Happy Halloween! In honor of All Hallow’s Eve, this week FFK features a guest appearance by friend and travel blogger La Carmina, and a spooky (but delicious!) repast.
La Carmina glided up the dark staircase, magenta hair streaming out behind her, burning bright against her alabaster skin. Her feet tread silently, the only sound the swishing of her cape as she swept up to the chamber at the top of the east tower.
Fading light poured across the stone floors from a western window where the Count stood, his shadow stretching all the way to the entryway. Without seeming to move, La Carmina appeared at his side and placed her hand on his arm. He flinched, as if stung.
“It is you,” he whispered.
“It is time,” she replied. “Come.”
The Count did not move from his spot, turning his head to look back at the thick forest outside the window. La Carmina’s expression tightened, along with her grip on his arm.
“Come,” she replied, more firmly, leading the Count to the pallet in the east corner.
“Not again. Please.”
A sympathetic glint shone from her hard eyes. “The last time, I promise. Then you’ll drink the life’s blood and become your own most powerful self.”
“I’d rather die.”
“I thought like you once…when I first came here. But now I see that this is the only way. Together you and I will rule this land – no one can stop us.”
She bent over and unwrapped the gauze around the Count’s neck, revealing two perfect diamond scabs. The Count looked at her beseechingly, but it was too late. She bent to drink, her fiery hair falling in blue waves around her face as the blood flowed into her. Several minutes later, the Count lay silent and comatose, his face as white as the sheets upon which he rested.
La Carmina lifted her now rosy cheeks and signaled to the monk in the corner.
“Bring the life’s blood.” The robed man disappeared and returned ten minutes later carrying a bowl filled with slick black soup. As the concoction approached the Count’s nostrils, his eyelids flickered open momentarily – long enough for him to recoil.
“Um…no thank you.”
“Oh come on. Stop being a baby.” She began spooning the soup into the Count’s mouth. He pursed his lips and let the black liquid run down his chin. But some of the stew had already made its way into his system. A look of contentment came over his face, along with the beginnings of a healthy flush.
“It’s rather tasty, after all.”
“I’ll say,” said La Carmina. “And don’t worry, it’s not human blood. But it’s enough to keep you going until your cravings take hold and you learn how to feed correctly.”
The Count took the bowl from her hands and finished it himself. He stood up, his shoulders firmly back, cape whirling around.
“I feel splendid.”
La Carmina took his arm, and together they went out to the balcony, breathing deep of the blood-scented air.
“From this day on, we rule as one,” she said.
Lifting their capes above them, they drifted into the forest surrounding the castle. And from the dark earth the nighttime demons rose to greet them, chanting in a refrain of rustling leaves: Tran…syl…van…ia.
- 2-3 pounds of pork belly/shoulder/loin, assorted offal, or combo thereof (I used about a pound each of pig's ears, pork hocks, and chicken livers - could always just go pork chop if you're feeling less adventurous)
- 1 tablespoon olive, palm or coconut oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small knob ginger (~1 tsp), minced
- 1.25 cups pig's blood (~10 oz)
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 3 cups stock (I used pork broth)
- 1 tsp lemon juice (optional, just sharpens the flavor a bit)
- 1 tb coconut aminos (optional)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 3-4 bay leaves (fresh or dried)
- cilantro for garnish, cassava bread for serving
- Pre-cook any tough cuts of meat in a pressure cooker or braise on low heat (I cooked my pig's ears and hocks for an hour in the Instant Pot).
- Saute minced garlic, onions, and ginger in oil over medium heat for ~5-10 minutes until browned.
- Add in liver and other meat and brown/cook with onion mixture for 5 minutes.
- Add 2 tb of the vinegar to your container of pig's blood (separately) and make sure any jellied blood is broken up to the extent possible.
- Add broth and rest of vinegar to the main mixture. Add blood and stir well (mixture will quickly darken). Bring everything to a boil and cook until mixture thickens.
- Add rest of seasonings (fish sauce, salt, lemon, aminos) and adjust to taste.
- Serve with cilantro and tasty cassava flatbread.
This post has been shared on Phoenix Helix’s Paleo-AIP Roundtable.