[Cynnabar] Please bring a Dessert to Terpsichore to Share!!!
magda_vogelsang at yahoo.com
Sun Mar 6 18:40:26 UTC 2011
Hello fellow Cynnabarbarians,
Once again this year I am organizing the dessert revel for our dance event, Terpsichore at the Tower. The event will be on Saturday, March 19th this year, and the dessert revel will take place between sets of the evening ball.
Traditionally, Cynnabar folks bring desserts for the revel, which are then enjoyed by everyone attending.
Please let me know ASAP whether you can bring something for the revel, even if you're not yet sure what you'll bring.
I would like to encourage everyone in the Barony who possibly can do so to contribute something. I will once again be doing a subtletie style cake myself. The revel at our event has become known for it's variety and abundance of food (I've been told by other dancers that Terp has the BEST dessert revel), and I'd like to keep that up. We had one year where I nagged less than usual, and we ended up being a bit on the skimpy side food-wise, so I'd like to keep that from happening again.
You can email me to sign up. I'll also try to make a paper sign-up sheet and bring it to any practices and meetings I'm able to attend. If you don't know what to bring, please go ahead and sign up now and decide exactly what to make or buy later. The purpose of the list is to make sure that there will be enough food, and that not everyone brings the same thing (some duplication is fine, but if everyone in the barony showed up with a bag of grapes that would be a bit silly).
I'm hoping we'll have space somewhere on site for a table where subtleties can be on display during the day, or at least during the dinner and court, and space to stash desserts that won't do well sitting in a car all day.
Some general guidelines (not rules) as to what to bring:
Try to stick to finger food, or things that can be eaten with just a fork. Lots of something small is probably better than a few of something large. This will let more people sample each thing (buffets tend to make folks want to try a little of everything).
Presentation counts. Brownies arranged on a plate look nicer than brownies still in the pan. They can also be grabbed more quickly, so the line will move faster. Nothing slows down a line like having everyone stop to cut themselves pieces of things, so precut anything where that won't destroy the presentation. If you buy something, serving it from something more period looking than the cardboard box it came in will make a better impression.
If you want to try making something that actually is period, you can talk to me, or any of the cooks in the barony for ideas. There is also a lot of great information at Stephan's Florilegium in the food sections (http://www.florilegium.org). Some examples of period choices would include marzipan (which can be shaped or molded, rolled into balls, or just cut into squares), custards, fresh or dried fruit, pastries, candied fruit peels or flowers, gingerbread, shortbread, sugar paste (gum paste), some cookies (not involving chocolate, or baking powder or soda), biscotti, sweet breads (with or without fruit), nuts or fruit tarts.
Subtleties (foods which look like something other than what they are) were a medieval favorite, and would be great if anyone has any recipes or ideas along those lines which they want to try out. These can range from the ridiculous to the sublime, and generally do so in the SCA. Examples we've had have included cakes in the shapes of things (flower basket, tower, rock, lute), cookies with the cinnabar arms on them or shaped like elephants, a tower made of hostess cupcakes, and brownie battlefields of fighting marshmallow bunnies. These are often impressive and/or entertaining.
If you don't have the time, inclination, or facilities to do something period and/or elaborate, you can bring anything that you think folks will want to eat between sets of a ball. All types of cookies and candies are welcome, as are salty snacks, veggies and dip, appetizers etc.
Non-medieval food is fine, especially if it's homemade. Chocolate may not be period, but it always seems to disappear rapidly.
All of the above are guidelines, not rules. Anything you bring will likely be happily consumed by hungry dancers in need of energy. Oh, and if you bring something which has non-obvious nuts in it, you might want to mark it as such, so that folks with allergies will know what to avoid. (Putting a "Warning--contains nuts" sign next to a bowl of mixed nuts is not really necessary, although it may be amusing).
Thank you for helping our group provide hospitality to our guests, and I look forward to seeing you at Terp.
-Lady Magdalena Vogelsang
P.S. My apologies to those who get more than one copy of this email.
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