Stardust Stew

Café World is a popular, poorly-animated restaurant-running game on Facebook. Currently, it has a small selection of alien foods available to serve in-game, such as Martian brain bake and alien sushi. One of these is named Stardust Stew. The lurid blue-green dish looks like onion soup, complete with cheese melted over the top and the sides of the bowl.

One “feature” of the game is that it reduces cooking preparation to mere three steps of active intervention. In this case, the steps are as follows:

  1. Chop fusion rods
  2. Sift stars
  3. Dice Gort root

After those steps, it’s left to boil. (Not simmer.) The short-hand recipe is not meant to be comprehensible – it’s alien cuisine – but the verbs are all still English so, at a certain level, the reader can still follow along with the method of cooking. Still, what kind of stars are these that we can sift them? What kind of kitchen gizmo (and protective equipment) would be required to chop fusion rods? Gort root looks kind of like ginger; does it grow like ginger too? How large a pot does this recipe require?

Speaking of stardust and stew, and since stew is on my mind from working on edits on a related article, stew appears regularly in the Neil Gaiman novel, Stardust. Secondary characters eat bowlfuls of mutton stew, while the hero consumes an apparently meat-free one of vegetables, beans, and barley. (Gaiman uses stew in most of his fantasy novels.) I would go into more detail, but I don’t know where I’ve mislaid my copy; there’s only so far Amazon’s “Search Inside” feature and Google Books between them can compensate for a wandering physical copy.


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*© S. Worthen 2009