This was the weekend of May Crown, when the SCA chooses the next king and queen by Right of Arms.
This will be long remembered because it was the Mother’s Day weekend, and Edmund of Shotley (from Queensland) won the tournament, fighting for his mother. They will be crowned King and Queen in New Zealand in July.
Each kingdom event has an arts and sciences competition with it. This time there were some great entries. Allison made some headgear based on some paintings, and our friend Jochen entered some fine gauntlets (hand armour) that he had made.
In the blacksmithing section, we entered the ‘field kitchen’ that we had made for Rowany Festival. You’ll see it in the pictures from the Pumpkin Festival last weekend.
This gear was made by a fellow at my work, whose name is Daryl but who likes to be called ‘Monster’. He’s a tall and imposing military person, but quite charming in person.
Our field kitchen was based on one by House Abbotsford, the really period encampment in the SCA. There are some great photos of their setup here, and it’s well worth following that link.
So the interesting thing about this competition was that the Abbotsford field kitchen was entered too, as well as some interesting smaller pieces like a blacksmith’s bellows and a drilling auger.
Monster’s gear won the competition, so now we have the most fabulous field kitchen in the kingdom! And Monster is going to add some pieces before its next outing in September.
We’re now getting quite good at campfire cooking. It’s quite tricky getting the heat right all the way through a dish.
Some of our pots, and a frying skillet, are made from pottery. They need to be soaked in a bucket of water before each event. I like to use these very gently, and do half the cooking by steaming rather than boiling.
Our big potjie pot is fabulous unless you overheat it, and we’re hoping to get another soon.
The old-fashioned camp ovens are great for bread, and I might try some pies next time. You have to remember to put coals on top about halfway through, to give you a nicely browned lid.
I’m putting together a recipe book for campfire cooking, as a resource for Rowany Festival and our Ilkla Moor event. If you go to the very earliest cookbooks, from the 1300s, much of their cooking was done on the campfire, so they are a great source.