One of my favorite things about Dwarves is that they know how to make some damn ribs. There’s something special about eating ribs. It’s almost like a ritual. The fall off the bone meat, the sticky fingers, the bone. I don’t know about you, but I love gnawing on the ends of the ribs while my food is settling. It’s so primal.
But sometimes you just can’t justify the trip all the way out to Ironforge. And sometimes, you work in a tavern that isn’t properly equipped to smoke things. Don’t get me wrong, the Keg has great tools! We’ve got… a spoon. At least one pan. A cup or twelve. Ya know. The essentials. But we don’t have a smoker.
So when summer comes around and the craving strikes, what do you do?? The answer, like for most other problems, is to FAKE it!
When I was living on the streets, food was hard to come by. I would go days without eating, and even when I did get a chance, more often than not it was scavenged from rubbish bins. A memory I’ve held very close was my first cheeseburger. I remember the sauce running down my chin, the cheese and grease exploding with flavor in my mouth, the crunch of the onion, the sourness of the pickle. It was so foreign to me, fluffy buns and thick crumbly meat. I hadn’t eaten much Human food before that and elves don’t really have anything quite like it.
The only pain is that it’s a bit hard to take on the go. While making the Pandaren egg rolls, I was stricken with an amazing idea. All the deliciousness of a cheeseburger in the convenient package of an egg roll.
I think it’s fair to say I stand by everything I make. If I ever plan a dish to share with you guys and it turns out sub-par, I scrap it until I can perfect it.
I honestly thought this was going to be one of those projects. Boy was I wrong.
Eggrolls have always been elusive to me. Crunchy outside, savory inside, deliciously filled, folded like some complex origami. It intimidated me. But when it was suggested that I make them for Pandaren month, I decided to give it my best.
It was not hard. I should not have waited. And everyone needs to try this.
When I made my first batch of 12 (the yield for this recipe), I decided to let them cool while I cleaned up and did the dishes. There was only one other person around at the time, I told them they could try one if they’d liked. Do you want to know how many I got to sample?
One. I had one. And only because I took it in the kitchen with me while I worked. I returned to a very full Alexi and an empty plate. Apparently once he had taken a bite of the first one, he simply couldn’t help himself. I’m a bit cranky about that… Because my reaction was the same. The moment I bit into that crunchy, flavorful goodness, I needed more.
Ah, love is in the air. Or at least that’s what I’ve been told. I’m not exactly an authority on romance lately. What with my girlfriend having more and more trouble staying grounded in reality, the confusion and selfishness of finding someone to fill the void and the realization that now I’m not being fair to two people instead of just one. Or with trying to understand what you’re supposed to do when everyone has an opinion that they insist is the Correct one, but everyone’s opinion is equally Correct and vastly different.
But Love is in the air, and it’s everywhere, from the pink and red heart-shaped pastries and cookies that the bakers lay out with the dawn, to the heart decorations and pink candles that seem to be mandatory for every building to be dolled up with, or the couples holding hands and sneaking kisses and the questions it raises and the prickling fear in your chest what if you’re doing it wrong what if everything is wrong and you’re hurting everyone and maybe you shouldn’t ever have come to Stormwind in the first place.
So I dunno if you guys have noticed, but it’s getting cold. Winterveil was pretty cold. Like, bundle up and stay in side watching the snow with someone you love cold. Like snuggle up in a blanket with hot cocoa cold. But First-Month?
First month is ‘it’s too cold to get out of bed to pee’ cold. Like, seriously considering the repercussions of not getting out from under the warm blankets ever. How long can you live without eating?
A while, but it’ll be worth getting up when there’s a hot bowl of Gorgrond Clam Chowder waiting for you.
So two very important things: Don’t expect anything that comes with instructions from a Laughing Skull Orc to be easy. And don’t expect it to come out pretty. This week’s recipe was Ravager Dogs from a good friend of mine, Korgraath Crotchgore, and it comes all the way from Gorgrond. Don’t ask him the story behind that sirname. Just trust me.
These dogs were ugly as fel, but man did they taste good. Unfortunately Korgraath’s instructions left a lot to be desired, so hopefully I can help you learn from my mistakes for this delicious dog. Crunchy with just a little bit of spice and an interesting fresh flavor, these are definitely worth it. I hope to revisit it later with a better method once I’ve experimented a bit more.
This has been a week of new traditions, and some I’m going to share with you. Every race has different traditions on how to ring in the New Year. When I stayed with Mahina, she showed me the Tauren tradition of drinking copious amounts of mulled wine, sitting around with loved ones grinding grain together by hand and telling stories of our shared past. Once there was enough grain, they would bake it into a cake with a copper piece hidden somewhere inside and share it together. The person who found the copper would be in for an extra-blessed year ahead.
Colin told me that this year, we’re going to make roast duck. He says that when the world is cold, the ducks get fat, and they come bringing luck on their wings. So that our future can really soar, we take their essence on the first day of the New Year.
Winterveil is really ramping up, and I gotta say, I am enjoying it immensely. I’m going to be honest, this is my very first Winterveil and I was really nervous about it. I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know what was coming. Big dude in a red suit knows if you’ve been bad or good? He knows everything about you? He can see into your soul and judge your sins?!
Yeah. Kinda terrifying.
But I spent some time in Silvermoon this week with my brother Vyn and his fiance. I asked him if he wanted me to make a traditional Winterveil dinner for them but he said no.
So one problem with making candy is that it vanishes FAST. I swear, ever since this season started up, I’ve been cooking up a storm! Candy and cookies galore, but the hands down winner (judging by how quick it disappears and the amount of orders I get for it) has been Talador Toffee.
This recipe was brought to me from my good Draenei friend, Katychla. She tells me that when she was a girl, they made this as a reward for special occasions. It was very sweet for her to share such an important tradition with me, and I think it’s just sweet enough to share with you.