Recipe Runewerk

By the good intentions of Aegir and Ran, I have a natural gift for cooking. Part of it was my past. I had learned some as a child, helping the adults. Much came later. It was a choice between learning to cook or eating diner food.

Cooking is not just the ingredients. If that were so, anyone could do it. The trick to ingredients is threefold. First, one has to have the right proportions. Second, each has to be cut, ground or otherwise put in the right form. Third, they have to be added in the proper sequence, at the proper time.

As to proportion, both the main ingredients and the spices have to be proportionate. One example is Italian spices. Oregano and basil have to be added in larger increments. Fennel has to be added in tiny bits. You might use a quarter cup of oregano in making a pot of pasta sauce, but never a quarter cup of fennel.

Forming ingredients can be as simple as how you cut them. A good example is chicken. The way the chicken is cut makes a lot of difference. You can cut it in chunks, large slices, small slices, strips, or small bits. Each behaves different in a meal. Slices do wonders in a stir fry, but dices chunks would not. Small strips work well in a soup, but not thick slices. Peppers are another example. Dice them or slice them, they will cook differently and have a different texture.

Sequence is another thing. If you add everything at once, some might not be as well-cooked as others. Take my bay scallop specials. The onions hit the pan first. Once they start looking right, I can add the scallops and sweet pepper pieces. As the scallops get cooked, then come the mushrooms. So it is we get firm scallops, soft onions, and a mixed textures of peppers and mushrooms. Spice comes toward the end. We have used different spices at different times: teriyaki sauce, or chili powder, or Asian style peanut sauce, or oregano-basil-rosemary, and any of several others. t

Each ingredient has a taste and a texture. I image some of them visually, such as rising, sinking, round, thin, pointed, soft, etc. A musician might think of them tonally. In a sense, the ingredients are my Runes when it comes to making dinner.

In The Galdrabok, there are several spells that use odd combinations of Runes. Why this many of one Rune as opposed to this many of another? Did you ever think that it was like a recipe, with things measures in proportion and sequence?

There are types of Rune workings in which you can use “recipe blending.” One example would be a healing spell for a complex situation. You might need one Rune to assuage pain, another to facilitate binding of a bone fracture, and still another for the restoration of lacerated flesh. The trick is determining which Runes to use, and then how much of each one. A complex problem can be handled by a blended response.

The Fart Spell in The Galdrabok is a prime example of the recipe blending technique. It uses eight Ase Runes, nine Naud Runes and thirteen Thurs Runes. (You do not have to write it in blood or on calfskin to make it work. Just read the verse aloud three times.) Ase is used as a speech Rune, Naud for the rotting smell (Naud and Nidhogg...ack! )Thurs as the propellant. Poo-Poo-Pa-Doo! So while these farts will not be silent, the odor and velocity will surely be the most telling parts of them.

You can recipe blend for almost any occasion. If you feel the need to inscribe the Runes, you can write them flat out, or devise binds that contain the Runes in the right numbers.

Obviously, a good Rune caster can be every precise when necessary if he uses recipe blending.

For those who cook, the deities who help most are Aegir and Ran. Good cooking and hospitality are theirs. Though some mythic descriptions are dire, they are a happy couple who can be of great help in recipe work. And invoke them if you are hosting an event with a meal, from a luncheon to a banquet.

One warning: Some Runes are dangerous if used in abundance. Any Rune can be dangerous if used excessively. Recipe blending can be used to invoke another Rune that minimizes the dangerous effect. Most folks know enough to be careful with Thurs, Hagal, Naud and Isa. However, even so-called “safe” Runes have their dangers. One in particular is Wunjo. It can bring joy and elation, but if too abundant it can bring delusion and insanity. An example is the “manic” phase of bipolar disorder, also known as “manic depressive.” Naud rules depression. Wunjo is the manic side.