Chris-Rachael Oseland, also known as The Kitchen Overlord, loves to make geeky food. We’ve covered a few of her recipes, as well as her unofficial Doctor Who cookbook. Her latest effort, Wood for Sheep, is a cookbook inspired by the board game Settlers of Catan. Take a look, and you’ll earn some delicious victory points.
Wood for Sheep relies pretty heavily on preparing foods that look like a Catan board. The problem with that is that Catan boards are made up hex-shaped tiles, and we don’t have any plates that are conveniently divided like the one on the cover of the book.
Not to worry. They’re actually made up of laboratory weigh boats, and you can order them from a supplier in Houston through Amazon pretty cheap. A pack of 100 is currently going for $9.25. Seems worth a little investment for your next all-night Settlers of Catan rager.
Oseland explains the real inspiration — besides Catan — for a book of such compartmentalized food. She noticed a recurring problem whenever someone offered to buy pizza for a group of gamers. Increasingly, people have food allergies, or on a very specific diet, or don’t eat meat. Getting one thing to please everyone is difficult.
This ongoing problem left me seriously pondering the best way to feed a big group of geeks. The most efficient answer was to tell them all to brown bag it since keeping up with everyone’s specialized dietary needs can be a full time job. That isn’t a very satisfying answer, though. Food isn’t just a set of mandatory building blocks for cellular construction and repair. Eating together is social, and it should be fun.
Even if you don’t play the game this book is based on, you recognize those red, green, and yellow hexes as an iconic part of geek culture. Lay out a hex shaped spread in those colors and you’re automatically flying your geek flag. Plus, the edible hex maps look amazing. Each one is tailored to fit multiple dietary restrictions. As an extra bonus, most of them honestly aren’t that hard to prepare.
So the answer seems to be breaking food down into individual components, or we guess you could call them “resources” given the subject matter.
Oseland sent over a few photos of some of the recipes in the book, and she’s right. They do look amazing. They also look like it’s incredibly easy to avoid food you don’t like/won’t eat/are allergic to. Take a look at the Indian-Inspired Map:
Don’t eat meat? Don’t dig into the chicken tikka masala hexes and you’ll be fine. Maybe breakfast food is more your speed? Here’s a waffle board:
There are map recipes for just about any taste or dietary need, and imagine rolling into your game night with a Catan spread of delicious waffles and fixins! You’d rule Catan before they even got the board set up. You could bring this to a family gathering of people who have never heard of the game, and they’d still compliment you on your stylish dish, and then your aunt would pin it to some pins on Pinterest, because food in little hex dishes just looks neat.
Keep track of Oseland on her blog The Kitchen Overlord where you can find more geeky recipes. We’ll have to order some hex-dishes and get to work.
(via Chris-Rachael Oseland, images used with permission)
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