It’s been pretty much a year since I last posted on this blog and the answer to “why?” is that I was diagnosed with workplace burnout syndrome in February this year. Since then I’ve been working to basically get back to a semblance of a real life again. The blogs were one of those things I had to put on the back burner.
But now I’m slowly getting back into writing again, but more on that next year. To summarize an entire year of events in the inner worlds would be impossible in just one blog post. Besides, who’d wanna read 33 pages of dry information notes anyway?
Anyways, as per tradition, I’m sending out the Christmas dinner invitations to all the tulpas today. Here’s the invitation and the menu I spent a few days cobbling together.
Dracula’s pot roast is a dish I’ve been wanting to make ever since I played the first Castlevania game on the NES and found one of pot roasts in a secret wall compartment. So imagine my absolute joy when one of my favorite channels Tasting History with Max Miller added a recipe from 1580!
As some of my family members weren’t fans of parsnips, we simply substituted that with potato cubes and it worked amazingly well. Naturally I had to feature it this year as some of my tulpas are equally huge gamer nerds.
The Shepherd’s Pie was something I’ve been wanting to make ever since me and my SO Niky played our way through Starbound where it was featured. So when one of the best outdoors channels called Kent Survival made a simple one while camping out in the wilderness, I decided it was time. My version has a lot more bells and whistles since I found myself having stocked up on a lot of great ingredients when I made it.
Essentially you need minced meat (go low fat, it makes for a more coherent pie), carrots, onions, shallots and pickle onions. I’m not really sure if the pickle onions are any different than just small regular onions, but from what I can tell, they’re a lot more spicy and fragrant than normal onions. Also, don’t pickle them, use them raw for this recipe. Dice all the veggies finely, fry them with the minced meat and then add basil, thyme, rosemary and celery salt and keep it going until browned.
Also add in about a tea spoon of brown sugar, it’ll help give your mince mix some body.
(I’m also gonna try for a more decadent version next time that has bits of bacon in it.)
Anyways, once you have the mince mix done, spread it in an oven dish, keep it about one or two centimeters thick as otherwise it’ll probably dry out quickly. While that cools off, make your potato mash, either the traditional way or use instant mash like I did. The mash really determines most of the flavor, so don’t skimp on the instant mash quality or you’ll likely be sorry.
Once you have the mash ready, spread it over the mince in the dish and grate liberal amounts of edam cheese over it. I chose edam because it’s got a nice nutty flavor when it gets grilled in an oven. But really, I think any old regular cheese will do here. On top of the cheese, sprinkle some salt too, it’ll get those flavors popping!
And that’s it, stick it in the oven for about 200c for 25-35 mins, check regularly to see how browned the cheese is. When it’s golden brown, take out and let it rest for ten minutes before you slice it up.
Sweet packages are insultingly easy to make. Get some puff pastry dough at the store and then cut it into squares that can support one table spoon of filling. No really, just put a table spoon of filling and cut out as big of a square as you think is reasonable. Then put another square on top and seal the edges. Put that stuff into the oven until it looks like a croissant in terms of color and then take it out. Let it cool before you try eating it as the innards are goddamn molten lava for at least ten minutes.
Icarus Wine is another one of those things that’s inspired by games. You see, way back when I was a kid, I played a lot of Kid Icarus on the NES. In that game was a glass of purple wine that I always wondered what it would taste like. I sort of had an idea though, it would be a mysterious, revitalizing flavor. But I never really got around to try to make it happen. Until of course I ran across a hippocras recipe by Tasting History where he made cookies and wine that was based off an old nun’s recipe. When I saw the recipe I knew this was the wine I’d always dreamed of making. However, while Max uses violet flowers, I used leaves instead as they give a much more potent flavor and I used anise seeds because they have a much more complex flavor.
Making it is simple, but somewhat time consuming. Pour a bottle (7-8 deciliters) of a sweet Riesling wine into a decently sized pot and add about 5-6 deciliters worth of the violet leaves. Then as it starts simmering, you keep it going for about ten minutes. Don’t let it boil as otherwise the alcohol will evaporate and you’ll end up with a flat tasting wine. Once it’s simmered for ten minutes, stir in about 1/4th of a teaspoon worth of anise seeds and put a lid on top of it and let it cool down for about an hour or so. Then you strain it into a bottle and put it in the fridge for about two to three days to allow the flavors to develop properly.
Also, a note of warning: My first attempt at this hippocras failed miserably as I used a tart wine with little sweetness. The end result was a harsh, medicinal taste of violet and licorice which was terrible. But, if you’re looking for that in a wine, go tart!
The next time I make this wine, I’m going to add about half a teaspoon of honey to the boiling mix to see if that meshes well, so you might consider that yourselves.
Frozen Bottle Margarita I saw this on some science channel a few years back. It was an experiment in making supercooled liquids which was stupidly easy. Basically, ice has a tough time forming under pressure, so if you violently shake a soda, the resulting high pressure inside will prevent the liquid from freezing. You then stick it into the freezer for 3½/4 hours and then CAREFULLY take it out. Like bomb squad levels of careful. Oh and another note, don’t use glass bottles for this, use either canned sodas or better yet, the plastic bottle ones which are guaranteed to succeed.
You see, what you have to do now is carefully open the soda without causing a flareup with the carbonation. Why? Because the super cooled liquid inside wants nothing more right now than to freeze, and when you lower the pressure, that can start happening. Now, after you’ve opened it and it’s still liquid, you’ve got two choices 1) Rambo style, just squeeze the can or bottle really hard and squirt out the liquid into a big glass and pray it doesn’t freeze before you do. 2) Bomb Squad style, carefully pour out the liquid into an angled glass similar to how you’d pour a beer. Then afterwards just stir the liquid and watch it freeze up.
Now that’s the base recipe for soda slush. To make a frozen margarita, just add a shot of tequila into it and bam you’re done. If you want the slushiest version, I highly recommend getting a plastic bottle with a screwcap. That way you can open it beforehand, empty out some of the contents, then add the tequila into it before shaking the bottle vigorously.
And there you go everyone, the Christmas 2023 list and recipes. If anyone wants details on the other stuff, drop a comment on the post and I’ll answer as soon as I can! I’ll likely drop an update sometime in January with all the shenanigans we’ll get up to this week and during new years eve.
Until then, I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Goddamn Better Year Than This One! 😀