At the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, I perform various cooking demonstrations with my assistants.  In past years, we’ve created a lot of food that needed to fill empty bellies, but we didn’t have the means to do so.  A couple of years ago, we developed a way of performing the cooking demonstrations and feeding the cast.  Last year, we dubbed the concept as The Family Table.

There, cast members could get some hand crafted meals, water, and a place for the community to connect.  We prepared a meat and vegan dish each day.  On a couple of the list serves, that I belong to, I posted some facts about the family kitchen.

  • Each day of the 2010 run of the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, The Family Table served between 85-125 people.
  • On Saturday, October 2, 2010, we broke a record by serving 122 cast members in 40 minutes (shortest time for service).  We believe it was due to the cold weather.  On Sunday, October 3, 2010, we prepared for the day and fed 185 cast members.
  • MRF provides a stipend for a food budget, but following it would allow us to feed the cast through 5th weekend.  The cast’s tips and donations help us stretch the budget to feed the cast throughout the entire season.
  • Each week, Cub, Rainbow, Kowalski’s, Lunds, Sam’s Club, and Costco are all shopped to get the best prices
  • Every bowl is washed and bleached so that they remain food safe.  At the end of the run, every bowl, cast iron pot, and wooden utensil is oiled and prepped for storage over the winter.
  • All of the equipment for The Family Kitchen weighs 1750 lbs and includes two tables, tent, fly, cast iron pots, travel stove, shelving, period kitchen, shelving, coolers, etc.
  • I kept a running tally through the season.  We went through a lot of food (roughly):
    Black Beans    14 lbs
    Chickpeas        22 lbs
    Lentils 8 lbs
    Zucchini           100 lbs
    Rice    100 lbs
    Bread     65 lbs
    pumpkins    23 lbs
    leeks    30 lbs
    onions    15 lbs
    potatoes    117 lbs
    carrots    130 lbs
    chicken    140 lbs
    beef    150 lbs
    pork    72 lbs
    meatballs    27 lbs
    kielbasa    30 lbs
    turkey    60 lbs
    mushrooms    16 lbs

    I hope that The Family Table can become a not-for-profit entity for next year.  I am looking for a lawyer who specializes in filing for not-for-profit status in Minnesota and is willing to work pro-bono.  If you have any referrals, please let me know.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 at 3:00 pm and is filed under community, Food, giving back. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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  1. Alice the Cook to demo at Souixland RenFest | Renaissance Faire News - FaireNews.com shares the Joy of Faire one post at a time!!    Mar 13 2011 / 10am:

    […] her well. It sounds like a fantastic proposition. If you’re interested, the post was “A Season at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival Comes to a Close” dated October 5, 2010. While you’re there, check out some of the historical […]

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