Semi-Medieval Cookery from The Inn at the Crossroads (aka Meet the Nerdiest Food Blog EVER)

The Game of Thrones is now being played out IN THE KITCHEN. Yeah, you heard me.

Nov 9, 2011 at 3:21pm | Leave a comment

When my husband moved in with me 12 years ago, he brought only two kitchen-related items with him: a red apron emblazoned with the legend "BITCH, BITCH, BITCH" and his childhood copy of The Dr. Who Cookbook (published in 1985). If you've ever wondered what a Dalek looks like in an apron, this is your lucky day:

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Although I'm not the lifelong Whovian, my husband is -- he wore a hand-knitted 50-foot scarf around his Massachussets suburb 24-7 and (somehow) lives to tell the tale -- I am in full support of such nerdistry. I'm a Buffy fan, so I know all about crazy fandoms. However, the recipes in this book would give pause to even the most rabid of Tom Baker lovers.

The content was provided entirely by the show's cast and crew and let's just say that most of them should stick to the Tardis and stay out of the kitchen. "Mushroom Pancakes in Hollandaise Sauce," "Froglegs in Seaweed Sauce," and something called "Hawaiian Soup" are a mere taste (blech) of the culinary atrocities contained within. The ingredients list for Hawaiian Soup includes:

  • 1 x 15 oz tins of chilled Vicyssoise Soup
  • 1 large tub single cream
  • 1 small tub double cream
  • 1 large tub soured cream
  • 1/2 lb peeled prawns
  • 1 generous TSP bottled mint sauce concentrate
  • salt & pepper
  • chives
 

Are you kidding me?! The funniest part is the Author's Note: "This is a very rich and exotic soup." AND HOW!

Anyway, as previously mentioned, I too have my geeky obsessions, and one of them is the "A Song of Ice and Fire" fantasy series by George RR Martin. You may know these as the "Game of Thrones" books, as the HBO show is named for the first book in the ASoIaF series. I'm enchanted by these books for a variety of reasons, and if you saw the show you already know a few of 'em: Intrigue, swordplay, political machinations, weird sexual proclivities, the list goes on.

One of the funny things about Martin's writing is how very detailed his world is, and how much time he spends describing food -- be it a 99-course feast for royalty or a humble fisherman's supper. The level of detail can get downright ridiculous at times, so much so that it starts to feel like a weird tic -- but it's hilarious. I love it.

Two fellow ASoIaF fans named Sariann and Chelsea started a blog a while back called the Inn at the Crossroads, where they have been attempting their own, sometimes modernized versions of the Medieval-inspired fare described in Martin's books. The realm described in the books is quite sprawling, and I love that you can search the recipes on their site based on which land they were served in.

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Of course, not every dish Martin describes will be replicated on the site. Sure, the gals will cook up a some goat or rabbit from time to time, but roasted horse? Dog sausage? Maggot-stuffed olives? Some things are better left to the imagination ... though they did manage to grill a rattlesnake.

It has been so fun watching the blog's progress over the last year, seeing which dishes turned out just as you'd pictured them, and picking out which stuff you might actually be willing to eat. I'm a vegetarian, but I still like reading the blog just to see how the writers interpret Martin's dishes. I think if I had to live in Game of Thrones' (imaginary) times I'd be pretty well screwed. I wouldn't turn down those Cream Swans, though.

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Turns out that the Game of Thrones fandom weren't the only folks taking notice of the Inn at the Crossroads blog -- the authors are now working with Random House/Bantam to publish "A Cookbook of Ice and Fire," which will be out in Fall of 2012. And you can bet this fantasy-loving book nerd will be picking up a copy to put right next to the Dr. Who cookbook in my kitchen. The jury is still out on whether I will ever actually cook something from either cookbook, but we nerds are nothing if not completists.