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Favorite Books and the Recipes that Made Them, by Lori Soard
Writers love to incorporate all the senses into their stories and that often includes a delicious meal or two. If you’ve ever read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis or if you pick up my book Dear Viking, you may hear of foods you’ve not tried as the first is set in England and the second in the Middle Ages.
If you want to share your love of books with others, you can serve themed meals or even a single dish based on these books. It will be a good topic of conversation as well.
Example of Tea Time
This excerpt from C.S. Lewis’ The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe may inspire you to host a tea serving the same items:
“And really it was a wonderful tea. There was a nice brown egg, lightly boiled, for each of them, and then sardines on toast, and then buttered toast, and then toast with honey, and then a sugar-topped cake.”
So, host a tea time for your friends. Boil brown eggs (or poach them, if you prefer), serve different types of toast and little finger cakes with powdered sugar on top. You can certainly get creative. Frame the quote from the book and copies of the book cover and set them out as centerpieces. Feature different flavors of cake, different colors of sugar, toppings for toast and so on.
In E.B. White’s book Charlotte’s Web, the rat Templeton is very focused on food. You probably remember the cartoon version where he sings about the fair being a veritable smorgasbord of food.
Melon rinds and bits of hotdogs
Cookie crumbs and rotton cotton candy
Melted ice cream, mustard dripplings
Moldy goodies everywhere
Lots of popcorn, apple cores
Banana peels and soggy sadwiches
And gobs of gorgeous gook to gobble at the fair
Host a party featuring fair foods. You could serve mini candied apples (soak the apples and then use a melon baller to create small portions), popcorn, bite-size funnel cakes, hot dogs and cookies.
Get Your Viking On
In my recent book Dear Viking, I describe a meal that Rok Erikson brings to Leani when she is a prisoner in his village. The Vikings ate a lot of hearty stews and fresh-baked bread. You could recreate this for a family meal or when friends come over. My recipe for a simple stew is below. It is, of course, going to be a bit different than what the Vikings ate, because I don’t expect you to go out and hunt wild game.
You can grind your own grain and bake up fresh bread, or you can purchase some multigrain bread from your local bakery. Another idea is to buy frozen bread loaves. Just make sure you allow them enough time to thaw, rise and bake. It is a process that can take most of the day, but there is nothing like the smell of a warm stew and fresh baked bread to make a house feel like a home.
Recipe for Lori’s Modernized Viking Stew
• 1 pound ground beef (browned and drained)
• 1 large can of beef stock (or make your own)
• 1 small onion
• 1 bag frozen mixed veggies for stew (has potatoes in it)
• 1 can of stewed tomatoes (other varieties will make the stew too sweet)
• Salt and pepper to taste
• Dried rosemary (sprinkle)
• Crock Pot
Brown the ground beef and drain. To a crock pot, add beef stock, frozen veggies, browned beef, salt and pepper, dried rosemary, chopped or sliced onion (depends on whether you want to pick out the onions or eat them).
Cook on low for 6 hours, add canned tomatoes, cook another 2 hours.
What are some of your favorite foods from books? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
Lori Soard has a Ph.D. in Journalism and Creative Writing but she’s hardly the stuffy, professor type. Her romantic comedies have received rave reviews from Romantic Times Magazine. She co-founded World Romance Writers and also writes articles on a variety of topics. In her spare time, Lori enjoys singing and taking her two dogs for walks. The entire family loves going to the movies and traveling. She loves to hear from her readers. You can email her through her website at lorisoard.com or on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+.