Last year the theme was virtues, and we usually met in a restaurant meeting room. By the time everyone bought food and I bought food for two of my kids and maybe another guest and me, and tipped the set-up team for the meeting room, it was expensive. It was distracting.
This year we're discussing various topics concerning history (some SCA, some medieval Europe/England/literature). We meet at my house and I'm furnishing the food. Sometimes it's just food. Sometimes it's used to make a point. Tonight I'm doing "early al-Barranian foods." On bread trenchers, I'm going to serve egredouce, "hedgehogs," baked apples (slices, not whole) and cheese.
I called Viscountess Lore, who was involved in the preparation of some of those things, to check a couple of details.
This project would be more fun with other people, but it's Wednesday, and those who come to the discussions work during the day, so I'm cooking on my own. It's nice to be with my thoughts, though, and my mind been turning mostly to my memories of my first few SCA-meal experiences, and to those people for whom I'm preparing the food today. I'm sure cooks have had such thoughts always—of the first time they had the food they're making, remembering where they were and with whom, seeing and hearing in their heads those they learned from, what others have said of such preparations, and thinking of those who will eat the batch at hand.
Sometimes it's not just food.