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Re: on feast help

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  • Dawn Malmstrom
    ... O.K. we started doing an ingredient list over ten years ago, at the second feast I was involved with. As I recall there was a real uproar with making a
    Message 1 of 40 , Jul 1, 2005
      > >One last note, one thing we've started doing is listing ingredients
      > >for the various dishes for those with allergies. Some cooks don't
      > >like doing this because they consider it trade secrets, but it
      > >keeps people from running into the kitchen at every course.

      O.K. we started doing an ingredient list over ten years ago, at the
      second feast I was involved with. As I recall there was a real uproar
      with making a list. Some cooks at the time felt that it impinged on
      their arts. We did it because there were many in our Shire with food
      weirdnesses, from vegetarains to Lactos-intolerant to nut allergies.

      > Donata and I are in the same Kingdom and i've been listing
      > ingredients since i began cooking feasts during my second year in
      > the SCA (i've only been in 6 years). I got this idea from the
      > SCA-Cooks e-mail list. I always include a paper menu, listing the
      > dishes in each course and the ingredients in each dish. For my first
      > feast i didn't get to the photocopy place in time, so i posted the
      > menu and ingredients next to the kitchen door, so folks didn't have
      > to come into the kitchen. Otherwise, i make a menu or feast booklet
      > for each diner. I realize this is rather modern, but it's better
      > than someone eating something that will make them sick, or someone
      > out of caution not eating something they could have.
      > I mention my feast ahead of time on our Kingdom list, asking that
      > folks with allergies and other serious food issues contact me, but i
      > have yet to be contacted in 6 years. So I also suggest that diners
      > ask for me at the kitchen door if they have a problem... this hasn't
      > bothered me, but around here most people are polite and ask first if
      > they feel they need to enter the kitchen.

      It took years of announcements to get them all trained.

      > Heck, i cooked a couple Boar Hunt feasts during which the Boar
      >(a heavy fighter with a special helmet) ran through the kitchen. I
      > threatened to cook him for the feast (good naturedly, of course)

      It's not the Boar you have to worry about, its the Dogs (also heavy
      fighters with special helms and barking) at least one time, the police
      were called because a neighbor thought that someone was beating a dog.
      While the Autocrat tried to explain what we were doing first the Boar,
      then the "pack of Dogs" came runnig through the underbrush howling.
      The policeman just left.

      > Snip
      > But our feasts here in The West are rarely at the Kingdom level
      > (except at Collegia), most being at the Principality or Shire level
      > and having fewer than 100 diners. And generally people don't have
      > unrealistic expectations such as not contacting the cook and
      > expecting special treatment the day of the feast. Folks with complex
      > food issues tend to bring their own safe food, without burdening the
      > Feast Cook. I can see that people cooking for larger groups, or with
      > an excess of impolite diners might face more challenges.
      > Additionally, about 10 per cent of the diners at my feasts are
      > vegetarians. I've recently started using a designated vegetarian
      > server - since the vegetarians are all around the hall - when i have
      > separate platters of some dish for the vegetarians and for the
      > omnivores. I anticipate vegetarians and plan my meals so that
      > vegetarians can have plenty to eat - i don't require them to contact
      > me ahead of time. There's no problem - all i do is cook the
      > vegetables that would be simmered in broth in a rich vegetable broth.
      > It's also possible that because the vegetarians know i have
      > vegetarian friendly meals more of them come to my feasts, since i've
      > heard other Cooks say they thought there weren't so many vegetarians
      > at their feasts.

      As a matter of course we've always made all of the vegetables fully
      vegetarian (using a vegetable broth, cheese dishes without meat, etc.)
      So, we never counted them seperate.

      Donata Bonacorsi

      > --
      > Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
      > the persona formerly known as Anahita
    • Adele de Maisieres
      ... I think that s actually good cooking as well as good allergy planning-- afterall, people don t want to eat fifteen dishes that all taste the same. ... I
      Message 40 of 40 , Jul 5, 2005
        bronwynmgn@... wrote:

        >My method for dealing with allergies and vegetarians and food dislikes is
        >all the same:
        >I plan my menus so that no more than 1/3 of the total number of dishes
        >contain the same ingredient.

        I think that's actually good cooking as well as good allergy planning--
        afterall, people don't want to eat fifteen dishes that all taste the same.

        >I find that people in my area very rarely will contact the cook about food
        >allergies or needs - I think I've had two do it over the course of 8 or so
        >feasts I've cooked.

        I absolutely expect people to contact me ahead if they have special food
        needs. If people don't do it, it needs to be added in large letters to
        any feast publicity.

        >I have worked in kitchens where the cook has made special
        >portions for people with allergies and I find it altogether too complicated and
        >time-consuming to do on a regular basis.

        Whether I make anything special depends on what I'm making to begin with
        and what the allergies are. Sometimes it's purely a matter of making up
        an ingredients list and having the servers call the attention of anyone
        with allergies to it-- other times, it's making something extra.
        Somethimes I can kill several birds with one stone by making an extra
        dish that will suit people with more than one allergy or food
        preference. Basically, I try to make sure that no-one gets left out of
        any substantial portion of the meal, _not_ that there are seperate
        portions and alternates for each and every little thing.

        Adele de Maisieres

        Quot homines, tot sententiae.
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