Sacred 2:Book 2 - Dryad Cooking

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From The Art of Cooking
Book 2

Dryad Cooking

Of all living beings. the Dryads have the closest bond with nature. Their connection with the trees is of such closeness that they refuse to eat anything that does not live or grow in the woods. Although the range of food supply seems rather limited. Dryad cuisine is far from boring or repetitive. Over the centuries, the Dryads have developed their culinary art to perfection. Dryad cuisine is one of the most interesting cuisines of Ancaria with many nuances, different flavors and exotic recipes.

For Dryads, cooking is a collective and social activity. Since they are living in wooden tree houses. they usually do not have fireplaces inside the house. Instead, there are usually several safe fireplaces in the central areas of the villages, where all the cooking takes place. The Dryads prefer to cook in larger amounts and they arc used to preparing their food in big cauldrons and huge pans. There are no exact recipes in Dryad cooking. It consists of the combination of certain basic ingredients and spices.

Meat plays an important role in the Dryad cuisine. There are many different kinds of animals living in the forests and most of them are edible. Amongst the variety of venison, there are deer, boars, small bears, but also fish, such as wild salmon and pike. The Dryads are hunters and they exclusively hunt and eat wild animals. You will never find domesticated animals in a Dryad dish.

Dryads traditionally do not grow plants. Instead, they reap what the forests have to offer and that is quite a lot. There are all kinds of fruit and berries available. In addition, there are many forms of wild vegetables, such as potatoes, rice and wheat.

The most unique element of Dryad cooking is the variety of spices and herbs. Dryads are using an amazing amount of different herbs and spices for their dishes. Some of them only grow in their homeland regions, some are not even recognized as useful in other parts of the world. The herb lore of the Dryads is unmatched in Ancaria and a skilled Dryad cook is able to create something unique even out of a simple rabbit.

Pike in Wine-vinegar Sauce

  • 1 large pike
  • 1 1/4 cup wine
  • 2 tbl. vinegar
  • 3 slices of bread
  • 1/4 spoon wild cinnamon
  • 1/8 spoon ground white pepper
  • 2 onions
  • fat
  • wild parsley
  • salt

Place the pike in a pan, pour in wine and vinegar and add parsley. Add enough salted water to cover the fish and poach it until the flesh is white. Lift the fish from the pan, then put the bread into a bowl. Add some of the wine-vinegar liquid until the bread is covered.

Skin the fish and take out the spine and other bones. Cut the fish into small pieces to make a manageable disk.

Strain the cooking liquid into a clean pan. Pour 2 cups of it into the bowl with the bread, add cinnamon and pepper and mix it together until smooth. Return the mixture to the liquid in the pan. Fry the onions in a little oil until soft, and add them to the liquid as well. Taste for seasoning, add the pieces of fish and re-heat gently to serve.

Deer Roast

  • 4-6 onions
  • 4-6 wild chili
  • 4-6 garlic cloves
  • salt
  • red pepper
  • lemon juice
  • water
  • fat

Cut the onions, chili and garlic into small pieces. Cut small holes in the deer meat and insert pieces of onion, garlic and chili into the holes. Mix salt and pepper and insert the mixture into the same holes.

Mix lemon juice and water. Pour over the meat and marinate overnight. Cook the meat in a large saucepan. Melt the fat in the saucepan and add some water. Leave to cook for 4 to 6 hours on low heat. Remove the roast and thicken the gravy with some flour.

Dryad Stew

  • short ribs of wild boar separated by rib
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 5 cups beef stock
  • 1/2 spoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 spoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 spoon ground mace
  • 2 spoon cardamom
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 1 onion
  • 6 sprg. parsley
  • 1 spoon sage
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 spoon saffron
  • whole wheat bread

Chop the parsley and sage, cut the onion into small pieces and crush the cardamom. Dust the ribs with the flour, fry it in the oil until it is brown. Add the stock as well as the spices and herbs except for the saffron and leave to simmer for two hours. Soak in the vinegar and saffron with the bread, puree it and stir it into the stew. Check seasoning, then simmer for another half an hour.

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