIX (2004)

Mists Bardic Feast September 11, A. S. XXXIX
Bard of the Mists: Lady Elsa Saxenkammer
Head Cuisinière: Lady Sylvie la chardonnière
Autocrat: Lady Edith de Laufare

First service from the sideboard (12:30-ish)
Pique the appetite. Tasty things that make you hungry.
Sausages served cold
Savoury Melted Cheese
Fresh sliced apples, pears, carrots, cucumbers, celery
Bread

First Round of Bardic Competition (1:15-ish)

First service from the kitchen (3:45-ish)
Fill your hunger. Satisfy the feaster.
Winter Squash Soup Fringed with Saffron
Honey-Glazed Vegetables
Roast Chicken
Cameline
Citrus sauce
Summertime Cerulean Blue Sauce
Black Pepper Sauce
Cow’s Milk Jance
Green Garlic
Marbled eggs
Sweet Leache

Second and final service from the kitchen (5:30-ish)
Interesting dishes with great flavors.
Soebtlety of marzipan
Bourblier of fresh boar
Tourte
Sallet of all kinds of herbes and flowers
Decorated rice
Pears in wine sauce

Second and final service from the sideboard (7:15-ish)
Levata la tovaglia, little things to finish.
Prince Biskets of many colors
Candied lemon and lime peels
Confetti
Scented and colored toothpicks

Site Closes (10:00-ish)
At 10:01-ish if you’re still here you’re on cleanup crew.

For more information contact:
sylvie@fibergeek.com or edith@sparklefreak.com

Special thanks to:
Quiznos™ at Second and Folsom in San Francisco,
The Village Blocksmith,
Joan the Harper and Bruce the Cart Driver,
Baroness Eilis O’Boirne,
Duke Fredrick of Holland,
Province of Silver Desert,
and the many, many people who helped with planning, cooking, serving, cleanup and moral support.

It has been my pleasure,

Lady Sylvie la chardonnière
Head cuisinière