Cooking In Steampunk Times and Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies
Readers complain that I have too much eating going on in my stories.
Come on, people got to eat. Have you ever noticed how a hero will go for days without food, then run a mile in under two minutes, have a fist fight with the villain and win.
I don’t think that is realistic. Besides having the characters at a meal gives me a chance to shove in a little exposition. OK, a whole lot of exposition. A meal would force characters to talk about what’s on their mind.
All meals would not be at a restaurant. Sometimes it would be at a bar. Many single people lived in a boarding house where meals were served. Your lunch was in a pail and was prepared by the boarding house owner. It took time to fix a meal. It took a lot of money to eat in a restaurant.
A jug of wine, a loaf of bread and thou, was a big thing. No cooking required. And it was more likely a bottle of beer. It was warm beer in the days before refrigeration.
Having the characters have a meal is also a break from the constant action and tension. A nice break form being chased or almost killed.
A fest or a meal during the holidays was something that required planning. There were goose clubs in England where you paid someone weekly or monthly to raise geese. Then just (and I mean a day or two before the fest) you went and got your goose. The rest of the meal had to be planned out. Canned goods were more expensive than fresh and you could only get what was in season. This wasn’t only the cooks problem, it was everyone’s problem.
So have your characters eat, drink and be merry. Then have them shoot their way out of a hostage situation.
Stay strong, write on, and don’t forget to feed your characters.
Professor Hyram Voltage.
In an effort to get you to buy my book, here is a holiday cookie recipe.
Pumpkin Spice Cookies:
3/4 cup unsalted butter softened 1/2 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 1 large egg 2 tablespoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 cups all-purpose flour 1 bag semi sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil or grease two cookie sheets or line cookies sheets with parchment paper. In medium bowl lined with large plastic bag add; pumpkin spice, cinnamon, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt and flour. Close bag and use hand to squeeze bag to mix ingredients. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer. Beat in egg and extract. Add, slowly, flour mix. Remove mixer beaters and, by hand, stir in chocolate chips. Using tablespoon take one scoop at a time of dough and drop onto cookie sheets. Bake for 9-10 minutes. Take them out when bottoms start to turn golden. They’ll finish cooking as they cool. If they get too golden before you remove them, they won’t be fluffy and soft. Cool 5 minutes before removing from cookie sheets. Place cookies on a wire rack to cool completely. Store at room temperature loosely covered.