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Feast GearFeast gear is very important. It is one of those things that is so much part of the day to day necessities of anyone in the SCA, that people tend to forget that a newcomer has no idea of what it is..or that they need it.
The SCA normally requires that people bringtheir own feast gear to events. This eliminates the need for branchesto to keep full sets of cutlery and dishes for use during events.Feast gear normally consists of anything you personally need to make your dining experience pleasurable while keeping things moreor less in persona.
Drinking VesselsYou will generally find that people use one of two things at events for drinking out of:the goblet or the tankard. For the most part medieval goblets would havebeen made of metal, either silver or gold for nobles or perhaps pewter. Obviously wecant quite afford to wander around with gold or silver drinking vessels, so silverplate, pottery and pewter tend to be more common and totally acceptable.Tankards come from more of the reniassance fair circuit, but in actuality they are more of a peasant drinking vessel than a noblemans. Think of what your persona would have used, or like alot of use..pick whats pretty and feels good to drink out of. Word of caution, dont use glass for general day to day use. It does tend to break.
Eating UtensilsGet into a discussion about eating utensils and you will find yourself in the middle of quite the controversy. The fork wasnot in use until very late in our period, eating was done with a knife, thatwas used for cutting and spearing, a spoon, used for soups etc, and of courseFINGERS!!!! ( and you wonder why kids like feasts ). This again is an area you can go as authentic or as comfortable as you want to. IF you want to find nice flatware that reminds you of medieval knives and spoons, then get it and use it. You will decide asyou go along which way you want to go.
Plates and BowlsYou will see all shapes and sizes of bowls and plates at SCA events.Just like for the utensils and the drinking vessels, it comesdown to personal preference and your desire to stay as authentic as possible.At the least, it is recommended that you have at least one plate and onebowl per person. The plate is an equivalent to the medieval trencher, a slice of hard bread which was used to serve food (the soaked bread was later given to the poor). A small wooden board would also work as a substitute. The bowl is for broth and stews - plain pottery or wood is the standard though sometimes you will see pewter.
LightCandles are a favourite way to provide ambiance at an event. The candlesticks themselvesare normally wooden, pottery or metal. Dig around in your old cupboards and you will be amazed at what you find. The only thing that needs to be cautioned is that not all feasts allow open flames, which usually is mentioned in the announcement, in this case, put your unlit candles on the table, it still helps add feeling to your meal.
AccessoriesThis is where you can have alot of fun and create a wonderful atmosphere at the same time. Dont think just table cloth, but what else? Napkins, finger bowls, salt cellars, water pitchers? And when you get to the time you have one, banners with your arms displayed!
BasketsThis is another area in which you will find much discussion. What do you carry your feast gear in.The majority of people you will find out there at events, bring their gear in a basket, large enough to hold everything. The style and the materials are totally up to personal preference. Have fun with it!!
My thanks to Lady Jehanne de Huguenin of the Shire of Adamastor, South Africa , Kingdom of Drachenwald who has made my job easierand gave me permission to use her article and adapt it to our purposes. This is a wonderful work and I invite all of you to read it as well as visit the pages of one of ourfar away groups. Shire of Adamastor .
This page last modified March 21, 2003.