Do you remember playing Junior Monopoly? The one where you had to buy up rides to create the most badass amusement park ever? Or Guess Who? The one where you had stare at twenty of the ugliest faces ever illustrated by the gaming industry? Or Sorry? The one where you were allowed to be a total dick to your friends?
Man, tabletop gaming sure has changed.
I'm lucky to have found a group of friends that encourages gaming. We roleplay - World of Darkness, Call of Cthulhu, D&D - and have been doing so on and off since university. Just recently, we've fallen back in love with the boardgame. Starting with Catan, we've blundered our way through the Resistance, Flux, Chrononauts, and Bohnanza. Those were a hoot. But then we started to get serious.
We brought out the Game of Thrones: The Board Game. And a large amount of wine to go with it.
Now, I have to tell you something about my buddies - when we go out, we go all out. Themed potlucks. Themed drinks. Even more themed drinks. Which usually leads to a lot of themed yelling and threatening. We love each other, really we do, but when comes to moving little guys across an imaginary land, we can get downright vengeful.
When we brought out the Game of Thrones game a couple of months back, it was quite the experience. Firstly, the rules were a novel. And this isn't an hyperbole. I'm sure in the future they'll study these things in a Grade 11 Lit class. Then the wine came, and the rules got a little harder to understand. Then the hard liquor came, and the rules went out the window. Families across Westeros started to curse and throw ships at each other. Fights broke out across the land. Kings Landing fell and rose a dozen times. By two in the morning, we had a new King on the Iron Throne. I seriously cannot tell you who it was, though. Way too much wine.
I'd recommend the Game of Thrones board game if you're a big fan of the books first and foremost. Mr C loved it when he was able to play certain notorious members of your chosen clan - Patchface was a favourite of the group, but I couldn't tell you why. (Silly book nerds, getting excited about book stuff). I would also recommend you bring a lot of food and wine - it'll help the reading of the rules go much quicker.
This was a dish we baked up for our first GoT gaming night. It's a savory pie, which is usually not our forte, but when I found hanging around the Inn at the Crossroads website, I knew I had to try it. Now, "blood pie" is not the most delectable name, but it is intriguing. If you've never tried blood sausage, then here's your excuse to go out and grab some. Don't be scared - you have my promise that it's amazing. And this is coming from a vegan. Or former vegan. Very former. The pie is a creamy slice of amazingness - full of cheese, egg, and, well, cream. It's not a diet food. But, when you're a Dothraki warrior, calories are not of your concern.
Dothraki Blood Pie
slightly recipe from Inn at the Crossroads
1/2 cup unsalted pistachios
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup chickpea flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons cold butter, cut into cubes
1) In your food processor, pulse your pistachios until it's fine. Add your two flours and salt, and pulse several more times. Add your cold butter and pulse several more times until it resembles coarse crumbs. Spoon out into a large bowl and add your egg. Stir with a wooden spoon until your dough comes together. Press your dough into a disc and chill for about 30 minutes.
2) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Roll your chilled dough out until it fits over your pie tin and is about 1/4 of and inch thick. Press it in the tin, cut any overhang off, and poke holes in the bottom of it with a fork so it doesn't bubble. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until you've got a golden crust. Take it out to cool before filling.
1 leek, chopped and washed
2 cloves garlic, minced
fresh thyme and rosemary (about 1/2 teaspoon each)
2 large eggs
4 ounces chevre
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 lbs blood sausage (we used, and totally recommend, black pudding), sliced
1) In a pan will a little oil, fry up your leek and garlic until tender. Add your thyme and rosemary, stir for a couple seconds, and then take it right off the heat. Set aside to cool. In a big bowl, whisk up your eggs until nice and fluffy. Add your cream slowly while whisking. Crumble in your chevre.
2) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle your leek mixture onto the bottom of your pie crust.Then add your blood sausage slices evenly. Pour your egg mixture over top of everything. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until everything has set up nicely. Serve warm with a large glass of Dornish wine.