Tag Archives: Food in Fantasy

Gastronome Dragons (3): Sires Robert and John

Komagata Shinto Shrine, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City, japan!

Dragons are not evil creatures.

You may find some specimens akin to the fallen angels exposed in civilizations which misunderstood their true character and talents, but true dragons have the happiness of mankind in their hearts and ceaselessly contribute to its nurturing whenever they can or are allowed to as shown in this story.

As far as their gender is concerned some are attracted by their opposites while others feel content among similar denizens of their worlds. But plenty are satisfied enough with their own lot and do not feel the obligation to entertain intimate relations with their own kin.

Dragons by essence are long lived creatures with an unequalled wealth of knowledge and experience, which explains why they are so keen on their hedonisitic pleasures.
A true dragon will not bother amass and sleep over riches like some of their poor misled copies in faraway lands.
It, she or he will be constantly in search of new pleasures to share with like-minded souls for the betterment of this sometimes sad World of our own.

This particular dragon is taking this opportunity, while writing in this grimoire in a lair hidden under an extinct volcano in an island famed for its morning sun, to introduce other dragons working hard for the expansion of gastronomic pleasure thanks to the humans who finally started to grasp the art of communicating through the magic of instant scrolls!

SIRE ROBERT

Sire Robert’s Fine Japanese Pottery Shop in Kyoto!

Sire Robert whose ancestors flew from a country ravaged by conflicts to the Land of Promise swam across the oceans to establish himself in this island where he first resided in a lair hidden at the foot of an extinct volcano but established a shoppe to sell and make known the insular great pottery and the artists creating it.
To improve on an already great fame he recently moved to the most venerated city in this island for the pleasure of his customers be they from this island or the whole world thanks to the use of incomparable scroll sending magic!
Do visit his magic grimoire and shoppe where you will find every pottery to grace your home and gastronomic table!

SIRE JOHN

The Magician himself!

Sire John was born in the Land of Promise and flew over the oceans undetected to this island revered for its rising sun quite some time ago.
After observing the denizens of this country he felt enamored with their national drink: Sake (All self-respecting dragons indulge themselves in fine nectars!)!
He then embarked on a mission to make this incredible nectar known to the whole World.. Not does he help people to acquire and savor the beautiful spirit but also offers tours, free magic scrolls, and incredible information on its secrets!
An unassuming Dragon, he has nonetheless achived world fame and happily lives under the alias of World sake Master!
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RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Gastronome Dragons (2): Dame Nami and Sire Argentum Vulgaris

Komagata Shinto Shrine, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City, japan!

Dragons are not evil creatures.

You may find some specimens akin to the fallen angels exposed in civilizations which misunderstood their true character and talents, but true dragons have the happiness of mankind in their hearts and ceaselessly contribute to its nurturing whenever they can or are allowed to as shown in this story.

As far as their gender is concerned some are attracted by their opposites while others feel content among similar denizens of their worlds. But plenty are satisfied enough with their own lot and do not feel the obligation to entertain intimate relations with their own kin.

Dragons by essence are long lived creatures with an unequalled wealth of knowledge and experience, which explains why they are so keen on their hedonisitic pleasures.
A true dragon will not bother amass and sleep over riches like some of their poor misled copies in faraway lands.
It, she or he will be constantly in search of new pleasures to share with like-minded souls for the betterment of this sometimes sad World of our own.

This particular dragon is taking this opportunity, while writing in this grimoire in a lair hidden under an extinct volcano in an island famed for its morning sun, to introduce other dragons working hard for the expansion of gastronomic pleasure thanks to the humans who finally started to grasp the art of communicating through the magic of instant scrolls!

DAME NAMI

Mom’s Shrimp Ball

Dame Nami originates from the same Island as this Dragon but she swam across (instead of flying over) vast expanses of ocean to reach the Land of Promise where she presently resides with her soul mate.
A very shy Dragon she has taken upon hereself to impart her knowledge of the gastronomy of her birthplace and adoptive land.
Her shyness is only a wise foil and she imparts an untold wealth of secrets to her apprentices tharough a clever use of modern magic allied to her inherent powers and those of her ancestors!

SIRE ARGENTUM VULGARIS

Witches Brew!

Argentum Vulgaris is a venerable Dragon (like this one?) who may not reveal his true name as he is an archivist.
Although his main interest tends to fall on Things That Fizz & Other Stuff, he scours the universe from the other side of this World in search of gastronomic knowledge to record it on his public grimoire accessible to all.
Having amassed an inimaginable hoard of treasure for all to share during his incessant voyages and meetings with creatures of all genres and births he is nonetheless quick to belch fire on anything ot anybody he does not deem fit to appear in front of him.
A Dragon to treat with care and respect but quite endearing in this Dragon’s eyes!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Gastronome Dragons (1): Dame Sissi and Sire Charles!

Shuzenji, Izu Peninsula, Shizuoka, Japan.

Dragons are not evil creatures.

You may find some specimens akin to the fallen angels exposed in civilizations which misunderstood their true character and talents, but true dragons have the happiness of mankind in their hearts and ceaselessly contribute to its nurturing whenever they can or are allowed to as shown in this story.

As far as their gender is concerned some are attracted by their opposites while others feel content among similar denizens of their worlds. But plenty are satisfied enough with their own lot and do not feel the obligation to entertain intimate relations with their own kin.

Dragons by essence are long lived creatures with an unequalled wealth of knowledge and experience, which explains why they are so keen on their hedonisitic pleasures.
A true dragon will not bother amass and sleep over riches like some of their poor misled copies in faraway lands.
It, she or he will be constantly in search of new pleasures to share with like-minded souls for the betterment of this sometimes sad World of our own.

This particular dragon is taking this opportunity, while writing in this grimoire in a lair hidden under an extinct volcano in an island famed for its morning sun, to introduce other dragons working hard for the expansion of gastronomic pleasure thanks to the humans who finally started to grasp the art of communicating through the magic of instant scrolls!

DRAGON SISSI

Brittany Pucks, or Palets bretons

This Dame Dragon, apparently always holding a glass in her talons, seems to show a great predilection for strong nectars!
Her lair lies in a land surrounded by many mountains under a thick blanket of snow in winter and many green pasturages in summer.
She is a very inquisitive creature who never tires of exploring the food and drinks of faraway regions that she reproduces with profound magic for the joy and pleasure of many friends over lands and oceans!
If you wish to make her acquaintance be prepared for a lot of questions and comments on your magical grimoire!

DRAGON CHARLES

Kanelbullar (Cinnamon Buns)

Dragon Charles used to hide in a faraway island populated with proud people before he flew over the sea to land near a splendid Castle and Gardens in a nation famed for its long and rich gastronomy.
Living beside such an opulent monument does not prevent him to research great food for a small price so as to help less affluent humans.
Actually Sire Charles has a dream: to be able one day to show his art on a giant scroll floating in the sky for all to see and emulate!
I forgot to mention that Charles has a very long sweet tooth (fang!)!

To be continued in the next scroll…

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Five Euro Food by Charles
With a Glass,
Clumsyfingers by Xethia
Adventures in Bento Making, American Bento, Beanbento, Bento No1, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box, My Bento Box, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat; Bento Lunch Blog (German); Adventures In Bento; Anna The Red’s Bento Factory; Cooking Cute; Timeless Gourmet; Bento Bug; Ideal Meal; Bentosaurus; Mr. Foodie (London/UK); Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

A Dragon’s Banquet 6: Clams Steamed in Rice Wine

This is a series of exerpts taken from The Life Of A Dragon to prove that gastronomy can be discreetly introduced in any story or novel, be it fiction or not!

Qusan and the Lords of Narosan, on King Marcus’ advice, had opted to pay a visit to the Blue mermaid. They were only too glad to escape from the interminable parties and ceremonies held at the Palace to accommodate an endless procession of well-wishers and diplomats. It would also provide them with some absorbing encounters with relatively more ordinary citizens, a rare pleasure practically out of their reach in their country where soldiers simply could not mingle freely with lay people.
When they reached the tavern just before dusk, big was their surprise to realize that they were not the only ones to flee the Palace.
The verandah was already crowded with regulars who knew exactly when to come and grab the favored tables. The lounge was as much congested. They were about to turn heel in disappointment, when a voice familiarly called them from the taproom:
“Lord Qusan! Come and join us over here!”
They were astonished to discover that no less than King Gerhart of Beaulieu was hailing them from his seat at a long table on trestles with a motley bunch of friends sitting on long benches. Interestingly enough, they were all men. There were not shunning the Palace only, the veteran soldier wondered. Males were the same anywhere in the world, were they not?
He recognized Wilfred, Chief Constable Petren, Ironfoot in the company of a few Dwarves, Nepomucene de Beauvoir, Lieutenant Gratien de Salle-Lavauguyon without his fiery Dwarf companion this time, and even three of those dangerous-looking Tribesmen.
Sensing their surprise, Gerhart stood up and came to them in person. He put his arm around the shoulders of the Narosan officer to steer him to their table. The Lords of the Eastern Empire were only beginning to accept the familiarity of the Alymndes denizens, but a King almost embracing Her Majesty’s General? But after all, none of them were wearing any distinctive clothes or marks of authority. Even the Narosan men had adopted a very practical garb composed of a light cloth jacket over long pants of the same material, although the different shades and patterns painted their group into a very colorful walking tableau, which had the customers pause for a better look.
Counselor Makan’ shaved pate stood in contrast with his peers who all wore their long black hair tied in a loose knot on their napes. Their feet were set in unusual sandals with a cord passing between the first two toes, giving them great freedom of movement as they walked to the table.
King Gerhart genially ordered:
“Good Gentlemen, would you be kind enough as to make room for our guests!”
As everyone scrambled to accommodate the newcomers, Gerhart had Qusan sit at his right, while the other Lords of Narosan found themselves smoothly included in various companies.
Just as everyone was settled, Jonas appeared in the company of Naeem both with large covered dishes in their hands.
Lord Qusan found himself lost for words when he realized that the Black Dragon, whose true identity he knew, was working in the kitchens of a tavern!
“Ah, good man Jonas! What succulent treat have you concocted for our delight today?” exclaimed the King of Beaulieu, effectively interrupting the General’s thoughts.

Jonas readily explained as servants were putting bowls and plates in front of the new guests.
“These are clams,” he started as he uncovered the first dish, a very large and deep one “cooked in white wine with a little pepper and chopped herbs. Try them and if you appreciate them, I will prepare a second serving!”
The servants quickly filled the bowls and all began to masticate in unison, using the shells to scoop some of the delicious broth. The Lords of Narosan, great lovers of any seafood, ate in a solemn manner, savoring their food with deliberate concentration.
The first dish, being quickly disposed of, the bowls were taken away.
Naeem opened the second dish, a shallow and wide one, on which lay rows of cut shellfish.
“Sea ears!” a common cry came out of every Narosan Lord’s mouth.
General Qusan forgot all decorum:
“Good man Jonas! Have you any idea of the value of such a delicacy in our lands? Every year, divers have to venture further and further at sea to discover this rare shellfish!”
“Well, Naeem’s friends seem to find plenty of them! We are the only place serving them, although they are commonly found on the tables of our fishermen! They are a bit of an acquired taste in spite of their popularity!
”The least I can say is that I do not mind to eat mountains of them any time, when back home we would consider ourselves lucky to be served a single slice!”
Counselor Makan had to interrupt him:
“Qusan, if you do not cease your speech, we will never be given the opportunity to relish our hosts’ food! That is unless it is your wish to punish us for an unknown demeanor!”
Everybody laughed and began to eat in earnest. But before touching their food, Qusan and his retainers were seen putting their right hand under their jackets.
Was it a prayer of some kind? Gerhart wondered.
But the same hand quickly came out holding an elongated kind of pouch, from which they extracted exquisite chopsticks of lacquered wood. By now people were used to such utensils in Alymndes, but the dexterity shown by the Narosan Lords in their handling was simply awesome. The long sticks seemed like an extension of their fingers, taking slices one by one to bring them to their mouths where they were firmly held to allow their owners to nibble at the food.
“I had better prepare a second serving of clams at the pace you are eating your food!” chortled Ekan who started towards the kitchen.
“Good man Jonas, please wait!” Qusan called.
Ekan raised a querying eyebrow, but patiently waited as the General asked something to the Lord of the House of Tsutan in quick words of their own tongue. The ever smiling Wan-Si, jumped off his bench and virtually ran out of the tavern.
While he was away, everyone returned their attention to the feast, although one could not fail to notice that the highest Commander in Narosan took on his own responsibility to keep the plate of the departed retainer filled with his share of abalone slices. No wonder Lord Qusan commanded such respectful obedience from his followers.
Lord Wan-Si came back soon enough, carrying a stoppered kind of earthenware bottle he immediately handed over to the General.
The latter stood up and asked Ekan:
“Good man Jonas, would you be kind enough to show me to your kitchen?”
The Black Dragon smiled:
“If you would care to follow me, General?”
Naeem was in the kitchen when he saw the two of them enter. He made to leave, but the Narosan Lord called him:
“Good man Naeem, could you please stay with us? It would be a great pleasure to talk matters of common interest with you!”
The request surprised Ekan’s friend, but he did not comment. If Jonas had let him into their sanctuary, there should be a good enough reason.
General Qusan addressed both of them:
“I could not help notice that your way of cooking shellfish was almost identical to that in our lands. Only the ingredients are very slightly different.”
He opened the bottle he held, picked up a goblet on one table and poured in a generous measure of a transparent liquid.
“This is rice wine. Would you mind sampling it first?” he commented, presenting the cup to Ekan who first sniffed, then took a sip. The Black Dragon turned it inside his mouth appreciatively for a while and then gulped it down. He handed the goblet to Naeem who sampled the liqueur in the same manner before venturing:
“Very tasty, indeed. A bit stronger than our wine, but a more delicate flavor. I actually like it. How about you, Jonas?”
Ekan grinned:
“I have a hunch it will taste even better after General Qusan has unveiled his recipe for our benefit!”
The staff inside the kitchen was too busy to catch the words, but they nonetheless wondered what an honored guest from a fabled land was doing in their work place.
“Shall I demonstrate first? If you like it, then you can cook a big serving as it is quick and easy to prepare!”
Naeem brought a wooden box filled with clams lying on a bed of fresh seaweed. Lord Qusan’s lifted eyebrows told him the General was impressed by the care taken in the handling of the shellfish.
Qusan grabbed a clean bowl from a nearby shelf and scooped a handful of clams into it and began to stir them around vigorously with his hand.
“If you make them dance this way long enough,” he explained, “the flesh inside the shells will detach very easily while cooking!”
After a while he asked for a pan and a lid.
He put the pan onto the fire and threw the shellfish in it and poured rice wine onto them before putting the lid over the pan.
“If I may have some chopped thin leeks, we shall add them when we uncover the lid and serve them at once!”
The cooking took only a minute, as the fire was very hot. He moved the pan away, took the lid off and added the herbs. Meanwhile, Naeem had brought some small bowls in which they served the shellfish for the three of them and Grazel, the matron of the place, who had just joined them out of curiosity. She certainly knew when a good morsel was about to come out of the two chefs’ experiments, and would not have missed it for all the gold in the world.
She closed her eyes as she masticated the shellfish. She ate them all and drank the broth. Lifting her eyes from the bowl, she met the laughing faces of the men who had observed her while eating from their own bowls.
“What do you think, Grazel?” Ekan asked.
“Forgive me for saying, but you had better run and grab all the rice wine you can put your hands on! I can foresee a revolution in Dunlago’s cooking!”
The three men chuckled in agreement.
“Which brings me back to my idea!” Qusan began. “I know personally the Narosan merchant who brought this rice wine. I could get the bottle so fast as he is staying near that covered market your King has so gracefully provided. I shall talk to him and have him keep all he has left for your sole benefit! Instead of paying him in gold, I can see and even better barter that may profit us all. We have come here for trade after all, have we not?”
“What do you have in mind we can trade for your rice wine?” Naeem asked.
“Well, it is good you are the one who asked because you will be the key! We shall leave in less than a week now. Therefore, how many sea ears, or abalones as you call them, can you get your hands on?”
“If I ask everybody around, quite a few in fact, probably enough to fill two barrels. But how can you manage to preserve them?”
“Two barrels!” Qusan exclaimed. He could barely contain his excitement. “Provide me with one barrel of salt and I shall show you how to preserve them! Once the shells and the innards are disposed of, two barrels would just be enough!”
He thought for a while.
“The only problem is how can I pay for them?”
Naeem laughed:
“That should not be any trouble! I have enough money stashed to pay for them in advance! Why do we not form a partnership with your rice wine merchant? Tell him you are our sole agent. In this way, we can keep the trade benefits within a very small circle!”
Lord Qusan held his hand forward.
“Deal!”
Naeem took it with enthusiasm.
“Deal!”
“Now, gentlemen,! Grazel interrupted, “General Qusan had better go back to the lounge, or I can imagine some very pointed questions directed at him! As for you Jonas and Naeem, you ought to start cooking if you do not want our customers raising hell!”
The matron was crafty enough to realize this small chat augured even better for future trade relations with those outlandish guests. But it was a woman’s lot to keep a lid on men’s ardor, was it not? She had the satisfaction to see her opinion clearly vindicated by the sheepish smile on the General’s face. The man went as far as granting her with a slight bow before moving towards the door.
“We certainly could do with such women back home!” a voice rang inside Ekan’s head.
“Hsu Yia!” Ekan could not hide his pleasure, even in mindspeech, upon hearing the Eastern Dragon’s words. “I doubt it would be wise to bring changes to your society so abruptly! After all, a woman is already ruling it, are you not?!”

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

A Dragons’ Banquet 5: Magic Eggs

This is a series of exerpts taken from The Life Of A Dragon to prove that gastronomy can be discreetly introduced in any story or novel, be it fiction or not!

The cool season had finally arrived in Dunlago, the Land of the Free Races of the Desert and the Sea. The prevailing breeze ensured that one could enjoy a stroll outside along the wharves of the harbour in relative comfort, even in the middle of the day.
Most of the guests at the Blue Mermaid sat outside at tables lined on a platform along the street under a verandah, either to sip a strong coffee or to look and be looked at. Any citizen of note would have been considered uncouth or downright boring by the higher society of Dunlago if he or she did not make the point to patronize the most famed inn of the nation at least once a week.
Ekan had more practical considerations in mind. Mumtaz had come down from the Palace for his bi-weekly visit to the Black Dragon’s kitchen. His big friend was demonstrating the recipe of an unusual dish he had discovered during his long stay in Beaucastel.
Ekan was beating eggs in a bowl under the attentive eyes of Mumtaz, Naeem and the whole staff.
“Jonas, what do you call that dish?” the young chef queried.
“They call it an omelet in the south. First , you beat eggs, add salt and pepper and heat oil in a skillet. Count a tablespoon of oliva oil for each egg and wait until it is very hot. What we have here is a plain omelet, but the beauty of that recipe is that there are no limits to whatever you could combine with the eggs. Personally, I like it as simple as possible. A few freshly cut herbs should provide ample taste.”
He turned to the back door opened onto the large garden where a couple of children were busy helping Claudius the gardener.
“Mareeva! Matthieu! Bring us a few sprigs of thin leek, will you?”
The two children had come to Dunlago in the company of Ekan as the weather had turned cold with the approaching winter. Matthieu certainly did not complain to stay away from the castle and the impossibly crowded city of Beaucastel. It would have been perfect if Lieutenant Gratien de Salles-Lavauguyon and Firebrand, his outlandish female dwarf companion had not joined their party on Lady Geraldine de Blanchefleur’s orders. Whenever they could escape the clutches of their guardians, the two of them spent most of their time in Claudius’ company, in the kitchen, or playing with other children at the harbor or in the market.


Tamagoyaki with sakura shrimps and ciboulette

They hurried inside with the herbs asked for by Mareeva’s father. They lingered to look, hoping for a tasty morsel.
Jonas chopped the leeks and included them in the eggs. He poured the mixture in the skillet and briskly stirred the whole with a fork. The whole population had adopted that kind of utensil in no time after some Elven merchants and diplomats had introduced them in the capital.
“The secret is to keep stirring them all the time, so that the hot oil nicely blends with the eggs until you obtain a light and fluffy omelet. If you just leave the eggs to fry on the oil, you will end up with a heavy and greasy piece of food impossible to present or taste properly!”
He expertly let the omelet slide from the skillet onto a plate and invited everyone to sample the treat.
There was enough for all to taste.
The two children already knew the dish but nonetheless savored it with delight.
Mumtaz was munching a second helping as he commented:
“I can see a lot of possibilities. Such food should please ladies in particular. Light but nourishing and delicious. Serve it with some salad in spicy dressing for our women, or with some stew and bread for our men. How do they serve it in Beaucastel?”
“They mostly eat it for breakfast with fried bacon and sausages on thick slices of grilled bread.”
“That could prove a good idea here, too! It could make for a hearty meal for those ravenous nobles of ours! Mumtaz mused aloud.
“We could adapt one of our traditional recipes by adding cooked vegetables cut in small cubes.” Naeem proposed. “If we fry it on a small fire instead, we should obtain some kind of soft hot pancacke. We could cut it in quarters before serving it along with some marinated fish and other garnish!”
“Good thinking, Naeem! I’ll tell you what: let us put our ideas into practice right away and offer the results to whoever happens to be sitting inside the tavern or under the verandah as a gracious service on the house! We shall be able to judge whether our customers will develop a taste for it or not!”
He turned to the children:
“You kids, come along with me! We need some more herbs!”
The three of them went out to join Claudius in the garden.
Mareeva was bent picking flat leaf parsley with Matthieu, when on an impulse; she lifted her head to watch her father.
Jonas’ imposing frame too was crouched over the neatly hoed lines of earth, a hand about to pick a sprig of leek, when his gesture stopped in midair. His eyes stared ahead of him.
Mareeva recognized the telltale signs.
Her fingers lightly tapped her friend’s arm:
“Father’s speaking.”
The two children were two of the very few individuals privy to Ekan’s true secret nature.
The Black dragon that Dunlago people called Jonas was not speaking. In fact, he was listening.
Someone was trying to reach him in mindspeech.

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
Warren Bobrow, Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope

Please check the new postings at:
sake, shochu and sushi

A Dragons’ Banquet 4: Honey Buns

This is a series of exerpts taken from The Life Of A Dragon to prove that gastronomy can be discreetly introduced in any story or novel, be it fiction or not!

Ekan and Mumtaz were busy experimenting in the kitchen of the Royal Palace in Dunlago.
They had just taken rolls out of the oven. Mumtaz had been requested small pastries for guests as light food to accompany coffee served in the afternoon. The Black Dragon had suggested the addition of cinnamon and raisins to the light soft bread.
His new friend was about to taste one of them, hot, as it was, when the black giant restrained him with a hand on his wrist.
“Wait. I brought something for you!”
An intrigued Palace Chef saw Ekan extract a jar from the basket he used to carry all his findings.
“Look at what is inside, and smell it!”
Mumtaz saw a viscous yellow liquid inside the jar. He brought his nose close.
“Umh… That seems very sweet. I can also smell something like flowers in it.”
“I knew you had a good nose! It is made from flowers by small insects called bees. Have you ever heard of honey?”
“Yes, but I’ve not had the chance to see or taste any. Where does it come from?”
“Shahzad obtained it from a Beaulieu trader in exchange for spices. Although you can find it in the wild inside the trunks of trees far south near the Fire Mountains, some farmers have found the way to domesticate the bees and produce honey in large quantities. It is very sweet indeed, but far healthier than any sugar you could find here. They even use it as medicine for throat sore and other ailments. This is how they use it on their bread over there!”
He demonstrated by pouring a small amount on top of one of the rolls. He twirled the pastry around to allow the honey to spread all over the surface. He the handed it to Mumtaz:
“Taste it!”
The Palace Chef sniffed the bread and the brought it to his mouth. He bit a large chunk of it and started masticating.
His eyes grew wide. He stretched his arm holding the half-eaten roll:
“Jonas, would you mind adding another little dollop of that stuff?”
“Of course I don’t! But this is as far as you go, or you’d end up gobbling the whole tray!”
He poured some more honey on the bread. Mumtaz unashamedly threw it inside his mouth and licked his fingers like a child not wanting to miss any tiny piece of a rare treat.

Honey Bun

He commented:
“Jonas, you had better urge Shahzad to acquire more of that treasure in large quantities! I can see all the gentry flocking to his shop, as soon as they get to know what honey tastes like! Can you think of any other uses, apart of topping rolls and cakes?”
“Many, actually. Any time you use sugar in sauces or drinks, you could replace it with honey, and you will find out that it is sweeter and healthier! Women would surely appreciate a dessert less fattening than some cakes I can see around!”
“Healthier? If I could support that notion, this would become a solid reason for starting a new trend of cooking, although we might have to face some resistance from the guild looking after the interests of the sugar cane growers!”
“I would not worry too much about the guild, as honey is a luxury, whereas cane sugar is a necessity. Now, the reason why honey is healthier comes from the fact that it has already been digested by the bees, thus getting rid of all impurities in the process. After all, honey is produced to serve as food for young bees!”
Mumtaz passed his hand over his pate with a dubious look.
“So we are eating something which has already been eaten?”
Jonas chortled.
“Yes. But you worry too much. If you knew how much we need these little things called insects, I’m sure you would lose a lot of needed sleep, figuring out what we cannot do without them!”
Just at that moment, a servant from the Palace entered the kitchen.
“Good man Jonas, the King requests your presence urgently!”
Ekan could not suppress an exasperated grimace.
“Just when the fun had begun! Oh well, it cannot be helped! Mumtaz. Let’s top all those pastries first!”
Turning to the servant:
“Good man, would you mind waiting for us and bring that tray to the King before I join them?”
The two chefs hurried while the underling patiently stood waiting in the entrance.
Before Mumtaz could pass him the tray, Jonas picked one of the rolls and handed it to the man.
“Eat it right now, but don’t tell anyone!”
The servant gratefully accepted it and wolfed it down. He then took the tray, but his greedy eyes showed that the way to the Kings rooms would be a long one indeed.
Once he had left, Jonas turned to the other chef:
“Mumtaz, if you want to start a new trend or fashion, always begin at the bottom and make sure the so-called gentry finds themselves scrambling around in fear of losing face!”
The two men parted in laughter.

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A Dragons’ Banquet 3: Raw Fish

This is a series of exerpts taken from The Life Of A Dragon to prove that gastronomy can be discreetly introduced in any story or novel, be it fiction or not!

Downstairs, in the kitchen, Ekan and Naeem were experimenting with a new dish. His apprentice’s father had caught another succulent germon fish. Since a lot of people ate shellfish raw, good fish could also be appreciated in its natural taste, he reasoned. But not being able to predict his customers’ reactions with raw fish, he had decided on trying something halfway. He had chosen and cut a fillet of the fish, grilled it lightly first without any seasoning. As soon as the colour on the whole surface had changed to a light brown, he plunged the fillet into cold water to stop it cooking. The water came from the deep well in the back of the garden. He had to be careful not to upset his clients’ stomachs. He then proceeded to cut the fish into thin slices. He tried one for taste. He dipped another slice into a bowl containing a mixture of oliva oil, sweet vinegar and spices. The sweet vinegar had been another recent discovery of his. He had found out that by slowly heating normal vinegar mixed with some wine and crushed berries for a long time; he could concentrate it to a syrupy texture like he did when reducing other sauces. He handed the slice to Naeem to try while he repeated the process for himself.
“What do you think?” he asked the young man.
“Very tasty, actually! But you had better go easy with the dressing. A dash should be enough.”
“You’re right! Let’s see if we can dress a salad.”
Master Turgas chose that moment to enter the kitchen.
“Jonas, your good friend Petren is in the common room. He’d like some of your tidbits with his ale. Can you help him?”
“Sure! I just happen to have the right thing for him!”
Taking a plate, he put some fresh leaves of various vegetables the gardener had been growing on Ekan’s orders, placed a few slices of the germon fish on top and seasoned it with the dressing they had just tasted.
Turgas had a dubious look at the food.
“Do you think a man of Petren’s constitution will be satisfied with that lady’s portion?”
“Definitely! Moreover, it is about time that he began eating something good for him. All that drinking will catch up with him someday. Let’s mix it with some proper food, at least!”

Petren was sitting at his usual table tucked away from the main attention. Ekan put the plate with a fork in front of him.
“Constable, good evening to you! Would you be kind enough to try a new dish of ours? It’s on the house!”
Petren, who was obviously expecting more heavy fare, looked down at his plate and then up at the Black Dragon’s face.
“Jonas, what is this? It certainly looks beautiful but do you honestly think a man of my size will be satisfied with a meal more fit for the table of a noble’s daughter?”
Ekan sat down smiling at the irascible guard.
“Knowing your eating habits, it will do you immense good to ingest proper food. Anyway, why don’t you try first? I’m positive this will go down well with your ale. If you are still hungry after that I’ll think of something else.”
Petren grumbled on:
“As if I needed somebody to coddle me!” Holding his fork in front of his eyes: “And why do I have to use these picks when a knife and a spoon should be enough?” He nonetheless stabbed a slice of fish and some leaves together and brought them to his mouth and started chewing.
Ekan saw his expression slowly changing from puzzlement to growing pleasure. The Constable stabbed another piece of fish without forgetting to add some vegetables and engulfed the lot into his maw.
“I’ll be damned!” he growled. “Who could have foretold that one day I would enjoy woman’s food? That stuff is simply great! All my apologies, Jonas! If this is what you meant by good food, I’m ready to change my habits!… Well, some of them…”
Ekan laughed.
“The pleasure is mine and you are forgiven! I’ll tell you what: this could make a good enough reason to come and visit us. Just call me for anything new I might have prepared, and we shall be able to conduct our small private talks without raising any unwelcome curiosity!”
“Well, next time will have to wait. I’m leaving for Villefranche tomorrow at dawn.”
“You are finally going to rid us of all those jailbirds and other more unsavory characters?”
“That’s right, but it is a pain in the arse to take them all the way down to Beaulieu. Well, it’s for the good of the city and the nation, and if the Judge hadn’t ordered me to accompany them in person, I surely would have found somebody to take care of that damn chore!”
“I doubt it. Knowing you too well, I’m sure you would not have left that job in just anybody’s hands!”
“Maybe, I must admit. But that is not the only reason for my coming tonight. You are invited by the Royal Couple to dinner.”
Ekan did not bother to hide his annoyance.
“May I know the justification for such a request?”
“Aren’t we grouchy tonight? I must confess I share your repugnance, but in this particular case, the Judge himself has suggested Their Highnesses should meet you. If that can make you happier, know that since I have to go there with the two of you, we shan’t have to visit them before I have come back and that won’t be before two weeks’ time!”
“I thought the Judge knew better than taking me away from work for the good pleasure of some pampered idle noble people!”
“Jonas, I suspect that he has included you in our very small circle for reasons I can’t start to imagine, but these words of yours are tantamount to high treason!”

“Spare me, Petren! I am aware of what you think of our so-called King and his kin. The Judge would do well to suggest they all go to Beaulieu where they are building an Embassy just for them to make themselves useful. Do you honestly think they will be making the decisions when war comes to us?”
“War? What do you mean?”
“Do you think that slavers’ ship should be the last to appear on our shores? Mark me, they will come back and in larger numbers than you would ever think!”
“How do you know this?”
“Petren, sorry for not telling you now and sorry again for making you angry. Be certain only that I am truly concerned with the welfare of your nation. One day, we shall be together in the fray. By that time, you will come to understand why the Judge asked for my help. In any case do not tarry in Villefranche. We shall have heaps of work to do and you shall be sorely needed!”
Ekan rose up, and amicably squeezing the Constable’s shoulder, he went to the kitchen leaving a confused Petren at his table.
Petren sat silent for a long time in front of his jug and empty plate. Truly, things were beginning to happen. He was far more crafty and devious than he let people guess. Only that black giant could see through him. The Judge was a man whose orders he executed without any discussion or comments. But Jonas was fast becoming a friend, and he did not feel comfortable with that new concern. Or was it the other way round? Could he live with the fact that somebody was caring about his person?
Shaking himself, Petren called in a booming voice:
“Master Turgas, bring me another plate of the same, will you? It’s about time I enjoyed truly good food, too!”
The few late drinkers in the lounge and at the bar looked at each other in wonder. What had the big soldier eaten to bring out such a civilized comment out of him?

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Please check the new postings at:
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