Inspired by The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
There are quite a few snippets in The Kingkiller Chronicle that make me think we have licence to imagine all manner of delicious goings on at the Waystone. We know that Kvothe has supplies:
Chronicler raised an eyebrow. “Chocolate would be wonderful, if you have it. I wouldn’t expect to find that sort of thing this far from . . .” He cleared his throat politely. “Well, anywhere.”
“We have everything here at the Waystone,” Kvothe said, making an offhand gesture to the empty room. “Excepting any customers, of course.”
Old Cob also tells us that he has skill:
“You’re a fine cook, Kote, and you’ve got the best beer in twenty miles. All folk need is a bit of an excuse to stop by.”
Even though his other skills have seemingly abandoned him, our 'innkeeper' still musters self-confidence (and perhaps a smidgen of pride) in his food.
He rubbed his hands together eagerly. “Right then. Dinner. What would you like? Hot or cold? Soup or stew? I’m a dab hand at pudding too.”
And, crucially, Kvothe has lots of flavour-filled experiences to draw on for inspiration. Throughout the story he tells, he never takes a meal for granted and he pays attention to what he's eating. While a sizeable chunk of his early life was spent 'Too hungry to worry about tomorrow', the Kvothe we're with in the frame story appears to have plenty of time on his hands to recall his yesterdays. I like to think some of the puddings he's such a dab hand at are informed by these recollections.
With that in mind, here are five speculative Waystone puddings. Click on the pictures to jump to the respective recipes and rationale.
A Terrifying Piece of Alchemy: Plum Bob Pudding
When Luck Smiles: Warm Apple Tart
Something Wonderful Happened in My Mouth: 'Metheglin' Poached Pears
Sweet Relief: Peach Bread and Butter Pudding
Abenthy's Insult: Lemon Custard
Recreated from An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
[Laia] My mouth waters, and I long for Nan’s food. We never had much, but whatever we did have was made with love, which I now know transforms simple fare into a feast. Here, we eat the Commandant’s scraps, and no matter how hungry I am, they taste like sawdust.
. . .
[Elias] Someone shoves a plate of spiced kabobs into my hand. Someone else, a drink.
There's little room for love in the food at Blackcliff. The students in Sabaa Tahir's An Ember in the Ashes are commonly served 'swill' and 'slop' that plops unappetizingly on the plate. Even celebratory kabobs are 'shoved' not shared. It's a cruel place bereft of kindness, especially when compared with Nan's kitchen which is fragrant with sweetness and spice and familial affection. Because I think I can avoid the eye of the Commandant, I've had Nan's apricot jam infiltrate the kabob recipe to help transform this fare into a feast.
Ingredients (makes 12 kabobs)
Apricot jam sauce (to go with 12 kabobs)
Special equipment: Grill pan with a wire rack, 12 skewers
Bonus tzatziki recipe – Ingredients (to accompany 12 kabobs)
For another take on lamb with apricot, try my Spellslinger roast.