Chocolate Wine: A Drink Fit For a King

Chocolate Wine: A Drink Fit For a King

In week 3 of the royal food and feasting MOOC, I have made my first genuinely amazing discovery. I do not know how I have not come across this before, as it needs to become a regular thing. Well, not too regular. But on a cold, winter's night, it should be an option. As a Christmas Eve nightcap, it would be perfect. And it wasn't too bad on a mild July evening, either. The discovery? Chocolate wine. Except, there wasn't any wine in it. Chocolate wine. Chocolate wine! The drink, coming from Georgian times, consists of port, high-cocoa content chocolate, sugar and a small amount of flour for thickening. Port, and chocolate. Yes, port and chocolate. I'll give you a moment for that to sink in. Everything is heated up together until the chocolate has melted into the port and it has thickened into a rich, luxuriously dark liquid. The smell of it cooking is so inviting, you just know that the result is going to...
Read More
Jumbals: Royal Food Week 2

Jumbals: Royal Food Week 2

As I continue to catch up with A History of Royal Food and Feasting, I managed to finish week 2 earlier today just before the third week starts tomorrow. Result! This week focused on Elizabethan food, discussing the impact of plummeting sugar prices along with the discovery of new ingredients from the New World. There was also quite a lot of content around the food served to prisoners in the Tower of London, and, well, it got me thinking that being imprisoned there wouldn't have been all bad... assuming you were rich and could afford to sell off your estate to pay for lavish feasts, that is. Jumbals The recipes this week also focused more on sugary treats, and the one I decided to make are called "jumbals" - sweet, spiced biscuits that were popular as they last a long time. Biscuits that last a long time. That shouldn't be something that is ever required of a biscuit...! It was a very simple recipe: eggs...
Read More
A History of Royal Food and Feasting

A History of Royal Food and Feasting

So far on this blog, I have focused mainly on my passion for writing fiction. This has naturally led to me discussing one of my other big interests - Star Wars - as something which motivates and drives my writing. Another equally distracting topic when I'm trying to work is cooking. I could spend days reading about food and cuisine and cooking techniques. Cooking itself forms a bridge in my life between the day of work and anything else in the day, whether that is writing, reading (about cooking, Star Wars, or *occasionally* something else...) or just unwinding completely. The thought of writing about food is something that has interested me for a long time now. I've dabbled in it briefly before. But now I hope to make that much more regular with some posts about the history of royal food in the UK. A MOOC About The History of Royal Food I started a MOOC on Futurelearn, appropriately titled 'A History of...
Read More
Star Wars Story Analysis: Is Kylo Ren a Double Agent?

Star Wars Story Analysis: Is Kylo Ren a Double Agent?

With the blu-ray of The Force Awakens now sitting on my shelf, I've been able to revisit a couple of questions, theories and pieces of speculation that have arisen since I saw it in the cinema. The one that has particularly piqued my curiosity lately is a theory that I initially had no interest in following at all. It just seemed completely unrealistic and unlikely. But having re-watched the film, and having considered it some more, I think I may be starting to talk myself into thinking something of it. So, could Kylo Ren - yes, the villain of the film - actually be working for the Resistance?  Is Kylo Ren a double agent? This is a theory that has already been widely discussed, but this is my take on it.  (Spoiler warning) (more…)...
Read More

Excerpt from Aftermath: Life Debt

Aftermath: Life Debt Excerpt This week we got a new look at the sequel to last year's Star Wars Aftermath novel by Chuck Wendig, which is due out this summer. If you haven't read the original, it tells the story following Return of the Jedi, about an unlikely group of heroes that come together to fight against some remaining members of the crumbling Empire. The sequel, Aftermath: Life Debt follows the same characters, but it seems they will be teaming up with some familiar faces. Entertainment Weekly released an excerpt of the book, and right at the end, a character that the group encounters has the following line of dialogue: “Name’s Han Solo. Captain of the Millennium Falcon. Who the hell are you?” Han Solo appears to have a central role in the book! Now, if you have read the original Aftermath novel, you will know that Han and Chewie popped up in one of the small interludes that wove their way throughout the story....
Read More