Open fire historic cooking on the menu at The Great Malagentian Test Kitchen
You are cordially invited to the first Great Malagentian Outdoor Test Kitchen, your opportunity to take a recipe or two and experiment during the day over a fire with how to make it work – and learn from everybody else who is doing the same!
Want to learn how to roast a rabbit over a spit? Buy a few from a local butcher, research the techniques and come to this event with the plan to do several during the course of a day. Want to learn how to cook stew, or biscuits, or whatever tickles your fancy over an open fire? Do some research, get the materials and bring them to this event. Want to learn exactly what sort of wood needs to be used to make a perfect coal fire? How does cherry wood or apple wood change the taste of your meal? Bring several types and experiment!
Attendees are responsible for their own recipes and ingredients and gear. Firewood is for sale at the site; please do not bring any firewood into Maine. Any specialty firewood should be acquired in-state, as well.
Attendees will also be able to visit the varied close campsites and learn about the recipes and techniques being experimented with. Everyone is encouraged to bring copies of recipes, directions, research, so they can be shared out and knowledge gained.
The overall goal here is to help people get some outdoor, fire-pit cooking skills that they can use at other events. We encourage period tents, but they are not required at all. Folks can camp in lean-tos, or in modern tents, or in period shelters, if they have them. We plan to be light on structure, heavy on flexibility. The site will be open to the public, so we may have interested folks checking us out, as well.
This event is being held Saturday May 4th and Sunday, May 5th at Bradbury Mountain State Park in Pownal, Maine, about 30 minutes north of Portland and just outside of Freeport.
Site Opens: 9 a.m. Saturday
Site Closes: 11 a.m. Sunday
The day will start with fire starting / fire building classes for those interested; the cooking and experimental activities will last through the morning/afternoon. Early evening, we will hold a voluntary “round the world” campsite feast, where you can visit each participating site and sample the day’s efforts.
Attendees are encouraged to camp overnight Saturday, but day-tripping is fine. Sunday morning will feature a garbed hike up Bradbury Mountain (a hill with modest ambitions, really) with a bit of fencing at the top likely.
• 8-Noon: Gate is Open
• 10:45: WELCOME – Main Instruction Area (Near Gear Drop-off Site)
• 11 a.m.: Flint-and-Steel Fire demo/classes (char-cloth creation will occur during the day)
• 12 noon: Class: Mistress Anastasia Guta: Commune Potages – a roundtable discussion on pre-1600 cookery and foodways.
• Afternoon: We cook!
• 5 p.m.: Potluck / Shared Meal
• 7 p.m.: Foresters’ Court.
• 10 p.m.: Campground Quiet Hours
• Sunday: Garbed Hike and Fencing up Bradbury, 9 a.m.? These are easy hiking trails – but it is a small mountain/pretentious hill.
Shared Meal and Foresters’ Court
Bring your creation to a 5 o’clock potluck at the main instruction area (where drop-off was)! Please prepare a card with your name and what the dish is, and a list of ingredients / allergens, if you would.
Seamus Na Coille Aosda, Warden of the Eastern Forests, will host a High Court of the Forest. This will be the first Forest Court held in Malagentia since we formed our fledgling Foresters’ Guild! All are welcome – very much so!
Reservations and Camping
The site is a Maine State Park and all State Park rules apply. Campsites cannot be reserved in advance however, this early in the season we essentially have the campground to ourselves. If you plan on camping, come, pick a campsite and camp. Each site can hold up to 6 people – please feel free to share. Some of us will be there Friday night – the more the merrier. We will try to fill sites 1-23 first. If we need to use more campsites (there are 35) we will. If we need to expand to the field across the street, we will. If we need to expand to the Group Campsite, we will. What I’m saying is there will be plenty of space for campers and for day-trippers.
We are concentrating the activities in campsites 2M to 19X (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19.). Online Map of Sites
(Note: You are paying these fees directly to the State of Maine for park entry. These are not SCA fees.)
Camping: $16.35 a day per site (not per person). The camping fee includes all day use fees.
Adult Maine Resident: $4 per day
Senior (65+) Maine Resident: Free
Adult Non-Resident: $6 per day
Senior Non-Resident: $2 per day
All Kids ages 5-11: $1 per day
All Kids under 5: Free
Firewood: $5/bundle. Mixed hard/soft wood. Note: It is illegal to import firewood into the State of Maine. Please leave out of state firewood at home. More information here.
Bring exact cash, or checks made to Treasurer, State of Maine. Credit cards accepted if an attendant is in the booth.
Site address: Bradbury State Park 528 Hallowell Rd, Pownal, ME
The roads there have some good curves on ‘em. Please be careful. Follow the signs for Bradbury State Park. We’ll have some SCA signs up, too. Please read the below section on Drop/off Sign/In (Gate) carefully.
Approaching on Route 9 (Hallowell Road) from Portland: Go PAST the Main Park Entrance on the left; take the RIGHT into the Camping Area (Watch for the SCA Sign and the big “CAMPING AREA” sign.)
Proceed straight in to the Gate Sign and sign in. Gate will be staffed 8-noon. After that, follow these directions for gear drop off and find Mat Wyck to sign your site waiver. Please note this is an official SCA event, and all SCA rules still apply.
Campers: Pick a spot, find your friends, unload your stuff at your campsite and drive the loop around and out, head into the Main Park Entrance. Pay your fees, park your car, walk back over.
Day Trippers: Drop your stuff off at the ‘Drop off’ spot, loop around and out, head into the Main Park Entrance, pay your fees, park your car, walk over.
Please do not park your car in a campsite unless needed for accessibility.
NOTE: Vehicles go quick on that road. Please, please, please be careful.
Campsites, bathrooms, showers at the campground meet all standards of the ADA. If you need to keep your vehicle at the campground instead of the nearby parking lot due to accessibility, that is fine, just let us know. If you are camping and need power for a CPAP, please email Mat at email@example.com – sites don’t have power, but the ranger said he will make it happen, no worries. Any other questions drop me a line. Bradbury Mountain State Park Accessibility Webpage
This event is being organized by 2 fencers, Mat Wyck and Col. Christian Woolfe. If you’re a fencer, bring yer gear. We’re going to make some time for a few pickups, ‘cuz that’s how we roll.
Bring your camping gear. Bring all the cooking stuff you need. Bring any serving stuff you may need for the potluck. A few sites have room for a large pavilion – a lot don’t. If you have a smaller option are cool with using it, that may mean we can fit more people into a campsite, which is cool. If you only have mundane stuff, that’s cool. Let’s just have some fun, eh?
Prepare for colder weather than you think. This is Maine, yeah?
Water. Park plans to have the water turned on ahead of our event. If the ground is still frozen, this will be a challenge. Event staff will post on Facebook the week before the event if folks should bring their own water in … (again – Maine…)
Bring a bucket for water for safety, or, if you can, a fire extinguisher.
Firewood: Firewood from inside Maine is ok. Importing wood from outside Maine is a no-no. Buying bundles from the park is very, very cool.
Local Stuff: If you need gear – LL Bean is 20 minutes away. There’s a convenience store 5 mins away for quick stuff, and a big grocery in Freeport, 20 minutes away. Event staff will be bringing a bunch of cast iron stuff cookware, so if you are missing something, check with them.
Merchants: We will have 3 merchants discretely selling their wares, as OKed by the Ranger: Burlap the Beggar, Auntie Arwen’s Spices, and Col. Woolfe’s Fabulous Fire Kits. We’ll let you know where they are discretely merchanting the day of the event.
1. This site is discretely damp. You can have alcohol at your campsite. Walking from site to site, be cool, be discrete – that’s considered “public space.” We want this place to invite us back.
2. Pets – Dogs need to be on leashes. Pick up their poop. Cool?
3. A full list of Maine State Campground Rules can be found here: Campground Rules
Campground side of the park has some really cool trails, and I believe lady slippers and trilliums will be in bloom (pretty, but don’t pick ‘em)!
Mountain side has a really nice playground for kids.
Questions? Mat Wyck at firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook Event Page
Official State of Maine page for Bradbury Mountain State Park