I’m happy to welcome Lawrence M. Schoen as the final Bready or Not guest for 2015! Lawrence is a good friend, a Klingon linguist, and is about ready to burst in joy because his novel is out from Tor this week. Barsk features anthropomorphic elephants in space. How cool is that? Lawrence, quite appropriately, is here today with a recipe that may be enjoyed by such wayfaring pachyderms.
Cold Porridge suitable for Anthropomorphic Elephants
There’s not a lot of cooking going on in my novel, Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard. There’s a fair amount of eating, but since the main characters are anthropomorphic elephants living in a rainforest, most of what they eat is in a raw state — leaves, assorted grains and grasses, fresh and dried fruit.
In an earlier draft of the novel, I had a scene where Jorl, my protagonist, is visiting another planet, one inhabited by several different species/races of uplifted animals but which hasn’t seen an elephant in a millennium. In that scene, Jorl’s doing a signing at a bookstore and a helpful clerk brings him a large mug and a tureen of vanilla cocoa he can presumably refill it from. To the horror of everyone around him, Jorl dips his trunk directly in the tureen and empties it in one go. I miss this scene and I’m hoping to find a home for it one day. More importantly for this blog, I thought I had invented the idea of blending vanilla in with hot chocolate (which I had been doing for years by adding vanilla extract). Imagine my surprise when I saw you could buy this as a pre-packaged flavor.
But in terms of an actual recipe from the book, let’s talk about “cold porridge.” The first anthropomorphic elephant we meet in the book is Rüsul, and he’s on a raft on the ocean sailing off to his death. Along with the fruit and grasses included in his provisions, there’s mention of grain for making cold porridge. It’s worth noting that it’s almost always raining on Barsk, which is why a hot meal is complicated (not that making a fire on a raft would be a good idea even if it were easier). There are many variations on this, depending on what fruits you want to use, whether or not you choose to go with yogurt or coconut milk, and so on. Here’s the one I personally like best:
1/2 cup of rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 sliced and chopped banana
1 pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsweetened dried coconut
1 tablespoon sliced almonds
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Blend everything — except the banana! —together. Ideally, you want to put this into a sealed container and shake it furiously. Add the banana bits and repeat the blending/shaking. Then put the whole thing in the refrigerator overnight. By morning, it will have all set, and you’ll have a delicious cold porridge to start your day or in case any anthropomorphic elephants happen by.
Lawrence M. Schoen holds a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology, has been nominated for the Campbell, Hugo, and Nebula awards, is a world authority on the Klingon language, operates the small press Paper Golem, and is a practicing hypnotherapist specializing in authors’ issues.
His previous science fiction includes many light and humorous adventures of a space-faring stage hypnotist and his alien animal companion. His most recent book, Barsk, takes a very different tone, exploring issues of prophecy, intolerance, friendship, conspiracy, and loyalty, and redefines the continua between life and death. He lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with his wife and their dog
Let’s end the year on a sweet note! How about some Snickerdoodle Muffins for breakfast or dessert?
These things taste and look just like the cookie version. From straight overhead, they even look like cookies!
The muffin texture is light and fluffy. This is because the butter and sugar are beaten to fluffiness, and then the sour cream creates tenderness without any negative impact on taste. The dough is thick enough to be rolled in cinnamon sugar.
I have made this as normal muffin size and as mini muffins. Both are fabulous and freeze well for later eating, too. Unless you plan to eat them the first day, do store them in the fridge. At room temperature, after two days they go really spongy and soft, but they can be saved by sticking them in the fridge or freezer.
Many of the sweets I make go with my husband to work, but not these. He adores Snickerdoodles. These are all for him.
Heavily modified from Rincon-Cocina.
“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”
Plain shortbread cookies are buttery and amazing. This recipe amps them up with a delicious boost of Earl Grey tea!
I love how the tea freckles the cookie dough all the way through!
I like to think that these are cookies that Captain Picard would enjoy with a cup of Earl Grey. (Hot.) You don’t actually brew tea to make these cookies. You rip open the tea bags and pour the contents right into the dough.
The texture is pure shortbread: buttery and soft. The Earl Grey flavor is distinct (and you could toggle this by adjusting the amount of tea you add) and adds a smidgen of heat and freshness. These are unlike any other shortbread I’ve had before.
Pair these cookies with your favorite beverage, place them on your holiday cookie tray, or leave some out for Santa in a few days. You know he needs the caffeine.
Make it so!
I have my first-ever holiday story posted over at Every Day Fiction: “Rootless.” It’s a peculiar sort of love story between a dryad and its tree, and when that tree ends up being chopped down for Christmas purposes, well, that’s bad.
One of my wintery stories has just been republished in podcast form, too. “Hat Trick” can be heard (and downloaded!) over at Cast of Wonders. Just your average story of hockey, kids, and superpowers.
If you celebrate Christmas, I wish you a joyous day on the 25th. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, I still hope you have a joyous day. Peace to all.
Oh yeah, and with all the crazy food and sweets being offered up this week, be sure to…