The first step was getting an idea of who I am cooking for ( ie which groups) and any recommendations and known allergies.
This can be seen in the post Gulf Wars Meal Planning questionnaire Results.
The second step is taking those results and figuring out what I want to cook. (ie this post)
Gulf Wars is normally cooler, so I like to highlight a lot of soups and stews. This year will be a challenge as I am feeding
- Glutton Free
- Low Carb
- Allergies: Hazelnut, Citrus, Onions
I originally thought I would be having: ” kolaches, their will be sausages, there might be pizza, there might be Shepard’s pie, there will be cake and pies, and eggs, and veggies.”
I furthered narrowed it down to:
Irish-Shepard’s pie, Pizza, British- Stew, German-Sausage, Kolaches+BBQ (Ie anything left in the kitchen)
Breakfast burritos, Cinnamon Rolls, French Toast, Breakfast sandwiches, Breakfast casserole, Oatmeal (everyday)
Apple Pie, Chocolate Creme Pie, cobbler, cake, cookies, Filled Pastries
Then when sitting down with recipe books, the menu, and a martini I ended up changing the menu ALOT. I actually like my menus to flow and jive. I also did not just want to make a vegan and low carb option for items we already had. Instead I wanted the low carb and vegan items to go with the main items so everyone can enjoy all the options.
The first problem came with the Shepard’s pie. I could not find anything short of a salad to accompany it. I also did not want to just make vegan version. Even though I personally hate Shepard’s Pie, I was sad to see this one go. It was instead replaced by a much needed chicken dish which could be served with a soap.
Next came the pasta night. Being Italian, I make a killer pasta dish. However, I was not coming up with a good low carb option. Yes, I could do spaghetti squash, but as this is the setup day the time frame would not be conducive to it. Pasta went away in favor of chili. I will do 3 types of chili ( all onion free) a vegan chili, a regular chili, and a spicy chili. Packaged cornbread will make an easy addition to this. When I decide my first night meal, I always try to find something that will be easy, quick, and can be kept warm for a long time as people have a tendency to trickle in.
I do everything in spreadsheets, so I started to plug things in making sure I had something for everyone. I also put in the desserts ( which also got changed).
Breakfasts I NEVER assign a day. I create and prep for certain items and then make what I feel like that morning. This year, I will be doing oatmeal everyday ( for those who want it), as well as baked goods which are vegan, and then a main breakfast item…Kinda like the format for a B&B actually. If there are any baked items left, I put them out and people can grab them throughout the day. For ease of use though I randomly put these on the spreadsheet.
A huge note on breakfast: I know people LOVE scotch eggs, and I use to do them a lot, but honestly they are not the easiest breakfast item to make when your make 36 or more of them. Also, I was taking part in another persons food plan at Pennsic 2 years ago and I got one where the sausage was not cooked all the way through. Looking around I noticed a lot of them had raw pork in the center. I don’t mess around with food poisoning, so I stopped doing them. People don’t miss them, and honestly they love the breakfast Goetta I get just as much or even better.
I also include my schedule (ie what classes I am teaching when), battles ( if available), and important information like Court and battles.
For court I always do something easy so people can grab and go. Normally this is sausages & bratwurst from the Glier sausage company… Why do I like Glier sausage so much?
- The product rocks
- They are pre-cooked and I don’t have to worry about feeding people raw pork products
- I trust the quality of the ingredients
- The company is owned by someone in the SCA
The other reason I put the battle information on the spreadsheet is so I can watch for days where my people might not have time to eat. For instance on court- there is the champions battle till 5. This means that those fighters fighting in the champions battle have to run back, hopefully shower, and get ready for court. They won’t have time to sit down and eat. They will have time however to grab a sausage on the way back from the shower.
I am also going to do a very special filled pastry ( think éclair) for desserts on court night, so people can grab and go. In addition I will also be hosting a cookie competition where anyone on our food plan can use my ingredients and kitchen to bake the best cookie ( which can be shared amongst everyone during court)
This is what the current menu for Gulf Wars looks like:
Now onto pricing.