TGS 12th Night - More Thanks!
- Unto the members of the Midrealm does the Tree-Girt-Sea Twelfth Night feast-o-crats send greetings and good cheer!
There is no better time for celebration than the beginning of a new year, and no finer time to give thanks for the gifts of friendship and community. And from this very grateful pair of chefs, we would like to take a moment to laud the effort and hard work of the team that pulled together – and in some cases, has spent months laboring over and fine-tuning details for – the province’s recent 12th Night feast celebrating the seven deadly sins.
First of all, to HRM Aislinn, HRH Tessa and the members of the populace: Thank you for your appetites for both food and fun, and your willingness to be open-minded about a feast that tried to straddle the line between tradition and whimsy.
A big thank you to the numerous other people who may not be specifically named in this note – but who donated goods, hauled boxes, washed dishes, stirred pots and helped with food prep, set-up the room (and broke it down again), served trays of food, poured and served drinks, performed between the removes and otherwise helped make sure this feast was a success. Please know that your gift of time and energy were noted, and hugely appreciated.
The kitchen crew was top-notch, and worked seamlessly together with an enormous amount of good humor: Hertzog Finn Herjolfsson and Sir Jamal Damien Marcus, whose extensive culinary experience and tireless energy were both a joy and inspiration to be around; Mistress Eowyn Amberdrake brought an elegant eye and a steady hand to arranging how the food would look on the platters; Sgt. Angus Drummond, who spent all day cheerfully gliding from washing a mountain of dishes, to babying cream and cherry-wine sauces, to prepping courses and making sure everything worked seamlessly in and out of the kitchen; Baroness Melisande de Canonwald, who mapped out a sea of bowls and platters for a six-course meal, filled in the gaps without ever being asked and was a life-saving, one-woman organizational guru; and Thrain Ormsson, whose dry wit and willingness to fix any problem helped keep both the kitchen run smoothly and the feast-o-crats sane.
Contessa Tamara di Firenze straddled duties both for the cooking crew and the feast hall team. Among many other things, she sat outside on the front steps of the site for nearly four hours, with icicles falling on her head and the wind chill knocking the temperatures into the single digits, to scoop sorbet into scores of tiny cups – all in order to prevent the sorbet from melting.
She also coordinated the servers and worked hand-in-hand with Baroness Helena (the ever lovely Phia) on making sure the timing went smoothly between when the bardic performers stepped up – and when the food left the kitchen to arrive seamlessly on the tables.
As for Phia, a giant thank you and an enormous debt of gratitude for months of prep work -- from designing the decorations, to coordinating with performers and researching period bardic materials, to willingly submitting her taste buds to test out more recipe and menu ideas than any sane person ever should have to suffer through.
And speaking of servers, our deepest thanks goes out to Hillary of Langeforde and the serving crew from Foxvale, as well as the children who cheerfully volunteered for the evening. Their smiles and terrific attitudes – particularly during moments of confusion – were a major reason why feastgoers enjoyed their dinner experience. (The fact that many of the kids were able to balance trays of meat that – in some cases – were larger than their heads was awe-inspiring). The praise for Foxvale and the other servers overall has been constant and glowing in the days since the event.
To those who helped haul a ton of gear from the parking lot to the kitchen – you helped start the day smoothly and set a great tone for the rest of the day.
The set-up crew was a terrific team that included (but was not limited to) Hal – thank you for transporting the serving gear to the site! -- Hillary of Langeforde, Kevin A., Sir Killian, Aethelwulf, Eoghan O'Siodhachain and Lord Grimkirk ap Greymoor. They hauled kitchen gear and food up to the third floor, rolled up their sleeves to wash hundreds of dishes – and often did both with a giant grin.
A special thanks to the Hon. Lady Elaine Ladd of the Shire of Rokkehealden, for sticking it out to the very end and being a complete gem when faced with crates of dishes that needed to be cleaned and packed away.
To the Shire of Rokkehealden: Thank you so much for the loan of your group’s beautiful glass feast platters and bowls, and other serving elements helped fill in the gaps that we had. (The gear is gorgeous!!)
A big thanks to the drinks team, headed up by Drew and run by members of both Vlad’s household and Shadows Company. Not only did you run the bar smoothly – who better to do so?? – but you pitched in, unasked, with the dish-washing during and after the feast. It was a great help, and saved an already weary feast crew hours of work.
To Seamus McBain, the newest squire of Sir Leif Haakonson of Northshield, and his ever-lovely wife Jadwiga Wowjoknowichovna Vladescue: A big thanks for all your cat-herding, errand-running, mood-calming, task-filling, problem-solving and general behind-the-scenes fabulousness. Seamus, you are the man.
To Lady Genevieve d'Avignon, a big thanks for organizing the bardic competition, and all of the bards, whose performances – despite acoustic issues that were completely out of anyone’s control – were diverse, rich and wonderful.
A special thanks to Bastion Hammerfest, whose portrayal of anger – man, was he convincing! – was as wonderful as the energy he put into helping the kitchen crew behind the scenes. He and Kith – whose volunteer work over the past two years has been both hugely selfless and often overlooked – did any chore without question. They also jumped in to help without ever being asked.
As any chef knows, a meal is only as good as the ingredients he or she is working with (and whose budgets can be stretched by generous gifts of others.) So a big thank you to Gunnarr Saurr Thrainsson (known as Mudd), for working his magic to obtain free venison for the feast.
An enormous thank you to Dunstan, for his delicious donation of honey. It’s literally a bottle of golden sunshine, and added the perfect subtle note to several dishes. THANK YOU!
To Nadezda ZeZastrizl and her delicious gingerbread bites – people were stealing plates of those yummy goodies at the end of the evening. One woman begged a chef for the recipe – and she pointed the woman in your direction. (And there’s no better compliment than that!)
And lastly – this is Lady Patricia speaking here -- I’d like to give my most humble thanks to my fellow feast-o-crat, Jale Bint Amar. Her kindness and good cheer, patience and generosity of spirit are as great as her fabulous knife skills and I’ve-died-and-gone-to-heaven baking abilities. Without her and her gentle guidance, this feast would never have been able to be accomplished.
Yours in Service,
Patricia and Jale