Starlit Court Food and Drink
Our people view food and sustenance in several lights: a luxury indulged in on special occasions and to celebrate glorious achievements, a rustic and comfortable reminder of our home and past, and pure biological fuel. High and common cuisine, and field rations. High cuisine is lavish; large volumes of rich and heavy meals, served course after course. Common quasine typically consists of simple but hearty meals meant to be savored and satisfy both hunger and the need for comfort. Field rations are dense high calorie materials combined with a mix of important nutritional supplements, typically pressed into a rapidly consumable form such as a bar or drink.
Examples of High Cuisine
Small game birds with mild but somewhat salty meat; served whole and bone in, with bread crumb stuffing that has been seasoned to be sweet or savory depending on when in the feast the bird is served. Sweet preparations typically soak the crumbs in milk or sweet alcohols, and have dried fruits and nuts mixed in. Savory preparations typically have roasted garlic and finely cut aromatic herbs mixed into the crumb, before being soaked in butter and bear. The birds themselves are slow roasted, skin on, and basted in butter, or a wine reduction.
The Hunter’s Pride
One of several predatory creatures, gutted and cleaned, before being slowly roasted over a low burning flame, typically constructed of fragrant woods to enhance the flavor of the meat. The emptied cavities of the beast are usually packed with vegetables and species to be served as a separate accompanying dish, and are flavored by the drippings of the beast itself. The slow cooking process is usually enough to cause the tough meat of a predator to begin to break down, becoming tender and rich with flavor. Depending on the character of the animal’s flesh, some cooks soak the carcass overnight in a salt bath, or wash its cavities with vinegar, citrus, and other acidic foods to cause the lactic breakdown of the beast’s meat prior to cooking.
The Soil’s Bounty
Typically composed of potatoes, radishes, or turnips, paired with onions, mushrooms, and other whole peeled vegetables, stuffed into the bodily cavity of a large animal and cooked over the course of several hours in a low heat. Once cooked, the root vegetables are tossed in salt and other spices before being mixed back together, diced, and served, typically shortly before the hunter’s pride, or alongside it.
The Pot of Flame
A chunky spicy fish stew, served near bubbling hot, with a vibrant red broth. The pot of flame is made with an abundance of chopped fresh peppers, ginger, and garlic boiled down and crushed into a paste to create a base. Combined with wine, beef stock, and crushed tomatoes; the chefs then add diced potatoes or rice, and a myriad of seared fish and crustaceans. The Pot of Flame is typically served early in a feast, to enhance the appetite, and serve jestinly as a test of courage for the younger knights.
The Thousand Spears
Small skewers of meat, vegetables, and bundled together and served out of cups at all times during a feast. There are dozens of recipes for these skewers, meant for all manner of occasion, to be served at any stage of a feast.
Filler bombs are vegetables, typically a tomato or pepper, hollowed out and stuffed with minced meat, beans, rice, and topped with cheese, before being baked. Filler bombs are served around the time of the main course at a feast, often signaling the main course arriving, or being served as a side dish for the main course itself. Filler bombs get their name from lamenting knights who were unable to keep feasting after eating too many of these stuffed vegetables right before the centerpiece of the feast was served.
Bread of Courage
Bread of courage is a sausage made from the intestines, and heart, liver, and giblets of all animals served at a feast, minced together and mixed with herbs, rice, in a stomach casing. Typically served with a rich gravy, or tart berry sauce. Despite its name, Bread of Courage has no bread in it, likewise, there are many stories as to the ‘Courage’ portion of the meal’s name, some saying that the sausage is a test of a young knight’s courage due to its gamey organ meat flavor, others say that eating the sausage grants the knight the courage of the beasts that it was made of.
The rack is a large round rack made of thin iron rods that bind together thin iron rings adorned with small hooks and spikes. The rack is suspended above a fire-pit (typically charcoal), usually at the center of a feasting hall, with thin cut slabs of seasoned meat kept nearby on trays. Those attending the feasts are to take their preferred cut of meat, and hook it onto the rack, and engage with their peers around the pit for two rotations, after which their meat is done and to be retrieved. The rack is an inherently social part of a feast, with many small traditions and superstitions around just how to spike your meal, and how long to let it spin.
Small pastries that are usually served at the beginning or end at a feast, in the shape of a shallow cup, with a baked in custard and a single berry or slice of fruit at its center. There are no real superstitions or traditions around blotted tarts, though it is considered a fopax if one fills up on them.
Examples of Common Cuisine
Typically made with stale bread, and whatever cheese is on hand, fortified with cream, beer, or at the very least butter. You first bring your cream or bear to a low boil, before mixing in crumbled bread and shredded cheese, leaving the heat on a simmer while stirring until it creates a creamy savory soup. Any number of supplementary ingredients can be added to cheese soup, though typically it is limited to potatoes, rice, mushrooms, or whatever spices the quartermaster happens to have on hand, and is often served with bread.
The nutbutter plant is a gourd discovered some time in our past that grows like a common squash, but when split open its insides have a rich material that has a flavor and consistency that is nearly identical to peanut butter, that no one is allergic to. It can be prepared smooth (without seeds) or chunky (with seeds).
Sweet Chilli Jam
Red peppers, chillies and fresh root ginger, roughly chopped, ground garlic cloves, Trapjaw Ant Honey and Apple cider vinegar are muddled together to create a sweet conserve with the bite off spice.
Nutbutter and Jam
The most common of comfort foods and quick meals, can be found anywhere, prepackaged or freshly made. Simply take two pieces of bread, spread on one half the guts of the Nutbutter gourd, and the other a prepared jam, jelly, or other fruit persev. The result is a Nutbutter and Jam sandwich, this can be toasted, grilled, served with or without crust, or as some mad men do: covered in batter and deep fried.
Cinnamon dough and butter rubbed down with clove, cinnamon, and sugar, flattened out and layered at least a half dozen times before being formed into twisted breadsticks, or spiraled buns. These pastries are delightfully sweet with a cinnamon flavor, with a flakey light exterior and a warm chewy center and typically served in the morning alongside a warm beverage like tea or coffee.
Mechanics pie is a savory dish made of chopped green vegetables, carrots, mushrooms, and onions stewed slowly in a savory wine sauce, sometimes accompanied by minced meat or chickpeas, placed in an earthenware container and covered in mashed potatoes. Mechanic’s pie is hearty, filling, and according to some tales was invented by a mechanic who could not leave the mech hanger for three days after a terrible conflict had left every mech on their vessel damaged, and used the engine of a mech they were repairing to make their dinner instead of abandoning their post.
Drunkard’s toast is made by soaking a thick cut of bread in a batter of beer, mustard powder, spices, an egg, and flour until soaked through, and grilling until cooked through. The resulting toast is savory, heavy, and filling, and often eaten in the evening with one’s alcohol of choice.
A hull-filler is a cut of buttered bread with the center cut out, with an egg put into the hole, before being cooked in a pan. The toasted bread and cooked egg are typically served alongside (and often cooked in the grease of) sausage or bacon, with the cut out bread toasted alongside it and used for dipping into the yolk of the egg.
A banger, or soup sausage, are particularly juicy sausages, made with spiced minced meat, mixed in with fat and gelatinised broth. The resulting sausage is rich and juicy, with a snappy case, though first time eaters often find themselves scalded by a sudden burst of juice on the first bite.
Thick stews made of boiled vegetables and grains, usually with chunks of meat and fish, slowly cooked until smooth. Exact recipes and cooking methods vary from cook to cook, but in the end all pottages are filling and easy to prepare, and are staples of homes and mess halls.
thin cut meat and sausage, soaked in sauce, and grilled over flame. Char Slice is more of a style of food preparation than an individual dish, but is treated all the same. Meat and sausages are cut thin, no thinner than a centimeter, and no thicker than 2 centimeters, before being dipped or soaked in a variety of sauces, varing from simple vinniger, to more complex premade sweet or savory affairs, before being laid out on a grill, typically wood burning or charcoal, before being cooked until the outer edges develop a light char, before being served in small mixed heaps of flavored meat. The result has a lingering smokey bitterness that mixes well with the sauces that have typically caramelized by the time the meat is cooked.
a head of lettuce cut into wedges, typically served with a creamy dressing, bacon chunks, and croutons, typically eaten on ship mess halls and barracks as an easy to prepare filler meal or alongside a more protein rich option like char-slice or pottage. The Kettle of Kinship: A large pot of boiling broth with platters of vegetables, noodles, and meats, kettles of kinship are brought out during a feast to group tables, where all those gathered at each table toss food stuff into the pot to create a dish to be shared among all those gathered at the table. While often a roccus and boisterous the Kettle of Kinship is a ritual meal meant to promote cooperation and solidarity among its participants.
Examples of Field Rations
A Cold One
A Cold one (not to be confused for the rapteroid creatures native to the wilderness of Sihi) are canned beers brewed on Sihi by a select handful of brewers sponsored by our knightly orders. These brewers are held to a higher standard than most, and often use recipes curated by our knightly orders for generations, ensuring that there is a range of beers available, while enforcing a strict standard of quality. Many of these flavors and styles of brew have been packaged as cold ones for centuries, making the imbibing of a cold one akin to a ritual act in and of itself, where a knight partakes in the same refreshing sacrament as all those who have come before, and will come after; the ultimate affirmation of peerage and refreshment. Cold ones are transported in lightweight but durable aluminum cans, and derive their name from an endothermic mechanism in the can that chills the beer apon “cracking” the ceal, hence “Cracking a cold one”.
A small brittle treat packed with most field ration kits, usually made with hardened nutbutter or caramel, with nuts, praline, or other finely chopped treats. Krackle is sweet and often somewhat salty, and always is used as both a treat and vitamin supplement for knights and yeomen on active deployment, as the caramel or nutbutter used in its creation comes infused with iron, vitamins E, D, zink, and calcium.
A layered chewy bread with a crumbly but hard crust, that is present in nearly all field ration kits. Siege Bread is an artificially enhanced caloric medium, densely packed with carbohydrates, protein, and dietary supplements. Siege Bread comes in many shapes, and configurations depending on the packaging of the ration kit, and usually comes with some sort of spread (typically a packet of butter or jam). Of note, is that Siege Bread seems to be nigh inedible to humans outside of our culture and gene-strain; as these outsider humans seem to lack the jaw strength, tooth durability, and enzymes within their spit to bite and chew Siege ==== Bread with ease ==== Many outsiders have complained of strained jaws, dryness of mouth, and chipped teeth when given raw Siege Bread, as such, it is advised to crush and boil any loaf being given to outsiders prior to consumption.
A densely packed sausage that has been smoked, dried, and salted. Branch-meat has proven to be shelf stable within a vacuum package for up to three years. Branch meat has a tough, sometimes leathery exterior, and is firm and chewy on the inside. Branch meat comes in a myriad of flavors, and several sizes, from full branches that are nearly 9cm in diameter and four times as long, to sticks that are no thicker than 1cm and can be as long as half a meter. Unlike Siege Brea, Branch-meat is edible by outsider human strains, though it is advised that one cuts the branch-meat thin or boils it prior to giving it to outsiders for easier consumption.
Drink Sand is a catch all term for powdered drinks additives that are present in most field ration kits. Drink sand is a dehydrated flavoring powder, mixed with electrolytes, vitamines, and a mix of powdered iodine, bleach, and alcohol capable of purifying most ground water. These kits also come bundled with optional caffeine tabs meant to be crushed and mixed into a drink prior to consumption as well as a base capable of rapidly chilling and boiling most drinking vessels. WARNING: the volume of bleach and iodine in drink sand kits, while perfectly safe for our own people’s consumption, has proven toxic for numerous outsider human strains, DO NOT share drink-sand with outsiders under any circumstances.
Due to the range of agriculture that takes place on the internal surface of Sihi there are many resources necessary for the production of alcoholic drinks including a variety of herbs, hops and wheat. This results in a wide range of different drinks being popular among the people of Sihi.
Absinthe (La fée verte)
Popular among the more religious crowd due to its apocryphal relation to La Fae
In the production of beer the people of Sihi have traditionally kept to a fairly strict ruling on the allowed ingredients of beer, usually only water, barley and hops. (Yes this is the Reinheitsgebot) In an attempt to add new flavours to their beer while following the letter of the rules that have been set down, residents of Sihi have taken to some interesting tricks. There are a particularly well known series of beers that are aged in old absinthe barrels.
Produced from the particularly strong, pungent honey of the Trapjaw Ant. Added fruit/berry variants
Usually served with dinner at formal events, such as important diplomatic meetings, meetings between Orders, right before cracking Cold Ones, and the like. Specific brands and cocktails
Technically, esquire is a type of beer known for its particularly low alcohol content, averaging around 4.5% abv. Esquire is treated more like a soft drink than alcohol, and is served to anyone regardless of age. However, when a member of the Court refers to Esquire, they are referring to Lower Lakelands Brewers’ Esquire. The Lower Lakelands Brewers Esquire was the first esquire beer, originally made by the head brewer for the nephew when their knightly order refused to serve their squires alcohol due to concerns of most beers being too strong.
Double Dew Transcendental Drizzle
The Flagship product of Sihian startup, Dew Fog Ltd, inspired by their experiences with a variety of alien cuisines. Brewed from an absinthe base and a range of micro-grains gathered from across the sector and fermented using a custom designed yeast procured from the Children of the Vein. Due to the Dew Fog ignoring the purity standards that Sihian custom dictates for being defined as beer means that despite DDTD being quite obviously a beer it is marketed as a carbonated absinthe
Non Alcoholic Drinks
Devil’s Rose Tea
This tea is brewed using the petals of the Devil’s Rose, in scalding hot water with sweet oil. It gives off a nutty, earthy smell, the taste is nutty with notes of smokey citrus and caramel along with a soft ginger undertone. It’s commonly served at tea time with a single spoon of sugar or a drizzle of honey and soft biscuits or scones.
According to legend, Cotion Elixir was originally created by the High King to supplement his troops' rations. An extract from the meat of Cold Ones, ground into a paste, it is most often used to thicken and add flavour to gravies, soups and stews. Some members of the Court like to dissolve Cotion in warm milk to create a salty savoury beverage. It is said by those who enjoy this as a drink that it build’s healthy bodies and it is common among some parts of Sihi that grandmothers will give this to children in the hopes of encouraging them to grow big and strong.