With special guest chef, Akmenos son of Bane
Welcome to your sneak peek at my special 5-Course Wild Magical Banquet menu!
One day, I won’t be caught up in all manner of unexpected and unlikely misadventures, and I have plans to settle in a nice location with excellent local produce, a surplus of exotic hunters to supply me with wild magical game beasts, and the elves will actually like me enough to sell me all manner of spices, liqueurs and those excellent runny cheeses they’re so good at, and which I like so much. Then I’ll open a cosy little corner restaurant in a quiet part of town, and the biggest worry I’ll have won’t be assassins and giant scorpions but whether the yoghurt in the back of the icebox is still good for breakfast.
But before we get into that, you ought to know that Omnium Gatherum, a by all accounts fine purveyor and literature dark and twisted, is offering you, dear reader, a free copy of a certain tome, recounting my latest adventures, entitled Sons of the Curse, for the mere act of recreating my recipes yourself, and somehow painting them in invisible fragments of light on this infernal window. To learn more, click your clicking thing on this scrawl of letters.
First Course: Soup
What, you ask, is Sometimes Soup? First, a lesson in the fauna of the Skullspine Lowlands.
You may be familiar with the ferocious Blink Tiger, which stalk the marshy grasslands that lie between those grim foothills and the Wrianglia Delta? A terrifying predator, greatly feared by man and beast alike for its ability to harness the Skullspine’s raw primal magical currents and teleport itself through the marshes, making it a deadly hunter and practically impossible to hunt or trap, without magical aid. A fearsome quarry indeed!
Less well-known, however, is the Blink Hen, a kind of plump flightless chicken inhabiting the same sodden landscape, but distinctly less terrifying, and rather less intelligent, or malevolent. Understandably, such a waddling delicacy would make a tasty mid-afternoon snack for a hungry Blink Tiger, and nature being nature (under the influence of the erratic magical resonances which roam the Skullspine at random), the Blink Hen has evolved the same talents as the Blink Tiger as a defence mechanism to evade this predator. Accordingly, it can make itself scarce at the first sign of danger, quite literally.
Luckily for those of us less adept at spontaneous translocation, the Blink Hen’s weakness for ground millet soaked in honey makes it relatively easy to capture, keep and breed, presuming the hunter isn’t devoured by a Blink Tiger while hunting the chicken in the first place.
The constant diet of honeyed millet makes the flesh especially delicious of course, which is why the meat of the Blink Hen is so highly prized. However, you never quite know when a Blink Hen might simply vanish, and reappear, and vanish again. Strangely, this behaviour persists even after death, in the same way your common farmyard hen will continue to run around despite having had its head cut off. Rather inconvenient, to say the least.
Understandably, its habit of disappearing off a plate during a meal can be upsetting to even the most tolerant of diners.
But never fear, for Akmenos has the answer! Adding diced chunks of roasted Blink Hen to a hearty soup gives the diner a delicious eating experience, and the sudden disappearance of their protein from the bowl might go unnoticed, especially if the wine has been liberally poured.
1 Cup Cooked Roast Vegetables, diced (Potato, Onion, Kumera, Pumpkin)
600ml Chicken Stock
1 Cooked Blink Hen Breast, diced (Normal chicken can be substituted if your dinner guests decline to leave their swords at the door, or if your cooked Blink Hen disappeared when you weren’t looking)
1 Jar whole kernel corn, reserve liquid
1 Loaf Fresh Grain bread, for toasting
Add the diced roast vegetables and stock to a large bowl, and blend. I recommend one of these infernal electrified spinning blades I found in Araxtheon’s galley, but if you insist on living in the past you can use an old-school potato masher and whisk, or whatever.
Heat gently over a crackling fire, preferably heavy in sapient pearwood, for the sake of the aroma and the light dusting of hallucination this will lend the soup.
Add the diced Blink Hen. Try not to let anyone see you do this, in case, as warned above, it disappears before they eat it. Then at least you can make out that you were just making vegetable soup. Sometimes I make Blink Hen Soup, you can say, but not tonight.
When the soup is well-heated, add the corn, followed by some of the reserved liquid. Continue to add the liquid until the desired thickness and consistency is achieved. This can be a delicate balance, but can usually be assisted by making corny jokes during this process. Simmer.
Serve up to your guests with buttered toast on the side and a hunk of sour cream dolloped right in the middle. With any luck, it will disappear so fast that if you blink you’ll miss it.
Akmenos, son of Bane, is an accused murderer on the run from his empire and his own brothers. He wishes people would realise that he couldn’t have poisoned that elvish prince fellow, and that he really isn’t sure what all the fuss is about anyway. He’d like to just get back to pottering in the kitchen, smoking his pipe (if he could only find it), and drinking tea. Follow his adventures in Brothers of the Knife, Book 1 of the Children of Bane series, and Book 2, Sons of the Curse.
Dan Rabarts vehemently denies that this recipe may have been originally posted on his cooking blog, Freshly Ground, several years ago, and that Akmenos has plagiarised his work for his own gain.