Renn Fest traditions

This is how the weekend ended:

But I’ll get to that later. πŸ™‚


Some of my friends started a tradition of going to the Renaissance festival back in 2007. Sarah and John (two of my best friends since college) both have birthdays at the end of September, so we kind of use the festival as an excuse to get together and celebrate.

Jenny + James were there, too, but not in any pictures- I don't know why??!

It was cold this year, but it didn’t dampen our spirits!

We looked for mulled wine everywhere, but there was no warm alcohol to be found. Seriously, someone selling mulled wine would have made a killing there today!

We settled on beer instead. πŸ™‚

That's totally inappropriate, Keith.

Two things that we always get at the Renn Fest: Sam Adams Cherry Wheat mixed 50/50 with Sam’s Cream Stout (like a chocolate-covered cherry!) and sweet potato fries (fry being the key word!).

The fries come with some amazing sauce that no one can really identify, though it’s easy to detect the horseradish. The fries themselves are more like sweet potato puree. They literally melt in your mouth.

They have all kinds of food on a stick, huge turkey legs, and basically anything you can think of fried. All in moderation, right?

And the people watching- that’s clearly the best reason to go. LOVE IT.

The elephants always make us kind of sad.

But these pants Keith found made us all happy!

When Greg and I got home, we were greeted by the scent of sage and chicken coming from the crock pot. Ahhhh….

Being cold and too tired to cook + coming home to dinner already made = pure happiness.

We made the first fire of the season.

And enjoyed a nice bowl of butternut sage chicken stew.

Man, this was good! The butternut squash pretty much melted down into the broth and gave it the best flavor. And I think that other grains would work- but since I’m on such a freekeh kick, that’s what I used.

Butternut Sage Chicken Stew

2 bone-in chicken breasts

1/2 c (dry) freekeh (or other grain like brown rice or farro)

1 large carrot

2 celery stalks

1 medium-sized yellow onion

1/2 c butternut squash cubes

2 T fresh sage leaves (chopped)

1/2 T smoked paprika (or regular paprika if you don’t have smoked)

1/2 T rosemary

1 tsp minced garlic

salt + pepper to taste

1/2 c dry white wine (I used chardonnay)

1 1/2 c low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 c water

Chop carrot, celery and onion into 1/2 – 1″ pieces and place in the bottom of your slow-cooker. Add butternut squash cubes. Place chicken breasts on top of the vegetables, and then add sage, rosemary, paprika, garlic, salt + pepper. Add in freekeh and pour wine, broth and water over the chicken and place cover on the slow-cooker. Cook on low for at least 6 hours (Ours cooked for about 7.5 hours and was great- but probably would have been ready a little while earlier).

What a great way to close out the weekend! Back to the grind tomorrow.


8 Comments on “Renn Fest traditions”

  1. Your stew looks delicious! I love butternut squash. I absolutely love my slow cooker especially for stews in the winter. Looks like you had fun at the Renn Fair. I went a couple years ago and my favorite part was definitely the people watching. My biggest problem is that I’m such a huge history nerd that I get annoyed with the historical inaccuracies…I drive my friends crazy!

    • Lauren says:

      Ha! I can just imagine you, the history nerd, correcting everyone there. Guess you’ve gotta go with attitude that it’s all just in good fun and they MEAN to be inaccurate. πŸ™‚
      We saw some GREAT costumes this year!

      You’ll be seeing LOTS of butternut squash recipes on my blog this month. And more tonight even, I’m sure.

  2. That soup looks fabulous! THIS is why I need a crockpot πŸ™‚ I have never heard of Freekah, what is that??

    • Lauren says:

      Freekeh is something that I just discovered that I am kind of obsessed with. I found it at my co-op a few weeks ago and can’t get enough of it! If you search for it on my blog, I have a few recipes posted and some factoids about it. You’ve gotta try it!!

  3. Too much fun! I went to Renn Fest a few years ago and really enjoyed it! I’m totally jealous of your beer.

  4. I love crockpot recipes. Thank you for adding a potential standard to my repertoire. Can’t wait to try the freekah.

  5. janetha says:

    ooooo you nailed it with this one. i am going to make it for sure! thanks!

  6. […] lunch, I had leftover Butternut Sage Chicken Stew from Sunday’s dinner, topped with leftover greens from last […]

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