My December release, BENEATH THE THIRTEEN MOONS, is just around the corner, so I’d like to share a Thanksgiving dinner that might be eaten on this fantasy world of Sea Forest. It’s a landless planet where giant trees grow up from the ocean floor to support all life within their canopy, so since it will be an unusual meal, I will be describing many of the items I mention in the book for the feast.
You could drink some water from the globe of a krizm vine, which is red. Don’t pick the pink globe, cause that’s a dedo—a creature that mimics the krizm, but bursts out of its shell on contact and forms a hellish cage to strangle whatever touched it.
Although you might prefer something stronger, like quas-juice, which is an alcoholic beverage fermented from a purplish plant that grows near the top of the enormous trees, where they store fresh water from the nightly rain.
Grilled pig-fish and chaka eggs would accompany a meal in the swamplands. Chaka eggs are from a chicken that has adapted to Sea Forest by losing its feathers and slithering through shallow waters, laying their eggs within soggy moss. Pig-fish is a pink, snout-nosed fish native to Sea Forest, but named by humans for the earth animal it resembles.
Fly-fish would be a special treat, as they are rather hard to catch without injury. They form swirling columns just above the surface of the water before submerging once again. You have to be fast to catch them in mid-air, and likely to get cut from the sharp fins of the rest of the school.
Farnuts and redshoots are set out in the same way we put out bowls of nuts and candy. Farnuts grow in long strings hanging from the higher branches in the canopy, and it’s easier to cut the vines rather than pluck each nut, but you might kill the crop, so those that live in the swamps take the time to pluck them. The outer shell is nasty looking, hairy and black, but inside the nut is green and round, and sweet as honey. Redshoots are plants that grow in the water, and when harvested and dried, turn a bright red color with crystals formed on the outside from the dried juice on the inside. The crystals are sweet, leaving the inside stalk chewy and pleasantly sour.
If someone is very, very lucky, like my heroine on the day she took down a birdshark, the tough meat can be heavily spiced, wrapped in mongo leaves (which aren’t the largest leaves on Sea Forest, but the least bitter), then cooked in a coal-filled hollow of a tree stuffed with damp moss until tender. A birdshark is enormous, named for the jagged shark-like teeth in its beak, and could feed a small village for a week.
This is only a few of the items that you might eat on Thanksgiving on the world of Sea Forest. I mainly focused on the swamp dweller’s food, for the variety that could be had in the Palace Tree would boggle the mind (as it did poor Jaja, my heroine’s pet monk-fish. When they finally left the palace, the little scamp had to be rolled out the door.)
Although humans do celebrate Thanksgiving on Sea Forest, it falls at a different time than here on earth. It coincides when all thirteen moons are at the full; the day the colonists landed safely on their new planet.
So, is there any particular food I mentioned that you think you might like to try? Or have you tried any new foods lately, for good or ill? I’d love to hear from you!
My Magical Best,