Historical Feasts

Illumination depicting a medieval feast

The mystery project that I’ve been working on is all of the paperwork to start an educational non-profit that focuses on historical feasting culture. What the hell does that mean? I hear you ask.

What it means is that there will be an organization that has a particular interest in how formal settings effect how we approach food and community. For example: The difference between cooking dinner every Wednesday and cooking dinner for Christmas. There are traditional foods belonging to both the culture that you are in and family traditions that either come from the culture that they came to America with or that have developed organically (my family’s Perfection Salad — never eaten, always present).

In sharing the experience of a formal (or somewhat informal, ex: Street Parties in the UK), it’s easier to understand the culture that it came out of, and allows for a deeper understanding of where our families came from and perhaps why we do things the way that we do now. It is taking the face that sharing a meal is as much about community as it is about nourishment – understanding the food brings you closer to understanding the culture by making an opening to discuss that history and culture. This is very much the basic philosophy of ““Conflict Kitchen”, but applied to the past rather than the present.

While the signature event for HF is going to be the Perfectly Period Feast, which focuses on Spain in 1526, it is my intention that other periods of time and places will be explored and re-created. Right now, I am in the basic planning stage and making sure that everything is properly documented and written up so that Historical Feasts as a non-profit will be successful.

I’m excited about the possibilities that Historical Feasts offers for teaching and learning about history, food, and culture. There will be more information provided as I move things forward.

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