Posted (without permission) because this little recipe from John Ringo is getting hard to find these days:
A Recipe for Clay-Roasted Suckling Damn-Beast
by John Ringo
Short Story published in March 2001 (scifidimensions)
[This story may contain language objectionable to some readers.]
The following is a recipe for "Clay-Roasted Suckling Damn-Beast", a delicacy of the planet Marduk.
We would like to thank Sergeant Adib Julian for his helpful suggestions and tips on preparing this appetizing dish.
And this is just one of the hundreds of useful recipes in Interplanetary Fanny's New Book: "Intergalactic Cooking for the Mom on the Go!" (Elease March 3428 AD, JB5Clone Publishing Enterprises).
Follow these steps for a delightful meal!
Since these are fiercely guarded by one or the other of the mated pair of damn-beasts, this is, naturally, the hardest part. The second hardest part is finding a damn-beast den. The dens are commonly found in rocky upland areas, but are occasionally found in holes beneath mature faux-teak trees. Whether they are beneath faux-teak or in rocky outcroppings, mature dens will only be found on or near hilltops that are out of reach of Marduk's notorious floods. The openings are relatively small for such a large carnivore, but the damn-beast can flatten itself oblately - and so must the damn-beast hunter.
Placing a group of guards outside the den, a single person, after removing his or her battle armor, can normally worm his or her way into the entrance. It requires a person who is not overlarge or heavyset and fundamentally unafraid of confined spaces.
Remember that the damn-beast is heavily armored in the frontal quarters. Since this is the only part our intrepid hunter is going to see, it is imperative that a high quality weapon be toted into the burrow. Although one might prefer a plasma rifle, there are countervailing arguments (you can't fit it in the burrow, it will kill and torch the kits you're planning on eating, the blast will probably bring down the roof and even if it doesn't the back-blast in that confined space will surely kill you).It is recommended that you use a bead pistol with armor piercing rounds. If such a weapon or ammunition is unavailable, the traditional Mardukan weapon of choice is an assegai, a short spear. However, uhmmm, Mardukans generally don't fit in the burrows so it's not so much traditional as what they would use - if they were stupid enough to try it and could fit in the burrow.
Burrow tunnels are normally 20-30 meters in length, about a meter and a half wide and a half meter high. They will have two to three twists in them and at least one "gooseneck" to catch runoff from Marduk's notorious rains. Note that the gooseneck will often contain standing water, but the intrepid hunter should be able to duck through it and get to air on the other side.
These burrows exist because the damn-beast is a natural prey of the HOLY-SHIT! beast. All items relating to preparation of Roast Suckling Damn-Beast can be used for Roast Suckling HOLY-SHIT! beast. However, the hunter is reminded that the HOLY-SHIT! beast is seven times the size of the damn-beast. Dress appropriately
Passing through these obstacles our hunter should shortly thereafter encounter the defending parent damn-beast. Remember, the damn-beast has no vulnerabilities on the front end. If using an automatic weapon, long, wildly uncontrolled bursts are the way to go. You won't have much time, so putting as many armor piercing rounds as possible on target is the only way to be around to write your own article. Care and decorum are not keynote words for the few seconds between "What's that smell?" and "Oh, THANK GOD that's over!"
If you're using an assegai...drop me a note afterwards, will you? Not before, though. I'm required by Imperial Law to report suicide attempts.
Having dispatched the defending parent you will have to make your way past the carcass. Since it will more or less block the opening to the den, I leave the method up to the discretion of the hunter. (In my case, let me say two words: Big. Knife.).
After this you will have reached the horrible little bastards you are after. By this time they will be feeding on their deceased parent, snapping at you and generally making a real pain-in-the-ass of themselves. You can't kill the little bastards, (though if you ever try this, and succeed, you will understand my lack of kindness towards these horrible little snapping-turtle m*&^%$#@$%^&g bastards) because the cook wants them "as fresh as possible". (The stupid m*&^%$#@%^&r. See him trying this?)
Proceed to pick them up and put them in the sack you brought... Look, if you just brought these instructions with you and didn't read it in advance it's not my fault you didn't bring a sack! Proceed to...oh, I already said that. And I suppose you forgot really thick, leather or synth-armor gloves, right? Well, if you did, you're in trouble. These little c*&^%$#@%rs can BITE.
Once you have them in the sack, you are more or less done. Well, except for turning around (I did mention this requires a small person, right? Right?) and crawling back through the, you know, the debris. Dragging a sack. Full of screaming, clawing little m*&^%$#@cking demons. But you're more or less done. With step one.
Step two: Kill the little c*&^%$#@%rs.
The cook will probably want to do this him (or her) self until he (or she) tries it with one. And he (or she) will go on and on about not disturbing them and proper bleeding, etc.
Grab your gloves. Take a big cleaver...
Let the cook skin them. The scum gets all over your hands and stinks to high heaven. You already took a couple of showers and a bath to get momma off of you and you don't need to take a couple of more.
Stuff with barley rice and Mardukan taters. If the barley rice is seasoned with jcsauce, it adds piquancy. (Piquancy here refers to the fact that jcsauce is slightly hotter than pure capsicum.)
Wrap in leaves (fire-tree leaves if available) and cover with a thick coating of wet clay. Cook in hot fire and maintain fire while cooking. Serve whole on a bed of barley rice surrounded by sliced kangoes.
Tastes like frog-legs.
Sgt. Adib Julian
Bronze Battalion (Prince Roger's Elite)
Empire of Man