TGIF and all that, we have been busy this week. Our church choir, of which I am a member, held madrigal dinners for 3 nights which tied up 5 nights for me and G. When I was in college (20 years ago) I served at madrigal dinners. One year on one night I got to carry out the boar's head. We even served the flaming figgy pudding. We used utensils for those dinners. We didn't for our dinners this week.
Anyway, it seems only 3 of us knew what it was or any history about it, or had been to one. Those three people were me, the choir director and her husband/our pastor. So apparently, many people didn't know what it was, and G still calls it a magical dinner, heh. It really did stress a lot of our choir members out. Now they know so next year it won't be so bad on them.
We had small vignettes along the hall in which I personally played a washer woman just for a glimpse (poor portrayal) of life in the middle ages. We had artists, a stockade (and prisoner), a musician, dancer and a separate group of musicians playing at the end of the guests' walk into the hall. We have a very talented member of our church who is impressive with scene/stage designs. She really is incredibly talented, and she and her hubby do most of the designs for all of the programs in our church. We have a church member who owns an antique shop who was able to use some stuff to decorate the dinning hall. It really turned out well. It really looked almost like a castle hall. Our sanctuary has a hall around it and the inside of the hall or outside of the sanctuary is brick which helped with the appearance.
Anyway, G played a squire or page for two of the nights and pulled the seats out for the king and his daughter/princess. She also was the runner to tell the kitchen when we needed what. So the choir members were the servers. We had wonderful volunteers in the kitchen to prepare the food. No utensils were used so we had mostly finger foods and soup. We served a ginormous turkey leg, bread, potato logs and corn on the cob.
We used a razorback hat for the boar's head which worked so very well. The pastor wrote a skit about the head and told the symbolism of the head. We had the guests participate in the Twelve Days of Christmas song which was very fun.
The first night was a very low crowd of about 60 people. Thankfully, it was low. The third night was also supposed to be a very low number; however,
after nights 1 and 2 people started calling each other so the last two
nights were actually sold out. Sold out was 96 tickets. There were maybe 5 seats empty on both nights
combined. Also, last night the paper came and took lots of photos with a
very bright flash while the dinner was served by candlelight in the dark, just sayin'. I just pray I am not in any of the pics. Although,
I will say, with no intention of compliments; though, that because of my
skin getting on my nerves by 4pm everyday, I looked like a recovering medieval
small pox victim (due to my acne) and made a proper poor wench for sure!
The plan I came up with for serving the food got turned upside down on night one. Then someone in the choir sent the soup back before it was served without telling anyone, so when we servers went to get the soup, it was gone. I still don't know on that one. One pan of turkey legs got dropped one night, a bowl was broken one night (which is amazing since we had 3 nights of the use of the bowls), and the desserts were my favorite mini cherry tarts, but were not easy to eat with hands only.
Someone else told the kitchen we were serving tea and coffee; which, we were not, nor did we ever plan to do so. The plan all along for space savings, serving time, and attempting to be somewhat authentic was to serve only water and wassail. We wasted 3 carafes of coffee much to my chagrin because I actually like coffee.
Also, we had planned to use thermal carafes to serve the wassail, but on nights 1 and 2 we didn't have any to use, even after in the planning meetings when we were told we did have some. One of the kitchen volunteers purchased some carafes, so on night 3 we did have some just not enough wassail for the whole room to have more than 1/2 cup.
So all the plans I made got scrapped and then I heard over and over how I had initially assigned someone something but now they had to do something else. On Sunday, two days before the first dinner, I had gotten charged with managing the serving of the dinner. So I came up with the initial plan that was scrapped on the first night.
You want to find the most inflexible people in any organization? Plan a big something and assign folks to certain parts of it and then change at the last minute. I know. I can be inflexible and I don't like change, but I also know that sometimes you just have to get-r-done. I did get to the point where I just wanted to say, "do you what you want just make sure everyone gets food and drink."
Oh and last night I got ahead of the schedule and sent the turkey legs
out early, YAY! ME! No I won't forgive myself. That was a terrible
error on my part. I also fussed at G because she was just not
minding me about being quiet behind the scenes! or maybe I was just
stressed and her not minding was a bigger deal at that moment than
About the costumes, none of them were really the same which I think worked very well, and was the plan all along. We used tunics to cover long flaring skirts or dresses for the women. We had a couple of people volunteer cut the tunics out for us and create some of the costumes. Some of the men's things were made and some used from nativity programs.
Mainly, we wore solid colors under the bright tunics which were made from tapestry or furniture coverings. A lady who had donated (for a completely different reason) the particular material from which my tunic was made told me, as she exited last night , that I looked like one of her pretty pillows. Her companion stopped to explain the lady's comment, but I am still not sure if she was irritated that we used the material for a different reason than she intended or what. To me the tunics were the best and simplest idea I had, heh.
There was lots of laughter, the music was great and the choir didn't embarrass itself, as we are not professional by a long shot but we had fun (or at least I hope the majority of the choir would say that). Everyone who came through the exit where I was standing said they enjoyed it. Obviously since the last night sold out, people were calling friends and family to tell them to go. G and I had three late nights and two minor meltdowns (a piece). I am so very tired today. I am looking forward to sleeping in Saturday some.
I have no pictures of the dinner. I have failed to upload a zip line video of G, and now I probably just won't do it. I am lazy like that. Also, can't wait to see the next Hobbit movie. I am taking G and her friend to a matinee this weekend for Christmas. Can't wait, seriously.