An Old Cookbook

Definitely not a recipe book with anything for the faint of heart -- or the non-Troll!

Table of Contents -- wherein the reader selects from various chapters to achieve the end result desired. I hope you will expand your culinary horizons to include some of the dishes sampled within, and take to heart the advice I give on cookery.

Cooking With Elves

There are three elf races in Norrath: Dark elves, Wood elves and High elves. High elves have more delicate features and are slightly less tall than the Wood elves. Dark elves are very small, so in preparing any of these items you may need to double up. Wood elves can be a bit nutty, but are good with any meal that includes a leafy vegetable.

How to tell the elves apart: High elves, or Koada'Dal, are slighter than humans (which are so numerous, an entire tome is devoted to cooking with them), with very delicate features and fair skin. Dark elves' skin is very dark, almost blue. The Teir'dal are more numerous around Freeport. The Wood elf is my favorite to cook with, though, as they are generally easiest to approach. Feir'dal can often be found in the woods of Antonica.

High elves are currently found in and around the city of Qeynos, where these slim, frail beings took shelter after the Shattering. They are skilled fighters, so it is best to sneak up on them unawares from behind and give their necks a quick twist. It is not so easy to sneak up on Dark elves as they trust no one, so be prepared for a good battle. If you want to use Wood elf, you can easily distract them with a tree branch or perhaps a small, furry creature (not halfling) in distress.

Bring a large iron pot to the fire and fill half-way with clear, fresh water. If water is unavailable, substitute any liquid except the juice of fruits. High and Dark elves have thin, fair hair which is easy to remove. Wood elves on the other hand, while not hirsute like a dwarf, have darker hair that seems more abundant. It's pretty tasty, though, if drizzled with vinegar and rendered fat.

Once the water is on the boil, drop in the elves and stir, then quickly remove from heat. They are very fragile, so take care not to overcook. Elves are best served with only a bit of sauce as their tenderness can be overwhelmed by anything too heavy. Enjoy!

Cooking With Halflings

"Halfling" is a generic term used to describe a short, big-footed race. One can generally substitute gnome or froglok, bearing in mind the generally smaller stature of the latter races. Frogloks in particular are in high demand, but small supply. Gnomes are not as hairy as halflings, but are more delicate and may be better suited to other uses.

Identifying Edibles: Halflings are the number one choice of all the cooks interviewed. They are meaty, and because they are omnivorous, they are versatile in the kitchen. Gnomes, on the other hand, are softer and more tender. A definite plus is their relative lack of hair which some find more appealing. And of course, who can forget the delicacy that is the froglok? Their taste is legendary. Finally, a relative newcomer to the culinary scene is the ratonga. They are easy to identify, being halfling-sized rodents.

Many people eschew smaller creatures for the larger, thinking more is more! And it is, but there are certain culinary aspects that require something smaller. While I do not advocate serving halflings, gnomes or ratonga as appetizers, they are obvious choices for skewers or pickling in brine for long-term storage.

Some find the texture of halfling is improved with a quick blanching in boiling water, then removal of the outer layer. Personally, I find this disgusting and prefer them whole. The first technique is to skewer your halfling, gnome or ratonga, on a stake which has first been soaked in water to prevent it from burning. You may alternate onions with your meat on the skewer. Roast over low coals, taking care not to drop any of them into the fire. Roasting is good; coal-coating is not.

My favorite method is to keep barrels of these little folk for the winter months by preserving them in brine. Bring together water, sea salt, and ask your Wood elf before preparing him (or her) what plants would enhance the flavor. I often use pine berries. Boil the liquid and cool, then pour containers filled with halflings, gnomes or ratonga. Seal the barrels with wax. With a decorative wax seal, these make excellent gifts.

Cooking With Barbarians

Traditionally barbarians hail from the northern provinces which are no longer available to them. That makes them much easier to locate. If barbarians are not available, you may substitute ogres, taking into account their tougher skin and thicker layer of fat. An easier substitute is dwarf. Dwarves are readily available, simply remember to use a ratio of 3:1 -- three dwarves being the rough equivalent of one healthy barbarian.

Identifying Large Folk: The barbarian is a real crowd pleaser. They are tall and muscular, yet it is a subtle muscularity that means less cooking time. Ogres are taller than most barbarians, with tough skin and a thick layer of fat. They can be a bit gamey.

Barbarians' ancestral home is Halas, a land far to the north and very cold. Despite this, their skin is only slightly tougher than human skin. An obvious bonus is their size and current availability. They can be found in both Freeport and Qeynos, which is handy for the traveling troll to know. Ogres also have size on their side, however they cannot be directly substituted for barbarian without additional preparation.

To prepare ogre, first remove the husk. Be sure to use a sharp blade and keep your whetstone handy -- these things are tough! The skin is useless in the kitchen, although it can be used to bait crab traps, so I wouldn't just discard it. If you do not mind the extra effort, you can first peel off the layer of fat and keep that aside for other uses, such as basting. Or you may leave it intact for a good oily gloss on the pot. Barbarians do not need to be peeled.

As both ogres and barbarians are tough, you will want to simmer them over low coals for several hours. If you are combining ogres and barbarians, make sure to let the ogres simmer for an hour before adding anything else to the pot. Add onions and root vegetables for a hearty stew.

Source: Ingame book