Dinner and a Book

So the fabulous Nalo Hopkinson ran a contest for a Bordertown ARC. Now, I got way lucky and scored said ARC at World Fantasy, but the challenge just sounded too cool to pass up. So, I’m posting it here, because I wanted to see if I could create something suitable.

The challenge was to create a menu suitable for an Ambassador of the Realm (the Elves, basically). The catches? Low-budget, ingredients that could be obtained in Bordertown, and best of all? It had to have a Jamaican flair.

So, how does one feed an important official from a race that considers itself quite superior to humans? First off, aesthetics. The meal needs to be a feast for the eyes, the nostrils and the mouth. And the Ambassador is always at formal dinners and being catered too, so simple is best.

Start the Ambassador off with a refreshing, iced coffee lightened with spiced coconut milk. Follow this with the appetizer course: shaved carrots with honey-lime-ginger dressing; salt fish with a cooling cucumber-mint chutney; thin slices of hot roast beef with an icy-cold Scotch Bonnet and coconut milk sauce, accompanied by ginger beer.

The main course is swallows, marinated in allspice, a bit of cocoa, dried pepper and cloves, roasted and served medium-rare on a bed of edible field flowers and greens, accompanied by a caramelized beet-sugar and rum sauce. Complementing this is a light limeade spiked with spiced rum.

Dessert is coconut ice cream and fried sweet plantains dipped in coarsely-ground sea salt and sugar.

Minus the swallows, beef and fish…I think I might have to go cook this now. But the Ambassador is going to have to fend for herself!

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