With dungeons, Wizards, brave Knights, fire breathing Monsters and Silly Hats, the world of cooking is a tempting one. Like any rewarding hobby, however, it requires a lot of time and dedication.
Often, quests can demand a lot of meticulous planning and strategic action. You must make sure to choose the right party members, weapons and equipment for your quest, lest you fail miserably and end up with nothing but a dry steak and an over seasoned salad as your loot.
So join me, as I recount the tale of my most recent -and by far my most challenging- escapade to date: The Portuguese Lemon Tart.
Firstly, I thought I'd introduce my chosen party members:
Alexander Ovum, a cocky and eccentric knight.
Alexander has served me well many times before and he is versatile and highly dependable. He's a bit of quirky fellow. I don't get why he keeps cracking up all the time.
Archimedes Citrus, a powerful shape-shifting wizard.
Archimedes, I've requested his help many times in combat. Is most powerful spell, "Acidity", has come in handy more times than I can count. I've never relied on him like I'm about to today as he can bit a bit clumsy. Let's hope he doesn't disappoint.
Our heroes noble goal was a simple one: to create the best damn Portuguese Lemon Tart know to man.
Our adventure begins, and almost immediately, we were faced with our very first adversaries: four tablespoons of sugar.
They were far more devious that we had anticipated. It seemed as if most of our attacks were ineffective, and escape from them seemed impossible. Luckily Archimedes had remembered that sugar would melt in water like that witch from The Wizard of Oz. He quickly summoned a spell that whisked all away into the nearest pond.
But though our victory was indeed sweet (pun intended), we could not be feel a slight be of concern. After all, if a few mere edible crystalline carbohydrates could cause us such hardship, we clearly not powerful enough to complete our quest.
So we did what any adventurer would do in a situation like this:
And with the help of some evolutionary gemstones...
Commonly referred to as "lemon zest" and "unsalted butter"
Our heroes managed to evolve into a something new and more powerful than ever before:
Now, we were ready. With a new found strength and abilities never before seen across the entirety of this kitchen, we were ready to head into the twisted inferno of a dungeon that is:
As a feeble, weak, slim and unbelievably handsome human, I cannot risk having my face melting from excessive heat. It pains to send my soldiers, my friends, alone to complete their quest. Furthermore, once they go in, they would have to be successful. There are no second chances.
I gave them 30 minutes to trek through all the rooms and complete them. No more, no less.
It is my great pleasure to say that they managed to do so flawlessly.
But this sadly, is not the end. No, for no quest would be complete without an all mighty boss fight at the end, would it? No story would be complete without an epic battle of good VS evil to punctuate its end, of Heroes VS Villains.
Oh, and what villains we had to face.
Gaster: A greedy and vulgar beast.
It is as if this monstrosity was made for the sole purpose of consuming anything that comes into contact with it.
Os: A garrulous and snobby gourmand.
He is Gasters oldest friend and loyal goon. He doesn't speak much, but he does it's either to complain about something or talk about things no one cares about (like videogames).
Now is the time.
The Battlefield is ready
I make my approach...
Something is missing...
My top hat, but of course! (Top Hat increases chances of success in life by 99.9%)
And with one full sweep, Gaster and his friend are no more.
Our quest was a resounding success!
You may have noticed by now, fair reader, that I have yet to make mention of any sort of reward. Well, you see that right there, fair reader? In the blurry picture below.
It took me around three hours to get this meal prepared, photographed and done. It took only fifteen minutes to actually eat those tarts. But that right there, that smile, is worth it.
Because whether I spend sixty bucks or just a measly dollar, whether I spend five minutes or a one hundred hours, if all that hard work and effort -no matter how big or small- makes you smile in the end of it all, even if it's just for one second, it's all worth it.
That smile is the greatest reward.