In honor of the premiere of the HBO series “Game of Thrones,” some awesome friends of mine threw a “Winterfell” themed dinner party last night, and it rocked so hard that I wanted to pass along some ideas on how you too can eat like a Stark.
When going medieval, think mead-a wine distilled from honey, and often combined with various berries. For the more adventurous among you, there is a wealth of information on how to homebrew this ancient concoction (if you’re willing to wait 8 weeks for it to ferment). It is also carried by a limited number of wine stores (including several in the NYC metropolitan area), and a quick search can help guide you to a likely spot. If you’re far from a city center, the magic of teh internets will allow you to have it shipped for a fairly reasonable price. Elderberry wine also fits the medieval bill, and can be a little easier to find locally.
It’s worth noting that beer was also popular in the Middle Ages, so if all else fails, pick up a case of whatever makes you feel (wo)(man)liest, and call it a day.
Finally, if neither of those options float your boat, why not pick up some Ice wine? (If I have to explain how I came up with this one, you might need to re-read the book).
When I think of the cold North, I think of meat and potatoes (sorry, vegetarians). The two recipes that rocked my mouth last night were both from the River Cottage Meat Book which I was subsequently inspired to purchase. As an appetizer, we had beef and Guinness stew (for those of you who have never had it, is exactly as delicious as it sounds). A wonderful thing about beef stew is that there is a wealth of awesome slow cooker recipes out there that allow you to get maximum yummy with minimal stress. As for the main course, we were served a dry aged beef roast the size of a toddler. And in this case, the size really helped with the theme. There’s nothing like eating food that requires a saber-like implement to wrestle onto a plate to make you wanna party like its 1199. A smart and easy move for a side dish is to cut potatoes and layer them under the roast, so that they crisp into deliciousness in the juices of the roast.
If you must, you can compliment your meat feast with winter vegetables like squash, kale, and cabbage.
If you haven’t already slipped into a food coma at this point and are brave enough to try dessert, keep it light. Something that was pointed out to me last night is that George RR Martin seems a little fixated on lemon cakes, which can be easily prepared from store bought mixes with little to no fuss.
Aside from the food, you can get as silly or as serious as you want with little touches that remind you of the house of Stark. Go ahead, blast Duran Duran’s “Hungry Like the Wolf.” Oh, and if you happened to buy that three-wolf moon shirt off Woot in the hopes that one day an opportunity to rock it would present itself, congratulations, friend. Now is most definitely the time to bust it out. Just remember — Winter’s coming