The Tea Appreciation Society

There’s no beverage quite like tea that so unites Steampunks. I’ve spent many a wonderful meeting sharing tea and discussion with many of my favorite Steampunks. Tea brings us together and encourages sharing and dialogue. It is, in many ways, vital to Steampunk interaction outside of the internet.

Knowing that tomorrow is International Have a Nice Cup of Tea Day, I wanted to bring to your attention one of my favorite tea organizations: the Tea Appreciation Society.

Founded in 2007, the Tea Appreciation Society is a worldwide collective of tea lovers. According to their About Us section, the Society is for people who believe that tea is more that simply a beverage:

The Tea Appreciation Society satisfies our desires to do some good both ethically and environmentally, allowing us to champion philanthropic attitudes to business, and work with various charities.

Our philosophy: As a worldwide collective of individuals we celebrate the love of tea, community, and the creative human spirit.

We are tea drinkers, our passion for celebrating community, art and the creative spirit fuels our desire to make the world a better place to enjoy.

Tea offers us an opportunity for quiet contemplation and shared moments of intimacy with friends, enabling us to reflect, be inspired and create.

That’s why we appreciate the tea.

And I think that’s precisely why many Steampunks appreciate tea as well! If you want more information on the Society’s philosophy, please explore the Tea Appreciation Society’s Manifesto, a beautifully tea stained document detailing the Society’s mission. Make sure to enlarge it fully, else you’ll find it very hard to read.

So today, tomorrow, and any day you wish, reflect on the memories and inspiration a cup of tea has brought you. Here’s to many more.

Steampunk and Victorian Food

With the holidays soon upon us, that means it is time for food. And not just any food. We’re talking grandiose Thanksgiving dinners that served for ten that could easily serve 50.

Yes, November and December is a time of gluttony, and if you’re going to be doing all that cooking anyway, you might as well make it Steampunk, right? Right.

Fortunately, horizonchaser over at LiveJournal has gone through a monumental undertaking to guide you through the process of Steampunking your holiday culinary experience. Her impressive article entitled Steampunk and Victorian Food is chock full of period recipes and tips for creating that perfect holiday meal. Some of them are a little stranger than others, so I’ll leave it to your culinary discretion to pick out those that are the tastiest and least likely to freak out your guests.

As an important asside, since we are talking about food, it’s important to mention manners. Remember that your guests may have certain dietary restrictions which may complicate their desire the fully partake in the festivities. Be sure to give everyone lots of options. Everyone loves food, but no one likes being surrounded by food and having nothing to eat. So be a good host and consider your guests!

Over the Crescent Moon: Steampunk Party Food

A while back, I covered Fuel for the Boiler, a Steampunk cookbook put together by the Steampunk community over at Brass Goggles. It’s quite a treat as it has all sorts of recipes for creating Steampunk entries. It’s also free to download the electronic copy.

Fuel For the Boiler is designed not to be a “corny” presentation of Steampunk cuisine. It’s definitely more along the lines of what Steampunks could eat on a daily basis as and not die of malnutrition.

But for a child’s Steampunk party, it’s okay to get a little goofy with the presentation and go overboard with gear shaped junk food.

Like This

Crescent Moon, from the blog Over the Crescent Moon,has a post on a series of recipes that she created for her son’s Steampunk birthday party. From zeppelin candy to marshmallows transformed into top hat treats, this is great “cute” munchies for the younger Steampunk audience because it replicates many quintessentially Steampunk items like gears, airship, and top hats.

And since that was precisely what Fuel for the Boiler was trying not to do, you won’t find any of these sorts of recipes in the cookbook. Fuel for the Boiler is about discovering a Steampunk cuisine, not about trying to incorporate the look into the food.

But for those looking to replicate the Steampunk look for a child’s party or other casual Steampunk function, Crescent Moon’s recipes are an interesting reference tool.

The Well Stocked Steampunk Bar

When I was writing the post for my sortie to celebrate all things Tesla last week, I discovered a troubling lack of cocktails with a particular Steampunk flair. Indeed, digging up some Tesla inspired drinks was quite the challenge, though I am quite pleased with the end result.

The lack of Steampunk themed cocktails got me wondering what it was that Steampunks drink at a party. Sure there are givens like wines, beers, rum, absinthe and tea, but what else? That can’t be the end of the beverage list. We need something a bit more.

To that end, I would like to bring your attention to a webpage called The Well Stocked Steampunk Bar. This page, which began as a thread on Brass Goggles and was expounded upon by the Steampunk community there, has a plethora of drinks suitable for your next Steampunk get together. It is especially helpful because it is broken down in to three categories to guide one’s purchasing to fit the hosted event:

  • Critical items, without which you should be be hesitant to entertain
  • Secondary items, that are a plus.
  • Premium items, that are wonderful but expensive and/or difficult to come by and may be best for small gatherings of intimate friends.

As noted in the page, the categorization of different beers, wines, and spirits has a distinctly North American slant, so those in different parts of the world will likely differ in the classification of certain drinks.

Captain Robert’s Infamous Pyrates Blood Sauce

A day late for 4th of July barbecues, I’m afraid, but I wanted to share this wonderful recipe from the good Captain Robert, lead singer of Abney Park for “the meat of something that died.” Win!

Captain Robert’s Infamous Pyrates Blood Sauce
1 cup stolen red wine (dry),
1 shot of rum (cook drinks)
4 tbs Red Wine Vinegar,
1/2 cup molasses,
1 cup ketchup,
2 tbs Dijon Mustard,
1 ts Chili Powder,
2 tbs Worchestershire Sauce,
1 ts Celery Seeds,
1 ts Kosher Salt,
1/2 ts Curry Powder,
1 ts Ground Cumin,
1 tbs Cayenne Pepper
optional:
1 tbs cooks own blood,
1 diced habanero

“Simmer till thick, spread on the meat of something that died, that you then cook over an open flame. Eat, receive praise.”

I can’t wait to try this out! It sounds delicious! Thanks Captain Robert!

For more updates from Captain Robert, be sure to check out his Live Journal account.

A Steampunk Breakfast

If there’s one thing that is universally true, its that everyone loves pancakes. They are a fabulous way to start any morning before going out adventuring. But how to make sure those delicious flapjacks are sufficiently Steampunk?

Four Pounds Flour is a blog dedicated to old fashioned recipes and cooking. And, you know what’s the thing about old recipes that are still around? They’re really good. I love that Four Pounds Flour does such a good job of adapting old recipes for the modern kitchen while remaining true to the original end product.

A little while ago, Four Pounds Flour featured pancakes on their website, and provided recipes for three different flavors of delicious pancakes. There’s Apple, Clove and Rose Water, and Pumpkin Cornmeal Pancakes.  These things sound so good, I doubt they’d need something like maple syrup or butter to make them delicious, but should you need a sauce for them, there’s a recipe for a white wine or brandy based sauce that you can make that’s also included in the post.

Those look amazing! And cooked on a hearth fire too! Awesome!

If you’re itching to cook something a bit different, Four Pounds Flour is a great resource to consult. Let me know if you find something on their site that you’ve cooked. I’d love to see/hear about the result!

Absinthe and the Wormwood Society

There is probably no other drink which so captures the spirit and culture of Steampunk as Absinthe. Absinthe is an alcoholic spirit made from wormwood that rose to the height of its popularity during the the 18th and 19th centuries. The drink itself has an infamous reputation which included accusations that it was poisonous and was a purported hallucinogenic. Many well-known artists drank absinthe and said their interactions with “The Green Fairy” inspired their works. Absinthe was outlawed in the US in 1912.

The Absinthe Drinker by Viktor Oliva (1861–1928)

Absinthe experienced a revival in the 1990’s in Europe, and in 2007, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau relaxed the ban of absinthe to allow the production and import  thujone-free absinthe, defined as absinthe with less than 10ppm thujone. Today, there are at least 50 brands of absinthe being sold in the United States.

Today’s absinthe is enjoyed by thousands, many of them being Steampunks as well. The Wormwood Society is a nonprofit and online community dedicated to informing the public about absinthe, debunking absinthe’s many myths, and advocating for the reform of laws affecting absinthe. If you are interested in learning more about absinthe, it’s amazing history, how to serve it, or simply share a forum with other absinthe aficionados, The Wormwood Society is an excellent place to start. They have some great resources there that truly should not be missed. You can even find recommendations for quality absinthe and all the accoutrements needed to prepare the perfect glass of absinthe in their online store.

If you are planning a Steampunk party or get-together and looking for the perfect beverage to serve, absinthe is a natural and provocative choice.

Cheers!

Fuel For The Boiler: A Steampunk Cookbook

Even Steampunks need to eat on the occasion they find themselves out of the lab to recharge. Earlier this week, I presented to you all a recipe for Trilobite Cookies which I love, but Steampunks cannot live on cookies alone, even adorable, Trilobite shaped ones. And really, the thought of just an average TV dinner or fast food hardly captures the spirit of Steampunk.

Which is why today, I bring you the best of Steampunk culinary arts, Fuel for the Boiler: A Steampunk Cookbook.

Elizabeth Stockton has collected the best of classic recipes to create a cookbook which respects traditional cooking while assuring these dishes have a distinctly Steampunk signature. What I really like about these recipes is that they aren’t too gimmicky. They aren’t embarrassingly over the top in their need to represent Steampunk culinary proclivities, but the subtle signature is there.

The cookbook has it all, from Beverages and Appetizers to Desserts, and everything in between. I love the titles of some of these recipes, and so many of them sound positively delicious!

You can order this cookbook here for 11.05 USD, or download it for FREE here. Yes, free. Seriously, free. Still, being the bibliophile that I am, I can’t resist having this book in my kitchen. Certainly money well spent!

Happy cooking!

Trilobite Cookies

After I spent a lovely day at the tax office, I went home and did some therapeutic baking. This got me thinking about Steampunk baking and a particular treat I’ve had bookmarked for a while now

Trilobite Cookies!

These things are almost too cute to eat, but I can assure you that they are delicious. Please click on the picture to go to the original site which has the complete recipe and preparation instructions.

I don’t remember how I stumbled on to this site, but Professor George Hart has some great creativity.

I’d highly recommend these at any Steampunk get together. Your guests will be thoroughly impressed!