Three Day Nerve Crackers

Three Day Nerve Crackers

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Time: 8hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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If these don't put the zing in your central nervous system, nothing will.

This is a simple recipe, but does take a fair amount of planning, as well as quite a lot of work. It provides a nice workout, though, in addition to being very tasty. One bite of the final product, and you won’t be tired at all.

Credit: B. Morris Allen

Ingredients

  • 4 Voranian nuggle darts
  • 1 gram Rigelian snifkles
  • 80 liters salty (Mg-Cl2) seawater in a sturdy vanadium pot.

Directions

  1. The tricky part, of course, is capturing the nuggle darts. Vorania is such a harsh environment that even the plants don’t stay put, and nuggle darts are notoriously rapid. My advice – hire an expert.
  2. Once you have the darts netted, crack off the stem and let it fly away; it confuses predators and gives true nuggle dart seeds a better chance of germinating.
  3. Without the stems, the nuggle darts are motionless. With a basalt mortar and pestle, grind the darts into a fine powder. Five or six hours should do it. A Terran might do it in two. (They may be grotesque, but they’re very strong.)
  4. Sort the snifkles by size. Add them to the seawater starting from largest to smallest.
  5. When all the snifkles have dissolved, add the ground nuggle darts. Try to do it from a distance. I find a nice underhand throw does the trick. Corvians may want to use a blast shield, or an environment suit.
  6. Once the steam has cleared, you’ll find that what remains is a nice thick crust on the bottom and sides of your pot. Scrape it off, and press it into crackers while it’s still slightly moist.
  7. Enjoy! One cracker should keep you awake for about three standard days. Don’t eat two.

Vegan Fugu – a dangerous delicacy

Vegan Fugu – a dangerous delicacy

Today, we’ll explain how to create the vegan version of a dish, that while somewhat dangerous to consume, is considered a major delicacy on Sol Three. Fugu is the flesh of the blowfish, one of the most venomous ocean creatures on that planet. Japanese people there consider it to be a great delicacy and reportedly over ten thousand mintons are sold every year. The fish contain a neurotoxin, which is 1,200 times deadlier than Transurian pintian. The toxin is so potent that a lethal dose is smaller than the head of a pin, and a single fish has enough poison to kill 30 Transurians. Fugu is prepared only by expert licensed chefs who remove the poisonous parts and such expertise makes the dish extremely expensive. Some who eat it report a strange tingling of the lips from minute traces of the poison. That sensation, the danger and the high price — the equivalent of 500 Transurian credits — give the dish its strange attraction.

A wonderful, and safer, vegan version is created using a base of ten medium size thrash leaves and several ingredients obtained from any good out-of-world market. Cut the thrash leaves into paper-thin slices. Add two drams of brown sugar, one-half dram of cardamom, a pinch of snur powder, and just enough water to cover the mixture. Let it marinate for 5-6 hours. Prior to serving, heat the mixture (but do not boil), add a quarter dram of dried Oleander flowers (supplies a mild poison) and simmer for 5-10 minutes, not more. Discard the sauce, then arrange the vegan fugu on ceramic plates, sprinkle with a touch of Kurrie salt, and serve.

A few Japanese on Sol Three die from eating fugu every year. A much smaller number of Transurians die yearly from eating vegan fugu. Enjoy!

from the kitchen of Ronald M. Larsen

Litiva noodles with a brown sauce

Litiva noodles with a brown sauce

Litiva noodles are a common food on Zubelgenubel 7. In fact, they’re the mainstay of the local diet. It’s no wonder – when I visited, I found myself tripping over them – literally. The Litiva is not so much a noodle as a root – they grow like weeds from the widespread Liva trees, and form mats so thick that I’m not actually sure what’s underneath. Maybe the Zubies are right when they say it’s noodles all the way down.Litiva noodles can be eaten raw – you’ll often see Zubie infants with a bare root in each mouth, and in fact parents create complex mazes to keep their kids active during the day – just lay the noodle, stick one end in a mouth, and the child crawls after it all day long, ideally ending up at the front door right at naptime. The noodles are good raw, but a little astringent for the human throat. A better way is to take a long root – pinkie-thick is ideal, chop it into one or two-meter segments, and lay them on a bed of coal overnight. In the morning, gather some of your hut’s roof-crud (actually an algae that respires CO2), mix it with a little brown sugar, and heat it with some water (your hut will likely have a drip tube under the bed). Cook that over the coals in a cauldron until the sugar is dissolved, and drop in the noodles. Exactly three minutes, and you’ll have a delicious breakfast for thirty. It’s said to taste just like Peruvian cloud-glass, but I find it’s more like lightly toasted glivnarth, with notes of musk-melon and maple.
from the kitchen of B. Morris Allen

Macerated friff leaves

Macerated friff leaves

Friff leaves are best eaten fresh. That poses difficulties, since the friff maxillae only develop at high altitudes. Terminology can be confusing here – maxillae are actually modified pairs of branches that are loosely attached to the thick mainstem and crash together in high winds. The sound is said to resemble teeth chattering.

What you’ll most often find on the market is ‘fresh-harvested’ leaves. Don’t be taken in! These are simply leaves gathered from the canyon floor after the morning cyclone. They are not truly ‘fresh’. During the long fall from the clag spires, the leaves undergo atmospheric compression, and much of the subtlest juice is squeezed out. Next time you see these ‘fresh-harvested’ leaves for sale, check to see if they’re moist. If they are, a good half of the juice is likely gone. The long fall to the canyon floor also drains the leaves of most of the volatile compounds that give good leaves their distinctive smell. Ask the vendor to let you smell the leaves. If he does, they’re not fresh, and your vendor is a mountebank. No reputable vendor would risk their product that way.

Once you’ve secured fresh friff leaves (see management for a list of reliable vendors), suitably stored in individual pressure-containment vessels, lock your doors. Clear your evening calendar. Send your loved ones off to a spa. Friff eating is a uniquely solitary experience. More to the point, you’ll be out of commission for at least several hours, and you won’t want to be disturbed.

Occasional friff eaters can rent a consumption chamber (see management for recommendations). A serious friff eatery will provide a clean, private room, a sterile eating suit, and a new pair of silicon tongs. These are recommended to avoid injury. For those who can afford it, or who expect to eat friff on a regular basis, we strongly recommend the B&TR Infuser – the XB2 is the latest.

The key to friff eating is simple – get the leaf from its containment chamber and into your mouth as quickly and completely as possible. Truly fresh friff juices are absolutely toxic until neutralized by saliva. Only 7% of trained friff eaters die every year, though dental injuries are common – thus the silicon tongs. The Infuser, of course, simplifies the problem by sucking up the leaf through a macerating fan, and shooting it directly into your mouth through a wide tube. Once you’ve used the Infuser, you won’t go back to tongs – though it may take a full day to return to consciousness.

Those who’ve eaten fresh friff (and we have) say there’s nothing to compare with the taste of pure joy dancing along your taste buds and down your nerves to the gala in your spine. It’s simply the best flavor there is. Plus, it cures acne.

If you can’t afford fresh leaves, we’d say don’t bother. But we try to cater to the common humanoid as well as sophisticates, so our editor insists we add this: if you must eat ‘fresh-harvested’ leaves, try them with garlic and a little zoof powder. The garlic will cover the slightly rancid taste, and the zoof will disorient you enough that you may think you’re eating the real thing. Good luck, and please don’t tell us about it.

from the kitchen of B. Morris Allen

Tael pudding

Tael pudding

In terms of flavor, it helps if you think of the tael as a giant blueberry. Yes, imagine a blueberry the size of a sugar pie pumpkin. Raw, the slices are a bit awkward to deal with (think of a soft watermelon). My recommendation is to remove the thin skin, mash the abundant pulp, and simmer the pulp with a three tablespoons of tapioca and 1-1/2 cups of water. Stir frequently, simmering for about 10-15 minutes until thickened.

Pour into small dishes, chill thoroughly, and serve top with crushed strawberries.

from the kitchen of K. G. Anderson

Moog leaves

Moog leaves

Moog leaves are very handy to take with you, especially if you’re going on long trips that last years. Freshly picked and dried, probably they will last decades. They need water for resuscitation and the more water you add the plumper they will get. If you like steaks, make a little fire and cook the moog leaves, use some bot sauce and flip over when brown. Enjoy.

These are very tender. One moog leaf provides all the nutrients of proteins plus the edge of the leaves taste like kale with butter. Enjoy!

from the kitchen of Doris Chu