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A Very Shiny Firefly Feast!

Published on 18 December, 2019

Authored by Titan Books

Feeling uninspired by your Christmas menu? Want to do a twist on the holiday classics, but not sure where to start? We’re here to help with some of the best recipes in the ‘verse, straight from the pages of Firefly: The Big Damn Cookbook!


4 Servings

Warming to the core, variations of this drink can be found throughout the ’Verse, but this one struck me as particularly pleasant. The sweetness helps to smooth rough country red wine, and it is often served at festive occasions. A word to the wise: although I’m one for marriages between two fully consenting adults, recipes such as this have been used on some Border worlds to marry away kinfolk to unsuspecting off-worlders or residents of the next village over.


Prep: 5 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes


1/2 cup sugar or honey

25 fl oz bottle red wine

6 cinnamon sticks

2 whole star anise

6 whole cloves

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 cup brandy

1/2 apple, cored and diced

10 oz can mandarin orange slices in juice


Combine the sugar and red wine in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir for several minutes, until the sugar has dissolved, then turn the heat down a little more, so it never quite reaches a simmer.

Add the cinnamon sticks straight to the pot. Combine the anise, cloves, and fennel seeds in a small cloth bag or tea strainer, and suspend in the wine. Let it infuse for about 30 minutes. In the last 10 minutes of steeping, add the brandy, diced apple, and both the orange slices and their juice. Bring back up to just under a simmer, then remove from heat. Discard the spices and serve wine topped with fruit in heat-proof mugs.



4 Servings

There was a place near where River and I grew up that had the most amazing duck. Our father used to pick one up sometimes on his way home from work. I loved the crispy, colorful skin and the richness of the meat.


Prep: 10 minutes

Cook: 1 1/2–2 hours


1 duck, about 4–5lb

1 Tbsp oil

Salt, to taste

1 lemon, sliced thin

2 cinnamon sticks

1/2 cup pomegranate juice

1/4 cup plum wine

1/4 cup orange juice

1 Tbsp sugar

1 Tbsp ground ginger

2 star anise

Pinch ground cinnamon

Pomegranate seeds (optional)


Preheat the oven to 400°F and set out a roasting pan.

Pat the duck dry and prick it all over the breast area to help the fat run off. Rub lightly with oil to help the skin brown, sprinkle with a little salt, then fill with the sliced lemon and cinnamon sticks.

In a small saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients, except the pomegranate seeds, and bring up to just a simmer, then remove from heat. Pour this over the duck, then move the roasting pan to the oven. Cook for around 11/2 hours, or longer depending on the size of your bird, basting occasionally, and covering with foil if it starts to get too brown. When done, move to a serving platter and let rest for a few minutes before scattering over the pomegranate seeds and carving. Excellent with plum sauce on the side.




8 Servings

Since I never had a chance to taste it, I asked Kaylee for the recipe she used to make my birthday cake. It’s... interesting. Definitely not like something we would have eaten on Osiris, where we had easy access to flour and all the basic ingredients that usually go into a real cake. But I think I could come around to it, with time. Kaylee suggested I add some flour back into the recipe, though, to make it a little more… cake-like.


Prep: 10 minutes

Bake: 30 minutes



4 Tbsp butter, melted

1/2 cup cocoa powder

15 oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 Tbsp hot water

3 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

4 Tbsp butter, melted

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 cup flour

2 Tbsp vinegar


8 Tbsp butter, melted

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9 inch round baking pan and dust with cocoa.

In a medium mixing bowl, puree the chickpeas with the hot water and eggs using an immersion blender. When the mixture is smooth, add in the sugar, butter, salt, baking soda, vanilla, cinnamon, and cocoa. Once this is all incorporated, add in the flour. Finally, quickly stir in the vinegar just before baking. Transfer the thick batter to the baking pan and move to the oven. Bake for about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

When the cake is done, set the pan on a cooling rack until completely cooled. In the meantime, make up the frosting. Combine the melted butter and cocoa powder until you have a thick paste. Beat the mixture, alternately adding the powdered sugar and the milk until you have a consistency you like. Add the vanilla. Once the cake is completely cool, spread the frosting over it. Decorate with candles for a special occasion.

Tip: To make a tall cake like Kaylee made for my birthday, make several smaller cakes and stack them with frosting between the layers.


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