Friday, October 2, 2015

Food of Evandar: Nursemaid's Sop

Just as there are special dishes in our world that are just for children (or the young at heart), there is food in the world of Evandar for the youngest of folks. Nursemaid's Sop is a dish that is given to children who have just stared on solid food, the infirm, and the elderly who have difficulty chewing food. It is an incredibly simple dish with a few variations. At its most basic, Nursemaid's Sop consists of bread that is toasted, crumbled, and soaked in a liquid until all the liquid is absorbed.

The variety of Nursemaid's Sop that is given to small children is most frequently a savory version made with broth from the stockpot. It is this version that is found through out the Seven Kingdoms, regardless of the station of the person being served. There is a spiced savory version that is served in wealthy houses and to the nobles. In addition to this, there is a sweet version that is made with almond milk and honey. This occasionally has spices in it, but only if it is being served for medicinal purposes.

Nursemaid's Sop is used as regular fare but it is also used as a vehicle to serve medicinal herbs to those who may not tolerate the herbs directly. Most often, the sweetened version of Nursemaid's Sop is used by the upper class to deliver these healthful herbs. The almond milk and honey are mixed with either the herbs directly or a tea made from them, dependent upon the herb used and the constitution of the person receiving it.

In the houses of the lower classes, sweet Nursemaid's Sop is a rare treat. In these houses, it is made with the fresh juice of pressed fruit or the liquid from stewed fruit. Most frequently, the savory version of Nursemaid's Sop is what is found in these homes. In some cases, Nursemaid's Sop is the only meal served along side porridge in an attempt to extend food resources. Old bread is used by the poor, when it is available, to make this dish as well. When made from dry, old bread, some people simply call it Sop, reserving the term Nursemaid's Sop for the variety made from toasted fresh bread.

Nursemaid's Sop is also just called Sop. Distinguishing between the different varieties of Nursemaid's Sop that one may find in their travels is challenging. Each region has slight variances upon what is served, dependent upon what grows there and the predominant livestock raised. Thus, Dakon-Bar's Nursemaid's Sop will be quite likely to have a venison broth base where as the Nursemaid's Sop that you could find in Aelethemer is more likely to have a mutton broth base.

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