There is one question about this blog, pretty much hidden in plain sight. The question is “Who is Jabbado?”, and while the obvious answer is that Jabbado is a Gnome with culinary ambitions, there is more to it than that. Actually, there are two points of view that I need to cover in order to shed light on what Jabbado really is, or at least will be for the purpose of his kitchen and this blog.
On the one hand, there is the realistic, boring side on which he is a made-up personality used as a pretense to present you with examples for Fantasy Cooking, and recipes in general that challenge your taste buds (in a good way). On the other, there is, well, Jabbado himself.
Let’s start with the boring view first.
Jabbado, the Game Master Character
The Gnome bard called Jabbado Zolk Nakkle began his illustrious life as a mere quick fix for a roleplaying group that was, most of the time, too small. The idea was to use him on the side by tweaking roleplaying encounters in some way to make up for a character missing.
Looking back, we could have accomplished the same in other ways, but I am also glad that we stuck with him. If you are familiar with roleplaying, you probably know that the most fun aspect of it is the back and forth between characters, and he gave me as the game master (basically the guy who’s job it is to make sure the others are having fun) the opportunity to join in at times.
Fast forward a couple of months. Jabbado had grown from a band-aid-character to a mainstay, and since nobody had volunteered, he had taken up the mantle of the party’s cook. That, in turn, led to him rambling about how hard it was to get the right ingredients for proper food wherever they were traveling at the time. And thus, the idea of Fantasy Cooking was born.
From that point on, we as a group started to rename recipes, and eventually, come up with new ideas based on our adventures. At first, there was no actual cooking involved in those ideas – they started as a name that came up in a tavern, or the court of a local ruler. Every now and then, though, there was cooking going on for sustenance before a lengthy adventure. And, you guessed it, eventually, the two came together.
Fast forward again. What started out as a few new named for old recipes had grown into a document filled with probably 50 recipe ideas. Most of them were empty save for an idea, others were basically another recipe copied with a few ideas on how to make it unique. This document was also the place where the different cuisines presented in this blog began to take shape.
I am not trying to break the fast-forward button, but again, nothing much happened. A few recipes were completed and tested with friends, and ideas to publish them in some way came up again and again, but it took until earlier this year until I decided to start this blog and give Jabbado the voice he craved so much. I should mention that due to time constraints, we had stopped roleplaying a couple of years ago, and the actual campaign where Jabbado was actively involved ended a couple of years before that.
So you better believe that the Gnome has some things to say, and he will finally get the chance to do so – and to inspire you – on these pages. Now that you know how Jabbado came to be, let me introduce him to you directly.
What does Jabbado say to this?
From the beginning, the idea was to give Jabbado a voice of his own. At first, I thought he would be the only voice on this blog, narrating recipes embedded in stories about how they had been conceived or how he encountered them on his journeys.
But after starting out like that in some parts of the blog – the old category descriptions, for example – I came to believe that this would not have worked the way I had hoped. It would make things tricky to keep straight – I would have to have all his journeys mapped out and plan the stories ahead of time in order to keep them consistent, and I would have to go back and forth to incorporate new ideas into old content.
So I started writing as myself, with Jabbado riding crossbow. He is always present but has yet to make an appearance. But as I wrote, edited recipes and slowly got rid of most of the story elements in recipes for approachability’s sake, I felt more and more like bringing him back in some way. After all, the blog and the recipe book before that were both meant as a way for me to vent my inner Gnome chef.
So we decided to come at this from two directions, and if that sounds schizophrenic to you I invite you to try out pen & paper roleplaying for a change. It is really fun. But I digress.
I will write the recipes and how-to content, while Jabbado will share with you excerpts of his travel journals, along with some enlightening commentary. This way, not only do I get to present you with what the Gnome has been up to all those years, but he also gets to put things into perspective for you.
We will see how it turns out, but I would love to have you along for the ride. Make sure to subscribe to my email newsletter so you never miss a new recipe, story or how-to. And please comment and give feedback (especially after you have tried out a meal) so Jabbado and I can know what to improve around here.
Thanks for checking out this post, and don’t forget to cook with Inspiration!