Thursday 7 April 2022

#AtoZChallenge: F for Food and Drink

Okay, this post is just going to be excerpts of the food & drink mentioned in The Tale of the Hostage Prince because at this point of “planning” my posts, I’m just combing through my text to see what I can fit into what alphabet. Only the significant ones, though, not the ones that just say "I sipped at my tea" or whatever.

Chapter 1
I smile—fake, so fake, is this who you are?—and stride across the hall to my seat at the head of the main table. When I sit, so does everyone else—and the bustle starts up again. The servants step forward, laying their mouth-watering charges—mutton rendang, peppery beef soup, chicken curry, to name a few—on the tables before us.

Chapter 2
There’s a knock on the door and I hurry to open it. It’s only Relka again, carrying a tray.
“Ampun, Tuanku, I thought you would need drinks for your guest.”
I step aside. He places the tray, which has a tall jug of iced rose syrup and a couple of glasses, on the side table in my living room.

Chapter 3
Relka brings up two servings of roti with chickpea curry for me and a plate of rice, sambal, anchovies, and hard-boiled eggs for my uncle.

(and later)

“Are you sure you want to do this?” Uncle Jeffett wraps his hands around his mug, as if warming them in the heat emanating from the spiced tea.

(even later!)

I stare at him long and hard, then pull back my unfinished breakfast. I sop up the last of curry with the cold leftovers of my roti, buying time to figure out what to say.

Omg what Malaysians, your roti canai is not supposed to look like this! From:

Chapter 4
The scene is almost normal, as if everything I saw upstairs were a distant dream. It has to be a dream. A steaming cup of tea sits on the table in front of me, thick and black. I lift it to my lips. Strong and sweet. Like Ibu makes it. I swallow my tears.

Chapter 7
Eat, I tell myself, and suddenly I’m lost in memories of Ibu ushering Mikal into the castle kitchens, cajoling him to sit and eat after his father’s death. We all rallied around Mikal in the aftermath of his victory, but the one thing that held his head above the water and helped him work through his grief was my mother making his favourite dishes. Relka is doing the same for me—or at least he’s trying to—but it’s not the same. I find myself eating at odd times in the day, careening from binging on some comfort food to not having the appetite to eat at all. That night, Azman half-drags me, shirt soaked, back to my room after spending hours washing dishes amidst gawking kitchen staff.

Chapter 27
On the mat between us is a tray filled with various types of kuih. The ketua picks up the tall jug of chilled rose syrup and pours it out into glasses that he hands to us.
Eee all the kuih! From:


That's it for today!

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The Tale of the Hostage Prince (Book 1.5) – Releases 14 April 2022

Yosua wears an uneasy crown. Although he is now Raja of Bayangan, he still longs for the land of his birth where everything was much simpler…and less deadly.

But peace doesn’t come easily, not for a twenty-year-old servant playacting at being king.

With his parents brutally murdered and his uncle bent on revenge, Yosua must decide where his loyalties truly lie. With his only remaining relative and the kingdom he has claimed? Or with his best friend Mikal and the sultanate that raised him as a hostage?


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