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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thursday Recipe - Vern, Dragoneye PI, and his Fast Chili

Please welcome Vern, the DragonEye PI, to The Far Edge of Normal. I admit I don't often get to interview dragons. I'm glad this one was long-distance, despite his assurances that he doesn't eat people.
Hi, Vern. I hear you are quite the private investigator. What case was your favorite?

My favorite? How about the ones where I’m not hurt, embarrassed, or lose something valuable—and I get well paid in the end? *sigh* Those, unfortunately, don’t make interesting reading.

Karina chose to write one of the most embarrassing, annoying cases for her first DragonEye, PI novel. We were “volunteered” to babysit a bunch of Faerie at a Mensa convention. Okay, it was a convention; we didn’t expect all the Magicals to behave, but to declare war on Florida? Magic, Mensa, and Mayhem won the 2010 INDIE award for best fantasy, so apparently, you Mundanes enjoy reading about me being annoyed.

Thus encouraged, Karina has novelized the case where we take on a Norse goddess who wants to destroy the world—your world—in hopes it will get her husband out of Helheim. (It’s a Norse thing.) I actually had a lot of fun on this case, which almost made up for iron poisoning, nearly being eaten by a giant board game, and getting shrunk to the size of a Great Dane. Live and Let Fly comes out in April from MuseItUp.

Does being large, red, scaly, and a dragon help or do you find people are prejudiced against dragons?

I am a superior species, top of the food chain. I command respect from all sentients (intellectually challenged knights notwithstanding). Of course, that was in Faerie. Here, in the Mundane, I spent the first few years just trying to convince people that I had not eaten their cats, did not need rabies shots, and, yes, I was better “housetrained” than aforementioned intellectually challenged knights. Things are better now, but I’d just like to mention that the government still refuses to consider dragons as “persons,” and I still cannot get a green card.

Coyote the Trickster God has a green card, and I cannot get one. Where is the justice in that?

I've heard rumors that dragons eat virgins. Is that still true or are you enlightened now?

The only enlightenment needed is for the humans. Let’s do the math: two-ton omnivore… 125-pound adrenalin-filled waif dripping tears and snot? Or 1200-pound dairy cow, milk included? Honestly, virgin meals are kind of like French Haute Cuisine—looks good, not exactly filling. Plus, dealing with the heroes was a pain. Give me a nice juicy bovine instead.

I was just starting to get the humans in my territory trained up to this fact when St. George decided to use me in God’s ineffable plans. One thing I will say about the Mundane world: when you get a take-out order wrong, you usually apologize and offer a discount on the next meal.

What about Hostess products? At our house, we call them politically correct virgins because they're untouched by human hands.

*snort* I like that. Unfortunately, I’d probably get in trouble if I used that phrase. When a dragon mentions virgins, people automatically get the wrong idea.

I don’t like chocolate, and the individual wrappings are a lot of work for what’s, to me, a tiny reward. I’d rather pry a knight out of his armor. However, when I was bored and truly desperate for food, I did come across an entire gross of Twinkies in the back of my lair. (The lair is an old warehouse of some crazy packrat who upon death, donated it complete with contents to the local parish, who sold it to me.) I spent two days just opening plastic wrap and eating Twinkies. The next day and a half, I pretty much slept. Too much sugar, even for my metabolism.

Are you into health food? What would constitute a good meal for a dragon?

After the Great Twinkie Feast, I’ve been a little more careful about what (or at least how much) Mundane food I put in my gullet. Having said that, I thoroughly enjoy the variety of cuisine I’ve found in Los Lagos. Natura, who owns a restaurant that does theme buffets, is always good for giving me the leftovers. Love Indian nights! Of course, nothing beats Rosa’s chili. She always adds extra Bhut Jolokia pepper sauce for me. Closest thing to breathing fire you can get.

Would you mind sharing your recipe?

I’m a dragon. My recipes tend to be swoop from above, snag, carry off and use your teeth to peel off the hide. Or in some cases, roast to taste. Unlike the dragons in your movies, I have precise control over my fire. I can cook a steak to medium-well or I can weld a steel door shut. I’ve lit cigarettes, too.

Rosa won’t share her recipe, but I’ll pass you on to Karina for hers.

Karina: Mine is pretty basic, but only takes five minutes to do, and even the kids can put it together. I usually make it at the same time I make sloppy joes, so that we have two meals done at once.

Fast Chili:

1 pound ground beef
1 can hot chili, no beans
1 can chili with beans
½ can diced tomatoes
½ to 1 can tomato sauce (depends on how thick you like the chili)
¼ chopped onion
¼ can chopped green chilis
Chopped bell pepper (optional)

How simple is that? Brown the beef, drain the grease, crack open the cans, pour them in and stir while you heat it up. It’s a great meal on cold days for a busy family.

Thanks so much for stopping by. And thanks to Karina Fabian for putting me in touch with Vern, the dragon PI.