Week of Jane Day 3: Food and Beer

Jane and Beth and I roomed together in college. We pitched in together and bought food and cooked in the dorm kitchen. Our favorite thing to eat was snake, which is, for some reason, what we invariably called steak.

In the Society for Creative Anachronism, we helped cook for the Barony of the Flame (Louisville) feasts. I can remember making Chicken Kiev for about 250 people. Jane’s specialty was a recipe she called Queen’s Bread, which was regular egg bread with double the yeast and double the rising time. It was called Queen’s Bread because Jane was the queen. Beth was also the queen, I think. I was never the queen. In order to be a queen, I would have to do like Lucy in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown: I would have to work and work and be very, very rich, and then I would buy myself a queendom.

ANYWAY, I was with Jane when I had my first beer that I liked. We were at a RiverCon, a science fiction convention in Louisville that is no longer in operation. Jane was a party girl, and was always getting invitations or getting wind of a good room party. This one, two Canadians were lobbying to have their town chosen for the next Deep South Con. Their argument: it was in the deep south of Canada. Their back-up argument: if you go far enough south, you come around the top of the globe and down to their town.

They didn’t win the nomination, but — and this is the point — they campaigned by giving away free beer. Killian’s Red, which was my favorite beer until I tasted Dragon’s Milk, but that’s off the subject. Killian’s was an Irish beer at that time, though it’s made in America now, and isn’t quite as good.

Jane and I met every month for coffee, food, and beer, usually meeting at the Vint (owned by Heine Brothers) on Frankfort Avenue and walking down the street to The Irish Rover. We both favored the Celtic Craic, brewed for The Irish Rover by the New Albanian Brewing Company (in New Albany, Indiana). The last few times we met, she turned me on to the Rover’s Blacksmith, a Black-and-Tan blend of Guinness and Smithwick’s Irish Ale. OMG

She was very disappointed that she would miss having another bottle of Newcastle Werewolf Blood Red Ale, which is such a limited edition it doesn’t always make it to Louisville, and didn’t, this year.

We always met in Louisville because Jane was caregiver to her mother for years and years, and didn’t want to be gone far or for long (this was before I became caregiver for my mother). After her mother passed, Jane was going to come to my little town every other month. The first time she headed over, she was in a non-injury car wreck not far outside her neighborhood. No injuries, but it totalled her car and shook her confidence.

We went less and less far afield in our meetings. Finally, it was always Vint and The Irish Rover, each about six blocks from her house. But that was okay. We liked those places, and we didn’t really meet for the food and drink, although those certainly didn’t hurt.

[UPDATE: I forgot to say that Thursday Doors is brought to you courtesy of Norm Frampton, photographer extraordinaire. Go to his blog, peruse his photos, and click on the blue frog link to view doors from around the world.]

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write about the first time you (or your main character) had alcohol you (or they) enjoyed.



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I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “Week of Jane Day 3: Food and Beer

  1. pete laberge

    October 18, 2017 at 10:10pm

    SNAKE? Real Snake?????

    And better a princess than a queen. Fewer responsibilities!

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 19, 2017 at 8:40am

      Noooo, Pete, you silly person! That’s what we called steak. And, by “steak”, we usually meant stir-fry strips. lol

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  2. Holly Jahangiri

    October 19, 2017 at 9:22am

    I got all excited about snake, too – after all, it’s one of the few exotic foods I haven’t tried, yet!

    Marian, I’m loving your introduction to Jane. I only wish I’d met her in person, with you, at The Irish Rover over a Killians Red (which I tasted for the first time, in Canada, and also loved!) Or maybe we could’ve bonded over a Dark Shadows marathon. I used to watch that from the hallway outside my parents’ room (where the only TV in the house was) – convincing myself it was a scary show about vampires! It’s to laugh, now, but I was only 6 or 7 at the time. I quickly moved on from there to Edgar Allan Poe.

    I am so sorry for your loss. (hugs)

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 19, 2017 at 1:12pm

      I’m so sorry to disappoint about the snake. If we’d had some, we’d have eaten it. You and Jane would have enjoyed one another’s company, for sure!

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  3. pete laberge

    October 19, 2017 at 11:22am

    Oh, Gads! WHAT A RELIEF!!!!!!!

    And me who was expecting two young ladies to be going out and hunting down, I dunno, a 12 ft rattler, and cutting off the head (leaving it behind!), and bringing it home, and skinning it…. Then you would make finger cotts and gloves out of the skins, before you enthusiastically, performed arcane rituals, finally stir-frying it.

    “And so they drenched it in soy and Worcestershire sauce, and some fresh ground mustard seed. And they cooked it and cut it into strips, and consumed it with gay abandon. singing the wild songs of their ancestors, as they enjoyed merlot on the side….”

    I think my imagination needs a reboot, or a reset, or a bringing it back down to reality check!

    My apologies. Unless this inspires you and Holly (and Jane, in your head!) to write something wild.

    Well, at least it would be easier than hunting a dragon. Besides, dragon requires a huge frypan to cook. And a magician to, um, er, whatever they do to it. You know, bless it. Or something!

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    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 19, 2017 at 1:15pm

      I like your recipe, Pete. Jane would have gotten a kick out of it! As for the dragon, you can use a small pan to cook it, if you cut it into small enough bits.

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  4. pete laberge

    October 19, 2017 at 11:27am

    And sorry, the post got split into 2. Something weird happened. Well, with Pete… WHAT ELSE could one expect?

    Please delete the shorter spurious one. I cannot figure out how to do it. The internet ate the first one, then when I did the 2nd 1 the first one came back.

    Maybe the snake was not cooked enough?

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