Food is not only something we create or eat but it is a way to share stories. When I was a little thing, my parents used to read me bed time stories. Some from books and others made up from their minds. The sense of adventure, thrill, mystery, triumphant love, and morals ensured great dreams. In the story below I share those theme’s, reminding others that good can still prevail even in our darkest hours. Fairly tales are not just for bedtime anymore but to be served at the table as well.
Let me entertain you with a tale of good meat, good food, helpless romantics and blood.
Many years ago in the small village of GorgeWick lived a Butcher and his only daughter Tullia. He was the most respected butcher (and the only) in all of the town. His meats were the finest of qualities and his braised meats were to die for. Every now and then when the butcher felt it was necessary he gathered the town to gorge their faces in a glorious feast of mead and delectable meat dishes that he himself had prepared. Meat puddings and pies, stuffed, aged, and dried. When asked where his meats came from he only replied " it comes from the heart, always made with love".
Tullia was a breathtaking young girl. She was tall and slender, with long gold locks of hair. Her face was like a dolls, untouched and fragile. She was the most sought after girl in the village. All the young men tried to woo her and she was known for having one too many lovers. Practically every week she had a new man on her arm. However, every bachelor that came to date Tullia mysteriously disappeared and was never heard from again.
The rumor was that after Tullia broke up with each suitor, they became so heartbroken that they ran far into the woods where the witch lived. She then would offer them a potion to mend their broken hearts only to invite them into her home where she did away with them. Of course it was a rumor but it was the very tale that the butcher had told his daughter to explain their absence. When Tullia was younger her mother had run away with another man, leaving the butcher with a broken heart and a child to care for.
One day a young new suitor came into town, he went by the name of Niccolo. He was different from all the others. Niccolo was shorter, lanky, but full of wit and humor. He began to hear whispers of this girl named Tullia and her famous father. Niccolo was always up for a challenge and so decided to pursue her hand in marriage. Niccolo had a very different approach to romancing.
Fortunately for him his mother was a great cook and recalled a recipe of hers for tulip soup. The sweet broth begins with sweating leeks, carrots, lemon rinds, and the stem of a tulip together, being ever so careful not to let the mixture change color. Water is added to the pot and a sachet of pink peppercorns, bay leaf and parsley are infused into the liquid. The soup is brought to a gentle simmer until the flavors are intensified. It is then strained to make a clear broth. Niccolo garnishes the soup with the petals of red and yellow tulip's. According to his mother a red tulip is a confession of love and it's black center resembles the lovers heart burnt to a coal by their burning passion. A yellow tulip is symbol of hopeless and complete infatuation.
Tullia sat alone outside her home which was also where her father worked out of. Men stared and women frowned in jealousy. With much courage and determination Niccolo approached her with his Tulip soup. She smiled and laughed quietly at the idea of consuming a flower. She admired his attempt and decided to taste the broth. Once the heat of the broth hit her lips something had surged within her. She gazed up to Niccolo admiring his smile, for it was as warm as the broth itself. To Tullia, Something had indeed been very different about this suitor. Placing the soup down, Tullia sprang to her feet grabbed his hand and pulled him along. What felt like forever had only been the day. They spent the hours together roaming the streets. As the sun began to set they walked home. Niccolo gave her a kiss and wished her sweet dreams. As he watched her enter the house he couldn't help but notice a thick dark substance running down the street. It had been coming from the alley way behind the shop. Niccolo bent down to touch it. He brought his finger to the light and realized it had been fresh blood. He heard that the butcher did his work late at night so no one would know the secret to his fine meats. He traveled into the dark shadowed alleyway to find the back entrance to the shop. The blood had been leaking from under the door. Niccolo quietly pushed the door open to find the most horrific sight he had ever seen............
TO BE CONTINUED.............
Check back soon for Part 2
Keep on Cooking!