For a lot of Lightwoodians, the pot-luck feast next weekend is going to be the first actual SCA event they’ll attend. We’ve had our imots for a while, but they’re more for discussion and planning; if an SCA event is a movie, an imot is the a review in a newspaper. Now it’s time for the main event… so what do you need to know?
What To Bring
For any SCA event you need garb and feasting gear. For pot-luck events, you also need some food to share. And because this particular feast is at the home of the canton’s founding household, which is not hugely well-supplied with chairs, you will need to bring a chair and some candles.
The basic rule for attending an SCA event is an attempt at pre-seventeenth century clothing. What that means can vary widely, from this:
all the way to this:
… but we don’t expect you to go overboard. Our seneschal and our reeve, will help you come up with something serviceable for the event, or if you like going mad sewing stuff at the last minute they can point you to some more ambitious designs. Or you can borrow something from someone who already has spares. Contact the seneschal on firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help, after you’ve perused her list of links on the topic of garb.
You’ll have food, but you can’t exactly eat it off the floor with your fingers (even vikings didn’t do that… mostly…). What you need is a plate, a bowl, some cutlery and a drinking vessel, and maybe a jug for your drink. Here’s one version of all that. Plates and bowls can be wood, pottery or metal, and the drinking vessel can be a goblet or tankard. Cutlery is usually metal, maybe with a wooden handle. You can pick up passable versions of all of these at an op shop or Vinnies for a couple of dollars at most, and provided you keep them simple they’ll blend right in.
There are a number of potters in the barony and the wider kingdom who make feasting gear, although the prices can add up after a while. Ask Baron Karl to show you a couple of examples of the work of Master Alex the Potter, who makes a living making and selling documentably period work to SCAdians and the mundane world.
Food (and Drink)
Most SCA events in the kingdom of Lochac are fully catered, though always BYO grog. Pot-luck feasts are different: to keep costs down and increase the sense of involvement for the participants, they require that everyone bring a bit of food. In theory, if you bring enough to feed yourself, and everyone else does too, there’ll be enough to go around when you share it. In practice, in the pot-luck feasts we’ve seen, there’s always one dish that everybody wants some of, and a few that don’t excite the imaginations and/or noses of the greater majority, so if you bring a little more than “enough” then we’ll have enough slack that everyone will still get fed.
We’ll put everyone’s contributions on a table and work out suitably equitable arrangement so everyone is happy. We’ll have people with various “dietary weirdnesses”, as they’re called: vegetarianism, gluten intolerance and so on, all of which count as weirdnesses purely because they’re rare, not because they’re unreasonable. People are making plans to allow for that, so we should be all right on the night.
The key point about all this is that the dish you provide should be medieval. There are loads of resources on how to achieve this, the closest to hand being Baron Hrolf’s cookbook [PDF], or again you can speak to our seneschal.
Also, please note that we won’t have anything to drink apart from water. We’ll get some actual drinkable water — the stuff out of the tap in Geeveston is undrinkable — but if you want something harder, it’s BYO again.
Chairs and Candles
The last two things to bring are simple: bring a chair to sit on, and some candles in a suitably medieval-looking candleholder. No electric lights for this feast! We have plenty of spots to put candles, so the more the merrier.
That should be all we need! Come along, bring what you need, and be prepared to have fun. We’ll eat, we’ll talk of matters relevant to gentlefolk of the middle ages, and we’ll even do a bit of singing. It’ll be fun!