Christmas at The Castle

Hello everyone!

Around this time every year depending on how my duties at work are, I tend to send out an invitation to all of my tulpas for a Christmas party where we eat, drink and then decorate the castle together. (well, those of us that want to decorate.. some are more willing than others…)

For those of you not in the know, the first macrocosm I ever created was Castle Odylfius and it took a long time to get things right. If you want a tour of the castle, I’d highly recommend vising the Imgur gallery that tells the whole story about the place.

So anyways, as per tradition, me and Circe and Mech tend to put together a little menu of things that we’ve liked eating during the year to give the others a taste of what the real world has to offer. We always try and include at least one of the major groups of dishes. Thankfully nobody has any specific dietary requirements, so we can basically make a simple, but broad spread. Also, on that note, I’ve cooked all of these items myself at one point or another, so it sort of serves as a sort of “best of 2021” in terms of food. So this year, I’m also enclosing my favorite recipes online that I’ve used to make these dishes. (because why reinvent the wheel right?)

Here is a picture of the menu in question for this year:

Here are the recipes I’d recommend for making the above dishes:

Alvin Zhou’s 72 hour Beef Wellington

Roasted Herbal Chicken

Simple Steamed Cod

The smashed herbal potatoes are super simple, boil potatoes as you normally would, smash (and say Hulk smash while you do) and then pour some nice molten butter and garnish with some herbs.

Hasselback potatoes are a delicacy an online Swedish friend introduced to me many years ago. It’s deceptively simplistic to make them. Just get some potatoes you’d use for french fries and slice them finely, but don’t cut them the whole way through. You’ll end up with a potato that kinda looks like a weird potato version of an armadillo. Douse your taters in oil or better yet, butter and chuck them into the oven until they start separating due to the heat and crisp up.

The Mashed potatoes are even simpler, I normally just peel and boil some suitable potato variants (get ones good for making potato mash in the store!) and then mash them and add butter, aroma salt and black pepper to taste until it’s smooth in texture.

Basmati rice is also ridiculously easy: 1 part rice, 2 parts water, pinch of salt and chuck it all into a pot. Bring it to a boil and immediately as it starts boiling you lower the heat to the a low simmer and keep it that way for about 15 to 20 minutes for a normal service size. (bigger serving sizes will need more time to cook!) The reduction in heat will ensure that you get a decent steam going for the grains. Then after the grains seem alright, take off the pot from the stove and let it cool off with the lid on for about 10 minutes. This makes the rice really fluffy!

For the sauces, those are usually trial and error and quite honestly, you’re better off looking up your own base recipe and working off that and making your own variants. A sauce is the most personal thing you can make as a chef. Remember: If you want spicy sauces, add the spices early and sear them in oil for a bit before putting them into the sauce. If you want a garlic infused sauce, add the crushed garlic as late as possible.

The desserts though, I’m not a good pastry chef so I honestly just tend to buy those if I ever want them. (I tend to skip dessert most of the time anyway) Protip: If you want a super easy and somewhat wicked dessert, get some bourbon vanilla ice cream and use a thick liqueur instead of a berry/chocolate sauce!

 

After I was done with the menu, I wrote all of our tulpas a letter which was “appeared” on their person with the help of our omnipresent AI Sarah. By appeared, I mean it’ll typically spawn in a pocket or maybe down the back of your shirt or something. It’s only visible to the person it’s sent to, so there’s no actual info leaks in case the person would say.. throw it away or something.

Here is a picture of the letter in question too, I kept it short and sweet:

At the appointed time of 20:45 when the everyone started dropping in at the patio, I was still cooking my IRL food which had taken a bit longer than expected. Also, I was sort of listening in on everyone as they got their drinks and cocktails and other assorted things and sat down in the big dining room. This was the seating for this year:

I rose up from my chair and everyone followed suit. I exclaimed “Hi everyone and welcome to this year’s Christmas party! I hope all of you will be having fun – ” and here I stopped since the doors opened and at that point, I can say that this Christmas went from “alright” to “great” as I got one of my wishes come true. Striding through the door, confident and cocky as always was Jeanette, the one person I thought would bail this year. I gave her a nod, fighting down tears as she got over to her table place and waited.

I took a moment to recompose myself and then tried again “As I was saying, I hope you’ll all have fun, Jeanette included. Let’s all remember that this is the season to at least try and be nice to each other, so with that, enjoy the food and drinks and the decorations happening later!”

Then I proposed a toast and we all drank the customary welcome shot and sat down to eat.

During the table conversations I picked up a few things around the table. Andrei came in at that time from Niky’s tulpa group and wished us all a merry Christmas as he placed a few assorted bottles of booze on the table and left. Bear of course immediately got up and scrambled one one of the bottles and clutched it to his chest saying “Mine!” in his dark and growly voice, but his smile definitely told us everything we wanted to know about how serious he was about that. Since Andrei tends to make vodka which is as pure as you can get it without it becoming airborne, you’d think a small creature based off a teddy bear would balk at drinking that. But nope, Bear really loves Andrei’s stuff since that’s one of the few things that gives him a buzz.

 

Jeanette, having stared daggers at Charlie after their last fight during our summit meeting, finally spoke after a while with a quiet voice. I overheard her apologize to him and then tell him not to make a big deal of it. He in return accepted the apology and that was that for them. I’m not saying they’re going to be fast friends, but at the very least they’re not going to kill each other on sight anymore. Baby steps!

Speaking of Jeanette, she called me over and wanted to speak to me in private so I teleported us both into the kitchen which was empty at the moment. There she confessed that she didn’t really feel comfortable around everyone, but that at the very least, she’d like her old human body back again. I smiled and reminded her that she is a tulpa, as such she decides what her own body will look like. But then I snapped her back into her old body and told her that she’d be able to transform out of it once she got the hang of it. With that out of the way, we both returned to the other guests and as I sat down, I really was feeling the Christmas spirit.

Also, new this year was the two crazy NPC birds Eugene – The Phursdai Parrot and Pietrov – The Russian Raven who both have been kind of joke characters for a few years now.

Eugene showed up ages ago when I was seriously sleep deprived and I was out walking with a friend during a break at work. My friend asked me how sleep deprived I was and I joked with him that I had a parrot on my shoulder reminding me it was Phursdai. Soon enough the joke evolved and Eugene as he is.. came to exist. Now, Phursdai is not Thursday as you might think, no Phursdai is defined as the second to last working day in any given week. So, if your last day of work is say on Wednesday, Tuesday is your Phursdai.

Now, Russian Raven, or Pietrov as he goes by, he’s a more recent joke I made with my SO Niky when we were kidding around about what would happen if you ran out of vodka. I even made a shitty MSpainted meme picture of a cawing raven with a miniature Russian Ushanka on it.

Only, you know how it goes by now. He actually showed up while we were in the inner world, complete with his little hat and screamed at us that we were being horrible for not having vodka at home like a true Russian. (Spoiler: Neither me nor Niky are even remotely close to being Russians)

Anyways, so these two screwballs met each other and started arguing in their weird ways, but they soon bonded over some excellent bird food. Meanwhile, the weird NPC parade wasn’t over as our mysterious walking table with a mouth called simply “The Servant” teleported in and announced loudly that it would be taking over serving duty for the evening.

Now, if you want a picture of The Servant, imagine a classic tray that you’d put over your bed when you get breakfast in bed. Except on one end, it has a big mouth with thick lips and four legs that move pretty much like quadrupeds do. The Servant is a very rude entity, but does seemingly know when someone REALLY needs something and tends to show up and offer that. Also, it has no eyes or ears either as far as we can tell, but it seems to have no trouble navigating around. Where it sleeps or stays during the nights, I don’t know as it tends to teleport away almost immediately after delivering something to someone.

And last but not least is The Hand, Circe’s disembodied hand which had somehow snuck into the dining room, it crawled up her dress, spooked her and hid in her hair. And that’s all the time I had for today to actually party with everyone, we all had some laughs, some conversations and some fun. I know they’ll be probably staying up all night partying hardcore if I know everyone and meanwhile I hope they don’t break too many windows or decorations 😛

Next week we won’t have an update as we’ll all have fun being on vacation, but expect something next year around January 3rd that’ll sum up New Years Eve and the year that’s gone by.

Thanks for reading and if you have any questions or comments, we’d love to hear them!

Happy Holidays!

//Wondrous Fairy

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