So it’s been a while and the reason is probably also behind why I felt Coronet Tourney came in 2 parts, a great bit and a not so great bit. Part 2, the not so great bit, was feast prep and feast itself. I had a very hard time letting myself off the hook because I was responsible for feast at Coronet and I felt like I did everything wrong. I had carefully tried to plan to make sure I could cope timewise by having a lot of advance prep work done, but I just sort of lost mental acuity, or something, and I was slow and listless and didn’t feel my usual buzzing love for being in the kitchen. I was so unbelievably tired, and had a head full of fog. As it turns out there were reasons for feeling so crap, reasons which continued in real earnest up until about a month ago – if I thought I was bad then it was only going to get a lot worse, but thankfully I wasn’t responsible for any more feasts or big things in the time, and I’ve been pretty much able to step back and recover 🙂 I’m still taking it a bit easy as I’m not completely out of the woods, but it’s nice to be rejoining the human race.
While feast did not go the way I wanted, the food was, I think, tasty. I certainly heard some good things back. The problem with not writing about it straight away is how much you forget, but here goes.
First: I was so lucky to have great cooks for breakfasts, lunch and traveler’s fare. They all played a blinder, Lady Alessandra had a production line of chicken and pies for weary, hungry travelers, Viscountess Susannah, Lady Maeve and Mistress Rogned worked breakfast and snack magic and Lord Guy sequestered himself in another kitchen for most of Friday to produce a variety of exquisite sauces for his Byzantine lunch on Saturday. My second for feast was Lord Micheal and he was his quietly awesome, superhuman self, and I love him dearly for giving me so much of his time for the event and not hitting me over the head with a saucepan. Kitchen wrangling was ably provided by the ever wonderful Lady Constanza, who also had to put up with me and didn’t stuff me in a stock pot.
Kitchen minions. They are the best. I cannot describe how awesome it is when people come in, listen to what you need, grab a whole pile of stuff and magically make it turn into peeled, sliced and chopped stuff. Clean equipment where once there was manky saucepans? *bliss*
In terms of food.. what can I remember…. I chose to work with “The opera of Bartolomeo Scappi” again, because I love his recipes. Micheal and I had made batches of biscotti in advance of the event to have as part of the first course. First course in Scappi feasts are usually “from the credenza/sideboard”, I thought that was a handy way to account for things potentially going fast or slow timetable wise – no matter what, there would be cold stuff and (hopefully) tasty bits straight away, so I had biscotti, cold chicken – some with pepper and fennel pollen, some with green herbs – cucumber salad … I’ll dig out notes and add the rest in. Second course was beef with cherries, definitely heard some good things said about that; Prince Yannick even added Beef and cherries to his “likes” list. Veggie options were a pasta in veg broth dish, I think, and an aubergine and walnut dish I didn’t get from Scappi but was period and in keeping with the same style. Third course was a pomegranate duck dish, it was tasty, I believe, but this was where my timing was finally, utterly and completely shot, and my brain does the “la la la la I’m not liiiiistening” thing when I think back on it. There was frumenty, rice and I know I did veg, I just can’t remember what. Last course was some little heartshaped sops with more cherries or spiced peaches.