Melee Madness: May 2009

Barony of Endless Hills, Kingdom of Æthelmearc

The lunch and feast were presented as an entry for the Seven Pearls Arts & Sciences Champion competition that was held at the event.The Seven Pearls Arts & Sciences Champion is an inter-baronial competition where the A&S champions for each barony in the Kingdom of Æthelmearc meet to compete to have a Seven Pearls Champion chosen. I represented the Barony of Endless Hills for this competition.

Lunch

Appetizers

First Course

  • Toñina en Parrillas ab Toroñges Salsero d'Herbes - Grilled Tuna with Orange Herb Sauce
  • Arros ab Brou de Carn - Rice with Meat Broth

Second Course

  • Grilled Beef with Garlic Cheese
  • Carrot Purée

Third Course

  • Grilled Chicken with Sauces
  • Onion Pottage

Dessert Course

Notes presented to the Judges of the Competition

The following Menu and Recipes were put together for the Lunch and Feast for Melee Madness. The menu is inspired by the cuisine of Catalonia of the 14th and 16th centuries. In designing this menu there were many considerations that needed to be made including: budget constraints, kitchen restraints, and some “traditions” that I have observed about the Kingdom of Æthelmearc.

For the budget constraints, each person was being charge $9 per adult for the feast and there was a budget of $1.50 per person for lunch. However, some of this budget needed to support the cost of propane and other equipment that are generally covered by the site rental.

My kitchen is a field kitchen that members of the barony helped to make possible by loaning personal equipment and securing a covered environment to allow the cooks some protection from the weather. There is no facility to wash the dishes and serving will have to take that into consideration.

In the past four years that I’ve been able to attend events in the Kingdom of Æthelmearc I noticed a commonality in the foods served for lunch. There is always some type of soup, hard-boiled eggs, cheese, fruit and bread & butter. I also noticed that many feasts, as a practical measure, have some form of appetizer on the table prior to feast starting. This can be important if the “high table” is not yet ready to be served but if people are hungry they can at least enjoy some food that is at hand.

For the feast, I wanted to give at least an impression of how foods were paired with one another from start to finish. One particular menu from a 15th century banquet starts off with providing rosewater scented water for washing the hands. The first items to be served are sweets, so I wanted to include at least one sweet on the appetizers provided at the table. The bulk of the dishes in this banquet is usually some sort of meat with an accompaniment. The menu ends with preserves, tortes and candied spices.

Another consideration I wanted to make is for the food stuff that is in season in the late spring and early summer as well as providing food that is not particularly odd or unfamiliar to the “modern” person. It has always been a goal of mine to make food of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance easy and approachable to those individuals who may not be as adventurous to try different things as I am.

Each recipe has the text as transcribed in the original language, although from one of the sources I copied these transcriptions from, some of the characters have not been placed in their Unicode form. I still need to see a facsimile of one of the original printing in order to determine the correct letter codes to use. I do not read or speak the language from Catalonia during this time period, so I am thankful for the translations that have been made available to me.

The redaction of all these recipes is my own work and based on the translations of the original manuscripts.

Buen apetito!