“The Dread Crew of Oddwood’s story begins in a time of endless bounty and exploration. Our protagonist, Wolfbeard O’Brady, is a strong-willed and gradually balding lad of fifteen winters. In order to escape the Great Whiskey Famine of 1735, he leaves Ireland in an empty barrel, in search of more booze. After many moons drifting the seas, he washes ashore in Germany and rolls to the nearest city.”
The rest is an amazing tale of pillage and plunder and the lust for a “well tended” life through the years. Comrades were lost along the way, new seafaring souls have come on board. Currently featuring Captain Wolfbeard O’Brady on accordion and whistles, Riven Rahl on toy piano, Rouba Juba on mandolin and steel-string guitar, Stark Cordwain on Irish bouzouki and tin whistle, Deckard Cordwain on ukulele, Smithy Crow on upright bass, and Gunmaster Castle on a mini drum contraption and steel pans, these lads have the energy and talents to keep on churning out incredibly interesting stuff.
The Dread Crew has coined the “Heavy Mahogany” musical genre label (thus the name of their latest CD), and with good reason. They have amassed an applaudable sized following since their beginnings back in 2008. They have received local and national radio play, and have performed live at some of the biggest fairs in the nation.
Being introduced to their band last year via the Renaissance and Pirate Faire circuits, their music and live shows were incredibly rough around the edges. With handfuls of those who caught the shows at one place or another, it seemed to be a situation of people either really loving The Dread Crew, or really not. They must have been working on the unplugged shows, because their recent gig running with the Southern California Renaissance Faire has brought out a more comprehensible show experience. There have been some people in the “really not” category that have happily changed over since the beginning of the Faire. If you have found yourself in that same preference, it’d be good to give them another chance when you can. Make sure that it’s on the NC-17 stage.
As always, The Dread Crew puts out an enormous amount of energy. It’s being channeled into a good mix of audience participation, pleasure in their music, and rum-drenched-head-banging-hair-flinging.
Probably the best example of their energies has been the release of their latest CD, “Heavy Mahogany”. Right off the bat, it’s worth buying it. The CD case alone is chock full of eye-candy-story-artwork and lyrics.
The first track brings in a powerful start with “Meat Bread and Wine”, a song of camaraderie and pleasures in life, along with a toast to living another year and having another drink. This song is the first teasing bit into the harmonies that the gents are capable of on this album. At the end of the song, the CD paused for the next track, and the thought of “Holy crap, this shit is good” (verbatim) came into the brain.
Æirship Of Doom is a fantastically imaginative story, while keeping true to the roughened piratical nature. The harmonies come in and add a great effect to the chorus to the point of being catchy enough to have it stuck in the head for hours after.
Just a side note, at this point, one hopes that any who have prejudices regarding accordions has since been swayed. Yes, Wolfbeard’s accordion rocks this album.
Moving on through the songs, Brothel Royale! is a plethora of whores here/there/everywhere, dirty lyrics and enticing rhymes. Or perhaps it’s enticing lyrics and dirty rhymes.
If you’re looking for a harder sound, the song Berserker is for you. It brings out the deep, dark depths of the non-Disney’fied pirate soul.
The end of the album rounds itself out nicely with a Spanish undead uprising (Flesh Breakfast), Serpents Feast, and a brilliant mix of punk and celtic stylings in the Seafarers Medley.
Immortal Souls. As with anyone who has a musical or other artistic ambition, there’s the urge for the music to get out into the cosmos. Through this song, the soul of The Dread Crew of Oddwood, with its sea shanties, adventures, and legends will continue to get tossed about through the eternities where they will forever live on.
All in all, this album is an amazing collection of skills from some extremely talented guys. The lyrics embrace so much of pirate lore, the music can be enthralling and sometimes slightly hypnotic, and it’s apparent that a lot of heart, sweat, and blood went into this.
In continuing with keeping their fan base entertained, their website (CLICK HERE) is full of things to keep your eyes satiated for hours. Everything from the “About” story being read aloud as an audio book by Wolfbeard himself, to lyrics on past albums, shows and past shows, and their marketplace (where you can just so happen to purchase the newest album, “Heavy Mahogany”, along with other of their merch). If you’re out at the So. California Renaissance Faire, they have most of their stuff available for sale onsite.
The last album released had the first track “Queen’s Decree”. They turned out a brilliantly constructed music video. Check it out here! The ending will even fulfill a bit more of the nerd-side. Beware, gratuitous puppet blood.
WANT TO SEE MORE PICTURES?
Recently, The Dread Crew of Oddwood provided their taste buds for this week’s recipe, Rum Runner’s Trifle. They approved of it, and let the lowly messengers escape unharmed. Click here to view the recipe!
Mead. Honey Wine. Grog. “Pond Water”. For Renaissance Faire-goers, sweet wine aficionados, and the normal mortal human alike, there can always be Mead. The sweet honey nectar starts at the basic part of fermentation and home brewing, and can reap some amazing rewards. Some brewers opt to add fruit and spices, each creating a new, bright, and unique taste. However, it can take up to a month for the brew to finish. If you’re rushed for a refreshing glass, and don’t have a store that carries it nearby, here’s an exceedingly easy recipe that can cost as little $7.50, and that’s if you have to go out and buy the wine and honey. Ladies and gents, I give you: Minute Mead. *Slainte*
This recipe creates a moderately heavy honey taste. The Chablis is the undertone flavor on this. You can always adjust according to your own preference.
1 – 1.5L bottle of dessert wine (using Chablis)
2/3 cup honey
(2) 2cup, or larger, liquid measuring cup, one of them should be Microwaveable
Warning: Due to displacement with the honey as a denser additive, there will be a slight bit of extra wine. Consume as necessary.
- Pour 8 ounces (1cup) of wine from the bottle into each measuring cup. Into the one microwaveable cup, add the 2/3 cup honey.
- Microwave the honey and wine mix for 1 minute on High. Keep an eye on it to prevent boiling.
- Stir mix to make sure that the honey is incorporated into the wine to create a uniformed concentrate.
- Pour this back into the wine bottle.
- Replace cap on the wine bottle & shake gently to mix. Remove cap to allow any heat built up to escape. If there is still a bit of room in the bottle, feel free to add any more of the remaining wine from the other measuring cup (if not yet consumed). Remember to leave a little room in the bottle for agitation.
- Replace cap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- Enjoy. The longer that it sits, the more it will “mature”, and the honey flavor will deepen slightly. Use within a month. (Personal experience has left bottles for up to a year, although it gets a little murky).
For times when more would be required, many stores also carry the Chablis in the big jug bottles (Carlo Rossi has a 3.0L bottle, which would mean that you just double everything). Muawahahahaha.
This week’s NOMonster recipe is for all you unicorn owners, breeders, and seekers. This fun and easy recipe is for Unicorn Kibble, to lure and keep your magical creature happy, sweet, and in non-attack mode. It also includes the sacrificial butchering of any leftover Peeps, from Easter, who were previously not content with being consumed.
These treats usually pull the best magic when left out in a green-filled nature area, close to midnight, on a full moon. And you have to believe. *Results are not guaranteed*
3 tablespoons butter
35 marshmallow chick Peeps (if none available, convert count to equal 1 ½ bunnies per 1 chick)
6 cups Fruity Pebbles
Wilton’s Sparkle Gel (optional)
Preferred Cooling Platform (Greased baking sheet, muffin/mini muffin molds, etc)
- Cut Peeps into small pieces to make the melting process easier, and to minimize the Peep movement for color cross contamination.
- Turn on stovetop to a medium-low, more towards the lower side. Add the butter to a pot and melt completely.
- Add the sacrificial Peeps bits, keeping the colors separate. DO NOT STIR OR MIX.
- If you are not sure if the Peeps are melting, as they can generally keep their form due to the sugar coating, use a buttered spatula to gently prod the Peeps. A well melted Peep will give way easily. The non-melted Peeps will still hold their normal strengthened marshmallow form.
- Once the Peeps appear to have all melted, remove from heat.
- Add in the 6 cups of Fruity Pebbles, and stir to combine.
- Once combined, move to the Preferred Cooling Platform until set.
- If applicable: Use a brush to apply the Glitter Gel
***Making these long after your Peeps are gone? This recipe works fine and dandy with regular marshmallows. Just substitute the Peeps with 1 (10 oz.) package marshmallows.***
And as always with nature, what goes in, must come out. Digested magic in Unicorn Poop! Make it at home!
Fun Unicorn Facts
Robot Unicorn Attack (Game) from Adult Swim
Charlie The Unicorn
Would Jack Shephard really have been so weepy and emotionally distressed if he would have had a decent meal? The island on LOST had to have had some critters running around. This would make enough for those who survived the crash and weren’t taken in the night.
Yup, that’s the twist being taken this week. Might not be a great tie-in, but this was one heck-of-a delicious recipe. Bacon always makes everything better. It was either this, or make references to the father & son acting legacies, William and Mark Sheppard (and work with aged and fresh ingredients).
2 – 2.6L casserole dishes
1 – skillet
1 – large pan
1 – large bowl
Various heat resistant stirring utensils
2 pounds ground beef
8 strips of thick cut bacon
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 packets of the McCormick Brown Gravy powder
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups chopped mushrooms
1 cup frozen peas
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
The Potatoes (Loaded)
Mashed Potatoes cooked to a standard recipe (probably about 8 large potatoes worth)
1/2 cup chopped chives
1 1/2 cup grated Aged Cheddar
Salt & Pepper to taste
1. Preheat over to 400 degrees F.
2. Meat in a skillet: Chop the bacon into small pieces and cook until crispy. Do not drain. Remove 1/3 of the bacon from the pan and set aside. Add the ground beef and Worcestershire sauce. Brown the beef at a medium temperature, salt and pepper to taste. Once the ground beef is cooked, add the 1 1/2 cups water and the 2 McCormick Gravy packets, simmer on medium-low.
3. Veggies in a large pan: Add the Olive Oil to the pan, and let warm up on a medium-low setting. Add the carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and mushrooms. Add the 2 teaspoons of salt and pepper. Stir occasionally. Once the onions start to become translucent, add in the frozen peas. Let the veggies sweat for about 5 more minutes.
4. Potatoes in a large bowl: Mash the equivalent of the 8 large potatoes in a large bowl for a standard mashed potato recipe. Add in 1 cup of Aged Cheddar and chives. Stir until well combined. If the cheese doesn’t melt completely, don’t worry, it will melt in the oven.
5. Add a layer of veggies at the bottom of the casserole dishes.
6. Add a layer of the meats on top of the veggies. Stir slightly to combine in the casserole dishes.
7. Top with a layer of the loaded mashed potatoes. Add in remaining 1/2 cup of Ages Cheddar on top.
8. Pop into the oven on the middle rack at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes. This should be enough time for the juices to start bubbling up.
9. Remove and let cool. Share and enjoy!
Little Amelia Pond, not scared of anything. Box falls out of the sky, man falls out of the box, man eats fish custard. Brave Amelia Pond, with one hell of a scary crack in her wall. Amelia hated apples, until her mum carved a face into one. With her mum and dad gone, little more than a memory, Amelia Pond is pretty much on her own.
When those apples started to turn, what did Amelia or her aunt do with them? Seems a shame to waste a perfectly friendly apple.
Here’s a recipe that both adults and kids can enjoy. Don’t worry, the alcohol in the rum burns off when making the glaze, leaving a delicious sweetness.
The Saucey Glaze:
• 1 cup dark brown sugar
• 1 cup Vanilla Rum (used Whaler’s brand)
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon ground cloves
• Small pinch of ground ginger
• 12 small to medium apples, washed, cored, and carved with smiley faces (used Honeycrisp because of the sweetness)
• 4 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
• 1 ½ cups unsweetened apple cider
For the glaze: In a medium saucepan, combine the dark brown sugar, rum, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and that small pinch of ginger. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 3 to 4 minutes to allow the sugar and other ingredients to blend together (sugar dissolved) and thicken slightly.
For the apples: Preheat the oven to 375F.
Line, with foil, a baking dish that is large enough to hold all of the apples. Arrange the apples in a single layer. Pour the glaze over the apples and top each with pieces of butter. Add the cider to the bottom of the dish and place it in the center of the oven.
Bake for about 45 to 50 minutes until desires tenderness. Remove and let cool.
Delicious with ice cream, whipped cream, or even custard.
“Luke! Luke! Come inside and have some blue milk.” The obvious was pointed out in Seth MacFarlane’s “Blue Harvest”, and we all laughed. Star Wars broke through so many creative barriers, even thought went into what type and color the milk would be. While Bantha Milk isn’t native to Earth, you can still have fun making a tasty treat an using your ***imaaaagination***.
The basic idea would be to use blue food coloring in regular milk (2 drops per roughly 1 cup of milk turned a decent result). There’s a recipe out in the cyber world that calls for Soy Milk and Blue Powder Punch mix, however, the local corner ethnic store didn’t have a wild collection of Kool-Aid, let alone blue punch mix.
The Soy Milk added an interesting nutty taste, however, it didn’t go great with the fruitiness. The regular milk provided more of a Berry-creamsicle flavor.
With summer rapidly approaching, here’s a new spin on the Blue Milk idea. It is a chilled, tasty treat for those hot Tatooine-esque summer days.
Blue Milk Popsicles
2 Cups Cold Milk
3 Tablespoons Blue Jell-O
Mix the milk and Jell-O together in a bowl with a whisk. DO NOT HEAT. Make sure well combined. Pour into the popsicle molds and chill until solid. Remove and enjoy!
***If you’re a fan of the blue milk mustache, you can drink this cold, in a non-frozen version. The Jell-O will set slightly to give a thicker, milkshake-esque texture, and is just as tasty.
Welcome to this week’s NOMonster’s treat!
What doesn’t scream “Green” with the upcoming Irish day like Gorn Cupcakes! Pwn the Gorn, like St. Patrick pwned those snakes!
These are super easy and fun to make. Granted, only while Twinkies are still in existence.
The batch pictured in this post was made by a good friend, Marina Molnar, for an IFT (International Federation of Trekkers) Post-Vegas Convention Party.
1 box of standard vanilla cake mix (and required ingredients for it)
Green icing (if none available, use Vanilla with Wilton’s Green tinting dye)
Black Icing (in the tube w/ small tip)
Yellow Icing (in the tube w/ small tip)
Candy “pearl” beads
Sour Apple Candy Ribbons
Bake the cupcake mix normally according to the directions on the box. If you want to add a unique twist, add in a bit of the Wilton’s Green tinting dye into the batter. Pour mix into the cupcake tray, bake, remove, and cool.
For the Green icing, place in a microwave safe bowl, and microblast for 20 seconds. Stir thoroughly until smooth and slightly glossy. This gives an even coat over the entire cupcake surface.
Unwrap the Twinkies. Cut in half.
Take a few Sour Apple Candy Ribbons, and cut a zig-zag design all the way down (sharp, small kitchen scissors might work best for this). Cut into pieces that are slightly shorter than the length of the halved Twinkie (maybe around 1 ½”).
Make sure that the cupcakes have completely cooled.
Place a small dollop of icing in the center of the top of the cupcake to hold the Twinkie in place.
Place one half-Twinkie on top of the dollop in the center.
Spread the green icing all over the top of the cupcake, covering the Twinkie, with an even coating.
If the icing is still warm on the cupcake, allow to cool. A quick trip into the fridge might help.
Add in the candy “pearl” beads as eyes, one on each side of the head.
Get the black and yellow icing ready to go. If you warm the tube in your hands, it comes out a bit easier.
With the yellow icing, start with a small down and up motion close to the bottom of the Gorn head. Start close to where the back of the head would be, and go all the way around, leaving a bit of space in between each stroke to give the impression of menacing teeth.
Add on the Gorn eyebrows, nostrils, and mouth lining (see images for reference).
Take one of the cut Sour Apply Candy Ribbon pieces and place at the top center of the head for “spikes”.