Medieval Feast

I am so embarrassed that I have never posted on this blog any info or pictures of our Medieval Party!  Since we’ve owned the house Will and I have been hosting the Medieval Party in various forms.  Usually the party is focused around a multi course feast lasting well into the night that includes tournaments of some kind beforehand and a costume contest.  This year we held an abridged version of the party with a much smaller invite list and just feasting – I didn’t feel up to hosting the full blown edition.

Tournaments and Activities

In the past we’ve held different “tournaments” where participants win “valuable” prizes (like honey, incense or tarot cards).  Here are some of the tournaments and activities we’ve held:

Tarot trick taking tournament/love letter tournament

Love letter tournament in progress

Archery Contest

Archery target set up in the distance.

Ka takes aim at the target while spectators look on.

Nerf Sword Fighting

Andrew dodges Will’s swordpoint.

Mark and Sal come to a stalemate

Kathleen and I have an uncontrollable laughing fit during our sword match.

Costume Contest

We’ve seen some awesome costumes over the years…  Here are just a few…

Will and Andrew sharing a pint of ale

The Bhimji family in full fantasy getup

Joe in his plague mask

Brian and Kathleen in dragon and fair maiden attire

Mead Tasting

We purchased several varieties of mead, fitted them with 1 oz pour spouts and provided tiny cups (with bees on them!).

Aaron advertising our mead tasting setup as Ka looks on.

Dining Atmosphere

We usually dine in our outdoor porch, or as we like to call it our Great Hall, with the exception of one year where it was far too cold.  We hang felt banners that I made with house from assorted real and fantasy heritages.  The tables are simply decorated with mead bottles serving as candle holders.

At the feast I cover the tables in cloths and provide guests with spoons, mugs and chalices.  I also scatter some shared knives around the table.  Guests are instructed that it is polite to wipe their hands on the table cloths and use their hands to eat.  Instead of plates I provide small trenchers (I find that ciabatta bread works perfectly as a trencher since it doesn’t leak much – though its not really authentic).  In the middle ages the trenchers would be given as alms to the poor after the meal, but my guests usually choose to eat them.

Crests (that I made from felt) grace the great hall.

Mugs, spoons and knives set the feast table in our great hall.

Feast Food

The feast menu varies slightly every year – but there are some staple dishes like pork pies, chicken legs and beef stew.  If I have any vegetarians attending I’ll make spinach pie as well.  While the menu is semi-authentic, semi-fantasy I try to keep the vegetables and meats authentic to the time period – so I try to avoid using potatoes or tomatoes or anything from the New World.

Appetizers (usually served during the tournaments):

Pickles, olives and pita chips with some fabulous prizes shown in the background.

Homemade pickles  – I use this recipe and omit the sugar

olives & hummus (store-bought)

Main Feast

Beef stew in foreground with lemon salat in background.

Beef stew

Pork Pie

Pork Pies  –  I use this recipe for pork pie, but I always use chopped up raspberries instead of currants (because I can never find currants).  This year I mashed the raspberries instead of chopping them and people declared it was the best version yet.  This is my go-to dough recipe for all my pies.

Chicken legs

Chicken legs – I use this recipe but instead of turkey legs (which are from the New World) I use 20 chicken legs.

Lemon salat – this is literally just very thinly sliced lemons served with sugar in the raw for dipping.  It is a crowd favorite as it tastes like sour patch kids.

A toast! What’s left of the root salad and a pork pie are in the center of the table.

Root salat – Great because it can be made the morning of, chilled and served cold.

Cabbage chowder.

Cabbage Chowder (from The Medieval Cookbook)


Shrewsbery cakes

Shrewsbery cakes in the foreground, medieval gingerbread in the background.

Medieval Gingerbread

Cream Custard Tart (from The Medieval Cookbook)

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