Somnambulant Beef

The death moan of a cow is heard from the kitchen. Blood begins to seep beneath the diners' feet. The chef cackles wildly, above even the cackling of fat on flame. The time is near, and there are patrons about to find themselves served a meal of Somnambulant Beef.

This course, served prestigiously on the eighth day of the 49th Feast, is one of the many prides of Kenzhia: it can only be prepared by a Kenzhian chef. The preparation begins with the slaughter of a live cow in the kitchen by an individual, usually the head chef, wearing the Kenzhian Cap of Somnambulance, an artifact of mysterious origin which is closely guarded by the Kenzhian monarchy. Kenzhian law states that the Cap may only be placed upon a Kenzhian head upon threat of removal, an edict which has ensured that only Kenzhians may prepare Somnambulant Beef. It is said that following all subsequent steps on meat coming from a cow not slaughtered by a wearer of the Cap will result in an entirely different meal altogether.

The cow's blood is allowed to drain onto the floor and into the main dining area, where it must reach at least the feet of the individual at the head of the table before butchering is initiated. An immediately-butchered cow is necessary, as no salts may come in contact with the meat at any time during preparation or consumption.

Fillets from all parts of the cow are cut and placed on a bed of simmering fats, oils, and whole garlic cloves until the meat outweighs the fat by a factor of three. This continues until the fillets achieve a slug-like affect and in fact appear to move over the fats and oils like misshapen slugs. The fire is then turned off: the meat will continue to move on its own volition. The meat and garlic is separated from the fats and served.

A humorous trick played upon unsuspecting patrons who eat this dish for the first time is to simply not tell them that their meal will be moving, albeit at a slow pace. This can result in shock and other physical reactions from those weak of will, and occasionally even death. Such was the case at the 49th Feast, whereupon Lord Alfred, a minor nobleman of the Crystalline Nation, only noticed his meal was moving as the first bite of it was mid-way down his throat.