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from the December 2011 issue

Orkish Cornbread

The first record of Orkish cornbread is found in the journals of the warlord Ur-Agarish. The original document is lost to time, but a saying remains: "He who dodges the cornbread and sours the kraut, then cream his neck!"

Obtaining the Ingredients: 

The basis of every good cornbread is corny flour. It is harvested by the Giants of the Corned Hills. You will need to give the giants plenty of firewater. When they are wasted, steal the corn. But remember, the cornstalks are so gigantic you'll need the help of seasoned Goblin lumberjacks. Also take care—don't raise your battle-ax on a corn-tree. Barghrhazd the Impatient did so and died in his next battle. No one is sure why, but cutting a corn-tree is bad luck.

A small forest of corn yields eighty-seven and three-quarter sacks.

Take these to the Goblin blacksmiths. Tell them to smash the kernels with their hammers for one year and one-and-a-half months. Next, ship the corn to the Gribby miller named Milo for fine grinding. His mills are legendary for having ground the diamonds for the anklet of Queen Bulboulina the First.

The best Orkish cornbread is made with the stale spiders’ oil you get from the cave Goblins' shamans. Do not pay the shamans. Take several barrels and swear on the mighty Waaagh that you owe them a favor. Don't fret, Goblin shamans eat crazy 'shrooms, so even if they manage to remember that you'll owe them, their requests are easy to fulfill as they always ask for more 'shroom-beer, 'shroom-whiskey, and such.

Salt is obtained from the Salticious Caves. Visit them even if you don't need the salt for the cornbread. Salt caves are very good for the sinuses and help with hangovers.

You will also need ten barrels of mineral water. You can mineralize ordinary well water with ground basilisk knuckles, but the best is spring water from volcanic mountains.

The last and most important ingredient is Dr. Orky's Muffinizer. This tasteless and odorless powder is made by wizards from the crystallized farts of forest nymphs. Alas, these little missies rarely fart in volume, and wizards rarely keep the powder stocked, so you'll need to devise a cunning plan to procure it. First get a sack of flatulent fungi from the forest Goblins, then dry them well and grind them. Next, pour the dried flatulated powder into the spring where the nymphs drink. When the nymphs fly in, wait for them to drink deeply, then catch them with the same type of net used for catching small dragons. Now rush to the nearest wizard's, while the tummies of the nymphs swell. Even the grumpiest of sorcerers will gladly make the baking powder for you when they see what you have got. These dirty old men can't wait to get their paws on a female, even if it’s a thumb-sized nymph. Once the wizard has squeezed the farts and crystallized a hand-and-a-half of powder, you are finally ready to make your Orkish cornbread.

The Recipe:

1. Put corny flour in a pool deep enough to fit a mountain troll, and long enough for a giant to take a nap. Pour in the spider oil and stir. Add the mineral water, then the rock salt.

Well, now! So far so good!

2. The ingredients need to be mixed well. Organize a regiment of lake Goblins to paddle with shovels along the edges of the pool. When the dough reaches the consistency of quicksand, sprinkle it with the Muffinizer.

3. Dig a dungeon beneath the pool. Stuff it with hay, wood, and other flammables, then set it on fire. Let it burn uninterrupted for two weeks and a few days more. Leave the cornbread to cool down so it can be cut and hoisted aboard a cart.

Serving Suggestion:

Cornbread is served with sauerkraut and cream, or any other specialty that demands bread. Many young cooks complain that this recipe is too dry and their bread lapidifies. If this occurs cut petrified cornbread into wedges and slice with saw to boulder size. Use it as ammo for the catapult—massive chunks use for raising temporary fortifications and redoubts. We fondly remember the famous siege of Karrack Barn when the southern wall of a dwarf fortress was brought down by a barrage of cornbread-cannonballs, or Butthorg's last stand when he died in glorious battle along with his companions defending his cornbread barricades.

If you expect distinguished guests like the king or other nobles, I suggest you add two hundred and fifty dodo's eggs and a barrel-and-a-half of donkey's yogurt and ten buckets of yak cheese to this recipe. Thusly improved cornbread is called pone.

“Ork-Proja” © Ranko Trifković. By arrangement with the author. Translation © 2011 by Ranko Trifković. All rights reserved. 

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