BY GREAT POPULAR DEMAND, AND barring any unforeseen circumstances, forthcoming editions of The Cook For Any Price — both Across the Rimless Sea and More Commonwell Tales — are planned to include a smattering of appended recipes. Until then, here are four to tempt your mental tastebuds:
From Prosatio Silban and the Centuried Stew: “Stew”
This recipe has undergone modification by generations of one family, as the original ingredients became unavailable. It is said that the original flavor remains unchanged, which makes sense as the original ingredients are still lurking comfortably in the background.
To cook: Begin by sautéing a mixture of onion, carrot, and celery in an enormous cauldron. When those have cooked down into pliability, add sufficient quantities of preserved apple, spiced vanth, twile, jugged harrian, and potent moon-wine. Simmer for eight hundred years, adding such substitutes and seasonings as are dictated by the cooks’ faithful and experienced palates.
To serve: Ladle into unglazed earthenware cup or bowl and eat with a small wooden spoon. Mind that your knees don’t buckle.
From Prosatio Silban and the Profound Breakfast: scrambled eggs with tomato relish
Achieving the perfect scrambled egg is a journey, not a destination. Fortunately, tomato relish – the spicier the better – covers a multitude of otherwise close attempts.
To cook: Over a modest flame, heat oil of olives and cow’s butter in a slick-bottomed skillet. Crack two fidget-hen eggs per eater into a deep bowl. Add a dollop of cream-fortified milk and scramble until milk, whites, and yolks become one. When the skillet reaches the appropriate temperature, add the eggs. As they begin to set, use a wide spatula to draw them in from the skillet’s sides. Continue until eggs meet your approval, then slide onto a warm plate.
To serve: Spoon over eggs a desired amount of tomato relish (start with chopped tomatoes, onions, devil’s-tongue peppers, corn kernels, and lime juice). Accompany with hot yava, an absorbent napkin, and a large handkerchief.
From Prosatio Silban and the Mapping Lesson: gingery seedcakes
There is nothing quite like seedcakes and yava while standing a ship’s night-watch, especially when it’s cold. Ginger is also a famous remedy (or at least a palliative) for the Sailors’ Curse.
To cook: Prepare a basic quick-bread batter, adding copious seeds (pine, sunflower, pumpkin, poppy, and lightning-weed make a nice blend) and a considerable quantity of ginger (ground, fresh-grated, and candied – use as much as you can stand, then a bit more). Portion into muffin tins, press more seeds into top of each cake, then bake at and for the appropriate temperature and time.
To serve: Line a wicker basket with light oilcloth and fill with seedcakes; cover with extra cloth, and accompany with a hotbottle of yava. Also, keep handy a deck-mop lest the cakes prove ineffective.
From Prosatio Silban and the Leg Up: lizard steak
Lizard-eating has a long history both within and without the Uulian Commonwell. Like many dishes in an epicurean culture, what began as a meal of necessity has become high-class cuisine. Do not be surprised if it soon adorns the menu of your favorite dining establishment.
To cook: See that the lizard is of sufficient freshness and size to yield good steaks, preferably from the loin, leg, or flank. Once the selection has been made, marinate the steak overnight in oil of olives, plum vinegar, minced garlic, pungentine, bitterbloom, and blue etherya. Blot dry and toss onto a middling grill or griddle, flipping it after a thumb pressed into the top meets sufficient resistance to indicate how you like it.
To serve: Plate as you would any other thick meat – cross-grain slices – and accompany with something mildly sweet and grilled (such as ruby beets or miner’s carrots). Beverage of choice: dark ale, full-bodied wine, or ginger beer.