Heyo, and welcome to the first edition of Boozy Books after the hiatus! I promised we’d have one for you on a monthly basis, but given that was two weeks ago, we’re not quite ready to move forward with the in-depth, well-thought-out pairings that we promised with the monthly version. A has a great book ready for you next month (she told me so, and I believe her), but since I didn’t want to be a liar literally two weeks after promising something…
I’m pairing a podcast.
It’s an old podcast. In fact, it’s been done and dusted for years now. And it’s one I’ve listened to a number of times, both because I find the subject endlessly fascinating and because the host’s voice is really damn soothing. I recently returned to listen to it again because I’m worldbuilding a second-world Roman Empire corollary (well, no… I have the world built; I’m listening to it again for clues in how to write the newly-created second half of the story since my stupid brain decided to give the Devil his due. And that is, in story, a very literal description. Like… literal literal. Not figurative literal. Which, frankly, is… *cough* Stay on point, C) and I just really really like the Battle of Cannae. Like enough that, when I watched the GoT episode “Battle of the Bastards”, I almost injured my boyfriend by being so excited. (For the record, I’d called that it was going to be a sort-of reverse Battle of Bosworth Field, with Jon fighting a la Richard III but being rescued in the end a la Henry VII. I’m still proud of myself for that, even if it was obvious. I take my joy where I can get it these days.)
Anyway. It’s the History of Rome podcast, which ran from 2007-2012. It’s ridiculously comprehensive, covers all the highs and lows of Rome, and runs hundreds of episodes. You can listen to it all on the site or through whatever mechanism you have for such things. I assume we all listen to podcasts because, well, free education. And they’re great for writing research because you can listen to them while you’re cooking, cleaning, driving, taking a shower… whatever, which is difficult to do while reading or searching the interwebz.
I’d recommend some Roman wine, but they had a habit of making it in lead-y pots, so don’t do that. But if you want to use modern wine to create a Roman-style drink, that’s what I’d do! The easiest to do is something called mulsum, which can be approximated by adding 1/2 light honey (warmed up) to a bottle of dry-ish white wine (like medium dry). Make sure the honey is all mixed in and then chill the wine before serving. Or you could just buy mead, I guess, but that’s honey wine not honeyed wine, so it’s not the same thing. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could make Roman cheesecakes or sausages, recipes for which are all over the net. If you’re into bayberry and pine nuts, Roman cuisine is FOR YOU. And don’t be scared off by garum; you don’t actually have to ferment old fish bits (you’d layer aromatic herbs with oily fish like anchovies and salt then let it sit for three weeks, or so). Just buy fish sauce from the Asian section of your local grocery store. It’s pretty much the same thing.
We’ll be back next week with a PROPER Boozy Books. You know, with an actual book. But I wanted to make sure y’all knew you could count on us in this brave new world of less-regular posting.