[Smashy the Hammer] [An Aspiring Luddite]
I carry no phone
An aspiring Luddite
In a wired world.
[Jeff Berry]
Jeff Berry is an early adopter of the Internet and the Web, a late adopter of Twitter, and declines to adopt Facebook. With the death of Google+, he's experimenting with federated platforms. He admins a medievalist Mastodon instance, and can found on t he PlusPora diaspora pod. He hates cell-phones.

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Feast Planning During Plague Years
Part the Sixth
Examining the Kitchen

The menu has been set. Practicalities now need to be investigated. Step one was a site visit to the kitchen. Although we've used the site before many times, this is the first time we are using this particular kitchen. I'm pleased to say, it looks good. As is my practice, I made a (terrible) sketch of the layout. (Someone else took some pictures, which helps a lot, but still.) A bad sketch of a kitchen.

On the left are three sinks, two large, and a dishwasher - which is handy. On the top is another small sink. Next to that is what I have labelled 'MAIN' which is a six gas-burner hob over a single full sheet pan sized oven. To the right of that is '2nd' which is grill over a second small oven. Then some counter space and a fridge. On the right are a couple of tables, useful for prep. The island in the middle has a small fridge underneath it at '3' and a smallish microwave sitting on it at '4'. There is a backup fridge and a freezer in an adjoining room.

I can work with this.

My first thought is that the small oven and/or the grill will be used as warming ovens, leaving the main oven for the actual cooking.

Looking at the menu, here's what needs to cooked:

On the hob:

  • Spynoches yfyred
  • rapes in potage
  • peeres in confit
  • rissoles for a fish day
  • chyches Alexandre
  • frumente
  • blaunche porree
In the oven:
  • chicken
  • sawgeat
  • cheese tart
  • pork
So I've got seven things notionally on the hob, and four in the oven(s). The cheese tarts can be eaten cold, even though Le Ménagier says to eat it hot. The same could probably be done with the sawgeat, although it would be better warm. Feast goes out at 1300, and I can start cooking more or less whenever I want, so let's call it 0630.

Chicken - I want to do leg quarters, allowing one per person. That means 96 leg quarters, and a 5kg bag should have between 15 and 20. So 30kg of leg quarters. Chicken goes out first and we don't want it undercooked. Pork goes out last, but we also don't want it undercooked. There will also be less of it, since it's third course, and people will have already started to fill up. This is starting to drift into the portioning discussion which is actually another article, so back on track.

In the oven, decision time. Cheese tarts are eaten cold, so they get cooked first thing. They should be able to go in the oven by about 0700 and shouldn't take more than an hour or so. Then out to cool.

That means chicken can be ready to go in the oven by about 0830, and call it an hour and a half for that. Then they go into the small oven to keep warm.

At 1030 the oven is available. Given the size of the oven and the afore-mentioned smaller portions of pork, the sawgeat and pork can probably go in the oven together, although not necessarily at the same time. The pork will want longer, so if it goes in at 1100 or 1130, then the sawgeat can go in at 1200 or 1230.

It is possible, on the day, that I'll look at the oven and the dishes available, and decide that I can do sawgeat, cheese tarts, and pork all at once, but for the moment, the plan is:

  • 0700 - 0800: cheese tarts
  • 0830 - 1000: chicken
  • 1130 - 1330: pork
  • 1200 - 1330: sawgeat
Which gives me some slush time in case something goes awry.

On to the hob.

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© 2022 Jeff Berry
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