The Order of the

Wooden Spoon

continued

 

 

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        COMPETITION FOR BELTAINE

                A festive meal to celebrate the May

Utilize the fresh ingredients and seasonal information described below.  Your entry may be vegetarian if you wish. By meal we don’t mean a table full.  One plate with an entree and a side will do.

Things are beginning to look up.  The hens are laying; the cow or goat is in full milk.  You are making lots of butter.  You have fresh cheese curds (aged cheeses are not ready yet). Lettuces and fresh peas are in the garden. 
      

You are starting to pull the first radishes and perhaps a few baby carrots.  There are plenty of spring onions.  Most of your herbs have enough new leaves that you can begin using them.  There will be lots of tender dandelion greens in the fields. There are plenty of mushrooms in the fields.  You are beginning to cull the hen house, butchering the young cocks.  You may have butchered a male kid or lamb, and there are plenty of young rabbits in the woods.  There’s fish aplenty in the streams. 

 

Fresh fruit is still in short supply and you are likely out of dried fruit.  You are just about out of honey and there won’t be any more until the middle of summer. You are also running real low on flour and there won’t be more until after the harvest. 

 

Don’t forget the possibilities in edible flowers.

 

 

 

COMPETITION FOR JUNE CROWN

A dish featuring FRESH fish, flesh or fowl

accompanied by lots of fresh, fresh vegetables.  Vegetarians may substitute cheese and/or eggs.

(be sure to read the seasonal information below)

 

June is still early for some crops; however others are in full sway.  All your lettuces are going great guns.  You’ll begin pulling young carrots, turnips and parsnips -- and radishes of course.  Asparagus is up, both cultivated and wild in the woods and fields, and you may harvest ramps (wild leeks), and the streams are filled with watercress. 

You will most likely be able to begin harvesting fresh green broad-beans (favas), and cook them in the shell.  There will be lots of chard and a few small cabbages.  You’ll want to leave most of the cabbages until they get larger.  Broccoli and cauliflower are ready to harvest as are most other things in that family.  If you are in the Mediterranean you will have artichokes.  And, you have been able to take some honey from your hives.  Of course you also have most everything you had in May.  Your flour barrel is probably empty or really, really low.  Some of the early fruits are beginning to come in, like strawberries.

 

You will be anxious to eat as much fresh food as possible after the long winter of dried and preserved things.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 COMPETITION FOR PURGATORIO

A main dish pie utilizing the late summer cornucopia of fine, fresh products as described below.

 

This is the most joyous time of year for the cook. You have almost everything normally available in your area at your fingertips; both the result of your own labors and wild from field, stream and woods. 

You have brought back your first flour from the community mill, so you may now begin making bread and pastry again with abandon.  All of the livestock has reproduced and for the next couple of months you will be butchering the young males and eating them fresh.  Oodles and oodles of eggs.  Lots of milk and lots of fruit and vegetables, and there’s honey galore.  The cheeses you made earlier in the year are now ready and you continue making more.  There’s lots of butter.  After having gone for a while without bread or pastry, you are eagerly eating your fill.

 

 

 

 

COMPETITION FOR OCTOBER CROWN

At least three things that you have preserved for the winter

pickles, dried meat, preserved or salted meat or fish, cheeses; whatever.

 

You have been working your butt off all summer and autumn to harvest and preserve as much of the results of your labors as possible.  Almost all your crops are in.  You have harvested all the honey you dare, leaving the rest now so your bees can make it through the winter.  You have brought back all your flour from the mill.  There are cheeses aging, and sausages and other meats hang from the rafters.  Crocks of things being preserved in salt or pickle fill the larder as well as casks of ale and cider, and some wine made from local fruits.  Root vegetables rest in straw and apples hang in net bags.  There are festoons of onions and garlic and bouquets of herbs.   And of course, you have dried what fruit you couldn’t eat fresh. 

 

You are ready for winter.

 

 COMPETITION FOR 12th NIGHT 

Suckets, Comfits and Sugar-Plums

 

Putting your best foot forward for the festivities, you will use some of your precious winter stores to make something special.  You have honey, you bought some sugar and exotic spices from a merchant, and you have your own dried fruits and nuts.  This will be your last splurge before digging in for the winter.

 

  

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