Siege on Talonvale

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SC-Talonvale-msg - 9/29/08
The siege cooking contest at the "Siege on Talonvale" event in the Pentamerean region of the Middle Kingdom in 2004.
NOTE: See also the files: siege-cooking-msg, cookg-compet-msg, SC-Outlandish-msg, siege-engines-msg, warfare-msg, prim-sit-fsts-msg, p-menus-msg.

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at:
I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.
The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.
Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).
Thank you,

Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous

Stefan at


Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2004 16:39:59 +0000

From: iasmin at

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Siege Cookery at Talonvale: Amounts of


To: mk-cooks at (MK Cooks), sca-cooks at (SCA


A short while back I reported on the siege cookery competition that

happened at the Siege on Talonvale event here in the Pentamerean region

of the Middle Kingdom. For those of you who have been waiting for the

ingredient amounts, I now have them. They were as follows according to

the competition organizer:
MEAT - For the entire competition, the competition organizers picked up

rear quarter of a goat. That quarter was then cut off the bone and

"eyeballed" into roughly equal portions of around 10-12 ounces of meat.

The organizers were unsure of how much of the bone was given out in

weight. The organizers also believe they won't be as generous with meat

next year when they hold the competition again but because goat was a

new meat for many cooks, they believed the generosity would help. I'm

certain they wanted to ensure continued participation in future years

of the competition, a wise choice in my opinion.
DAIRY - The competition organizers said that they believed that at this

point in the "siege" of their keep, the only cheese left would be the

hard cheeses. This is why they chose the Asiago. They chose Asiago over

a Parmesan because of cost.

Competitors could also choose to use 1 pint of buttermilk as a dairy.

The theory behind the amount and the type was that by this point in the

siege, the milk would be far from fresh and hardly plentiful.

The goose eggs, I'm told, were purchased in Detroit, Michigan at the

Eastern Market (one of the nation's oldest continuously running

farmer's markets). The goose's owner was surprised that the geese had

started laying again in mid-summer. The eggs were fresh and each team

got two eggs to use if they chose.

GRAINS - Teams could choose 2 of 3 grain types for their entry. The

choices were 6 ounces of rolled rye, 8 ounces of whole millet, or a

50/50 mix of buckwheat and rye flour. The organizers said this amounted

to about 2 cups total of grains which were purchased at Whole Foods

LIQUIDS - Each team received a bit more than a cup of apple cider

vinegar. They also could choose to use 8 ounces of solid beef fat that

needed to be rendered into oil. They could use as much water as they

wished, though this was not provided for them.

FRUIT - The white currants were picked from the competition organizer's

yard and amounted to approximately 1.5 cups for each team. The

raspberries that could be used amounted to a little under a cup each. I

have no amount available for the mulberries they were able to use, but

I suspect a similar amount to the other berries.
VEGETABLES & LEGUMES - Teams could choose up to 4 vegetables from the

list. The amounts were small, compared to how the final dishes appeared

to my eye. 3 small carrots (with greens) 2 medium-sized parsnips, 1/2

of a rutabaga, 2 ounces of enoki mushrooms, 8 ounces of dried lentils,

1 small white onion, 1/2 bulb of garlic, and half of a red or a green

SPICES - Each spice amounted to between 1-2 teaspoons. The nutmeg was 1

nut, the juniper berries were 6 whole dried berries. The salt was

generous: a full tablespoon plus of rock salt. And teams could also

choose 6 ounces of cone sugar. In all, they could choose 7 of the total

spice choices available.

And I received this blurb from the competition organizer which I

thought I'd share with you:

"I was surprised by how many people assumed that I would have gotten

beef and called it goat, or that I would have gotten jumbo chicken eggs

and called them goose eggs. It never even occurred to me. For me, the

point was to use 'peasant' ingredients, as opposed to things like white

flour and cream and so on which I figured would have been used up by

now, and to give them out-of-the-ordinary things that they wouldn't

have worked with before - all while staying period and in keeping with

the season as much as possible. After all, what is the point of calling

it goat if you don't have all the attendant difficulties of actually

cooking with goat? In truth, I was pleased to have several of them tell

me they had no idea what to do with millet, rutabaga, juniper berries,

and so on. I figured I'd succeeded."

I'd say the competition was most definitely a success. Kudos,

Talonvale. I can't wait for next year. :)


Mistress Iasmin de Cordoba, Baroness Roaring Wastes, Middle Kingdom

iasmin at

Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 14:08:56 -0400

From: Gaylin Walli

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Siege Cooker at Talonvale

To: sca-cooks at
Ranvaig queried:

>> -- Braised goat with onions and spices. Quite possibly my favorite

>> dish of the entire judging. Of all the entries this one cooked the

>> goat to perfection. If I hadn't known it was goat to begin with I

>> wouldn't have known it when I tasted it. Filling. I went back to

>> this one for 3rds after all the judging was done. And the cook sent

>> me the recipe yesterday. WOoO! I win!


> Perhaps I missed it, but could you post this recipe, please?

You did not miss it. I forgot to send it, so thank you for the reminder.

Here is the recipe the cook sent me. Whether or not you end up with the

same results is something I'd be *more* than willing to judge

personally. :) -- iasmin

From: Chris. A. Dunham

Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2004 22:04:42 -0400

Subject: Recipe for Goat
Greetings Excellency,
As requested I will attempt to recall the approx. recipe of the goat

dish from Talonval. 

1 Portion of Goat (Approx 1lb.)

Small Handful of Enoki Mushrooms

2 Cloves of Garlic (Spanish Roja)

1 Tsp of Parsley

1/2 Tsp of White Sage

1 Slab o’ Beef Fat (for rendering)

1 Medium hite Onion


Asiago Cheese
Mince one garlic clove and mix with parsley and sage.  Quarter 1 garlic

clove.  Chop 1/2 of the stems from the mushrooms; combine with

quartered garlic in approx. 1/4 cup of water.  Let sit for approx 1hr.

in the sun.  Cut mat into approx 1/2 inch thick pieces.  Press

mushroom stems and garlic by hand.  Draw off the water via syringe or

strain it.  Now, what I did was inject the mix into the goat.  You

could, however, allow it to marinate for a short time in a warm area. 

Prss original mix onto one side of the meat slices.  That takes care

of preparation.
Next, render enough oil from the beef fat to coat the bottom of the pan

(less than 1/8 of an inch deep).  I did this over an open fire that

barely got hot enough to make te meat sizzle (wood didn’t want to

catch), so I’m not sure of the temperature.  It was probably close to a

medium heat.  Pan fry for 5 min per side over direct heat.  Then,

either lower heat or remove from center of fire.  Add onion (sliced to

desired siz).  Wait 10 min then flip meat again.  Add Salt (to desired

taste).  Remove from heat.

Place meat in dish, add onions, and crumble cheese over entire dish.
With my compliments,
Xavier William Terrant


Incipient Canton of Westmere

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