Foreigner Series: Spoiler Alerts: Page 2

I’m giving the page a second section because page 1 was starting to behave oddly.

As always, wait at least 30 days from issue of the book before starting to discuss. And give our overseas friends some extra leeway: the distribution system doesn’t reach everywhere as fast!

1,390 Comments

  1. Hanneke

    OK, it looks like I’m just not allowed to answer Teasel. Here’s a final try to post my contribution to the tea-cake discussion. CJ, should the earlier attempts arrive en masse please delete them?

    I seem to remember, when Bindanda suggested offering the kyo some teacakes, and Bren was thinking about that, that he considered that these favorite teacakes had simple flavours and ingredients, mostly (refined) flour and sugar, high-caloric, so he thought there was little risk of them causing either allergic or poison-reactions or triggering taste-aversions, but that they would taste like treats to most species capable of eating those kinds of carbohydrates.
    So for these specific teacakes, beloved of both humans, atevi (including the youngster), and the kyo, I think it would be logical to keep it simple.
    I also got the impression they were called tea-cakes because they were often served with tea, not because tea was an ingredient. Considering the dangers inherent in atevi teas and the need to be careful with them across species-boundaries, I don’t think he would consider anything containing them such an easy and safe choice to feed an unknown species as a treat, even if the kyo had been surviving (though losing weight) on human stationer food (which, like the ship staples, was probably mostly yeast-derived). The same probably goes for any kind of herbs or unrefined whole-plant-parts ingredients used for flavouring, as (as far as I know) all plants contain chemicals meant to defend them against nibbling herbivores, which might seriously discommode an eater who wasn’t part of that ecosystem.
    I always interpreted orangelle as an orangeblossom sort of taste, more delicate than a real orange citrus taste – I don’t know why, except that orangeblossom is sometimes used with refined sugar and almond flour for fine and delicate kinds of tea biscuits/cookies.

  2. Hanneke

    OK, the phone seems to allow me to post at the bottom but not to answer Teasel. So one more try for my contribution to the teacake debate.
    CJ, should my earlier attempts from the tablet arrive en masse after all, please delete them?

    I seem to remember, when Bindanda suggested offering the kyo some teacakes, and Bren was thinking about that, that he considered that these favorite teacakes had simple flavours and ingredients, mostly (refined) flour and sugar, high-caloric, so he thought there was little risk of them causing either allergic or poison-reactions or triggering taste-aversions, but that they would taste like treats to most species capable of eating those kinds of carbohydrates.So for these specific teacakes, beloved of both humans, atevi (including the youngster), and the kyo, I think it would be logical to keep it simple.I also got the impression they were called tea-cakes because they were often served with tea, not because tea was an ingredient. Considering the dangers inherent in atevi teas and the need to be careful with them across species-boundaries, I don’t think he would consider anything containing them such an easy and safe choice to feed an unknown species as a treat, even if the kyo had been surviving (though losing weight) on human stationer food (which, like the ship staples, was probably mostly yeast-derived). The same probably goes for any kind of herbs or unrefined whole-plant-parts ingredients used for flavouring, as (as far as I know) all plants contain chemicals meant to defend them against nibbling herbivores, which might seriously discommode an eater who wasn’t part of that ecosystem.I always interpreted orangelle as an orangeblossom sort of taste, more delicate than a real orange citrus taste – I don’t know why, except that orangeblossom is sometimes used with refined sugar and almond flour for fine and delicate kinds of tea biscuits/cookies.

  3. Hanneke

    OK, either answering Teasel or talking about teacakes isn’t allowed for me.

    I’ve tried 4 times to post my contribution to the tea-cake discussion; but despite there not being a single link in it, it’s not appearing.
    Should it suddenly show up in multiples, CJ, would you please delete the extras?

    It boiled down to “keep it simple” ; Bindanda and Bren offered them to Prakujo because they only contained simple ingredients and straightforward taste. Refined flour and sugar, a calorie-rich treat for Prakuyo who’d lost a lot of weight despite surviving on the yeast-based human food; nothing that would be too strange-tasting and nothing that might trigger allergies or be poisonous to a different species.
    So no teas (they drank water IIRC), herbs or whole-plant-parts based flavorings.

  4. Hanneke

    OK, anything I say about the cakes appears to be blocked.
    Just remember to keep it simple both for the ingredients and for the taste.

  5. CJ

    Hmm, I haven’t found any problem. Occasionally the site server has hiccups, or glitches during maintenance.

  6. ektus

    I’m done with reading Tracker, and I very much liked it. Only one problem: It’s too short and I can’t wait to see how matters are going. And as has been said before, Irene’s done a great job. So have all the others, but please grant Ilsidi some more rest, will you?

    If you’re still looking for titles, Juggler comes to mind, as many pieces of delicate china Bren is keeping airborne all the time 🙂

    Regards
    Ektus.

  7. Silverglass

    Re: baking, you can get almond flour and other nut flours; there’s also buckwheat if you want something a little heavier. I second (or is it third, or fourth?) the idea of bergamot; but I like the idea of anise even more. Anise Christmas cookies are VERY popular in my town among those of Polish ancestry (Italians like to use this too I believe). The idea of combining orange and lemon sounds good if you just want citrus. As for icing, somewhere I have a recipe for a frosting that sets up fairly stiff, instead of staying soft and easily squished. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll post if here, if CJ doesn’t mind 😉

    • Neco-ji

      Interesting:

      “Teacake
      A teacake in England is a light yeast-based sweet bun containing dried fruit, typically served toasted and buttered. In the U.S. teacakes can be cookies or small cakes.”

      Just a thought. Maybe it’s like a yeast bread, closer to a cinnamon roll? 🙂

  8. Hanneke

    I tried to mention something regarding baking, 6 times in different ways, and it didn’t get through. The one little question did.There are no links in what I tried, and no bad words I could see. If this one gets through I’ll try again, as I think you’re overlooking something.

  9. Hanneke

    I seem to remember, when Bindanda suggested offering the kyo some teacakes, and Bren was thinking about that, that he considered that these favorite teacakes had simple flavours and ingredients, mostly (refined) flour and sugar, high-caloric, so he thought there was little risk of them causing either allergic or poison-reactions or triggering taste-aversions, but that they would taste like treats to most species capable of eating those kinds of carbohydrates.So for these specific teacakes, beloved of both humans, atevi (including the youngster), and the kyo, I think it would be logical to keep it simple.I also got the impression they were called tea-cakes because they were often served with tea, not because tea was an ingredient. Considering the dangers inherent in atevi teas and the need to be careful with them across species-boundaries, I don’t think he would consider anything containing them such an easy and safe choice to feed an unknown species as a treat, even if the kyo had been surviving (though losing weight) on human stationer food (which, like the ship staples, was probably mostly yeast-derived). The same probably goes for any kind of herbs or unrefined whole-plant-parts ingredients used for flavouring, as (as far as I know) all plants contain chemicals meant to defend them against nibbling herbivores, which might seriously discommode an eater who wasn’t part of that ecosystem.I always interpreted orangelle as an orangeblossom sort of taste, more delicate than a real orange citrus taste – I don’t know why, except that orangeblossom is sometimes used with refined sugar and almond flour for fine and delicate kinds of tea biscuits or cookies.

  10. Hanneke

    OK, apparently I’m still not allowed to say Don’t poison the alien, in other words.

  11. CJ

    Here is Hanneke’s post. I do not know what on earth upset our server, possibly words it didn’t understand, but I’m putting it in a quote.

    FROM HANNEKE: “I seem to remember, when Bindanda suggested offering the kyo some teacakes, and Bren was thinking about that, that he considered that these favorite teacakes had simple flavours and ingredients, mostly (refined) flour and sugar, high-caloric, so he thought there was little risk of them causing either allergic or poison-reactions or triggering taste-aversions, but that they would taste like treats to most species capable of eating those kinds of carbohydrates.
    So for these specific teacakes, beloved of both humans, atevi (including the youngster), and the kyo, I think it would be logical to keep it simple.
    I also got the impression they were called tea-cakes because they were often served with tea, not because tea was an ingredient. Considering the dangers inherent in atevi teas and the need to be careful with them across species-boundaries, I don’t think he would consider anything containing them such an easy and safe choice to feed an unknown species as a treat, even if the kyo had been surviving (though losing weight) on human stationer food (which, like the ship staples, was probably mostly yeast-derived). The same probably goes for any kind of herbs or unrefined whole-plant-parts ingredients used for flavouring, as (as far as I know) all plants contain chemicals meant to defend them against nibbling herbivores, which might seriously discommode an eater who wasn’t part of that ecosystem.

    I always interpreted orangelle as an orangeblossom sort of taste, more delicate than a real orange citrus taste – I don’t know why, except that orangeblossom is sometimes used with refined sugar and almond flour for fine and delicate kinds of tea biscuits/cookies.

    Met vriendelijke groeten,

  12. Hanneke

    Thanks, CJ. I’m glad to know I wasn’t accidentally saying something bad.
    The unknown words are just ‘With friendly greetings’ in Dutch, the equivalent of ‘Kind regards’, which gets added to my mail automatically.

  13. Teasel

    Further to teacakes: Thanks for the input. A light sort of cakey thing was my interpretation too, rather than a sweet bun, a European-style yeast cake or something solid like pound cake. I am leaning towards a chiffon cake as the starting point for initial testing, based on my recipe for poppy seed cake. Since the flour and sugar mentioned seem to be pretty “white bread” I don’t thing we need to get complicated with nut flours (no glucose intolerance mentioned in text, just alkyloid intolerance). And with a chiffon cake using egg whites for much of its altitude, standard flour is much easier. This is after all, a thought experiment made real, not an exercise in masochism.
    On further reading I did find reference to butter, at least in spreadable quantities, so conventional icing is possible (although dulce de leche sounds yummy)
    Extra-large cupcake pans or small cake rings sound fine, it’s just I happen to have meat-pie pans which may be altered.
    The chiffon cake recipe starts out soaking a half cup of poppy seeds in a cup of water. I would attempt to grind the seeds to a paste so we don’t get all those little specks, but the nice thing here is that there is a cup of liquid to fool around with to attain the desired flavour. There seems to be much alkyloid in Atevi cooking, just some alkyloids are harmful to humans, some are not. Among foods that contain alkyloids in human cooking are both tea and poppy seeds. A good Earl Grey tea brewed strong should provide sufficient bergamot flavour as part of one trial.
    With regard to orangelle, orange blossom was my first thought too but my local middle-eastern grocery has been out of orange flower water for months (they keep trying to sell me rosewater instead). Grapefruit wouldn’t be my first choice to intensify an orange flavour as I would be the primary food taster and I can’t eat grapefruit (it has weird interactions with at least one of my hypertension medications). I would save anise for later attempts. I agree with Hanneke’s assessment about the universal appeal of teacakes indicating something fairly simple. (If I was inviting Ilisdi to dinner there would certainly be a mole, a Thai curry, or something Ethiopian involving goat. In the last freezer cleanout the last of the bear was eaten, so bourgignon a l’ours is not possible)
    When will testing commence? Not for a couple of weeks anyway. One trouble with that poppy seed cake as a base recipe is it makes a lot of cake and is not easily divided for test batches. I don’t know whether to warn the crew at work or not.

  14. CJ

    I picked that up with no trouble. 😉 Can’t figure. The server has its notions, and it could be something in a letter combination that it didn’t like, the way some servers will censor assassin to ******in. Fortunately the Guild does not face such troubles on THIS server.

    • joekc6nlx

      If the server censors the word, then my naturally dirty mind fills in the blank with an even worse word…….. 😉

    • Silverglass

      I noticed that too. I’m entertaining myself by re-reading the series from the beginning (just starting book 4 now). There were a lot of things I’d forgotten. I liked seeing that graph, it assured me there was more goodness to come…

      • Hanneke

        Silverglass, if you’re rereading anyway, would you be willing to note any new names and add them to the Who’s who? Or would that disrupt your reading enjoyment?

        • Silverglass

          It wouldn’t bother me, but how do you decide what’s “new?” Looks to be 185 pages in the Foreigner Who’s Who. Wouldn’t I have to check every name I come across to see if someone else already listed it? Or am I overlooking an easier way to do this?

          • Hanneke

            What I did was mark on which page I found a name I didn’t immediately recognize, or one of the rare bits of physical descriptions of people (like the kids), or any clear who’s-rated-to-whom bits of genealogy (also rare). I put those little sticky markers on the pages where I found a new name, but jotting down the page number or bookmarking it should work as well.
            Mostly, the stories revolve around the people we already know well, Bren and his aishid, Tabini, Ilisidi & Cenedi, in places we know the names of, like Shejidan, Malguri and Mospheira – those will already be in the wiki and unless you think there’s interesting new information being added there’s no need to note them.
            You might check for the first mention of Damiri and Cajeiri, as I don’t think they were mentioned in the first book but I’m not quite certain when they arrived by name and if that’s already been noted by someone else in the wiki.

            Then when I finished the book I opened the wiki, started paging to the first marker in the book, and typed in the name I found in the search box in the wiki. If it already had a result, I checked if there was new information I could add – if so, or if I didn’t get a result, I made a new entry with the new information. If there wasn’t anything new I could add, I went on to the next bookmark.

            That way, just placing the bookmarks didn’t interrupt my reading too much, and checking them all at once at the end meant that if I’d bookmarked for example Patinandi Aerospace two or three times in the book, I’d recognize them when entering the names, and not have to look them up more than once.

  15. Silverglass

    Ah, I see. I’m reading them on my new Kindle Fire, and I’m still figuring out some of the functions. My old one had a highlight function, I imagine this one has something similar. I suppose I could note names while reading and check the Who’s Who now and then, say at the end of a chapter or something. I’ll give it a try.

  16. chesty

    I can’t find it now, but I recall a scene where Tabini was filing intent with Banichi as his agent. Banichi of Talidi province, as I recall. Anyone else remember that bit of trivia, or am I wrong again?

    • joekc6nlx

      Very first book, Foreigner, when someone had taken the shot at Bren from the garden window, Tabini Filed Intent on Unknown Persons. I wouldn’t have been surprised if Tabini had Filed again after the unknown people shot up the Atageini lilies, but I surmise that would have been encroaching on Tatiseigi’s privilege, since it was Tatiseigi who was the injured party.

    • Neco-ji

      Banichi of Dajoshu Township, of Talidi Province. Page 85 of the paperback Foreigner.

      See, we do know where Banichi comes from. Just not where anyone else comes from (well, apart from the vague reference that Algini once lived near the sea, and that Tano had connections on the North Coast. Jago is a total cipher in that regard.)

      • chesty

        I assumed Jago came from the same place as Banichi, but that’s not a natural assumption for Atevi, is it? I wonder if the fact that we don’t know such a thing is by accident or design.

        • paul

          The foresightful author always leaves several threads hanging loose. 😉

          • chesty

            She is rather wicked good at that. 🙂

  17. chesty

    The thought of Braddock trying to win an election like an honest Mospheiran is giving me a mental fit of giggles.

    • Rigeldeneb

      Braddock is such a 21st century politician-type: convinced only he has the answers despite all evidence to the contrary. Since he came on scene, I have entertained myself imagining what should be done with him. What about sending him to Malguri? That would teach him, though perhaps we shouldn’t put such temptation in Ilisidi’s way! Imagine Braddock on a mecheiti. . .

      • joekc6nlx

        Other small tortures for Braddock at Malguri: no electricity, or only spotty service (no computers, no communications, no minions). Real meat instead of the yeasts he probably prefers…. and then, there’s the “accommodation”, wonder how he’d react to having to stand over a hole in the floor…..LOL….

  18. scenario_dave

    Give Braddock to the humans. Less chance of him being a martyr. If he’s convicted prison. If he’s not he has to apply to get back to the station; never going to happen. Bureaucracies have their advantages. I don’t think someone who openly says he’s the leader of the pilots guild will have many friends. Some human will probably file intent on him, legal or not.

  19. scenario_dave

    Give Braddock to the humans on the planet. Less chance of him being a martyr. If he’s convicted prison. If he’s not he has to apply to get back to the station; never going to happen. Bureaucracies have their advantages. I don’t think someone who openly says he’s the leader of the pilots guild will have many friends. Some human will probably file intent on him, legal or not.

    • chesty

      I’d like to see him run for office, and fall flat on his face. Teach him and his ilk a lesson. Okay, maybe they wouldn’t learn anything, but I’d still like to see it. 😉

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