I had volunteered to give a lift to Rachela (sp?), who was visiting town from zachkessin's Incipient Shire over in Israel. Quickly establishing that she was a well-rounded geek (moderately new to the SCA, but lots of experience in both fandom and LARP), we found lots to talk about. She was looking forward to seeing what a "large" SCA event looked like -- I explained that this would probably be a fairly small event by our standards, but since the largest she'd previously seen was about 25 people, it still counted.
Anyway, I spent much of the evening introducing her to folks and generally making sure she settled in. I needn't have worried -- everyone welcomed her properly (thank you to everyone), and she seemed to have lots of fun. I wound up at High Table since I was accompanying the visitor; I have to say, High Table just feels kind of strange at a potluck event.
The evening's activities started out with a lovely concert by the Quire, and then into dinner. The potluck worked great, better than most: just about the right amount of food, a wonderful mix of it, and most of it thoroughly period. Having only half a kitchen and no time, I went the simple route and made a roast with a couple of basic sauces (aliper and verde). For dessert, I did the increasingly-reliable gingerbread recipe. (Notes to self: a half recipe is plenty unless I'm trying to serve the entire hall. And the platter needs to be dusted with a lot of cinnamon. No, more than that.) My personal favorites off the sideboard were probably madamebuttery's tartlets, and a bacon/chard fry that was probably dreadful for my arteries but utterly yummy.
Court ran a bit longer than usual, with a lot of business. I wound up coming in with several groups: the Cooks presented the recipe pamphlet, the Bowmen changed hands (Yaacov is now officially in charge), and the Daystars inducted lucianus. (Finally -- the clamor had grown consistent enough that everyone agreed it really needed to happen.) Rachela presented a token from Ma'ale Giborim (I've probably butchered the group name); she was terribly nervous, but did quite well when called in. There was also a brief Royal Court, where jdulac presented Yaacov with his well-earned AoA.
The Ball itself went quite smoothly, despite starting a little late. We had about as many people as could comfortably fit into the hall (I gather there were 80-90 people there), so it was full but not unpleasant early in the evening, and felt comfortably roomy for the last set. Lots of new faces trying out the dancing, which was very gratifying, although by the end of the evening it was mostly the usual hardcore.
Overall, a fine event -- hfcougar deserves a pat on the back for a very good first outing...