Wilson Kane wins a fortune and his future bride at a game of dice from the former pirate Balthasar. When he decides to go and get the girl, the pirate way, by kidnapping her, not only he finds out that she is more than a pirate could ever want from a wife... but that she has 4 identical sisters as well.
This discovery hits him when his men, who were supposed to help him out, each kidnaps a different girl... and none of them gets the right one! But Wilson Kane wants the girl he had met and no one else! Luckily for him it will be the girl herself to solve his problem and put an end to his dilemma...
a solution that will eventually fling her into a new way of life, aboard the Alidivento, across the Mediterranea sea!
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Monday, September 13, 2010
Chapter 7 A - curiosities
What Quoque Tu prepared for Castalia is probably a dish like the one to the side: nice juicy potatoes in saffron sauce! I adore it. The use of apricots, sugar, citrus, sweet melons, rice, saffron, raisins, nutmeg, clove, pepper, pine nuts, cinnamon (along with fried preparations) is a sign of Arab influences from the Arab domination of Sicily in the 10th and 11th centuries. (Wikipedia)
Let's go back to our spuds, now!. This thing called potato, arrived in Europe from the New World between 1550 and 1580.
For many many years it was cultivated by botanists out of curiosity. It made cute flowers, sure... but its leaves were considered poisonous and so the whole plant was considered dangerous.
You have to consider what kind of diet people had back in the XVII century, even the poor ones (based on legumes and cereals). You also have to consider the kind of agriculture they had back then. They followed the seasons and they rotated the crops in the fields in order to keep the nutrition in the soil.
Eventually most farmers realized that potatoes, by growing underground, were a safe thing to cultivate and you know why? Because soldiers and bandit invading your village and pillaging crops... would never dig!
Guess where the thing spread the most and in the fastest way too? One of the most invaded and pillaged Countries of all times: Italy.
Now, cultivating potatoes in a large scale where it was not impossible was even prohibited. It would require too much land and there goes the rotation and the whole cultivation system. That's why people would have small patches to grow potatoes and mainly it was not meant to be for humans. Try and feed potatoes to a pig... how they love it!
They grow big and chubby and imagine all the nice little sausages, pancetta, lard and prosciutto you can make out of a chubby pig. Now that stuff would feed you and give you nutrition for a very long time... for carbs... you have bread (we are not talking about white bread, of course).
Eventually very poor farmers and very poor people would adapt to eat potatoes and, little by little, potatoes entered the European food chain.
So what Castalia gets is... pigs food. What Kane gets is... all that his mom could afford to feed him.
One should only be surprised to see him live past his fifth year and manage to enter the statistic that would see him live until his seventies.
But... what is the boy dreaming of? Sesame bread!
Now this bread is made of semolina flour, not white flour. Some people on the web states it can be kept for several days... but it's not true: you have to eat it on the very same day, the day after you'd eat rubber. No matter what they say, fresh is best!
What Kane is looking at are freshly baked Mafaldas and Filoni put in a basket, ready to be delivered door to door. You need to try some of this, when it's warm and freshly baked... it smells fantastic and taste so good (to me it's the best bread in the World).
Even if you love potatoes you'd totally understand what the poor boy is going through when bread smells so delicious!
I stole this picture from Wikipedia...
Again... we see no forks on these pirates' table.
In the packed dinner Cat gives Kane we see a bowl, 4 pieces of focaccia bread (but I think it's Naan) and 2 spoons.
Napkins? Forge about it! Did you know that up until the 1700 people would wipe their mouths on their sleeves or use the tablecloth? Now the tablecloth would touch the floor, where all kinds of little critters could be found, and they would pick the very edge of the tablecloth, the one that touched the ground, and wipe themselves off. They would not change it nor wash it for weeks either. I am not talking about the poor people, I am talking about Marie Antoinette and buddies too!
That kind of people... fancily dressed and heavily perfumed, to cover up the nasty body odors since they almost never bathe, all covered in makeups and with scabs on the palm of their hands.
No fork... again it's something that was born back in the days, disappeared and then came back. The World started using the fork in the 1800 or so. Before that... eh, yeah, Italians were using forks already in the 1600 because it made them look dainty. Now forks, back then, were really like forks... with two points and sharp ones too. Imagine rolling maccheroni with that! Ha ha ha.
Would it surprise you if I told you that the Church condemned the use of forks? Not because it looks like the fork the Devil has (and I am beginning to wonder if that is when the fork became the Devil's most favorite tool LOL)... but because being dainty is sinful.
So everybody would either use spoon or hands! Hands were very common for eating meats... honestly I think that table manner still says to use hands for certain types of meats. To me - I am vegetarian - hands must be used for pizza!
Another Italian saying for you, today: Fortunato in amor non giochi a carte!
(if you are lucky with love, don't play card games). Also known as: fortunato al gioco, sfortunato in amore - lucky at cards, unlucky in love (this is used everywhere though).
Hence Cat proposes to find a boyfriend for Kes, so she'll finally stop winning. Ironically enough, when the doctor shows up, she does loose! LOL.
Maybe some sayings are true.
And we find out about another golden rule for pirates: no gambling on board!
Because the problem of gambling is... loosing! Right?
People start a fight and there are problems and then certain things might happen in hot blood and if you are feeling too hot you'd have to go jump jump.
Before you ask: yes, Kane has a brother, we will see him again very soon.. XD