southern soups

Regional German food: Pichelsteiner Eintopf from Bayern (Bavaria) is a rustic, filling stew of meat and vegetables. In the first step, beef, pork, and mutton are seared, then vegetables are added, usually potatoes, carrots, parsley, cabbage, and leek. Subsequently, meat broth is poured over and everything is cooked together (some recipes also add onions and garlic).

In Schwaben (Swabia), it’s common to serve the bone marrow the broth was made with along with the finished stew. The creation of the dish has been traced to Auguste Winkler. Originally from Kirchberg im Wald, she worked as an innkeeper in Grattersdorf, where she is also buried. The name is likely to have derived from the nearby Büchelstein mountain, where the annual Büchelsteiner Fest has been celebrated since 1839. As early as 1879, the Open-air-cooking festival was considered a tradition, and because the letter ü is pronounced like i in the local dialect, the dish’s name developed. In Regen, a town in the Bavarian Forest, citizens have met annually since 1874 on Kirchweih Monday to eat Pichelsteiner together, a tradition that is still alive today. They also claim the name’s etymology. In their opinion it derives from the pot in which the stew is cooked, which was called a pichel in the past.

Dear supercykes,

I’ll definitely miss him too, but don’t forget that he’s not entirely gone – he might just stop by every once in a while.  In the meantime, I appreciate your confidence in the new Mods!  And more Ask Ace Attorney fun?  I’ll drink to that!

(Video in Letter)

Dear Chris,

In the words of an old Canadian judge, I’m not sure how I feel about that.  Game mods can be good if they’re done well, and this video demonstrates that.  For example, Maya fighting with guns, evidence, and combo attacks is a beautiful sight; Maya with Phoenix’s dorky smile and another Maya cheering for her?  Not so much.  So I’d say the quality level of such games is in the hands of whoever makes them.

We’re also not prepared to answer letters to characters from the modded versions of the game, in case you were wondering.  I love Maya, but I don’t think we can handle two of her in the same office.

Dear gary-the-hot-soup,

I did a search for it, but according to Tumblr, “ask-gyakuten-kenji-2″ no longer exists.  Unless it had a different name, chances are we’ll have to delete it.

Please place your hat over your heart and reflect in a moment of silence.

Dear SC,

There are all sorts of reasons why anyone would hate her (although some can manage not to, apparently), and I agree that even her fake personality is sickening at best, but the main reason for my hatred of her is how utterly ungrateful she is from the start of T&T to the end.

To start off, the motive for her very first crime was her greed and her hatred of her parents.  The hatred I can understand, but what did she need with a $2K diamond?  She was already part of a wealthy family.

The murdering spree she went on after her unsuccessful diamond heist was done mostly to cover it up, but as a result, two people who had come to love and trust her lost their lives.  Sure, Valerie turned out to be less trustworthy than expected, but was it really such a big deal that her mentor and lover had to suffer for it?  He was one of the few people who cared about her well-being, even going so far as to take his own life for her.

Speaking of people who cared for her, she also had a twin sister who was willing to do just about anything for her (even going against the law for her sake).  How did Dahlia repay her kindness?  She convinced her father to send her away, used her as a tool to get what she wanted, tore her away from someone she loved, and ended up trying to have her framed for yet another murder.

And when the long arm of the law finally nabbed her, she directed every ounce of her anger toward the woman who figured her out, not even once considering how the mess she was in had gotten started in the first place.

Then, to top it all off, when she and Phoenix met for the last time, she had the nerve to say this to him:

Okay then, sweetheart.  How about we just let him stop having faith in anyone but himself?  Look what it did for you!!!

And for those would argue that her attitude was formed entirely by the harsh circumstances of her life, her sister is a living counterpoint.  Both of them were born into the same selfish and uncaring family, but one of them was able to, in the words of a Khura’inese monk, let it go and move on.  If Dahlia had had the same attitude toward life as her sister, we might have seen a few less tragedies occur in Kurain Village’s branch family.

Then, of course, there’s the whole “breaking the rules of life and death just to get revenge” thing.  Who does that?

Thank you for asking, by the way.  It felt good to get that off my chest.

-The Co-Mod

P.S. From all of us at Ask Ace Attorney:

Napa Cabbage and Smoked Sausage Soup


I freestyled this soup on New Years Day as a way to eat my way through all first of the year food superstitions (cabbage, black eyed peas and pork) but regardless of what the old ladies say I’d eat any of these all year long. This soup is perfect for chilly nights and for anyone trying to clean up their diet. It fills you up but doesn’t leave you feeling heavy and of course the vegetables and beans provide lots of helpful nutrients. The sausage, like always, is optional.

I used Napa cabbage because I waited until the last minute and all of the “normal” cabbage had been bought up by January 1. However, the light and delicate leafiness of the Napa really fit the soup well. The turnips and carrots add a subtly sweet vegetal tone and the smoked sausage and beans provide enough heartiness without making the soup feel too full.

Ingredients:
1-2 bags of frozen black eyed peas
1 Napa Cabbage, washed, rinsed and coarsely chopped
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
2 turnips, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 carrots, coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp of EVOO
1.5 quarts of chicken or vegetable stock
quart of water or bouillon cubes (see instructions)
2-4 smoked sausages (I used andouille), cut into medallions
Fresh black pepper, salt


Soups are really quite easy. Ready, set,

Step 1: add EVOO, garlic and onion to a large pot on medium-high heat. Stir for 4 minutes or until the onion is translucent-ish. Add water, cabbage, bay leaf, turnips, carrots and peas. Add sausage and stock and let sit on heat, covered for about an hour. If you think soup is watery, add bouillon cubes. Add fresh cracked peppercorns and salt to your taste.

Note: Although I liked the soup immediately, as with most soups and some men, it gets better with age. Make it a day ahead, refrigerate and then reheat on stove.

(Video in Letter)

Dear tanlerst,

That’s a very insightful look at Phoenix’s methods, and I even have to agree with some of it, but if I were a judge, I’d probably let Phoenix off the hook for bending the rules where he did, and hat’s not just because I’m a fan of his.  For me, obeying the law is more about having all the right motives than doing all the right things.  Sure, Phoenix did a few things that could be counted against him legally, especially since he’s a full-fledged lawyer who should know what’s legal and what isn’t, but not one of them was done for himself – he did them all for someone he cared about and believed in.  MatPat can say what he wants, but from what I’ve seen, Phoenix’s motives are in the right place.

I also find it funny how he didn’t even mention the stunt Phoenix pulls in Apollo Justice…

Dear Crazyarielxd and Michael,

Hello, and you’re welcome!  I prefer not to ship any two characters together, since it’s impossible to tell which way any sort of romance (or potential romance) could go, and also because I respect the right of the people at Capcom to do things however they want with their characters.  There’s one pairing I’d love to see happen, though, and that’s Apollo/Athena.  Besides the way their personalities balance each other out almost perfectly, there are quite a few things about them that make me wonder if the developers have something special in mind for the two of them:

  1. They’re both named after a Greek god.
  2. They bicker about everything like a couple.
  3. They both have a unique ability that helps them sympathize with others.

Not to mention, they met in the most romantic way possible.

It might just be my wishful thinking, but you never know.

Oh yeah, and of course there’s Phoenix/Maya, but that should be a given.

Dear Anonymous,

As much as I’d love to add the members of that hilarious cast to this blog, I doubt that will happen very soon.  The English subtitles used in the videos I’ve seen make little to no sense at certain parts, and the Modthorne hasn’t seen any of them herself, so portraying those characters accurately would probably be too much of a challenge at the moment.

Of course, I’ve only seen one video series of that game.  If another one exists that has better subtitles, please don’t hesitate to let us know!

Dear No Comment,

You’re welcome, and thank you for making them!  I can’t imagine how long it took to get the animations to look as smooth as they do.  I might have been able to make something like that myself, but it sounds like something I don’t have the patience for (or the Mod or Modthorne, for that matter).  Thanks for saving us some work!

(Previous Letter)

Dear Anon,

She said it, not me.

Dear bluemagedanny,

Yeah, that’s what I figured (or should’ve figured).  Again, I don’t know if we’ll do that, but we’ll see.

Dear gary-the-hot-soup,

I think that’s a fun possibility to imagine, but if it’s true, then it implies one of two things, both of which are quite tragic: either Ms. Mystere ran away from her father, or she was separated from him by accident.  In either case, she later stumbled upon Labyrinthia and decided to become a part of its fabricated “story” (but without changing her name).

It might not be so tragic in the second case, though – she and Flynch could have a heartwarming reunion after the mysteries of Labyrinthia are cleared up, and then she’d have the decision to either go home with him or stay in Labyrinthia and invite him to live there (most likely as an assistant librarian).  It sounds like just the right sort of plot for an Ace Attorney/Professor Layton crossover.

Dear Anonymous,

I wasn’t able to find that letter either, but I did find one that was written to the Mod about the same topic here.  The one you’re thinking of must have been written in response to that one.  I hope this one works, but if not, I can keep looking.

(Mod, you weirdo…)

Dear C Ranked Gouken,

You mean there are people who don’t?

But seriously, I haven’t been through anything as bizarre as many of the characters have, but I can relate to a few of them.  I struggle with the same phobia Athena has of being insignificant or ignored, for example.  In my case, it isn’t caused by any traumatic events that happened during my childhood, but I still feel very empathetic toward her in that regard.  In fact, she and the other main characters often make me realize how boring my life is by comparison.

Dear SC,

DGS does indeed have its faults, and there are quite a few confusing parts (especially when it comes to the English translation), but I still felt like Capcom did some of their greatest work in just about every part of it.  I’m not sure where I’d put in my rankings, but it’s definitely somewhere close to the top.

Speaking of the translation, one part I thought was interesting was the fact that the game wasn’t just in Japanese – it took place in Japan itself, where Japanese is the language everyone speaks, and English suddenly became a foreign language.

It’s a strange thing to imagine for us English-speakers, isn’t it?

I didn’t notice that subtle reference to Gourdy in AAI2 before you mentioned it.  Ace Attorney games include all kinds of clever references to themselves like that, and I imagine there are still some that no one’s discovered yet.  I just recently realized that one of the random objects Horace Knightley tosses into the air is actually The Thinker!

Oh yes, and the AAI2 letters will get here…when they get here.  We might not see them for a while yet, but feel free to keep sending letters to those characters!  They’re all ready and waiting.

-The Co-Mod

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Vietnamese Udon Crab Soup (Bánh Canh Cua): more familiar with Southern eaters, Bánh Canh Cua has its distinctive thick, slippery, chewy noodle. The broth, containing extracts from pork and chicken bones as well as other seafood, is added some starch which gives its some density, allowing the broth to coat the noodles with flavors. Toppings are fish cake, crab meat, quail eggs, Vietnamese bologna, sliced pork belly and shrimp. 

Image Source: saigonamthuc.thanhnien.com.vn