I'm not quite done with Marion Nestle's What to Eat yet, so I'll save that review for next week, and this week offer up a meme tailored to my Friday food theme instead. Here goes:
Food from fiction that you'd like to sample:
I don't know if my childhood favourite books are more thoroughly laced with delicious food descriptions than more recent reads, or if those just stick in my head because of repeated readings. But I could happily eat my way through much of the food described in the Betsy-Tacy series (Maud Hart Lovelace), the Anne series (L.M. Montgomery), and the Little House books (Laura Ingalls Wilder). From the Betsy-Tacy books, for example: Mrs. Ray’s fried potatoes, cocoa cooked in a pail on the Big Hill, anything baked by Anna, the peach pie at the Taggart's farm, Joe's sour-milk pancakes, and Aunt Ruth's bread. And from the Anne series and the Little House books, see the passages I quoted in last Friday’s post.
A fictional meal you would like to have attended:
There are a lot of contenders for this one but for now, sticking with the Betsy-Tacy theme, I'll go with dinner on the S.S. Columbic, for the food and the conversation (Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy and the Great World).
A memorable work of fiction set in a restaurant or a café:
Ernest Hemingway's "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place".
Food you've tried that didn't live up to the expectations raised by a fictional account:
Turkish Delight from C.S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I figured it must be pretty spectacular for Edmund to be willing to sell out his siblings for a box of it, but I was sorely disappointed when I finally tasted some.
Or petit fours which sounded tantalizing in Elizabeth Enright's The Saturdays but turned out to be oddly generic and tasteless (albeit very pretty) when encountered in a bakery. But I gather that in France the term is not confined to the square pastel-coloured confections that I sampled in my youth, so perhaps there's still hope for me and petit fours.
Food from fiction that you couldn't help but want to try even though you knew you would hate it:
I was a very picky eater as a child and wouldn't have eaten sardines or pork pie at any time of the day or night. But when these items appeared on the menu of a midnight feast at St. Clare's or Malory Towers, I wanted nothing more than to join in:
"Golly! Pork-pie and chocolate cake, sardines and Nestlé's milk, chocolate and peppermint creams, tinned pineapple and ginger-beer!" said Janet. "Talk about a feast! I bet this beats the upper third’s feast hollow! Come on—let's begin. I'll cut the cake."
(From Enid Blyton, The Twins at St Clare's.)
An unappetizing food description from fiction:
I'm generally partial to a fry-up, but after enduring one of the most vivid hangovers in fiction, I didn't find this breakfast any more appetizing than Jim Dixon did:
There was a pause, while he noted with mild surprise how much and how quickly she was eating. The remains of a large pool of sauce were to be seen on her plate beside a diminishing mound of fried egg, bacon, and tomatoes. Even as he watched she replenished her stock of sauce with a fat scarlet gout from the bottle.
(From Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim).
Or, moving from the unappetizing to the downright traumatizing, there's the cake from Margaret Atwood's The Edible Woman:
The spongy cake was pliable, easy to mould. She stuck all the separate members together with white icing, and used the rest of the icing to cover the shape she had constructed. It was bumpy in places and had too many crumbs in the skin, but it would do. She reinforced the feet and ankles with tooth-picks. Now she had a blank white body. It looked slightly obscene, lying there soft and sugary and featureless on the platter.
A recipe you've tried or a meal you've recreated from fiction:
I've read the odd novel that included recipes but I've never tried any of them out. I guess the closest that I've come to this is the meal made from Lucy Maud Montgomery's recipe book that was served at the last LMM conference that I attended. The main dishes were delicious on the whole, though a tad heavy for the modern palate. But the desserts were teeth-achingly sweet, too much even for me. Different times, different tastes.
Food you associate with reading:
When I was a kid I often snacked on popcorn or cinnamon toast while reading, and now I find myself craving those foods when rereading childhood favourites.
Your favourite food-focussed book/writer:
I don't have a ready answer for this one, but I'm keeping it in the meme as I'm hoping for recommendations!
Tag, you're it!