Hot Holiday Reads!



 
 

Hot Holiday Reads! 

A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook

Author: Chelsea Monroe-Cassel, Sariann Lehrer, (Includes a Foreword by George R. R. Martin)

Publisher: Bantam (May 29, 2012)

Summary

Ever wonder what it’s like to attend a feast at Winterfell? Wish you could split a lemon cake with Sansa Stark, scarf down a pork pie with the Night’s Watch, or indulge in honeyfingers with Daenerys Targaryen? George R. R. Martin’s bestselling saga A Song of Ice and Fire and the runaway hit HBO seriesGame of Thrones are renowned for bringing Westeros’s sights and sounds to vivid life. But one important ingredient has always been missing: the mouthwatering dishes that form the backdrop of this extraordinary world. Now, fresh out of the series that redefined fantasy, comes the cookbook that may just redefine dinner . . . and lunch, and breakfast.

A passion project from superfans and amateur chefs Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer—and endorsed by George R. R. Martin himself—A Feast of Ice and Fire lovingly replicates a stunning range of cuisines from across the Seven Kingdoms and beyond. From the sumptuous delicacies enjoyed in the halls of power at King’s Landing, to the warm and smoky comfort foods of the frozen North, to the rich, exotic fare of the mysterious lands east of Westeros, there’s a flavor for every palate, and a treat for every chef.

These easy-to-follow recipes have been refined for modern cooking techniques, but adventurous eaters can also attempt the authentic medieval meals that inspired them. The authors have also suggested substitutions for some of the more fantastical ingredients, so you won’t have to stock your kitchen with camel, live doves, or dragon eggs to create meals fit for a king (or a khaleesi). In all, A Feast of Ice and Fire contains more than 100 recipes, divided by region:

• The Wall: Rack of Lamb and Herbs; Pork Pie; Mutton in Onion-Ale Broth; Mulled Wine; Pease Porridge
• The North: Beef and Bacon Pie; Honeyed Chicken; Aurochs with Roasted Leeks; Baked Apples
• The South: Cream Swans; Trout Wrapped in Bacon; Stewed Rabbit; Sister’s Stew; Blueberry Tarts
• King’s Landing: Lemon Cakes; Quails Drowned in Butter; Almond Crusted Trout; Bowls of Brown; Iced Milk with Honey
• Dorne: Stuffed Grape Leaves; Duck with Lemons; Chickpea Paste
• Across the Narrow Sea: Biscuits and Bacon; Tyroshi Honeyfingers; Wintercakes; Honey-Spiced Locusts

There’s even a guide to dining and entertaining in the style of the Seven Kingdoms. Exhaustively researched and reverently detailed, accompanied by passages from all five books in the series and full-color photographs guaranteed to whet your appetite, this is the companion to the blockbuster phenomenon that millions of stomachs have been growling for. And remember, winter is coming—so don’t be afraid to put on a few pounds.

The Medieval Kitchen: A Social History with Recipes

Author: Hannele Klemettilä

Publisher: Reaktion Books (September 15, 2012)

Summary

We don’t usually think of haute cuisine when we think of the Middle Ages. But while the poor did eat a lot of vegetables, porridge, and bread, the medieval palate was far more diverse than commonly assumed. Meat, including beef, mutton, deer, and rabbit, turned on spits over crackling fires, and the rich showed off their prosperity by serving peacock and wild boar at banquets. Fish was consumed in abundance, especially during religious periods such as Lent, and the air was redolent with exotic spices like cinnamon and pepper that came all the way from the Far East.

In this richly illustrated history, Hannele Klemettilä corrects common misconceptions about the food of the Middle Ages, acquainting the reader not only with the food culture but also the customs and ideologies associated with eating in medieval times. Fish, meat, fruit, and vegetables traveled great distances to appear on dinner tables across Europe, and Klemettillä takes us into the medieval kitchens of Western Europe and Scandinavia to describe the methods and utensils used to prepare and preserve this well-traveled food. The Medieval Kitchen also contains more than sixty original recipes for enticing fare like roasted veal paupiettes with bacon and herbs, rose pudding, and spiced wine.

Evoking the dining rooms and kitchens of Europe some six hundred years ago, The Medieval Kitchen will tempt anyone with a taste for the food, customs, and folklore of times long past.

Legends of the Middle Ages: The History and Legacy of the Knights Templar

Author: Charles River Editors

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (August 20, 2012)

Summary

*Explains the myths and legends of the Knights Templar, and their origins.
*Includes pictures of important people, places, and events in the history of the Knights Templar.
*Includes a Bibliography for further reading.
*Includes a Table of Contents.

A lot of ink has been spilled covering the lives of history’s most influential figures, but how much of the forest is lost for the trees? In Charles River Editors’ Legends of the Middle Ages series, readers can get caught up to speed on the lives of the most important medieval men and women in the time it takes to finish a commute, while learning interesting facts long forgotten or never known.

The Order of the Temple of Solomon, also known as the Templars or the Knights Templar, is one of the best-known and least-understood groups in history. They appear prominently in everything from novels (The Da Vinci Code) to films (as the Knights of the Cruciform Sword in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) to videogames (Assassin’s Creed). In these stories, they are a sinister cult that manipulated historical events since the Middle Ages, via intimidation and assassination. They are usually connected to the Freemasons and, sometimes, to other historical cults like the Hindu Thuggees.

The real Templars were both more mundane and more fascinating than the myths and legends. They were the first military religious order – monks who were also knights. The founding members were veterans of the First Crusade in Palestine and their main goal was, in fact, benign. They formed their group as a small tertiary order (Lay people who took monastic vows, but lived in the larger community) in Jerusalem, policing the pilgrim routes and shrines of the Levant and protecting travelers from the many bandits that infested the area. Even though they were used as the core of Crusader armies during the later crusades, the Templars never wavered from their original goal.

The Templars were split into knights (about ten percent of the Order), sergeants and chaplains (the other ninety percent), with the non-noble sergeants comprising the majority of the Order, according to historians like Malcolm Barber in his history of the Order, The New Knighthood. The knights fought in the main part of the Templar army, but the sergeants appear to have backed up the knights in battle, both as horsemen and as a small infantry. The sergeants also worked as servants and in non-military support functions on the Templar farms (granges) that supported the Order. The chaplains were a small group of priests who were rotated into the Order on a temporary basis and served the monks’ religious needs.

Like other secretive groups, the mystery surrounding the Templars has helped their legacy endure. While some conspiracy theorists attempt to tie the group to other alleged secret socities like the Illuminati, other groups have tried to assert connections with the Templars to bolster their own credentials. Who they were and what they had in their possession continue to be a source of great intrigue even among non-historical circles.

Legends of the Middle Ages: The History and Legacy of the Knights Templar chronicles the history of the order and examines the secrecy and mystery surrounding the group, as well as the legacy that has endured today. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the Knights Templar like you never have before, in no time at all.

An Environmental History of the Middle Ages: The Crucible of Nature

Author: Aberth John

Publisher: Routledge (October 21, 2012)

Summary

The Middle Ages was a critical and formative time for Western approaches to our natural surroundings. An Environmental History of the Middle Ages is a unique and unprecedented cultural survey of attitudes towards the environment during this period. Humankind’s relationship with the environment shifted gradually over time from a predominantly adversarial approach to something more overtly collaborative, until a series of ecological crises in the late Middle Ages. With the advent of shattering events such as the Great Famine and the Black Death, considered efflorescences of the climate downturn known as the Little Ice Age that is comparable to our present global warming predicament, medieval people began to think of and relate to their natural environment in new and more nuanced ways. They now were made to be acutely aware of the consequences of human impacts upon the environment, anticipating the cyclical, “new ecology” approach of the modern world.

Exploring the entire medieval period from 500 to 1500, and ranging across the whole of Europe, from England and Spain to the Baltic and Eastern Europe, John Aberth focuses his study on three key areas: the natural elements of air, water, and earth; the forest; and wild and domestic animals. Through this multi-faceted lens, An Environmental History of the Middle Ages sheds fascinating new light on the medieval environmental mindset. It will be essential reading for students, scholars and all those interested in the Middle Ages

Inventing Byzantine Iconoclasm (Studies in Early Medieval History)

Author: Leslie Brubaker

Publisher: Bristol Classical Press (May 15, 2012)

Summary

Byzantine ‘iconoclasm’ is famous and has influenced iconoclast movements from the English Reformation and French Revolution to Taliban, but it has also been woefully misunderstood; this book shows how and why the debate about images was more complicated, and more interesting, than it has been presented in the past. It explores how icons came to be so important, who opposed them, and how the debate about images played itself out over the years between c. 680 and 850. Many widely accepted assumptions about ‘iconoclasm’ – that it was an imperial initiative that resulted in widespread destruction of images, that the major promoters of icon veneration were monks, and that the era was one of cultural stagnation – are shown to be incorrect. Instead, the years of the image debates saw technological advances and intellectual shifts that, coupled with a growing economy, concluded with the emergence of medieval Byzantium as a strong and stable empire.