I am not a fan of instagram. I AM a fan of assignments poking fun at instagram. I am not a fan of people describing food. I AM a fan of food in general though, so I figured I would have to compromise. Besides, the ol’ vocabulary could always use a workout, and this assignment was the perfect opportunity to dust off the thesaurus.
When the assignment said “you or your character”, I knew this assignment was good because it would help me expand upon my character, which I would otherwise be willing to leave more open-ended. I want my horror host to be from Alaska, but in a situation where he may have spent a lot of time alone. Thus, I put together a meal that a manly man might have in the absence of company, something purely for the body and not for society. The most stereotypical manly man meal is a hunk of meat, and the rest described as the same worn routine that is tolerable because tolerating self discomfort is what men do.
Have you ever had moose? For Morlium, it is a staple. For a man who sleeps with an axe by his bed, it is only fitting that he should eat the animal deadliest to humans.
The meat is the primary element of what is a routine for Morlium in the Alaskan Wilderness. Cooked over a wood stove, the meat certainly tastes gamey, somewhere between deer and beef, but definitely closer to deer. The chewey, well cooked outside covers the juicy, but still chewy inside of the morsel. Throw in the saltshaker and the seasoning of the stove, and the morsel makes a hearty, not half bad dish. On the side is a quantity of cabbage. The growing season in Alaska is short but intense. The long hours of summer sunlight help the crops compensate for the short summer season, and they certainly get big. It may not be tasty, but cabbage keeps for a long time if you store it correctly, and doesn’t change too much in flavor when frozen. Unfortunately, it didn’t taste too good when he first got it either. Still, if it isn’t part of the meal, the body will cry out for a source of ruffage. To supplement the meal is a slice of buttered bread and a glass of cranberry juice of some brand you never heard of. No wheat or fruits are grown within a two hundred mile radius, so it has to be imported into town at considerable expence, and for a considerable amount of time. The bread keeps well enough, and the slight stiffness of the slice is offset by the taste and feel of the warm butter. The cranberry juice has become more tart due to age, and contrasts sharply with the juicy moose meat. Alternating between the two helps reset the pallet in relation to the other.
Writing requires imagination, not just seeing and hearing people, but also feeling what they feel, and in this case, tasting what they taste. Truth be told, I barely remember the taste of moose, since I was so young when I last had it. The challenge was to bring in the details I did know while obfuscating the true taste through more general terms. Fortunately, years of reading news sources has lent me plenty of examples of how to do just that. With buzz words such as “gamey” and “ruffage”, you get to describe the meal while borrowing some of the reader’s own connotations for effect.