26 July, 2014


Hello, dear (as of yet non-existent) readers. Welcome to my blog, where I hope to cook my way through Brian Jacques' Redwall series. I finally have settled into my new apartment and now that I have a proper kitchen and cooking utensils (horray!) I'm ready to get started. I think, therefore, I should explain a few of my quirks and idiosyncrasies before I start making and posting recipes.

1. I am determined to not use eggs. In The Rogue Crew, the character Uggo Wiltud clearly tells a group of vermin, "An' we don't eat birds, or their eggs, or any livin' creature-er, 'cept watershrimp for otters' hotroot soup." Never mind that part in Redwall where  "eggs were taken from a squirrel's ear" or when Basil Stag Hare declared, "...I want a decent brunch: half a dozen boiled eggs... " Thoughout the rest of the series, Redwallers don't eat eggs, so I will do my best to avoid them. This, therefore, should make my recipes easy to veganize, just use your favorite vegan substitutes whenever a recipe calls for milk or butter.

2. I'm going to attempt to make things healthy...ish I'm not Paula Dean. There will be no "pound of butter" in my ingredients list and I will probably be using less sugar than you would normally see in most recipes. There will be some sugar, though, because I don't go to the extremes of making everything sugar-free and I refuse to use artificial sweeteners. I also will do things like mixing equal parts of whole wheat flour with unbleached all-purpose flour to add some fiber. Feel free to ignore these changes if you wish.

3. I don't add salt to anything. Unless I'm trying to dehydrate something I don't add salt. I have followed a salt free diet as much as possible for so long that I now really dislike the taste. For savory dishes, particularly soups and stews, it's very likely you will want to add salt to suit your tastes.

4. I'm going to try to cook "Redwall Style." With additional notes. What I mean by this is that I'm going to try to make things the way Redwallers would. No artificial ingredients, no added spices they probably wouldn't have (rosemary and cinnamon yes, saffron and Chinese star anise no). I'm also not going to use flavor combinations which seem unlikely in that world, even if all the ingredients are there (no rosemary apple pies). I will, however, add notes to the ends of recipes with suggestions of "modern," human tweaks, substitutions, or additions which could be made.

Now that I've gotten past the need-to-knows, I guess I can explain a little bit about how this blog came to be. I started reading the Redwall series when I was in fourth grade (which seems to be about when most people start it). I only read about half of the books back then, but the thing that stood out the most to me was the food. So much detail was put into describing the food found at every lavish feast, every quick snack, every traveling bag. I was constantly hungry while reading the stories. More recently, at the end of my undergraduate years, I re-read the entire series (all twenty-two books) and took notes throughout about the food mentioned and described. I decided that when I finally had a place of my own I was going to start trying to bring those ideas to life. Thus, this blog came in to being. I hope to make a lot of great recipes and I hope at some point other fans join me on the journey. Until then, at least I'll have something to munch on while I read.