Last night was “Meet at the Graveyard” an online roleplay thingy from Omen Star, held over Discord video call.
The character brief had Caprizant the Hungry Ghoul as a chef who seasons with extracted emotions, rather than some beast who eats the dead. “You distil the fear, the hopelessness and the despair into a fine liquid and use it as a key ingredient in any number of sources and dressings. A fine salad with a red wine and hopelessness vinaigrette, a hate glazed carrot, mushroom and hazelnut tart”
The challenge in Caprizant’s brief for the game was to cook “The sage and joy bliss butter sauce over butternut squash ravioli.”
I didn’t fancy the tart, so the salad gained carrots, and hazelnuts, and the ravioli got some mushrooms.
While the brief implied a vegetarian ghoul, I decided to go a logical step further and go proper vegan.
So, I got my mise en place together, and started cooking when the event began. My first chat was a command from Abs Malady’s vampire that I cater for her dinner, delivered with such authority that it settled my arc. I was to feed her living guests, and then they were to feed her.
I couldn’t find any hopelessness, so the salad was seasoned with loss that a wonderfully played Poltergiest had for a lost love.
Apart from that, it was a matter of roasting some hazelnuts, toasting some cumin to go with the carrots I’d baked earlier, and tossing some leaves in a vinaigrette made with a splash of wine, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard and olive oil.
Then I made some pasta – 200g 00 flour, 100ml lukewarm water, kneaded it, and made into a thin sheet with 3 goes through the pasta machine. Folded that round some roasted squash cut with the excellent Bute Island Vegan Creamery Greek-style Sheese, and that was my ravioli. Put to one side, while I fried some sage leaves in oil and grated some garlic in to brown. Fried some breadcrumbs in oil too, with a bit of lemon zest and more grated garlic. Fried some slices of mushroom.
I too a break from cooking, managed to harvest some joy, and drank that with Campari.
Then it was finding the bliss, which was jolly tricky until I met a quite adorable werewolf, who’d found a new place to belong after her pack kicked her out.
So with about a half hour to go, I put the pasta on, served it with mushrooms, sage oil, and fried breadcrumbs for texture. I forgot the chilli flakes I’d planned, but generously forgave myself.
Another character told me they needed a chocolate torte for dessert, and I blanked. If I’d really been on the ball, I could have knocked up some caramel icecream with chocolate and kahlua sauce, but it didn’t occur to me until the after-party. Hey ho.
I’d never made pasta before, and I was genuinely nervous before the event – but it all worked out ok. I felt I’d done the challenge, anyway. Two-course meal, from scratch, while roleplaying a quite horrid ghoul… (I pantomimed squeezing emotions out of people with a lever-armed juicer….)