Report from the Midrealm Cooks' Symposium

Iasmin de Cordoba reports on the recent Middle Kingdom Cooks' Symposium.

Iasmin de Cordoba writes:

What a great event. My feet were wicked tired. So tired from running up and down a flight of stairs all day that I had to soak them in the evening (god I feel old now). But what a great time. A really great time. Highlights in no particular order.

Sausage-making class in the morning. (I have to find that email list to send the attendees the great notes from our instructor who sadly couldn't be there.) Mucho thanks to Mistress Helewyse for allowing herself to be yanked out of a class she was taking so she could run up to the kitchen and teach us all how to tie sausages (neither Hauviette or I could remember how to get the darn loops started). What a treat to eat those at dinner. (And breakfast the next morning! Muahahahaha!) We probably could have cooked them a little less, but the flavor was awesome. Mucho thanks as well to Mistress Kaye for taking the time out of the day to do the test cooking during the class and the actual cutting up of everything in the evening.

Karl Glaumer. Great modern wine maker. Kudos to Odo for managing to snag him to speak at the symposium. What I really liked about this man was his ability to take the things the SCA people were asking and putting them in context of modern wine making. Ask him "they added X ingredient. Why?" Even without knowing a ton about ancient wine-making practices, he knew about early americana and could say "well, that item has Y quality. I suspect it was add to ." Invaluable information for the anal-retentive wannabe chemists in our midsts. And a genuinely nice guy to boot. We need to assimilate him.

Cheese-making classes. Donaetiene and the Down and Dirty Curd gang. Gangbusters cheese-making in two classes. What a treat to be able to try unpasteurized milk and taste the difference between that and the store-bought homoginized variety when it's made into cheese. Very popular class. Everyone pepper her with requests to teach. She'll hate me for suggesting it, but you'll get free samples and that just doesn't suck. Let's all bug her to keep working on her Palladius translation.

Gwylym Penbras. Single best attended class at the symposium. The topic? Knife making for cooks. We couldn't get the permission to have him set up a forge on site, but he brought stuff along that people could touch and feel, including steel he made before it becomes that familiar knife shape. Standing room only in his class, folks, despite being the largest classroom of the 4 we had running at any given time. We simply couldn't put enough chairs in there. Want to learn about blade making? He's your man.

Mistress Dulcinea and Odo The Booze-Class Guy (*grin*) both taught. The liquor flowed. I can't imagine anyone had a bad time in those classes. The currant cordial was awesome at least. Didn't get to try any of the beer made without hops though. Poo. Alaina taught a class on basic brewing. Only got to see a portion of that class. Poo again. Rutger taught a class on pressing grapes and we had that fresh pressed juice at feast that evening. Stunning. So fresh.

These are just highlights. There were herb classes and history classes and so much more. I can't mention them all. And the potluck feast. My god. Stuffed again. Please dear god don't let me eat so much in the future. Well, maybe just one more taste... ;-)

Iasmin "The Sated" de Cordoba
Grateful to have such talented friends

Iasmin adds that the event also raised a considerable amount of money at the silent auction for the local food bank, Loaves and Fishes ($200 or so), thanks to the generous donations of merchants and attendees. She says, "Seems a fitting thing for a food conference to dedicate themselves to, don't you agree?"