What?: an open-ended bi-monthly (every other month) series of rustic “deep scratch” five-course farmhouse dinners featuring home-grown produce and meat, largely cooked using pre-industrial methods, as well as local alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Each dinner focuses on a different time period.
Our first dinner will be Tudor England, on October 17, and it is sold out. The second is Victorian Christmas on December 18 and the third is ancient Roman on April 1. Each of those two are about half sold out. We intend to host a Colonial American dinner as well but the date has not been set. Think amateur experimental foodways historian meets anarchist Kinfolk magazine, hosted by a professional chef and a spice trader.
You will get to eat the food of the time period, and listen to the music, and we’ll also have an informal dinnertime talk about why these particular dishes are of historical import, and why the people from that time period ate the way they did, as well as a few other aspects of their lives. We’d like to get a feel for what it would be like to live a day in the life of an average, middle-class household and we’ll do our best to replicate it, and hopefully you’ll all go home with a richer understanding of how their lives were different or similar to ours.
Where?: Our House in outer SE Portland (address will be provided)
1) for fun!
2) for history!
3) for a fundraiser! at least this initial one is. We’re going to New England for two weeks and while we have the essentials covered, buying our house has eaten up all of our fun money we had saved for this trip. I’d really like to have a little extra money so that I can afford to go to a bunch of museums. Many of the ones I’m excited about are living history museums that feature the history of food and agriculture in America, so what more fitting way to raise the funds than to host an education food evening?
How much: $50/person
Whaaaaaaat?: Yeah, $50 a person. It’s a really, REALLY fancy dinner, and drinks are included, so it’s actually substantially less than a meal out at a nice restaurant. If you feel that this is absurdly outside your price range just shoot me a message about it and if we haven’t sold out a few days before the event, we can talk about a sliding-scale ticket.
Who: Up to 20 people. You, and also, where applicable, your parents. I want you to straight-up bring your parents. I like parents, and they like me, and a lot of parents of people I know have expressed interest in our house and animals and the food we make. Here’s their chance to come and check it out, and eat some extremely interesting, really honestly just world class food at the same time.
Tell Me More About the Food You Mentioned: I haven’t set up the menu yet, so you’re going to have to just base your judgement off of what I served last time, which was this:
Rosemary Bread Fresh Butter
Nettle Pesto from the Banks of the Brandywine Old Gaffer Gamgee Roasted Garlic
Pickled Spring Shoots Scotch Quail Eggs with Mrs Proudfoot’s Mustard
Farmer Maggot’s Roasted Mushrooms Rabbit Pie
Farmer Cotton’s Carrots Spit-Roast Leg of Lamb
Rhubarb and Orange Syllabub the Thain’s Favorite Orange Candied Walnuts
Elderflower Hugos Hard Cherry Cider Campari
What About Special Diets?: If you let me know BEFOREHAND, I will make an effort to make sure there’s something you can eat. Life-threatening allergic reactions requiring an epi-pen etc will not be catered to as this is not a professional kitchen and we cannot prevent cross-contamination. I have many years of experience catering to vegans, vegetarians, people who don’t eat gluten, etc. I reserve the right to tell you that your allergy is fictional.
Will The Food Be Weird?: I understand that it can be nerve-wracking if maybe you’re a little bit of a picky eater, like I am, to try a whole bunch of new and totally alien foods, particularly in a group setting. Rest assured that while I do intend to make some really off-the-wall stuff, throughout most of history, humanity’s diet has always had some very similar elements to what we eat today. There will always be bread and butter, there will always be some pretty simple vegetable side dishes, some roast non-organ meats, and some dessert. Nobody is going to force you to eat braised calf tongue with prunes if you don’t want to. Eyes on your own plate.
Can I Bring Kids?: Sure. I like kids. I even have some kids books and coloring supplies and stuff for if they get bored, or they can pass out upstairs.
Can I Bring a Dog?: Hell, no. Absolutely not. Why would you bring a dog?!
Can I Bring Food?: Please don’t bring food. If you’d like to contribute above and beyond the cost of the ticket, you can bring some nice wine, or you can bring us cash, which we will gleefully ferret away in our bosoms like barwenches Of Olde.
How Do I Buy Tickets?: You go to this link here, and you buy the tickets. If only one person is coming, buy one ticket. If two people are coming, buy two tickets. Etc.
What Should I Wear?: If you have a time period appropriate outfit, please feel free to wear it! Otherwise, just wear whatever you would normally wear to eat out. Your hosts will not be wearing historic garb, if that’s your question.
How Can I Remain Abreast of Future Historic Dinners?:
Should I Go?: Absolutely.