Winter is certainly trying its best to make sure everyone knows that it's still around. Last night there was nary a snowflake on the ground when I went to bed. When I got up this morning, everything was covered in a blanket of white. It's always surprising and amazing when that happens. But that was nothing compared to what occurred later!
I was sitting at my desk surfing the internet and watching a lot of YouTube. It just about noon when suddenly the sky got dark and the snow was started to come down a little bit heavier. Then the wind began. It was roaring through the trees and between houses, whipping the snowflakes into a frenzy. There were even a few times when I couldn't even see the house next door -- and it's barely six feet away from ours!
One of two things usually happens to me when the weather turns like this. Either I want to snuggle under a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa while ordering out for pizza or I'll want to go into the kitchen a cook up a storm. Today it just seemed that one storm deserved another.
Seven Deadlies is arriving soon and I'm making lunch. This year the theme is "The Silk Road" and feast will feature dishes from countries along that road -- from China to Italy.
Originally I wasn't tapped to do any cooking for Seven Deadlies, but due to some mundane circumstances the person who was making lunch had to drop out. When the autocrat asked if I'd step in as lunch chef, I said, "Sure!"
Cooking is a passion of mine. I absolutely love it! From the moment I joined the SCA I started working in every kitchen I could find. It was a blast! Then came the day when I was elected baron.
For the following three years, I wasn't allowed to even step foot near a stove, let alone in the kitchen. Although being baron was fun, part of me missed whipping up tasty dishes. So I waited until it was time for me to step down. When that day finally came, I couldn't wait to jump into the kitchen and create a feast. But nobody asked. It took some months and a few events later before somebody said they wanted me to cook for them. (I think they were still thinking of me as "the Baron" and not allowing me into a kitchen.)
Boy could I tell I was rusty during that Yule event! I had lost my timing a bit and I didn't do as well as I liked on the expense part. I'm sure I was within the budget, but I prefer to usually come in under. In any case, I think the feast came out very tasty and plentiful. (If anyone went home hungry, it was their own damn fault.)
And now we're here at Seven Deadlies. First and foremost I will admit that I have had very little experience cooking Japanese cuisine. Eating -- yes. Cooking -- no. I will say that it has been a blast. I have learned so many fun words and names, and I found a really great Asian store where I can buy stuff very inexpensively! It's just amazing!
So now I present to you a picture of food! (I've been wanting to add food pictures to my blog for the longest time. Now I can!) This is what I am preparing for the Japanese lunch at Seven Deadlies.
In the upper left-hand corner is Shiromiso ("white miso") soup. On the plate closest to the soup is Futomaki sushi. (Futomaki sushi tends to be vegetarian.) Clockwise, at the top of the plate is Gyudon ("beef bowl"). And finally, Chicken Teriyaki on the skewer. Missing from the picture is the pickled ginger, wasabi, and other nibbley-bits. I originally was going to serve Oyakodon, which is a chicken and egg dish, but it looked too much like the Gyudon so I swapped it out for the Chicken Teriyaki.
The test lunch went quite well. I made two variations of the Chicken Teriyaki (one with commercial teriyaki sauce and one with homemade) and two versions of the Futomaki sushi (one with rice wine vinegar and one without). I'll probably run another trial on the Chicken Teriyaki and the Gyudon just to finalize the process.
Once Seven Deadlies is finished, I'll start working on my next two feasts in March. Granted neither one are SCA events but they both involve a group of people and a multi-course meal. Who says they can't be feasts?
Until next time!