July Cook’s Guild Meeting Activity Report

Activity Report: July Cook’s Guild Meeting (7/8/2017)

(article originally published July 2017, The Phoenix, Barony of Sacred Stone)

The early July day already pushed past swelter as the Cook’s Guild gathered at the Arnarson and de Sevilla manor in Ashboro. Quickly the shade brought by Lady Aine O Grienan was popped up, but only after the fire was started in Elena Colon de Sevilla’s portable fire-ring because we are that dedicated and would need coals to cook over soon.

Tables proliferated for the outdoor prep work and quickly moving knives became the dominate sound. To one side, Lady Prudence the Curious worked on a smocked apron to be used as a prize for the August cooking competition at Flight of the Falcon. She had prepped and cooked everything at home the night before. Each person has their own area of specialty in the guild ranging from herbs and gardening, to period research, to cooking feasts, to cooking over hot coals on a sunny July afternoon. Prudence is more a book-type member of the guild.

The last to arrive, Lady Scribonia Sabina Mus dumped an armload of fresh herbs she had recently cut out of her garden. Promptly she dug out her salmon and scallops for her dish, and the deviled eggs she had prepared in advanced were passed around to take the edge off of the hunger while we worked. Prudence’s chilled asparagus with sesame sauce added some green to the protein. Then Baroness Nuala ingen Magnusa pita bread was ready to be pulled off the fire, rounding out the early food available with a fresh warm bread.

Between snacking and prepwork, much discussion occurred. We discussed the apron and guild rankings while Prudence showed off the apron after the final stitch had been applied. Topics turned to the cooking competition at Flight and the upcoming In a Phoenix Eye, Change of Season competition. Conversation then ranged to why people chose the particular foods they did and what they learned about the country they chose from along the 36 parallel. We lightly touched on using medieval Spanish diaries to prove chocolate usage and Chinese poems to create recipes, in between talks about mundane work, baronial activities, and teaching people of various ages.

Finally Lady Annora Hall’s Tibetan soup, Ema Datshi, finished simmering over the coals and we were ready to move indoors where we could concentrate on the best part of the day. Tasting what had been prepared!

Toki Arnarson’s smoked pork, American style (hey, the USA is on the 36 parallel and we had made no restrictions on date), fell apart into mouth-watering heaven after he pulled it from the oven. The Ema Datshi burned so good, both the front and back of the mouth from the two types of peppers used in its making, and Prudence’s Chinese onion cakes complemented the soup and took some of the burn off. Sabina’s Pakastani-style salmon and scallops were perfectly cooked, and made a nice match to Elena’s chopped spinach dish from Spain.

The meal was a trip around the world – Tibet, Spain, America, Pakastan, India, and China. Eventually the stomachs ran out of space, long before the food ended, and it was time for the gathering to end. Elena gave everyone some squash to go home with from her garden and Sabina’s herbs were scattered to new kitchens. No one went home empty handed, as the leftovers were redistributed for everyone to have another meal at home.

To taste the memories one more time.

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