Welcome to the final installment of Eating Nerdy (for now). I’ve been going through and going after those weird nerdy things that you kind of want to make a big thing out of, but just don’t quite know how to theme a meal around them. Thanks to @BeskarTom for the suggestion this time with Dead of Winter.
Dead of Winter is a horror themed survival game (and a game that Kristen and I just played at Insight Brewery so we could learn the rules better), where the zombie apocalypse is upon the human race. There is a band of humans, controlled by the players, who are trying to find food, fend off zombies, and generally just survive through the winter in hopes that things will get better. So, how do you theme a meal around a world where food is supposed to be very scarce, you can start starving, and generally it’s all canned goods?
Dead of Winter
My thought process for this isn’t that it should only be foods that would survive a long time, but also foods that are going to keep you warm through the Dead of Winter, and being from Minnesota, that can be just terrible.
Hot Toddy & Hot Chocolate with Bailey/Kahlua
Tea & Hot Chocolate
These are two great wintery drinks. The Hot Toddy warms the soul through hot tea with honey and lemon fighting off any cold that you might be coming down with, and then adding a little bit of fun with your choice of brandy, rum, or whiskey. And the Hot Chocolate can be turned into an alcoholic dessert easily with the likes of Baileys (or any Irish Cream) and Kahlua. If you aren’t a drinker, just take out the booze and you have some more great winter drinks that are going to keep you warm in the evening while you listen to the zombies moaning and shambling outside.
For this you can go a couple of directions, you can go salty and sweet or salty and savory. For an appetizer I would look at doing something like rosemary roasted pecans or walnuts or if it just a snack for while you play the game, maybe go with sweet and spicy roasted pecans with cinnamon and a hit of cayenne to give it that good kick. Once you roast the nuts they get that nice toasty flavor, so while they are a bit better warm, you can definitely make them ahead of time and have them sitting out to snack on as you play and to welcome the other survivors when they arrive.
If you want to be really thematic, consider going with a venison stew. Now, you probably need to be a hunter or know someone who hunts to easily get your hands on venison, but beef stew works as well, even though slightly less thematic for the whole survival aspect of the game. Load up your stew with a lot of root vegetables that would be the most readily available during the winter, and you’ve got yourself a zombie survival meal. It’ll keep you warm, stick to you for a while, and give you energy for when you run out to find some more food, maybe that gas station over there has some frozen pizza’s left, it is the dead of winter, after all.
Simple and nice. Again, apples are going to be able to be stored through the winter, so you can reasonably get your hands on some of them, and while the best eating apples are probably gone, the heartier baking apples will be available. Find a good baking apple, put some butter, cinnamon, and sugar on it, and get a nice warming tasty dessert. You can also class it up to something a bit fancier, maybe make your own ice cream, or those canisters of whipped cream probably have survived in the grocery store, make a daring run out to get one of those to top off your dessert.
So, how would you survive the winter? Are you going to theme it for winter or for the apocalypse? It’s certainly possible that all you have left is canned foods and maybe should just break into that can of pork and beans, it probably doesn’t even need to be heated up because you don’t want the fire to attract any more zombies than are already there.
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