Recreated from Assassin's Apprentice by Robin Hobb
[Jason to Burrich] 'So you got his little bastid, at least until Chivalry gets back and does otherwise with him.' Jason offered me the slab of dripping meat. I looked from the bread to the cheese I gripped, loth to surrender either, but longing for the hot meat, too. He shrugged at seeing my dilemma, and with a fighting man's practicality, flipped the meat casually onto the table beside my hip. I stuffed as much bread into my mouth as I could, and shifted to where I could watch the meat.
Jason shrugged, busy with getting himself bread and meat and cheese of his own. 'So said the old ploughman what left him here.'
Finishing Robin Hobb's Assassin's Fate earlier this year felt momentous. With a newborn to nurse, I couldn't make it when she visited Oxford to promote it though. I did manage to get a book signed which went some way to consoling me, particularly the inscription – 'Here Fitz's journey begins ...' – which sounds about as unassuming as a cheese sandwich considering the scope of this magnificent epic series. With hopes that The Speculative Kitchen might have similar endurance, I'll embrace a humble beginning.
Fitz's first meal in the Realm of the Elderlings – and my first in this blog series – is a simple combination of bread, meat and cheese. Each part can be easily bought if you want a quick dish to assemble, otherwise I've included recipes for baking your own bread and cooking a joint of meat. It's easily bulked up to a full 'ploughman's lunch' if you're after a well-established English twist on Fitz's culinary introduction to Buckkeep.
Soda bread (serves four)
This isn't intended to be a fancy meal so I opted for a simple soda bread -- no yeast, kneading, proving or loaf tin required.
Based on recipes from the BBC's Good Food and Felicity Cloake's How to cook the perfect ...
Ham (serves four, with leftovers likely)
Serve with your choice of cheese and beer. Plates optional.
Ploughman's lunch (serves four, with leftovers likely)