I owe someone.

Quite awhile ago, Mr. Nazca sent me a certain little book in the mail and by doing so, threw down the figurative gauntlet. My challenge, assuming that I would choose to accept it, was to read said book and at the very least attempt a recipe.

The book in question: Nanny Ogg’s Cookbook: A useful and improving Almanack of Information including Astonishing Recipes from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.

I’m serious.

Apparently Nanny Ogg is the one that everyone goes to for advice. Having never heard of Nanny Ogg before this book, I was quite surprised to learn that I can, in fact, consult her for all sorts of friendly tips including, but not limited to, ettiquette with scarecrows; how to properly offer an umbrella and how to behave at a ball. Nanny Ogg also offers marriage advice, which isn’t useful to me at the moment, but should I ever be married I know that I can count on Nanny Ogg’s to instruct me in the proper way to argue with my husband.

Very useful.

There’s a section on “Etiquette in the Bedroom”, but it seems the most important bits are obscured by printed notes that must have been overlooked during the printing process. Unfortunately the notes cover up the parts where Nanny Ogg’s explains how to … ah … handle things.

Not so useful.

Anyway, the best part of the book is clearly the recipe section. Who wouldn’t want to try Mrs Colon’s Genyooin Klatchian Curry or Nobby Mum’s Distressed Pudding?

My personal favourite, and the recipe that I shall hold dearest, is the one for Bread and Water. Luckily I have the ingredients for that on hand pretty much all of the time.

When it came time to decide what to make in order to impress Mr. Nazca, I seriously considered Knuckle Sandwich, but instead settled for Nanny Ogg’s Perfectly Innocent Porridge. The recipe includes one for Completely Innoffensive Honey Mixture Which Shouldn’t Make Anyone’s Wife Laugh, unfortunately, that recipe calls for rose petals and edible gold leaf which are, sadly, in short supply these days.

Nanny Ogg’s porridge was quite delicious, though. I topped it off with vanilla sugar, butter and blueberries. I’m assuming Nanny Ogg’s would approve.

I must say I was wonderfully entertained by this book. I just hope the reprint clears up that Etiquette in the Bedroom section …

Mr. Nazca, consider our debt settled. For now.


A Recipe for Porridge based loosely on what Nanny Ogg says …

Serves 2 people.

1 cup porridge oats
1 cup whole milk (you can also use water but that’s so boring)
optional toppings: butter, brown sugar, vanilla sugar, fresh fruit, nuts …

Combine the oats and the milk in a small pot and let come to a boil.

Reduce heat and let simmer for about 5 minutes, until the oats are cooked through.

Serve immediately with the toppings of your choice.