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Inheritance by Nath

Author: Nath
Title: Inheritance
Rating: G
Theme: Sweet or Savoury
Elements: spicy
Summary: A taste from history in two drabbles and a double drabble
Word Count: 400

Armenelos, Númenor – around S.A. 850

"The lord Aldarion wants that spicy peasants' dish for his dinner tonight," one of the lord's squires announced with a disapproving sniff as he walked in to the kitchen.

"Then that is what he will get," the cook answered, "Though I'm sure he didn't put it quite like that, young man. " He didn't say that the dish in question wasn't a peasant dish, but a sailors' one. As soon as the squire left, the cook shook his head and sighed. But if the Master wants that dish, he's starting to pine for the sea again… That, he disapproved of.

On shipboard in the Icebay of Forochel, T.A. 1974

"King's delight? With no pork? More like King's surprise, if you ask me," the ensign said. "Why's it called King's delight, anyway?"

"Don't know, and it's not my fault we're out of pork," the other ensign replied with a shrug. "You can always go and ask the Icemen if they have any. With luck, they'll give you a few blocks of frozen rancid seal blubber."

"I'll have some, even without pork. How did we end up with no pork?" the first ensign asked.

"We did leave in a hurry when we got word of the King's whereabouts," the other shrugged.


Somewhere in Eriador – T.A. 2953

"What's for dinner?" Aragorn asked.

Halbarad, who was trying to unpick the knot on a small packet wrapped in waxed cloth, mumbled something from which Aragorn could only understand the word surprise.

"I only asked," he replied.

"No, that's what it's called," Halbarad said. "Ranger's surprise."

"With a name like that dare I ask what is in it?" Aragorn replied.

"Well, it should have field peas, bacon, onions, pork or chicken, garlic and a bunch of herbs and spices." Halbarad stirred the pot on the fire. "Unfortunately, we're out of dried peas, so I used beans, and wild boar counts as pork, but we have no bacon, and I could only find one small onion…"

"I can see the surprise element," Aragorn laughed. "But how is this different from any other stew we eat?"

"The secret's in the spices," Halbarad said. "You will see."

"Hmm, not bad at all," Aragorn said some time later as they ate, huddled in the doubtful shelter of a rocky overhang as the rain poured down outside. "I suppose you're not going to give me the recipe…?"

"Well…" Halbarad replied with a grin. "It is an old family recipe, so it's sort of yours anyway."


A/N and recipe

The recipe is supposedly a derivation of a traditional Dutch seaman's dish, but as the only place I've ever found it is in a 1980's collection of recipe cards from a Dutch brand (Conimex) of Indonesian spices and condiments, I'm taking that claim with a grain or two of salt. Looking at the ingredients, it's not entirely impossible, but I'd like to be sure. It's still tasty, though:-)

Nooitgedacht ("Who would have thought it!")

  • 400 gr (canned, dried, fresh) field peas (if using dried peas, rehydrate and cook before adding them)
  • 100 gr nasi/bami vegetables (nasi is Indonesian for rice, you might be able to get these in an ethnic shop – or for all I know Conimex is available in your local supermarket *g*; bami is Indonesian noodles)
  • 300 gr bacon
  • 2 onions
  • 200 gr pork or chicken (in small-ish pieces)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sambal
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder
  • pepper, salt

Fry the bacon and the onions, add the meat, add the garlic, spices, pepper, salt.
Add vegetables, field peas (+ moisture from can if you use canned peas; if not, add an equivalent amount of water/stock)
Leave for about 20 minutes on low heat.
Serve (optional: with baked banana slices)


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 28th, 2014 03:14 am (UTC)
Brilliantly done Nath!! I probably wouldn't eat that (can't stand that much onion, and curry's not so good for me either :( ) but I am so glad Aragorn enjoyed this "old family recipe"! And the bits about Aldarion and Arvedui were very nice touches to spell out just how old this *old* family recipe is! :)

Kaylee Arafinwiel
Oct. 28th, 2014 02:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I'm not sure either of them is aware just how old the recipe is - although Halbarad can probably trace it for several generations
Oct. 28th, 2014 07:39 am (UTC)
That's appetizing! I loved how each generation had to make their own adaptations but in the end it was still recognizable. I also love the subtle humour. :)
Oct. 28th, 2014 02:36 pm (UTC)

Some recipes are like that - sometimes all the result has in common with the recipe is the intention, and I imagine a lot of Rangerly cooking is fairly improvised anyway
Oct. 28th, 2014 07:40 am (UTC)
It's fun to think of something like that being passed down.
Oct. 28th, 2014 02:37 pm (UTC)
It rather is, isn't it:-)
Oct. 28th, 2014 03:08 pm (UTC)
"Old family recipe" is right! What a clever and delightful series.
Oct. 28th, 2014 05:07 pm (UTC)
Oct. 28th, 2014 05:22 pm (UTC)
Now, this does sound interesting, particularly was we watch the dish vary as each cook finds himself without proper ingredients for the "real" way to prepare it! Heh! And love the idea that the recipe "sort of" belongs to Aragorn. Now we know why it was called "King's Delight."
Oct. 29th, 2014 04:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks - it was fun to figure out how the dish would fare through the ages:-)
Oct. 30th, 2014 02:40 am (UTC)
Oh! I love the idea of seeing the evolution of the recipe into something quite different to how it began, and yet it remained the same as well!

Great job! While the recipe sounds a bit too spicy for me, I think my husband would it!
Oct. 30th, 2014 02:01 pm (UTC)

It's fairly spicy, but I love it:)
Oct. 30th, 2014 05:20 am (UTC)
Most enjoyable. I liked the idea of the dish passed down.
Oct. 30th, 2014 02:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you:)
Oct. 31st, 2014 12:53 am (UTC)
Mmm...sounds like the perfect winter dish. And the drabbles are excellent too!
Oct. 31st, 2014 10:48 am (UTC)
Nov. 2nd, 2014 10:27 pm (UTC)
I love when recipes are handed down through the ages and especially in families. It sounds very tasty and just the thing for keeping out cold on land or sea. I always think of Aragorn as surviving on game in the wild so it's nice to know he had other things too :-)
Nov. 3rd, 2014 06:48 pm (UTC)
I suspect Rangers did a lot of foraging as well.
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )


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