Category Archives: Yule

Epic fail: Beef

I usually post the good things, successful things and what I think are neato things.  But every once in a while, I need to post about the epic failures.  And this is one of those posts.

  • Food safety rule #1: You have a 4 hour window to get food to the safe zone before bad things(bacteria) start to happen.
  • Food safety rule #2: Food must be at or below 41°  or at or above 140° to be considered ‘safe’
  • Food safety rule #3: If you put food that is 175° into your refrigerator,it will raise the temperature of the fridge to levels that your other foods can be in the danger zone.
  • Food safety rule #4: Touch everything.

I cooked beef this weekend. Pot roast style beef for Yule.  It was tasty, happy goodness. I let it cool, covered on the counter for an hour before bagging and refrigerating the meat.  All was well.

When I have a fridge stocked full of food, I go through a check in the morning and when I come home.  Just to make sure all the food is stored properly. At the AM touch test, everything felt cool. When I got home for the PM touch test… disaster.  All of the beef and one ham were touch test ‘warm’. I pulled out one bag and a thermometer. 50°. Pulled out the rest of the bags same deal.  One was even as high as 63°.  I lost 35lbs of beef, 4lbs of ham. I then tested the rest of the refrigerator, and the other foods were fine.  Almost too cold.

I think the problem was the fridge not closing properly at the bottom.  I have since replaced the meat and will be cooking it off tomorrow. It is a pain because I had to throw out all that food.  On the flip side… I know I will not be making people sick.  Feast will be yummy and safe. And that is all that matters.

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Posted by on December 8, 2010 in Cooking, Yule


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Organization is the key

I have a schedule for the prep and food for Yule. Many people have done a ton of prep work to get us to the point where we are now. If not for freezers, and doing stuff ahead of time, this list would be a lot more labor intensive. We should have a nice day up to about 4 pm. It will get crazy for a few hours, and then it will be all over.

Dinner Prep
9 AM
Brine pork
10 AM
Cut salad: radishes, leeks, endive, carrots, cabbage
Make butter beer
Make Clarree
11 AM
Cut sprouts and par boil
Slice and parboil turnips
12 PM
Layer turnips
Peel and cut pears
Slice oranges
Slice apples
1 PM
Braise venison
Make stuffing
Slice and portion cheese
Soften and portion butter
Soften and portion goat cheese
2 PM
Lard and stuff pork
Lard turkies
Lard venison
Portion chicken
Cut/portion ham
3 PM
Grind ham and chicken livers
Grind toast
Stuff pork
Dinner Service
4 PM
Cook soup
Make sekanjabin
4:30 PM
Roast pork (60 + 15 minutes rest)
4:45 PM
Roast turkie (75 minutes +15 minutes rest)
Bake and slice bread
5:00 PM
Roast rack (35-40 minutes)
Plate beverages
Bake pasties (30-40 minutes)
Tenderloins (30 minutes)
Plate salad, lobster, pomegranate, dressing
Plate cheese, bread, cold meats
Sauté Brussels sprouts
Bake turnips (40 minutes)
Make pork and venison sauce
Bake salt fish (30 minutes)
Plate foods: pork w/sauce, sprouts, venison, pasties
Start oil Fish pieces bake (15 minutes)
Fry dough (40 minutes)
Make sauce turkie and fish
Boil poaching for pears
Poach pears (30 minutes)
Plate foods: turkie, soup, turnips, fish
Heat Spice royal sauce
Plate: pears, oranges, profiteroles

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Posted by on December 1, 2009 in Cooking, Yule


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Sugar Swans

During the medieval era, the English court feasted with four courses. Between each course, a subtlety was presented to the guests. These subtleties, also called sotelties, were sculptural centerpieces made using sugar, marzipan, wax, or some other more orthodox material. [1] Subtleties were not always edible, as they might be composed of wax or plaster. Subtleties were elaborate sugar sculptures. They may have been constructed by molded or poured sugar, formed sugar around a base using sugar paste or carved from blocks of sugar.[2] The theme for these subtleties offered entertainment and conversation between the four courses.

Full documentation located here.

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Posted by on November 23, 2009 in Cooking, Projects, Sugar, Yule


Yule feast documentation

This documentation covers the Event Steward’s Challenge, course descriptions, and menu design for each dish. Deviations due to ingredients or preparation have been documented with each dish. Not all dishes have a “period recipe/redaction”, as many dishes that use common techniques (broiling,baking, boiling) and ingredients would not have been written down.12 Recipes have been scaled down to a standard portion (serves 4-6) rather than feast sized. This will allow people to recreate recipes at home on a non-commercial scale.

Documentation here for Bhakail Yule.

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Posted by on November 10, 2009 in Cooking, Yule


Course recipes

Here are the full recipes for courses 1-3. These are the recipes only, not the full documentation.

Course 1
Course 2
Course 3

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Posted by on November 1, 2009 in Cooking, Recipes, Yule



Turkey is “traditionally” a new world food, and therefore usually not served at most SCA feasts. However turkeys were domesticated in Europe in the early 1520s and, by 1558 was becoming popular at banquets in England and throughout Europe. Recipe here.


Larding a turkey, or “put into it good store of butter “. Turkey is a very lean meat. Larding the meat adds an additional layer of moisture. Separate the skin (but do not remove) between the breast and the turkey. Add compound butter in this area, and rub over the whole breast. Smooth skin back over the buttered breast.

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Posted by on November 1, 2009 in Cooking, Recipes, Yule


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Beef pasties

This pasty is made in 4 parts, meat, sauce, pastry and then putting them together. This allows for things to be made in batches independently from each other. It is done for efficiency, as the filling can be frozen ahead of time, and thawed prior to use. Pastry dough while able to be frozen, has a harder time recovering from the thawing process and is better when made a day or so prior to usage. Full recipe here.


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Posted by on November 1, 2009 in Cooking, Recipes, Yule