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Recipes of Arkadia: Betsy’s Picante Beans

Recipes of Arkadia: Betsy’s Picante Beans

Food — growing it, preparing it, eating it — is a central part of life in the Arkadia space colony. Over the next few weeks I’m sharing recipes for some of the food mentioned in the book.

I don’t know how the chili wars will play out in the future, so let’s not even go there. This dish definitely owes its heritage to the American Southwest, and happens to go very well with Camilo’s Corn Bread.

Recipes of Arkadia: Betsy's Picante Beans
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
2 hours 24 hours
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
2 hours 24 hours
Recipes of Arkadia: Betsy's Picante Beans
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
2 hours 24 hours
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
2 hours 24 hours
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Soak the beans overnight in fresh water.
  2. Sauté the onion and garlic in the oil, adding salt and spices. Add the chili and sweet peppers, and cook until soft.
  3. Add the vegetable stock and kidney beans, simmer until they are getting tender. Add the chick peas, and simmer until nearly done. Add more stock or water if the mixture sticks or dries out.
  4. Add the tomatoes, simmer until the tomatoes have cooked down.
  5. Garnish with chopped coriander leaf.
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Recipes of Arkadia: Camilo’s Corn Bread

Recipes of Arkadia: Camilo’s Corn Bread

Food — growing it, preparing it, eating it — is a central part of life in the Arkadia space colony. Over the next few weeks I’m sharing recipes for some of the food mentioned in the book.

Baking is therapy for Camilo Molina. No wonder he thinks of cornbead as a vegetable.

Recipes of Arkadia: Camilo's Corn Bread
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Recipes of Arkadia: Camilo's Corn Bread
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 20 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375F/200C.
  2. Mix dry ingredients together.
  3. Melt butter, then beat in first the milk, then the egg.
  4. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients, mix until combined.
  5. Cut the kernels off the corn and add them to the batter. Mix well.
  6. Pour batter into a pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden.
Recipe Notes

Based on a recipe from The Vegetarian Epicure, by Anna Thomas.

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Recipes of Arkadia: Chen’s Herb Bread

Recipes of Arkadia: Chen’s Herb Bread

Food — growing it, preparing it, eating it — is a central part of life in the Arkadia space colony. Over the next few weeks I’m sharing recipes for some of the food mentioned in the book.

Isabel Hernández isn’t like the other residents of Arkadia. Chen helps her figure out how some parts of this society works and keeps her coming back to his market stall with both his knowledge and the savoury smell of this bread.

Recipes of Arkadia: Chen's Herb Bread
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 3 hours
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 3 hours
Recipes of Arkadia: Chen's Herb Bread
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 3 hours
Servings Prep Time
1 loaf 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 3 hours
Ingredients
Servings: loaf
Instructions
  1. Mix together the flours, salt, yeast and mixed herbs.
  2. Add 3 tbsp of the olive oil and the warm water. Stir together until it's too hard to work with a spoon, then knead with your hands until it's all elastic. The dough will be moist.
  3. Let it rise an hour or more, then punch it down and shape it into a rectangle. Place it on a baking sheet with about a teaspoon of oil rubbed over it. Let it rest about half an hour.
  4. Stretch the dough out to the edges. Let it rest another half hour. Preheat oven to 425F/220C.
  5. Poke some divots into the top of the loaf, then drizzle with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and rosemary. Reduce the oven temperature to 375F/200C and bake for about 30 minutes. Cool on a rack and cut into squares.
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Interview with Josh Vogt, author of Enter the Janitor

Interview with Josh Vogt, author of Enter the Janitor

Josh is back, this time to talk about Enter the Janitor, the first book in his urban fantasy series.

A janitor working for a supernatural sanitation company must track down a fledgling demigod before it’s corrupted or destroyed, all while training a rebellious new employee whose fluctuating power could trash an entire city.

Me: Can you describe your writing for someone who is unfamiliar with it?

Josh: In most of my writing, no matter what genre it is or length it reaches, I tend to focus on dialogue, with a particular love for banter between characters. In Enter the Janitor, I aimed to emphasize the humor side of the story more than I had in previous stories—and found I really enjoyed working to bring the comedic elements to the surface as much as possible.

Me: Would you want to live in the world of your book? Why or why not?

Josh: The world of The Cleaners wouldn’t look to different from our own, especially since the supernatural sanitation company the plot revolves around works to hide today’s magic and monsters from public view as much as possible. It’d be fun to work for the company, wielding mops like staves and toilet plungers like wands. While you might get overlooked by most people for doing menial labor, it’d be satisfying to know you were actually playing a vital role in keeping the world safe (and clean).

Me: Why did you write this story? What is compelling about it for you?

Josh: The idea grabbed me and just wouldn’t let go. I greatly enjoy urban fantasy stories, but many protagonists in them take on similar roles: cops, detectives, investigators, military, government agents, etc. I wanted to play with fantasy heroes who took on a far different mantle in order to go where they were needed and get the job done. Janitors and other sanitation workers are around us all the time, often doing their work without any sort of recognition. But what if they were fighting for our survival all along?

Me: What surprised you while writing it?

Josh: It surprised me how well the concept of magical janitors, plumbers, maids, and other sanitation workers actually fits with both ancient mythology as well as modern society! I mean, look at witches and their stereotypical image of flying around on brooms. Or the idea of reincarnation and our current focus on recycling. Or how the rise of sanitation and hygiene efforts has been a cornerstone of civilization itself. It makes an odd sort of sense.

Me: How will reading it make people feel?

Josh: Aside from getting in good chuckles and laughs, I want people to feel like they’re getting a chance to peek behind the curtain, seeing another side of reality. The next time they bump into a janitor in their office building, see one mopping up spills in a grocery store, or spot a cleaning van on the highway, maybe some part of their mind will wonder, “What if…?”

Me: Was there anything you did deliberately while crafting this novel (pacing, language, symbolism…)? Why?

Josh: Initially, the story wasn’t as humorously bent as it is now. It was more a straight urban fantasy with the occasionally absurd situation or banter. However, I realized the funny side needed to take more prominence, and so went back in and did my best to shift scenes and characters to reflect the humorous tone more—and I feel that definitely helped strengthen the story plus set it apart as a more unique approach to the genre.

 

Josh-8194-2 - smallest

Josh Vogt has been published in dozens of genre markets with work ranging from flash fiction to short stories to doorstopper novels that cover fantasy, science fiction, horror, humor, pulp, and more. His debut fantasy novel, Forge of Ashes, adds to the RPG Pathfinder Tales tie-in line. WordFire Press is also launching his urban fantasy series, The Cleaners, with Enter the Janitor (2015) and The Maids of Wrath (2016). You can find him at JRVogt.com or on Twitter @JRVogt. He’s a member of SFWA as well as the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.

Recipes of Arkadia: Slava’s Moroccan Chick Pea Soup

Recipes of Arkadia: Slava’s Moroccan Chick Pea Soup

Food — growing it, preparing it, eating it — is a central part of life in the Arkadia space colony. Over the next few weeks I’m sharing recipes for some of the food mentioned in the book.

This soup is Siobhan Patel’s favourite, so Vyacheslav Haeroa makes it as often as he can in his soup café. Whatever it takes to get her to see him.

Recipes of Arkadia: Slava's Moroccan Chick Pea Soup
Earth-based cooks can substitute canned tomatoes and chick peas.
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 minutes 12 hours
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 minutes 12 hours
Recipes of Arkadia: Slava's Moroccan Chick Pea Soup
Earth-based cooks can substitute canned tomatoes and chick peas.
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 minutes 12 hours
Servings Prep Time
2 servings 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
60 minutes 12 hours
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Instructions
  1. Soak dried chick peas in cold water overnight. They will double in size, so use a large bowl and enough water.
  2. Saute onion and garlic.
  3. Add spices, stir until onion is translucent.
  4. Add flour, and cook a minute.
  5. Add vegetable stock, bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat as broth begins to thicken.
  7. Add tomatoes and drained chickpeas, taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
  8. Simmer 60-90 minutes (or about 15 minutes if using canned or pre-cooked chick peas).
  9. Add a dash of lemon juice prior to serving.
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Interview with Josh Vogt, author of Forge of Ashes

Interview with Josh Vogt, author of Forge of Ashes

I had a chat with Josh Vogt, author of the fantasy Pathfinder tie-in Forge of Ashes. This is the first of two releases (stay tuned for the second next week!)

A decade ago, the dwarf warrior Akina left her home in the Five Kings Mountains to fight in the Goblinblood Wars. Now, at long last, she’s returning home, accompanied by Ondorum, a silent companion of living stone. But once you’ve traveled the world, can pastoral pastimes and small-town suitors ever be truly satisfying? Adding to Akina’s growing discomfort is the fact that her mother has disappeared into the endless caverns beneath the city. In an effort to save her, Akina and Ondorum must venture below the surface themselves—and into a danger greater than they could ever have imagined.

Me: Can you describe your writing for someone who is unfamiliar with it?

Josh: Well, it’s actually pretty varied. I write across multiple genres (and subgenres), including fantasy, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, sword and sorcery, science fiction, horror, humor, pulp, and mixes of all those and more. I’ve got two novels debuting this year, I’ve published a couple dozen short stories and flash fiction pieces, and I also freelance for a number of RPG developers and publishers. So I like to write across as many formats and styles as possible.

Me: Would you want to live in the world of your book? Why or why not?

Josh: Forge of Ashes is set in the roleplaying world of Golarion, from Paizo’s Pathfinder world. I’m a bit torn by this question because, while Golarion is an incredibly dangerous reality, it’s also exceptionally fascinating and colorful. I think I’d like to visit there, to at least get a chance to live in a world of unending magic and adventure—all the while knowing I might get eaten by a troll if I let my guard down.

Me: Why did you write this story? What is compelling about it for you?

Josh: I wrote Forge of Ashes for several reasons. First, I wanted to break into writing for RPGs, and jumped at the chance to pitch a novel for Paizo when they offered the opportunity. Second, I love writing solid adventure tales, which is much of what Pathfinder is about. I love stories that are a mix of fun and thrilling and have a fair share of action in them, so that’s what I set out to write here.

Me: What surprised you while writing it?

Josh: The main character, Akina, is a dwarven barbarian with a bit of a temper. Yet as I wrote more of her journeys, it surprised and delighted me to discover more of the depth she held as a person. She may not  have a softer side, in the traditional sense, but she cares greatly for certain people in her life and will fight for them to the very end. She struggles to retain a sense of self and purpose in a world given over to violence and endless struggle for survival. These realizations helped bring her much more to life in my mind.

Me: How will reading it make people feel?

That they’re on a dangerous adventure full of monsters, magic, and mayhem. That there’s always something around the corner, likely waiting to eat them. I hope it can leave some people a little breathless, like in the aftermath of a battle.

Me: Was there anything you did deliberately while crafting this novel (pacing, language, symbolism…)? Why?

Josh: One of the issues in the story is Akina confronting her brother’s wayward lifestyle, often getting drunk and generally making a mess of himself. Yet at the same time, she tends to lose herself in a battle fury, getting intoxicated with violence and bloodshed. I tried to parallel these two dynamics, showing how each of them is, in a way, addicted to unhealthy coping mechanisms while ignoring the underlying issues that drive their negative behavior. It was an experiment to show how different people can struggle with similar problems in both internal and external ways.

Josh-8194-2 - smallest

Josh Vogt has been published in dozens of genre markets with work ranging from flash fiction to short stories to doorstopper novels that cover fantasy, science fiction, horror, humor, pulp, and more. His debut fantasy novel, Forge of Ashes, adds to the RPG Pathfinder Tales tie-in line. WordFire Press is also launching his urban fantasy series, The Cleaners, with Enter the Janitor (2015) and The Maids of Wrath (2016). You can find him at JRVogt.com or on Twitter @JRVogt. He’s a member of SFWA as well as the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers.