Day 226: Hunger Games

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August 13, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

So it turns out, I’m pretty nerdy.  I’m a geneticist with a passion for DNA; I have a poster of Darwin hanging in my room; I watch Star Trek; I wonder about brain uploading (and downloading); I can’t wait to become a little more of a cyborg; I listen to audiobooks whenever I can’t sit still long enough to read, and I mostly stick to sci-fi; I find myself offended by The Big Bang Theory; I speak a little Chinese, just for fun; I get a little thrill out of doing reCAPTCHAs; I’m also a devout kitchen scientist – I love to cook.  That last attribute sets me apart, in many respects, from other nerds (which supports the notion that no two nerds are exactly alike, and that’s a good thing).  I love knowing what goes into my food – what makes it taste and smell and feel the way it does.  I love thinking about ways to modify recipes or techniques to come up with something better, and better for me.  When an experiment goes right (and I’m proud to say that it often does), there’s a satisfying feeling that goes beyond satiety.  Now if only I could write a grant for that…

Anyway, I’m a bit of an advocacy for nerd empowerment.  I believe that my special brand of nerdiness has served me pretty well, and that while it makes me unique, culinary skill (and perhaps a passion for cooking) is something nobody should go without.  There’s (mostly) nothing wrong with living in your mom’s basement (for a while…), but if your survival depends upon your mom’s cooking, you’ve got trouble.  Being able to cook is empowering, and today’s project thinks it’s time to level up.

+5 Food of Eating is a cookbook for nerds.  Specifically, nerds who appreciate the art and hone the skills of role-play gaming.  On basement tabletops or bedroom floors across the world, game boards and player cards are surrounded by chip bags, soda bottles, candy wrappers and pizza boxes – hardly the sort of fuel one needs for adventures, conquests, raids and crusades.  Now, with this mighty book in hand, the kitchen will no longer be clouded by a dense fog of war, and brave explorers will venture boldly forward towards the stovetops with plans for culinary conquest.

My goal is to collect recipes, carefully judge them based on how well they can feed a crowd, the level of ease it takes to make, budget-friendliness, and how well they hold up in the danger zone of character sheets, maps, and miniatures. I will also include recipes and menu suggestions for special occasions, like in-character feasts, LARPS, birthday parties, or even DM appreciation day!

Playing with your food has never made your mother more proud.  It’s time for more people to upgrade their life skills by adding a few recipes to their arsenal.  It’s useful knowledge – it might just save real lives while better fueling some imaginary ones.  Win this upgrade by backing it on Kickstarter before August 17.


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