Blandissory

“Four master pyromancers conjured up beasts of living flame to tear at each other with fiery claws whilst the serving men ladled out bowls of blandissory, a mixture of beef broth and boiled wine sweetened with honey and dotted with blanched almonds and chunks of capon.” -A Storm of Swords

Blandissory

Thoughts:

This is a great example of how sweet and savory elements are often combined in a medieval dish. The chicken and broth, and to some extent even the wine are more commonly served as savory dishes, while cinnamon, ginger, and honey are more often associated with sweet dishes, like cookies and desserts.

This dish is quirky, and while not especially appealing in appearance, it is actually quite tasty. The almond and rice flours thicken the broth to a consistency just shy of a medium gravy. The chicken is wonderfully soft and flavorful, a great textural counterpoint to the occasioinal crunch of the almonds.

Also, while the text excerpt calls for beef broth, I found that this is a wonderful way to use a second day roast chicken. Simply pick off any remaining meat, and boil down the carcass for broth. Very economical, and in keeping with the traditional practices of not letting anything go to waste. Of course, if you’re a Lannister, you needn’t worry about such things…

All in all, a quirky dish, but not without its merits. Medieval food surprises yet again!

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Bread with Spent Grains

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Spent Grain Bread

Thoughts:

I played around a bit and came up with this great, simple recipe for bread with spent grain. As with most recipes, it’s a starting point. Feel free to innovate and add other seeds, grains, flours, oats, sugars, etc. to make it your own. Just be sure to share your results! I certainly plan to keep trying new variations on it.

The resulting bread from this recipe is hearty in the extreme. The spent grains give each bite a little crunch, which is wonderful. It makes for a great toast, and even small sandwiches. I was partial to the very un-Westerosi PB&J, myself. :)

For the recipe, head on over to the brew blog, Game of Brews!

Westerosi Thanksgiving

 

Out of all the holidays in the year, I think Thanksgiving might be the best suited to a Westerosi interpretation. As I started building this list, more and more dishes sprang to mind. Thanksgiving, in many families, is characterized by cold weather, a groaning table laden with an absurd amount of food, and inter-family drama. Sound at all familiar?

The list below includes dishes from the blog and cookbook. Personally, I’d eat the heck out of this meal, but how about you? Are you going to smuggle a couple of dishes into your mainstream family’s spread, or are you taking over the holiday completely with Westerosi fare?

Let me know if there’s a Westerosi dish you think I should include in this list, or other Thanksgiving-friendly fictional dishes for Food Through the Pages, and let’s get to scheming!

Game Foods

Stuffed Peppers    –    Hummus & Pita

Stuffed Grapeleaves*    –    Finger Fish*    –    Spicy Wings

 To Start

Bread & Salt    –    Leek Soup

The Spread

White Beans & Bacon*    –    Cod Cakes

Buttered Beets*    –    Spiced Squash    –    Turnips in Butter*

Black Beer Bread    –    Oatbread

Honeyed Chicken/Turkey, for a large crowd or Quails drowned in Butter*, for a smaller gathering

Oat Stuffing (forthcoming)    –    Carrot Lime Relish

Desserts

17th C. Pumpkin Pie    –    Fig Tarts

Honeyfingers*    –    Baked Apples*

Drinks

Mulled Wine    –    Wassail    –    Wildling Cider

 NB: The * indicates recipes that are in the cookbook. I’ve included them on the list so those of you with the book can consider making those dishes, too! The dishes in italics are forthcoming.

Relish of Carrots, Raisins, and bits of Lime & Orange, to be served over Capon

“How far have we come?” the dwarf asked him as they stuffed themselves with cold capon and a relish made of carrots, raisins, and bits of lime and orange.” -A Dance with Dragons

Modern Relish

Our Thoughts:

Capon is just subtly different enough from chicken to give this meal a slightly foreign feel. Because of the higher fat content, capon is generally richer and a bit more decadent than your average hen. 

I poked around for several months for a suitable historical recipe, but came up short. It seems this is one of those recipes that, like Athena, sprang fully formed from GRRM’s head. And since the modern version was so surprisingly yummy, I’ve left it at that. 

The modern relish has a nice crunchy texture, The citrus is the first taste to hit your tongue, followed by the fast tang of the vinegar, then finishes with the carrots and raisins. The carrots stay crunchy, vying for texture with the tender raisins. When paired with a bite of the capon, the combination is excellent, entirely gobbleable.

It’s equally delicious served hot from the oven, or as cold leftovers, as described in the book.

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What Next?

We have learned so very much over the past year, about blogging, photography, and historical cooking. The cookbook process was veritable trial by fire, and we had to accomplish a great deal in a relatively short amount of time. We’ve gone from photographing dishes in the kitchen with our phones:

…to published authors with an eye for edible aesthetics:

 But now, about a year and a half after starting this blog, we find ourselves, ironically, approaching a crossroad.

In time, inevitably, we will run out of new Westeros foods to make. It seems nearly impossible, given the sheer size of the books, but in over a year, we’ve made hundreds of recipes. A far cry from our original goal of about 100 recipes, we’ve now completed more than

132 dishes, and over 208 total recipes!

Clearly, we got carried away.

But since we’ve enjoyed our time at The Inn so much, we would like to see it turn into something new, rather than just fizzle out. We have a few ideas, but as always, we’d love to get your input! An historical food blog? A medieval chatroom? A shadowy corner for Westerosi conspiracy theorists?

What would you like to see The Inn transition into? At least, of course, while we wait for The Winds of Winter, because you know that if GRRM writes it, we’ll try to cook it. ;)

And for fictional food from other worlds, be sure to check out Chelsea’s blog, Food Through the Pages.