Choose Your Own Culinary Adventure Like a Tabletop Gamer

In 2001, I was introduced to the fantastic realm of tabletop gaming thanks to my colleagues in my first, after college real world job. My tabletop game of choice was Dungeons and Dragons 3.5/4e, and my preferred job classes were non-magical: a half-dragon fighter, an elven rogue and the token half-elven bard (my very first DnD character). When I discovered a cooking method based on a combination of chance and loosely connected gaming structure, I couldn’t help but lose myself in the possibilities! I’m prepared to gain those multi-class ranks as a Kitchen Mage.

Gearing up for Culinary Adventure!

The Foodie Dice sets are beautifully designed, laser-engraved wood dice sets which add the element of surprise to one’s cooking experience. When I saw them I instantly fell in love, and then proceeded to feel my heart shatter when I saw the price tag. The tricky thing about niche markets is the associated cost of small batch productions. I cannot help, but applaud the folks who created the perfect storm of foodie and geek because I am completely head over heels.

The genres of sets include Seasonal Dinners, Desserts, Asian Bowls, Salad Dressings, and Mixology! There is one for craft beer, but that’s for those intending on brewing their own blend!

Pros 

  • Power Up! Excellently nerdy concept paired with foodie pursuits!
  • Unpredictable! Encourages experimentation with different ingredients I would’t normally employ!
  • Fancy! Natural wood dice  with laser engraving give an eco-chic appearance!
  • Plant-based Options! Vegetarian protein options are listed for those disinclined to consume animal!
  • Pantry Staples! Common ingredients lead to a well stocked kitchen without too many extraneous ingredients!
  • Eco-Friendly! Special edition storage tumblers are made from recycled wine bottles and cork!

Cons

  • Price tag. If all five sets are purchased with accompanying cloth pouches, it would equal $117 (without tax or shipping and handling) which I don’t have. If you have it, please by all means support this awesome concept! I missed out on the KickStarter opportunity.
  • Sold Out Items. Foodies and kitchen mavens loves gadgets, so trying to find product availability is a challenge.
  • Not Karen-Proof. Unfinished wood and loose paper manuals make me worry in an accident prone kitchen (spills, tears, fire, loss, etc.).
  • Allergy Alert! I have a shellfish allergy, so I had to alter or omit certain ingredients for self-preservation.

Reuse an empty Altoids tin to take the dice on the go!


 

DIY Kitchen Master Dice & Om-nom-nom-icon!

I love to game and I have missed it thoroughly, so discovering the Foodie Dice not only motivated me to create  a more affordable version, but also experiment in the kitchen. I am a Virgo through and through, so venturing out of my comfort zone is far from easy. I like my routine and tried and true recipes!

One of my sincerest pleasures when preparing for a DnD campaign is selecting which dice to play with. While my game dice tend to be my matching Chessex polyhedral dice, I wanted to curate a set of dice for my culinary adventures that would be separate from my standard gaming staples. So here’s my own Kitchen Campaign Kit:

  • Twenty-sided Dice: In true tabletop gaming fashion, when it comes to rolling initiative (deciding battle order) nothing less than a d20 is acceptable. Naturally, when guests visit, they have +1 hospitality advantage to all rolls. I loved this 34mm Copper d20, and managed to find it at Gamesville Tabletop while on vacation.
  • Six-sided Dice: 1 six-sided (d6) dice (minimum). I purchased a combination of d6s from Game Master Dice. Any 6-sided die is feasible, but I wanted to have an advancing gaming experience leaving more variables to chance concurrently.
  • Glass Storage Tumbler: I repurposed an Argo Tea bottle with twist cap (washed out, label removed), but a 16oz salsa or a recycled candle jar with a lid are also great for storing larger dice.
  • Dice Shaker: any plastic tumbler will do.
  • Foam Placemat: Provides a little bit of traction to keep the die from rolling too far away and minimizes noise.
  •  Om-nom-nom-icon (Binder/Notebook): I selected a  1″ 5″x8″binder with Avery Business Card sheets and Avery slash pockets.
  • Quest Log: a $1 impulse buy spiral notepad and one of the many pens I have in my possession. Great for recording results and making shopping lists.

The Om-nom-nom-icon: Dungeon Master’s Kitchen Guide

Do your product research, and you’ll be able to develop the combinations of different dice. Initially, I went through the trouble of typing each list up into a business card template, but then I had no method of printing it out at home, so I went analog with a pair of scissors, some pens, and some leftover sketch pad paper. While it was more labor intensive than I originally planned, I found satisfaction in the process. It reminded me of when my friends helped me put together my first DnD character sheet and binder.

Inside the Guide

  • Order of Sections –  Seasonal Dinners, Asian Bowls, Salad Dressings, Desserts and Mixology; in order of how I would assemble a dining men.
  • Expansion – I selected a 1″ binder and the contents currently occupy roughly 20% (if that), so there is plenty of space to organize recipes and chronicle my journey in cooking.
  • Shellfish* – I did include the data cards in my guide because hopefully those who join me on the adventure would enjoy having an alternative protein available. Though when dining solo, it’ll become a chef’s choice or wild card ingredient.
  • Cilantro* – I hate it. Given the opportunity, I’ll probably re-roll for a different herb or seasoning. I truly wish I liked cilantro because it seems to be on everything these days.

My intentions with the design of my dice curation, storage, and additional maters is to balance function and fashion. The binder will blend nicely with my kitchen design scheme, but on the inside is where the adventure begins.  I used business card clear sheets for the individual item lists, and the sections are divided by slash pocket dividers where I plan on storing created recipes. The Fab Folks at Foodie Dice have even provided a downloadable PDF for their recipe cards! With so many combinations available, I might wind up needing an actual box of holding (recipe box)!


Answer Me, These Questions Three: 

  1. Which of the sets do you think you’d like most?
  2. For my first adventure, should I pick a seasonal dinner, Asian bowl, or make dessert?
  3. Would it be best to have all the items available like in a Top Chef Pantry or to roll ahead of time and then shop later?

 

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