When Tom and I started Castles and Cooks, things were very different. We were both stuck in corporate jobs that eroded our very souls and we needed an outlet to express ourselves besides hiding NERF guns in our office desks (that may have been just me). The site has evolved into something I don’t think either of us ever expected.
Two and a half years later, we’re looking at a website that is the most twisted take on a chimera I’ve seen in a long time. Our fracture posts are incomprehensible and off kilter, but I kind of like it that way. But between Wizards of the Coast feeling the need to release a new Magic product every two months and some major changes in the lives of all our authors, something has to give.
In the beginning, Castles and Cooks allowed us to escape the confines of the corporate 9-5 grind. Drafting feasts and sending each other messages about how one would go about cooking a dragon was a fun way to pass the time, but in the last few months, Tom and I have both walked away from that path. Don’t get me wrong, we’re still playing games and cooking, but our changes have meant much less time to write.
In the last few months, I’ve gone from a soul sucking corporate job that was literally so mismanaged, I didn’t have a boss to tell that I was quitting to working for a local toy store. I’ve always loved toys (my other website might be a giveaway) and being able to spend my days talking about LEGO sets while getting paid is something I never could have imagined.
This change though means some aspects of my life have to relent. Sadly, I simply don’t have the time or energy to write about dungeons, castles, dragons and cooks every single day. Combined with the awful burnout I suffered during the Return to Ravnica spoiler season, I’m left questioning where I want Castles and Cooks to go from here.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Magic: the Gathering and I don’t ever see myself quitting the game (I know Tom, that’s a sunk cost fallacy), but I feel like Magic and I are at a crossroads and I don’t see us going the same direction. I do see us going alongside other kinds of tabletop games, but Castles and Cooks was never meant to be a site about Magic.
As for the cooking side of things, I’ve loved experimenting in the kitchen with new ideas but often those concepts are hard to give a fantasy twist to. Bleu cheese and steak pizza is delicious, but I don’t think dwarves are chowing down on it at the local inn. I would love to expand into true fantasy feasting that isn’t such a reach. I want Castles and Cooks to be a site where when people say they want to try lembas, blue milk or butterbeer, we are the place people direct them to.
Food and gaming are about the exact same thing at the end of the day: bringing people together. And while real life seems adamant at throwing us as many curve balls as it can, Castles and Cooks will prevail.
And this is where you come in. Castles and Cooks has grown far beyond what I imagined was possible, but now I’m asking you to give back. I want to craft a list of recipes across all fandoms and I need you to tell us what foods you want to finally taste.
While I may have deemed myself the Baker when we launched, I am much more than that and it is time to put the cooking back in Castles and Cooks.