lamb necks

anonymous asked:

Could we possibly get a follow up with Lafayettes POV on the short when John what hurt? If not that totally fine! Love everything you do! Don't work too hard!

Follow up to this

——

When Lafayette returned home from the battle, he wanted nothing more than to relax. He wanted a hot bath, fresh clothes that weren’t caked in dirt and blood, and a long drink from their little human, to make up for what he’d missed while leading his men. Having no blood while under the stress of war wasn’t the easiest thing he’d ever dealt with.

He could, of course, have taken blood from any of his men - he had dozens of sleeping soldiers to choose from, and the stealth to do so. But every man needed their full strength, and he had no interest in possibly starting a blood addiction for some stranger he’d never see again. And he’d be lying if he said he hadn’t become used to the luxury of John’s sweet blood.

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Alistair’s Lamb and Pea Stew

“Now here in Ferelden, we do things right. We take our ingredients, throw them into the largest pot we can find, and cook them for as long as possible until everything is a uniform grey color. As soon as it looks completely bland and unappetizing, that’s when I know it’s done.”

Stew is a staple of Fereldan and, to a lesser extent, Alamarri cuisine. Alamarri cuisine tends to be much more interesting than Fereldan cooking, employing many more herbs and spices. To explain the difference, we have to go into a small little culinary history lesson as it applies to Thedas.

The movement from Tribal and Nomadic societies to feudal and city living caused a dynamic shift within the cuisine of Fereldan. Most farms belonged to the local lord, and thus were unavailable to the peasants working them. Fereldan freemen that worked the farms were limited to what they grew on their farm, minus their tithes and taxes to the local lord (who would in turn give some of those taxes and tithes to the king).

Gone were the days of foraging for herbs and hunting for game. Now, Fereldans were limited to what they had at hand. And for most, outside of the nobility, this was fairly little. Of course, they weren’t limited by our world’s limitations (potatoes and tomatoes weren’t introduced to europe until the middle of the 16th century). But that doesn’t mean they didn’t have their limitations. Spices like pepper, cloves, cinnamon, etc would - for the most part - be things that only the nobility could afford, as they would carry additional costs because of the export and import from places like Nevarra, Tevinter and the Anderfels.

This doesn’t mean that Ferelden was devoid of spices and herbs, of course. Edible laurels, juniper berries, borage, caraway seeds, parsley and thyme would all grow throughout Ferelden, The Korcari wilds and the Frostbacks. Rosemary is something that would not be very prevalent in Ferelden cooking, as it would mostly grow in the more temperate climates of Antiva, Nevarra, Rivain, and Tevinter. However, most Ferelden freemen would not have access to these herbs for two simple reasons: First, these herbs would be fairly expensive at the market unless they themselves grew them. Second: most ferelden freemen would have long lost the knowledge to forage for the wild variations of these herbs.

For most peasants, a stew would consist of perhaps one large onion, a few carrots, and a very tough piece of meat. Even farmers would most likely subsist on tougher pieces of meat, as they would sell the more tender pieces in order to make their living. Most Fereldans would most likely not know how to forage salt, and so salt would be something almost exclusive to the nobility. Therefore, most Fereldan cooking would be fairly bland, except for those smart few who knew how to get salt from other sources.

And so we come to the unfortunate reason why Leliana was so unimpressed with Alistair’s stew. However, to be fair, his stew was most likely rather impressive given what he had to work with. Unless the warden was carrying a personal chef in their backpack, whomever was doing the cooking most likely had to make do with whatever they could hunt or forage. This, of course, means that the party would most likely have much better food if their Warden was from the dalish - but that is neither here nor there as far as these recipes are concerned.

The following recipes assume that Alistair (or at least Morrigan) knew what they were doing in terms of foraging ingredients. 

For most recipes in this series, I will be using measuring instruments most commonly found throughout whatever region the recipe is from. For Ferelden cooking, feel free to use these conversions:

  • 1 small spoonful = 1 heaping tsp
  • 1 large spoonful = 1 heaping tbsp
  • 1 ladle = 1 cup
  • 1 mug’s full = 2 cups
  • 1 quarter bushel = 15 lbs, 2 gallons, 16 pints, or 8 quarts
  • 1 basket = 7 lbs, 1 gallon, 8 pints, or 4 quarts
  • 1 full pot (dry) = 4 lbs, 1.5 gallons, 6 quarts, 12 pints, or 24 cups
  • 1 full pot (wet) = 3 gallons, 12 quarts, 24 pints, or 48 cups
  • 1 bunch (herbs, etc) = 1 cup chopped, or as much un-chopped as you can fit into your closed fist without crushing any of it.
  • 1 bunch (plants): 1 full plant’s worth (for smaller plants), roughly 1 lb, or ½ kg (for larger plants)
  • 1 pot = 3 gallon pot / 12 quart pot
  • 1 large pot = 5 gallon pot / 20 quart pot
  • 1 very large pot = 10 gallon pot / 40 quart pot

As an added note: Hickory is not native to Britain, however Ferelden and the Free Marches have been shown to have many plants that are normally native to North America, particularly further up north where the climate is slightly warmer. Therefore, I feel justified in putting it here.

It should be noted that neither of these recipes will look especially appetizing when they are done (As the bone marrow and potatoes will turn the stew this weird uniform grey color). But if they are cooked correctly, both stews will taste delicious.

For an extra treat, consider serving either of these stews with a thick piece of freshly baked crusty bread and a generous amount of fresh butter.

All optional replacements are listed below both recipes.

Traditional Fereldan Lamb and Pea Stew
(makes enough for 30 portions, or enough for all DAO camp members to have 2 or 3 helpings)

  • 1 full Lamb shoulder, with neck attached (about 5-6 lbs), deboned and cut into large chunks, with largest bones reserved.
  • 4 bunches of carrots (about 24-30), roughly chopped
  • 4 bunches of onions (roughly 12 large onions), roughly chopped
  • 1 full pot of potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 fistful of lamb suet (roughly ½ cup)
  • 4 mug fulls of fresh green peas, shelled and cleaned
  • 1 large hickory root, roughly chopped and crushed
  • 2 mug fulls of brown ale
  • 1 half pot of water
  1. Place the hickory root in a very large pot with ¼ of the water. Bring to a heavy boil, and allow it to boil down until it starts to thicken. Immediately remove the hickory root and discard. Reduce the water until you are left with a black substance. Remove this black hickory salt and reserve.
  2. Return the pot to the fire and add your lamb suet. Once suet starts to render, add your carrots and onions. 
  3. Cook carrots and onions, stirring to make sure they cook evenly.
  4. Once carrots and onions start to brown, add meat.
  5. Once meat is browned, add potatoes, bones, ale and ½ of the remaining water (enough to cover by 1 inch). Allow to cook at a light boil until the water turns a brown-greyish color and starts to thicken. 
  6. Add your peas and just enough water to cover by 1 inch. Make sure stew is covered with a small bit of water during cooking, adding extra water when needed.
  7. Cook at a low simmer or light boil until the stew is full of flavor, and water has thickened to a nice gravy, and potatoes have started to break down. Most, or all of the bone marrow should have been cooked out of the bones and been absorbed into the stew.
  8. Add as much or little of the hickory salt as your taste desires.
  9. Remove bones when serving.

Casendz Wacancosÿn
(Alamarri Hunter’s Stew / Chasind Stew)
(A much more seasoned and herbaceous variant of the previous stew)
(30 servings, or enough for 10 people to have 2 to 3 helpings)

  • 5-6 lbs of shoulder, either lamb, venison, or bear
  • 2 lbs of large lamb, venison, or bear bones
  • 4 bunches of carrots (about 24-30), roughly chopped
  • 4 bunches of onions (roughly 12 large onions), roughly chopped
  • 1 full pot of potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 fistful of suet or butter (roughly ½ cup)
  • 4 mug fulls of fresh green peas, shelled and cleaned
  • 1 large hickory root, roughly chopped and crushed
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • A small handful of juniper berries
  • A small handful of borage leaves
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 2 mug fulls of brown ale
  • 1 half pot of water
  1. Place the hickory root in a very large pot with ¼ of the water. Bring to a heavy boil, and allow it to boil down until it starts to thicken. Immediately remove the hickory root and discard. Reduce the water until you are left with a black substance. Remove this black hickory salt and reserve.
  2. Return the pot to the fire and add your suet or butter. Once suet renders, or butter melts, add carrots and onions.
  3. Cook carrots and onions, stirring to make sure they cook evenly.
  4. Once carrots and onions start to brown, add meat.
  5. Once meat is browned, add potatoes, bones, ale and ½ of the remaining water. Allow to cook at a light boil until the water turns a brown-greyish color and starts to thicken.
  6. Add your peas and all herbs except for half of the mint, and add just enough water to cover by 1 inch. Make sure stew is covered with a small bit of water during cooking, adding extra water when needed.
  7. Cook at a low simmer or light boil until the stew is full of flavor, and water has thickened to a nice gravy, and potatoes have started to break down. Most, or all of the bone marrow should have been cooked out of the bones and been absorbed into the stew.
  8. Add as much or little of the hickory salt as your taste desires.
  9. Remove bones when serving.
  10. Before serving, add a small handful of the reserved fresh mint.

REPLACEMENTS:

  • Instead of suet, use butter or oil
  • Instead of hickory root, simply use 2 tbsp of salt and remove the process of extracting the hickory salt
  • You can use lamb, beef, venison or pork for either of these recipes. 
  • Dried versions of all included herbs can certainly be used, but the flavor profile will not be the same. There are certain flavor profiles that you get with fresh bay, juniper and borage that you simply cannot replicate with the dried variants.
  • You can certainly include celery in this stew if you want. However, this would traditionally be a fall and winter dish, and celery is a summer vegetable. If you want the flavor of celery without compromising the authenticity, then you can simply use celery root instead of celery stalk. However, because of the strong and sometimes overpowering flavor, celery and celery root would usually not be used in these stews.
Imbolc Feast Lamb Stew

Ingredients: 2- ½ lb. lamb neck chops
1 tbs. lamb fat
4 medium onions
1 tbs. butter/margarine
4 medium carrots
2 ½ cups water
4 medium potatoes
1 tbs. parsley, chopped
1 tsp. each salt & pepper
1 tbs. chives, chopped

External image

Don’t let the butcher trim the fat off of the lamb chops. Shred some of the excess fat and cook it down in a large pot or Dutch-oven. Peel the onions, carrots, and potatoes. Cut the onions and carrots into quarters, and put all the vegetables aside. Cut the meat into8 pieces, and trim away the rest of the excess fat. The bones need not be removed. Place the meat in the hot fat and brown. Repeat with the onions and carrots. Add water, salt, and pepper carefully. Put whole potatoes on top. Cover pot and simmer gently until meat is cooked, approx. 2 hours. Remove from heat. Pour off the cooking liquid into a separate sauce pan, allow to cool for a few minutes, skim off grease, and reheat. Add butter, chives, and parsley to the reheated liquid in the sauce pan. Pour heated liquid back over the stew. Serve hot. Makes 4-6 servings.

The Signs as Dipper

Aries: Lamb Costume Dipper

Taurus: V-Neck Dipper

Gemini: Tyrone

Cancer: Sock Puppet Dipper

Leo: Dippy Fresh

Virgo: Dipper Classic

Libra: Bipper

Scorpio: Peanut Butter Dipper

Sagittarius: Deer Dipper

Capricorn: Elf Dipper

Aquarius: Fancy Dipper

Pisces: Baby Dipper

anonymous asked:

Any tips for staying healthy on an extremely tight budget ? :)

When you’ve got a tight budget, meal planning and grocery shopping has its challenges. And, when you have a tight budget and you’re dedicated to eating healthy, it’s even trickier.

We’ve talked about each of these topics quite a bit in the past, and every time you guys responded with so many great tips and suggestions. Here are 10 smart tips from our readers that make eating healthy on a tight budget feel easy!

1. Buy fresh produce when it’s in season and freeze it.

Fresh produce is always great, but the cost can add up fast. Stick with buying what’s currently in season, and consider stocking up when you find a good deal.

In the summer I will buy three or four dozen ears of corn when it is two ears for a dollar (or less). You can cut it from the ear and freeze it in bags, or freeze it whole (though the former takes up less freezer space). Then you have (really great tasting) corn for cheap for several months. Same goes with other vegetables. - doilyglove

2. Look for sales and plan meals accordingly.

If your local grocery store offers a savings card be sure to sign up, and check the weekly circular to see what’s on sale. Instead of shopping for groceries based on your weekly meal plan, consider planning your meals around what’s on sale.

If the store you usually shop at has a weekly circular my best piece of advice is to check it every week and plan your meals around what’s on sale. This has saved me so much money lately. It can also force you to get creative and maybe try some items or dishes you’ve never had. - kristen44

If you do not like prep I strongly recommend watching for sales on frozen vegetables. Here we sometimes get 10 for $10 sales on frozen vegetables, so I always stock up on onions, bell peppers, carrots, and peas. Makes it super easy to make something healthy. - Liz@LamentingLizzie

3. Try less expensive cuts of meat.

You can still enjoy meat, even when you’re on a tight budget. Look for less expensive cuts of meat, like chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts, and try different cooking methods, like the slow cooker, to make tougher cuts of meat tender and juicy.

If you’re a meat-eater, learn to love cheaper cuts! Bone-in, skin-on, tougher cuts of red meat, and organ meats are all dirt-cheap (and more nutritious and flavourful!) compared to, say, boneless skinless chicken breasts, even if you’re buying the organic/free-range stuff. Don’t be afraid of (good-quality) fat, especially if you’re trying to lose weight! - the enchantress

The Crock-pot does an amazing job of taking cheap cuts of meat (pork shoulder, chuck roast, etc) and making them tender and juicy. - Sarah_L.

Look for cheaper cuts such as lamb neck fillets, pork belly and cheeks, shin of beef, whole chickens that will yield enough for leftovers, plus a carcass for soup or congee, chicken livers, gizzard, etc. Perhaps borrow a book from the library that will show you the techniques for bringing out the best from these cuts. - pearmelon

4. Embrace whole grains and beans.

Beans and whole grains, like quinoa, freekeh and brown rice are an inexpensive and tasty way to bulk up meals, and can even be a meal in themselves.

I use black beans to stretch my meat. You can spend $15 and get the ingredients to make chili which will last for one person, 10 meals. I mix (cooked) black beans with ground turkey and make turkey burgers using that. - Christy Belville

Whole grains can really bulk up a meal and make it more filling and they’re generally on the cheaper side. Buy a package of wheat berries, whole wheat couscous, cook it up and freeze it in single portions to throw into salads or soups when you need them. The whole grains will also keep you full longer and may help aid in your weight loss efforts. - kristen44

5. Plan and prep meals ahead.

Whether it’s veggies for the week, tomorrow’s breakfast, lunches or dinners, prepping food in advance is a step in the right direction towards eating healthy. Plus, it’s also a good way to make sure you’re eating what’s in the fridge, to minimize waste.

I spend some time every weekend planning my meals for the week. I don’t mind eating leftovers so I plan on eating the same thing several times. I try to at least get my lunches prepped on Sunday so I’m starting the week off right. Then I might make something to eat on Monday night for dinner and eat that several times as well. - sweetautumn

I can cook two meals on Sunday night, package them up in portable containers and be set for lunch and dinner all week — with just one night of cooking. (This only works if you don’t mind eating the same thing every day - and I’ve learned it’s important to stick with what you like or outside temptations will be everywhere!!!) But it’s great to save time and money! - PropTart

6. Broaden your culinary horizons!

Cuisines, like Mexican and Indian, rely heavily on inexpensive ingredients, like beans and rice.

If you don’t like Indian or Mexican food, learn to. From my experience it’s the best value to flavor ratio. In both cuisines, rice is a staple, which is cheap. Both are not meat heavy, which is also cheap. Both also allow a lot of ingredients to be used interchangeably. Less waste which equals cheap. -Baxatax

If you like Mexican food, you could do burritos filled with anything you like. Or you can do a tortilla-less version of huevos rancheros that I often make for dinner. Very filling, loads of protein and fiber. - miabica

7. Keep an organized fridge and pantry.

Leftovers are always great, but it totally defeats the purpose if they get lost in the back of the fridge. Label leftovers and keep your fridge organized to help minimize food waste.

Waste of leftovers or frozen food can be minimized by keeping an orderly fridge/freezer and by labeling. I use a strip of masking tape and a Sharpie to identify food and date on the container. Package foods in amounts you will use, such as freezing chicken pieces by twos and hamburger in patties separately wrapped. Keeping a list of items in the fridge also sounds useful but I admit I’ve never been able to stick with that one. - janmarie

If you freeze stuff, make sure you periodically go through your freezer and eat everything in there. Sometimes I forget this step, but my wallet and my evening hours benefit when I use up all my frozen food! -becster.henrich

8. Repurpose leftovers.

If you don’t like eating the same meal over and over, consider repurposing leftovers into an entirely new and delicious meal.

Last night I made a garlicky spinach and white bean soup with leftovers from a rotisserie chicken. It made a really delicious soup that was simply lovely with toasted bread. - vintagejenta

Things that you can make into a sandwich later work well (poached chicken, meatballs, meatloaf, roast beef/pork/chicken). When whole chickens are on sale I buy two and cook them both. The first night is roast chicken and then I can make sandwiches, soup, pot pie, throw some in fried rice…you can really stretch a couple of chickens and make a lot of portable options.

Find the day when you can do some prep cooking and do a roast, then portion it out, make soup etc. to last you the rest of the week. - anotherjen

9. Go to the farmers market at the end of the day.

Depending on where you live, farmers markets may or may not save you money during regular hours. Consider visiting the market at the end of the day, when you could very likely score some great deals.

My best tip: When I was on a *really* limited budget, I would go to the public market/ farmer’s market about an hour before they closed.
You can get some very good bargains on produce that way, since the sellers want to unload as much as possible before they close up for the day. (And sometimes, they’ll throw in a little extra just to be nice!) - skd80

10. Shop at ethnic markets.

Consider checking out local ethnic markets. Not only are you likely to find a bargain on certain products, you’ll also find some really interesting ingredients.

You can buy really varied, interesting, cheap noodles in an Asian market. I never buy rice noodles in a supermarket - they’re very overpriced. That goes for just about any condiments/sauces for Asian meals. Go to an Asian grocer and stock up. The produce is usually cheaper too. One of my Asian stores has really fresh fish and meat. Just know the store and ask about it. - MaddyWho

Ethnic supermarkets (chinese, greek, lebanese, etc) are a great source for good value interesting ingredients. - AndersAu