The Hitchhiker's Guide to Ancient Cookery

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Alexandre Lerot d'Avigné
Jeff Berry
(Number 35 in the Series, July 2005)

Brass Tacks

Time to get serious about what gets done when.

Pre-cooking and Pre-paring

The date of Coronation is September 24th. Let's keep that in mind.

I always like to precook chicken when I can. In this situation, I can. 170 leg quarters need to be cooked and frozen before the event. That's one leq quarter per person and a few spares. On the day of the event, they just need to be thawed. The actual cooking will be easy, just a little salt and a roasting - remember a sauce will go out.
I'll start cooking these on the 4th of September. As they get cooked, they'll get frozen and distributed out to anyone I know with a freezer.
Glires Falses
A day or so before, the sausage should be made up. I need, let's say, 352 little micey. That's 22 pounds at 16 mice per pound. That works out to two mice per person and a few spares.
They can be done on site or a day or two before and refrigerated. My mouse wrangler may be able to do it ahead of time. We could probably do everything except the eyes beforehand.
Made a few days ahead and kept refrigerated. That's easy. So that's probably starting the week before, say the 19th. It's pretty rich, so a pound or so of ricotta per table should be plenty.
Wouldn't hurt this to be made ahead a few days. In fact, it could probably be frozen. It's mostly cheese and supposed to be served cold anyway, so frozen and thawed wouldn't hurt it. A pound or so of cheese here, I think mixed ricotta and either parmesan or romano, should be adequate per table. This can be made whenever I get the time.
This will be made ahead and frozen - but not by me! Mistress Brighid ni Chiarain has volunteered to do it. So that's easy, too.
Everything else we can make on site. Much of what's left is just chopping and saucing. The bits that aren't, and which therefore require carefully planning as far as ovens and burners and such are: Ovens: Stovetop The Ovens
The lamb takes the longest, about 20 minutes per pound for the size roasts we're dealing with. Which means, in order to avoid grossing out the squeamish with rare lamb (Mmm!) about an hour and half before serving. Since I'm loaded the ovens pretty heavily, a little extra time wouldn't hurt. I've got four ovens, so I can load each one with five or six roasts which isn't too much of an overload, though.

The trick, of course, is that the lamb goes out after the glires falses. Not a problem, though. When it's time to put in the mousies, about ten minutes before they are to be served, the lamb can be combined in both trays and ovens down to one if possible or two if not. Then the glires go into the ovens.

As soon as the glires go out the ovens are free for the patina di piris, and we'll have plenty of time for that.

The Burners The faseoili virides get done early in the day, probably before the dayboard goes out. So that's not an issue at all.

I'm going to send out around 30 pounds of carrots which need to be boiled and then sauteed with the sauce. The boiling is pretty easy and we'll just use pre-peeled and washed baby carrots to keep prep time down. That means we've got to saute them though. In fact, we'll probably cheat and give them only a minimal saute. We'll lose a little bit of carmelization, I'm afraid, but in exchange, we can send out the carrots nice and hot. We should be able to cook carrots tender in not too long a time - assuming we remember to get the water boiling early. So that means a couple of pots and a couple of skillets for the carrots.

So I've got two long burners and two griddles for thawing surface and for my fish dish. We should be able to cook them up on those without too much difficulty. So it looks like we're in good shape.

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Comments are welcome.
Alexandre Lerot d'Avigné, Jeff Berry,

Copyright Jeff Berry
Originally webbed 27 July 2005
Last modified :1 August 2005