Saturday, September 1, 2012
Pie? Why yes please
Had a recent conversation about food and SCA feasts, something I have far too little in my life these days, where we touched on how people's preferences and food sensitivities can change up an entire feast. Then my friend mentioned how she was thanked for not having any pie at her feast and that kind of put me off... you mean something like there being pie could bother someone? I have never thought of that and of course it was a fairly big staple of period feasts so of course people will make pie.
But then, this is not any ordinary feast, this is not about making concessions to modern diets though care can be taken to allow for enough choices. This is something that has befuddled me in the realm of SCA feasting, one does not have to plan a meal around every single dish being available to every single person, and when this happens it becomes increasingly difficult to keep it period in either menu or dish. Of course there are people who are either allergic to everything (okay, a lot of things) or they are very fussy, or sometimes both! This is why it is good to make room for non-paid (aka: off-board) seating.
This gives me another argument (even if I'm only trying to convince myself) towards a duel feast model. An even within an event as it were.
But I believe we would still have pie!
What we have to consider about many SCA events, is that pies are usually... and almost always to my experience, in store bought short paste in a disposable foil pan and intended to eat as a modern pie. Now this is not to say that a period pie was always intended to eat differently, but it could depending on the type of pie. The crusts are usually edible from all the study I made on the subject but they serve more purpose than providing a sort of flat edible dumpling on the bottom... they provide a visual aspect, they act as a casserole dish and they can be at the ready when prepared somewhat ahead (but still fresh/day old-ish) to be dished out while other food is still being prepared in the kitchen. The pastry itself serves this function but it can also be eaten and cut like a typical pie and some are even short pastes in plates or in tougher pastes meant to be held or broken while some can be opened up top and dug into (useful for those larger cuts and/or with the bone still in).... and some were not even baked in a paste but a pot to mimic it's usefulness.
Nope I could not forgo pies, part of why we provide medieval enriched things is for the educational experience... what goes in them would, however, depend on what menu and for what feast