The kitchen head contacted me and asked for my assistance in creating a Yuan Mongolian menu for the entire event (well, we will skip breakfast because I don’t do mornings and eggs and bacon sound better for breakfast anyways). I happy accepted the challenge.
We have decided to cut the full board numbers at 220 people (this will be a large event for Lochac because besides being a popular event, we have the Royals, and several well-deserved people receiving peerages. We are still over two months out and we have confirmed and booked over half our full board numbers). The dining area of the site will hold about this number. As it is a camping event, there is the possibility of many more people on site.
We will be feeding this group on Friday Night, Saturday Lunch, Saturday Night (full-feast), and Sunday Lunch.
We will cater for some allergies and life-style diets but will be unlikely to cater to all. I will see how I go when I have a better idea of the allergies and diets. From the get go, I am planning on the following:
- Meat Protein intolerances: Pork, Lamb, Beef, and Seafood/Shellfish
- Allergies: Nuts, Eggs, Dairy, and Grains
- Special Diets: Vegetarian/Vegan (this is particularly challenging in Mongol cooking), Kosher, and Halal.
Other challenges: we will have many younger children who will not easily stay up until 8pm for dinner, so there will need to be a kid-friendly 5pm dinner offering.
So, how am I going to satisfy everyone and remain sane at the end of this process…well, that may not be possible. We will see.
My first step was to look through my resources and pulled out a long list of recipes that I have redacted and know will work or look like they could work for the event. Then I redacted those that I had not redacted before (this is one reason why I was gone so long in the mid-part of the year).
Then I put together a list of possible options for the foods served over the weekend (I gave many more options than were needed). This list vetted those recipes that were too time consuming or fiddly for the size of the feast or ones that would otherwise be difficult in the kitchen on site. We are lucky in that this site has a small industrial kitchen and access to several covered slabs where we can put bbq’s for cooking other items. This even takes place at the beginning of summer in Australia and we are currently in a drought this means that open fires and certain bbq’s are not likely to be allowed to be used.
After coming up with my short-list of potential food items, I sat down with the kitchen head and her crew. I got to know a bit about their abilities and interests. Then I went over the dishes with them and came up with a working menu.
Fields of Gold 2018 Menu
Dinner – Friday
- Meat ‘sop’ – millet and beef stew [William of Rubruck]
- Veg ‘sop’ – millet and Asian vegetable stew [William of Rubruck]
- Stewed Asian Fruits [YSCY for list of fruits]
(sop is boiled meat/veg and then millet added to sop up the water)
Lunch – Saturday
- Bag Lunch:
- Drum Qazi [cut down version of YSCY 57] - this is basically a lamb sausage that is battered and fried,
- Vegetarian Option: vegetarian sausage,
- fried bread [Soup for the Qan],
- cheese wedge [period travel journals],
- fruit [YSCY]
- Self-serve leafy greens [Secret History of the Mongols]
Dinner – Saturday
- Hand cakes [Cloud Forest Hall] – a flat, soda bread
- Vinegar Bamboo Shoots [Cloud Forest Hall]
- Cooked Radish [Cloud Forest Hall]
- Rice [Perry’s essay on Mongolian Grains]
- Se-aBu Soup [YSCY] - Lamb Jam
- Water Dragonlets [Cloud Forest Hall] – pork meat balls. To avoid issues with pork, I will also make these with beef for those who do not eat pork.
- Vegetarian Option: Snow Temple Vegetable [Cloud Forest Hall]
- To Cook Vegetables [Cloud Forest Hall]
- To Cook Mushrooms [Cloud Forest Hall]
- Roasted Onion [William of Rubruck]
- Millet and Butter (dairy-free/vegetarian option available) [Perry’s Grain Essay]
- Muslim Beans [YSCY] - Chickpeas based on the flavours of YSCY [20.] Sundry Broth
- Sisken Mantou [Cloud Forest Hall] - Yellow Bird Buns
- Eurasian Sisken [Could Forest Hall] - chicken tenderloins wrapped around chicken stuffing and braised.
- Boiling Meat Stew (beef) [Cloud Forest Hall] - a marinaded beef that is then pressure steamed
- Vegetarian Option: vegetarian eggplant manta [YSCY] - a vegetarian adaptation of Eggplant Manta: eggplant stuffed with a mushroom and spice stuffing and steamed. There is a yogurt drizzling sauce.
- Candied Bitter Citron [Cloud Forest Hall] – citron or lemon peel that is ‘fried’ in flavoured honey.
- Cooked Stuffed Lotus Roots [Cloud Forest Hall] – Lotus rhizomes stuffed with flour, honey, musk mixture and then fried. (wagon wheels of sugary, musky death…)
- Mongolian Sweets [various] – I need to look up and figure out which would be best for us to supply…
Lunch – Sunday
- Leftovers from the night before
- Fried Bread [Perry’s Essay]
- Roast Pork Fat and Belly [Cloud Forest Hall] – Pork Sausage (would also like to adapt to beef for our non-pork people)
- Meat Cakes [YSCY] – lamb hamburgers (would like to adapt to beef as well, for our non-lamb eaters)
- Vegetarian Option: Fried Milk Curd [Soup for the Qan] - Fried Haloumi
- Fruit [YSCY]
- Leafy Herbs [Secret History of the Mongols]
So, there it is. The food for Fields of Gold.
Next, I need to come up with my allergy matrix, cookbook/recipe cards, and the cooking timings. I will blog about it when I have finished it.
Until then, keep your steel sharp and your horse’s back light.