On Saturday, May 30th, the meeting hall of Friendship Lodge in Southington was full of minstrels, knaves, and Templars. No, it wasn’t the scene from a new Dan Brown movie, it was another one of Friendship’s themed Table Lodges. This year, WM Eric went with a Medieval theme.
|Medieval Table Lodge 2009|
But it gets better.
Not being satisfied merely to have a bunch of guys dressed up, he asked our resident caterer, WB Rich Fentner to find some authentic dishes from that period. WB Richie’s culinary skills are well matched to his creativity, and he presented a menu fit – quite literally – for a lordly feast.
But wait, there’s even more.
The cooking started early in the morning, using fresh and dried herbs and spices for flavoring, many of them from Richie’s own garden. Soon, the mouth-watering aroma of roasted chickens, fish, and beef filled the hall. We prepped and cooked right up until the lodge opening, took a quick break, and then continued to cook for the entire seven courses. Fortunately, we had not just one, not just two, but four stewards assisting in the kitchen — and this was on top of the half a dozen people who showed up earlier in the day to help cut, carve, hew, and peel things.
But there’s still more.
Forks being an expensive novelty at the time, the meals were served only with knives and spoons, and plenty of hunks of peasant bread. Meal entrees were roasted, fried, or boiled according to the old recipes that were available. The one exception that we made was for dessert, which was a custard dish that probably wasn’t quite as authentic as it could have been. Oh, the custard itself dates to the 1300s, but the (ahem) Graham cracker crust might have been cheating. Fortunately, by the end of the knight night, everybody was so stuffed and happy that nobody cared enough to complain.
About three dozen brothers from eight or nine different lodges showed up to partake, and almost all of them made an effort to dress for the part; altogether a most excellent gastronomical event.