By Quentin H. / February 11th, 2022
It’s hard to admit that I am getting older.
Beijing is 16 hours ahead of the West Coast, and so that means that the majority of the Olympics take place during both the evening time and overnight for me. Even though NBC Olympics Primetime coverage runs until at least 11 PM every night for me, I find myself dozing off around 10 PM at the LATEST. I’ve managed to only get up for one early morning event after my initial rush for the first qualifiers and the Opening Ceremony, the Men’s Sprint Free Final (Olympic Cross), and I felt terrible the remainder of that day. And honestly, that is probably the last time I will do that for the remainder of these games as I just don’t have it in me to do it again.
I keep thinking about how in December 2005, I stayed up all night trying to do the brand new FINAL FANTASY XI Online quest, Waking Dreams, in order to form a pact with the brand new Summoner avatar Diabolos. I kept losing the fight over and over again with randomly assembled parties for HOURS until I -FINALLY- won with just enough time to get to class and pay attention. I was tired afterwards, sure, but I still was able to completely function.
I have realized, and mostly accepted, that I just can’t do all nighters like that anymore. I have fully accepted that I need to eat healthier, that I have to stretch before I go running, and that I cannot just spend all my time playing video games and escaping into books if I want to be a part of a functional society.
The days of all-night Diabolos fights are long gone for me. And don’t even bring up classic overnight king camping in Dragon’s Aery, because I definitely can’t do that either again (if you know, you know…and there is absolutely no Love, Eorzean Style for that kind of MMORPG content after doing it for over a decade). Getting older doesn’t mean that there aren’t a lot of cool things occurring in my life too. But that also doesn’t mean that I like realizing that I’m just not as energetic and able to not sleep as I used to be anymore.
If you’ve missed an installment of Cooking Eorzea, you can check out all the prior recipes here.
Recipe of the Week
This week’s Cooking Eorzea recipe is the 14th recipe, Forest Miq’abob from the Black Shroud region. It is an ‘Easy’ rated dish that was even easier than what the dish advertises itself to make. It is also completely vegan!
Anyway, here is what the dish is supposed to look like:
Featured Ingredient of the Week
Dried lavender is probably the most fragrant spice that I have worked with so far. As soon as I ripped open the bag and broke the inside seal, the scent of lavender flooded my kitchen. I was expecting it to be purplish, like the flower, but I could definitely tell just by the odor alone that it was lavender. It was also the first time that I had ever used lavender that wasn’t part of a living plant or part of a soap bar!
My Cooking Attempt
As always, I start off this section of Cooking Eorzea by showing off my ingredients that I used:
The first thing I did was separate the rosemary leaves from the sprig and place them in my spice grinder.
I then added in the peppercorns and the dried lavender.
I then placed the lid onto the grinder, and I held down the power button until all of the ingredients were fully blended together into a seasoning that I could use.
I set aside the spice blend for a moment. I then grabbed a bowl and added into it the olive oil, the salt, and the balsamic vinegar. Once that was done, I dumped in my spice mixture.
I then whisked it all together and added in the white mushrooms. It turns out that I only needed one package instead of two white mushroom packages for this recipe.
I wasn’t happy that the seasoning wasn’t covering all of the mushrooms, so instead of just shaking the bowl like a normal person to get them all covered, I shifted them all from the bowl into a giant cup and then back…and then I dropped the cup into the bowl when it slipped from my fingers. In short, it was a complete mess.
I then wised up and shook the bowl in order to cover the mushrooms completely. I placed the bowl aside for a half hour to marinate.
Setting the mushrooms aside, I got out the tomatoes and I cut them into fourths.
I then bundled up everything and took it outside to the grill. It turns out that my 54-page leasing agreement does not permit me to own my own grill. I ended up having to work with my apartment complex to get permission to use the grill on the complex property for this and to get the gas turned on for use. I also ended up scrubbing down the grills. It was my first time setting up and using a gas grill like this, and I was surprised at how easy it was to do.
Anyway, once I had set up my ingredients, I preheated the grill.
I then started to add the vegetables to the skewer once the mushrooms were done marinating. I added a shishito pepper, a mushroom, a quartered tomato slice, and then another mushroom. I would repeat that until I finished each skewer and I ran out of tomato slices.
Once that was all done, I placed them inside the grill but not on the flames side so that they could gradually cook through. About midway through, I rotated the skewers to make sure that it would cook all the way through.
At this point, I was in a losing battle for daylight, and I needed to get this dish done if I was going to be able to take photos before it got dark. I ended up moving the skewers over to the right side to both finish the dish a bit quicker and to add some grill marks to the skewers.
I closed the lid again, and I got lucky and got them perfectly done! The mushrooms were cooked through but not dried out, and the peppers were lightly charred. The tomatoes also were starting to fall off of the skewer. And here is the final dish!
I then ate two of the four skewers, and it was so delicious! The marinade for the mushrooms was perfect, and the peppers and tomatoes just blended in perfectly with them. The light charring on the vegetables only enhanced the flavor, and I absolutely devoured both skewers in just a few moments. I then took the other two skewers and shared them with friends as a surprise…and they loved them too!
This week’s Cooking Eorzea dish was incredibly easy to make- especially once I got the grill going. The grilled vegetables were fantastic, and it is something that would only take a few minutes to assemble and make. I would definitely do this again if I was doing an outside party, and I would for sure have more vegetables available (and more skewers!).
As we head into week 10 for Cooking Eorzea, I want to thank Victoria Rosenthal for writing The Ultimate FINAL FANTASY XIV Online Cookbook. I also want to thank the staff over at Insight Editions for giving me permission to use the photos from their book to show how these recipes are actually supposed to look. Furthermore, I owe Brandon Rose a special thanks for creating the logo for this series on short notice. You should check him and his works out over on Twitter.
Finally, I want to thank both Hiromichi Tanaka and Naoki Yoshida for producing FINAL FANTASY XIV Online in both iterations of the game.
This coming dish is Futo-Maki Roll from Hingashi Region…And I have not made sushi before. I am also still trying to get all of the ingredients that I need to make this dish, and I have absolutely no idea if that will happen before I need to get next week’s article going. So…stay tuned for next week’s Cooking Eorzea (maybe?!).
Do you like to grill? Have you ever grilled vegetables before?
Let us know in the comments below!
CookingCooking EorzeaEorzeaFFXIVFinal Fantasy XIVFINAL FANTASY XIV OnlineHiromichi TanakaInsight EditionsMMORPGNaoki YoshidaPCPlayStation 4PlayStation 5Square EnixVictoria Rosenthalvideo gameVideo Games