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I’m going to back up and talk about Simplefare. I’d initially planned to just gloss past it, but


 just sent me a much better photo than any *I* got, so I’ll mention it.

Simplefare was Charlotte’s first SCA event. Very appropriate, since both her father and I started up in Fennbrycg. I believe that a Simplefare was also her father’s first event, and it was my second. We showed up to work like dogs in the kitchen all day. That’s what we DO at Simplefare. Honestly, if


 were to kick us out of the kitchen, I’m not quite sure what I’d do with myself all day. The potential issue was of course, dealing with a newborn. Our plan was to stash her out of the way in a bin/basket on a counter or in a corner, on the theory that she could sleep on the counter at Simplefare just as easily as she could sleep on a blanket on the floor at home. Then we’d take turns dealing with her when she woke up, and at some point I’d pump and Bob would give her a bottle.

Pre-cook on Friday went fairly well – we located a good piece of counter and got the basket set in place for the next day. I plowed through de-stemming a huge number of mushrooms with the help of Johanna and a couple of ladies whose names I didn’t get. She slept through it all. So Saturday, we loaded her up and headed out. We were later than I’d wanted, so the parking was crappy, but Bob dropped off us and the stuff and went to park the car. We settled her into her basket, and got to work. I’m not really sure what I did for the rest of the day – it was the usual Simplefare stuff: mash frozen berries, put things into ovens, take things out of ovens, stir the soup, count bowls, run the dishwasher, etc. Followed, of course, by gulping down dinner in between plating the courses.

I love Simplefare. Really. It’s one of my personal touchstones, and I’m not sure why. If you look at it intellectually, there is something very wrong with the idea. I drive to the other end of the state after work to stand and prep food until 9:00 or 10:00pm on Friday and get home late. Then I get up early on Saturday to drive back, spend the day on my feet either cooking, washing, or plating, and gulp my dinner in order to get back in the kitchen in time to help prep the next course. By the end of the day, I’m exhausted, cranky, hot, and my feet and back are lumps of pain. AND I pay for the privilege of doing this. And I love it. We could have actually attended the event this year, and no one would have thought less of us. Who in their right mind would come to work the Simplefare kitchen with a newborn? But it would have been a huge disappointment to have missed this exercise in self abuse. I’m not really sure what that says about me. But it’s very satisfying to have another Simplefare come off, and know that I was a small part of making that happen.

But I digress. Charlotte slept almost all day. She nursed once, and needed a couple of diaper changes. A couple of times she fussed a bit, but by the time I had turned around, someone else had usually scooped her up and soothed her back to sleep. She spent the day in a kitchen in full cry and never even twitched. I think it’s a very auspicious beginning.

The Gatoraide?  That's over there on the counter between the fire extinguisher and the baby...



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 2nd, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC)
Aw, that's a cute picture. It's better than posed shots of babies...this one is an actual memory. Charlotte will probably get a kick out of it herself when she's old enough to be looking through albums with appreciation. :)
Dec. 3rd, 2008 01:13 am (UTC)
It's cute, isn't it? I took a couple, but they didn't come out nearly as nice. She framed it much better than I did.
Dec. 2nd, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
Funnily enough, I was really annoyed to miss Simplefare this year. Last year was my first, and I spent all day Saturday in the kitchen, having driven for 2 hours or so from another state to get there.

And I really, really, hope I can do it next year.
Dec. 3rd, 2008 01:14 am (UTC)
Come play! All the cool kids are in the kitchen.
Dec. 3rd, 2008 01:40 am (UTC)
There aren't a lot of people who's kitchen's I'll work in. vynehorn is one, lucianus and bytchearse are the others. I'll happily travel to work for them.
Dec. 3rd, 2008 11:25 pm (UTC)
Aw, shucks. :)
Dec. 4th, 2008 02:04 am (UTC)
Hey -- I like the way you guys run your kitchens. You make it easy and fun to do the work, and your food is always D.LISH.US -- other people, not so much.
Dec. 2nd, 2008 10:34 pm (UTC)
Have I mentioned lately that you're a really good writer?
It's my own darned picture and you made me laugh out loud with it!

Dec. 3rd, 2008 01:14 am (UTC)
We try.

Dec. 3rd, 2008 12:14 am (UTC)
If you're lucky, she'll be a toddler next year and you can assign someone's responsible 10-12-year-old to have her on leading strings. The worst stage for this sort of thing is that no-longer-grublike, not-yet-walking zone because public floors are icky and dangerous.

Congratulations on a successful baby outing.
Dec. 3rd, 2008 01:21 am (UTC)
At the Crossroads at Canterbury event I met a very clever woman. She had her toddler in one of those blue rubbermaid totes at her feet under the table where she was cleaning something vegetable-based. She knew where the baby was, and she was containerized and safe from the floor or being trod upon. The baby had mom there and the car keys to play with. Both were content. I'm going to give that a try once she can sit up by herself.

And everything involved can be hosed off. An added bonus.

I'm not sure I'd classify it as an outing. Simplefare is almost like being in my own living room. But I was very pleased.
Dec. 3rd, 2008 12:19 am (UTC)
As if I would kick you out of the kitchen! Perish the thought!
Dec. 3rd, 2008 01:22 am (UTC)
You never know - I may be a complete ass someday, causing us to have a horrible spat. But I'll try not to. :-)
Dec. 10th, 2008 02:30 am (UTC)
What a hoot!! I'm all for the appropriate children in kitchens and Charlotte looks well on her way. No freaking out is a good thing.

Rosamund's comment after 100 Minutes. "Okay, all I did was put stuff on trays...my daughter made the pans of lozens. So, I was semi-skilled labor and my 7 year-old was one of the cooks!" Yup!

( 14 comments — Leave a comment )